Dec 11 2009

Seagate to Unveil Ultra-Thin Netbook Hard Drives at CES 2010

7 millimeters. That’s the height of Seagate’s newest ultra-thin netbook hard drives that they’ll be revealing next month at CES 2010. At this height, Seagate’s hard drives would take up 25% less volume than other netbook drives that are currently in production, which may allow netbook manufacturers to make even smaller netbooks in the future.

The capacity of Seagate’s new ultra-thin netbook hard drives is currently unknown, but the drives are rumored to be part of the Momentus Thin Series of hard drives. Price points are also currently unknown, as while the price of the drives is rumored to be relatively lower than that of standard hard drives, because they’re ultra-thin, netbook makers could also jack up the final retail price of their netbooks.

Via GadgetVenue.

Dec 10 2009

Are Dell and HP Stunting the Growth of Ultra-Thin Laptops?

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.

Via PCWorld

Image via DotKam

May 24 2010

Seagate Introduces SSD/Hard Drive Hybrid

Seagate is releasing a new hard drive for laptops this week called the Momentus XT. It is unique because it will contain a standard hard drive with a 4 GB solid state hard drive.

The spinning hard drive is available in 250, 320, or 500 GB sizes, all of which have 7,200 rpm. It boots in twice as much time as a 5,400 rpm hard drive and increases performance by keeping regularly accessed data in the SSD using Adaptive Memory technology.

The Momentus XT boots like any other hard drive the first time it is used, but by the third time, it starts to learn the user’s habits and can boot twice as fast. The data in the SSD part is mirrored in the regular spinning part just in case the SSD part has problems.

The target market for the Momentus XT is power users, especially gamers. The most expensive model is $156.

Via ChannelWeb, image via TG Daily.

Mar 22 2010

“Gorilla Glass” Protects LG’s Premium Netbook


In recent weeks, LG announced the release of the X300 netbook – an ultra-thin, stylish, exceptional quality system. Weighing in at a slight 2 pounds with a thickness of .69 inches, the X300 becomes an extremely portable technological marvel. The specs are as follows:

• 11.6-inch LCD screen
• Windows 7 Home Premium OS
• 2.0 GHz Intel Menlow platform
• Up to 2GB memory
• 128GB SSD
• Embedded 3G modem chipset (Supports GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA networks)
• 1.3-megapixel webcam
• SRS TruSurround HD sound

Although these premium specs make the X300 a very powerful and impressive netbook, its true uniqueness lies within the Gorilla Glass screen. The advanced substance covers the LCD screen and is nearly unbreakable and unscratchable. As a result, the X300 surely offers enough physical security for the clumsiest of netbook users.

Now for the downside: the X300 has not yet been released in North America, but judging from the approximate $1400 pricetag it sported in South Korea, we can expect a hefty price here as well. No specific release date has been announced yet, but since distribution of the product has already started, we can anticipate sometime within the next month.

Via Fast Company and I4U

Mar 1 2010

HP EliteBook 2740p: A Tablet For The Prosperous

HP isn’t pulling any punches with EliteBook 2740p.  Targeted at wealthy businessmen and high-end loving executives, it is designed to meet the highest workspace standards.

Those whose hearts are weak to gadget envy, stop reading.  The specs are outlined as follows:

  • Intel Core i5/i7 CPU
  • Up to 8 GB DDR3
  • Intel HD Onboard IGP
  • 320 GB HDD or 160 GB SSD
  • 12.1” Screen w/ 1280×800 Resolution
  • Multitouch capacitive and pen input
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3 USB 2.0 Ports
  • 2 MP Webcam
  • 5 Hour Claimed Battery Life
  • Windows 7

It is indeed a very nice convertible tablet/ultrathin.  And to make up for that, it comes at a $1599 starting price.  It is worth a look, and surely if you can afford it I must imagine it will serve you quite well.  The rest of us will have to survive without it.

Via Slashgear.

Feb 2 2010

Acer Declines To Join Tablet Wars

Acer Ultra-Thin Laptop

People might have thought Acer, the new rebellious teen on the block and netbook powerhouse, would have come out full throttle into this tsunami of tablet products.  Instead, however, they plan to go against the tide, refusing to take part in the tablet war.  Acer’s champion of choice will instead be the ultra-thin laptop, a form factor that has never truly realized its full potential.

Acer Taiwan’s President Scott Lin simply retorted to Digitimes that, while there would be no difficulty in developing such a tablet, it simply has no place in the Acer business model.  He estimated that 20-30% of their business this year would come from ultra-thin laptops, a surprisingly large statistic for what has remained a niche market for so long. This is indeed a peculiar and unique announcement, given the current climate where the public’s attention is fawning over tablets.

He also mentioned models thinner than 2 cm (0.7 inches) coming out this year.  Most likely, some of those fabled Chrome OS netbooks will be tossed into this mix.  Whether or not they will be ready to compete with the tablets will be seen in due time.

Via Engadget

Nov 12 2009

AMD Gives Us a Taste of its Future Netbook and Laptop Platforms

Recently, AMD outlined its roadmap through 2011, which included the introduction of two new processor cores, codenamed Bulldozer and Bobcat, which are to be released in 2011.

The Bulldozer platform is designed mainly for desktops and servers while the Bobcat platform is mainly for netbooks and ultra-thin notebooks. AMD claims that Bobcat will provide 90% of today’s computing performance in less than half of the current silicon real estate, which means that it’ll consume less than one watt of power.

Oct 18 2009

Intel CEO Bullish on Netbook Sales, Optimistic About Laptop Sales

Intel CEO Paul Otellini acknowledges the growth of the netbook segment of the overall notebook market but says that, “while Atom and Netbooks are important growth drivers for us, our traditional notebook business remains one of the primary drivers of revenue growth and we expect that to continue in the future.” Otellini believes that both netbook and notebook sales will both continue to rise.

Otellini is also optimistic about sales of ultrathin laptops, relatively inexpensive alternatives that cost between $500 and $900 each and fall in the notebook category between netbooks and laptops. Various dual-core ultrathin laptops have already been released and much more will be released in time for the holiday season.

Via CNet.

Oct 9 2009

Dell Inspiron 11z Netbook Available in UK

The Dell Inspiron 11z netbook is available for purchase in the United Kingdom – and with a cheaper price tag too. Dell claims this netbook represents “the portability of a netbook with the capability of a laptop,” but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

The Inspiron 11z netbook comes in Obsidian Black, Alpine White, Flamingo Pink, New Cherry Red, Ice Blue, Jade Green, and Passion Purple – creative, yeah? If you’re interested in learning more about the specs of this machine, you can check out one of our previous articles.

Via T3.

Oct 9 2009

Super High Price Tag on Superthin Sony Vaio X Netbook

The Sony Vaio X netbook is super thin and super lightweight, but is it really worth its price tag? We have some earlier articles introducing these machines but here’s some more in-depth information about Sony’s X series netbooks.

These 11.1″ machines come in two models, the VPC-X11S1E/B and the VPC-X11Z1E/X. Screen resolutions on both models are 1366×768 and both models are available in black, gold, and “premium carbon” colors.

The main differences between the two Sony Vaio X models are the processor speed and storage capacity. The VPC-X11S1E/B is powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor and has a 128GB SSD while the VPC-X11Z1E/X is powered a 2.0GHz Intel Atom Z550 processor and has 256GB SSD. The latter netbook will no doubt be much better for running the new Windows 7 OS.

Each of these netbooks is expected to be able to run for eight hours, but a larger battery can push this number to 16. Not bad at all. 3G is also an option, but keep in mind that it tends to drain battery life faster. The price tag of the Sony Vaio X netbooks is nothing to boast about. These machines don’t come cheap, at roughly $1300 a pop.

Via MobileComputerMag.

Image via GadgetFolder.

Oct 8 2009

The Deal With The Personalized Laptop

We live in an era where people are easily sorted into groups and can feel like it’s hard to stand out. Naturally, our desire to express our innate individuality grows, and that’s just what we do; with bumper stickers and dorm posters we try to show that we’re not one of the flock. One aspect that we sometimes don’t feel the need to personalize, however, is ironically something most of us use everyday: our laptops.

Why? It’s definitely not for a lack of interesting things to slap on our laptop covers. Dell recently came out with a bunch of new pallete color choices and team logos for their products. HP isn’t slacking off either,  their Breast Cancer Awareness designs being a prime example of what they’re bringing to the table. Unfortunately, laptop designs add to laptop cost, and consumers tend to go for price over design. The exception to this rule is Apple, with dedicated fans quite willing to dig deeper for some color on their laptops.

One writer over at PC World claims that Apple also has a better grasp of design on their products, and so can raise their prices accordingly. A prime example is the MacBook Air, which started the expensive ultra-thin craze. However, not all laptops have to weigh next to nothing, and for those, Stephen Baker, VP of industry analysis for the NPD groups summed it up best when he said, “I think design matters a lot if you are spending $1,500 on a notebook, a lot less if you are spending $500.”

Via PCWorld

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.

Aug 22 2009

New Acer Aspire Laptop Is A Netbook Challenger

Before the laptop came to the market, PCs dominated. Later, a new, cheaper alternative came to the scene: the netbook. For students and budget buyers, the netbook seemed like a God-send. They were nearly as powerful, but were also smaller and more portable.

Now it looks like the laptop is fighting back with a new contender: The Acer Aspire 5516-5474, weighing in at 6 pounds, double the average weight for your standard netbook. At $279, this is a bargain to just about anyone, shaving some $300 off the price of other new ultra-thin laptops.

This bargain laptop computer is also a little power-house, featuring an AMD-Athlon TF-20 64bit Processor running a 1.6 GHz CPU, 2GB of DDR2 RAM (PC2-5300), and a 160GB Serial ATA hard drive. It also has a crisp 15.6″ display.

This laptop comes with Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic Service Pack 1, as well as a host of other programs, making it ready for anything you’d want to throw at it (apart from your cup of coffee!)

Via Cnet.
Image Via Acer US.

Jul 23 2009

A Bit More About Intel’s Delay in Releasing Pine Trail Netbook Platform

We’ve already mentioned the rumor that Intel is planning on delaying the release of their Pine Trail platform until early next year.

Among possible reasons for this delay may be to prevent damage to netbook sales for the year 2009. There is also worry that the introduction of the PIne Trail platform may negatively impact the sale of ultra-thin netbooks.

A third possible cause for this delay of the release date is that up until now, Intel has only received limited demand from consumers for their Pine Trail platform.

The price of the Pine Trail processor is roughly $64, higher than that of the currently predominant Intel Atom N270 processor that many netbooks are equipped with.

We’re already halfway through the year and 2010 is approaching quickly, so make sure to check back to our site often for the latest updates about this development.

Via Tweaktown and Digitimes.

Image from Liliputing.

May 29 2009

ASK NBB #4: Evolving Eee PC

Today’s question comes from an asker with a special interest in one of NBB’s favorite netbooks – the ASUS Eee PC.

QUESTION:

I’m looking at getting a netbook and people generally tend to tell me that the Eee PC is the best choice. Are they right? And which model is the best value?

Thanks!

-Amanda

ANSWER:

Well, Amanda, you ask a perceptive question I think a lot of netbook buyers are considering. How do you differentiate the multitudes of Eee PCs in order to choose the best one for your purposes? I don’t know what you specifically need, but I’m going to try to outline the various models of Eee PC, and hopefully by the end of this you’ll have a good idea of what to look for.

What the heck is ‘Eee’?

The Eee in ASUS Eee PC is a reference to their ‘three Es’ slogan; “Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play”. There are a few Eee PC For Dummies-style books out there, so apparently everyone doesn’t think they’re so easy. Regardless, the Eee PC has pleased a wide audience and will likely continue to do so as long as netbooks are around.

The Eee 700 Series

It’s hard to believe that the first models of the Eee PC were announced all the way back at COMPUTEX Taipei 2007. The Eee PC 701 was released October 16 of that year in Taiwan, with three followup models on the way soon after. This led ASUS to over 300,000 netbook sales in 2007, before netbooks were even big.

Eee PC 701

A lot of people have taken to calling the 700-series Eee PC the Surf, with the various iterations being known as the Eee PC 8G (or Eee PC 702), Eee PC 4G (Eee PC 701), 4G Surf (Eee PC 701), and 2G Surf (Eee PC 700). The 2G in 2G Surf refers to the 2 GB SSD, while the 4G models have 4 GB of space on the solid state drive.

The CPU of the 700 series is the 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M ULV 353, though the 700 and 701 versions of the CPU are clocked at different speeds. While the Eee PC 700 and Eee PC 701 have 512 MB of RAM, the 702 adopted the 1 GB of RAM that eventually became standard in the newer 900 Series Eee PC netbooks.

The Eee 900 Series

Launched in Spring 2008, the 900 series upped both pricing and features to what we’ve come to expect from ASUS netbooks. The May 1 US/UK/EU release came in at $650, including VAT. The machines were multitouch and ran either Linux or Windows XP. The Eee 900A and 901 adopted our good friend the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom.

Eee PC 900

The Linux Eee PC is called the Eee PC 900, packing a 16 GB SSD. A few comparable have an additional 4 GB chip, bringing the overall space to 20 GB. The XP version, to contrast, is known as the Eee PC Win with both 12 GB and 16 GB models. Curiously enough, the 12 GB Windows XP version and 20 GB Linux version cost about the same, prompting many to drop the Microsoft OS for its open-source competitor.

The 900 Series netbooks all have 1 GB of RAM, an 8.9-inch 1024 x 600 LCD screen, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. The webcam was a big step for netbooks, beginning their transition into devices that needed to appeal to mainstream sensibilities. Their mobility and features were starting to not only throw off their ‘cheap, crappy laptop’ image but also make them a category in their own right.

The Eee 1000 Series

Introduced once more at COMPUTEX Taipei (but this time in 2008), the new Eee PCs featured 10-inch screens and all-new power management software. Further changes included the 1.6 GHz chip, which was replaced with the 900 MHz Celeron for the Eee PC 904HD and 1000HD (which in turn traded their SSDs for 80 GB hard disk drives). However, by the time ASUS released the Eee PC 1000H, specs were where we’d expect them – 80 or 160 GB HDDs, 1 GB of RAM, and the Intel Atom.

With larger screens came more usable keyboards, measuring in at about 92% of full-size. They featured 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, something they had in common with the Eee PC 901.

ASUS Eee PC 1000HE

The 1000 Series models are somewhat differentiated, with the Eee PC 1000 shipping with Linux, 4.3-7.5 hours of battery, and 40 GB of SSD space To contrast, the 1000H shipped with Windows XP or Linux, 3.2-7 hours of battery life, and larger 80-160 GB SATA HDDs. These netbooks supported upgrades up to 2 GB of DDR2 RAM, though they only shipped with 1 GB.

The new 1000HE, which we reviewed, uses the newest Atom processor – the 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280. Its 6-cell 9.5-hour battery, 10-inch LED screen, and amended keyboard honed the 1000 Series Eee PC to its finest form. You can also get an Eee PC 1004DN, which packs an optical drive for DVDs.

Still, it was time for something different. What’s coming next for the Eee PC?

The Future

ASUS announced the Eee 1008HA netbook at CeBIT 2009, christening the ultra-thin design the Seashell PC.  Beautiful form and admirable function were united in the Seashell, and it’s expected in stores soon.

Eee Seashell

Newer Eee PCs include the ASUS Eee PC T91 and T101H. These 10-inch netbooks incorporate multitouch and a tablet style touchscreen. Additional features set to invoke the appetites of mobile PC users are the GPS and TV tuner in those netbooks.

Eee PC T91

Conclusions

The Eee PC has come a long way from the early days of the 700-series. It’s gotten flashier, more versatile, and sexier, all while keeping the spirit of the ultra-mobile ultra-cheap netbook. If future releases by ASUS are anything like what we’ve seen recently, netbook consumers are in for a treat while competitors are in a run for their money.

I can’t tell you what netbook to buy, but I hope this helps you know where to start looking. The Eee PC is a fantastic machine, whatever the model, and I think if you think hard about what features are essential you’ll have a device that suits your lifestyle. Happy netbooking!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Interested in getting your own question answered on ASK NBB? Here’s how! Be sure to check out ASK NBB #2 for some commentary on 3G netbooks, or ASK NBB #3 for my projections for the future of the netbook industry.

May 4 2009

Asus to Release 11.6″ EeePC Netbook

Asustek (more commonly known as Asus) is planning on releasing their version of the 11.6″ EeePC netbook by the end of the month. This is rumored to be in response to Acer’s 11.6″ Aspire One, which is also expected to be released in May.

asus_116_netbook

Company president Jerry Shen predicts that 10″ netbooks will comprise roughly half of Asus’ 2009 netbook shipments, while 11.6″ netbooks will comprise roughly 30% of shipments.

Via CrunchGear.

Apr 24 2009

Rumor of Dell Mini 11 Netbook Summer Release

The Dell Inspiron Mini 11 is rumored to be released in August of this upcoming summer. While there are no explicit statements that Dell will be releasing this netbook, there is information that implies this release. Compal Electronics, a Taiwanese computer producer, has received orders from Dell for an “ultra-thin notebook” that runs on the Intel CULV processor.

dell_mini_11

The new Mini 11 netbook with an 11.6″ screen would be HD capable (720p) and have a 250 GB harddrive and 2 GB of RAM. The operating system would be Windows Vista.

The price of the Dell Inspiron Mini 11 would start at $499.

Via SlashGear.

Jan 13 2009

Dell Adamo Is Exquisite And Classy (Pics)

If anyone doubted that the Dell Adamo was a response to the ultra-thin Macbook air, those doubts will drop as soon as they check out these new pics. The other thing that will drop is their jaw.

Dell Adamo

The design of this thing is just amazing. The keyboard in particular is stylish and spacious, with a cool new font for the lettering. The keys even look like they’re in the style of the Macbook Air.

dell adamo

It’s extremely thin, but you didn’t need me to tell you that. It looks like the battery is peeking out in back there, hiding by the hinge to minimize space usage as much as possible. This version is black…

…but it will also come in silver. I could gaze at these pics all day.

Dell Adamo

Here’s one of the back. The brushed metal combined with the mirror-like top section makes for an industrial but classy look. It seems like Dell wants to beat the Macbook Air for classiness by introducing a sense power through the raw precision of the design. If the Macbook is embodied by air, the Adamo is cold hard steel.

Dell adamo

And finally, here’s the whole machine. It’s running Vista and using that weird Windows toolbar nobody really likes, but nevertheless, it looks as good as ever.

I don’t know about you, but this thing has got me pumped. Dell’s intending a release in the first half of this year, as it mentioned at CES, so we’ll be all over it when the time comes.

Via bub.blicio.us.

Dec 28 2008

Dell To Compete With Macbook Air

Word has it that Dell’s in the mood to compete and is doing so with an upcoming machine: the Adamo. Dell has been releasing little teasers and guerrilla marketing to get people talking, and we’re quite interested.

They recently opened a mini-site for the Adamo but are saying little about it, other than that it will be ultra-thin.

Dell Adamo

Dell’s first teaser image was up on Uptown Life. It’ stated that the Adamo was set for a February launch. This coincides, interestingly enough, with the one-year anniversary of the MacBook Air. One Dell man, Bob Kaufman, said that Dell intends to “wake up the personal computing category and create some buzz.”

The new machine is expected to be cheaper than the Air, so we’re very interested. Is there any chance that the Adamo is a netbook? We’ll have to wait and see.

Via TGDaily.

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