May 27 2010

Marvell To Create $100 Tablet

Marvell Technologies has announced today that it will partner with the One Laptop Per Child foundation to create a $100 tablet, named the XO-3. The foundation achieved great success with the XO-1 laptop computer for children in developing countries.

More details about the XO-3 have emerged. It will have a power rating of 1 watt per hour, a multilingual, multitouch screen keyboard, WiFi, high quality video, and Flash 10 Internet. It will be based on an ARM processor, most likely the Marvell Armada 610, and run Google’s Android OS.

According to OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte, the XO-3 will eventually have an adaptable screen to allow for viewing in either sunlight or inside. The tablet will allegedly be 10.8 millimeters thick, which rivals the iPad.

The tablet is planned to be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of 2011.

Via CNET, image via OLPC.

Jan 13 2010

Did Apple Cause A 10-inch LCD Shortage For Netbook Makers?

That’s the word being passed around at CES 2010. One electronics designer claimed in a report that Apple had pre-ordered “all” of the 10-inch LCD panels on the market, as well as similar sized OLED displays as well. This sounds a little bit ridiculous, though most of the rumors about the Apple tablet claim it will have a 10-inch screen so the dimensions make sense.

A shortage of 10-inch screens could be a big deal for netbook makers. Machines like the Dell Mini 10 netbook and a billion others come with 10-inch screens, and if supply issues arise consumers might notice sparse netbook variety in stores or perhaps a rise in price. Again, this seems unlikely – most netbook makers probably have loads of 10-inch LCD panels stocked for situations like this.

Another rumor has popped up as well, and it’s summed up by the following sketchy but fascinating photo, courtesy of the Mac Observer:

This could be faked, but if nothing else it’s a thought provoker. Apple’s keeping us in the dark for now, but in the months to come, we should finally know the truth about the Apple tablet.

Jan 11 2010

CES 2010: MSI Announces Dual-Screen Netbook Prototypes And New Android E-Reader

MSI has demonstrated a few prototype computers at CES 2010 so far, including two new dual-screen netbooks – a strange category we’ve seen a few times before that hasn’t really been explored in the netbook arena.

The new MSI dual-screen netbooks have touchscreen LCDs, but won’t be used in the manner of the Kohjinsha DZ. Instead, the screens are hinged notebook-style – you can use one as a touchscreen keyboard while operating the other as a laptop display, or you can turn the whole thing on its side and use it like an e-reader

The prototype dual-screen machines come in 10-inch and 7-inch varieties. The netbooks run Intel Menlow CPUs and Windows 7, allowing for 32 GB or 64 GB of solid-state storage.

If they’re ever officially launched, MSI has stated that they will be more expensive than traditional netbooks, though that’s what we expected. MSI also showed off a traditional 10-inch ebook reader at CEs 2010, running Google Android and the Nvidia Tegra.

Via NetworkWorld.

Jan 11 2010

CES 2010: Sony Releases Environmentally Friendly VAIO W Series Eco Netbook

Sony’s been hard at work improving its netbook lineup and has come up with the new environmentally friendly Sony VAIO W Eco netbook, a new machine rocking a 10.1″, 1366 x 768 pixel LED screen.

The netbook is made of recycled materials. It has a white finish, green palm rest, and stylishly patterned trackpad. According to Sony, as much of 10% of the CO2 used to make most netbooks was eliminated from the manufacturing process.

The Sony VAIO W Series Eco netbook comes with a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 CPU, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, a GB of DDR2 memory (expandable to two gigs) and hefty 250 GB HDD. This machine can stay awake for as long as 8 hours.

The Sony Vaio W Eco comes with a camera, microphone, Wi-Fi, card reader, Express Card slot and Windows 7 for the price of $479.

Via Waleg.

Jan 11 2010

CES 2010: LG’s Intel-Powered Phone

The LG GW990 can multitask with ease

On Friday, LG introduced its GW990 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show. It has been described as “huge” by people who have seen it in person, and it certainly sounds that way, with a 4.8-inch screen. It is powered by Intel’s Moorestown platform with Intel’s Moblin Linux operating system.

It has a 5-megapixel camera, which is pretty typical. However, its operating system is anything but typical – it runs Intel’s Moblin, a Linux OS that is similar in some ways to Android. Right now, there really isn’t a developer community for Moblin. LG has said that it is trying to get third-party apps written for Moblin.

The phone can multitask beautifully, thanks to its Intel Atom CPU. It has been demonstrated to be able to can play a movie, keep the calendar open, and send a text message all at the same time with ease.

The GW990 sounds like a great phone, though its size could bar its success. People like their phones to be pocketable. Until Intel’s chips can be used with smaller, thinner phones, Intel-powered phones probably will not command a huge share of the market.

Via PC Mag, image via PC Mag.

Jan 9 2010

CES 2010: AMD to Offer Triple-Core Processors

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has announced that it will offer triple-core processors in laptops. Though laptops now can have either dual-core or quad-core processors, triple-core processors have been unavailable until now.

Though it may appear that triple-core processors would be not be an advance, considering the existence of quad-core processors, they will fill the gap in a useful way. They offer better performance than dual-core processors and better power efficiency than quad-core processors. AMD currently offers only dual-core chips in their laptops, while Intel offers both dual-core and quad-core.

Dual-core processors do offer great performance for laptops, but triple-core will boost application performance, according to an AMD employee. The third-core will be able to take on processor-intensive tasks while leaving the other two cores free.

The chips will be offered as a part of Danube, AMD’s next-generation laptop code. Danube is supposed to increase laptop battery life by more than an hour. It is also supposed to offer better speed and graphics compared to the current platform.

The chips should ship in the first half of this year.

Via PC World, image via PC world.

Jan 8 2010

CES 2010: Intel Announces AppUp Center For Netbooks

Intel revealed its new AppUp Center today at CES 2010 – Intel’s response to Apple’s App Store, except for netbooks. The application storefront will offer games and other software for netbook users, and is now available as a Windows download from Intel.com.

The store will support Moblin as well as Windows operating systems. Currently in beta, the AppUp Center has a pretty limited software selection – 17 games, two of which are free. However, this number should be exploding soon. Intel’s Atom Developer Program is currently doing outreach for developers who want to get in on the AppUp Center. For a short time, Intel’s $99 yearly developer fee will be waived by developers of applications for the AppUp Center.

Intel GM Renee James released the following statement about the AppUp Center:

“The Intel AppUp SM center offers netbook users quick and easy access to applications specifically tailored to their mobile lifestyle. Our store does the work of aggregating, categorizing and validating applications so consumers can shop, collect and install from one easy source. With today’s kickoff of our beta store, both developers and consumers will be able to take advantage of the rapid expansion of this new category of computing as the stores continually add apps.”

Acer, Asus, Dell, and Samsung are said to be developing manufacturer-branded versions of Intel’s AppUp Center for upcoming laptops and netbooks.

Via Gamasutra.

Jan 8 2010

CES 2010: 4 Pound Alienware M11X Brings Gaming To Netbook Users

This is truly glorious. Today at CES 2010, the all-new Alienware M11x netbook was released – a 4 lb no-compromises machine for gamers who can’t sit still.

The Alienware M11x packs Nvidia discrete graphics and 4 hours of battery life for those plane rides when you really need to kick back and get your game on. It has a sexy backlit keyboard, classic Alienware styling, and price tag under $1000, coming this February.

Check out Revision3’s video review below:

Jan 8 2010

CES 2010: Greenpeace Says Apple is Green

Greenpeace has released its Guide To Greener Electronics at CES 2010, and this time Apple is ranked in its list of environmentally friendly companies.

This is quite a contrast to last year, when Apple refused to participate in Greenpeace’s ratings, much to Greenpeace’s displeasure (and most likely the displeasure of customers concerned about the company’s impact on the environment). This year, Nokia and Sony Ericsson topped Greenpeace’s list of green companies. The companies are rated on categories such as use of hazardous substances, recycling for old products, and other efforts to reduce climate impact.

The rankings saw some changes and some recurring trends. Samsung fell from second to seventh place because of its failure to eliminate toxic chemicals from their products. The top five companies this year are Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Philips and Apple. Nintendo is the last in the rankings, as it has been in the past. Microsoft is second to last.

The entire report is available online at the Greenpeace website.

Via APCMag, image via Greenpeace.

Jan 7 2010

CES 2010: Lenovo Introduces IdeaPad U1 Hybrid Tablet/Notebook With Detachable Screen

Lenovo‘s new hybrid PC, displayed at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this week, is reminiscient of the Always Innovating Magnetic netbook which featured a detachable screen for use as a tablet. Designated the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, the device is usable as both laptop and multi-touch slate tablet.

It’s a heavyweight, coming in at 3.8 pounds, and it rocks an 11.6-inch LED screen and the Windows Relevant Products/Services 7 OS. It has a videocamera, two stereo speakers, and an integrated microphone for voice chat and other activities.

According to Lenovo Senior VP Liu Jun:

“By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet’s rich multi-touch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity.”

When used as a laptop, the Lenovo U1 actually accesses a second processor within the keyboard for synchronized use. When you remove the 1.6 lb multi-touch tablet you can continue computing in portrait or landscape mode with the ARM CPY running Lenovo’s Skylight OS.

The Ideapad U1 Hybrid can deliver more than 5 hours of 3G web access and should be available this June for $999.

Via NewsFactor, image via Engadget.

Jan 7 2010

CES 2010: Dell Mini 10 Upgraded With 720p Video, TV Tuner, GPS

Dell showcased the new version of its incredibly popular Dell Mini 10 netbook today at CES 2010, and it’s been loaded up with what we’ve come to expect of top-of-the-line netbooks – an Atom N450 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, and 250 GB of space. However, Dell is upping the ante with new options for multimedia use.

It comes with a boatload of custom options, including 720p HD capability on its 1366 x 768 pixel screen, a hi-def TV tuner, GPS service, and a HD processor to manage more intensive video content. It will run Windows 7 and comes with a useful 9-hour battery life.

The new Dell Mini 10 will be available this month, $300 and counting once you add those sexy new features.

Via Wired.

Jan 6 2010

Haier Announces Netbooks, MID and Tablets For CES 2010

Haier is a Chinese firm that makes refrigerators and air conditioners. Starting on CES 2010, it will make netbooks, MIDs, and laptops as well.

The company is sending off three swivel screen netbooks running Intel Atom CPUs. The first is the Haier X220, a 10-inch tablet netbook with a 1024 x 600 pixel screen, Atom N270, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM and Intel GMA 950 graphics, selling for $450 with a 3-cell battery.

The other two netbooks are very similar. Labeled the Haier X210 and X107H, these netbooks will start out with Atom N270s but get 1.7 GHz Pine Trail Atom N450 chips at a later date. Other specs include 10-inch 1024 x 768 pixel screens, a 160 GB HDD, 1.3 Megapixel webcam, and cramped 85% screens. They include mouse buttons integrated into the touchpad, much like you’d see in the Dell Mini 10v netbook. These netbooks will sell for $330 and come with EVDO and WCDMA 3G cards.

Haier also says it’s planning a 9-inch smartbook running Google Android and packing an Nvidia Tegra chipset and ARM Cortex 650 CPU. Despite its smaller screen, the keyboard on the Haier smartbook will be the same 85% size.

Lastly, Haier will be unveiling its Haier T3C and Core i5 laptop computers at CES 2010. The T3C is a 13.3-inch widescreen CULV laptop with the Intel Core 2 Duo U3500 chipset, 2 GB of DDR2 RAM 250 GB HDD, and 10 hour battery life. The Core i5 laptop will have similar features and a 14-inch widescreen display.

Via PCMag, image via Haier.

Mar 22 2009

ASUS Fold/Unfold Isn’t A Netbook, Hits Market Later This Year

ASUS Fold/Unfold

The Consumer Electronics Show whets the appetite of the tech industry once a year, when new experimental gadgets are announced daily for one long, busy week. While concept devices shown at CES go no further than that stage all too often, in some lucky cases we get to see them come to market.

The ASUS Fold/Unfold is a device of that type. While we thought it was a netbook back at CES 2009,  question isn’t up for debate anymore. The ASUS Fold/Unfold will cost between $1000 and $1500, placing it far beyond the netbook category.

However wallet-taxing it may be, the ASUS concept device still extremely cool. The Fold/Unfold features a ‘sliding keyboard’ to maximize space and air flow, meaning it ends up a lot smaller than expected when you pack it up. ASUS has announced that it wants to bring it to market around September or October this year.

Via Gizmodo.

Jan 12 2009

CES: See The MSI X320 In Action

The MSI X320 might be a netbook or it might be a notebook, but whatever it is, it pulls off the look. We found a video over at CrunchGear showing the MSI X320 off, and we knew you’d be interested. With no further ado, here it is:

The netbook looks like it’s running Vista, but we don’t doubt an XP version is on the way as well.

It’s a sleek machine, there’s no doubt. The $699 price tag might make you cringe, but analysts are saying this has little in common with a netbook other than the Atom processor, so the price may be warranted. Personally, I wouldn’t drop 700 bucks on a notebook packing an Atom, but I’m reserving judgement until the full specs are released.

It has a 13.4-inch screen and should be out this April.

Via CrunchGear.

Jan 12 2009

CES: Price of Intel Classmate PC Confirmed

The retail price of the Intel student-based tablet netbook system, the Intel Classmate PC, has been confirmed. It is now available from CTL in the USA for $549.

Intel Classmate PC

The price is a bit higher than we’d hoped for, as it is a device meant for wide distribution among students and other low-end consumers. Hopefully this big number was worked into Intel’s plan for hawking the device, because if it wasn’t, the Classmate PC will surely sink. We definitely laud Intel for putting the new tablet netbook out there, but praise is less important than price when it comes to getting the thing sold.

Be sure to check out our feature on the Intel Classmate PC for all the specs.

Via Hexus.

Jan 12 2009

CES: Dazzling Netbook Alternatives By Toshiba

We reported earlier that, assuming CES was an indication, Toshiba doesn’t want anything to do with netbooks right now. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still in that world, and that’s where these awesome-looking prototypes come in. They’re shiny and stylish, which is a big plus, and seem like they could be used as interesting alternatives (or companions?) to iPhone- or Netbook-style devices. Check them out:

Toshiba Internet Viewer

The first is the Toshiba Internet Viewer display, a 10-inch screen that can be detached from an accompanying keyboard for whatever reason you’d like.

Toshiba Internet Viewer

These are some iPhone-style prototypes, ranging in their similarity to the Apple device. The one in the middle looks like it has two screens, which must surely mean it has some kind of touchscreen capability, and resembles a Nintendo DS.

Though a new Toshiba netbook would have been nice, we’re pleasantly surprised to see these devices lining the Toshiba CES booth windows. They’re only prototypes for now, but as soon as we get word of an application for them we’ll let you know.

Via CNet.

Jan 11 2009

CES: Quick-Boot Comes To Lenovo, Sony, Others

All that time you spend watching a Windows load screen may soon be a thing of the past.

Quick-boot technology has been around, but rarely applied to real computing – luckily, with the rise of netbooks, it has found a place.

The idea of this quick-book netbook technology is that netbook users could surf the web, view, images, or check their email without even loading Windows. Lenovo and Sony demonstrated quick-booting machines at CES this week.

Sony Vaio P

Lenovo updated the Lenovo Ideapad S10 to have quick-boot capabilities with a Quick Start software based on the Linux OS of DeviceVM. Sony is now offering the Cross Media Bar navigation system to access multimedia instantly, something we should be seeing in the Vaio P Series.

According to the VP of Global Consumer Marketing at Lenovo, Craig Merrigan, netbooks are exactly where quick-boot should be used. “The netbook usage scenario is kind of a grab it, use it, put it back sort of situation. We believe it optimizes for that quick boot-type of environment,” he said.

Lenovo doesn’t plan to put quick-boot into mainstream notebooks. Machines with the power for content creation achieve that better with a full-fledged operating system.

“For mainstream notebooks when you are doing a greater variety of things… the quick-boot environment doesn’t support that all that well so we think that it’s better left to netbooks at this time,” said Merrigan.

The director of Phonex Technologies product management, Anand Nadathur, said the applications and drivers that slow down PC boot times aren’t what computer users want all the time. “When users start their PC in the morning, they are not looking for the full-fledged OS to come up and do some amazing things. They just look for a simple browser so they can check e-mail.” With this in mind, Phonex introduced a quick-boot environment called HyperSpace Dual at CES. HyperSpace Dual is meant for netbooks and laptops, and is downloadable at the Phoenix website for $39.95 for one year or $99.95 for three.

Phoenix Technologies Logo

Freescale, who partnered with the post-ASUS Pegatron to deliver their own netbooks at CES 2009, talked about quick-boot plans with Qualcomm. They want netbooks starting as fast or faster than smartphones.

Qualcomm sees quick-boot as something they want to add to the Snapdragon platform, which already includes a CPU, 3G, and a 3D graphics core. Freescale wants quick-boot on their Linux netbooks, the ones using the ARM i.MX515 processor (another CES introduction). This processor is also used in the Freescale-Pegatron netbook.
Via PCWorld.

Jan 11 2009

CES: Intel Releases Classmate PC Tablet Netbook

The new Classmate PC by Intel has been getting some press as a student-ready tablet meant for the modern age. The netbooks come in a convertible and clamshell version, the first of which has a flexible 180-degree swivel design and has touchscreen capabilities.

Intel Classmate PC

Lila Ibrahim, general manager of the Intel Learning Series-supporting Intel Emerging Markets Platform Group, is walking the high road with this netbook. “Education is one of the best ways to improve the future for individuals, villages, or nations,” he said. “There are 1.3 billion school-age children around the world and of those only 5 percent have access to a PC or the interner. The IT industry has a huge opportunity to contribute to how technology can improve students’ learning and students’ lives. With our announcement today, Intel continues its long-standing commitment to advancing education through technology to transform lives around the world.”

The Classmate PC is truly a school-ready netbook. It comes with a lower-power Intel Atom CPU, to drive the cost down, and is light enough for a child to tote around. It is specially designed for ruggedness, and can take solid bumps or liquid in its water-resistant keyboard. It also has the unique “palm rejection” feature, which allows the child to rest his palm on the touchscreen for more comfortable writing. The netbook also features software from the Intel Learning Series program.

Intel Logo

Intel says local manufacturers including “CTL, Equus and M&A in the United States, MDG in Canada, CMS in the United Kingdom, NEC in France, Olidata in Chile, ASI in Australia and Hanvon in China” are going to be offering Classmate PCs in their respective countries. Both the clamshell and convertible tablet Classmate PCs will be offered worldwide.

At CES this week, Craig Barrett (the chairman of Intel) focused on Intel’s intent to provide educational content to children everyqhere. “Technology can be used in tremendous ways to impact people’s lives on the ground,” he elaborated. He mentioned that 3G, 4G, and WiMax would hold a big role in helping do so, especially for developing countries.

Release dates and costs aren’t available yet, so check back soon.

Jan 11 2009

CES: Pegatron Netbook Is $199 With 8 Hours Of Juice

We haven’t heard much from Pegatron lately. It split off from ASUS and has been doing ODM work by itself. Unexpectedly, the company moved into the spotlight for a moment at CES to announce its new Freescale-based netbooks. The Linux machines run 8.9-inch screens, have 8 hours of juice, and will cost a delightfully low $199.

Pegatron Netbook

It’s running the brand new ARM i.MX515 CPU by Freescale, a 1 GHz chip which is supposedly three times as fast as the iPhone.

The kicker? The chip is insanely efficient and generates barely any heat. It was demonstrated running 720p video using only .5 watts, feeling quite cool to the touch. Its processing power is weaker than that of the Atom, but are well suited to running Linux. It seems like a promising combo, and it’s cheap too. Pegatron and Freescale hope to see these picke dup by OEM around May or June.

Via Engadget.

Jan 9 2009

CES: Finally, Dirt-Cheap Coby Netbooks

Who remembers the debunked sub-$100 Coby netbook rumors we covered back in early December? Well, those rumors still aren’t true, but CES has delivered the next best thing – Coby netbooks for less than $200.

Sub-$200 Coby Netbooks

According to Coby, these colorful netbooks are a “market research project” – not reality just yet. The colors are interesting, but the netbooks themselves are competitive in price and little else. They run the standard Atom combo we’re used to and feel a bit low-end, but that’s to be expected.

Engadget thinks the only differentiation netbooks have is cost, something with which we staunchly disagree – just check out the new facial recognition and GPS netbook technologies on the way. However, for low end models such as these, their statement is quite true. We’ll let you know if these netbooks make it to the market.

Via Engadget.

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