Our good friend Mario Gastelum sent out a press release today announcing yet another 10-inch netbook from the folks at Smoothcreations.
This new baby is called the "Wedge" since it will supposedly, err wedge, into any tight place. It features the usual kick ass Smoothcreations paint job with several scary-looking skulls on the front under the keyboard and a large single skull on the back side of the screen.
The "Wedge" netbook is powered by an Intel Atom CPU at 1.6, with a 120 GB Hard drive, and 1.0 GB of Gskill memory, built in wireless, along with a nice 10 inch display. The CEO of SmoothCreations, Jim Saling, the "Wedge" netbook was designed to be a reliable on-the-go mobile solution for professionals, business people, students and ordinary folks that want a compact yet powerful mobile computer solution. The "Wedge" netbook is reliable, compact and affordable. To the enlightenment of pc users - the "Wedge" netbooks come pre-installed with Windows XP and are also available with Vista.
Wedge netbooks are available now for immediate delivery and if you want to go all out, custom artwork designs, configurations, and upgrades are available. Each "Wedge" netbook is custom painted and serialized. You can grab one for around $500 USD, from what we were told.
You can find more details on the Wedge netbook over at the press release which we uploaded, right here.
Smoothcreations has just announced its Smoothbook "Slice" netbook and according to the press release we received, it gets its name since the notebook as thick as two slices of bread. Interesting logic right there but whatever works.
Each 8.9-inch Slice netbook is custom painted, comes with an Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.6GHz along with a 100GB hard drive and 1.5GB of RAM from GSkill. It comes pre-installed with Windows XP but you can also have the option of Vista if that is more to your style. We don't have many other details at this stage.
At press time there were no details on pricing, but is said to be available for purchase now from Smoothcreations and NCIX.
Sony has announced a voluntary recall of several VAIO series notebooks after receiving customer reports of overheating, including one of a customer suffering minor burns.
Affected models fall into the VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300 and VGN-TZ2000 series. If you have one of these you should stop using your notebook immediately and contact the company to see if you need a repair, even though Sony says only a small number of units are affected.
Sony describes the issue as a wiring problem that could lead to overheating particularly around the notebook's hinge.
Sony is offering free on-site inspection and, if necessary, repair. Alternatively you can ship the notebook to a company service center.
You can find more information including contact details here.
Here's one for the nostalgia freaks, the once mighty Commodore name is set to rise again, this time as a 10" netbook.
Those of us who honed our early tweak skills in front of brown on beige keyboards, typing PEEK and POKE commands out of magazines, and loading software from cassette tapes, the Commodore UMMD 8010/F is likely at least stand out among likes of the Eee and Wind, even though its only link to the VIC 20, C64 and Amiga is its name.
The netbook also sets itself appart from the majority on the hardware front with its use of Via's 1.6GHz C7M CPU rather than the Intel Atom. Whether this was due to costs, availability or something else we're not sure, but it does mean we may see future models supporting the impressive Via Nano.
Other specs include the previously mentioned 10" screen, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and optional Bluetooth. A card reader, VGA out and USB ports are also included. Available colours are black, white, grey and pink (what is it with manufactures and pink netbooks?)
Pricing is said to start at £325, with Windows XP and Linux versions available. Sadly no mention of an Amiga OS4.0 option as yet.
During NVISION, NVIDIA's fancy new show held just the week after IDF, Scott over at Tech Report managed to get his hands on Gigabyte's upcoming M912V netbook - he even managed to get some Gigabyte booth babes to pose for the photo and that is the type of thing we like to encourage.
The girls are suited up in skimpy pink outfits... oh crap - focus on the tech side of it! Yes, err, well it has an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel webcam as well as three USB 2.0 ports. Specs wise that should put it right up against most new ASUS Eee PC and performs pretty close to each other.
Where the M912V netbook excels is that it features a 8.9" screen with 1280x768 resolution and it is touch-sensitive, swivels 180 degrees and even folds down for tablet-style usage. According to the report, "The M912V is slated to ship next month, and will be coming to North America at a starting price of $799. The demo unit we saw had a 160GB mobile hard drive, although up to 250GB is possible. The OS choices should include the tablet edition of Windows XP and Windows Vista Basic. Prices should drop once the M912V settles into the market, although the initial price tag doesn't seem too bad considering the functionality involved. This is no cut-rate laptop, but it is a pretty well-appointed ultraportable tablet PC for well under a grand. Gigabyte may even integrate an antenna and digital TV receiver into a future version of this netbook to further sweeten the deal."
There is plenty more information and pictures over here.
Dell is making a concerted effort to attack ASUS' Eee Portfolio, according to this report from Engadget.
Citing this article from DIGITIMES, it is claimed that Compal Electronics, the beneficiary of Dell outsourcing the production of over two million notebooks in Q3, will also be working with a 10" netbook, expected to launch in October.
Previous indications suggested, that Dell's E-Series netbook offerings would consist of 8.9" and 12.1" iterations, however it appears that the company is striving to broaden the horizons and desirability of its new range by dabbling, in some diversification.
Round Rock, TX based Dell, clearly expects to ruffle feathers at Apple and ASUS, with the 10" model being associated with monthly shipment figures in the region of 400,000 to 450,000.
With the E-Series looking rather dashing, it seems apparent that this market segment is about to get that little bit more crowded and it will take not only brains, but also brawn, to succeed.
ASUS is getting trendy and upmarket with its Eee portfolio.
Aiming to now tap in to a more sophisticated segment of its intended marketplace, the Eee PC S101 has now been, revealed, thanks to HKEPC.
Going for a slick colour palate choice, the Eee PC S101 will clearly turn heads and may even, end up dropping the Eee PC name tag, causing ASUS to diverse, yet again, from a more boutique-like viewpoint.
Taking the limelight from its, current, Eee PC 901 sibling, it is immediately apparent that ASUS has accomplished a feat by slimming the thickness of the S101, down, to between 16 and 21 millimetres. This does not prevent the S101 from touting its 10.2" display, or drawing attention to itself with its SSD storage options.
Expected to be fuelled by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU paired with an Intel 945 GME solution, storage capacity will come courtesy of either, as already mentioned, SSD solutions of 32 GB or 64 GB. This will place the S101 at either a $699 or $899 price point, depending on the storage capacity chosen.
ASUS is clearly upping the ante in its quest against Apple, with the S101 appearing to openly challenge the domination of Apple's MacBook Air.
That isn't all however. In proving its commitment to the Eee brand, DIGITIMES reports that ASUS has launched Eee Storage and Eee Download initiatives, both to provide Eee PC users with added functionality.
Eee Download offers a choice of roughly 3000 game and software titles for Eee PC users to utilise, with compliments. This is a stepping stone, apparently, to the establishment of an online store that will allow Eee PC users to download, amongst other content, music.
Notably, whilst the service will initially be available to the Chinese-language market, it will be rolled out not only to the rest of the Eee PC segment but also, it is claimed, to other ASUS notebook and motherboard lines too.
Eee Storage, as its name indicates, provides Eee PC users with 20 GB of online storage capacity, providing drag-and-drop functionality, for ease of use.
Tech Connect has learned from a slide shot posted over at Engadget in China that ASUS plan to keep their Eee PC lineup fresh and lively a good distance into the future. Where we have already seen the introduction of 700, 900 and 1000 series Eee PCs, the slide shot reveals no less than six more upcoming models split into two additional market segments; PRO Fashion and Ultimate.
While all current Eee PCs are going for the "Smart Casual" look, the upcoming portable PCs are included in the "PRO Fashion" and "Ultimate" categories. The 'fashionable' models are the 1000HV, 1002SA, 1002HA and T101 with a decent guess being that all will have 10-inch LCD screens with at least the 1000HV and 1002HA being equipped with hard drives.
The 'Ultimate' models prepped by Asus are the S101 and S91 and they are supposed to be the MacBook Air of the netbook world due to their light weight and slim body. Since all this info should actually be under wraps we don't have a release date for either new model. But we can wait.
By default ASUS' Eee PC 900/901 netbooks are limited to a maximum of 20GB flash storage with 4GB onboard. However, Buffalo comes to the rescue and today announces two solid state drives designed to replace the lower capacity flash drives in these units.
Available in sizes of 32 and 64GB, this offers quite a bump in storage space to allow for much more flexibility in the way users can operate their Eee PC 900/901 netbook.
Buffalo has said these two replacement drives will become available sometime during September with the 32GB model hovering around $150 and the 64GB $300.
Thanks to TechConnect for the scoop.
ASUS is clearly taking no chances with its Eee PC range. The ASUS Eee portfolio has been attracting and lapping up a great deal of media coverage recently, whilst ASUS can hardly be accused of storing all its eggs in one basket.
Spreading the Eee brand thinly appears to be at the forefront of the ASUS strategy, as details of how the upcoming Eee PC 904 HD is set to differentiate from its peers, are the topic of this report from Electronista.
We touched on the planned new Eee PC parade, earlier this week and, the story has developed further.
The 'HD' branding is, by accounts, proudly announcing the fact that the SKU features storage capacity, handled by a hard drive rather than a solid state drive.
It is believed that this enhancement will improve storage prospects, without any reflection on the price point. Previous iterations of the Eee PC that came preloaded with Windows XP, had the balance tipped against the favour of storage capacity, due to OS pricing, however this is something ASUS wants to change.
ASUS is aiming to boost the usability factor of its upcoming Eee PC 904/905 models, as these images from Eee PC News portray.
As we reported yesterday, by combining an 8.9" display unit, with a larger 10" chassis, ASUS is able to make inroads by furnishing the new Eee PC models, with a larger, deemed more usable, keyboard. The larger 10" chassis is a pass down from the Eee PC 1000 that we took an exclusive inside look at recently.
Whilst rumours of improved battery life and storage capacity are still just that, it appears that ASUS is following in the footsteps of competitor, MSI, by adopting a similar approach as seen in MSI's Wind U90.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
If anyone out there is missing the original Eee PC design which had a dinky 7" panel flanked by two black plastic borders, you may be happy to hear ASUS is planning to recreate the look with two new models, the Eee PC 904 and 905.
Both models will combine the larger 10" chassis currently available in the Eee PC 1000 (see here our exclusive inside look) with the 8.9" panel of the Eee PC 901. In effect ASUS is taking all the inconvenience of the bulkier form factor and spicing it up with the smaller 8.9" display, although to be fair you won't be losing any pixels as both the 901 and 1000 series have a resolution of 1024 x 800.
On the plus side, you will get the 1000's larger keyboard, and ASUS is also said to be considering upping battery life and storage capacity, although if they do that you can be sure pricing will go up as well.
Read more over at Digitimes.
Dell has kicked off a new line-up of consumer oriented notebooks today which they call the Studio Series. With design and aesthetics being the main motivation factor for this new line-up, you get a huge range of colours to choose from, with both 15.4 and 17" models capable of higher than usual native resolutions.
Dailytech has the full scoop on specs and options.
The new Dell Studio notebooks will be available in both 15.4" and 17" form factors and will come with a wide variety of color options for those that want to stand out in a crowd. Available colors include Jet Black, Tangerine Orange, Midnight Blue, Plum Purple, Spring Green, and Ruby Red, and Graphite Grey with Black, Red, Blue, or Pink accents.
The Studio 15 and Studio 17 notebooks come configured with a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor, Intel 965GM/PM chipset, and your choice of either an integrated Intel X3100 graphics processor or a dedicated 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 mobile GPU. Both notebooks offer display resolutions of either 1440x900 or 1920x1200.
Alright folks, we're back again!
Windows XP is so yesterday... we couldn't get really super downright excited about the new Eee PC 1000H until we installed Windows Vista Ultimate. So that's just what we tried to do...
With Lite-On's Blu-ray USB 2.0 drive in hand from a previous review, we set about trying to see if Vista will install on the new Atom 1.6GHz Eee. Play the video, will you?
Important note - After we installed all drivers and latest Windows updates, we re-ran the performance index and got a new score of 2.7 compared to 1.0. The graphics component score is now 4.0 with the gaming graphics component now scoring 2.7 - the other component scores are the same as the fresh install.
The actual real-world experience of Vista on the 1000H is surprisingly good - I expected it would be sluggish and slow but it's actually quite smooth and that's with ReadyBoost enabled we noted a slight improvement again. Keep in mind this is the Eee 80GB HDD version, the Eee PC 1000 with 40GB SSD should run even smoother.
As you can see from the video we recorded, Vista does work on the Eee PC 1000H but only the 32-bit version since the Socket 441 FCBGA8 45nm Intel Atom processor only supports 32-bit instructions. As far as drivers go, besides the GPU and INF driver (which you can easily grab from the Intel website) for the Intel 945GME + ICH7-MU chipsets etc, the rest of the drivers on the included Eee PC XP support DVD worked under Vista for things like networking, 802.11n wireless and so on.
After we installed the graphics drivers for the Intel GMA 950 chip, the Windows Aero interface was automatically enabled, without any issues to report. We can also confirm that the 802.11n wireless chip works flawlessly with a connection to our nearby office Dlink DIR-655 router at 135Mbps.
A quick note about the Atom CPU - it appears to have some pretty heavy duty power saving in place. It dynamically switches between clock multiplier of 6 and 12. If there is only idle activity, the CPU clocks down to 796MHz (6 x 133MHz FSB) and instantly switches up to 1.6GHz (12 x 133MHz FSB) when there is activity. We realize this isn't a new power saving feature in ACPI but the speed at which it switches seems to be.
I've got to say it was a surprisingly smooth install taking just over 30 minutes. Keep checking back for more Eee PC 1000 coverage including ripping it to bits and of course our full review now with Vista installed!
TWEAKTOWN EXCLUSIVE We got word that the ASUS Eee PC 1000 and 1000H was to begin selling on Wednesday this week in Taiwan and we instantly set about trying to buy one.
The new 10-inch Intel Atom powered sub-notebooks with 802.11n wireless were actually available from local retailers yesterday with a huge demand but we managed to pick one up today for an early look here at TweakTown. We preferred the Eee PC 1000 (40GB SSD) but from what we were told, the Eee PC 1000H (80GB HDD) has came out first.
Next week we will pull the sucker apart and take a very close look inside as well as complete a full review with benchmarks and so forth.
Take a look at the five minute unboxing video of the ASUS Eee PC 1000H black Taiwanese version:
(Sorry - it's Friday June 13th, you aren't seeing something in the future! And that was black not "bike"....)
Below are some shots...
Stay tuned for more coverage of the ASUS Eee PC 1000 next week at TweakTown!
The new ASUS Eee PC 1000H has just gone on sale in Taiwan and its already hot property here with everyone trying to get hold of one. Trust me, I know first hand.
It's selling for $18,900 NTD (or $623 USD) as you can see from the screenshot taken above.
From the comments on the site written in Chinese, most of these online sellers will be taking delivery on the 15th of this month with many already placed preorders.
We are trying to get our hands on one as I type this but it's going to be a bit of a challenge.
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 We are back at OCZ for the second time and this time the new Fatal1ty RAM has been released some good specs and the man himself has put his name to them, so they must be good - right? The Fatal1ty RAM that was on display was 1GB PC2-8500 with timings of 5-5-5 at 2.2 volts.
We do look forward to testing them soon to see just what these modules offer over other memory from OCZ.
DIY notebooks are a great concept and can prove to be a great way to build a system using parts you want.
But far more interesting is what OCZ plan to do about the graphics cards in notebooks. They are going to start producing MXM graphics cards, which is good news for people who want to be able to upgrade the GPU in notebooks.
It will be interesting to see if this actually happens as NVIDIA first introduced this technology years ago and it never really took off.
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 German company Medion also had its rather tidy looking Akoya sub-notebook hidden away at the Microsoft booth in Hall 3 today.
It's another low-cost system to add to the list that want to take ASUS' Eee PC out of top spot.
It has been fitted out with an 10.2-inch WSVGA screen that provides a widescreen resolution of 1024 x 600. Like the Gigabyte Netbook 912 sitting right next it at the show like best buddies, it also fits in a new Atom 1.6GHz processor and was also installed with Windows XP SP3 - we weren't able to confirm if it will run Vista but it probably will since it is spec'ed close to the Gigabyte Netbook.
It gets 1GB DDR2-667 memory, also an 80GB SSD, optional 1.3MP camera, HD audio and is powered by a 3-cell battery. It is lighter than the Netbook 912 slightly and comes it at under a kilogram. As with most of these Netbooks, it gets three USB 2.0 ports and a card reader.
The big surprise with this little puppy is that it packs in not only a gigabit Ethernet port but also 802.11n wireless for faster transfers over the airwaves.
This is definitely one Netbook to keep a rather close eye on!
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 Nothing can stay hidden forever.
We are not sure exactly what the marketing folks who in charge of GIGABYTE's low-cost PC are doing but by accident we stumbled upon GIGABYTE's Atom N270 based Netbook 912 today while chatting to Microsoft in Hall 3.
Our mouths started watering at all this new hardware goodness, Microsoft got nervous and things started to go wrong.
We have known that GIGABYTE intended on producing an Eee PC challenger for many months now but getting any type of details on it proved to be like getting blood from a stone. All that doesn't matter now - we bring you an exclusive look at the convertible tablet 912 in more detail than ever seen before.
First, it's important to note that the system we played with today is by no means finished but it is close. We saw it running Vista briefly but then it crashed. After trying to get it to boot back up, it failed and then we couldn't get it to POST at all. We can confirm though that it was running a 1.6GHz Atom processor - you can see that by the picture we snapped below. We got a screenshot of another 912 running XP and as you can see the single cored Atom 1.6GHz with Hyper Threading enabled and working just fine under the older OS.
If you like specs and that type of thing, this little sub-notebook baby packs in an 8.9-inch screen rendering a maximum resolution of 1280 x 768, it gets 1GB DDR2-533 memory, 80GB of SSD goodness, 1.3MP camera, 802.11g wireless, 10/100 networking and it will first ship with Windows XP but it will be capable of running Windows Vista, if that's more your style.
It comes with a 4-cell 7.2 volt 4500mah battery and it weighs 1.2kg. After picking it up, we were surprised at how cool it was on the surface. Compared to the other solutions in the vicinity, the Netbook 912 was very cool operating considering it has been running all day during the show - the Atom and SSD inside might have had something to do with that...
Interestingly Microsoft at their booth was pushing the marketing message that "It's better with Windows". Redmond says that is the operating that customers know and trust, that's easy to use and compatible with their world (ED: is this correct?!)
We got another new Netbook coming right up which liked hiding out, too.
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 We stopped by Intel this morning who had plenty of spicy hardware behind closed doors, all of which you are about to see.
We're going to kick off our coverage from the Intel hotel suite with a close up look at an Eee PC 901 from ASUS. We got a chance to play around with it briefly but weren't allowed to take any screenshots or run any sort of tests as at that stage it wasn't officially released.
Now it has been released in to the wild this morning here in Taipei, we can give you a good close-up look at it!
We have more very interesting shiny new products coming up from Intel in just a moment - stay tuned to this channel!
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 With the major boost to the sub-notebook market with ASUS' release of the Eee 900 in 2008, they have to step up their game as the other sharks head in for the feeding frenzy.
The 901 brings us some newer features to the classic 900 design including the new Intel Atom processor, SSD storage up to 20GB (Linux) and 12GB (Windows XP).
One noted feature of the new Eee PC series is the super Hybrid engine concept that controls stepping of the Atom processor to increase battery life up to 7.8 hours.
The Eee PC 1000 and 1000H are the new 10-inch versions, sporting the Atom processor and SSD's of up to 40GB (Linux, Eee PC 1000) as well an 80GB standard HDD (XP, Eee PC 1000H).
The keyboard is purportedly 92% the size of a standard keyboard and the battery life has been increased using a 6-cell design that helps boost lifespan.
A quick boot comparison with the 900 and the 901 shows that the Atom is noticeably slower, which could be due to a number of factors and we hope to be able to bring you benchmarks in the near future.
ASUS still has one more ace up their sleeve with the E-stick! Essentially it's a Wii-mote for the PC... and that's it. Useful for navigation and gaming, it works just like a Wii-mote with an 8-way d-stick, 2 buttons and accelerometers to detect gestures.
ASUS brought out their CEO to speak to the assembled press and talked about developing the Eee PC as a family. They basically want everyone to have an Eee PC as a second PC in the next few years. An ambitious goal but they have show they are listening to their consumers by releasing the new models.
Also of interest is the multiple color-ways and designs available for each of the models. "Sakura", "Sweet Pea", "Urban Metropolis", "White Peony", "Pearl White" and "Fine Ebony".
More from Taiwan soon!