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Is it me or has the netbook become its own monster? When the concept was first pushed out it was all about small, light, portable internet and basic office/school tasks. Now everything has changed.
If rumors are to be believed Lenovo will be dropping the new HD capable nVidia ION under the hood of its new netbooks. The new Lenovos won't be your typical netbooks, they will run in 11.6 and 21.1 inch flavors.
This could be good for Lenovo if they can get it to market before everyone else and very good for nVidia. If the Lenovo netbooks are a success it means further adoption in the market and more revenue for nVidia.
Read more here at Electronista
The PC maker is reportedly asking local contractor Wistron to build 11.6- and 12.1-inch IdeaPads for the spring that would combine the much faster, GeForce 9400M-level graphics of Ion with an Intel Atom processor. The company is also said mulling a 13-inch model using the same technology.
A 12-inch system based on VIA's Nano platform is also an option, according to the purported leak.
The news suggests that the desktop mentioned by NVIDIA as the first Ion system will be quickly followed by a netbook and that PC makers may better Microsoft's own official expectations, which would have Windows systems using Ion appearing by summer.
As another sign of the grinding times, a report has come in that ASUS is soon looking put price hikes on its notebook and netbook products to help offset increased material and manufacturing costs.
Prices are expected to jump up by as much as 20% from March 1st onward, so if you're eying off an Eee PC or another of ASUS' note/netbook offerings, you'd better make up your mind quickly.
Samsung's new NC20 Netbook has shown up for pre-order on shop.bt.com.
The new thigh-top has a 12.1" display and a Via Nano under the hood.
The NC20 as it will be called sells for 390.98 (GBP) and is available in both white (ala Apple) and a sleek glossy black. The availability dates are listed as Feb 09 for the white model and March 09 for the black.
There is no news on when these might show up elsewhere in the world.
According to Microsoft's Brad Brooks, who is corporate vice president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing, all Windows 7 versions will work on mini notebook and netbook computers.
Putting it down to the intelligent development work by Microsoft software engineers, Windows 7 is not only looking to have a smaller OS footprint than Vista, but also come with improvement power management for enhanced battery life, enhanced media capabilities and increased reliability, stability and security.
PressPass: How is Microsoft supporting small-notebook PCs with Windows 7?
Brooks: Microsoft is offering a clear path for Windows 7 across the board, so as we demonstrated at PDC, WinHEC and CES, Windows 7 provides a great user experience on small-notebook PCs.
With Windows 7, we've matched hardware improvements with some investments of our own. With Windows 7 we are on track to have a smaller OS footprint; an improved user interface that should allow for faster boot-up and shut-down times; improved power management for enhanced battery life; enhanced media capabilities; and increased reliability, stability and security.
These engineering investments allow small notebook PCs to run any version of Windows 7, and allow customers complete flexibility to purchase a system which meets their needs. For OEMs that build lower-cost small notebook PCs, Windows 7 Starter will now be available in developed markets. For the most enhanced, full-functioning Windows experience on small notebook PCs, however, consumers will want to go with Windows 7 Home Premium, which lets you get the most out of your digital media and easily connect with other PCs.
We first discovered last month that motherboard maker Jetway was looking to join the netbook market with its upcoming ZERO MINI-101 series.
We're still not sure exactly when Jetway plans to officially release these to market, but they look pretty much ready for the limelight. The company has sent us a few more details about the netbooks today as well as a link pointing to the newly launched ZERO MINI sub-site.
There are going to be 3 models at the moment:
ZERO MINI-101C (C being the short term for Coffee gold; mirror polish A-Side) - Gorgeous!
ZERO MINI-101B (B being the short term for piano Black; mirror polish A-Side) - Classical!
ZERO MINI-101W (W being the short term for pearl White; mirror polish A-Side) - Elegant!
You can find a full overview on the ZERO MINI-101 series of netbooks here.
The i7 CPU in all of its flavors is one of the most advanced and fastest CPUs you can buy. It trounces the rest of the competition in most cases and even out does Intel's own line up.
So how would you like to get one in a notebook? That is a question Eurocom wants to answer. They have an i7 powered beast on the horizon and are hoping that putting this type of power in a small package will attract a lot of attention (and buyers).
The new beast will be called the Phantom i7. Specifications include the option of having the i7 920, 940, or 965 CPU, 17" Screen, 8GB of DDR3 (probably not in Tri-Channel mode) up to 1.5TB of storage, 1GB of Video memory an nVidia 280 GPU all on an X58 mainboard.
No pricing information is available yet but a shipping date of May 1st is expected.
Take a look at the specs
nVidia seems to be changing its focus. While they will never get away from making GPUs the company certainly has shifted its focus from the desktop to the portable PC world.
In a recent conversation with nVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, Laptop Magazine finds Huang talking up Ion.
The Ion platform throws the Intel Atom together with the GeForce 9400M GPU (oddly enough the same GPU that powers the new MacBook). Ion is intended to bring greater functionality to the netbook world.
According to Huang the current Netbook is nothing more than a PC that does not work that well. But with Ion the netbook can be a "Premium PC Experience" Huang also says that the current Atom with Intel chipset/GPU will be crushed by AMD's Neo.
Do you feel Ion would help netbook vendors scale Atom up to designs with 12-inch or larger displays?
Absolutely. The resolution of a computer depends on the capability of the GPU. It's completely independent of the ability of the CPU. The amount of data that comes from the Web, whether you have an iPhone or 16:9 high-res display, the GPUs will render and display the image so quickly that the resolution of the display won't matter. Ion will allow you to support resolutions as high as you want to go, from tiny displays to large ones.
How do you think Atom stacks up to AMD's new Neo processor and companion graphics chips?
Atom by itself with Intel integrated graphics would get crushed by the Neo platform. That's because AMD is one of the world's most advanced graphics companies. They bought ATI, who has wonderful technology. When you couple that with an AMD processor, it would destroy the Atom platform.
How about when you pair Atom with Ion?
That's totally different. Atom plus Ion will give Neo a good run for its money, and from my perspective, it's a superior platform. The Atom processor is really terrific-it's small and low powered. Atom plus Ion is just a fabulous machine: It's small, low powered, and full featured in every way.