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Just recently the hotly anticipated ASUS Eee PC has gone on sale here in Taiwan and we were one of the first to snap up one of the new low cost notebook devices.
It is a product designed for ultra portability weighing in at only 920 grams and affordable costing anywhere from $12,000 - $15,000 NTD (up to about $460 USD) in Taipei at the moment.
After hunting through many Taipei backstreets, we managed to find one for $13,900 NTD - more expense than usual, since these things are almost as rare as gold at the moment. After contacting a company official at ASUS, the Taiwanese company expects shortage issues as the device is so popular.
The model we picked up was the 701 version which includes a 4GB solid state hard drive and 512MB DDR2 memory with Intel CPU and chipsets. It also comes with a built-in camera, 4 cell 5200 mAh battery which provides up to 3.5 hours of life but there is no optical drive.
The device will run Windows XP but it ships with a modified version of Linux to suit the device. All of the models are listed on the ASUS website here.
We will have a full review online early next week but for now here are some pictures of this new device. We have not yet had a proper chance to play with it yet, so we will leave our opinions to the full review. Over the weekend we will probably dissect the thing too and see what exactly is inside.
More coming soon!
If you're getting a little sick of hearing music through your notebook's tinny hollow speakers when at home or on the go, Logitech have come up with a great little solution dubbed the "AudioHub".
The AudioHub is made up of two good quality satellite speakers and a subwoofer for improved bass levels, it's designed in such a way that it sits neatly behind your notebook and the satellites can be extended outward to suit the width of your notebook and stop them from being blocked by the back of the LCD display.
Logitech have also considered the fact that available USB ports are generally quite minimal, and have therefore added a three-port Hi-Speed USB hub to it as well. A single USB connection from the laptop powers both the hub and the speakers.
The Dailytech report that Logitech plan to make these available sometime in October with an RRP of $99.99 USD.
One of the pitfalls to using a notebook exclusively is that it tends to have speakers that are not that great for those wanting to listen to music and watch movies. One of the other problems is that notebooks tend to lack the USB ports important to users with lots of gadgets and peripherals.
Logitech has a new item called the AudioHub that aims to remedy both of these common notebook shortcomings. The AudioHub is a 2.1 speaker system designed to sit behind your notebook. The two satellite speakers are width adjustable allowing you to position them to the sides of your notebook rather than having them behind the computer where some of the sound is blocked.
This is a great idea for notebook owners who are often copying data to and from their lappy using the typical USB connection. A.C. Ryan have developed the "eSATA ExpressCard34 2-port", which as the name implies adds an eSATA port to your notebook via an ExpressCard slot. The device is also available in a PCMCIA format for older notebooks as well.
In case you didn't know, eSATA is significantly faster for external data transfer compared to USB2.0. So if it's large amounts of data you shift from time to time, this could be a great investment for you.
For more details check out the product page on AC Ryan's website.
Ran out of space on your notebook harddisk? Why settle for slow USB speed. In these days of gigamania, watching and waiting for that file to stroll across USB must simply be not acceptable. Move into the gigabit data generation and eSATA your notebook now.
With the ExpressCard34 format, you'd be able to use this in all ExpressCard slots - irregardless whether your notebook has a 34 or a 54 format slot - it works in both!
Also available in PCMCIA format mainly used in notebooks before 2007.
Maker of high performance notebooks "MAINGEAR" have just gone all out and produced what they claim to be the world's fasted laptop to date, the mighty "DB-R". Also launched are a range of other (not so impressive) gaming and business laptops.
The DB-R has it all; a 17" LCD, Core 2 Duo / Extreme CPU, support for DX10 Nvidia SLI technology, duel solid state drives in RAID 0 and more.
Union, New Jersey - July 25th, 2007 - MAINGEAR®, the leading manufacturer of highperformance gaming and business, desktop, notebooks and entertainment centers, has revealed today a new generation of Gaming and Business Laptops, the XS, RS-X, DB-R, and the VEX. The showpiece laptop within this line, the DB-R, has set the stage to rule supreme as the fastest laptop in the world.
HotHardware has got some more dirt on the Linux powered Asus Eee PC, which is a very basic notebook, but it retains a pretty attractive design. The specs of the Eee PC weren't revealed at Computex last month, but according to the information on HotHardware, we're looking at a version of Intel's mobile 910 chipset and a 900MHz Dothan based Pentium M processor.
The Eee PC has 512MB of DDR2 memory, built in 802.11g Wi-Fi and a 4GB flash based drive. Not bad for US$199 and add another $100 and you get an 8GB drive thrown in, although this seems like an expensive upgrade option to us. At 890 grams, the Eee PC can compete with many so call ultra portable notebooks in terms of weight.
In terms of ports we're looking at two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone and mic jack, a 10/100Mbit Ethernet port and a 56k modem jack on the left side. Moving to the right there are a further two USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub and a memory card slot for SD/MMC cards. The Eee PC also has a small 4 cell battery that is apparently good for about 3h of un-tethered usage.
Looks like this could be on top of a lot of people's Christmas list year, as it should be available worldwide in the middle of August. Let's hope the price stays at $199.
You can read HotHardware's coverage here and have a look at some pictures and screenshots of the Eee PC
Deal of the Day details:
Offer: This is just about the cheapest nice quality laptop you can get! This full-sized laptop includes Windows Vista Home Basic, a diagonal 15.4" WXGA BrightView widescreen, 512MB of memory, 802.11b/g wireless LAN, a 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery, and Microsoft Works 8.0. The C500T includes three USB 2.0 ports, an RJ-11 (modem), an RJ-45 (LAN), and an S-Video. You also get integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN.
According to a post over at TechwareLabs, it seems like someone is working overtime on finishing off the first quad core notebook design. If the information they have is correct, this beast will feature a 17-inch display, which should give it quite a roomy chassis, a good thing in this case as the specs don't stop here. Apparently it will also use two GeForce 8800M graphics cards in SLI. The GeForce 8800M series hasn't even been announced by Nvidia as yet, so we'll take this with a pinch of salt for now, even though one of the pictures clearly shows a graphics card.
Furthermore this machine is expected to take dual SATA drives of up to 160GB. What doesn't sound very likely is the fact that it's mean to use the 975 chipset, since to our knowledge there is no mobile version of the 975 chipset and even if there was, it wouldn't support SLI unless Nvidia has done some special deal with Intel that we're not aware of. A notebook with SLI isn't unthinkable, but it would have to use a chipset from Nvidia and TechwareLabs seems to have got some of the details about this notebook mixed up, but hopefully we'll see this beast at Computex in a couple of weeks time.
You can find the original story here.
Coinciding with the launch of their new HD 2000 series desktop parts today, AMD/ATI have also announced a new breed of ATI Mobility Radeon solutions, these essentially mobile variants of the HD 2000 series desktop family, bringing DX10 goodness to notebooks.
Beginning with the immediate availability of the Mobility Radeon HD 2300, this is the 90nm entry-level variant but it is said that the mid-range 65nm DX10 parts (being the Mobility Radeon HD 2400 and HD 2400 XT) will surface in July, and also the high-end Mobility Radeon HD 2600 and HD 2600 XT solutions.
The Dailytech have the rundown on them here folks.
For unparalleled graphics performance on the go, the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2600 series combines the ultimate DirectX® 10 gaming experiences with the graphics performance gamers demand in a high-end mobile system. Thin and light notebooks featuring ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 series can multitask with ease using the new Windows Aero interface, run the hottest upcoming DirectX® 10 games or play exciting new HD DVD and Blu-Ray discs. Those in the market for a value notebook will enjoy great performance in Windows Vista and astonishing multimedia using the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2300. ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2000 products feature ATI Avivo HD technology and UVD to deliver outstanding HD DVD and Blu-ray disc playback, and ATI PowerPlay 7.0 power management for long battery life and optimized performance-per-watt operation.6
Notebooks from OEM partners including Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Gateway, HP, LG, Packard Bell, Samsung, and Toshiba, and ODM whitebook partners including Arima, ASUS, ECS, First International Computer Inc., and MSI, will be available beginning in May.
If you thought Asus was the only company out there with a solution for external graphics cards for your notebook, think again. Magma has two products, although only one of them is likely to actually be able to accommodate a graphics cards. The Magma ExpressBox and Magma ExpressBox Pro are two external boxes that will take work in conjunction with an Express Card that slots into your notebooks Express Card slot or via an internal x1 PCI Express card in your PC. Although these solutions only work with single slot, sub 55W graphics cards that don't require an external power connector, so it's a slightly more limited solution than the XG station from Asus.
However, Magma is promising a tailor made solution for graphics cards that should make an appearance later this year. The biggest downside to either of these products is the steep price point, US$ 729 and $749 respectively, not exactly what you'd call cheap as you have to add the cost of whatever you want to put inside the box as well.
Have a look at Magma's product page for more information
A mob by the name of Cradia have just issued us with a PDF formatted document which details their new Flex cradia notebook stand, designed to keep your laptop running nice and cool with its massive 220mm fan whilst providing the user with a more comfortable working setup as well.