The holidays are fast approaching and deal seekers have already begun searching for laptops and netbooks as gifts for family and friends. Although there are many cheap netbooks and laptops available often times consumers don’t offer better than average reviews for lower end computers. Despite this, there are a couple top rated netbooks and laptops under $400 that are great options for holiday gifts. These include the following:
All of these products have good reviews according to consumers who purchased through amazon.com. They offer great value for the price (under $400) which makes them excellent choices for holiday gifts.
The NBP Group recently reported that laptop sales were only down 1% July 2010 and 1% in August 2010. Although netbook and laptop sales have had steady growth in the past, they are far from being phased out by tablet PCs.
It is now clear that Tablet PCs are a strong competitor to netbooks and laptops and are making large strides but they certainly haven’t won the war. With sells holding strong we will likely see netbooks of the future adapt to their new competition and refuel the fire in the war on lightweight portable computers.
One thing is certain, in order for netbook and laptop sales to grow in the future the companies producing them will need to again create a strong demand for their products. Currently, 14% of consumers plan on purchasing a tablet PC compared to 8% that plan on purchasing a netbook or laptop. Although we can’t know for certain the percentage of people in each group that have the means to purchase in the future, it is clear that the tablet PC has a stronger demand.
Toshiba’s got some new and exciting computing devices coming out soon.
The AC100 is a 10.1″ netbook that will run on the Android 2.1 operating system instead of on Windows. The netbook will be powered by a Tegra processor, and be equipped with 512 MB of RAM and a 16 GB SSD hard drive. Other features of the Toshiba AC100 netbook include 1080p HD playback, WLAN, Ethernet, an HDMI port, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The standard 3-cell battery that comes with the netbook is estimated to last four to five hours.
No release date or pricing schedule have been released yet for this netbook.
The A665 is a 15.6″ (1366×768 resolution) laptop that will be powered by an Intel Core i7 processor (one of Intel’s newest processors for laptops). It’ll be equipped with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 500 GB hard drive. Other features for the Toshiba A665 laptop include a Nvidia GeForce GTS350 graphics card, Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, an HDMI port, a multi-card reader, and a Blu-ray drive — quite the powerhouse.
The laptop will come with preinstalled 3D content and a pair of 3D glasses will be included in the package. In terms of audio, the A665 will be equipped with Harman Kardon stereo speakers, Dolby Advanced Audio, and a Sleep-and-Music function, which allows users listen to music even if the computer is in sleep mode.
The Toshiba A665 laptop’s release is expected sometime this July. Pricing is not yet known.
Samsung has recently announced that in a few days, they will be releasing a new netbook, as well as four business-based laptops.
Samsung’s newest netbook, the NB30 Pro, is based on the NB30 model that was released earlier this year. It’ll feature a 10.1″ screen, be equipped with a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive. The NB30 Pro will also have 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and the Windows 7 Professional OS. Battery life on this baby isn’t bad at all — 6.5 hours — but it’s not the best available either; some netbook batteries last up to 10 or 12 hours.
Samsung’s four new business-based laptops are part of the P80 Premium and P30 Essential series. The P80 Premium series will feature two new laptops, the 14″ P480 and the 15.6″ P580. Both of these laptops will be equipped with a 2.26GHz Intel Core i5-450M processor, up to 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to 320 GB of storage space (5400rpm). The laptops will also have Intel GMA HD graphics, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, high definition audio, four USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and a pair of 1.5W speakers. Battery life for the P480 laptop will be roughly 4.3 hours while that for the P580 laptop will be roughly 4.4 hours.
The P30 Essential series will feature two new laptops as well, the 14″ P430 and the 15.6″ P530. Both laptops will be equipped wiht a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M processor, up to 3 GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to 250 GB of storage. Other features of these laptops include Intel GMA HD graphics, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, and a pair of 1.5W speakers.
Since all these laptops are geared towards business use, they will (by default) come with the Windows 7 Professional operating system. No information regarding pricing of these netbooks or laptops is yet available, but we’ll keep you posted when he we hear more news.
According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops. The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.
The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook. An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.
The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months. 70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook. 30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.
The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong. Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.
Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.
MSI, creators of the oh-so-popular Wind line of netbooks, really likes announcing new laptops as well, and now there is another child joining the rapidly expanding family of their products. Behold: the GE700 laptop, an enhancement over the recently announced GE600 laptop. Specs are below, and they are pretty good:
- Intel Core i5
- ATI Radeon HD5730 with 1 GB VRAM
- 17.3” “HD+” LCD
- DDR 3 RAM (2 Slot)
- Up to two 500 GB HDD
- Optical Drive
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 2.1
- HDMI Port
- e-Sata Port
- 4 USB 2.0 Ports
- 4-in-1 card reader
- HD (720p) Webcam
- 6 or 9 cell Battery
- 7 lb (3.2 kg)
- A Subwoofer
The GE700 also has MSI’s GPU Boost technology, to enable and disable discrete graphics, and MSI’s ECO Engine Power Saving Technology. Pricing is not out yet, but don’t be surprised if this hits the market pretty soon. It looks as if MSI plans on giving Alienware a challenge for the gaming notebook market.
Lenovo is taking its ThinkPad X100e laptop and delivering a 10-inch variant for the netbook lovers among us. The new machine hasn’t been given a new model name, for some reason, but it will come with a 10-inch display, Intel Atom N450 CPU, and variable amounts of RAM and HDD space, going all the way up to 4 GB and 320 GB respectively.
To contrast, the notebookier X100e computer has an AMD Athlon NEO CPU, 11-inch screen, 450 GB of storage, and 4 GB of RAM.
The netbook version of the Lenovo ThinkPad X100e will come with Intel integrated graphics and Windows 7 Starter edition. You can expect it in the next few weeks in the $500 price range.
The Lenovo T410 is like that mild-mannered reporter working in Metropolis. Under it’s common, unassuming chassis, the T410 hosts Intel‘s new Core i5 dual-core 2.53 GHz and a chipset that removes speed bottlenecks. When BusinessWeeks’s editor tested this laptop, it “took about half the time to download photos, music, and video as my six-month-old Sony (SNE) laptop, which has a comparable chip clock speed.”
With a 320 GB hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, and an Nvidia 3100M video card, the T410 has impressive hardware in its plain chassis. It comes with 4 USB ports, onboard SmartCard, multi-card, and ExpressCard reader technology, a DisplayPort, a VGA-Out, and a FireWire port, and of course, 802.11n wireless Bluetooth and GPS. All of this in one solid package for $1484 direct.
As this is a netbook-centric blog, we normally don’t write about laptops. Nevertheless, I took one look at the above picture and bugged my editor until he let me write about it.
Can you blame me? Sony offers a variety of colors to combine in the E series. Who could possibly resist a combination of Iridescent Blue and Hibiscus Pink? Other colors available include Caribbean Green, Coconut White, and Lava Black. If you’re one of those people who would prefer to have a laptop that doesn’t practically glow in the dark (though seriously, who wouldn’t want a laptop like that?) Vaio offers muted colors as well: Gunmetal, Silver White, and Maple Brown.
The Vaio E series laptops aren’t just beautiful to look at, they also offer up to 1080p HD quality on a 15.5 inch screen and an optional Blu-ray drive. Inside, there’s a dedicated ATI Mobility Radeon Graphics chip with up to 512 MB of video RAM, either an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 CPU, and up to 500 GB of storage. Plenty of space for high quality video.
Did you know that Air Force fighter pilots have face shields with heads-up displays projected on them? The effect is much like what game makers have been doing with first-person shooters – there’s a targeting reticle on the opponent and an ammo count at the corner. While the official point is to increase the amount of information a pilot has at hand, I just always thought that it was cool how real life has begun to imitate video games.
Why do I bring this up? Samsung created a laptop that uses a clear active matrix OLED screen (AMOLED). In layman’s terms, that’s a transparent screen. The display gives clear, sharp, bright images, but still allows one to see things through the screen. This laptop is different from those HUDs so loved by pilots in that the images aren’t projected; the screen is just transparent.
As of right now, I doubt that many people have a true practical application for this beyond just looking really cool. But hey, imagine one day having a glass table in your living room that doubles as a platform for a Microsoft Surface. Or maybe windows that double as interactive screens for your smart-house. Baby steps.
Via Tom’s Hardware.
Described as “the world’s thinnest 13-inch commercial client” computer, Dell revealed its new Latitude 13 this week. The machine could be described as either a stripped-down laptop or a beefed up netbook, though we’re not entirely sure as to which just yet.
The latest version of the Latitude series comes with a 13.3 inch display screen and weighs a measly 3.3 pounds. Under the full-sized keyboard lies Intel’s low voltage processing technology, set up to run either Windows 7 or XP. Optional additions include upgrading from a traditional hard drive to a solid-state drive with a ceiling of 64 GBs, high-speed WWAN, an integrated Web cam, and an external Blu-ray drive.
While the prices for this lovely machine have not yet been released, things seem to indicate a price under the $1000 mark. Dell begins pre-orders within a few weeks.
Laptops have given man the freedom of mobile computation, but in the process of making things light, manufacturers have often needed to sacrifice performance. Therefore, many light-weight portable PCs are not as powerful as the desktop PCs.
Enter the gaming laptop. Though not very portable, these machines are nonetheless mobile but with powerful components to meet the gaming and entertainment needs of the consumer crowd.
What’s special about gaming laptops? These devices are often desktop replacements as they offer almost all features of a desktop PC. Let’s take a look at them.
The screen comes in first. Most gaming laptops are equipped with high definition resolution screens. Some even feature full HD displays, which is the highest clarity that is possible currently (1920 x 1080 pixels). The Acer Aspire 8930 and the Asus W90 laptops are examples of full HD laptops.
Choosing the right graphics processor is another important factor which contributes to making a good gaming machine. Most of these laptops are fitted with powerful NVIDIA graphics, or sometimes even the ATI Radeon GPU. These graphics processors ensure that justice is done to demanding applications and high speed games. Moreover, they also allow playing of HD content in 720p or 1080p varieties.
Many multimedia laptops come packed with huge hard drives – 500GB and even 1TB (1000GB). This lets users store a tremendous amount of data – media files, movies and more in their systems. The Toshiba Qosmio X500 and the Dell Studio 17 with multitouch capability offer 1TB of internal storage. Most laptops come integrated with a DVD drive or sometimes a Blu Ray drive for added multimedia capability. Watching your favourite movies is just a matter of slipping in the compatible disc.
Even on the interfacing front, entertainment laptops provide plenty of options. The HDMI port, which lets you link your laptop to a high definition TV, is very common in workhorses machines days. Multi-format card readers, USB ports, Fire Wire ports and audio jacks are found in these laptops as well. Some even come with TV tuners.
A high speed CPU and capacious RAM are also helpful in empowering gaming laptops. Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet connectivity, which are found in nearly every laptop, are not sacrificed these machines. Some workstations also support 3G for quick internet access.
One of the downsides of gaming laptops is their low battery life, which often comes in at a mere 2-3 hours. When running power-hungry applications, even lower lives can be expected. However, due to their heavy weights, these mammoths are seldom used for portability, and hence are better off on the desk near power outlets.
Price-wise, these gaming laptops vary in accordance with offerings. You’ll find both budget friendly ones as well as feature-wealthy, pricey computers. The choice to buy them lies in your hands, and if you love to game, they might be what you’re looking for.
It is rumored that Asus will release a new gaming laptop early next year, which will allegedly use Intel’s powerful dual-core i5-430M Processor. Another supposed feature of the Asus laptop is an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 GPU that can surely handle the most advanced graphics.
The Asus X77 laptop’s features include:
- 1,600 x 900 17.3-inch LED screen
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 GPU with DDR3 Memory
- Two 500GB hard drives
- 4GB of RAM
- eSata Port
- HDMI Port
This new machine is a full-fledged gaming laptop that should run most of the latest games. The Asus X77 will be priced around $1435.
Alienware offers one of the best gaming laptops out there, but ‘one of the best’ doesn’t seem to be good enough anymore. It’s now testing out the possibility of a lighter and more portable laptop, which might be considered to be setting a foot in the netbook bandwagon. The result is the M15X, which harbors a 15-inch screen with a lighter magnesium casing.
- Extremely customizable
- Weighing in at 9.2 lbs, it’s lighter than the M17X
- 9-cell battery option
- Starting price of $1499
- Lower heat and noise emissions than predecessors
- Intel Core i7 processor
- Only contains one video card, so it cannot deal with SLI graphics
- Smaller 15 inch display may cause some gaming inconveniences
- Keyboard doesn’t contain a number pad
- Not as powerful as the M17X
- Offers less options than previous laptops
Image Via Geek.
LCD screens are regularly used in many technologies though they are in many ways inferior to newer but less popular, LED screens. LCD screens are a component of almost all laptops currently manufactured. QD Vision, a small company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has announced that they have developed new technology that could improve the efficacy of LCD screens by up to 40%. They also claim to be able to improve color contrast on the screens, resulting in a more vivid display.
The new technology has been dubbed quantum light optic. It is projected that the innovation will be passed along to three large LCD manufacturers by 2011. Quantum dots are the main component of this technology. When the dots are augmented to the light emitting diodes of LCDs they consequently reduce the amount of diodes needed to reach the same level of brightness. Quantum light optics looks to be extremely promising, because they may be able to drastically improve the quality of LCD displays, meaning thatlaptop screens will be getting brighter and bolder in the near future.
Image Via CyberIndian
The insanely low prices that HP and Dell constantly churn out for their regularly sized laptops may be to blame for the slow growth of the ultra-thin laptop segment. According to Acer chairman J.T. Wang, this has caused consumers to steer clear from the thinner varieties in favor of lower prices. It has also lowered sales on Intel’s CULV processors, giving Intel less of an incentive to manufacture parts for the ultra-thin laptop market.
Ultra-thin laptops offer many advantages. These laptops are more powerful than netbooks, while being similarly portable and offering an incredibly long battery life. Consumers have showed interest in the ultra-thin segment, so now it’s up to manufacturers to market the product and offer deals to get the public to purchase these laptops.
Image via DotKam
The $1000 dollar price tag on Onkyo’s dual-screen laptop is causing many an excited consumer to do a double take. It’s surprising to have a laptop offering two 10.1 inch screens clock in at less than one grand, but Onkyo has made it a possibility. This laptop will compete closely with Japanese manufacturer Kohjinsha which also offers a dual -screen laptop, for a marginally higher price.
The only letdown is that the Onkyo DX is only available in Japan for now. The laptop is reasonably priced at ¥84,800 (approximately 960 USD).
- Two 10.1 inch 1,366 × 768 pixel LCD screens
- 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor
- ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics
- 2GB of memory
- 320GB hard drive
- 802.11n Wi-Fi
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Image Via MaximumPC.
HP revealed its Pro MS200 PC this Monday in hopes of reaching out to small business owners in need of more compact desktop computers. This all-in-one PC is perfect for the growing number of small businesses who are tight on space but still need the capability of a bulky desktop.
The PC is packaged as an 18.5 inch screen that houses a DVD player and webcam. The device is also appropriate for the environmentally conscious business, as it satisfies Energy Star 5.0 standards.
This isn’t HP’s only product aimed at the small business market. It has long created PCs, laptops, printers, scanners, fax machines and more for consumers in this market. Each of these business-oriented laptops and PC’s has been manufactured to be a perfect pairing for Microsoft Windows 7 Professional.
The features of the HP Pro MS200 are as follows:
- DVD Burner
- Athlon dual-core processor
- ATI Radeon 3200 graphics card
- 250 GB hard drive
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional.
The all-in-one PC will be priced from $699.
Overheating can be a major problem when using laptops in places other than a hard surface like your desk. Improper ventilation is dangerous as it can cause the device to unhealthily overheat and possibly short circuit. This problem is worst while using your laptop from places such as the comfort of your bed. Who doesn’t enjoy unwinding with a pillow behind their head and laptop in tow to watch a favorite flick?
This is where AViiQ’s laptop stand comes to the rescue. The stand not only prevents your laptop from overheating, but is also incredibly portable. The stand is constructed of aluminum with plastic connecting panels, allowing for the panels to fold over one another, which permits the stand to fold up conveniently for storage.
The only setback for this convenient accessory is the price tag: a hefty $80.
Seagate announced that it will reveal a hard disk drive substantially thinner than any of its current models. Most hard disks today are around 9.5 mm or 12.5 mm thick, but Seagate’s new drive will be a mere 7mm.The hard drive will be an appropriate addition to the Momentus Thin series and is currently being tested.
The main factor making thinner drives a possibility is the invention of magnetic data storage. Magnetic data storage allows the drive to require just one storage platter instead of the standard two.
This announcement is great news for laptop manufacturers constantly battling to engineer thinner laptops. The new drive will allow them to create much thinner models, to the applause of consumers.
The capacity Seagate’s new drive is still unknown, but Seagate did reveal that it will have a lower cost per gigabyte than its current solid state and 1.8 inch drives.