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Tag Archives: Netbooks

Sony Updates The VAIO P With Touchpads, GPS, An Accelerometer And Colors

Sony VAIO P (Images courtesy Sony)
By Andrew Liszewski

It was first officially introduced to the world at CES 2009, but today Sony has announced a rather impressive upgrade to their VAIO P Lifestyle PC. (Remember, it’s not a netbook!) When it comes to tech specs the new VAIO P sports an Intel Atom Z540 processor, 2GB of DDR2 SDRAM, a 64GB SSD flash drive, an 8-inch 1600×768 display and runs Windows 7.

And that’s all well and good, but what will really convince consumers to splurge on the VAIO P, instead of a traditional netbook, are its latest additions which include GPS with a digital compass, a set of touchpads on either side of the display that can be used in lieu of the nub in the middle of the keyboard and a built-in accelerometer that can automatically detect when the screen has been turned or used to ‘flick’ through photos or pages in a document. Available sometime in June, the base version of the new VAIO P starts at $799, but that’s with an older Z530 processor instead of the Z540, so expect to pay a bit more for all of the latest and greatest features.

[ Sony – Sony delivers a smarter on-the-move computing experience: Ultra-portable, easy to carry new VAIO P Series ]

Eggy Portable Mini Speakers Come From My Fantasy Chicken

eggyspeakers

By Evan Ackerman

Somewhere in South Korea lives a chicken. This chicken lays eggs that are, in fact, reasonably attractive and potentially useful computer peripherals. Break one open (the two halves are joined by magnets) and inside you will find 4 watts of yolk-y audio goodness with a built-in digital amplifier. Designed for things like PMPs and Netbooks, the Eggy speakers are USB powered, and while the picture makes them look seamless and slick, the USB wire and audio-in wire and the wire that connects the left and right speakers are sure to make a mess of things, and I also have no idea where the little speaker stands come from. So, the concept is pretty cool, but in real life things may look a bit different.

S&J Co. has the right idea here: instead of designing electronics, just wait for some freak of nature to design them for you… If you have an infinite amount of chickens laying an infinite amount of eggs, you’re pretty much guaranteed that one of those eggs will be a pair of speakers (or anything else you want, for that matter). I’m sure S&J Co. doesn’t actually have an infinite amount of chickens (an infinite amount of anything presenting some significant logistical challenges), but that doesn’t preclude them from getting lucky with a finite amount of chickens, which is obviously what happened.

The Eggy speaker will be putting on an appearance at CES 2010, and if S&J Co. picks up some distribution channels, we should all feel very sorry for their poor mutant chicken.

[ Press Release ]

5 (+3) Games That Will Run On Your Netbook

turbo_wind

By Evan Ackerman

What with my mildly sexual love affair with my netbook and all, I was excited to see Liliputing’s list of 5 recently released games that will run on a netbook. It’s a worthwhile reminder that you don’t need a huge amount of processing power and a dedicated graphics card for some satisfying gaming… Sometimes a $300 netbook can get the job done. Here’s the list:

1. Torchlight
2. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords
3. Sins of a Solar Empire
4. Trials 2 Second Edition
5. World of Warcraft

Not that I play WoW, but if I did, which I don’t, I would be able to personally attest to the fact that if you crank the graphics way down, you can get playable framerates as long as you don’t take on multiple mobs or get into areas with a lot of player traffic. That’s my guess, anyway. ::cough::

Of course, there are tons of other games that your netbook won’t choke on… My three picks, after the jump.Continue Reading

Microsoft Allows Any Version Of Windows 7 On Netbooks, Lifts Restriction On Starter Edition

win-7-starter

By Chris Scott Barr

With Windows 7 coming out next month, we’re hearing more and more news about the upcoming OS from Microsoft. Two rather important pieces of info have just been announced. First, we now know that netbook manufacturers will not be required to use the scaled-down ‘Starter’ edition. They will in fact be allowed to install any version that they like. Windows 7 Starter has a few drawbacks such as it will only be available in 32-bit and will be missing Aero Glass, Taskbar Previews and Aero Peek.

The second piece of news is also regarding the Starter Edition. Microsoft had originally stated that this most basic of versions would restrict the number of applications you could have running. In fact, not being able to run more than three programs simultaneously was one of the biggest concerns about this particular version. Well rejoice future Starter Edition owners! Microsoft has officially lifted this restriction, allowing you to run as many applications as your computer can handle.

[ Microsoft ] VIA [ TG Daily ]

New “World’s Thinnest” Netbook Is CZC C9 From China

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By David Ponce

At 0.5cm, or 5 milimeters, or better yet for y’all non-metric readers, 0.2inches, the CZC 09 from ShenZhen Zichuang Technology claims to be the world’s thinnest. It also happens to be really light, at 750 grams. Feature-wise, you get “an ARM11 based CPU, 8.9 inch 1024*600 display, 1G RAM, 8G flash storage, 2 usb ports, an AVG port, a Li-ion battery with 6-9 hours working time”. It’ll be running a customized version of Linux and should retail for 1499 Yuan (about $220 ).

Now the thing is, the 0.2inch claim, as you’ll see in the pictures after the jump, is made at the very thinnest point of the device. It does get chunkier in the back. Still thin… but world’s thinnest?

Whether the CZC 09 ever makes out of China is something we don’t quite know yet. We’ll update you if we find something out.

Continue Reading

Nokia Decides They Want A Slice Of The Netbook Market, Introduces The Booklet 3G

Nokia Booklet 3G (Image courtesy SlashGear)
By Andrew Liszewski

While the full specs and pricing info aren’t set to be revealed until Nokia World next week, the company has posted a short video on the Nokia Europe website showing off the more notable features of their new Booklet 3G netbook. Running Windows 7 and powered by an Atom processor, the Booklet 3G features a 10.1-inch glass display and a 2cm thick aluminum body and will supposedly have up to 12 hours of battery life.

In terms of connectivity it’s got three USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI connection, an SD card slot as well as Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G HSPA, GPS, A-GPS and according to SlashGear, there’s even a chance of it having a hot-swappable SIM card slot. Now Nokia obviously isn’t the first company that comes to mind when you think of netbooks, but they’ve put together a nice package with the Booklet 3G and if they manage to price it right they could have a real contender on their hands.

[ Nokia Booklet 3G ] VIA [ SlashGear ]

Always Innovating Touch Book Supposedly Available This Month For $300

touchbook-custom

By Evan Ackerman

Always Innovating has taken a completely different approach to the burgeoning (and some might say cluttered) netbook market with their Touch Book tablet laptop… thing. Really, it’s a tablet computer that uses an 8.9″ touchscreen, but you can also use it with an attachable (more like, dockable) keyboard and touchpad that essentially turns it into more of a laptop.

There’s more besides the versatile form factor that differentiates the Touch Book from a netbook, though. Firstly, it’s always on, like a cell phone. No booting up, no shutting down, and it’s all solid state, so there’s no noisy fans. Somehow it manages to keep itself on for 10 hours with a single charge, thanks in part to a battery in the keyboard half as well as the screen half, although the entire package still weighs under 3 pounds. As you might expect, it has b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, plus an accelerometer and 3 external USB ports.

The only potential downside is that the Touch Book was not engineered to run Windows. It’s not just that it doesn’t come with Windows, it’s that Windows won’t work it. At all. Except maybe mobile versions of Windows. It unsurprisingly runs a custom distribution of Linux off of an SD card, which should easily provide enough functionality to do more or less everything you’d want to do with a mobile computer (web browsing, media, and light document editing). If you’re not happy with that, they’re also working on an Android version.

The Always Innovating Touch Book should be available sometime this month for $300, plus an extra $100 for the keyboard… It’s not a powerhouse compared to other netbooks in the price range, but it really speaks to what the core principle of a netbook is (or should be): flexible, mobile, inexpensive, basic computing.

[ Always Innovating ] VIA [ Gizmodo ]

Mimo Mini USB Monitor

bfa3_mimo_mimi_usb_monitor

By Evan Ackerman

As much as I love my netbook, the tiny size and convenience does come with drawbacks, not the least of which is the lack of screen real estate. Taking out my netbook after working on a pair of 30″ HD monitors at the office can be a shock, to say the least. The Mimo mini USB monitor provides an extra 800 x 480 pixels, which is a significant addition to the screen of any netbook, and it runs purely off of USB: no batteries or power cords and there’s a video card inside. It has reasonably decent brightness and contrast and can be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation. At 1.3 pounds, it’s light enough to carry around with your netbook, but the $130 pricetag is a bit steep… Especially considering that you can get a second netbook for about twice that much, or a full size external monitor for less. Oh well, that’s the price you pay for convenience and portability, I suppose.

It’s rather remarkable just how much the Mimo USB monitor looks like the D-Link SideStage USB monitor, which is supposed to come out at the end of the year for about the same price. It’s got pretty much the same specs, down to the weight. Not sure what’s up with that, but the most relevant point I guess is that the Mimo is available now. Or, at least sooner than the end of the year, at ThinkGeek.

[ ThinkGeek ]

Maximum Specs Announced For Windows 7 Netbooks

windows7-netbooks

By Chris Scott Barr

If you’re wanting to get a new netbook with a copy of Windows 7, it will come with a special version of the OS. Obviously, it is a somewhat limited version that will cost less (thus making the netbook cost less for the end-user), but just how limited is it? Surprisingly, it’s not nearly as bad as some have thought. For one, Microsoft has decided not to limit the graphics capabilities (such as Aero) or the ability to use a touchscreen which is nice. The main thing that Microsoft is worried about is making sure that the hardware used isn’t too powerful. That’s right, this is the first piece of software that I’ve seen with “maximum hardware requirements.”

Basically what it comes down to is that the netbook will need a 10.2-inch or smaller screen, no more than 250GB of storage on a hard drive, or 64GB on a SSD and no more than 1GB or RAM. The CPU can only have a single core, be clocked at no higher than 2.0Ghz and run at 15W or less. It doesn’t look like these are set in stone yet, but it does give us a good idea of what to expect.

[ TechARP ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]