December 1st, 2012

Ultrabook sales off to a sluggish start

Ultrabooks sales sluggish

Intel’s latest vision in the laptop space, called ultrabooks , are basically a thin and light laptop which weighs less than 3 pounds and measures less than 0.8 inches thick.  Intel also specifies premium components including solid state disks and the latest Intel chips.

Intel envisioned ultrabooks coming in at less than $1000 (USD) but that target has been hard to hit with components available today.   DigiTimes reports that the first two companies to ship ultrabooks are only expected to move about 100,000 units by the end of the year. That’s despite initial plans to ship two to three times as many.

Acer and Asus have already begun selling ultrabooks including the Acer Aspire S3 and the Asus ZenBook UX21 and UX31. Prices range from $899 for the entry-level Acer model to $1449 for the top-of-the-line ZenBook UX31 from Asus.


September 21st, 2012

Tablets or netbooks?

Netbooks vs. tablets
These days, there seem to be so many “smart” devices available that it’s often difficult to know which sort of product would be best for your specific needs. You could simply get a desktop computer, or if you want more portability there is always a strong selection of laptops available. Now, however, you also have to choose between laptops and tablets, or even netbooks.

In fact, some people who only use such devices for entertainment and occasional communication are getting by with just their smart phones! Ultimately, you can choose just about any of these types of products from any standard mobile service company such as O2 Deciding which products you want is all about assessing your own needs and preferences.  If you are looking to get internet access for your tablet or netbook, then visit uSwitch to compare broadband deals and find the best deal for you.

One of the most difficult distinctions and choices to make among the products listed above is between smart tablets and netbooks. Both of these are essentially products designed as more convenient, more portable versions of laptop computers – however, there are significant differences between them. Here is a brief outline of some of these differences.

Tablets – Known mostly for high internet speeds and extreme portability, tablets are absolutely fantastic for entertainment and web browsing purposes. Generally tablet screens are about 10 inches or less in size, and they are very light, meaning that they’re easy to travel with no matter where you’re headed. Most tablets are very simple to navigate and operate, and are recommended for web browsing, music, and entertainment such as watching movies and playing games.
Netbooks – More similar to laptops than tablets, netbooks are in fact, for all intents and purposes, mini-laptops. Unlike tablets, they operate via a fold-out keyboard instead of a touch screen, but due to their smaller sizes they are still very portable and convenient. The disadvantages to netbooks are that they simply don’t function as quickly or smoothly as tablets in some cases, which makes them less ideal for game play, movie watching, etc. However, netbooks are still very capable when it comes to web browsing, and are generally considered very good for work-related activities. Thanks in part to the included keyboard, netbooks work well with word processing, which is one reason they are better for most work activities.

Ultimately, it is not difficult to assess which type of device would be better for you. If you plan on using your device for lots of work and typing-related activities, the netbook is probably the way to go. However, if you’re simply looking for a device that offers you portable internet access and entertainment sources, you can’t go wrong with a tablet. Both are spectacular products overall, and the differences are actually surprisingly subtle in the end.

March 6th, 2012

Asus Eee PC X101CH Cedar Trail netbook now available in the US

Asus Eee PC X101CH Cedar Trail netbook

One of the first Asus netbooks to ship with an Intel Atom N2600 Cedar Trail processor is now available for purchase in the US. The Eee PC X101CH comes with a 10.1 inch display, 1GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive.  With a price tag of $280 or less, it’s also firmly in the budget end of the Asus lineup.

You can see the netook at Newegg in the US for $279.99.

The 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N2600 dual-core Cedar Trail chip should offer slightly better performance than the Pine Trail chips used in earlier Asus netbooks.  It will be one of the first netbooks from the company to be able to handle 1080p HD video playback thanks to Intel’s improvements to the integrated graphics for its Atom chips.  The netbook has an HDMI port and a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. It runs Windows 7 Starter Edition and has a VGA webcam above the display.

One of the reasons this netbook is low cost is because it comes with a small 3 cell, 23Whr battery instead of the 6 cell batteries that are more common among netbooks these days. Asus estimates you should get up to 4.5 hours of run time out of the standard battery.

January 17th, 2012

Toshiba shows off new NB510 netbook

Toshiba NB510 Netbook

Toshibas’s latest NB510 netbook looks much like Toshiba’s last few netbooks but under the hood it has a shiny new Intel Atom Cedar Trail processor.  That means better video performance, and in that light, there’s also a new HDMI port on the side of the computer along with a VGA port, Ethernet jack, and 3 USB ports.

Toshiba’s netbook will be available with either an Intel Atom N2600 or N2800 processor, a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and 320GB of storage — although the demo model on display at CES has 2GB of RAM, so it looks like the memory should be upgradeable.

Bucking the trend in modern thin and light laptops, the NB510 also seems to have a user replaceable battery.

January 7th, 2012

Toshiba leaks first photos of new 10″ Cedar Trail netbooks

Toshiba NB510 Cedar Trail netbook

Toshiba is going to launch a new line of netbooks with 10 inch displays and the new Intel Atom Cedar Trail processors. The folks at Notebook Italia have obtained a few photos and we should have more details once the Consumer Electronics Show is underway next week.  We do know the Toshiba NB510 netbooks will be available with Intel Atom N2600 or Intel N2800 processors, 1GB of RAM, and 320GB hard drives.  The new models will have 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel displays and run Windows 7 Starter Edition.

We also know that the new netbooks will have the usual ports including 3 USB ports, a headphone jack, Ethernet, and VGA ports. But the Toshiba NB510 also adds an HDMI output to take advantage of the new HD video playback capabilities that come with Intel’s latest low-power Atom chips.

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