Lenovo’s line of IdeaPad S10 netbooks have been fairly successful so far — otherwise, they probably still wouldn’t be around. But Lenovo doesn’t want to introduce another netbook that’s similar to the ones that already exist, and that’s why with their newest netbook, the IdeaPad S10-3t, Lenovo will be dressing it up, as well as equipping it with multi-touch capabilities and a swivel screen.
The IdeaPad S10-3t (the “t” is for touch) will be equipped with a 1.83GHz Intel Atom N470 processor — one of the first IdeaPads to incorporate Intel’s newest Atom processor — as well as the Windows 7 Home Premium operating system. The swivel screen on the tablet/netbook is capable of pivoting 180 degrees in either direction.
The iPhone was the device that made multitouch mainstream and popular, and now, three years later, multitouch is ubiquitous in our world, seen in the Droid, the iPad, and now the common keyboard. Microsoft’s Sidewinder X4 uses an array of resistive touch sensors instead of the traditional switch system.
The old switch system had limitations in that after a certain number of keys were pushed down at once, the keyboard controller can’t detect which keys are pressed, which doesn’t exactly seem like a big limitation except for CAD users and hard-core gamers. The Sidewinder’s resistive touch sensors can detect which order they were pressed in which would allow much longer finger combinations. In other words, spell chaining in WoW just got much more interesting.
Ok, what is up with the multitouch laptop? I mean, first off, is it really necessary to have a touchscreen on a laptop if it’s not a tablet? By design, laptop screens tend to flop around (because of the hinge connecting the base and the screen), which doesn’t actually make for the stablest screen for finger-scribing. It’s like geeky laptop bling.
Regardless of the logic of it all, Toshiba is giving us two more additions to the multitouch laptop family, the Satellite U505 Touch and the M505 Touch. Both of them have Toshiba’s touch-ready software, called LifeSpace, which consists of two main applications called the Bulletin boards and ReelTime.
Bulletin Board is a place where you can drag and drop all your photos, videos, links, documents, and applications in a centralized location, which you can manipulate with your fingers. ReelTime gives you a visual history of your previously accessed files, much like Apple‘s Time Machine.
The M505 Touch is a thin, lightweight, 14-inch laptop covered in a Fusion black finish with features like a 500-GB hard drive and a slot-loading DVD burner, HDMI-out and a multimedia card reader. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor with 4 GB of memory and Intel’s integrated graphics, and starts at $1050.
The U505 Touch is slightly smaller, at a 13.3 inch widescreen with a textured based finish on it’s lid, using the same feature set and core components as the M505 Touch and starts at $950.
If you haven’t guessed already, the ThinkPad X200 Tablet (Multitouch) comes with multitouch capabilities, courtesy of Lenovo and Windows 7. This (finally) brings the intuitive control that one finds with an iPhone to a full size tablet, but if you still want to be a little old-school, the digital pen has not been compromised in the multitouch addition and remains as an additional function.
The specs for the ThinkPad X200 are as follows:
- Price as Tested: $2,000.00 Direct
- Type: Media, Ultraportable, Tablet, Business, Small Business
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
- Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo L9600
- Processor Speed: 2.13 GHz
- RAM: 4 GB
- Weight: 4.2 lb
- Screen Size: 12.1 inches
- Screen Size Type: widescreen
- Graphics Card: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
- Storage Capacity: 160 GB
- Networking Options: 802.11n
- Primary Optical Drive: External
It’s looking like the new ASUS Eee PC T91 has more features in store than advertised. In the video that follows, one shrewd netbooker found both Windows 7 and multitouch on the T91 he tested.
Unfortunately we won’t be seeing these features in a release this month – is an update to the new ASUS netbook already in the making? The Eee PC T91 costs $670, but with its snappy features and usable form factor its looking like it might have more to offer than previously expected.
The Moblin Project is a project by Intel, designed to produce a Linux-based toolkit for mobile devices. The projuct recently released an alpha version of its second-generation “Moblin V2”, and it’s targetting not MIDs but – you guessed it – netbooks.
Moblin.org says the Moblin V2 Core Alpha for Netbooks is available for testing now, and we’re as excited as ever. While the MID version of the Moblin toolkit will take until 2010 for release, the netbook plan will move into beta in April.
The focus of the Linux-based mobile stack isn’t MIDs, as before. Intel wants to put Moblin in a netbook, demonstrating the growing role of the mobile devices.
LinuxDevices.com mentioned multiple-level testing of several new and awesome features in the alpha version of Moblin 2.0, which we lifted right from their page:
- Core Linux OS, boot process, inter-process, and package interactions
- New “Fastboot” feature of Moblin, which fundamentally improves boot time
- Connectivity and networking, using the new ConnMan connectivity manager.
- Kernel 2.6.29-rc2.
- Moblin Core Components (first look), including Clutter and all other UI development tools (see video below)
- Xserver 1.6 (with DRI2)
- New Moblin Image Creator (MIC2) and installation tool
Linux has had a huge role in netbook technology since the beginning, being the first OS to be featured on netbooks such as the Acer Aspire One and MSI Wind. Moblin should augment netbooks in the future, and be an excellent tool for netbook users everywhere.
Be sure to check out this video we found ot Moblin’s ‘Clutter’ UI, a touch-capable feature that could mean big things for netbooks:
ASUS hasn’t held back the new netbook models lately, bringing them to market faster than most other netbook manufacturers (even Dell). The latest we’re hearing about is the ASUS Eee PC 1002HA, set to beat out the 900, 901, 1000, and 1000HA models in a number of categories.
The 1002HA netbook uses the same old 1.6 GHz Atom CPU, but bumps up its hard drive to the 160 GB version a number of other netbooks have gotten into. It only manages 1 GB of RAM but is easily (though not cheaply) upgradeable.
The styling of the new ASUS Eee PC netbook has been redesigned as well. The newer black and brushed-metal design is a serious bonus, as the old-school pearl white can tend to look a bit toylike. It’s a solid and sturdy machine, has good hinges, and a quiet keyboard. Another big plus is the three USBs, audio ports, VG, Ethernet and SD slot.
This new netbook has in fact reverted to the 8.9-inch screen size we thought we’d overcome. Most netbook makers are going up to at least 10 inches for their devices. The 1002HA ASUS Eee PC has MultiTouch on its touchpad, which is awesome. Windows 7, anyone?
It will crank out an average battery life – around 3 hours. If this isn’t your cup of tea, MSI is always around the corner trying to beat out ASUS and will be doing so with the new MSI X320 and its 15-hour battery. Another option is the MSI U115, the netbook rocking a 9-cell battery.
The ASUS netbook is $500. Not great, but palatable. Stay tuned for more on the netbook, and be sure to check out our first update on the Eee PC 1002HA.