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All posts tagged "netbook"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ed Bott's Five Reasons Why Google's New Chromebook Isn't a Windows Killer

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 03:00 PM

"At Google's I/O conference this week, the audience erupted into cheers when they heard the news that they were getting a free notebook powered by the Chrome OS. It's too bad that the audience was filled with developers instead of the IT pros who Google is counting on to actually buy these things. Something tells me that the latter audience would have been sitting on their hands for most of the session, and they wouldn't have been swayed by that Oprah moment."

Ed Bott comes out guns-a-blazin' against Google's Chromebook - and he has some very legitimate points. If you're an enterprise, the last thing you want is a product that gets updated immediately before you have a chance to test what impact the upgrade has on the tools your employees use. The pricing is also a big question mark - $28 a month over three years is $1008. For a consumer, that makes no sense. For a depends if they can save other costs around software licensing (anti-virus, Microsoft Office), hardware replacements, and IT labour re-imaging systems that get borked. The thin-client computing dream has been around for a long time, just like the tablet dream has, but as we've seen with raging success of the iPad, when the technology reaches a certain inflection point, things can take off. Is thin-client computing at that stage now? I guess we'll see!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Demise of the Netbook Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"Remember all those talking heads who predicted that tablets and low-cost laptops would kill off the humble netbook? Well, consumer interest in such entry-level devices has apparently shown little sign of waning. Indeed, according to principal ABI analyst Jeff Orr, netbooks are not replacing laptops or PCs - but they are being purchased as complementary platforms."

The much maligned netbook seems to have quite a bit of life left in it. I can certainly see the appeal of a low cost, light weight computing device that is "just enough." Of course, phones are becoming that in many ways, but they do lack the form factor unless you are willing to go the RedFly route. I think that the trend of netbooks also speaks larger about consumer buying patterns as well. A single computer for a person, let alone a household is a thing of the past. Computers are becoming much more ubiquitous and we are looking to collect multiple devices, each designed to accomplish specific tasks. Yes, the age of computing appliances has arrived. Has anyone recently bought a netbook over a larger, low cost notebook lately? If so, what were your reasons for doing so?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hands-On With Intel's Canoe Lake Reference Design Platform

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:07 PM

"Intel Unveiled their new ‘Canoe Lake' platform for netbooks which allows devices to measure in at 14mm thick and be able to play 720p. We have already done our first hands on video, but we got to play around with it again and this time it was turned on. We got to see the windows rating, we can't tell you the number, but we think you'll be pleased. What you will get to see is the cores and how they perform when opening a few different tasks. A closer look at the Canoe Lake specifications Intel Atom N550, 2GB RAM, 120GB HDD and Windows 7 Ultimate. We are guessing a 44Whr battery right now."

Intel's Canoe Lake platform is a significant step forward for netbooks: a true dual-core design (not just hyperthreading like we've seen with current netbooks), and some impressive design integration that allows them to build a reference design that's quite thin. I really like the cut away at the bottom of the screen - hopefully that hump there is a sizable battery. This is exactly the kind of netbook I'd go for - quick all you OEMs, someone build it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

15-hour Netbook from MSI

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"While it's outward appearance remains mostly the same, the netbook's internals have been upgraded across the board, including a new Atom N455 processor, some DDR3 memory, MSI's own "Turbo Drive Engine" and, last but not least, a 15-hour battery (aided in part by MSI's ECO power management system)."

Looks mostly like the U160 model I posted on yesterday, but this model has been specially tweaked to maximize battery life. So much so that it is getting double the battery life at 15 hours. We'll have to wait for a full review to see if we are going to be paying a big premium or taking a major performance hit in exchange for the longevity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Engadget Reviews the Updated Sony VAIO P

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"In a day of $300 netbooks and $500 tablets, it sure is mystifying to see Sony still pushing a secondary, $700+ Atom-powered device. That's right, Sony hasn't given up on its 8-inch VAIO P Series, and has updated the 1.3-pound mini-laptop with a slightly different design, a faster Atom Z560 processor, touchpad, and last but not least, an accelerometer that lets you tilt the machine to the navigate the web. It's got some pretty cool tricks, that's for sure, and considering that our main complaints about the first generation included performance and desktop navigation we're certainty taken with this next iteration."

I agree, just too much of a premium. If I were in the market for a new netbook when these first came out, I might have paid a bit of a premium. But now, I don't think there will be much room for a premium netbook, much the less a super premium model as low-priced tablets start to hit the market. An extra inch or two of screen wouldn't hurt either.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Eee PC Seashell 1005PR

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Asus announced a new multimedia centric netbook—the Eee PC Seashell 1005PR—which is designed to deliver a "rich and smooth High Definition online viewing experience when watching your favorite streaming movies, television/news programs and user-generated videos." The Eee PC Seashell 1005PR features Broadcom's Crystal HD Accelerator, an Intel Atom processor N450, 10.1-inch screen with 1366x768 resolution, and HD audio."

Another netbook claiming to be able to handle hi-def. Yay for 11 hours of battery life. Boo for Windows 7 starter, come on people, give me the good stuff.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Compaq AirLife 100 Outed on

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"Compaq AirLife 100 delivers a new way of connecting to the Internet, email, social networking, photos, music, and more."

Been on the HP site for a few days now and hasn't been removed, so I'm assuming it is legit. To summarize, it is a touchscreen netbook running Android. It has 16GB of storage and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It comes with a built in GPS, Adobe Flash Lite, and Quickoffice. There is a data transfer counter listed as a feature, so I'm wondering if this will be sold through mobile carriers rather than being available to consumers without a contract. If it is offered directly to the public, it will be interested to see where these are priced given the low prices of netbooks running Windows.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Life of a Netbook; Short and Sweet

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"Quoting unnamed sources from netbook manufacturers, DigiTimes reported yesterday that HP and Dell -- the world's number one and number three PC manufacturers -- are scaling back production due to disappointing sales of new netbooks powered by Intel’s new Atom N450 "Pineview" processor. (The story was posted on April 1 report, but the pretty-much-all-business DigiTimes has never been known for its practical jokes.)"

It seems like only yesterday that I heard about the original ASUS eee netbook. A liliputian 7" micro-laptop that was designed for light duty, portability and a really low price point. Since then, the netbook has changed dramatically as manufacturers tried hard to figure out what consumers wanted. Now, there is news that HP and Dell are not selling them as well as one would like. There could be a lot of reasons for this; saturation of the market, nothing exciting about the new netbooks, other alternatives such as smart phones and slate tablets. I honestly think that even if the netbook disappears, it has done a fair bit to invigorate the market. Since the netbook, we have seen much more experimentation and as much as I hate change, I consider this to be a good thing. Hopefully, the momentum will keep up and we will see more changes.

Tags: hardware, hp, dell, netbook

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The New Dell Mini 10: Great Battery Life

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

This is a review video of the new (as of February 2010) Dell Mini 10, a netbook. If you missed my two-part first impressions video, you can find it here. The New Dell Mini 10 is powered by an Atom N450, part of the Pinetrail chipset, running at 1.66 Ghz. It has 1 GB of RAM, and this model I purchased from Dell has a 5400 RPM, 250 GB hard drive. It features 802.11b/g WiFi, but this model I have doesn't have Bluetooth. Check your local Dell Web site to see if they're offering Bluetooth. It has a 56WHr Lithium-Ion Battery (6-cell), a 10.1" wide screen display (1024 x 600 pixels), and an integrated 1.3 megapixel Webcam. It's using Windows 7 Starter Edition for the operating system. Read more...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3t Reviewed By Engadget

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

"Who says you have to pick between a netbook and the coming onslaught of standalone tablet devices? Okay maybe some (eh hem Apple), but Lenovo's trying to have it both ways with the IdeaPad U1 and the S10-3t. In clamshell mode the S10-3t looks like any old 10-inch netbook, but swivel around its capacitive mulitouch display and it turns into that slate device you've been dreaming of. That's not all: the S10-3t is one of the first netbooks (or netveritbles) that has the new Intel 1.83GHz Atom N470 processor. But can the S10-3t straddle both worlds and do it well? And perhaps more importantly, is it worth the premium $649 price tag? That's the question we've been asking ourselves for the last few days, so hit the break for some answers in our full review."

This netbook from Lenovo is a netbook with a touchscreen that can swivel to convert in to a slate, or netvertibles as they seem to be called. It has the new 1.8Ghz Atom processor from Intel, 320Gb hard drive, 2Gb of memory and the GMA3150 graphics, so in theory it should be a faster and snappier machine than the current netbooks. Unfortunately Engadget don't seem to think so, which is a shame, because I looked at the specs and thought this had the potential to be the netbook everyone would want.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vivienne Tam Digital Clutch is Refreshed

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"The new HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam Edition, also known as the “Butterfly Lovers” Digital Clutch, will be available for sale on March 19th starting at $599 and if you can’t wait you can call and reserve yours today. In addition to looking good the new HP Mini 210 include s2GB of Ram, an Instant On OS, HP Quicksync to keep important files synced up between your netbook and main computer as well as HP MediaStream for streaming files on the go. Oh yes, and the ability to use the webcam as a “compact mirror” that’s just one click away."

Another pretty stylish laptop for the ladies. When these came out, I had no idea who Vivienne Tam was, but I asked my wife and she did, which I guess is the point. I'd like to see them develop something similar for the male aesthetic.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dell's New Mini 10: Unboxing & First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

Above is part one of an unboxing and first impressions video of the new (as of February 2010) Dell Mini 10, a netbook that represents Dell's second generation product. The New Dell Mini 10 is powered by an Atom N450, part of the Pinetrail chipset, running at 1.66 Ghz. It has 1 GB of RAM, and this model I purchased from Dell Canada has a 5400 RPM, 250 GB hard drive. It features 802.11b/g WiFi, but this model I have doesn't have Bluetooth (nor was it an option at the time I purchased it). Check your local Dell Web site to see if they're offering Bluetooth. It has a 56WHr Lithium-Ion Battery (6-cell), a 10.1" wide screen display (1024 x 600 pixels), and an integrated 1.3 megapixel Webcam. It's using Windows 7 Starter Edition for the operating system. After the break is part two of the video. Read more...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Engadget Reviews the HP Mini 210 HD

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"But what about the $425 HD model? As we concluded with the Dell Mini 10, spending the extra money for the Broadcom is pretty hit or miss at the moment. Yes, Flash 10.1 Beta 3 allows for better Flash and Flash HD playback, but right now it's flaky at best. Whether that's worth the extra cash is up to you, but if you're looking for a netbook that can undoubtedly stream HD Flash content out of the box you're best looking at an NVIDIA Ion-powered system like the HP Mini 311, or better yet waiting for an Ion 2 system that uses NVIDIA's new Optimus technology and promises better battery life than the first generation."

If you must have HD on your netbook, looks like you will have to wait a bit longer. The Broadcom chip brings some improvements, but it is still not the user experience those that are demanding HD are expecting. I'm curious how many users are demanding HD though? I mean sure, it is nice to have, but a netbook is not my primary entertainment device.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Netbooks Handle HD Content; Film at 11

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

"Netbooks aren’t famed for their high-definition video playing prowess, but if you’ve got about $10 and a few minutes going spare, there is a way to enjoy high-definition trailers and videos on your Atom-powered portable."

If you cannot wait until the next generation of HD capable netbooks become available, or do not want to upgrade, there are some options for people looking to playback HD content on the wee little babies. Of course, there are a lot of limitations and restrictions, but after some effort, you can turn your netbook into a fairly competent media player. The solution presented by PC Pro UK is also not the only one. There are alternatives such as other codec packs or VLC which offer comparable performance. The biggest downside? This does not apply to HD content on the web. It will only work for local content that is encoded in certain ways. It looks like you will have to bite the bullet if you want your YouTube in HD goodness.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HP's Android Powered Netbook

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

"Yesterday at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, HP announced a new Android-powered netbook computer, the Compaq Airlife 100. The Airlife 100 runs the Android 1.6 operating system and sports a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, which allows it to run both quickly and efficiently for a full day of always-on operation."

Not sure if we will see this stateside, but I'm not sure that I care if we did. I guess these would have some market it if they were in the $100 to $200 range, but too much more than that and you can get a full OS.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Netbooks and e-Readers are Happy Together

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"The enTourage eDGe™ is the world’s first dualbook, combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one. It’s a comprehensive device that lets you read e-books, surf the Internet, take digital notes, send emails and instant messages, watch movies and listen to music anywhere, at any time. This is nothing you've ever seen before!"

Mashups are great. Pairing up two things into something new and exciting helps spur development and creativity. However, I am not sure I am sold on the enTourage eDGe. It sounds like a great concept in some ways. If the mood for reading? Just use the e-reader part and get a long battery life. Need to look up a few things about what you have read? Power on the netbook side and check it out. It sounds nice, but something seems lacking. It feels like I am carrying around two devices that would be almost as effective if it was just one device. Why not just make the screen of a slate netbook capable of flipping between e-ink and LCD? Or if you are going to have dual displays, why not make the whole thing under one operating system and interface? It almost seems that it would be just as good to buy an iPad, and a Kindle, and duct tape them together. Please, can someone show me what I am missing here?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Engadget Reviews the New Dell Mini 10

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:03 PM

"Michael Dell may not be a fan of netbooks, but you wouldn't know that from the newest Mini 10. Joining the current Mini 10v, Dell's completely overhauled the chassis and added Intel's new Pine Trail processor. But that's not all: come February the little laptop will be available with Broadcom's Crystal HD accelerator, which promises full HD playback on a high-res 1366 x 768 display. But does the $425 package rid us of our tireless complaints that Atom can't handle HD, and does it rival netbooks based on NVIDIA's Ion platform? And perhaps more importantly, can we count on the Mini 10 to be a valuable member of the growing Pine Trail netbook fraternity when it comes to battery life and ergonomics? Read on to find out!"

I've got one of these on order from Dell, and am still waiting for it, but the gang at Engadget snagged one and put it through its paces. The most notable changes? It's a bit chunkier than the previous Mini 10, largely to incorporate a 6-cell battery into the chassis without having the hump out the back. That's a big leap forward - but there's also no longer an HDMI port (apparently the Intel Pineview chipset doesn't support it) which some may consider a loss. I'm not sure I like the white chassis - and it sucks that Dell is still charging $40 to change the colour of the lid. What do you think about the design?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Alienware M11X Will Make Your Current Netbook Cry and Run Home to Mama!

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

Details are sparse right now, but Alienware intends this to be the netbook you can game on. So it will probably also do a pretty good job of supporting other resource intensive applications. While the screen is probably too small for most people to game on full time, this could provide just the right balance for a lot of users, powerful enough for most gamers and small enough to be easily portable, plus, with a rumored price of less than a grand, won't break the bank.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The ARM/Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Smartbook: Lenovo Skylight

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

"It's the industry's first ARM-based, Qualcomm smartbook, and it's powered by a 1GHz processor. Other specs include a 10.1-inch display (1,280 x 720), a customized version of Linux, 20GB (total) of flash storage, 2GB of cloud storage, an 8GB miniSD card, twin USB ports, 1.3 megapixel camera, WiFi and a battery capable of humming along for ten hours on a full charge."

That's the Lenovo Skylight, a "smartbook" with an interesting design, has been announced today - but it's not going to ship until April of this year. As far as Linux-based netbooks go, this thing looks really interesting - the UI looks excellent, and the 10 hour battery life is a boon. But with a price tag of $499 USD, will it fly? Consumers have voted overwhelmingly that they want Windows on their netbooks - does the Skylight have a chance? Video after the break. Read more...

14 New HP Models Leaked in Advance of CES 2010

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

"Holy smokes! A ton of unannounced HP laptops and desktops just came across our desk, in addition to those Envy models we saw just a few days back. Ahead of what we presume will be their formal announcement next week right around CES, we've got some details on 14 new models -- some more interesting than others."

Itching to see what HP has in store for the next few months? Engadget has the lowdown on a bunch of new models of laptops, desktops, and the HP Mini 210 netbook. Looks like some interesting hardware in the mix!

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