Jun 8 2010

Toshiba to Introduce Android-Based Netbook and 3D Laptop

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.

Via TechEye.

Jun 6 2010

MSI Reveals WindPad 100 Tablet at Computex 2010

MSI just revealed the newest addition to its tech lineup at Computex 2010.  The WindPad 100 is a 10″ (1024×600 resolution) Windows 7 Home Premium tablet powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor and packing 2 GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD hard drive.  The MSI tablet will also feature two USB ports, an HDMI port, as well as a webcam.

Something interesting about the tablet is that is made entirely of plastic.  Sadly, it does feel like it, but on the bright side, the WindPad also weighs in at a mere 1.7 pounds.  The prototype featured at Computex didn’t have any of the ports listed above, but the final product is expected to output 720p video to an HDTV.

The MSI WindPad 100 tablet is expected to hit the market later this year for a cool $499.

Via Engadget.

Sep 22 2009

Active Media SSD Drives To Be Compatible With Selected ASUS Eee PC Netbooks

A couple months ago, Active Media launched some SSD drives for netbooks and now they’re taking their products to the next level. With the SaberTooth S3 lineup of storage drives, the company is offering faster drives for lower prices.

The SaberTooth SATA Mini PCle cards are tested at sequential reads of 95MBps for reads (marginally higher than that of previous models – 90) and 70MBps for writes (30% faster than that of previous models). The drives utlize a multi-channel controller, SATA-II 3Gbps interface, and wear-leveling algorithms.

The prices and capacities of Active Media’s SSDs are as follows: $69 for 16 GB, $89 for 32 GB, and $159 for 64 GB. These SSDs are compatible with the ASUS Eee PC 900, 900A, 901, and S101 model netbooks.

Via JKOnTheRun.

Aug 2 2009

RunCore Announces Massive SSDs for Netbooks

RunCore

RunCore is working on a new batch of SSDs for the netbook market, helping to alleviate the pain of slower, smaller hard drives on the diminuitive computers.

The SSDs are meant to replace hard disk drives, and range from 32 GB to 256 GB. The standard HDD is 160 GB, but some consumers may even downgrade in order to achieve the improved stability and durability of solid-state drives.

The Pro IV SSDs come in 1.8″, 2.5″, and PCI-E form factors. All sizes will come in SATA and PATA versions.

These new storage solutions are pretty expensive, running from $179.99 for a 32 GB drive to $899.99 for the 256 GB. However, RunCore hopes buyers won’t be too bogged down by the price tag when choosing the faster, more durable drives.

Via UberGizmo.

May 24 2009

The Sotec DC204A3 Netbook Has 32 GB SSD

The new netbook from Sotec is unique in a lot of ways. The Japanese manufacturer usually doesn’t go overseas, but this netbook will see foreign markets. Furthermore, it has a 32 GB SSD, which is huge compared to similar netbooks.

It’s called the DC204A3, whatever that stands for, and uses a 1.6 GHz Atom N270, the 945 GSE chipset, 1 GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch display. Resolution is 1024 x 600.

The Sotec netbook uses Windows XP Home and a few USB 2.0 slots, audio I/O and is extremely thin. Sotec dropped VGA and Ethernet for the new netbook, but you can still use netbook accessories like the MIMO Companion touchscreens if you want external displays.

Japanese consumers can get their hands on the netbook soon for around $530, but the US release date is as of yet unknown.

Via HotHardware.

May 8 2009

New Ubuntu Linux Dell Mini 10 Netbook Gets HD, SSD, Battery Upgrades

Dell is giving Linux users a bit of attention with a new announcement this week. The Dell Mini 10 netbook is gaining new options, including an SSD and Ubuntu Linux as an OS.

Dell Mini 10 Netbook Available with Ubuntu and SSD Option

With these new options, the updated Dell Mini 10 will cost $399.  A 32 GB SSD is $75, and a 64 GB SSD will cost you $125.

Other updates include a 15$ 3-cell battery that gets you 25% more battery life than the old version. Curiously enough, the Ubuntu Dell Mini 10’s display can be upgraded to a 1366 x 768 HD screen, which for some reason isn’t offered for XP versions.

Regardless, Linux users are sure to be pleased by the new updates. Dell is notable for offering its netbooks in a lot of varieties, and this latest development is right in line with that philosophy.

Via I4U.

Mar 2 2009

VIA Nano Gets Inside The New Samsung NC20 Netbook

The Samsung NC20, an upgraded version of the highly esteemed Samsung NC10 netbook, is on the docket for new netbook releases. Samsung has announced that the netbook will be adopting the Nano processor by VIA Technologies.

Samsung NC20 netbook

The older NC10 has an Intel Atom inside, to contrast.

The VIA Nano chip will be the first 64-bit processor for the x86 platform, to be combines with VIA’s VX800 processor. This combo will support full Microsoft DirectX 9.0 graphics, HD video, and up to 4 GB of DDR2 system memory for your use.

In addition, as previously announced, the Samsung NC20 will have a comparatively massive 12.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution. It weighs a full 3.4 pounds but comes with features like Wi-Fi, a 6.5 hour 6-cell battery, an 1.3-megapixel webcam, a card reader, and three USB ports. In addition, you’ll be offered the choice of either a SATA hard disk drive or an SSD for storage.

With an average price of $650, this new netbook is stepping it up towards a more luxurious price range. It should offer a lot, though, so we’re definitely excited for it.

Via CNet.

Feb 23 2009

Trimble Yuma: The Toughest Netbook Around

The newest netbook on the market is furnished in true OLPC style. It’s the hardiest machine we’ve encountered yet, with a contender being the relatively unknown CTL 2go PC netbook of last year. Take a look at the new Trimble Yuma tablet netbook, designed for the harshest of environments:

Trimble Yuma netbook

As we reported recently, manufacturers are taking note of midsize firms’ need for rugged machines and are delivering accordingly. Netbooks are filling that gap nicely due to their low cost, and the 2.6 pound Trimble Yuma is the result.

The Yuma tablet netbook  can be submerged in 1 meter of water without sustaining damage. It earned Ingress Protection Ratings of six for dust damage and seven for water.

The netbook can do some hard work itself, too. It is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, and comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, “dual digital cameras”, and slots for SDIO and an ExpressCard. You only get 32 GB of storage, but for an SSD that’s quite a bit. Moving parts on hardy machines are looked down upon, thus the need for the solid state drive.

Additionally, you can read off the 7-inch screen in direct sunlight. No OS has been specified for the Trimble Yuma thus far, though the pictures suggest Vista. Will it be well-powered enough to run the OS?

Personally, I’d imagine a Linux OS or XP would be a better choice – most netbooks simply can’t handle Vista. On the other hand, if the Yuma works it works, and if it makes it to the industries it’s designed for that’s what it’s going to need to do.

There’s no word on pricing or availability just yet, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

Via DailyTech.

Feb 7 2009

Windows 7 Netbook OS Could Be Expensive And Slow

A blogger over at Intel has raised some warning flags concerning the upcoming Windows 7 OS, which will arrive in traditional PC/laptop format as well as in a specifically netbook-centric version. You can read his post here.

The blogger, Josh Bancroft, has faith in the OS itself – in fact, he says it “runs GREAT on netbooks.” However he expects some problems to arise having to do with pricing, storage, and other logistical issues.

His first criticism was that Windows & wouldn’t be able to run on netbooks with small SSDs, such as the Gdium netbook whose OS resides on an external flash drive.

Bancroft said that Windows 7 was “Just as fast and usable as XP” on his Eee PC 1000H netbook, on which he runs the public beta. However, considering Microsoft’s weak profit margins in XP sales (the logical reason behind their desire to port Windows 7 to netbooks), he believes the company will push for a higher price for the upcoming OS. “…[A]dding, say, [US]$100 to the cost of a $400 netbook just to pay for Windows 7 is going to be a tough proposition all around.”

Bancroft is a community builder in the Intel Software Network, but was no spokesperson. The blogger was quick to assure everyone that his opinions don’t necessarily represent Intel’s.

Another concern he raised involved the storage Windows 7 would require – however, his worries seem a bit unfounded. His view is that a 6GB OS would doom smalltime netbooks, “some [of which] are equipped with SSDs that only offer a paltry 4, 8, or 16GB of space, total.” However, the vast majority of netboks offer 80, 120, or 160 GB HDDs, and many of those with SSDs combine them with HDDs as well. It is a tiny portion of netbooks that use a single SSD of such a miniscule size.

Via ComputerWorld.

Jan 28 2009

$169 SuperTalent SSDs Offer 64 GB Netbook Flash Storage

Super

For that big of a netbook upgrade, the cost isn’t horrible. It’s intended for use with the ASUS Eee PC S101 but any machine with mini-PCle add-ons can handle it.

They aren’t the fastest out there, managing about 90 MB/s read and 55 MB/s write. The S101 netbook only has a 16 GB drive to start with, so make the new SuperTalent netbook SSD a serious consideration.

The netbook SSD will come in your choice of MLC or SLC.

Via JKOnTheRun.

Jan 8 2009

CES: SanDisk Announces High-Power Solid State Drives

As CES continues, the biggest businesses have unveiled their newest technological wonders to the world. The bids have been getting better and better, and the most recent has been from SanDisk Corporation.

They recently unveiled the newest in high-performance SSDs for laptops priced  at less than $250 for a 120 GB model. These solid state drives are meant to be “drop-in replacements” for hard disk drives. SanDisk hopes consumers will take moves like this to upgrade and extend the life of their netbooks and laptops.

SanDisk SSD

The drives are the G3 for notebooks and pSSD for netbooks. Those will have read and write speeds of 200 MB/sec. and 140 MB/sec., respectively.

These drives, if they meet the specifications advertised, will beat out the 10-channel X25-M SSD Intel drives for the consumer-class. The X25-M read at 250 MB/sec. and write at 70 MB/sec., comparable but inferior statistics.

SanDisk SSD

Though SSDs have failed in many markets, they may be making a comeback. According to Jim McGregor, the chief technology strategist of In-Stat Inc., the SanDisk drives will represent a “tipping point” for solid state technology. “I think we’re finally getting to the point where solid state disk is living up to expectations… As long as you’re exceeding the speed of hard drives and you’re exceeding the anticipated lifespan, typically three years as far as a corporate warranty goes, then it makes sense.”

Prices haven’t been confirmed yet, but should be coming soon.

Via ComputerWorld.

Dec 13 2008

Solid State Drives Failing in Netbook Markets

DRAMeXchange reported that the use of SSDs is the lowest it’s ever been. Their use is expected to fall even farther next year.
SSDs were found in 70 percent of netbooks Q1 2008; this number dropped to 66 percent in the second quarter and 30 in Q3.

We should be seeing the SSD rate go down to a meager 8 percent by next year.

Solid State Drive

There are a few clear reasons for the failure of solid state drives:

  • SSDs make netbooks way more expensive, to the point that they near the costs of notebooks
  • HDDs are cheaper and hold more space than SSDs
  • While SSDs consume less power they are also slower due to the MLC flash chips found in SSDs.

It seems consumers aren’t going for SSDs; unless something radical happens, they’re sure to be gone from netbooks in the near future.

Via Techtree.com

Dec 9 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini-9 Now Available For $299

Dell has decided to stick with the price drop it tested on Black Friday. The Mini-9 netbook retailed for $299, and is still available for that price.

Dell Inspiron Mini 9

The Mini 9 is available in Obsidian Black or Alpine White, or a few other colors for an additional cost. The Mini 9 runs Ubuntu Linux and has 512 MB RAM, a 4 GB SSD, and an 8.9″ LED. For an extra $35 you can upgrade the solid state drive to 8 GB – a choice we recommend.

Though the Mini-12 is already on the market, the Mini-9 is still making news. We’ve covered it before but the netbook just keeps on popping up – something to be expected from such a successful machine. Reviewers have loaded praise on the netbook, particularly noting its excellent battery life which distinguishes it from such competitors as the Acer Aspire One or MSI Wind.

Dec 7 2008

Two Welcome Upgrades On The HP Mini 1000

This just in – HP has announced that its Mini 1000 netbook, its stylish new addition to the netbook market, can now be augmented with mobile broadband provided by AT&T or Verizon. We were pretty excited about the Mini 1000 in our December 2nd article, and this news is only making us happier.

HP Mini 1000

3G has been rearing its head on new devices since it was included on Apple’s recent iPhone update. The massive sales of the new iPhone showed that, for those on the go, Internet that doesn’t require Wi-Fi is immensely useful. HP is surely hoping to cash in on that preference.

iPhone

However, HP’s deal is a bit pricey. The 3G option will cost an additional $199, which makes me wince, but that figure doesn’t include some subsidies from the carriers. The other downside is that, for some reason, you can’t get both SSD and 3G loaded in your netbook. The Mini 1000 with WWAN forces you to use the HDD.

The cost is the only obvious downside, but don’t sigh and turn away just yet – another announcement from HP may put the bounce back in your step.

The HP is also due for a price cut! You can now get a new HP Mini 1000 for $40 less than the original price of $399. While it’s still not the cheapest on the market, the $359 HP Mini is a great bet. It sports an 8.9″ screen, the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of space, a 3-cell battery and XP.

Dec 2 2008

The New HP Mini 1000 Netbook Is A True Beauty

The new addition to the Hewlett-Packard netbook family is called the Mini 1000, an attractive new netbook with some solid specs to boot. While comparisons to HP’s 2133 Mini-Note may be easy to pick out, there are also some huge differences. If you don’t like the changes to the HP formula an updated 2133 is expected in early February, so don’t despair.

HP Mini 1000

The Mini 1000 will keep most of the 2133’s hallmarks – the aluminum exterior, spill- and wear-resistant keyboard, ExpressCard capability, and a shock-protected hard drive with an option to take a SSD instead. The tough little netbook has an 10.2″ screen, and has upgraded from the previous Via C-7M chip to the Intel Atom netbook chip.

Aside from these perks, the Mini 1000 runs the familiar setup: 1.6GHz N270 processor, 1GB of RAM and Windows XP. However, for those so inclined, an Ubuntu Linux version is on the way for the end of January. Another change is that the HDD has shrunk to a tiny 80 GB instead of the now-standard 160 GB.

The keyboard is a welcome alternative to those currently available – it works fantastically well and offers some gently curved keys to appeal to your fingertips. HP is known for its excellent keyboards, and this one is no exception – it is 92% the size of a regular keyboard and extremely easy to use. To those turned off by the tiny keyboards of some of the earlier Eee PCs or Dell netbooks, the HP Mini 1000 will be a popular choice.

HP Mini 1000

With its $399 price tag (which can go as high as 899 with all kinds of upgrades), the Mini 1000 has a lot to offer consumers at a decent price. It looks amazing, and the keyboard is particularly excellent, but there are a few downsides. Nevertheless, it should be a hardy competitor to the 10.2″ ASUS Eee PC 1000H or Lenovo IdeaPad, which are in the same price range and power category.

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