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 is set to release new satellite notebooks this Sunday. The new T200 line of notebooks will address common consumer complaints about the satellite 115 and satellite 135 notebooks. The majority of the complaints dealt with physical characteristics of the notebooks rather than performance. The glossy texture was easily scratched and showed smudges clearly. The slick keys were also troublesome for some buyers.
The Toshiba T215 and Toshiba T235 will have less gloss, raised keys, and a larger touchpad. The T215 will come with an 11.6 inch screen and the T235 will feature a 13.3 inch display.
The base price of the Toshiba T215 will be $470.00 and the Toshiba T235’s $550.00.
T215 Specs and Information:
- AMD Athlon II Neo single or dual core processor
- Up to 2GB of DDR3 RAM
- Up to 320 GB HB
- 3.3 lbs
- 11.6″ screen
- HDMI Port
- Built-in Webcam
- Preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium
T235 Specs and Information:
- AMD Athlon II Neo, Turion™ II Neo, or Intel Pentium dual-core processor
- Up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM
- Up to 320 GB HB
- 3.9 lbs
- 13.3″ screen
- HDMI Port
- Built-in Webcam
- Preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium
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.
For computer users who want a small, portable device, there exist two options: netbooks and tablets. But how does one decide between the two devices? According to technology analyst Tim Bajarin, the main difference lies in what he calls content consumption vs. content creation. The terms are self-explanatory: content consumption is looking at and absorbing others’ content, while content creation is the making of content oneself.
Content creation takes up 25 percent of the time people spend on computers. The other three quarters of the time is spent consuming content. This distinction is important to make because netbooks (and laptops) are good for content creation, but tablets are good for content consumption.
Ultimately, a user must assess his or her own needs when deciding between a netbook or a tablet. If someone already owns a laptop, a tablet can be a nice supplement for content consumption. Indeed, tablets are optimized for content consumption, much more so than laptops or netbooks. But for users who need to create a lot of content, a netbook is probably a better choice than a tablet.
Via PC Magazine.
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.
Apple has acknowledged that a small percentage of the hard drives used in MacBooks bought between May 2006 and December 2007 are defective. Unfortunately for users, this defect manifests itself in a hard drive failure: the affected laptops simply stop working and display a question mark on a file icon when they are turned on.
Luckily for these affected users, Apple has announced that they are eligible for a free replacement under a warranty extension. Apple is encouraging users with this frustrating problem to go to an Apple store or contact customer support for a replacement. Those who have already paid for repairs may be eligible for a refund.
Unfortunately, a hard drive replacement won’t bring back lost data (so please, please make sure you are backing up to an external hard drive or some other form of reliable backup). The new warranty extension extends either three years from purchase date or to August 15, 2010, whichever is longer.
Via PC World, image via Apple.
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.
The S10-3t will function as a standard netbook, but users will also be able to pivot and fold the screen down, allowing them to use the device as a tablet as well. As demand for multi-touch support seems to be increasing these days, especially for tablet devices, the S10-3t also uses capacitive technology to offer multi-touch support. Lenovo is not the first company to release a convertible netbook, but it may be the first to release one that supports multi-touch technology.
The device itself comes with a full keyboard, 10.1″ screen with 1024 x 600 resolution, 3.5 hour battery life (optional six-cell battery provides approximately seven hours), 1GB of DDR2 memory and a 170GB, 5400rpm hard disk drive. Lenovo has not confirmed whether or not USB ports or a webcam will be present on the device, but rumors say they probably will.
Lenovo has cited the use of Windows 7 Starter Edition, which presumably does not offer touchscreen support. To compensate for this pitfall, the company has created its own multi-touch interface on the netbook, as well as included DirectShare, an app that allows users to sync their netbooks to PCs. An upgrade for the S10-3t is also underway, which you can read about here.
Features of the S10-3t, including ones mentioned above, are:
• Processor — 1.66GHz Intel Atom N470
• Chipset — NM10 I/O controller
• Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 2GB
• Display — 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution
• Camera — n/s
• Storage — 160GB, 5400rpm hard disk drive
• 2 x Mini PCI Express (1 likely filled by WLAN card)
• LAN — 10/100 Ethernet
• WLAN — 802.11b/g/n
• Other I/O — USB (presumed)
• Battery — Three-cell or six-cell, with 3.5 or 7 hours of operation, respectively
• 10.55 x 6.61 x 1.22 inches (268 x 168 x 31mm) with three-cell battery
• 10.55 x 6.61 x 1.45 inches (268 x 168 x 37mm) with six-cell battery
• 2.42 pounds (1.1kg) with three-cell battery
• 2.64 pounds (1.25kg) with six-cell battery
The starting price for Lenovo’s new device is the same as the iPad: $500.
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.
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.
The netbook has a 10.1-inch touchscreen, $399 price tag, and HP’s TouchSmart multitouch software. We’ll be able to get our hands on it later in January.
HP also tweaked its other netbooks in the $300 range and added a new HP TouchSmart tablet – the TouchSmart TM2 – for $949, available January 17th.
ASUS has added its UL30 CULV notebook to Amazon, available for pre-order for a hefty $849. Officially designated the ASUS UL30Vt-A1, ASUS’ new machine is a tier above the netbook market in both pricing and power.
The ASUS UL30 features an Intel Core 2 Duo chip at 1.3 GHz, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 500 GB HDD, and Nvidia G210M graphics with 512 MB of VRAM. The 13-inch UL30 comes with 64-bit Windows 7 as well.
Shipping dates for the ASUS UL30 are so far unknown.
The OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) charity organization has ambitious plans for its latest netbook design. Earlier this month, the organization announced its plans to create the impossibly thin OLPC XO-3 tablet in two years time. Now OLPC is hoping to distribute the XO-3 touchscreen laptop to impoverished children around the globe by the year 2012. Note: the projected price range of the device is less than a hundred dollars.
The original OLPC XO netbook is already out in the market and has been distributed to 1.4 million children in 35 different countries. The charity’s new creation will have a 9-inch touchscreen and will contain neither a mouse nor keyboard. It is also planned to be extremely sturdy and run an ARM processor.
If the success of its XO netbook is any indicator, OLPC will likely reach its goal and continue to provide valuable education to children who otherwise would not have the opportunity.
Via TechWatch, image via Guardian.
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.
This uber-thin netbook is yet to be officially unveiled by LG, but some images and vague specifications have leaked. It is speculated that since the LGX30 has been given to the FCC for review, already well into development. It will likely be released sometime next year. The netbook is equipped with:
- An 11.6 inch LCD screen
- An unspecified Intel Atom Processor
- Intel GMA 500 graphics card
- Built-in webcam
LG is a newbie to the netbook business, but at 1.76 pounds the LGX30 will be a strong competitor to Dell’s newly released Vostro V13. We will have to wait for an official release by LG to learn more exact details on the LGX30. As of now it seems to be another addition to the stylish, economical, and razor-thin netbook category.
Image Via Softpedia
The legal battle has officially begun over the Joo Joo, formerly known as the CrunchPad. TechCrunch owner Michael Arrington announced on Thursday that he had filed a lawsuit against former business partner Chandra Rathakrishnan, CEO of Fusion Garage. The suit alleges many wrongdoings on Fusion Garage’s part, including a number of charges that include the theft of money and property owned by TechCrunch. Rathakrishnan is not backing down, claiming that Arrignton’s allegations are false, and that her company owes absolutely nothing to TechCrunch.
The Joo Joo tablet notebook is priced at $500 and will be available for purchase at midnight tonight on the company’s website. If you want in, I’d suggest acting quickly, in case the lawyers get ahold of this thing before you can.
Image Via TheMobiler
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