Sep 30 2009

DoubleSight Offers External Netbook Displays

DoubleSight Displays has a product ready for the netbook market – a new line of Smart USB Monitors which, believe it or not, connect to netbooks via USB port.

The displays work in a similar way to MIMO touchscreens, or the recent Kensington USB monitors, upgrading and expanding the user’s visual surface. DoubleSight Displays director of sales DellaMaggiore explained what DoubleSight hopes to offer consumers:

“DoubleSight continually seeks new ways to help users expand their viewable workspace and make multitasking easier… Now adding a second or third monitor to a computer has never been easier. Simply connect the DoubleSight Smart USB Monitor via a USB Port and run the installation software. That is it.”

The press release cites the features as follows:

  • Built-in Support for Multi Monitor Mode
  • Perfect for Laptops, Netbooks and Desktops
  • Lightweight and Portable
  • Landscape and Portrait Viewing
  • USB for Power and Video (no video port required)
  • PC and MAC Compatible
  • Supports a Variety of Applications

DoubleSight’s LCD netbook monitors come in 7-inch and 9-inch sizes, and some models come with an integrated webcam. The pricing ranges from $119 to $159 depending on the configuration that’s purchased.

Sep 30 2009

Rumors: Google Chrome OS On Netbooks By October

Shanzai.com, citing “trusted industry insider sources,” claims that we’re going to see the Google Chrome OS some time this October. This claim comes despite the fact that Google is projecting release mid-2010.

Netbooks will be the initial targeting category for the new OS, says Shanzai, but UMPCs and tablets will get their hands on Google Chrome if a test in netbooks goes well.

The idea of an October release is certainly appealing, especially considering that that’s when Windows 7 will be released as well. I’ll admit, an OS war would be a lot of fun, but I can’t quite get myself to drink the Kool-Aid on this one.

We’ll see who’s right by Halloween, anyhow. Expect updates as the rumor mill churns on.

Sep 30 2009

Sony Sony DRX-S70U-W Optical Drive Perfect For Netbook Use

If you’ve got a netbook and it isn’t a Japanese import or the ASUS Eee PC 1004DN, you probably don’t have an optical drive. So what are you going to do when you need to watch DVDs on the run?

The new Sony DRX-S70U-W optical drive has a classy brushed metal design and connects to netbooks, notebooks, and desktops via USB.

The optical drive is DVD/CD recordable for speeds of up to 8X DVD±R and can deliver a 4.7 GB disc’s worth of data. It records on 8.5 GB DVD+R Double/Dual layer as well as 4.7 GB DVD-RW discs at speeds of 6X, “DVD+RW at 8X, DVD-RAM at 5X and CD-R/RW at 24X.”

Sony’s new netbook drive comes with the Nero DVD/CD mastering software suite.

Pricing and availability are as of yet unknown but the Sony DRX-S70U-W optical drive is expected by Christmas at the latest.

Via HotHardware.

Sep 30 2009

Sluggish Netbook Performance Feared For Windows 7

Microsoft claims that Windows 7 will run great on netbooks, but how tested is this claim? Most netbooks run XP totally fine but run Vista slowly. While it seems likely that 7 will be more resource-taxing than XP, will it really be light-weight enough to run on an Intel Atom?

Windows 7 Starter Edition is the version that’s been tested on most netbooks. We don’t have to worry about a three-application limit, as was earlier rumored, but Starter Edition does disable some features… like the ability to change your desktop background.

Netbooks running the full version of Windows 7 might therefore suffer in performance, a prediction corroborated by the Washington Post on a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2. Their conclusions?

“So while it looks as though Windows 7 will run on a netbook, you may want to take the OS for a spin on a demo netbook at a store before you decide to upgrade.”

That’s sound advice. There are only 22 days left until 7 is launched, so look out for many more updates about the new Windows OS in the coming weeks.

Sep 29 2009

Dell Introduces Latitude Z Laptop

Netbook and laptop manufacturer Dell has just introduced their newest laptop model – the Latitude Z. Dell is aiming to target this laptop at impression-makers, namely entrepreneurs, creative professionals, sales people, and the like. Like other Dell products, such as the Latitude 2100 netbook (for education), the Latitude Z laptop is a engineered for a specific purpose.

The Latitude Z claims to be the world’s thinnest and lightest 16-inch laptop. It’s less than one inch thin and the standard model with a four-celled battery starts at 4.5 pounds. In the future, this laptop will also have features like wireless docking and inductive charging.  It will also feature Dell FaceAware Lock-Out, which locks out other users when a user steps away from his/her laptop.

The Dell Latitude Z laptop is now available for purchase, with a starting price tag of $1,999.

Via eChannelLine.

Sep 29 2009

Pavilion dv3 Netbook Info And More Leaked By HP

Someone over at Engadget got his hands on some leaked product materials, and the thing that’s got everyone talking is the discovery of the all-new touchscreen HP Pavilion dv3 netbook/notebook.

The machine is a tad large for the netbook category, but HP’s marketing (Your digital world in your hands!”) suggests it may be portrayed as one when it hits the market.

The specs look pretty interesting, as you can see above. The HP Pavilion dm1 and Pavilion dv8 were also noted in the leaked materials, so expect more info on those soon.

Via CrunchGear.

Sep 29 2009

Dell To Offer Computrace LoJack for Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition Netbook

Absolute Software Corporation, the leading provider of computer theft recovery systems, has just announced that the Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition netbook will come with a free 12- month Computrace LoJack subscription.

Parents will be able to feel more secure about their children having netbooks and laptops with this kind of technology. According to the VP of Consumer Business at Absolute, Mark Grace, “As any parent can tell you, once you put a highly portable computer like the Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition in the hands of your kids, they don’t want to put it down, let alone lose it altogether.”

This newly-equipped netbook  will be available in the United States this October at Dell.com as well as on Walmart store shelves and Walmart.com.

Via iStockAnalyst.

Sep 29 2009

NSW Brings 240,000 Netbooks To Students

The New South Wales Department of Education has an ambitious new plan in motion to put 240,000 netbooks into local high schools, despite the fact the CIO Stephen Wilson thinks high schools are “the most hostile environment you can roll computers into.”

The Lenovo netbook initiative will offer new challenges to tech security. Students and parents have been asked to sign forms acknowledging their intent to take care of the machines and use them properly.

The machines are being given to ninth graders and will come with Windows 7, Microsoft Office, the Adobe CS4 creative suite, iTunes, and other education-centric content. Despite the costly software package, 2 GB of RAM and 6-hour batteries, the NSW Department of Education has restrained costs to $500/unit.

In order to ensure the security of such a massive system, each netbook has been password protected. The netbooks are additionally embedded with tracking software at the BIOS level. The netbooks can be remotely disabled in the event of their theft or sale, a technique that will work regardless of whether the hard drives are switched out or operating systems cleared.

New South Wales’ move to bring netbooks to students is just the latest in a number of educational plans meant to bring technology to the individual level in classrooms.

Via Zikkir.

Sep 29 2009

Netbook Competing Satellite Notebooks From Toshiba

The Toshiba Satellite T100 laptops aren’t quite netbooks, though they’re doing their best to pretend they are. At 11.6″ and 13.3″, the Toshiba Satellite T115 and T135 come in at netbook-like price points as well – $450 and $600.

The notebooks weigh under 4 pounds and have a cornucopia of ports including HDMI out (both support 1080p video). Toshiba’s Satellite notebooks will run Windows 7 Home Premium and run, as you may have guessed, the Intel Consumer Ultra-Low-Voltage (CULV) processors we’ve heard so much about. These machines will beat out just about any Atom-based netbook for speed.

The T115 runs for a full 9 hours and the T135 for 7.5. Some of these boosts to efficiency can be credited to the CULV chips.

You can expect the T115 and T135 notebooks on October 22nd, the eve of Windows 7’s highly anticipated launch.

Via Gizmodo.

Sep 29 2009

Netbook Screen Shipments To Boom In Q3

More evidence of the continued rise of netbooks can be found in recent data reported by Digitimes, claiming that netbook LCD panel shipments will increase this quarter.

Though the back-to-school netbook market was weaker than forecasted, netbook demand is still healthy. Growth may slow, however, in October due to “weaker demand from end-market players.”

Numbers for specific vendors are promising, with Dell expecting 1.2-1.4 million shipments third quarter and Acer looking at 3-3.5 million Acer Aspire One shipments.

Via PCDAndF.

Sep 28 2009

Kensington Delivers New Netbook Accessories

Kensington has released a new set of netbook accessories, and we’re here with the juicy details.

The Kensington Pro Fit and Connect It collections were broadened to include “a wireless mouse, two wired mice, along with two universal docking stations, two ergonomic keyboards, a wireless presenter, an ambidextrous trackball, and a multi-display adapter.” Kensington also mentioned an iPhone car mount for $40 designed to acoustically increase speaker volume without draining the iPhone’s battery further.

Some particularly interesting developments for netbook users are a $15 USB-powered videochat light, a mobile netbook hub adding 4 USB ports, a $25 nano-receiver wireless mouse for netbooks, and a USB mouse for $15.

The company also delivered a waterproof USB keyboard that you can wash to remove germs.

A final addition was the $80 universal multi-display adapter. Reminiscent of the MIMO touchscreens, up to six adapters can be connected to a netbook or other computer at once for additional monitors. The monitors support DVI and VGA video output and have resolutions of up to 2048 x 1152 for the widescreen version and 1600 x 1200 for the standard one.

Via Twice.

Sep 28 2009

Play Audition, Win a Netbook (and More)

Everyone loves giveaways right? Well, here’s another one…except you have to do a bit of work for this one. If you’re into video/computer games though, it’s a great chance to have fun and win a nice prize as well.

Here’s what you need to do: Go to Redbana.com and make an account with “Dtoid” at the beginning of the name (no spaces between “Dtoid” and your name).  Create a character in the free-to-play game Audition and advance it to level three. That’s the minimum to enter the contest. If you’re interested in the game, just keep playing. :-) Easy peasy, right?

The contest ends on October 28th and three winners will be chosen. Prizes include a Samsung netbook (click here for specs), an 8 GB iPod Nano, and a 4 GB iPod Shuffle. Players can enter regardless of their country of residency. Have fun and good luck!

Via Destructoid.

Sep 28 2009

ARM To Overtake Intel By 2012 in Netbook/Smartbook Battle

Currently, Intel claims 94% of the netbook/smartbook market, but according to Robert Castellano of market research firm The Information Network, by 2012, the tables will have turned, and ARM will own the leading market share (estimated at roughly 55%).

In 2009, the market for Intel-powered netbooks totals 22.1 million units while that for ARM-powered smartbooks totals 1.4 million. In 2010, Intel netbooks will total 31.1 million and ARM smartbooks will total 7.8 million. By 2012, Intel plans to ship 43.2 million netbooks, which is more or less an on-par estimate, but ARM plans to ship a  whopping 52.9 million smartbook units. This would give ARM a 55% share of the market, leaving Intel with a 45% share.

According to The Information Network, the demand for smartbooks, “because of their design and need for cloud connectivity, will grow even more strongly,” giving the smartbook segment a chance to overtake netbook demand and sales. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress of this situation.

Via EeTimes.

Image via TrustedReviews.

Sep 28 2009

Gateway LT2016U Netbook To Sell For $150 At Verizon

It’s looking like starting Sunday, October 4th you’ll be able to buy a Gateway LT2016U netbook at Verizon Wireless for some potentially interesting numbers. Here’s are your options:

  • $499 with no contract
  • $319 with a $60/month one-year wireless broadband contract
  • $150 after a $100 rebate with a $60/month two-year wireless broadband contract

If you’re into the wireless broadband thing that’s a competitive deal. The 10.1-inch Gateway LT2016U netbook has a 1024 x 600 pixel screen, the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 chip, a Gig of RAM, 160 GB HDD, and Windows XP.

Retail versions sold elsewhere cost around $300 but don’t include the 3G chip.

Via CrunchGear.

Sep 28 2009

How Windows 7 Could Change The Netbook World

The Standard has  brought up some interesting questions about the future of netbooks in their recent article about the upcoming release of Windows 7.

The biggest issue at hand is the price point of Windows 7. While we have some preliminary numbers already, it’s unknown what Microsoft will charge manufacturers for their new OS. That fee that will likely trickle down to consumers. This could lead to an increase in netbook prices and the quality of their features, at least according to analyst Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies:

“This is what both Microsoft and hardware companies want. They want to sell ultrathin laptops for $500 rather than netbooks for $300. But users like netbooks.”

There’s no question about that! But even if prices rise for Windows 7 netbooks, what will happen to Windows XP?

Windows XP is currently sold to manufacturers for about $15 a copy, a compromise that Microsoft reluctantly took in light of the fact that Vista is unbearably slow on most netbooks. Microsoft has agreed to license Windows XP for a full year after the October 22 release of Windows 7.

The real debate is whether consumers will accept a price boost in order to get in on Windows 7. Indeed, Kay notes that while “there’s no doubt Windows 7 will be better than XP on netbooks,” it might not be “$100 better when all most people do on netbooks is surf the Web, check e-mail and IM.”

Sep 28 2009

Gartner Forecasts Increase in Overall PC Sales, Attributed to Strong Netbook Sales

According to market research firm Gartner, PC shipments for 2009 should be roughly 285 million units – two percent lower than last year’s 291 million units. This estimate is an improvement over the mid-year forecast though, which was an overall decrease of 6% for 2009.

According to Gartner’s research director, George Shiffler, the improvement in the forecast stems from mostly notebook and netbook sales in China and the United States. “Mobile PC shipments have regained substantial momentum, especially in emerging markets, and the decline in desk-based PC shipments is slowing down. We think shipments are likely to be growing again in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to the fourth quarter of 2008.”

And now that the economy is slowly starting to pick up again, who knows what might happen? We’ll keep you posted.

Via CNet.

Sep 26 2009

Could The Zipit Replace Netbooks?

Some hackers over at HackaDay.com have worked some magic on a Zipit, a small wireless messenger that looks a lot like a tiny netbook. They’ve got tutorials on how to flash the 2.8″ device to add a Linux kernel, mouse functionality, audio and many more mods.

Their claim? “With Zipit, who needs a netbook?” I’m not totally sure the answer is ‘nobody’, but the article in question may interest you regardless.

Sep 26 2009

Android Flaws Found In Acer Aspire One D250 Netbook

It seems that a lot of the buzz about Android has settled since the announcement of the Google Chrome OS. While a number of companies have promised and delivered Android netbooks, those announcements have been few and far between.

Nonetheless, we now have word of the Acer Aspire One D250 Android netbook which dual-boots Windows XP. Unfortunately, a review at eprice.com claims that the netbook ships without Android Market and thus no ability to add apps to the OS.

On the other hand, boot times are said to be superb. It may be a while, but hopefully once the Acer Aspire One D250 Android netbook is released those issues will be fixed.

Via Geek.

Sep 26 2009

Hints Of A New 8.9″ Coby Netbook

Coby Electronics has been showing off netbooks for ages,  with little to show in the commercial sector for all their work. While Coby has hinted at a 10-inch and 12-inch model to come in the near future, an additional 8.9-inch netbook may also be forthcoming.

The netbook seems to be available for preorder at Electotronics for $282.43 and has adopted the ridiculous naming scheme of the larger netbooks as the all new Coby NBPC892XPBLK. Clues are also to be found at Buy.com concerning the new 8.9-inch netbook.

Here are the specs, lifted straight from Liliputing:

  • Display: 8.9 inch, 1024 x 600 pixels
  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 160GB HDD
  • OS: Windows XP Home
  • Connectivity: 802.11b/g WiFi, Ethernet
  • I/O: 3 USB ports, mic, headphone, SD card reader
  • Webcam: 1.3MP
  • Battery: 2.5 hour, 2200mAh

Expect updates on the 8.9-inch Coby netbook soon.

Sep 26 2009

AmazePC Netbook Ships Without RAM, A Hard Drive, Or An OS

A netbook without RAM, a hard drive, or an OS. Sounds great to those of you that want to customize your netbooks, right? Well, the manufacturer of this netbook, AmazePC, currently does not advertise this product on its homepage, but Italian retailer Kelkoo does list it on theirs.

Since AmazePC’s new netbook isn’t equipped with a complete set of hardware, you’d think it’d be cheaper than your average netbook…but it’s not. Unfortunately, this netbook costs around 210 Euros, roughly $310 USD.

This offer’s only available in Italy right now, but maybe something similar will appear elsewhere in the near future. We’ll let you know if we hear anything.

Via NetbookItalia.

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