Apr 30 2009

Century Netbook Stand Cools, Runs DVDs, and Adds Space To Netbooks

The Century Netbook Stand may just be the ultimate combination of netbook accessories – a cooler, bonus drive space, and a DVD SuperMultiDrive. Take a look:

century netbook stand dvd hdd 1 447x480

The 260 x 190 x 19mm case has room for a 2.5 mm SATA HDD or SDD, which connect to the netbook through a USB 2.0 cable. It also addresses some USB issues, and adds two bonus USB ports on the side, for whatever other accessories you have.

Century’s netbook slice throws in a 4 cm fan for cooling purposes, and is available in Japan (sans HDD/SDD) for a mere $102.

Via SlashGear.

Apr 30 2009

The Kid-Friendly PeeWee Pivot Tablet Netbook

In the whirlwind of new netbook releases following the segment’s explosion last year, the ‘kid-oriented’ ideal of the OLPC has often gotten left in the dust. Aside from the original OLPC we haven’t seen many netbooks aimed directly at children, with the exception of a few toythemed netbooks that have been more about form than function. Sure, Australian students are getting their own netbook programs, but the rest of us are still wondering – what about the kids?

PeeWee PC is answering that call with the new Atom-powered PeeWee Pivot Tablet Laptop, a 3-pound toylike device designed specifically for tykes everywhere.


(Credit: PeeWee PC)

It can be controlled with a keyboard or stylus, as pictured above, and features a “rugged, spill-resistant case” so that neither the grubbiest fingers nor the stickiest apple juice will have a chance of breaking it. It’s no Trimble Yuma, but it looks like it can take the bumps a kid-friendly netbook needs to.

The PeeWee Pivot Tablet Laptop (netbook) runs XP with nearly the standard formula – 1.6 GHz Atom, 1 GB RAM, and a smaller-than-average 60 GB hard drive.

One particular quote from CNet sums up some of the features PeeWee kids will enjoy:

The PeeWee Tablet Laptop ships with game titles for pre-K, early elementary, or upper elementary students, plus a free Walt Disney Windows XP theme, and a proprietary security suite so parents have complete control of how and when kids use the notebook–parents can also view browsing histories, block sites, take screenshots, and control the system remotely.

PeeWee PC

Additionally, it includes a painting tool, handwriting recognition software, an e-book reader, PDF viewer, webcam software, and Evernote.

Not too bad. The caveat, of course, is the pricetag – somehow none of these kid-friendly netbooks save for the OLPC manage to keep the price down, and this machine is no exception at $600. Still, if the durability, kid-friendly programs, and internet safeguards are worth it to parents, the PeeWee Pivot Tablet Laptop may just be their kiddie netbook of choice.

Via CNet.

Apr 30 2009

Compal Profits Drop, Plans Netbook Comeback

  • Posted by in Netbook News
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Taipei-based Compal Electronics is the second largest contract notebook maker in the world, but despite its eminence in the PC industry,  right now it isn’t looking so hot. It has reported a dismal 13 percent decline in profit due to the recession, and is looking to netbooks to fill up that gap.

Compal Logo

Rumors say Compal is planning its own Android netbook, among other projects. It is a supplier for both Acer and HP, but curiously enough blames “higher sales of low-priced notebooks” for its losses. Bargain-friendly consumers are buying cheaper these days, and Compal is the one getting hit.

Is this a sign of the PC industry cannibalization some analysts fear so much? It seems unlikely. Compal is embracing the change in its target demographic’s preferences, with President Ray Chen claiming that netbook shipments are set to bump up Compal’s shipments 15 percent this quarter. Once again, it’s looking like netbooks are expanding when all other markets seem to want to fail.

Via Bloomberg and UnwiredView.

Apr 29 2009

Nokia’s Android Netbook Alternative

Though Android has been making headway as an OS pointed at netbooks, Seth Weintraub of Computer World is making an interesting argument – why not just get a Nokia N810 Portable Internet Tablet instead? This is the device in question:

This isn’t the rumored Nokia netbook – rather, it’sa device that has been out for a full year already. The N810, curiously enough, is capable of running Android if you do a little fiddling, and Weintraub suggests  it as a suitable alternative to devices that pale in comparison, like the SkyTone Alpha 680.

Here’s Computer World’s list of the N810’s special features:

– Sunlight readable transreflective display 800×400 pixel screen with up to 65K colors

– 802.11b/g Wifi, Stereo Bluetooth A2DP, GPS

– Integrated front facing VGA web camera, backlit keyboard

– 256 MB & 2GB integrated internal storage + 8GB expansion via MiniSD cards

– Battery life: Up to 4 hours of continuous usage with wireless LAN on; up to 10 hours of music playback

– Can act as a Mobile Phone with a Cradlepoint/Skype combination

– With its native Maemo OS, it runs Flash, something Android and iPhone cannot.

But is the Nokia N810 really a substitute for a netbook? Personally, I tend to think that the form factor of netbooks are one of their most appealing assets. Sure, the Nokia machine may be just as mobile and even better equipped than most Android machines on the market right now, but it seems that any college kid using one to take notes might get slammed for texting instead, since it looks so much like a phone.

Furthermore, MSI, ASUS, and Acer are all rumored to be making Android machines as we speak. While the SkyTone Alpha may be a weak competitor to the Nokia N810 for now, that is likely to change quite soon.

Via ComputerWorld.

Apr 29 2009

Fujitsu Releases M2010 Netbook

After the successful release of the Fujitsu M1010, the company has decided to release its second netbook, the Fujitsu M2010. This netbook will be available in four colors: Diamond Black, Fiery Red, Ivory White, and Salsa Purple. It’s dimensions are roughly 10.16″ x 7.44″ and it weighs a little over 2.2 pounds.

fujitsu_m2010

The Fujitsu M2010 has a 10.1″ screen and comes with Thinkfree Mobile OfficeSuite software. With this software, users will be able to easily create documents, spreadsheets, and presentation slides. The M2010 also comes with Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and digital microphone, and stereo speakers.

Via DesignTaxi.

Apr 29 2009

No Apple Netbook? No Matter, You Can Make Your Own!

Just because Apple is not coming out with a netbook does not mean that there are no substitutes for this product. With roughly $200 and a bit of time on your hands, you can make your own modified version of an Apple netbook! This netbook is ideal for travel, since it would be incapable of saving data to its local harddrive. This means that if your device is stolen, hackers cannot access your personal files and information.

So, with that said, here are the steps for constructing the “Hackintosh” netbook:

1. Buy (or obtain by other means) a Dell Mini 9. Obviously, the better the tech specs of this machine, the better its overall performance.

2. Follow Gizmodo’s instructions “How To: Hackintosh a Dell Mini 9 Into the Ultimate OS X Netbook.” (These instructions may seem harder than they actually are!) You can also search online for some tricks for decreasing the size of the Mac operating system as well, if you are worried about harddrive space.

3. Configure the netbook so that files cannot be saved locally. This can be done by following these steps:

a. Configure the netbook so that it logs into www.me.com when the device boots up.

b. Configure applications that allow the setting of a working directory to save by default to the www.me.com iDisk (Apple’sstorage service).

c. Create an Automator action (a visual Mac script) that finds files that are present on the netbook’s desktop and moves them to the iDisk when the computer goes into sleep mode or shuts down.

All this sounds easy enough, right? Well, there is a little caveat to this entire process. The system is only able to save files over a wireless Internet connection. If you dislike the idea of saving files over a wireless connection or if you think it is highly inconvenient (to locate wi-fi areas), you can just purchase a USB drive and save files to that instead.

And…voilá! You have just built yourself a “Hackintosh” netbook. Give yourself a pat on the back and start enjoying the convenience and functionality that it has to offer.

Disclaimer: Proceed to make this netbook at your own risk. No companies shall be held liable for any damages incurred during the construction of this netbook.

Via PCWorld.

Apr 29 2009

New Netbooks From Toshiba and Fujitsu

Japanese manufacturers Toshiba and Fujitsu have announced two netbook releases.

The Toshiba netbook is the 10-inch NB200 netbook, an update of the classy Toshiba NB100. It uses an Intel Atom N280 chip.

Fujitsu, to contrast, is entering the game with the Loox M, the first netbook it’s designed itself.

Check out this video at PCWorld for more info on the netbooks, and stay tuned right here for more news on the new releases.

Apr 28 2009

Samsung NC20 Netbook Picks Up The Pace With VIA CPU

While a number of bloggers have taken to calling the Samsung NC20 a notebook, we know better. At 12 inches it is comparable to a Dell Mini 12 in size, its RAM and HDD combination are a well known netbook favorite, and the only outlying quality about it – the VIA Nano U2250 CPU – is at least comparable to the Intel Atom in power. The Samsung NC20 is definitely a netbook, but we will admit that it stretches the lines a bit.

It beats out Atom-based netbooks in most benchmarks, has a 3 hour 40 minute battery life, and weighs 3.3 pounds with a 12.1-inch LCD screen. For $550 it’s expensive for a netbook, but we’ve seen worse.

Samsung is planning to double its presence in the netbook market in the near future, and the NC20 shows it means to take this promise seriously. Be sure to take a look at the Samsung NC10 if you’re on the market for a Samsung netbook.

Via Wired.

Apr 28 2009

Acer Predicts Netbook Demand for 2010

Since 2007, the demand for netbooks has greatly increased. By 2010, Acer predicts that more than 50 million netbooks will be shipped out. The current goal for the company is to gain a 40-50% share of the total amount of netbooks that are to be shipped out in 2009 (estimated to be 25 to 30 million). The overall goal for the company itself is to become the largest netbook manufacturer in the world.

acer_logo

The economic downturn has for sure hurt the sale of netbooks, but Acer predicts that the sale of netbooks will start to increase again by the middle of 2009. We will soon see if this is true!

Via TechSpot.

Image from LaptopPimp.

Apr 28 2009

Upcoming Averatec Notebook May Be Powered by Android

  • Posted by in Android, Netbooks
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Averatec has already entered the netbook market with the Averatec Buddy (released in 2008). It’s newest venture, which is to be a “merger of cell phone and PC technology,” is rumored to be a 10″ netbook powered by the Android operating system. The company CEO neither approves or denies rumors about the operating system of the new netbook, which is to be introduced into the market in either August or September of 2009.

averatec_android

Averatec’s overall goal is to sell products in three main market segments: 10″ netbooks, 12″ laptops, and all-in-one PCs.

Via SlashGear.

Apr 28 2009

ANNOUNCEMENT: ASUS Eee PC 1000HE Reviewed

ASUS is no newbie to the netbook market, and anyone who’s picked up a netbook knows its name. Like MSI and Acer, ASUS stirred the primordial soup of netbooking before anyone else, and has faced the challenge of continuing to hold onto its market share as more and more manufacturers have scrambled for a piece of the netbook pie.

ASUS claims its newest machine eliminates the few weaknesses of its tried-and-true Eee PC line, and intends to reaffirm its dominance of the swiftly growing netbook market with this new edition of the netbook.

But does the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE live up to the hype? How does it compare to other machines on the market? We couldn’t stand wondering, and we just had to review it.

Take a look.

Apr 27 2009

Windows 7 Will Have an XP Mode!

In an effort to influence users of Windows XP to switch to its latest operating system (Windows 7), Microsoft has been building an “XP mode” for its Windows 7 software that will allow applications designed for Windows XP to run more smoothly. Unlike the case with Windows Vista, Microsoft is trying to make its operating system more compatible with netbooks.

windows_xp_mode

The Windows XP Mode was previously known as Virtual Windows XP. It won’t be available for purchase along with the Windows 7 software, but will instead be downloadable online for those who buy the Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate versions of the Window 7 operating sytem. The release date of the beta version of the Windows XP Mode software has not been stated, but the release date is rumored to be soon.

The way that Windows XP Mode works is the following: First, the user installs selected application(s) in XP Mode. The applications will then be placed on the Windows 7 desktop. They can then be run directly from Windows 7.

Via CNet.

Image via SuperSite.

Apr 27 2009

Sharp Mebius Netbook to Be Released in the United States

  • Posted by in Netbooks, Sharp
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The Sharp Mebius is to be available for purchase in the United States starting in June 2009. With a price tag of $999, what’s special about this machine is its LCD trackpad, which can be used as both a trackpad as well as a handwriting recognition pad.

sharp_mebius_us

The LCD screen on the trackpad has 854×480 resolution and the screen can be used for e-mailing, among other functions. Other than this unique feature though, the netbook is just like any other netbook out there. For those who are looking for a practical and economical netbook, this would probably not be the most ideal purchase, but for those interested in the latest tech gadgets, this would be a device to look into.

Via I4UNews.

Apr 27 2009

Telecom Hurrys Up 3G Release Date, Netbook Service Anticipated

  • Posted by in Netbook Rumors
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Telecom is announcing the early launch of its 3G mobile network on May 13 this year. Services are set to be available to customers at 6:30 PM that day, a much earlier date than Telecom’s previously announced time in June.

Rumors have it that Telecom means to preempt Vodafone’s May 31 mobile broadband release date.

Netbooks will likely be a part of the plans by Vodafone and Telecom, and are a sign that more and more cellular companies mean to compete with AT&T and Verizon in the netbook broadband market.

Via NBR.

Apr 26 2009

Samsung N310 3G Netbook Released in Korea

Samsung has just launched a new netbook in Korea. The Samsung N310 sports a 10.1″ LCD screen, runs on an Intel Atom processor, and has 1 GB of RAM as well as a 160 GB harddrive. Other tech specs for this netbook include: wi-fi, HSDPA and WiBRO, a 3-in-1 memory card reader, and a 1.3 megapixel camera. The battery of this netbook is expected to last roughly five hours.

In Korea, the N310 netbook comes in Turkey Blue and Red Orange and the price range of this mobile device is between $620 and $690.

samsung_n310_blue

samsung_n310_red

The Samsung N310 netbook is the recipient of an international design award. The unique curved design of this premium netbook is “said to be like a pebble.”

Via SlipperyBrick.

Images via SamsungHub and NetbookChoice.

Apr 26 2009

First Android Netbook, Price Tag $250

Android is a Linux-based platform that was originally created for cell phones, but is now being used on other mobile devices, such as netbooks. The first netbook to run the Android operating system is planned to be released within the following three months, for a price of $250. The production of Android-based netbooks are expected to increase in the latter half of 2009 and the price is expected to be driven down to $200 or less.

google_android

The netbook that is to be equipped with the new Android operating system will be called the Alpha 680. It is currently going through final testing at Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies in China.

Some tech specs of this netbook include a 7″ LCD screen, a 533MHz ARM 11 CPU, and wi-fi. This netbook will have a 2-cell battery that is expected to last for two to four hours (when browsing the Internet).

Via CNet.

Apr 26 2009

Android Beats Linux Netbook Boot Times

Those curious about the netbook industry are taking a good look at Android after a recent video by Samsung software developer GeunSik Lim benchmarked it at a mere 13 seconds, faster than both Linux Fedora 10 and Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04.

The video shows the netbooks booting up simultaneously and makes it quite clear that Android takes the lead, all set to intense music. Take a look:

Does this mean Samsung is going to look into Android for an OS in the near future? The manufacturer has already signaled its interest to double its presence in the netbook market, and maybe Android is a path it means to take to get there.

We’ll be paying special attention in the next few months, so be sure to stay tuned. As June’s Computex electronics show nears, the netbook race is set to get very exciting.

Apr 26 2009

Customized Zen Acer Aspire One Netbook

UFO-Hayashi Acer Aspire One

This new Acer Aspire One mod by UFO-Hayashi, a famous Japanese artist, is covered bottom-to-top with Zen motifs and rivals even the Vivienne Tam HP Mini 1000 for good looks. Naturally, with the sleek exterior comes an ungodly price tag – around $3000. One quote by Gizmodo sums up our feelings about it:

“Now don’t get me wrong, I want ten of these things, but the art is so slick and the final result so expensive, that this would never leave the custom, hermetically sealed glass case I’d have to create for it. And, should it leave the glass case for travel purposes, I fear I’d need white cotton gloves, a bodyguard and a portable padded room just to have peace of mind.”

Check out this video for more on UFO-Hayashi’s Acer Aspire One:

You can get the new netbook on Ebay.

Via Gizmodo.

Apr 25 2009

Improvements To Ubuntu Netbook Remix

  • Posted by in Linux
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Linux users have touted the speediness and efficiency of their operating system since the 90s, but it’s often taken more than that to get Windows users to convert. Linux often seems difficult to use and has a reputation of being overly technical, and it’s likely that a lot of computer and netbook users miss out on a good OS when they make those assumptions.

A recent blog entry by Renai LeMay on CNet is arguing that Ubuntu 9.04 (and its accompanying netbook OS, Ubuntu Netbook Remix) is slicker than ever, and that Linux operating systems are getting closer and closer to the ease of use offered by Windows XP. Check out this quote:

“You won’t be able to notice the vast improvement in Ubuntu’s desktop experience over the past six months by browsing screenshot galleries of 9.04 or looking at new feature lists. What I’m talking about is that elusive slick-and-speedy feel you get from applications launching fast, windows moving around without jerkiness, and everything simply being where it should be in the user interface.”

If this is true, I’m guessing netbook users would gain a lot from checking out Ubuntu 9.04 and trying it on their machines. Be sure to read the rest of Renai’s blog here for more on Ubuntu Linux.

Apr 25 2009

Ion-Chipped Netbook Set to Debut in June

There is a rumor that a netbook to be debuted in June at the Computex PC trade show in Taipei, Taiwan will feature a new graphics chip called the ION. The rumored initial shipping date for these netbooks will be in July 2009. The producer(s) of these netbooks is still unknown, but they are to come from “key players” in the industry.

ion_based_netbook

One “key player” could be Acer, as this company has a consistent track record of releasing new netbooks. Acer will also soon release the first ION-based nettop, the AspireRevo.

This new ION graphics chip will be able to withstand more demanding netbook applications and allow users to view 1080p content and access graphics and video intensive applications, such as various video games and Google Earth.

Via PocketLint.

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