Mar 31 2009

Dell Mini 10 Netbook Officially Gets 720p Capability

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Dell Mini 10

So far Dell hasn’t shipped any Mini 10 netbooks, keeping us in anticipation with pre-order offers and a promised ship date of April 15th. While rumors of the Mini 10’s media capability have been heard from every direction, one of them is finally getting confirmed – 720p video capability.

Dell Mini 10

As seen on Dell’s site, you can throw down another $35 to the original $399 of the Mini 10 in order to bring resolution from the standard 1024 x 600 up to an impressive 1366 x 768 pixels, enough to rock 720p video.

The new development is a clear step away from the minimalism of early netbooks and Nick Negroponte’s OLPC concept and towards the fancier, media-oriented flavor of newer machines like the DVD-capable ASUS 1004DN or Sony Vaio P.

Via CNet.

Mar 31 2009

OCZ Neutrino: The First DIY Netbook

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We saw hints of the new OCZ netbook at CeBit 2009 but now the new DIY netbook has been officially set for mid-April this year. A standard version will retail at $269, but customizations will vary the price considerably.

neutrino diy netbook 1

The new machine rocks a WSVGA netbook’s 10-inch chassis, into which you can stuff a 1.6 GHz N270 processor, up to 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, and either a 2.5-inch HDD or an SSD. If you’re feeling ambitious you can customize either drive to be as large as 250 GB.

The deal will bring you an optional 4-in-1 card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, VGA output, a PCI-Express slot, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and Wi-Fi. The battery is a 4-cell, so you should expect some decent battery life; hopefully around 4-5 hours.

Via SlashGear.

Mar 30 2009

ASUS 1004DN Eee PC Netbook With Optical Drive Confirmed

ASUS Eee PC 1004DN

This development has been a long time coming, and when we reported it a few days back we could hardly believe our ears – a mainstream netbook manufacturer has finally brought optical drives to the mix in an affordable way. Now you don’t need to default to a Japanese import for your optical drive netbook.

The new Eee PC 1004DN is a 10-inch netbook that is expected to cost between $531 and $590 when it hits the market in the near future. It has an Express Card slot, Wi-Fi, and of all things a DVD burner. The keyboard on the new netbook seems to be the same as the Eee PC 1000HE.

We’ve got the specs here for you, lifted straight from the pages of CNet:

Display

10″ wide active matrix LED backlight TFT, WSVGA 1024×600 pixels, 252K colors max

Dimensions

277mm x 194mm x 27.4-34mm

Weight

1.45kg with HDD (with 6-cell battery and ODD)

Battery

Li-Ion 57.72WHrs – 6 cells, 5200mAh

Processor

Intel? N280 1.66GHz Processor with 512k L2 Cache
FSB 667MHz 2.5W TBP thermal

Chipset

Intel GN40
ICH9Mb (Integrated GMA 4500M graphics core)

Main Memory

1 x SODIMM socket for expansion up to 2GB DDRII DRAM

Storage

Up to 1.8″ PATA 120GB, 4200 RPM

Communications

Built-in Bluetooth? v2.1 module
802.11n
Support Antenna x 2

Camera

1.3 Megapixel Video Camera

Microphone

Array Mic

Keyboard

Keyboard: W:254mm chiclet type

Audio

Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
Built-in high quality stereo speakers

Via CNet.

Mar 30 2009

Western Digital Buys SiliconSystems, Enters Netbook SSD Sector

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Western Digital, a market leader in 2.5-inch drives, has entered the SSD market through the $65 million purchase of solid-state manufacturer SiliconSystems. This buy-out will allow Western Digital access to the netbook market, where until now it has lacked a presence.

Western Digital Logo

SiliconSystems produces SSDs in various interfaces including “SATA, EIDE, PC Card, USB, and CF, in 2.5-inch, 1.8-inch, and CF.” While Western Digital currently puts its 2.5-inch drives into notebooks,  the netbook sector has seen none of its products thus far.

According to President and CEO John Coyne, all of that is about to change:

“SiliconSystems’ intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD’s solid-state drive development programs for the Netbook, client and enterprise markets.”

The acquisition will make SiliconSystems into the new WD Solid-State business unit, ripe and ready for action in the netbook category.

Via CNet.

Mar 30 2009

Russian Magazine Announces MacBook Mini Netbook

…and the rest of us sigh with disappointment. But before I break your heart, take a look at this beauty:

According to one Russian magazine, this device is the new ‘MacBook Mini’, a long-rumored device closely tied in to the Apple netbook rumors we’ve seen so often.

The rumored (and probably photoshopped) Apple netbook was reported by the magazine to have a “10.4 inch WXGA display, Intel Atom CPU, NVIDIA GPU, 64GB SSD, 2GB RAM and Wi-Fi.” It is said to be hitting the market in 2009 for a hefty $899.

Should we give the rumored netbook much attention? Probably not. The Apple netbook concept is rife with rumors and hearsay, and notorious for false alarms and red herrings. However, on the off-chance that this thing is legit, a whole lot of netbookers and Mac fans are going to be extremely happy.

Via I4U.

Mar 29 2009

New Samsung N310 Netbook Footage and Analysis

New netbook releases are a cause for attention, but initial reactions to the Samsung N310 netbook have been less than exhilarating. The machine’s design has been criticized as clunky but without toughness, as well as not being innovative enough to pander to those looking for an alternative to the Atom N270 we’ve seen so much of in netbooks.

samsung n310 11 480x319

However, the initial photos may have given the N310 netbook a bad wrap. In the video below, Blogeee found that the Samsung netbook is a bit sleeker than previously thought, being no larger than the exquisite Samsung NC10. It looks to have a user-accessible RAM slot, a feature as-of-yet unseen in most other machines, and it looks like the coating on the display does a good job of nullifying pesky reflections.

Will the N310 succeed on its good looks and a tried-and-true formula, or fade into the woodwork as an expensive alternative to better netbooks? Check out the video below, and see what you think.

Samsung N310 from Blogeee.net on Vimeo.

Via SlashGear.

Mar 29 2009

Verizon Begins 3G Netbook Plan

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Yesterday Verizon announced that it intends to begin a netbook program, selling 3G-capable netbooks by June this year. Verizon isn’t new to netbooks, offering a huge rebate on Sony Vaio P netbooks back in February.

Rumors circulating say that the netbook of choice will be the HP Mini 1000 netbook, the approximately $330 machine famous for the flashy Vivienne Tam edition released a while back. The netbook will go for a mere $99 in Verizon stores with the purchase of a 2-year contract.

Be careful, though – some 3G netbook plans have had dire consequences for their subscribers, especially one woman from Oklahoma who got burned with a $5000 bill by AT&T.

Via Wireless and Mobile News.

Mar 29 2009

Samsung Releases N110 Netbook With 9.5 Hour Battery

One member of the newest pair of Samsung netbooks has been getting a lot of attention lately, ever since the company’s recent posting of a product page for the 10.1-inch Samsung N110 netbook.

It has a 93%-of-full-size keyboard and an amazing 9.5-hour battery life, far more than most competitors’ 3-or 6-hour batteries. It’s got the standard formula of an Intel Atom N270, 1 GB of RAM and a 160 GB HDD as well.

The whole setup comes in at between $440 and $460, depending upon where you look. We’ll have more on the new Samsung netbook as the story develops.

Via Engadget.

Mar 28 2009

Acer Aspire One Netbook Destructs To The Sounds Of U2

The Acer Aspire One has seen serious success in the netbook industry, often seeming flawless in a sea of weaker alternatives. However, its Achilles heel may have been discovered – the band known only as U2.

U2

Reports are surfacing that the 8.9-inch netbook’s hard drive goes off the deep end when you play music too loudly. Some users at HardwareCult say that one song by U2 named Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me is doing the worst damage.

However, others haven’t been able to replicate the problem, so hopefully there isn’t a reason to freak out just yet. On the other hand, the words of those who discovered the problem are quite dire.

Tigre Marino says that the issue causes the drive to incur “complete catastrophic failure, taking with it all the user’s data” resulting in “read errors, ATAPI errors on the system log, and even logging Raw Read Errors on the hard drive’s SMART health monitoring system.”

“You’ll see,” he continues, “after some seconds, the hard drive LED will get stuck and the machine could freeze or get a BSOD. Lower the volume or plug in some headphones and the problem magically disappears.”

If the problem continues it’s likely that Acer will take note and start doling out refunds and try to adjust to the problem. It’s also possible that the users at HardwareCult got a bad batch of Aspire One netbooks, perhaps ones prone to excessive vibration. We’ll let you know how the whole mess turns out, but until then, play U2 at your own risk!

Via NetbookChoice.

Mar 27 2009

Wistron Firstbook Netbook Runs Linux With 3G

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The Wistron Firstbook is a Linux-based netbook that looks a great deal like the Sony Vaio P or the Lenovo concept Yoga PC netbook. The Firstbook, interestingly enough, will get you integrated 3G for surfing the web.

wistron firstbook 1

We don’t know the full specs just yet, but the machine is supposedly going to have an 11.1-inch widescreen display as well as WiFi/Bluetooth capability.

What’s more, the Wistron is rumored to run the Qualcomm Snapdragon, an upcoming netbook chip set to rival the Intel Atom. The video below can give you more info, so take a look!

Via SlashGear.

Mar 27 2009

ASUS To Release Netbook With Optical Drive

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The only netbooks with optical drives thus far have come from Mouse Computer, a manufacturer who’s unfortunately something of a nonentity in the American netbook market. However Acer, maker of the Acer Aspire One and leader in the tech industry, is set on finally making a netbook that will let you watch DVDs.

DigiTimes is announcing that the new E1004DN netbook – to arrive next month at between $531 and $590 – will feature an Intel Atom N280, a 120 GB HDD, and a GN40 chipset. We don’t know about the screen size just yet but, given recent trends in netbook screen size, it’s safe to assume that it will be around 10 inches.

Personally, it seems like this is a good move from ASUS. While the price will be high, many consumers have been returning netbooks for their lack of DVD-watching capability.

Via NetworkWorld.

Mar 27 2009

Dell Gives To Charity Through Pink Mini 9 Netbook

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The Inspiron Mini 9 is getting a stylish revisiting with a new series of color options offered by Dell. The colors include pink red and blue, a departure from the earlier model colors. Not only will the netbooks look a bit snappier, but they’re go towards a good cause; Dell is donating $5 for every pink Mini 9 purchased and donating it to the Susan G. Komen foundation for education and research on breast cancer.

The Mini 9 netbook is retailing for between $199 and $249, depending upon where you look, and sells with either Windows or Linux. It can be configured for up to 2 GB of RAM, twice as much as the standard formula offers. Another option is the 32 GB SSD, a nice addendum to the netbook package.

Also notable are the variety of Hackintosh possibilities tinkerers have found with the Mini 9.

However, on the subject of the netbook’s color, it’s often been said that the black version of the Mini 9 is particularly bad at hiding smudges. On the other hand, any color other than white or black will drop you an extra $35.

If you aren’t feeling particularly philanthropic but still want a pink netbook, be sure to check out the Valentine’s Day Acer Aspire One of last month.

Via Arstechnica.

Mar 25 2009

Three New Gigabyte Netbook Releases

Three new netbooks were announced by Gigabyte at CeBIT this year. Gigabyte is the maker of the previously announced Touchnote M1028 tablet netbook, but is expanding its offerings to include a desktop docking station and the mysterious Gigabyte S1024 ThinNote.

gigabyte touch note t1028 1 sg 419x480

The netbooks are produced by Moblix and all feature the Intel Atom. The M1022 BookTop desktop docking station and ThinNote use the older Atom N270 chip while the TouchNote tablet netbook uses the ‘upgraded’ Atom N280. Other common features include “10.1-inch displays, WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 and 1GB of RAM.”

You can expect the Gigabyte netbooks to ship around April 30th, priced at – brace yourself – $594 for the M1022 and $644 for the TouchNote tablet. The Gigabyte S1024 ThinNote netbook will also come into the game at an unannounced date for $594.

Via SlashGear.

Mar 25 2009

Hi-Grade Notino Netbook For English Soccer Fans

As time goes on, it is becoming clear that netbooks are getting attention from everyone with enough cash to crank one out. Not only do small-time manufacturers like Gigabyte and ViewSonic have their own netbooks now, but even Japanese toy retailers have shown their interest with the Hello Kitty, Gachapin, and Doraemon netbooks.

The newest manufacturer getting into the netbook game is Hi-Grade, a UK based company which just announced a netbook fully endorsed by the England Football Association. While I’m much of a soccer guy, it’s undeniable that the netbook looks pretty classy:

Notino England FA Netbook

The 10.2-inch machine is called the Notino µL100E and is decked out in official England FA colors. Via has provided its 1.6 GHz C7-M processor for the machine, which runs for 2.5 hours and has a 160 GB HDD. In addition the Notino netbook includes three USBs, Wi-Fi, and a card reader.

It will sell for £315, or about $463 US, with all profits going to the soccer association. Unfortunately that means you’re dropping some good money for a snappy logo, while missing out on some battery life and processing power a netbook like the Samsung NC10 might get you for a similar price.

Via NetbookChoice.

Mar 25 2009

Acer Announces 11.6-Inch Aspire One Netbook

While 10-inch netbooks seem to be the standard these days, Acer has already gone in that direction and believes it’s time to move on. The newest Acer Aspire One netbook is rumored to come in an 11.6-inch screen size, using the Intel Poulsbo platform.

The Poulsbo has been introduced in the MSI Wind U110 Eco netbook, using an Intel Atom Z530 processor at a mere 4.5 W, compared to previous platforms that only managed 11.8 W.

The new Aspire One will offer a curious 1366×768 resolution and a wide 16:9 aspect ratio.

It seems like Acer wants to capitalize on the low price and portability of netbooks while eschewing the tiny screens the computers have been criticized for. Acer’s wide variety of tweaked netbooks have attracted the money of thousands, so this new release is surely one to be taken seriously.

Also of interest to Aspire One users may be the recent guide on Xfce tricks to maximize these netbooks’ potential.

Via TechTree.

Mar 25 2009

New AT&T Netbook Plan Set To Be Cheaper Than Ever

AT&T has been involved in netbooks for a while, though its record with customers has been anything but flawless. However, the news on the street is that the new AT&T netbook plan will deliver machines for a mere $99.

Supposedly the netbooks will get access to 3G, much like its previous plans. Rumors suggest they may use a version of Linux, but personally I tend to disagree – Linux generally appeals to a non-mainstream crowd, making Windows the OS of choice for the masses.

Via BrightHand.

Mar 24 2009

The Germ-Fighting Samsung NC310 Netbook

The Samsung NC10 and its NC20 contemporary were great netbooks, but if that was enough to impress consumers it seems the manufacturer couldn’t help but raise the bar in a curiously obsessive way.

It turns out that the new Samsung NC310 netbook has been decked out with a new antimicrobial technology for the keys. The netbook makes use of some kind of “special finish” making it “almost impossible for bacteria to live and breed.” Keyboard germs was number one on my list of things to worry about, but it’s comforting that someone out there is making some science happen to eradicate this most foul of terrors.

Samsung NC310

All joking aside, the NC310 netbook looks like it will be an interesting departure from Samsung netbooks of years past. It has a 10-inch frameless LED  display, a 5-hour 4-cell battery, and a three-in-one card reader. Replicated features include a smallish 1.3 megapixel camera, a 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB of RAM, and Windows XP Home.

Not only is the keyboard a scourge of filth, but it also seems to be particularly well made from a computing sense. The netbook keyboard is 93 percent of full-size, with pebble style keys. Previous Samsung netbooks have capitalized on great keyboards, so in all truth it’s hard to expect anything less than this latest, pristine development.

Pricing for the netbook is as of yet unannounced, but we’ll keep you posted.

Via CNet.

Mar 22 2009

ASUS Fold/Unfold Isn’t A Netbook, Hits Market Later This Year

ASUS Fold/Unfold

The Consumer Electronics Show whets the appetite of the tech industry once a year, when new experimental gadgets are announced daily for one long, busy week. While concept devices shown at CES go no further than that stage all too often, in some lucky cases we get to see them come to market.

The ASUS Fold/Unfold is a device of that type. While we thought it was a netbook back at CES 2009,  question isn’t up for debate anymore. The ASUS Fold/Unfold will cost between $1000 and $1500, placing it far beyond the netbook category.

However wallet-taxing it may be, the ASUS concept device still extremely cool. The Fold/Unfold features a ‘sliding keyboard’ to maximize space and air flow, meaning it ends up a lot smaller than expected when you pack it up. ASUS has announced that it wants to bring it to market around September or October this year.

Via Gizmodo.

Mar 22 2009

LG To Make Apple Netbook Displays

The rumored Apple netbooks are getting some more press. The latest announcement is that LG, creators of the LG-X110 and LG-X120 netbook, will be making OLED displays for the (hopefully) upcoming device. Could this news conflict with reports that Apple would be getting its screens from Taiwan?

OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, exploit the natural glowing of some organic compounds with electrical current run through them. Without  a backlight, individual pixels provide the lighting for the device. The Apple netbooks will incorporate the OLED displays in order to get thinner and lighter screens, whose colors are more brilliant.

OLED diagram (HowStuffWorks)

Not only will the LG OLED displays be put into the possible Apple netbook – the next gen versions of the iPhone and iPod touch will use them too.

This development is quite exciting, but remember: we can’t say much about the veracity of this report just yet, as the Apple netbook itself is unconfirmed. Keep your fingers crossed, ladies and gentlemen.

Via BrightHand.

Mar 20 2009

Intel Rumored To Introduce Two New Netbook Chips

A recent leak is saying that Intel, everyone’s favorite netbook chip distributor, will be announcing a new single-core Z-series Atom processor, which shall reach 2 GHz. It is to be the first Atom to do so.

Atom Chips

The Z series is a family of single-core chips meant for MIDS, but in a cheap netbooks they might easily find a home as well. They use 2.4 W, just like the earlier 1.86 GHz Z-series chips.

Additionally, a new 1.2 GHz Atom is to be announced, one which subsists on a shockingly low 1.4 W of power when running full speed. That means if you crank it down to 800 MHz it will use a mere 0.65 W, making it one of the most efficient chips of its category.

Via Arstechnica.

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