DTS, Inc. (previously known as Digital Theater Systems, Inc.) is teaming up with netbook and notebook manufacturers to bring digital surround sound to computing technology by as early as 2010. Asustek Computer is already planning to adopt DTS’ audio solutions on its motherboards.
DTS’ audio solutions for PCs and mobile computing devices currently accounts for less than 5% of the company’s revenues, but this market still has a lot of potential. The proportion of DTS’ revenues comprised of audio solutions sales for PCs and other computers may rise to 15-20% by 2011.
Taiwanese stock market projections by some analysts are expecting good things for Taiwanese netbook manufacturers, according to Bloomberg.
Portfolio manager in Taipei of First Financial Investment Trust Co. Jacky Cheng explained quite simply why netbook stocks are likely to rise:
“In a bad economy, everyone is switching to the cheaper netbooks.“
Taiwanese markets took a hit after the July 28 arrival of Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan’s deadliest storm in half a century. Nevertheless, the Taiex index has seen unbelievable gains of 49% this year.
According to DisplaySearch, 2Q 2009 was lucrative for netbook industry giants, with 38 million netbook sales contributing to 22.2% of the PC market.
Demand grew 40% over the first quarter, compared to 22% growth over the same period by notebooks.
Growth wasn’t identical among all regions, however, with Latin America and China seeing the most gains. Many first-time buyers in those regions are opting for cheaper netbooks in the current tough economy.
The 12.1″ U210 netbook has an LCD display with 1366×768 resolution, is powered by a 1.6GHz AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 CPU and an ATI Radeon X1250 GPU, and has 2 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive – not bad specs at all for a netbook. Like many other netbooks, this device also has b/g/n Wi-Fi, an HDMI port, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam.
The U210 has a six-celled battery, which supposedly allows the netbook up to five hours of runtime. Dimensions of this machine are 7.4″x11.7″x1.2″ and it weighs roughly 3.2 pounds.
In addition to the multitouch display, this 24″ machine has a mini SideShow screen, a large volume knob, and media controls along the bottom for easy navigation.
Sadly, the price tag on this device is expected to fall between 1,499 and 1,900 Euros (roughly between $2,124 and $2,714 USD), but luckily, these US price estimates may sometimes fall on the high side. Click here to see a video.
Sometimes the simpler solutions are the better ones, and in the case of this clever laptop and netbook cooling device, that may just be the case. Take a look:
Looks like two boring old pieces of metal? You’re just not being creative enough. Try snapping them on to a netbook, however, and these pieces of metal tell a different story:
Coby Electronics, known for its super-cheap PCs, has put up a few netbooks for pre-order at Amazon.com, known as the (get ready for this) 10″ NBPC1022XPBLK netbook and then 12″ NMPC1220XPBLK. Say that three times fast.
The 10-inch model has a weak 2.45 hour battery life and pretty standard specs (1.6 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD) and the 12″ netbook has the same specs with a slightly weaker battery. You can find them for pre-order at $318.99 and $423.99, respectively.
Word over at Shanzai has it that Chinese PC manufacturer CASZH has created a netbook prototype featuring the Nvidia ION graphics chip. It should feature otherwise innocuous staples like the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU, a 10.1-inch display, 1024 x 600 pixels, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive.
The netbook can handle Blu-Ray decoding and HD video, but the low-res screen definitely won’t do them justice. However, with a convenient HDMI port you can hook the computer up to an HDTV and take in all of that glorious video quality.
Other features include 2 USB ports, a microphone, flash card reader, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and a 3-cell battery.
Chinese consumers could get the netbook for as low as $300, but that kind of pricing seems unlikely for US markets.
While the majority of us out there are batshit ecstatic about the upcoming Nokia Booklet 3G netbook, market research firm Canalys has a few reasons we should hold off with the prenuptial arrangements and give the Booklet a sharp look over.
One reason has to do with the distribution channels Nokia is expected to use. While Nokia has strong relationships with wireless operators in Europe and Asia, “operators only accounted for 13% of netbook shipments in EMEA in Q2 and the sector is crowded. For Nokia to drive volumes it will also need to make inroads into online and offline retailers, which is an expensive proposition.”
Secondly, Canalys isn’t super excited about price position for the upcoming netbook:
“Judging by the Booklet’s specifications and its aluminium case, Nokia will position it as a premium product, but it will be hard to sustain a high price point. Premium netbooks are a hard sell as their prices overlap with fully functional notebooks. Witness the Sony VAIO range, which has seen its share of mobile PCs in EMEA fall to just 2% from 4% over the last three years.”
Canalys also made a few points concerning the price margins Nokia expects to achieve with the new netbook. Other vendors like “Acer, ASUS and HP” work on slimmer margins than Nokia, which might put the Booklet netbook on weaker footing than expected:
“These vendors operate on far lower gross margins – around 10%, significantly below the 34% Nokia enjoys in its phone business today. Furthermore, the high-volume PC vendors enjoy significant price advantages from both Intel and Microsoft. The only chance for Nokia, or any other vendor, to change the economics of the PC industry will be through an innovative non-Windows platform.”
I can’t help but agree, but way to be a buzzkill, Canalys! It will be interesting to see how the market research firm’s predictions hold up when the Booklet is finally released.
I can’t even begin to say how convenient having a second monitor is, especially if you’re working with multiple documents or putting together presentations. But who wants to lug around a second monitor? Not to mention that it’s definitely not something at the top of your packing list if you’re traveling long-distances.
Good thing gScreen’s coming out with a dual-screen laptop. The Spacebook Laptop is to have two 15.4″ screen displays, the second of which can be stowed away behind the first when not in use.
The standard configuration for this laptop includes an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a NVIDIA GeForce 900M GT graphics chipset, 4 GB of RAM, and a 7200 rpm hard drive. Unfortunately, the price tag on this machine is a bit heavy on the pockets. This powerhouse will cost nearly $3000.
gScreen is expected to release this laptop by this holiday season, so if you’re thinking about something to get your loved one and don’t mind spending a couple (*cough cough*) extra dollars, this might be something worth looking into.
For those of you that don’t want to shell out the entire three g’s, there might also be a 13″ model in the making. We’ll keep you posted.
There hasn’t been a good rumor in a while about the upcoming Apple touchscreen tablet, but here’s one that seems pretty juicy. The Apple tablet might come in 13″ and 15″ models, in addition to the original 10″ model, and one of the larger model may run on a full Mac OS.
The 13″ and 15″ tablet models are only prototypes for now, but they’re made of aluminum and in the shape of large iPhones. When they were spotted in a factory in China, one of them “was running MAC OS X 10.5.”
Well, that’s all for this rumor, but when we get wind of anything else about Apple’s upcoming/rumored devices, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Netbooks aren’t the only devices becoming ever more popular nowadays. E-readers are growing in popularity as well. Amazon and Sony, among others, are significant players in this arena, with (respectively) the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader.
ASUS is planning on joining in on the action with an e-reader device of its own that’ll be marketed under the Eee brand, a brand that’s famous for introducing netbooks into the world.
Jerry Shen, the president of Asustek Computer, says that the earliest launch date for such an e-reader (the Eee-book Reader) will be sometime near the end of 2009.
Other companies, such as MSI, are also looking into producing e-reader devices, so if you’re interested in getting such a device in the future, you may soon have a plethora to pick from.
Jetway Information is known for making motherboards and graphics chips, but like all the other companies that aren’t specialized in manufacturing netbooks but are breaking into that market anyway, this company is planning on launching its Ecomo EM100 netbook.
The Ecomo EM100 will have a 10.1″ screen display with 1024×600 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive, and be powered by a 1.66Ghz Intel Atom N280 processor. It also has 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and a 1.3 megapixel webcam and runs on the Windows XP OS. Sounds like pretty standard specs for a netbook so far, right?
Unlike other netbooks, the Ecomo is eco-friendly, since parts of it are made from recycled packaging and recycled plastic. The Ecomo is also unique in that it is equipped with patented Audio 3D Technology that delivers high-end audio with “stable bass and sweet soprano.”
This netbook also has a multi-gesture touchpad, which allows users to scroll on a page by horizontally sliding their fingers across the touchpad, and zoom in and out on photos and maps with a pinching gesture, much like a similar functionality on the iPhone.
The dimensions of this machine are 255mmx191.2mmx27mm and it weighs roughly 1.1kg with a 3-celled battery. The EM100 netbook is set for release soon, and we’ll let you know more once we hear anything.
Competition is feverish in the netbook arena, with budget buyers and college kids opting for the cheaper PCs more than ever before. ASUS, whose woes we wrote about just days ago, seems to have taken the hit harder than initially imagined.
Once occupying the top spot for netbook sales, ASUS now holds second place. Acer has taken the lead, MSI is in third, HP in 4th and Lenovo in 5th place. Strong growth from MSI made Dell drop down to sixth. Here’s market researcher Eileen He from Gartner’s explanation:
“Acer is ranked number one because of their marketing campaign and their channel strategies… The result is similar across Asia-Pacific. After advertising and product design changes, Acer has bounced to number one.”
Netbooks as a whole, however, showed a 398.4% year on year leap by Q2 2009.
The Gigabyte Booktop M1022 is a netbook with a generally standard lineup of features – Windows XP, an Intel Atom CPU, and 1 GB of RAM. It doesn’t do much to set itself aside from the competition, except for in one respect. I quote Gigabyte marketing:
“The differentiator, the feature that sets the Booktop M1022M apart from all the other products, is the Booktop Docking Station.”
Take a look:
The docking station is a useful way to charge your netbook without fiddling with cables, and it looks cool too.
Netbooks are small in general, but the Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 pretty much takes the cake. With a 5-inch display and QWERTY keyboard, this midget of a machine looks more like an MID than anything else.
However, it features a full OS (Ubuntu Linux), a 1024 x 600 touchscreen display, and the 800 MHz Freescale i.MX515 CPU. Flash storage is a miniscule 4 GB, and RAM is only 512 MB.
Ports and other features are surprisingly luxurious, including 2 USB ports, a microSDHC expansion port, and Wi-Fi.
Japanese consumers will get the Sharp Netwalker PC-Z1 as early as September 25th for around $479. We’ll have to wait and see if US markets will get access to this little netbook for now, but we’ll have the news for you as soon as it’s out there. Stay tuned.
In fact, for some companies, such as Acer, the rise in netbook sales has resulted in overall losses, which shows that low-cost netbooks are cannibalizing the company’s more expensive products and that a consumer-driven focus is indeed risky.
Netbooks play a major factor in the overall falling prices of computing devices and are not as profitable as other computing technology, such as laptops and desktops. For Acer specifically, the profit from selling a notebook is six times that from selling a netbook.
Currently, Acer is a leader in netbook manufacturing and sales, and market research firm IDC expects the company’s shipments to rise roughly 127% this year. Acer itself predicts that shipments in the second half of 2009 will jump 40% from the previous half.
The Suncu 12 is a pretty average netbook. It has a 12.1″ screen display with 1280×800 resolution, 1 GB of RAM, and a 160 GB hard drive, and is powered by the standard 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor.
At first glance though, you may mistake this netbook for an Acer Aspire D150, which actually has a 10.1″ screen display. The Suncu 12 is an off-brand netbook from China, and unfortunately, it’s only currently available there.
At long last, the gates are open for volunteers like you to become a part of NetbookBoards!
In light of recent successes, we here at NBB have decided to expand the subject matter of this blog. As such, it’s looking like the team needs a few new faces… faces like yours!
We’re looking for interested writers, preferably with experience in the industry, to become a part of our swiftly growing site.
Here’s how it works:
- Send us an email at admin[at]netbookboards.com (replace [at] with @).
- Include your name and a brief explanation of why you want to join the team.
- Send a sample of previous web writing as well. If you don’t have any already, send us a brief article covering a current subject in the tech industry so we can get to know your style!
- We’re looking for dedicated volunteers willing to write 10-15 articles a week with the possibility of a paid position in the future.
So go ahead – give us a buzz. We expect positions to fill quickly, and we only have a few available.
Good luck, and I look forward to working with you soon!
The Samsung NC310 netbook is here, but we’ve discovered one woefully under-marketed aspect of the netbook that we think you’ll find interesting – it can last as long as 11 hours with a battery upgrade. This beats out the majority of netbooks out there, and for a machine designed for portability that’s definitely a good thing.
Remember that the battery only lasts that long if you opt for the battery upgrade, which can be expensive. Stick with the standard battery and you’ll get a decent 5 hours of life on your Samsung NC310.
Other features on the Samsung NC310 include the Intel Atom CPU, a 10.1 inch screen, 160GB of space on the HDD, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, and an onboard 1.3 megapixel webcam.