If Asus was feeling lonely in the subnotebook sector with its Eee PC, they needn't feel that way anymore. MSI, Acer, ECS, and Everex are just a handful of manufacturers to jump on to ultraportable bandwagon looking to cash in on the Netbook craze, and now Gigabyte joins an increasingly crowded list, but with a twist. Literally.
Like so many other ultraportables, Gigabyte's M912V features an Intel Atom processor, but unlike the competition, Gigabyte stuffs the chip into a Tablet PC. This gives users the ability to swivel the 8.9-inch touch screen display a full 180 degrees to lie flat on the keyboard. Other goodies include:
1GB DDR2 memory
160GB SATA hard drive
802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth
3 x USB ports
Windows XP, Vista Home Basic, or Linux
If PCLaunche's prediction holds true, look for the M912V to debut later this month for $699, not much less than a standard low-end to mid-range notebook. Do ultraportables hold enough appeal to compete in same price sector as their more powerful (and physically bigger) brethren?
As previously rumored, Asus' new Eee PC 904 will sport both a larger keyboard and bigger chassis akin to the Eee PC 1000, while also carrying a comfortable price tag of just £269 when it ships in the UK in mid-July. But in order to reach the low price point (and perhaps cope with Intel's Atom shortage), the new model will feature an Intel Celeron M processor instead of the popular Atom chip. Asus previously indicated the shortage of Atom processors would continue through September, a scenario which has low-cost panel makers more than a little bit nervous.
But the Atom chip isn't the only component playing a disappearing act; Asus plans to go with an 80GB hard drive for storage duties instead of a speedier SSD commonly found on other Eee PCs. Rounding out the spec sheet will be 1GB DDR2 RAM and Windows XP instead of the oft used Linux OS.
No word yet on when U.S. residents can expect to see the 1.4kg ultraportable on store shelves.
With weak demand from the digital photo frame market - in part possibly as a result of pre-existing malware infestations - LCD panel makers are hoping low-cost notebooks will pick up the slack and drive sales of medium-sized shipments in the second half of the year. But according to DigiTimes, a growing concern among panel makers is that a shortage of Intel Atom processors might affect their July shipments of 7- to 10-inch panels, the same ones used in low-cost notebooks and several mobile internet gadgets. Painting an even gloomier picture, Asus president Jerry Shen said last month the Atom shortage could last until September, giving LCD panel makers a major case of the summertime blues.
Nvidia shares dropped by a fourth today after the company announced it was setting aside a one-time hit of $150 to $200 million dollars to cover warranty and repair costs associated with an "abnormal failure rate" on its mobile graphics cards. The exact sources of the increased GPU problems are unknown at this time, although Nvidia believes the cards' increased thermal issues stem from weaker manufacturing and packing materials.
Watch TV on the go, you say? Leadtek says 'yes' with the announcement of its new hybrid TV capture card. The WinFast ExDTV2300 H supports the ExpressCard interface, with features that include:
DVB-T and worldwide analog TV reception (NTSC, SECAM, and PAL)
Component input video up to 480p
Full screen stereo/SAP support
DVB-T and FM Radio
The capture card comes with Leadtek's WinFast PVR2 software, which boasts Time Shifting, Scheduled Recording, Power on/off by Remote, and TwinView. Even better, Leadtek throws in an I/R remote allowing you to level-up your couch potato skill-set, whether you're home or not.
Could this be a growing trend? Last year Pinaccle introduced its PCTV HD Pro Stick, a bus-power tuner sized just right for notebooks. Unfortunately, performance was marred by somewhat slow channel surfing, nor did it work with unencrypted QAM signals, but in its favor, Gordon Mah Ung noted the dual-core notebook used to test the device never broke a sweat while playing back or recording HDTV content. This also begs the question; do notebook owners prefer an ExpressCard TV tuner over a USB-based one?
According to a DigiTimes report, Asus plans to expand its Eee PC line with a pair of new models, the 904 and 905. Like the current 901 ultraportable, the new models will reportedly feature the same 8.9" panel and continue to use Intel's Atom processor. But in a nod towards the 'bigger is better' axiom, look for a larger keyboard and chassis similar to the dimensions found on the Eee PC 1000, with pricing expected to stay competitive with the current crop of 900 and 901 models. DigiTimes also claims Asus is still on the fence over making changes to battery and storage capacity.
Perhaps taking a cue from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, memory maker OCZ hopes its newly announced 3GB SO-DIMM kit will prove just the right amount for notebook users looking for a cost effective upgrade. The PC2-5400 part targets Vista 32-bit users and is meant to occupy the sweet spot between not having enough memory, and overpaying for too much RAM.
Click through the jump for detailed specs, and to find out if you're better offer investing in a 4GB kit.
Dell has always bolted out with top honors for the most galling customer service experience. Although it claims to be working earnestly at improving customer service, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.
It had committed the same blunder just a month ago and subsequently apologized. Dell has no choice but to offer replacements which it is currently doing. But even mandatory replacements seem such a privilege with Dell’s customer-service credentials.
Perhaps sensing an increasing divide between the latest fad in ultra-portable laptops (like the Eee PC) and costly desktop replacements, Dell is setting its sights squarely on the middle ground while also appealing to the fashion conscious. Consumers can customize the Studio 15 and Studio 17 notebooks by choosing between 7 seven different color configurations along with a handful of trim color options.
But looks run only skin deep. To see what these new notebooks are packing under the hood, click through the jump.
Move over MacBook Air, and make room for a sexier, slimmer model. Rahul Sood, founder of VoodooPC and CTO of the HP Voodoo Business Unit, is showing off a pre-production Envy 133 notebook, and if looks could kill, we'd all find ourselves in a world of hurt just for peeking. Sporting a gorgeous Scuderia Red paint job with Italian racing stripes and finished off with a custom laser engraving, the carbon fiber Envy 133 looks poised to win accolades for both inner and outter beauty. Weighing in at a scant 3.4 pounds and measuring just .70 inches thick, the new Intel Centrino-powered Envy boasts a backlit keyboard, instant-on technology for quick access to the web and Skype, and USB, eSATA, and HDMI ports. Just don't expect to do much gaming on the integrated Intel GMA X3100 graphics.