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All posts tagged "netbook"


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Netbooks - The Next Generation

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

http://www.notebooks.com/2009/01/07...ry-sexy-design/

"Freescale and Pegatron are ushering a new generation of netbooks that will combine excellent battery life, good looks and low cost. The two partners are hoping to bring the ARM-based netbook to market within the next few months under the flagship of a major OEM at a retail price of $199 to $299."

We'll see if that price actually carries through. Compared to the current crop, a 10 inch device with an 8 hour battery life would be a winner. From the details, they will be Linux based and designed as a purely web device, so don't expect much in the way of horsepower or storage, although this probably will help with the 8 hour battery life.

Tags: netbook

HP Mini 1000 XP Edition Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

A few days before leaving for CES 2009, I received an HP Mini 1000 for review - I'd been trying to get my hands on one of these since they were first announced, and was sadly unsuccessful. They say good things some to those who wait, and I was sent not only the HP Mini 1000 XP Edition, but also the HP Mini 1000 Vivian Tam edition. The Vivian Tam edition, which we posted some glorious photos of last year, was specifically for my wife to test out. I'll be doing another Real World Review to cover the Vivian Tam Mini 1000, but when it comes to the regular Mini 1000 I'll be doing the usual: videos!

I managed to shoot and edit this unboxing and first impressions video the night before I left for CES. The unit they sent me is the high-end configuration: Windows XP SP3, and in the configuration I was sent, costs $489 USD directly from HP. It has an Intel 1.6 Ghz Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 60 GB 4500 RPM hard drive, an SDHC card reader, two USB ports, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 3-cell battery. The screen resolution is 1024 x 600, though HP strangely lists it was 1024 x 576 on the box. Read more...


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best Netbook Bang for the Buck

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 PM

http://jkontherun.com/2009/01/05/wh...now/#more-27215

"Of course, all I can do is offer an opinion: that and a buck will get you cup of coffee at McDonald’s. But that’s what he asked me for, so here’s my opinion on the best netbook for the money right now. I ruled out any device with an 8.9-inch display in my thought process. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, but the larger 10-inch screens represent nice “bang for buck”. You can always upgrade some components, like memory or storage capacity, but you’re generally stuck with a screen size for the life of a device. This pushed the current Acer Aspire One, the Dell Mini 9 and some of the Asus Eee PCs out of contention."

Great article. I was looking at the HP 1035NR at $450 as a replacement computer for my wife. She currently has a 5 year old Compaq laptop, so about time for an upgrade. While not quite as sexy looking as the HP, the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA is quite the bang for the buck.

Tags: HP, Asus, Eee, netbook

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ARM Poised To Join Netbook Craze

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:00 PM

http://gigaom.com/2009/01/06/netboo...-x86-computing/

"Freescale said Monday it would offer an ARM-based chip that could lead to a $200 Linux-based netbook, offering about twice the amount of usage on a single battery charge as Intel’s Atom processor allows. Freescale’s efforts are nothing new (only AMD has so far stayed above the netbook fray), but it did get me thinking about how Intel’s endless pushing of netbooks has, ironically, helped destroy the hegemony of x86 machines for personal computing."

Up until now, netbooks are powered by the x86 legacy. Gigaom notes that Freescale is looking to change that. I've seen hints of some manufacturers in China producing ARM based netbooks as well, this news might help push major manufacturers to join in. The lower power nature of ARM based CPUs is certainly welcome, I've yet to see any ARM based computing device provide a comparable browsing experience. This includes the iPhone, Nokia N810 and WinMo devices. The extra power that an x86 CPU uses, in the overall power consumption of a netbook, is more than offset by the speed at which it renders webpages. Still, I welcome the competition as I'm sure that ARM devices, netbooks or otherwise, will eventually catch up in speed to x86 netbooks.

Tags: gigaom, netbook, arm, x86, cpu

Sandisk Announces New Netbook SSDs

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

http://www.sandisk.com/Corporate/Pr...se.aspx?ID=4460

"SanDisk Corporation today unveiled its next-generation of flash memory-based solid-state drives to support the evolving needs of designers, manufacturers and users in the exploding netbook market - SanDisk® pSSD™. The new SanDisk pSSD-P2 and SanDisk pSSD-S2 SSDs have capacity and performance for more full-featured netbooks which require a robust operating system. Designed as drop-in replacements for hard-disk drives, SanDisk’s new second generation module has a SATA interface to meet new netbook design requirements. The SATA interface offers a significant boost in performance rendering these SSDs faster than HDDs in critical aspects. Booting and launching applications takes just half the time of an HDD."

Good stuff. Some of the first generation netbook SSDs we geared for less than optimal performance, but it was a good way to ramp up production. As the netbook has become pretty mainstream, it is great to see some of the technology that goes along with it maturing.

Tags: SSD, Sandisk, netbook

Sunday, December 21, 2008

HP Mini 1000 Impresses Notebooks.com

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.notebooks.com/2008/12/10...s-choice-award/

"The Mini 1000 I reviewed is an excellent choice and value for someone that understands the limitations of a netbook. It’s highly portable and its keyboard makes it much more useful than netbooks with smaller keys. The configuration in this review has a retail price of $464.99 and will provide the vast majority of consumers a solid portable web, email and productivity experience. Business professionals looking for an enterprise-class computer should avoid the Mini 1000, along with all current netbooks."

Notebooks.com puts the HP Mini 1000 through its paces, and finds a lot to like. From the touch-typable keyboard to the stylish looks, the Mini 1000 addresses many of the complaints of first generation netbooks. They do recognize that this netbook is targeted towards the consumer market. It definately sounds like netbooks have found a sweet spot in terms of size and usability which closely matches the ultraportable segment. Thankfuly, they're much cheaper! Now HP is looking to make Netbooks fashion aware. While their styling doesn't quite suit my tastes, I'm sure some people covet their dark copper look, or the soon to be released Vivienne Tam edition.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Netbooks Disappoint Michael Arrington

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 AM

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/2...nt-good-enough/

"A typical Netbook has a 7 inch screen, an Intel Atom or Via Nano processor, a solid state (flash) hard drive and a keyboard that’s 80-85% standard size. Most have Wifi. Some have other bells and whistles like bluetooth, a camera, etc. I find Netbooks unusable for three reasons: they’re underpowered as PCs, the screen is too small for web surfing, and the keyboard is so small that effective typing is impossible. The basic problem as I see it: Netbooks are designed to appeal to two very different markets - the price sensitive and the size sensitive. The two are really mutually exclusive."

Michael Arrington has posted a scathing article on Netbooks, describing them as a inadequate for the markets it is targeted for and even takes the opportunity to plug his concept tablet. I have to disgree, as I see Netbooks happily serving many customers. On paper Netbooks definately do not impress, but their purpose is to serve as a lightweight, mobile companion. I think Arrington has fallen into the same trap that many others do in seeing a Netbook that is the same form factor as a notebook, his expectation is that it is a notebook. Netbooks fill a much different need, with customers, not techies, who just want to be able to access the Internet to check their email, IM their buddies, and twitter a bit. Netbooks are capable of a bit more, of course, but even in only serving that much, they probably fit 80-90% of what a customer needs. Does Arrington have a point? Sure. But I think he's only highlighting that Netbooks have a limited use for someone into tech. Tell me there's at least one person other than myself that have welcomed Netbooks with open arms.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

WiMax Wherever You Are With the MSI Wind U120

Posted by Richard OKane in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

http://laptoplogic.com/news/msi-announces-u120-10

"MSI has officially announced the WIND U120 Netbook for the U.S. market. The U120 will feature integrated WiMAX or 3.5G wireless (optional) and this is what separates it from the existing WIND netbooks already available. In addition to regular netbook features, the U120 will come with a 6-cell battery, 802.11n WiFi and even integrated Bluetooth. Rest of the technical specs for the WIND U120 are fairly standard."

These little netbooks are certainly coming along! They've got all the specs of their bigger brothers, and in some cases, the same price. I can't see myself ever buying one as my I love my iPhone and it does everything I need it to. However, if you are in the market for a netbook, this should be on your list. Why? WiMax. Imagine being able to access the fast mobile data networks! Internet at your fingertips. Pure bliss!


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Acer Aspire One: Your Next Netbook?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:20 PM

This is my review of the Acer Aspire One, a popular netbook with some fairly typical specs: a 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom CPU, 1 GB RAM, an 8.9 inch screen, a 120 GB hard drive, 802.11b/g, a 6 cell battery, and running Windows XP Home. Pricing varies - I paid around $439 for this, but Acer has changed the product slightly - they're now shipping it with a 160 GB hard drive, and there are several version of the Aspire One on the market, including an entry-level unit with Linux. I shot this review over a month ago, so keep that in mind when I mention not having the MSI Wind yet.

I should mention that my primary complaint about this netbook has apparently been addressed in the form of an updated BIOS: I found the fact that the fan was constantly running at high RPMs to be quite irritating, but I've been told that a new BIOS update addresses this issue by slowing down the fan when it's not needed. If that issue has been properly addressed, I'd have no trouble recommending this netbook to someone looking for one - it offers a lot of value for the dollar.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He seems to have better hearing when it comes to fans than most people.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9: Not The Netbook For Me

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:27 AM

This is my review video of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell's first step into the world of low-cost netbooks. The Mini 9 that I ordered has Windows XP, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU, 16 GB solid-state flash storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 4 cell battery, and an 8.9 inch at 1024 x 600 resolution. The Linux-based versions start at $349 USD, and the XP-based versions start at $399. If you get the XP-based version with every option, it's about $480 USD.

There's a lot to like about the Dell netbook, but it's not without significant shortcomings from my perspective. On the plus side, the build quality is top-notch. In fact, I'd venture to say that it's the best-built Dell notebook I've ever had my hands on. It feel very solid and durable, with a fit and finish that's light years above other netbooks. Considering how cheap most other netbooks look, you might think that's not saying much, but holding the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 in your hands just feels...good. The keyboard is a bit on the small side, but that's not unusual for a netbook with an 8.9 inch screen. Read more...


Friday, November 14, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:50 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell's first step into the world of low-cost netbooks. The Mini 9 that I ordered has Windows XP, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU, 16 GB solid-state flash storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 4 cell battery, and an 8.9 inch at 1024 x 600 resolution. The Linux-based versions start at $349 USD, and the XP-based versions start at $399. If you get the XP-based version with every option, it's about $480 USD. Check out the video below, and watch for my review to follow shortly.

Please rate the video and subscribe to our channel. Thanks for your support!

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's still searching for the ultimate netbook.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fujitsu's Little LifeBook U820

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:30 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2008/11/04/...et-now-on-sale/

"We're still scratching our noggins in a futile attempt to figure out the LifeBook U820's real purpose on this Earth, but for those who've got it all figured out, you'll likely be thrilled to know that this puppy is now on sale. $999 buys you a mini convertible tablet with an Intel Atom Z530 CPU, a 5.6-inch WXGA touchscreen, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 60GB 4,200RPM hard drive, built-in GPS / Garmin Mobile PC, Ethernet, a webcam / fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth / WiFi and a 4-cell battery. There's also a $1,299 version if that other variant just isn't up to your standards, but at any rate, feel free to punch the read link and have a think before pulling the trigger on either."

While my gadget lust still drools over this, I do agree that it is probably not very practical. I have not heard any complaints that the current batch of netbooks are too big, so not sure where they are going in this form factor. It is still too big to pocket, but I'd imagine they keyboard and screen are just too small to work at for too long. So, make it a little bigger, bump the screen up a few inches and drop it a few hundred and then you'll have a serious contender to bring something new to the netbook game.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notebooks.com Hands-On With the New HP Mini 1000

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

http://www.notebooks.com/2008/10/28...cs-and-details/

"HP is finally getting into the consumer netbook game with the Pavilion Mini 1000, an Atom-powered computer that runs Windows XP or Ubuntu with an HP customized user interface. I got a chance to sit down with HP's Kevin Wentzel last week and shot a bunch of video and photos. The first version of the HP Mini 1000 features a 10.2-inch glossy display and weighs in at 2.4 pounds. A 2.25-pound version with an 8.9-inch display will be coming soon."

Xavier from Notebooks.com was fortunate enough to have some hands-on time with the new HP Mini 1000, and he has a lot of great information on it, including two videos - the one above, and one on the Mobile Internet Edition (MIE) that shows the customized Linux user interface.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HP Mini 1000 Product Specifications

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:08 PM

Here are the specifications for the HP Mini 1000. Look for my summary tomorrow morning/afternoon of a conference call I attended on Monday. This is one netbook I'm quite excited about!

Operating System Options: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Basic Service Pack 3 for ULCPC Program, or Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) built on Linux (Ubuntu).

Processor: Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)

Chipset: Intel 945GSE + ICH7M, 533MHz FSB

Memory: DDR2 SDRAM, 533MHz, one DIMM slot. On the XP Home model, the options are 512 MB or 1 GB (there's a hard limit of 1 GB due to the operating system). On the HP MIE model, options are 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB. Read more...


The HP Mini 1000 Mobile Internet Experience in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:06 PM


The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:03 PM


The HP Mini 1000 in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:01 PM


HP Expands Mini PC Portfolio Designed for Mobility, Social Media and Fashion

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

Here's the official press release for the new HP Mini 1000 series netbooks. Look for a bunch of tasty photos to follow right quick!

"PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 29, 2008 – Following the success of its education-focused mini PC introduced in April, HP today expanded the HP Mini family with three models of a new HP Mini 1000 line. This array of minis – one of the widest offerings in the industry – addresses the needs of Internet-centric consumers, mobile professionals, always-on social media enthusiasts and fashion-forward women.

“Staying connected to your world – however you define it – is increasingly important to people on the go,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “That’s why HP is excited to address this new high-growth market with a portfolio of head-turning mini companion PCs that are fun and easy to use.” Read more...


Monday, October 27, 2008

HP Mini-Note 1000 Pops Up: Starts at $399

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:31 AM

http://thetechnicist.typepad.com/th...hoppingcom.html

"HP's update to their popular MiniNote netbook has shown up on their consumer website, HPShopping.com. Called the Mini 1000, it appears to share a similar design to the older MiniNote, though it is now in a black colour. This likely means that in the move to the consumer side, HP has ditched the aluminum build for glossy black plastic like on the competing Aspire One, Dell Mini, and EEE <insert arcane model number here>. Based on the model number, it would be safe to assume it has a 10" screen, as reported by James and Kevin at jkontherun last month. While the MiniNote used a very high resolution (full WXGA, 1280x768) 8.9" screen, I would assume that the Mini 1000 (too many Minis....) has the same 10.2" 1024x600 (WSVGA) LED backlit screen as the Wind, S10, the EEEs, and whatever else. A starting price of $399 puts it a full $100 cheaper than it used to be, and at the exact price point of the Wind, S10, and EEE 1000H."

If you recall my review of the HP 2133 Mini-Note, you'll know that while I was impressed with the build quality, I was less impressed with the choice of the underpowered VIA CPU, the limited battery life, and the generally poor performance of Vista on the hardware. Speculation abounds on the exact specifications, but I agree with the above assessment: it will have a 10 inch screen, run the same 1280 x 768 resolution as the 2133 Mini-Note but be more viewable due to the bigger screen size, and will likely be using an Intel Atom CPU running at 1.6 Ghz. I just hope they can bump up that battery life, or offer a 6-cell battery that isn't too big. It's great to see HP re-vamping the Mini-Note so quickly - it's going to be a great Christmas season for netbook buyers!


Friday, October 24, 2008

MSI Wind BIOS Update Provides CPU Overclocking

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/24/...rclocking-easy/

"We've long since known that MSI was a fan of overclocking. After all, just about every last one of its gaming notebooks come with one-button OC'ing courtesy of the Turbo Drive Engine technology. Now, it seems that the company is giving the spoils once reserved for the Crysis crowd to those with netbooks, or more specifically, the Wind. The freshly released (and absolutely official) v1.09 BIOS update enables simple overclocking by mashing Fn+F10, giving users the ability to push things 8%, 15% or 24% beyond their normally specified limits. Electric Feel over at ElectricVagabond has found that the update provides up to a 30% boost in performance..."

While it might seem strange to overclock a netbook, the fact that it's so easy and can be done from within Windows means that it's highly practical to crank the CPU up when you're using an application that takes more grunt. I haven't loaded up Photoshop Elements or Lightroom on my MSI Wind, so I doubt I'll be overclocking it, but it's nice to know that I can do so if I wish. I wonder what it does to the battery life though? Heck, I'd prefer to underclock the CPU once I was in Word 2007 typing up a document if it meant saving some battery life.


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