Thought Google's Android platform was only good for smartphones? No. 1 chipmaker Intel thinks differently, says VentureBeat. Apparently Intel, who already dominates the netbook scene with its Atom processor line, will begin mass producing Android-based netbooks, which could end up on the market as early as this year.
Like everyone in the tech industry, Intel ended 2008 with a whimper, at least in terms of revenue and profits. The chip maker's net income fell 88 percent to $234 million compared to a year prior, and sales for Q4 2008 were 23 percent lower than for the same quarter in 2007. But an exploding netbook market has helped Intel weather the storm, and netbook sales don't look to be slowing down any time soon.
While Linux has been gaining popularity on the desktop front, the open-source OS has fared better on netbooks. Android, which is based on Linux, could prove to be a viable alternative to both Windows and Linux thanks to its built-in functionality, and it only looks to get more popular as more handset manufacturers begin to implement the platform. By the time Intel is expected released Android-based netbooks (2010 is the most likely scenario), Google's Android could potentially have built up a following, potentially making it more attractive to netbook buyers than Linux and less expensive than Windows-based ultraportables.
Rumors that Dell would release a smartphone have been swirling for some time, and the OEM system builder did little to dispel that notion last summer when it said "we're not ready to publicly disclose our plans there...we're kind of working on that."
According to AlleyInsider.com, who claims to be receiving tips from someone "close to Dell," the OEM will offiically enter the smartphone market on September 9, 2009. The tipster says the new gadget is being called the MePhone, at least internally, and that the focus is being put on "customization." If the rumor turns out to be true, then it would appear Dell feels confident it can compete with Apple's iPhone.
Other details remain a mystery, including what software platform Dell would use, though Wired.com argues that when Dell enters the smartphone market, it will likely use the Windows Mobile platform due to the company's strong relationship with Microsft.
The news section of Maximum PC is bombarded constantly with updates on new up and coming cloud services. Cloud computing figureheads such as Google make a compelling case to start moving our lives online, but what about bulk storage? Plenty of competing companies offer a variety of services to share your pictures, music, and documents, but they tend to be stand alone offerings. Many users in search of good old fashioned bulk online storage have settled on services such as Microsoft Skydrive, or Amazon S3 with Jungle Disk. Others have even gone so far as to hack Gmail accounts into temporary storage, but many have wondered when Google would offer something like this natively.
The answer to this question may be fast approaching with a service they are rumored to be calling “GDrive”. According to a description snipped from Google Pack’s code, enterprising blogger Brian Ussery has uncovered the following description. “GDrive provides reliable storage for all of your files, including photos, music and documents. GDrive allows you to access your files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device - be it from your desktop, web browser or cellular phone”. If this description holds true, it will defiantly give competing services something to worry about. The ability to upload any file securely online, and access it from any platform is truly a compelling idea. The questions that still remain are when, and how much?
What is your favorite way to archive files online?
Can't afford an Ferrari that goes vroom vroom? Maybe you can get the same experience from one that goes ______(insert Vista's startup sound here). Acer says it's new Ferrari 1200 notebook "conveys the look and feel of a F1 racecar" with a "unique ventilation design that echoes the exhaust pipes of F1 cars." Plenty more comparisons are made in the press release, which you can read here.
Underneath the hood (or inside the chassis - it doesn't ship with a real hood) Acer opted to go with an AMD Turion X2 Ultra dual-core processor with 2MB cache and an AMD M780G chipset. Graphics are fueled with ATI's Radeon HD 3200, and the portable rig supports up to 4GB of DDR2 memory. A SATA hard drive, Acer's Bio-Protection fingerprint reader, and a 12.1-inch LCD display with LED backlighting round out the notable features.
Aesthetically, the Ferrari 1200 comes with a carbon-fiber cover with a wave pattern, "while the soft-touch coating and the velvety texture of the interior ensure ergonomic comfort." Even the touchpad comes decked out, constructed of anodized-metal to resemble the brake and acceleration pedals of the real deal.
Intel, who last year showed it was really serious about netbooks when it purchased the netbook.com domain (probably much to the chagrin of Psion), just got a little bit more serious. The chip maker is working on its own netbook OS called "Moblin," which reached its first alpha release earlier this week.
Based on Linux, Moblin's alpha code is available for free to test the core Linux OS, boot processo, a new "Fastboot" feature, connectivity and networking, and more. To run it, you'll need an Intel Atom or Core 2 CPU with SSE3 instructions, integrated Intel graphics (915/945/965 - GMA-500 not supported), and one of a specific set of wired/wireless network adapters. So far, Intel said it has tested Moblin on a handful of popular netbooks, including the Acer Aspire One, Dell Mini 9, and the ever popular Asus Eee 901.
Intel did say to expect a heavy does of cosmetic changes to the UI between now and the final release, so what you see is not necessarily what you'll get. The company also warned "3D performance is known to be slow."
Learn more details and grab your download here, then hit the jump and tell us what you think about Intel making its own netbook OS.
Super Talent this week released an SSD upgrade intended for the Asus S101 Eee PC. The flash storage comes embedded on a SATA mini-PCIe board and served up in 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB capacities. All three models share the same read and write speeds -- up to 90MB/s and 55MB/s respectively -- offering modest performance.
"You can never have enough storage space," noted Joe James, Super Talent's director of marketing. "This is sure to be a popular upgrade for the S101."
And it probably will be, given that the interface should work with any netbok offering mini-PCIe storage expansion. Super Talent says all three models are shipping now, with the 64GB model retailing for approximately $169.
Acer, who made good on its promise to outship the competition in the netbook market despite only offering a single netbook model, will soon add to its Aspire One line with a new D150 series.
Engadget reports the Aspire One D150-0B will first debut in France in early February, with the D150-1B slated for a March release. Both models are expected to ship with the Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz) CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and a 10.1-inch 1024x600 display. The only difference between the two is that the 0B ships with a 3-cell battery, versus a 6-cell battery on the 1B, Endgadget says.
Also in March, a D150-2BG model will make its debut. Specs include an Intel Atom N280 (1.66GHz) CPU, integrated 3G quandband UMTS/HSDPA mobile broadband, and a 6-cell battery.
The Aspire One D150-0B, D150-1B, and D150-2B are expected to sell for €329 ($425), €349 ($450), and €449 ($575) respectively. Prices will likely be lower in the U.S., but no word yet on U.S. availability.
MSI hopes its new GT627 notebook will satiate both gamers and overclockers alike. The GT627 is the first notebook in MSI's lineup to incorporate Nvidia's GeForce 9800M GS graphics processor with a 1GB frame buffer, and the company's Turbo Drive feature allows end users to overclock the CPU when on AC power.
"Whether viewing or editing photos, finding directions, playing a game, or watching a hi-def movie, the MSI GT627 with the NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GS GPU runs silky smooth, with amazing visuals," said Rene Haas, General Manager of the notebook business unit at NVIDIA. "With the GeForce 9800M GS handling the graphics, video and physics acceleration, MSI customers will be ready for the visual computing movement."
The 15.4-inch notebook also ships with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor on a 1066MHz frontside bus, up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, a 320GB hard drive, optional Blu-ray drive, a 4-in-1 media card reader, optional 9-cell battery, 802.11a/g/n, HD audio, webcam, HDMI, eSATA, and a touch sensor.
Google's Android OS was supposed to pave the way for an iPhone killer, but instead of decimating the iPhone, Android-users are instead finding their contacts being wiped out. The culprit isn't Android itself, but an Android application called MemoryUp users claim is responsible for erasing their contacts, installing adware, and even freezing their phone.
"Doesn’t work at all erased my phone numbers and froze my phone," one user complained. "Do not download. Destroyed my memory card/system delete. Then my email was spammed. TMobile can’t stop you from downloading this! So don’t!," added another user.
The app, created by Peter Liu, claims to keep Android smartphones running faster and efficiently by monitoring system use and freeing up resources when needed. But some users contend the program is nothing more than a scam. Buyer beware.
Quanta has big plans to infiltrate the superslim notebook market, according to DigiTimes' un-named sources. The sources say Quanta has finished developing its new notebook, which the company claims is of a higher quality than MSI's ultra-slim X320 and cheaper than Apple's MacBook Air.
MSI's X320 was shown off at CES boasting a width of just 1.9 cm (just 6 mm at its edges), and weighing less than 2.9 pounds. By comparison, Quanta's super-slim notebook reportedly measures 1-2 cm thick. You won't find an optical drive on the X320, but you will find three USB ports, a memory card slot, and a 13.4-inch 16:9 display.
Quanta does not yet have a mass production schedule, so suffice to say, no word yet on pricing or availability.