Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!


Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...





All posts tagged "netbook"


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9: GPS Hacking

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 11:00 AM

http://mydellmini.com/forum/integra...ini-9-t167.html

"So, I wanted to add a GPS receiver to my Mini 9, but I didn't want to have to use a dongle or other external device. I figured that a netbook really ought to just have it built in, so that's what I decided to do. All of these pictures are links to larger versions. I started by tearing the Mini down and seeing if it was even possible. Luckily, there's a bit of space around where the Bluetooth adapter is located. It wasn't much, but it looked like enough, so I ordered the smallest USB GPS receiver I could find. It's a nice unit with a SkyTraQ chipset and support for AGPS. Once I used the included utility to download an AGPS update into the unit, it gets a location fix in about five seconds after a reset."

There aren't many laptops that come with GPS receivers, but when you consider the size and sheer portability of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (I received mine last week and will do a video of it shortly), a GPS unit is a logical extension of the functionality on this device. The procedure definitely isn't for the faint of heart, but if you want to do what this guy did, the instructions are fairly clear - just be aware that you'll be voiding the warranty, and you might break something.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Are Dell Inspiron Mini 9's Delayed? Or Just Mine?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:20 PM

I ordered my Dell Inspiron Mini 9 the morning of the first day it was available in Canada, which was 48 hours after it was launched in the US (September 4th). Originally I was given a delivery date of September 22nd, but a few days ago that was bumped to October 6th. What's equally strange is that Dell's order status page is reporting that I placed this order on the 18th of September rather than the 6th. I'm seeing unboxing videos on YouTube, and reviews popping up online, so it seems that at least some people are getting their units. It's also probable that because Canada, Australia, and a few other countries came after the USA/UK/Germany in the launch, those countries are soaking up all the early inventory. Any Digital Home Thoughts readers ordered one of these and received it yet?


Friday, September 5, 2008

MSI Wind Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:38 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiJXYIlgm8M

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the MSI Wind, a small 2.3 pound netbook with a 10" screen at 1024 x 600 resolution. It features an Intel Atom 1.6 Ghz CPU, 1 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 2 GB), 802.11 b/g, three USB ports, VGA out, and an 80 GB hard drive. I paid $554 CAD + tax for it.

The version I ordered was supposed to be a black MSI Wind with a 6-cell battery, but instead it's a white MSI Wind with a 3-cell battery. Join me for the fun of an unboxing of the wrong product! I ended up returning this to the computer store I bought it from because it was the wrong version, but I plan on re-ordering an MSI Wind when they release the version with the 6-cell battery. I was extremely impressed with the build quality, the screen quality, and the performance. At 50% brightness the screen was as bright as many laptops in a normally lit room, and the performance of the Intel Atom chip shocked me - I wasn't expecting to be able to play 720p WMV files without a hitch (it choked on 720p h.264 files though).


[click through to YouTube to see it in higher quality]

If you have a YouTube account, please rate the video, comment, and subscribe to our channel. Thanks for your support!


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dell USA Launches Inspiron Mini 9

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.dell.com/content/product...=dhs&ref=homepg

Dell.com has finally launched their Inspiron Mini page, and you can check out the details for all three models there now. Strangely, the $349 USD version with Ubuntu is only available for pre-order, leaving only the Windows XP-based versions for sale. Equally strange is that the $399 version, equipped with Windows XP, only comes with 512 MB of RAM. Windows XP really needs 1 GB of RAM to breathe properly, so this is a poor choice - especially since many, if not all other netbooks at $399 come with 1 GB of RAM. The good news though is that for $51 more you get bumped to 1 GB of RAM and the 16 GB SSD hard drive. The bad news is that even at $449, you don't get Bluetooth or the 1.3 MP Web cam - Dell wants $20 and $10 respectively for each of those.

If it seems I'm being a bit hard on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, it's because I had really high hopes that Dell would bring something exciting to the table - either in the form of reduced pricing, great custom configuration options, different colour options, etc. If you don't like black, you can pay $25 for the privilege of owning an "Alpine White" version. Supposedly other colours are coming later, but Dell was so late to the game, why not launch with all guns blazing? Dell is a huge company, and instead of broadening the netbook market and giving the other players something to compete against, they seem to have released an also-ran product. Maybe once I get my hands on one I'll feel differently - perhaps the build quality is excellent, or the battery life is better than Dell says. We'll see...


Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Overview Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:00 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcwxR9kFEnE

Want to learn more about the Inspiron Mini 9? Brian Pitstick, part of the Dell team that brought this product to market, gives us a 10 minute overview of this new Dell product. There's not a lot of new information, but it's nice to see how the product looks/feels in the hand.

[Side note: why doesn't Dell upload higher quality videos? There's no "High Quality" option for Dell's video on YouTube. Weak!]


Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Launch Imminent: Leaks Galore

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:35 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/04/...-pops-official/

"Dell doesn't take its site down when it introduces product unlike some laptop peddlers. The result, however, is shots like this of early pre-release gear like the Inspiron Mini 9 netbook as Dell spins the product up for retail. $449 fully spec'd just like we heard with 8GB SSD, 1GB memory, Bluetooth 2.1, Windows XP, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. We still expect to see a lesser spec'd $349 model running Ubuntu. Shipping on the 16th of September in your choice of white or black though white will cost you a $25 premium. Dell hasn't officially announced the product yet but we're sure they'll get that sorted out in a few hours. For now, happy URL hacking as we dig for more details."

Dell sure knows how to limply launch a product launch that could have been really exciting! Instead of having a simultaneous, multi-site launch, the launch of the Inspiron first had a leaked flyer, then the product went live in the UK and Germany (but only certain configurations), and then Gizmodo broke press release embargo and published the press release. Meanwhile, all my emails to Dell over the past four months about this product have been ignored. Sometimes I find dealing with Dell so incredibly frustrating.

At any rate, here's the breakdown, and if you were hoping for something new and exciting in the netbook space with a giant like Dell entering it, you're in for a disappointment. The $449 version will come with an Intel Atom N270 CPU, an 8 GB solid-state drive for storge, 1 GB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11g WiFi, a 1.3 MP Web cam, and Windows XP SP3. 8 GB of storage and Windows XP? That seems highly dubious to me - how much storage space is going to be left for applications and user data? There's going to be a 16 GB SSD option, but no word on pricing. Looking at the spec sheet, there are really only two things that stand out to me as being interesting: first, that Dell managed to fit a 4-cell battery in there, but apparently still only manage three hours of battery life, even with an SSD. The MSI Wind, and other netbooks, can get three hours of battery life with a 3-cell battery - and the MSI Wind has both a ten inch screen and an 80 GB hard drive. That makes me wonder why the Dell is so power-hungry.

Keep an eye on your local Dell Web site for the official launch - I'll very likely be ordering one, if only to check it out for a couple of weeks. Pictures, and the full press release, are after the break. Read more...


Monday, August 25, 2008

NCIX Hands-On With Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee 901, HP 2133, and MSI Wind Netbooks

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:08 PM

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=0CuxV-jsrk8

I've been searching for information about some of the latest and greatest netbooks, and this video (shot last month) answered some of my questions - I figured it was worth passing along!

Tags: netbook

The Tech Report Reviews MSI's Wind Netbook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:00 AM

http://techreport.com/articles.x/15291/1

"With variants of the Eee PC dominating the burgeoning netbook market, it seems as though every manufacturer is now rushing to squeeze out its variant on the theme...The Wind U100 sits as a sort of standard bearer for this new wave of netbooks. It's a remarkably balanced piece of engineering, delivering on nearly all of MSI's early promises. But rather than facing off against the original Eee PC, the Wind must now contend with a fresh batch of rivals, including HP's Mini-Note, Acer's Aspire one, and new Eee PC 900 and 1000 series models from Asus. Keep reading to see whether MSI has crafted a worthy competitor in the U100, and whether the system is a compelling netbook in its own right."

This is the netbook that I've ordered for myself...well, the 6-cell battery version, not the 3-cell version they reviewed here. As much as I loved the design of the HP 2133 Mini Note, having both an under-powered processor incapable of playing DVD-resolution video and only having 90 minutes of battery life (at best) was just too much in the way of compromise. After look at the Acer Aspire One and the MSI Wind, I settled on the MSI Wind - but looking at the review of the Asus EEE PC 1000, I'm suddenly feeling a bit torn. I'm not interested in the SSD version, so I'd get the 1000H version, which I can get locally for $549 - right around the same price as the MSI Wind. The hardware is damn near identical, so it comes down to things like the screen, the battery life, etc. Choices, choices...


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

September Launch for Intel's Dual Core Atom

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:34 AM

http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Int...rticle12720.htm

"Regardless of what internal opinion of the Atom processor is at Intel, the roadmap for the processor is moving forward and the next stop is the dual core Atom 330 desktop processor. Like its Atom 230 sibling, the Atom 330 is based on Intel's 45nm fab process and will incorporate HyperThreading technology -- in the case of the Atom 330, the processor will appear to have four cores within the operating system. According to Register Hardware, the dual core Atom 330 processors will be soldered onto Intel's upcoming 945GX-based D945GCLF2 motherboard which supports up to 2GB of DDR2 memory."

Normally I'd be excited about this, but just last week I placed a pre-order for the MSI Wind with a 6-cell battery...and now this new dual-core CPU looks like it would be pretty sweet. Although it's hard to say what would happen to the power consumption and pricing of the MSI Wind if it came with one of these CPUs. My personal circumstances aside, it's great to see more performance coming in these ultra-low power processors.


Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...