Jul 31 2009

Windows 7 Netbook Pricing Revealed

Windows 7 Home PremiumWindows 7Windows 7

When Windows 7 hits the streets on 10/22/09, the netbook market could change quite a bit. Microsoft has agreements with netbook manufacturers to start shelling out netbooks with Windows 7 Starter, rather than XP, and with rumors abounding about how crippled the Starter Edition might be it’s looking like netbookers with deep pockets could be asking for an upgrade.

Upgrading to Home Premium from starter will cost $79.99, and will open the door to Aero Peek and Taskbar Previews – widgets designed to improve desktop usability. The Windows Anytime Upgrade will enact the changes through a built-in service in Windows 7 Starter, if users elect to purchase it.

Going from Home Premium to Professional will cost $89.99, and from Home Premium to Ultimate could cost $139.99. It remains to be seen how netbook consumers will react to these numbers, if they’re fazed at all. After all, despite Microsoft’s repeatedly insane antics, 96% of netbooks still run a Windows OS.

The aforementioned pricing applies to Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the USA. Pricing elsewhere is thus far unavailable.

Via WindowsBlog.

Jul 31 2009

Netbook Makers Say Farewell to Intel Atom Z-Series

Intel Atom Z-Series

The Intel Atom Z series has been all but replaced by burlier chips like the Intel Atom N270 and N280. It was efficient but sliggish, and as a result only a few netbooks still run it.

DigiTimes is saying that Intel will soon stop taking orders for the chip from netbook makers, so it’s time to say our goodbyes.

Or is it? According to some rumors, the chip could live on in MIDs and smartphones, rather than netbooks.

Via DigiTimes, image via TechTickerBlog.

Jul 31 2009

Microsoft Hints At Classier Netbooks, Higher Prices

Steve Ballmer

The vaguest of rumors has surfaced since a recent press conference with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, but despite their wispiness the rumors foretell something dark and mysterious:

“Why don’t we have a high-performance lower-power device? That comes this year. The new ultrathins will be like high-end netbooks.”

Designed for better screens, bigger batteries, and the sub-notebook price range, Microsoft should be working on netbooks for the Mama Bears out there with a taste for something in-between.

Sounds a lot like a CULV laptop.

By expanding the price range available to netbook purchasers, Microsoft will be better able to hawk Windows 7 without looking like a bunch of idiots.

Be sure to check out this Seattle Times’ article for more recent news from Microsoft.

Jul 31 2009

CrunchPad Netbook Rumors Piss Michael Arrington Off

TechCrunch

The CrunchPad prototype has been a running project over at TechCrunch since April, but since that time we’ve seen fairly sparse news about the thing. It’s small, sexy, and apparently usable, and the whole thing’s made all the more interesting because it’s designed by a blog, not some computers giant.

It hardly needs to be said that once the Straits Times proclaimed the CrunchPad to be the “world’s first tablet PC” with an exclusive demo by alleged developer Fusion Garage, industry eyes were drawn. Here’s an exerpt from their article:

“The fully working model, called a Crunchpad, has a 12-inch screen and weighs 1.2kg. It allows users to watch YouTube videos, listen to music and edit documents, among other things. Its operating system, or OS, was also developed in-house. The device will not have storage space – which some analysts have pegged as a big drawback – and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing.”

Naturally, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has confirmed nothing in the article thus far. He was also apparently pretty F-ing pissed about the whole thing as well:

“re crunchpad, obviously i’m completely ripshit mad about all this unauthorized bs press: http://bit.ly/2dVjBQ wtf.”

The machine should pack an Intel Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and some sort of mobile broadband – it’s a netbook sans keyboard and hard drive.

TechCrunch

Rumors price the device at $400, though Michael Arrington hoped to make it cheaper. Stay tuned as this story develops.

Via CNet.

Jul 30 2009

ViewSonic VOT120 and VOT121 Nettops Come in (Relatively) Petite Form

ViewSonic has already released nettops in the past, but their newest releases come in even more compact than the 130 and 132 versions that were previously released.

ViewSonic has recently announced the VOT120 and VOT121 nettop models, which are roughly the size of a decently-filled CD wallet. Some tech specs of these nettops include Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and DVI-out.

The VOT120 has pretty standard tech specs, but the VOT121 is relatively more powerful. It’s powered by a 1.4GHz CULV chipset and has HDMI output.

Pricing (in Taiwan) for these nettops is currently set at $304 for the VOT120 model and $423 for the VOT121 model. Learn more about ViewSonic’s newest nettops by checking out this video clip.

Via Engadget.

Jul 30 2009

No Broadband Data Plan for Your Netbook? No Problem.

More and more telecom companies are jumping on the netbook train and tying the sale of subsized netbooks to their overpriced data plans, but what if you don’t want to dish out hundreds of dollars for a mobile data plan?

Well, the following may help. Barnes and Noble Booksellers has recently made Wi-Fi Internet access complimentary and unlimited at all their retail store locations. The bookseller has actually had an operating Wi-Fi network since 2005, but this was previously only available to AT&T customers.

Through the Wi-Fi network, customers would also be able to receive personalized messages from B&N. This includes coupons and notices about store events.

One of the main reasons that Barnes and Noble had decided to provide complimentary Internet access at all its retail locations was to bolster the e-book side of its business. B&N has jumped on the e-book train and is planning on riding it full steam ahead.

With many Barnes and Noble locations throughout the United States, netbook users who don’t purchase their netbooks from telecom companies are able to more easily access the Internet, which is always a good thing. But will this ultimately have an impact on telecom companies‘ overall netbook sales?

Via JKOnTheRun.

Jul 30 2009

ASUS Eee PC Netbook Car Charger

ASUS Eee PC Car Charger

Netbooks are designed to be as mobile as possible, so what better way is there to exercise that mobility than buying a car charger for your ASUS Eee PC? It fits every Eee PC (with the exception of the new 1005HA, according to comments at Amazon), so you can hit the road with your machine in tow no matter your model.

It’s available now at Amazon for $49. Check it out!

Jul 30 2009

Super Slim iiView A2 Netbook Released in Singapore

iiView A2 Netbook

Singapore-based iiView showed off a new 12.1-inch netbook at a Windows 7 press event today, and it is slim.

Designed to establish a desirable machine in an oversaturated market, the iiView A2 is an Atom-based, S$699 netbook that took a page from Apple’s Macbook Air. The design is incredibly similar, including the monitor-out and USB port being hidden with a flip-up cover on the side.

Here are the specifications:

  • Atom 1.6GHz processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Intel 945 chipset
  • 12.1-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel resolution
  • 320GB HDD
  • Two USB ports, mini-HDMI port, 2-in-1 headphone/mic jack
  • 802.11b/g, 10/100 Ethernet
  • Six-cell battery
  • Windows 7 RC1 with Vista Home Premium license
  • The netbook comes standard with Windows 7 RC1, and will be available in Singapore next week for S$699 (US$467.78).

    Via CNet.

    Jul 29 2009

    MaxLinear and Hauppauge Team Up, Make First Ever Netbook TV Tuner

    Wow. There have been lots of records lately. Just recently, we announced that Super Talent had come out with the world’s smallest 32 GB USB drive, and now, we learn that MaxLinear and Hauppauge Digital have teamed up to make the first ever netbook TV tuner.

    Components for this netbook TV tuner will be based on MaxLinear’s MxL5007T CMOS silicon tuner. This tuner will be able to receive high-definition video ATSC signals. It will also be able to pick up European standard formats, including DVB-H, DMB-T, DVB-T, and QAM.

    There are other TV tuners available, but not solely for netbooks. This new netbook TV tuner is unique since it’s rumored to use half the energy that other current TV tuners use.

    The release date for this MaxLinear/Hauppauge tuner is currently unknown, but when we know, we’ll let you know.

    Via SlashGear.

    Jul 29 2009

    Another New USB Drive to Boost Netbook Storage

    Super Talent is well … super talented. They’ve managed to create “the world’s smallest 32GB USB drive, squeezing 32GB of NAND flash into a water-resistant casing.” There are six models of this USB drive, each with 32 GB of capacity and boasting transfer rates of up to 30 MB per second.

    There are two tiers for these six models of USB drives. The models within the first tier are: Pico C Gold, Pico C Nickle, and Pico E Gold. The first two listed have either nickel or 24 karat gold-plated steel casings, while the last model has a 24 karat gold-plated sliding lid.

    The USB drive models within the second tier are available in the same finishes, but also include AES-256 hardware encryption for added protection.

    Super Talent’s USB drives will begin shipping this week. The standard Pico drives in the first tier will be priced at $85 each while the USB drives with hardware encryption will be a little pricier at $99 each. At their smallest, these USB drives have dimensions of 31×12.3mm and weigh roughly 5 grams.

    Via SlashGear.

    Jul 29 2009

    HP Rumored to Launch New 10″ and 11″ Netbook Models

    So, the latest rumor on the block is that HP will be releasing new 10.1″ and 11.6″ netbooks. For right now, it’s just a rumor, but here are some basic details that have been uncovered about these potential releases.

    HP is rumored to have hired Quanta to make the 11.6″ netbooks, and production of these netbooks is rumored to start in August of this year. Quanta will also make 10.1″ netbooks, but production of these is not rumored to start until the end of 2009.

    In addition to Quanta, HP is also rumored to employ Inventec for manufacturing revisions of HP’s 10.1″ netbook. Production of these netbooks is rumored to be set for the end of September.

    Even though we’re super excited about potential HP netbooks, at the moment, we don’t have any more details on their tech specs or planned release. No worries though, as soon as details become available, we’ll make sure to let you know.

    Via Digitimes.

    Image via MobileWhack.

    Jul 29 2009

    Acer Confirms Upcoming Android Netbook

    Acer Aspire One with Android

    An Acer rep said Wednesday that the Taiwanese manufacturer is on track to launch its Aspire One netbook with Google’s Android as an OS in the third quarter of this year.

    Several reports have been alluding to a delay or cancellation of the project, prompting Acer to reaffirm its intentions. The new netbook will essentially be the traditional Windows XP Aspire One with a 10-inch screen, Atom CPU, and a different OS.

    Rumors about the upcoming netbook have been around since Acer displayed a netbook running Windows XP and Android side-by-side at Computex Taipei last month. Acer’s Android Aspire One won’t dual-boot, but at least we know it’s on the way.

    Via PCWorld, image via DisplayBlog.

    Jul 29 2009

    Czech Guy Mods MSI Wind Netbook Battery Into USB Charger

    This is insane. Some guy over in the Czech Republic hacked a battery from the MSI Wind netbook, turning it into a USB charging port. Believe it or not, he can charge his iPhone twice in a row, and the battery still works in his netbook!

    Luckily for you hardcore modders out there, this guy made a how-to video (underscored by European techno) showing you how to mod your netbook to have a USB charging port as well. Check it out.

    Jul 29 2009

    SugarSync Remote Access Tool For Android Netbooks Coming Soon

    SugarSync

    While Android netbooks have been slow to hit the market, developer Sharpcast will be ready to rock with its new cross-platform media synchronizing SugarSync software whenever they do.

    SugarSync can be used as a remote access tool or an online backup. You get the apps for free and pay for storage, and you can access files you upload from multiple desktops, laptops, netbooks or phones.

    Sharpcast only guarantees SugarSync’s mobile photo transfer app on Android phones, but once SugarSync comes to Android netbooks all file types should be available.

    You can tap one button on the Android start screen to access your uploaded files.

    Downsides include the fact that SugarSync takes time to set up on desktop computers. Furthermore, uploading files from smartphones takes a long time. Hopefully both of these issues should be resolved for the netbook version of SugarSync.

    Be sure to check out SugarSync on a variety of platforms:

    SugarSync for Windows
    SugarSync for Mac
    SugarSync for Windows Mobile
    SugarSync for iPhone
    SugarSync for BlackBerry

    Via CNet.

    Jul 28 2009

    Flaws With the Apple Tablet/Netbook? What Do You Think?

    So, for those diehard Mac fans, they’ll no doubt flock to the nearest electronics store to be the first ones to get their hands on the tablet/netbook that Apple is releasing in early 2010. For the rest of us though, is there really anything that would make us choose the Apple tablet/netbook over a regular netbook?

    For starters, the price tag of Apple’s new tablet doesn’t help the situation. These tablets will cost roughly $800 a pop, about $500 more than the average/standard netbook, which costs roughly $300. And what’s so special about this netbook that it would cost us an extra 500 bones?

    Yes, (video) gaming may be a more pleasurable experience on an Apple tablet since Apple in general has awesome graphics, but the touchscreen may provide somewhat of a hindrance.

    Some people are quite unsatisfied with gaming on the touchscreen iPhone and if it is to work the same  way with the Apple tablet, there will no doubt be unsatisfied consumers.

    Another point of concern is how one is to type on an Apple tablet. The keyboard is on the screen, so what angle would be most comfortable for simultaneously typing and viewing the screen? Would you have to put the netbook in your lap? Type with one hand? Something else? This leaves some room for questions…

    It’s rumored that with this tablet, Apple may be taking a stab at the Kindle. Unlike the Kindle though, the Apple tablet has an LCD screen, which, for most people, is harder to read than eInk or just regular ink. It’s also more straining on the eyes.

    In defense of Apple’s upcoming tablet though, the Apple iPhone is an awesome compact device. It’s so convenient and user-friendly, not to mention unique and aesthetically-pleasing. So why would we expect anything less with Apple’s upcoming tablet?

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out. In the meanwhile, be sure to stay tuned to our site for the latest updates on this new netbook.

    And feel free to leave any comments on what you think about shelling out an extra $500 for Apple’s new netbook (or just any thoughts on the Apple tablet/netbook in general). We’d love to hear from you.

    Via Gizmodo.

    Image from LECentre.

    Jul 28 2009

    Acer AO751h-1346 Netbook for $349, Shipped

    Here’s an eye-catching netbook deal (or shall I say, steal). Buydig.com is currently selling brand new Acer AO751h-1346 netbooks for $349. Shipping is free too, so you’ll be able to get this machine to your door for a grand total of $349.

    This 11.6″ netbook is powered by an Intel Atom Z520 processor and has 2 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive. Some other tech specs of this netbook include Wi-Fi and a webcam.

    If you’re interested, make sure to get yours here before they’re gone.

    Via GadgetReview.

    Jul 28 2009

    Pioneer Electronics Introduces Portable DVD/CD Writer for Netbooks

    Pioneer DVD Drive

    Pioneer Electronics is introducing a portable optical drive targeted at the netbook market. It connects to computers via USB and supports writing to dual-layer DVD-Rs.

    The Pioneer DVD drive weighs only 8 ounces and is slightly larger than a CD case. It will ship this August, to the excitement of Pioneer USA sales director Steve Cohn, among others:

    “With more than three decades of optical disc advancements, we are excited to once again modernize the DVD/CD computer writer category with our new drive that combines high-capacity, high-quality performance in one of the world’s most slender form factors.”

    It’s more expensive than Samsung’s option, but at $79.99 it’s still affordable for netbook users who want to watch movies and burn music for friends.

    Via Twice.

    Jul 28 2009

    Cellular South Takes Preorders for Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Netbook

    Looks like there’s even more competition with telecom retailers now. Starting today, Cellular South will be taking preorders for the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook at their website. The company claims that this netbook is going to be on sale within the next couple of days.

    If you’re interested in jumping on the netbook train, you can learn more about the Mini 10 here and here. This netbook weighs roughly 2.6 pounds and has an edge-to-edge keyboard. It also has the usual 1 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, and runs on the Intel Atom Z520 processor.

    The Dell Mini 10 will cost $199 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year Cellular South data/mobile broadband contract.

    Via TradingMarkets.

    Jul 28 2009

    RunCore Introduces Netbook and Notebook SSDs

    Quite a few netbooks are currently offered with solid state drives, but exactly how reliable are these SSDs? Some models tend to slow down netbook/notebook performance while others may be noticeably slower than regular hard drives.

    Some companies (RunCore, for example) offer solid state drives that don’t sacrifice performance for stability. Recently, RunCore has announced their new line of solid state drives that are ideal for use in netbooks and notebooks.

    RunCore’s SSDs range from 32GB to 256GB each. Netbook users would most likely be interested in the 128GB or less models since netbooks aren’t document/file-heavy machines anyway. According to Liliputing, “RunCore’s new Pro IV SSDs are available as 1.8? disks, 2.5? disks, and PCI-E disks, with SATA and PATA versions.”

    These disks are rumored to be available by this upcoming August. The 32 GB model starts at around $179.99 while the 256 GB models will cost about $899.99. Other details about these disks can be found in RunCore’s press release.

    Via Liliputing.

    Jul 27 2009

    Samsung External Slim Netbook DVD Player On Sale For $65

    Amazon has a Samsung External DVD drive on sale for $65 bucks, and unless you’ve got an ASUS Eee PC 1004DN it’s about time you watched some DVDs on your netbook.

    The new drive has a classy glossed exterior and connects to both Macs and PCs via USB cord. It’s a useful accessory for plane rides and long car trips, when you need something to do but don’t want a big notebook overheating on your lap.

    Be sure to check out this deal before it runs out. Full specs by Amazon after the break.

    Product Features

    • Compatible with Mac and PC’s alike. Full 8X DVD functionality in an ultra slim tray load design
    • The perfect accessory for Netbook users
    • Tray Loading Drive for easy access to media even when the drive is turned off. No need to power the drive on to remove your discs.
    • 8X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 6X DVD+R DL 8X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 5X DVD-RAM 8X DVD-ROM 24X CD-R 24X CD-RW 24X CD-ROM 2MB Cache USB 2.0
    • Nero Software Suite (NERO Burning ROM, NERO Showtime, PowerDVD) included.

    Technical Details

    • DVD+R Write Speed: 8X
    • DVD+RW Rewrite Speed: 8X
    • DVD-R Write Speed: 8X
    • DVD-RW Rewrite Speed: 6x
    • DVD Read Speed: 8X
    • DVD-RAM Write Speed: 5x
    • DVD-RAM Read Speed: 5x
    • DVD Access Time: 160 ms
    • CD Write Speed: 24x
    • CD Rewrite Speed: 16X
    • CD Read Speed: 24x
    • CD Access Time: 160 ms
    • Color: Black
    • Length: 6.10″
    • Width: 5.5″
    • Height: 0.70″
    • Load Type: Tray
    • Interface Type: USB 2.0
    • Enclosure Type: External

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