Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery they say. Well if that is true then the new Envy from HP is very flattering to Apple. When I first saw the leaked imaged of the new Book from HP I thought it was a mockup with the Apple logo removed.
But that was only with a glance; once I looked it was obvious it was not a Mac. Still, it is close in the front image. After that first impression I started reading a little more about the Envy.
It was then that I realized that this new book is using a name from the Voodoo line without actually being a Voodoo product. This is an interesting development. Right now all of the Boutique PC makers are having a rough time as custom built PCs and system are a luxury commodity that many just simply do not see as necessary. This move could be a way for HP to convey a sense of quality and performance but at a lower price.
The HP Envy should be out in both 13 and 15 Inch flavors but no official specs have been released. I am curious to see what the Envy 13 and 15 do have under the hood so that we will know if HP took more than the name from Voodoo.
Remember the Dual Screen Laptop we told you about? Well there is some additional information out about it now.
It is looking like the specifications are firming up (although they could change). The first models out should be either 16 or 17 -inches. They will have a 2.8 or 2.53GHZ Core 2 Duo (T9600 or T8700, up to 4GB of DDR2 800 RAM, an Intel P45M chipset and an nVidia 9800M with 512MB dedicated memory.
These specifications are interesting. I would have thougt they would be planning for a mobile quad core and a better GPU but as they say all of the specifications are subject to change.
Pricing and availability is still up in the air but we do know that the first models will be sold directly from gScreen or on Amazon. They hope to have these available in Best Buy within one year from launch. Personally I cannot wait to try one of these out. I tend to always need more and more screen real estate as I work.
There should be additioanl images and a video of the gScreen in action soon.
You know, I really have to wonder what is going to happen to the netbook if and when the "thin and light" ntoebooks get off the ground.
For example take a look at the new Samsung X Series. These are 11.6 - 14.6 inch books that in many cases weigh less (as little as 3 ounces) than a standard netbook but have greater performance and power. Battery life has been increased to an impressive 9 hours on paper.
Yet under the hood sits a dual core CULV CPU and a GPU capable of some decent resolutions. Of course the price on them is much higher (about three times that of your average netbook) but still as people are looking for more portability but do not want to sacrifice power these should become more popular.
So how do you kill an ultra-portable? Well if you are Sony you stick an Atom CPU inside it and try to charge an arm and a leg.
That seems to be what Sony has going on with the new VAIO X. The new book is an astonishing ½-inch thick and managed to make the Macbook Air look bulky but as it has a very low powered Atom under the hood it will have some performance issues that will, unfortunately, make it a bad deal.
There is simply no way that Sony can price this in line with its performance. No additional specifications have been announced at this time and of course there is no word on pricing. But no matter what the price is, it will be too much.
At this point Sony is making Apple pricing look like a deal.
Update - Nicole from Netbooknews has gone hands-on with the device and you can watch the video below.
After we heard the big news on Tegra being dropped into the new Zune HD we had a chance to talk to nVidia about this new System on Chip product.
At the time nVidia was unusually willing to talk about future generations of Tegra but was very tight lipped about what Tegra might be used in.
We hear tiny rumors of Smart Books, Smart Phones, and MIDs in general but nothing concrete or detailed.
Well now we hear that Tegra could be making its way into products from both Lenovo and Acer. But that is not the only interesting news, it seems that unlike many ARM based products these will not be running Embedded XP or Android but Google's Chrome OS. There is no indication on if these will be called netbooks or if they will be the new "Smart Books" that have been talked about.
This development will be fun to watch on many levels. With Tegra it will show if the tiny system can indeed keep up in the computing world. Meanwhile Chrome OS will need to show that it can compete in the world of Windows and OSX.
We will be watching this development very carefully to see if the rumors are true and how they play out if they are.
Asus' Eee (EEE??) PC line up has been aired. Someone has gotten a hold of a few slides from what looks like an inside product/roadmap briefing and they have put them up on the internet. This means that as of right now just about everyone has read them.
So what is new in the Eee line up? Well the first thing that jumps out is the switch from XP Home to Windows 7. This does not mean that the Eee PC is now a power house. It just means that MS is pushing the new OS and it is slimed down enough to work on the new netbooks (I have it installed on an MSI Wind U100).
Next up is the inclusion of nVidia ION chipsets. This comes as a surprise; there was much talk at Computex from Asus that they would not be moving to ION. However it is interesting to note that ASRock (still controlled partially by Asus) has a couple of ION offerings. This may have been a case of Asus using ASRock to test the waters and once they saw they were ok, jumping in themselves.
Last on the list is the inclusion of a few touch/multi-touch models. This is a very cool option and one I cannot wait to get put into play.
If you have never heard of the company gScreen you are not alone. I had never heard of them either before this morning. But they are going to be in my head for a long time to come.
gScreen is coming out with a dual screen laptop. This is not like Lenovo's where they tacked on a small 10-inch screen to one side. No this is a full dual screen notebook.
And they did not scrimp on power either. According to the specifications this book 15.4-inch book will have some healthy power under the hood.
The first model listed is the gScreen SpaceBook 2009. It should have a 2.26 C2D, 4GB DD2, 320GB 7200 RPM HDD either an nVidia 9800M GT (512MB dedicated memory) or an nVidia Quadro FX 1700M again with 512MB memory.
The dual screen mechanism is designed so that if you do not need both screens it can slide out of the way. gScreen also has 16, 17 and 13-inch models planned for the future.
gScreen hopes to have these out to the hungry public by December of 2009.
Personally I am hoping that Santa can arrange a 17-inch version of one of these with a GTX280M, Core i7 Mobile, 6GB DDR3, and a couple of 500GB SSDs under the hood for Christmas.
MSI will be joining Asus in the Pinetrail netbook market in 2010 as we hear rumors of a Wind U150 complete with touchscreen.
The new book will be unveiled at CES next year. MSI hopes to beat rival Asus to the stores with their version although we know that Asus has one in the works so this should be interesting to watch.
Pinetrail could breathe new life into the again Intel Netbook platform as it brings increased performance and graphics without using up more power or generating more heat.
There are no more details on specs or pricing but you can bet that it will have similar specs to existing Winds (160GB HDD, 1GB DDR2, etc).
The netbook world is dominated by Atom; there is no doubt about that. Atom is the primary CPU for the tiny underpowered content consumption products.
Despite this fact ARM and even AMD has been trying to get into this market. One of the leading ARM developers that have been looking to enter the netbook arena is Qualcomm. Their Snapdragon processor has intrigued the computing industry and with good reason. It is small, quick, low powered and relatively inexpensive.
For this reason Asus began looking into putting one of these under the hood of an EEE PC. They even showed one off at Computex. However it has just been released that Asus will not be implementing SnapDragon in an EEE PC any time soon if ever.
This dashes the hopes for an Android based EEE Pc for now. Granted it is possible to run Android on an x86 CPU but it would be a waste. Asus claims that the SnapDragon would not fit into the existing netbook market and that there is no real market for a "smartbook" segment either.
There has been rumor after rumor saying that Pinetrail is being delayed until 2010. Yet Intel is still maintaining that Pinetrail will be ready for a Q4 launch. so which is the correct date?
If the latest rumor about MSI is correct Intel will have the CPUs ready for a Q4 launch but many OEMs will not ship products featuring this new CPU until 2010.
However MSI wants to beat the rush and could be gearing up for push Pinetrail equipped netbooks out the door in December 2009. If this is true they will beat the competition to the market by a few weeks.
Will this lone exclusive be enough to matter? It all depends on the price point MSI can release these units at. If they are reasonably priced MSI could grab up a ton of the late Holiday tech shopping money.
Important news for any Lenovo ThinkPad owners as Lenovo announces another recall on their batteries.
This is not the first time Lenovo has had to recall its batteries but this one is not about anything overly dangerous. These batteries are merely defective and cause mundane things like "irreparable damage" errors popping up.
Other indications are your battery life becoming very short. a message saying that the battery cannot be charged. Lenovo has announced that they will replace the batteries for free and have even posted a tool to help you determine if you have a bad battery.
The affected models are R60, R61, T60, T61, X60, and the X61,
GIGABYTE has been a player in the notebook and tablet market in Europe for some time. They have put out a fairly decent array of products.
Normally products are given a good amount of PR to get people interested in buying them; this does not seem to be the case with the new Touchnote T1028X. GIGABYTE actually released this new product without an announcement at all (at least none that we could find).
The new touch screen netbook, (or net-tablet...) is an updated version of the Touchnote T1028M. This new book features an improved resolution (1366x768), an Atom N280, and a 6 Cell Battery, and of course a 10.1-inch touch screen.
This book will only be available in Europe and has an increased price 622 Euros ($880 US). It is currenlty available from a few e-tailers.
Photo courtesy of SlashGear.
On Tuesday we told you how two rumors were completely untrue. The first was the rumor about Asus delaying Netbooks. This was denied by Asus who said the only one they have to talk about right now is their upcoming 11-inch EEEPC.
After that I decided to head to the source of the rumored delay. This was another rumor that through being repeated on the internet became almost a truth. Well when I asked Intel directly they said that it was not true and that Pineview was on track for a late 2009 launch. In fact you can see that story being passed around now a day after we told you about it here.
Now the third part of the rumor, that Acer is delaying its Android based dual boot netbook is also false. Acer has come out and explained that they are also still on track for a Q3 launch of their dual boot Android Sporting Acer one.
Looks like it was a very slow news day for someone somewhere when that rumor got published.
I have been reading an interesting rumor about the Netbook market. It says that Asus and Acer are delaying netbook launches until 2010. The netbooks in question are Acer's upcoming Dual boot (XP and Android) offering and Asus' Android based model.
One of the reasons, the rumor goes on to say, is that Intel delayed Pinetrail until next year. The Acer delay is also being linked to supposed research showing a dual boot netbook is not something that will not work in the market just yet (I could have told you that). I would have thought that lesson would have been learned after the initial Linux based launches.
I wanted to know if there was any credit to the rumor so I contacted someone I know at Asus and asked directly. The response was interesting but not truly conclusive.
"I can say that at this time that the only model we have talked about is the 11-inch. When we have new models to talk about -- and we will -- we'll make a formal announcement."
To me this would indicate that no new models are planned beyond the mentioned 11-inch model in fact I was told that the launch plans have not changed at all. I do not see a true delay if they are not ready for launch as designed. After all if part of the design includes a CPU with an IGP there is no way to launch without that. If the provider of that part does not have them ready it is not a conscious delay. The rumors that are going around would seem to indicate that Asus is not launching them and making the conscious decision to wait, not that they are being forced to wait due to a lack of parts.
Of course the root of this is whether or not Intel is actually delaying the Pinetrail. This has also been plastered around the internet but as far as I can tell there has never been a confirmation from Intel. I took the opurtunity to ask Intel and was told that Pinetrail is still on track for a late 2009 launch.
As for CULVs well Asus feels that while these are new products they are not the same as when the netbook launched. They do not anticipate quite the same buzz or excitement that netbooks generated. They are planning to launch a few CULV based laptops and should be annoucing them soon.
So we have another rumor that does not stand up to the existing facts. Intel says there is no delay planned for Pinetrail, and Asus is saying they do not have any plans to change launch schedules.
As of this writing Acer has not replied to my questions.
Good grief, it seems that everyone has a netbook or a "net" system now. Phone companies are giving them away, stores are marking them and now even monitor manufacturer Viewsonic has one. The funny thing is that they are all about the same in terms of hardware so one is just about as good as another.
The Viewsonic offering is called the VNB101 and has the typical Intel Atom N280, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and the standard 160GB HDD. Nothing new to see here; except perhaps the space for a 3G SIM and a Lithium-Polymer Battery. It does look a little like an Asus with some added color but then again most netbooks look alike anyway.
But here is the rub, as with anything inexpensive to build and sell, there is a saturation point that kills the market. I think we have just about hit that point. Furthermore the marketing for the netbook/nettop is terrible. They are being marketed as inexpensive laptops. That is something they are not; just ask anyone that has tried to use to replace a standard one and you will see.
Of course I am waiting for someone like Wicked, or Vivid to make one, now that would be something interesting.
Last week we told you that Microsoft received a call from Apple asking to remove the "laptop Hunters" ads. At the time we were told that MS thought it was a joke and laughed it off.
The story said that Apple claimed that since they had reduced the price of the Mac Books by $100 then the ad was no longer accurate. Now this in itself is funny as there is very little about Apple ads that are accurate. It would be interesting to see someone ask for the ads claiming that Macs do not crash, and have no security problems to be removed. But that is for another story.
What is interesting is that some lawyers (perhaps looking for s bit of the spotlight) say that Apple might have a case. Now I am not sure what part of the world they are from but the ads clearly say what they are comparing. So if the MS ad says you can get a better 17-inch laptop for X dollars less than a Mac or for under a certain dollar ammount; and someone finds one then the ad is accurate.
Sorry Apple, it is a nice try (and I am sure they will still try) but the laptop hunters ads just do not constitute false or misleading advertising.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Newegg - Lenovo G530 Laptop with 2GHz Dual Core, 2GB of Memory, 160GB Hard Drive, DVD+/-RW and Windows Vista Home for Only $399.99 with FREE Shipping.
Offer: A Lenovo for under $400? You can thanks to a Paypal offer that they've got running, which interestingly let me check out with my regular Visa?? And even the tax is NOT the usual "bend me over and may I have another" silly but a normal tax for us Californians! Although the deal and promo code is set to last until 7/20/09, don't count on it. Use promo code: PAYPALBTS88 (expires 7/20/09)
Update: Although the Newegg deal is hot, if you're looking for one loaded with 3GB of memory, a bigger 250GB hard drive and a slightly faster processor, you can get one from Lenovo for $499.99 with free shipping.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Dell Home - Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop with 3GB of Memory and 160GB Hard Drive for Only $449 with FREE Shipping! Dell Studio 15 with Core 2 Duo, 4GB of Memory, 320GB Hard Drive and more for Only $699 with FREE Shipping!.
Offer: You've got a few options if you're looking for a nice 15" laptop! The Inspiron 15 starts out at $449 and still comes with a 2.0GHz Intel Dual Core processor, 3GB of memory, 160GB hard drive, 802.11 and Windows Vista for just $449! It even ships for free unlike the past few months! They've also got a better equipped Inspiron 15 laptop with a bigger hard drive and 6 cell battery for just $549! There's also a Studio 15 laptop with a 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, a 15.6" HD LED display, 4GB of memory, 320GB hard drive and a 6 cell battery for just $699! Expires 7/16/09.
Are you thinking you need the absolute fastest laptop on the planet? If you do and you have the cash you might want to check out the latest offering from Rock Xtreme.
The new Xtrem 790 and 840 would seem to have the top spot hands down. They each have at least one GTX280M and support for up to 6GB of DDR3 The Xtreme 790 has a 17-inch HD display, up to 1.5TB of storage (three 500GB drives in RAID),and an Intel Core i7 CPU.
The Xrtreme 840 features a larger 18.4 Inch display and Support for SLI GTX 280Ms and Core 2 Duo or Quad CPUs. Other nice extras on the 840 are customizable lighting, touch sensitive buttons and eight gaming buttons that can be setup for each game.
For extras both Xtreme models have USB 2.0, Wireless (b/g/n), a 7 in 1 card reader and a three year warranty. These come stock with Vista Home Premium but you get a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it is available.
Not matter how you slice it these are going to cost you some serious money (the top model runs at over $3,700 USD) but if performance is your thing and you can take this type of heat on your lap these might be up your alley. You can pick one up at the end of the month.
There are renewed rumors about Apple working on a small ultra portable notebook. Despite Steve Jobs' comment that he did not know a way of making a computer for $800 that was not a hunk of junk these rumors have persisted.
The latest rumors seem to have some traction though. According to China Times three players in system manufacture have received direct orders from Apple. Dynapack, Wintek, and Foxconn.
The new book should be about 9.7-inches (just to be different) will be a touch screen (ok Multi-Touch) and should be in the $800 range. It is interesting that Foxconn will be making the new book as Quanta has taken over much of the manufacturing for MacBooks.
Of course this is all rumor and might not be a netbook, ultrathin or anything at all resembling one. Apple has a history of doing their own thing and I cannot see them trying to enter and really compete in the netbook market. This is especially considering the "cheap" label that netbooks have in the market.
Q3 will be a good quarter for Intel fans. In addition to Lynnfield Intel should release new Celerons (the SU2300 and 743) for ultrathin laptops. This will be in conjunction with the release of the Core 2 Extreme XE 2GHz, Core 2 Quad P2 1.73GHz and Core 2 Quad P1 1.6GHz. The last there are all Clarksfield CPUs.
The Clarksfield parts should launch more toward the Q3 to Q4 crossover date while the Celerons will hit near the end of September.
Desktop CPUs (as we have mentioned) will get the P55 and Lynnfield in early September (around the 10th). Server CPUs will get a nice improvement with a whole new range of Xeon CPUs coming out.
There was no word on when the new Xeons will be released but they should be out sometime in Q3. Intel is not commenting on the new information that has been leaked.