What we know as the astronomically expensive Toughbook laptops over here, the Japanese know as the wildly spendy Let's Note machines over there. Their nomenclature is today getting upgraded by one, as the F9, N9, and S9 Let's Notes make their debut housing a Core i5-520M processor. We like the F9's 14.1-inch display and 1440 x 900 resolution best -- those are pretty much ideal dimensions for a portable workhorse -- but the real new hotness is the R9, which crams a Core i7-620UM into essentially the size of a netbook. 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 250GB storage drives are standard across the range, and the Japanese release is scheduled for February 17. In other news, a 17-inch Dell Inspiron with Core i5-430M guts is now up for sale on Staples for a measly $649, while a similarly specced HP dv4 can also be found for a Benjamin more. Hit those source links for more.

Cowon V5 HD gets extensive UI video demo