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Australia's APC Magazine has just been given first rights to an exclusive look at Dell's all new Inspiron Mini 12 super-slim netbook and it looks to be a beautifully constructed piece of kit.
There's no shortage of photos and details which go over all aspects of the netbook from head to toe. Some of the main features include a 12" screen (which is the largest seen in any "netbook") capable of running a resolution of 1280x800. Given the larger than usual screen size, Dell do an exceptional job of keeping to an ultra slim and almost featherweight design. The profile tapers from 24mm down to 21mm and with the three cell battery installed it only weighs 1.24Kgs.
Storage options are limited to mechanical drives only; at this stage 60 and 80GB 1.8" 4200RPM Samsung Spinpoint series drives. There's also a host of connectivity options including two mini-card slots, 3G HSDPA support and standard GSM/EDGE, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1.
looking at the heart of the netbook, we see that Dell opt for Intel's new Silverthorne-class Atom processor (shown at the left above) and SCH-US15W chipset (more commonly referred to as Poulsbo - shown on the right above).
Poulsbo is a ground-up design which combines the Northbridge memory controller and Southbridge IO controller, integrated 3D graphics (through the GMA500 graphics core) plus HD audio and HD video (all the way to 1080p decode we're told, although external resolution peaks at 1,366 x 768 or what the boffins now say is called 'HD Minus' in an effort to make it sound more respectable).
For a further detailed rundown of the Inspiron Mini 12, head over here.
The nettop/netbook market is a growing market. It brings inexpensive, highly portable desktops and laptops to the consumer with decent power for doing most office related tasks. The problem is that even though nettop and books are very portable and have good CPUs they are severly laking in graphical power. nVidia is working on the cure for that called the Ion plaform.
The Ion is a new platform that will bring high-end graphics to the netbook market (something that is currently lacking). Ion is a single chip 9400M attached to the Atom CPU. This will allow for greatly enhanced graphics for the netbook.
Of course you have to wonder if the netbook really needs this as they are really only intended for minor office work and internet usage on the go. Not for hardcore gaming or BluRay movies (the screens are simply too small).
Hexus has more here.
Intel's Atom has been a shot-in-the-arm for the mobile space because its introduction has allowed partners to bring extremely thin-and-light notebooks (ahem, netbooks) to market at low prices. These ultra-mobile laptops have caught the public's imagination but, now, we believe, users are clamouring for more performance. It seems that both AMD (with Yukon) and NVIDIA (with ION) are in agreement on this front.
NVIDIA's solution for a do-it-all netbook takes in GeForce 9400M and builds around it. We like the basic technology, but readers must be aware that the provision of extra power- much-needed in our opinion - will come at a greater financial and spatial cost. Expect these kind of netbooks to cost £350+ and ship with larger screens, optical drives, bigger batteries and, of course, heavier weights.
Building on the success of Atom, we further believe that a significant market opportunity exits for a ~1.5kg netbook that has graphical/multimedia grunt to burn, and ION seems like a good fit, on paper at least.
It is looking like Intel is acknowledging the lack of real graphics power behind the current chipsets for the Atom CPU.
According to Digitimes they have contacted nVidia to enable support for the atom on the MCP79. If this is true it will bring a more robust graphics solution to the netbook world.
Read more here.
Nvidia's MCP79 chipset will be the first to support Atom CPUs, however the support will only apply to nettops during the initial period.
Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have said they welcome the partnership between Nvidia and Intel and believe the cooperation would give them more pricing flexibility.
Get out your heat resistant knickers, it looks like nVidia is still eyeing the netbook market and wants to muscle in on this (at the moment) Intel only playing field.
In an article at PC world nVidia says that with the growing netbook there is a space for graphically robust netbooks that can handle gaming and other high(er)-end graphics demands.
Read more here
The netbook market is growing, and it could branch out into product categories such as smartphones and multimedia netbooks that can handle graphics effectively, said Marv Burkett, the company's chief financial officer, on a webcast from the Credit Suisse annual technology conference being held in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"We're not saying we're not interested; it's a matter of how the market will evolve," Burkett said.
Most netbooks today contain Intel's Atom processor and are not capable of handling video games or multimedia effectively, said Michael Hara, vice president of investor relations at Nvidia. Netbooks offer good battery life and are good for basic programs like Web applications, but they don't have the graphics capabilities to effectively play video games or video files, he said.
It looks like MSI is gearing up to fight Asus directly on the netbook battle field. With the recent launch of the Wind U120 and now with information about two new Winds the U110 and U115.
According to UMPC portal the new pair will have some great new features including up to 250GB of storage for the U110 and hybrid storage (combination of SSD and HDD) for the U115. The two new Winds will also include Draft n Spec wireless.
Read more here
Now news is spreading that MSI will be releasing two additional netbooks some time around January. The netbooks will be the U110 and U115; I've put the interesting things in bold:
1024×600 10" screen
1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 CPU - which is a more expensive but less power hungry chip (2w) than the Atom N270 (2.5w) which is in almost every netbook you see today
Poulsbo US15W chipset - most netbooks are using the Intel 945G. Poulsbo in combination with the Z530 CPU will make for a total chipset drain of 4.3w
Up to 250GB HDD for the U110
Toshiba is looking to drop a high performance laptop on the market soon.
To make sure they capture the enthusiast and gamers out there they are going stuff three nVidian GPUs under the hood for the world's first three GPU notebook.
The new Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708 and X305-Q706 will feature two discreet GeForce 9800M GTS GPUs with NVIDIA SLI® technology, and a GeForce 9400M GPU. For maximum power the two 9800M GTS GPUs will run in SLI for great gaming while for maximum power savings they can be powered down and allow the 9400 to take over.
Drool after reading more here
A future member of ASUS' Eee portfolio could launch for $200, according to this report from DIGITIMES.
The company has adjusted the pricing and market positions of its entry-level and mid-range Eee PC offerings and expects, to reach the $200 milestone in 2009.
As widely expected, the company has also confirmed that it will phase out its 7 and 8.9" Eee PC offerings, replacing them with 10" iterations instead.
During a recent ASUS show and tell, an spokesperson said that the Taiwanese company, who made the netbook famous, would soon release a model, apparently called Eee PC 1002HA, that would come with discrete graphics.
ASUS was quick to mention that it should not be confused for the 10.2-inch N10 with Nvidia 9300M graphics, but then again - what exactly is it?
The netbook market is quickly getting out of hand with companies looking to capitalize on the success of the small notebooks. We can't help but thinking though, isn't the point of the Eee PC to be a cheap, small and long battery life notebook?
Adding all these fancy bits and pieces and expensive paint jobs or what-not, is really confusing the once simple netbook. What exactly is the difference between this supposed new model versus a standard 15-inch notebook?
We recently got an email from ASUS' Australian PR company with little more than a picture telling us to look forward for the ASUS Green Collection on the 12th of November - or, it could be December 11th, depending on which date format they've used.
From what we understand, this launch will finally see the launch of the Bamboo notebooks and some more surprises.
Super Talent today debuted its new line of mini PCI-Express SSD drives which are specifically designed for ASUS' range of Eee PC netbooks.
ASUS Eee PC's only come with up to 20GB of storage and clearly Super Talent has been smart in designing a product which expand storage, and importantly, at a viable price point.
Each of the mini PCI-E SSD drives offer up to 40MB/s read speeds and up to 15MB/s write speeds. While these speeds won't set any world records, they will suit the small netbook just fine for those users looking to increase storage capacity on their small Eee mobile computers.
Come sometime in November at mass production stage, you'll be able to pick up a 16GB version for an expected street price of $53 USD, 32GB version for $79 USD and the 64GB drive for $149 USD.
You can read the press release which we uploaded recently, over here, for more details on the product.