NetBook News and Updates

AT&T Acer Aspire One netbook with built-in 3G now just $80

Whenever netbooks or mobile phones are bundled with subsidized plans, the prices are greatly reduced. Now, the Acer Aspire One netbook, which was the best  seller last year is now available from AT&T at just $80.

This is a pretty good deal for a netbook that still sports pretty impressive specifications:

  • Atom N270 processor
  • 120GB HDD
  • 1GB RAM
  • Windows XP home
  • 8.9-inch screen
  • 1024 x 600 display

However, it comes with just 3-cell battery which will be able to give you just 2 hours of battery life

[via radioshack]

Fujitsu Loox M netbook released – nothing too exciting

Fujitsu has released many portable devices like UMPCs and netbooks in the past. Most of them have really been ground-breaking (take U820/U2010 for example). Although the Loox M looks quite pretty from outside, but from inside it is just-another-netbook.

It comes with 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160GB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, three USB 2.0 sockets and a multicard reader. True, there is nothing ground-breaking about these specifications, but its price of $611 is surely something which most of the netbooks in the market are not carrying right now.

[via fmworld (japanese)]

Sharp PC-NJ70A Netbook is different from other netbooks – Features LCD in its Trackpad!

Remember the Sharp Mebius netbook that we mentioned a couple of days back? Well, some new details have emerge about it, something that makes it very different from the other netbooks in the market. It features an LCD trackpad. About the Trackpad: Contrary to what you must be thinking about its utility, it features multi-touch too. Looks like engineers at Sharp took some thoughts from the Apple’s book. The resolution of the trackpad is really notable: 854 x 480. That is more than the one found on the early EEEs! (700 series). The brightness is automatically adjusted. The LCD on the trackpad can also be used as a second LCD and its resolution is not too bad for running programs. However, you will to squint your eyes to read the text.

Sharp PC-NJ70A

After built-in DVD drives and bigger displays, now companies have another gimmick to offer to the users:  a netbooks with LCD trackpad! How useful that would be? Only time will tell. The Sharp has bundled Windows Vista Home Basic with it. I hope they make the Windows XP drivers available soon as performance of Vista on a Atom machine won’t be that good at all. The price is to be around 80,000 Yen ($815). That would really hurt your wallet in such tough economic times. For that price, you can two EEE 1000H easily.

Here are its full specifications:
* Intel Atom N270 (1.60GHz)
* Mobile Intel 945GSE Express chip set
* 1GB RAM (max 2GB)
* 160GB HDD
* 10.1-inch
* 1024 x 600 pixel display
* USB 2.0×3
* Ethernet and WiFi b/g
* Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
* Dimensions: 260×190×23.3
* Weight: 1.46kg
* Battery life: 3h

Toshiba unveils the UX Series Netbooks

Toshiba launches its new 10.1 inch widescreen range of netbooks in Japan this week, with a price tag of £400. The UX Series boasts of a longer battery life of about 4 hours compared to the NB100 netbook with battery life of 2.9 hours. However, inspite of its larger screen the model is smaller, at 263 x 192 x 31mm and weighs between 1.2 and 1.3Kg depending on the configuration. The other specifications are same as many other netbooks in the market, like:

  • Intel’s N280 Atom processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 160GB Hard Disk Drive
  • 1,024 x 600 pixel resolution

The new netbook from Toshiba looks very promising. The chicklet keyboard seems to be of much better quality than the found on ASUS EEE 1000HE (reviewed here)

[via pc watch]

Samsung NC10 netbook for just £293.00

The Samsung NC10 is STILL one of the best netbooks out there. It is very famous for its 6 hours+ battery life and good performance. Folks at micodirect.co.uk at selling it for 293 pounds (including VAT), which is pretty decent price for a great netbook.

[microdirect link]

ASUS EEE 1000HE review

ASUS EEE 1000H was one of the most successful netbooks ever rolled out by ASUS. The EEE 1000HE is the new netbook on the block which provides some noticeable enhancements over the EEE 1000H. Read this detailed review to find out more about EEE 1000HE!

Design

The design is similar to the its older sibling EEE 1000H.

1000HE with its brother 1000H

On the left side, you will find the kensington lock, USB port and earphone and microphone jack.

On the right side, you will find AC adapter port, VGA-out port, 2 USB ports and SDHC card reader

Screen

The screen size and the resolution is same as the older 1000H. I really expected the ASUS to bump up the resolution a little bit, but they have changed absolutely nothing as compared to the 1000H in terms of display size or resolution. The screen size is 10.2-inch and the resolution is 1024 x 600.

The bezel around the screen is shiny. The 1000H has a matte bezel. Below the screen you will find two microphones (yes, two!).

CPU

The ASUS EEE 1000HE comes with a newer atom processor which is clocked at 1.66GHz, which makes it mind-blowing 60MHz faster than the now old N270 Atom processor. When we did a comparison of N270 and N280 processor, the N280 processor did turn out to a bit faster in ALU and FPU calculations.

Let the benchmarks say the rest:

Crystal Mark

Crystal Mark

Crystal disk mark

Crystal disk mark

Keyboard

The keyboard found in 1000H was already so nice. The new keyboard found on the EEE 1000HE has been a mixed blessing for me so far. Although I really like the new shift key that is now a little bigger than the one found on the older EEEs like 1000H, 90x and 70x, but the fact that it is not on the extreme right like ‘normal’ laptop keyboards is actually forcing me to change my not-so-easy-to-change typing habits. I guess it will take few more days for me to get used to the keyboard. Tactile feedback is fine and the chicklet keys take very less effort to register a key press.

The arrow keys are much smaller as compared to the older 1000H. They do take some time to get used to.

One think the competition has done right in terms of keyboard is by providing dedicated page up and page down buttons. Since the first EEE model and till now, no EEE has got dedicated page up and page down buttons, which are so extensively used while browsing the web and working with documents.

Touchpad

The touchpad is big and supports multi-touch gestures. For example: you can use two finger gesture to do the scrolling.

The left and right mouse buttons also take less force to register press as compared to the stiff ones found on the EEE 1000H.

Portability

The ASUS EEE 1000HE weighs at 1.45 kg which is same as the older 1000H. The 1000H was one of the heaviest netbooks around and this is no different. I do not think this should be problem for anyone who is more concerned about battery life.

Speakers

The speakers feel very similar to the one found on the EEE 1000H. They are quite loud when compared to other netbooks/laptops. However, when you put it on your lap, the sound gets muffled as they are located beneath the trackpad.

Coolness and Fan

The unit remained very quite even after 30 minutes of surfing. After that, it did kicked in but got quite again after 10 seconds.

Upgrading

The EEE 1000HE is very easy to upgrade. Just use the screwdriver to unscrew the two screws and you will have access to the HDD and RAM.

1000HE and 1000H

Battery Life

The EEE 1000HE comes with a 6-cell 8700mAh battery. Now, this is a huge one when compared to most of the netbooks currently in the market.

I was able to squeeze out nearly 7.5 hours with both WiFi and BT off while working on my office documents (using Microsoft Office 2007). This is no where close to 9.5 hours which the ASUS is claiming, but I got no reason to complain when my portable device is giving me 7+ hours of usage.

While using Wifi, I was able to get 6.5 hours, which is still really nice. I used firefox as my web-browser and the brightness was set to 3 notches above the lowest brightness settings. It is obvious that brightness and wifi are two huge suckers for the batter juice.

It took me nearly 4.5 hours to get it 80% charge, but one needs to understand that we are charging a HUGE battery!

The battery life is simply mind-blowing. Although, I do not think I’m ever going to reach 9.5 hours battery life, but I still was able to get nearly 7 hours with heavy usage.

Are the EEE 1000H and EEE 1000HE batteries interchangeable?

Well, from outside both of them look so similar. It occurred to me, if it would be possible to swap their batteries. The answer is yes. The 8700mAh battery fit inside the EEE 1000H without any problems but I could not lock the battery latch. The 6600mAh battery of the EEE 1000H was also able to fit inside the EEE 1000HE and I was even able to lock the battery latch. Both units performed fine with each other’s battery.

Power brick

The power brick is exactly the same as the EEE 1000H and similar models (904HA, 1002HA, S101, S101H etc).

Bundled accessories

The ASUS has bundled a neoprene bag. Sadly, I simple do not carrying around in this bag as this seems to be made of very poor material. The one that came with the older EEE 1000H was much sturdy and was also made of better material.

updated:

Screen comparison of 1000H and  1000HE:

The screens looks very much identical. However, the screen of 1000HE does feel to have a little more contrast.

The one shown on the left is 1000HE and one of the right is the 1000H

Pros:

  • Amazing battery life
  • Overall sturdy built
  • HDD and RAM easily upgradable
  • Better keyboard for some, but not for me. I’m still happy with non-chicklet keys
  • Good performance with XP
  • 10GB EEE storage
  • Some people will appreciate the Chicklet keys

Cons:

  • No multi card reader
  • Heavy as compared to other netbooks
  • Right shift should be the extreme right, but it is not.
  • Not so sleek as the other newer EEEs like S101H and EEE 1002HA
  • Poor quality bundled case

[ASUS EEE 1000HE homepage]

Top 10 reasons you should NOT get a SONY VAIO P

Over-Priced: We fully understand the fact that it is SONY. But, paying so much for a device that performs so poorly does not make any sense
Super high resolution: What is the point of giving the user super high resolution in an 8-inch screen? Is SONY under some contract of putting so outrageous resolutions in small screens? Looks like they learned nothing from their UX series which squeezed 1024×600 pixels in an 4.3-inch display
HDD not easily upgradable: Although we do not upgrade the HDD everyday, but it should be easily swappable in case something goes wrong with the HDD or if the user wishes to use SSD

Read More

Sharp Mebius Netbook making its debut next week

Sharp is all set to unveil its netbook next week in Japan. Sharp has sent several invites to Japan Tech journalists to the unveiling of the Sharp’s Netbook.

Sharp has been very  successful in keeping the pictures of Sharp Mebius Netbook under the wraps. My Japanese friends have told me the pink bubble says, “your time will change”

[Sharp UK]

Another proof of how popular the netbooks are – Total sales to reach 37% of total notebooks sales in 2009!

Nobody had thought 2 years back that the netbooks would become so popular. Last year, the netbooks had already conquered 20% of the total notebook market. This year, it is being estimated that netbooks will account for nearly 37% of the total notebook sales by the end of this year and about 40% by the year 2012(!).

However, by 2012, I don’t think there would be any difference based on the feature set between a notebook and netbook (except for the small size, of course).

[via digitimes]

Aware A-View netbook

Aware electronics is a Taiwanese based company, is showcasing its 7-inch netbook that has a detachable screen at the 2009 Electronics and Components China Sourcing Fair organized by Global Sources. The netbook is very cheap and retails at mere $150. The specifications are not impressive at all. It comes with just 512MB RAM and 8GB SSD for storage. The user has the choice to choose between either Windows OS or Linux OS.

Aware has plans to push their netbook in the emerging markets. That said, they have already made the Aware availbale in developed nations of Europe.

Netbook with detachable keyboard clears one thing for sure that the netboook is equipped with a touchscreen. I wonder why such design has not been so far used in the netbook industry. I hope it does not come with the 3-cell battery like the older A-VIEW netbooks.

The Fair is taking place in Hong Kong and ends today (April 15, 2009).

[Visit Aware.com] (the product is yet to appear on the website)

[via digitimes]