Jointly with Intel and Microsoft, MSI held a pre-Computex press conference earlier today in Taipei to unveil its range of X-Slim notebooks including the X340 (13"), X400 (14") and X600 (15.6"). They aren't a slim as American maker Apple has got their products, but they are still pretty impressive.
The star of the show and the product which got the most snaps by fellow media was MSI's upcoming U200 netbook. You may be familiar with MSI's U100 series of netbooks using Intel's famous low power Atom processor. The U200 netbook is based on Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) platform and we were lucky enough to get hands on with it.
MSI's U200 features a 12-inch 16:9 widescreen LED display with a 720p HD capable resolution of 1366 x 768. It comes with an Intel Penryn ULV SFF 723 processor which is a single-core Celeron 723 processor clocked at 1.2GHz - no Hyper Threading, so only single core action here. Graphics are provided by the Intel GMA 4500M, yawn...
It also includes 2GB (1 x 2GB - single channel) DDR2-800 memory, 250GB hard disk drive, 802.11n, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR and after removing the battery, we also noticed a SIM card slot on the back for 3G mobile Internet access. It weighs in at 1.4KG with the 3-cell 2200mAh battery installed - don't expect huge battery life hours with this.
Overall impressions are quite good. The plastic material used is stylish and very smooth, track pad was okay but maybe a little too shiny making it a little hard to move the cursor around, but it might have just needed a clean.
It managed to score a Vista rating of 3.2 with the lowest performing part being the Celeron CULV processor. Unsurprisingly, the graphics sub-system was not far behind.
More pictures for your viewing pleasure below:
More coming right up - stay tuned!
Intel has laid out its plans for the netbook and the notebook according to the gang over at Engadget.
For the most part things look the same for the netbook until Pineview arrives with the N280/GN40 combo most likely being dropped.
For thin and light notebook Intel's Calpella is the next big thing but will arrive a little late for the back-to-school buying season.
Read more here
with Intel announcing that it's even thinking about retiring the newer Atom N280 processor and GN40 chipset entirely, leaving the older and more common N270 with its 945GSE as the main choice until September, when the new Pineview Atom chips might finally hit production. The company is also creating a whitebox N270-based 8.9-inch netbook that it's shopping around to resellers, again not doing any favors to fans of variety. Moving up to skinny 12- to 13-inch notebooks, Intel is still pushing its CULV architecture, and has its dual-core Calpella platform poised for inclusion in anything with a targeted MSRP of $1,200 and above -- and a release date sometime after the third quarter
Tim Brown from VIA Tech and sponsored enthusiast mobile site H2BM take a quick look at a bunch of new 11.6" FreeStyle Thin & Light netbooks from Taiwanese maker Dr.Mobile.
ASUS showed off the upcomming Eee PC T91 convertible tablet at this year's CES back in January and it looks like they are finally getting close to bringing it to the market, sometime in the next month or so.
The T91 comes packed with features including an 8.9" LED backlit touchscreen, GPS, a TV tuner, and is powered buy the Atom Z520 processor all running on Windows XP. The T91 convertible tablet is expected to be available in both black and white and will cost about £449.
Looks like Dell is moving to the Android OS for its next Netbooks. At least that the rumor after a developer let slip a little nugget of information.
The rumor sprang into life after BSquare announced it had ported Adobe Flash Lite 3.17 over to Android for Dell's upcoming netbooks. Funny thing though, Dell has not announced any netbooks using Android.
Dell has not responded to the PR as of this writing.
Read more here
BSquare says it's porting Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology for Dell's upcoming netbooks, such as the Dell Mini Inspiron 910. Obviously Dell has not commented the press release, published Wednsday.
If Dell is indeed working on Android netbooks, this could be very good news for Google's OS, as at this point very few vendors have embraced it, or said they indend to.
Asus is prepping an Aluminum EEEPC for release to the general public. Dubbed the 1002HAE this new netbook will have almost exactly the same specs as the 1002HA with the exception of an upgraded CPU (Atom N280) but will be made with aluminum overlays.
The move will shave a cool 50g off of the weight but wont take more from your wallet.
As of this writing the 1002HAE will only be available in Japan. Looks like the rest of us will have to wait.
Read more here
The 1002HAE is actually identical to the 1002HA in terms of features, with one exception, the CPU has been upgraded to an Atom N280, and the aluminium inlays of course. The 1002HAE has also managed to shed 50g in weight, so it seems like aluminium is lighter than plastic, at least in this implementation.
Considering the asking price of 49,800 Yen, or €379 (£333/$504) it's actually priced at the same level as the 1002HA in Europe, which makes it a pretty decent deal at the end of the day. The 1002HAE will be available in three colour, red, blue and black. It's still unknown if this model will become available outside of Japan.
Well the long awaited for Asus EEE PC 1008HA Seashell has finally hit the stores in the UK. The new EEE offering is not much of a departure from the other models in terms of hardware but it is supposed to be slimmer.
The UK Price including the Very Annoying Tax (VAT) is 379 British Pounds.
For that you get a 1.6GHz Atom N280, 160GB HDD, and the stock 10-inch screen powered by GMA graphics.
Read more here
A ASUS is finally ready to start selling the latest installment in the Eee PC family, the 1008HA Seashell that we've seen popping up here and there at various prices. The official, tax-inclusive UK price of £379 is now confirmed, which is perhaps a little steep for this svelte but otherwise identical revision to the franchise, still offering that good 'ol 1.6GHz processor, 160GB hard disk, 10-inch screen, and GMA graphics.
Just as NVIDIA work its PR machine pimping the ION low-cost, small computer systems (which deliver better graphics performance than pure Intel Atom based systems), a guy by the name of Vladimir Plenskiy comes along to slightly spoil the party.
Vladimir Plenskiy has developed a tweaking tool called GMABooster which is apparently able to boost your graphics performance by 2.4 times, according to the maker.
Take your standard Intel Atom netbook, laptop or nettop with Intel GMA 950 graphics chip - each mobile chipset (945GM/GME/GMS or GSE943/940GML/GU Express) is of the low voltage version kind and hence has the GMA 950 graphics chips' core clock speed is clocked lower than usual.
GMABooster promises to unlock the graphics power of the GMA 950 by adjusting the clock speed from 133MHz up to 400MHz, which is the default GMA clock in a "normal" desktop Intel 945 chipset.
With everyone fighting for a piece of the netbook market it is not surprising to see ARM and Android finally enter the fray.
The Alpha 680, as it will be called is going to have some minimal specs including an ARM11 CPU running at 533MHz this is the same CPU that is used in the iPhone and many other smart phones. The display will be 7-inches and have a resolution of 800x480. RAM ahd HDD space will be in short supply with a maximum of 256MB of DDR2 and only a 1GB SSD for storage.
The Alpha 680 should retail at around $250 and is expected to hit the channel in roughly three months.
Computerworld seems to think this setup has a change to wrest the netbook market away from Intel's Atom but with its extremely low processor power and limited RAM/Storage I personally have my doubts.
Read more here
The Alpha 680, designed by Guangzhou Skytone Transmission Technologies Co., is going through final testing now, Nixon Wu, Skytone's co-founder, told Computerworld exclusively.
The 50-employee company, located in Guangzhou, a city in southern China, is aiming to have final prototypes ready by June, with manufacturers likely to introduce models to the market one to two months after that, Wu said.
The Alpha 680 caused a flurry of excitement after it was spotted online earlier this week by Computerworld blogger Seth Weintraub.
Well the first Core i7 Laptops might be available in the EU in May. The new mobile behemoth will have a Core i7 920, a GTX 280M with 1GB of DDR3 memory all its own, 2GB of DDR3 1066 memory for the CPU (why they did not go for triple channel I do not know) and a 12 cell battery.
It is going to be a rather thick book as well measuring 397 x 298 x 51-60 mm (15.6 x 11.7 x 2 - 2.3 Inches). Still if you are looking for the most power you can carry around with you, or bragging rights this is the book to look for.
Read more here the page is in German but the details are all in English.
According to a report by Economic Daily News via DIGITIMES, MSI will display a netbook at the Computex Taipei 2009 trade show, which is due to kick off in about five weeks time on June 2nd.
Last year heralded in the launch of Microsoft's Windows XP on enough netbooks to sink a battleship. This year it seems like the rage is going to be netbooks with Google's Linux operating system Android installed.
If the report is true, MSI is set to demo new netbooks running the alternative operating system and they are sure to get a lot of attention during the show.
We'll report back with more later on this, but at this stage it should be considered nothing more than a rumor.
It seems the very product that Intels Atom N280 and GN40 chipset is geared for is keeping the duo from showing its full potential.
Intel's Atom N280 combined with the GN40 chipset are designed for netbooks and one of their main selling points is hardware video decoding. The problem lies in that for the platform to a show performance increase, DirectX 10 and DXVA 2.0 (DirectX Video Acceleration 2.0) is required.
Most netbooks are still selling with Windows XP and as such can't make use of the enhanced features that Intel's platform provides. HKEPC took one of the netbooks with Intel's platform and confirmed it was an issue with Windows XP when they proved it only worked on Vista.
Interestingly enough, DigiTimes dug into the issue a little bit and contacted some vendors in Taiwan, and they say that the issue doesn't exist. For those that plan on using a netbook for video decoding, keep this in mind when making your purchase.
The Apple Netbook rumors are gaining traction as Digitimes is now claiming to have found the manufacturer of the fabled mini Apple book.
Digitimes is quoting the Chinese Language paper Commercial Times as the source for the new information. If all is right and well in the rumor world Foxconn will be the maker of the Apple's latest offering.
Previous rumors place the device at 10-Inches with a touch screen and a few other goodies under the hood.
Read a little more here.
After many statements to the opposite it seems that Steve Jobs may have wised up to the netbook craze.
According to a story over at Fudzilla the Patron Saint of Mac is hard at work on designs for an over $500 netbook (possibly with $100 worth of parts) to offer to the Mac fans out there.
Jobs is scheduled to return to work in June which could indicated a launch date for the new product if these rumors of a 10" NetMac are true.
Read more at Fudzilla.
According to the WSJ the netbook will be larger than the iPhone/iPod touches, yet smaller than any of its laptops. Apple has placed an order for 10-inch touchscreens from a Taiwan distributor for delivery in the third quarter so the idea is that these could be for Jobs' new netbooks. However if this was true then it would kill off another popular rumour that Apple is about to release a tablet. They could be the same thing of course. Apple's netbook would actually be a tablet, but we suspect that the tablet would be a lot more upmarket than a netbook.
GIGABYTE showed off three upcomming netbooks back at CeBIT this year, and Fudzilla managed to catch that GIGABYTE has now posted the specs of them on their website.
The S1024 ThinNote will have a 1.8" HDD available in either 60GB or 80GB sizes and will be powered by an Atom N270 Processor. It will have a 6-cell batter and weigh in at just 890g.
GIGABYTE's Booktop M1022 will have the option of the Atom N280 or N270 CPU. It will also 2.5" SATA HDD, a 10.1" screen, and a Wii style docking station.
Rounding out the trio of new netbooks is the Touch Note T1028. It will also have the option of the Atom N280 or N270 CPU and a 2.5" SATA HDD. GIGABYTE hasn't given up on the touch concept and it will have a 10.1" swivel touch screen.
As GIGABYTE has the netbooks on their site, they should be launching sometime in the near future. All three are expected to be right around $500.
I think I will file this one in the very funny drawer. Internetnews.com is saying that Microsoft might be losing ground in the netbook market as the OS of choice.
When I first read that I thought it would be an interesting read; then I got to the part where it is all about the manufacturers looking at Android and Linux to replace Windows. This had me laughing as it was the very same manufacturers (Dell, HP, Asus) that asked Microsoft for XP due to large customer returns of the Linux based models.
Ok, yes Linux and Android are free, this will enable netbooks to sell for the same price and have more margin of profit. But the issue is that the majority of people buying netbooks right now are not Linux Savvy. They are going to get it home (after the Best Buy Clerk tells them what a great deal it is) and be completely lost with the OS.
This will result in even more returns and cost even more money to the manufactures. I am not sure why the sudden Linux resurgence but it is still not quite ready for the masses, and this is from someone that runs several different distros.
Read more here
Google's Android, some analysts and observers think, could displace Windows in one of today's hottest markets - but it could be a tough battle for the interlopers, too.
Since nearly the inception of netbooks a couple of years ago, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has had an apparent lock on providing the operating system for so-called netbooks. In fact, the software titan's Windows XP has become the de facto standard on netbooks in the past year.
HP has taken the plunge into the ridiculous. They together with Intel have hired a design firm to develop laptops especially for Women.
I am sure that many of the professional Women that I know will be highly offended by the stereotypes represented by some of these designs. That is not to say they will not sell, quite the opposite I can see a line of excited teens lining up to buy the HP Makeup seen below.
Although this is one of the more absurd and ludicrous designs HP does show off one called the HP Mama that looks like it is catering to a Single Working Mom, while the HP Fitness just made me laugh.
Take a look here
If you'll press the big button, the screen will change to a mirror mode. Laptop also has on-nail printing device.
Rumors that Apple is working on developing a netbook have surfaced. It might not be so far fetched either.
Pictured in a Russian magazine, the MacBook Mini pictured above essentially appears to be a miniaturized MacBook Air. It supposedly features an Atom Z740 processor, 2GB of DDR3 and an NVIDIA chipset. Now that NVIDIA is working with Apple, it woudln't be too surprising to see something like this, especially with an ION chipset
Some non-believers are saying that the picture above is just an elaborate PhotoShop job. As there hasn't been anything official from Apple and it is April Fool's day, we aren't holding our breath.
OCZ announced they they now have another offering in their Do-It-Yourself lineup. Their latest entry into the DIY category is the Neutrino 10.1" Netbook.
The Neutrino features a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor paired with the Intel 945GSE core logic. The 10.1" display has a resolution of 1024x600 and will output to an external display up to 1600x1200. Also built into the Neutrino is a 1.3MP webcam with microphone, 802.11 b/g, and a 4 cell 2200 mAh battery.
Options for doing it yourself include up to 2GB of DDR2-667 memory, support for up to 250GB of storage as either an SSD or HDD, and a 4-in-1 card reader. The netbook, LCD, and batter are all backed by a 1-year warranty.
2009-03-30-San Jose, Calif.-March 30, 2008-OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a worldwide leader in innovative, ultra-high performance and high reliability memory, components, and systems, today unveiled the Neutrino netbook, their latest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) solution. Building on OCZ's award-winning DIY line, users ranging from hardware enthusiasts to mainstream professionals can partake in configuring and building their own personalized ultra-mobile solution, complete with everything they need in a portable companion.
"There are many consumers that desire the blend of essential functionalities and an ultra compact form factor, and our new Neutrino Do-It-Yourself netbooks based on Intel Atom technology allows users to design and configure their very own solution tailored to their unique needs," commented Alex Mei, CMO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The Neutrino DIY netbook puts the control back in the hands of consumers by allowing them to configure a feature rich netbook with their own memory, storage, and preferred OS into a reasonably priced go-anywhere computing solution."
It looks like Verizon has officially confirmed the company will start selling netbooks, and will do so by the end of June.
Verizon is afraid that AT&T is stealing some of their thunder. AT&T has been offering Acer and Dell Mini's for a while and needs to get in the game fast before they lose too much ground.
The real question to be asking though is not when, but what will Verizon have to offer? The quick and easy solution would be for Verizon to have offerings from either HP or Dell since Verizon has worked with both for quite some time.
There have been rumblings of using ARM for netbooks (I wonder how well they will 1080p) and of course there is much ado about what OS will be used.
ARM has asked Microsoft to port Windows 7 over so that people with the low power SoC ARM setup can run that as an option. But the Linux community is already one step ahead.
It seems that Unbuntu is in the process of being ported as it Xandros; however Novel has decided not to port over and has stated there will be no SUSE for ARM based netbooks for now.
If Ubuntu and Xandro for ARM get out quickly Linux may again beat MS to the punch like they did when netbooks were first introduced.
Read more here
But Novell Inc. said no, for now. Markus Rex, acting senior vice president and general manager for open platform solutions at Novell, told Computerworld on Monday: "There certainly is a lot of hype around ARM-based netbooks, [but] at the moment, we don't do anything on ARM-based devices."
"Linux runs just fine on ARM," Rex said. "But we decided to focus on a couple of opportunities that are in the pipeline now."