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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!