We met with Lenovo this afternoon to talk about some of their upcoming products (to be revealed in the coming weeks and months), and they brought along a pre-production sample of their recently announced IdeaPad S10 netbook. We couldn’t help but resist getting some hands-on time with this tiny portable, including snapping up a dozen photos for you to enjoy. The S10 we saw was a red 9” version that will ship in international markets, while the US edition will offer a 10.2” glossy screen and come in 3 color options (red, white, or black). All variations of the S10 will run Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom processor (45nm, 533MHz FSB, 512k L2 Cache), though the best thing about the IdeaPad has to be its $399 price point.
Click through for all the high-res shots and more detailed specs.
The specs common to both versions are Windows XP, 10.2” LCD screen, LED backlight 1024x600 WSVGA, Intel Integrated Graphics GMA 950, Integrated 1.3M Camera, Battery up to 3 hrs. w/ 3 cell Battery & Up to 6 hrs. w/ 6 cell, Multi-touch Pad & near full size Keyboard (85% full size), Integrated Wireless 802.11 b/g,10/100 Ethernet, Bluetooth and 4in1 Multi-card Reader.
The base version will retail for $399 and will have a 80 GB HDD and 512MB memory, while the $499 version will come with a 160 GB HDD and 1GB memory. In some parts of the world there will also be 9” versions with Linux preloads.
The IdeaPad S10 will also feature Lenovo’s OneKey Rescue System for recovering precious data in the face of an out-of-the-blue corruption. Expect more netbook launches in the coming months.
Low cost ultraportables are starting to veer out of their budget pricing tier, a trend that will soon include Asus and its Eee PCs, the netbooks many consider to be responsible for popularizing the recent trend.
According to Asus president Jerry Shen, the company will launch more Eee PCs designed to address different market segments, including the high-end. Helping them to do it will be Intel, who Shen said is expected to keep shipping Atom N270 CPUs through the first half of 2009. So much for the Atom shortage.
Adding to the existing lineup of 11 Eee PC models, Asus will introduce two new categories, Ultimate and Pro Fashion, for a 2008 release. Both new models will come equipped with dual-core Atom processors and either a 120GB hard drive or a 32GB SSD. Models equipped with a solid-state drive will also feature a 10.1 inch 16:9 LED backlit panel, 4-5 hours of battery life, and command between $700 and $900, making them the first Eee PCs targeted at the high-end market.
Can netbooks still hold their appeal when approaching the $1,000 mark?
The list of manufactures not offering a netbook keeps dwindling and will get even smaller by September, DigiTimes says. Citing un-named sources (as they often do), the news site reports Lenovo will make the jump into ultraportable territory joining the ranks of Asus, Acer, MSI, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and, well, maybe it'd be easier to list who's not offering a netbook these days.
DigiTimes surmises Lenovo may turn to Compal Electronics, Wistron,or Pegatron Technology to manufacture its upcoming netbook, all three of which have existing relationships with the OEM. Compal shipped roughly 1.1 million mainstream notebooks to Lenovo in Q2 of this year, with Wistron supplying over 500,000 X-series ultraportables and Pegatron accounting for 200,000 IdeaPads.
Adding to the rumor, DigiTimes claims Lenovo Taiwan's general manager Ken Wong confirmed the company wants to launch a netbook for both consumer and enterprise markets, though no official word has yet been stated.
Solid state drives continue to make headway into the marketplace and Buffalo appears to be readying a herd of 32GB (SHD-EP9M32G) and 64GB (SHD-EP9M64G) SSDs for the Asus Eee PC 900 and 901 ultraportables. Not much else can be discerned from the translated press release, but according to PC Watch (and Google Translate), Buffalo will price the 32GB and 64GB at 16,800 and 33,600 yen, or $150 and $300 USD respectively.
Japan will get first crack at the new SSDs come mid to late September, but if you simply can't wait for Buffalo's drives to migrate stateside, at least one company is already selling the units with worldwide shipping.
Much has been made over Intel's Atom processor, the 45nm wonder-chip finding its way into more netbooks than production can seemingly keep up with. But lest the world forget, VIA also has a low power chip of its own, one the company claims delivers "truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment, and connectivity applications."
VIA's 65nm Nano processor saw an official launch a full two months ago, but it's Intel's Atom that keeps getting the attention. Is it justified? A pair of review sites looked to answer that question by pitting an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz) against a VIA Nano L2100 (1.8GHz), and both sites came to the same conclusion: VIA's Nano is the faster processor.
Clocked 12.5 percent faster the Atom chip, it should come as no surprise to see the Nano L2100 churn out better performance numbers, but it's the margin of victory that might turn a few heads. In some cases, the Nano chip outpaced the Atom by a margin of 15 to 20 percent, showing it deserves more attention than just as an also-ran.
Of course, it's all for naught if VIA can't win the one contest that matters most: Vendor support.
It seems like every company is jumping onto the recent Netbook craze, but will it turn out to be a passing fad? No one knows for sure, and it's because of this uncertainty that AMD will sit this round out.
"We are not saying it's not an important segment and we're not saying it's not a growing segment. What we are asying is that we are a smaller company and we have to focus on what we do well at this point. We are watching that segment rather than playing in it, but as it matures we'll see where it goes," said Nigel Dessau, AMD's chief marketing officer.
Dessau's comments fall in line with AMD's recent commitment to refocusing its business strategies, but could the company be preparing to strike? Hit the jump to learn more.
The guys at CruchGear want to design a web tablet that would cost $200 and they want your help to do it. I’ve always liked the idea of a tablet for doing little things like surfing from the sofa. With netbooks catching on, can a net-tablet be far behind?
They pitch this basic idea; make it as thin as possible, run low end hardware, headphone jack, a built in camera for video, low end speakers, microphone, wifi, USB port, a built in battery, 512 RAM, and a 4Gb solid state hard drive. No keyboard, input is via a touch screen. It will run on some flavor of Linux or BSD.
The extra twist is they want to build a few and then open source the specs so anyone can create and improve on them. I like the idea! You can read about the mock up here, and the article that started it here.
I see it as handy item for browsing the web and reading email, but with it's only interface is a touch screen, don't expect to write a book the size of War and Peace on it.
Stamford-based IT research firm Gartner has revealed the worldwide PC industry’s sales figures for the second quarter. Overall, the global PC industry registered a growth of 16% as a total of 71.9 million units were shipped during the quarter. More and more people are turning to notebooks, as opposed to desktops, as notebook prices continue to plummet. However, the US PC industry couldn’t keep up with the highly promising growth rate seen globally and managed a much subdued rate of 4.2% - total shipments stood at 16.5 million units.
If its Q2 performance is anything to go by, HP is not moving an inch from its position as the top PC maker in the world. HP’s sales grew at a faster rate than even the global average. But Dell is not too keen on staying at No.2 either. It raised its market share to 15.6% and even outshone HP’s year-over-year growth rate. These days one can’t resist mentioning netbooks but they really didn’t leave much of a mark in the US; still early days, though.
It is safe to assume that PC manufacturers like Lenovo and Dell, who are not currently surfing the netbook wave, are busy hatching plans to make a dent in the nascent segment. Lenovo happens to be one of the most noticeable absentees but it will make its presence felt soon with its new G-series of IdeaPad products.
According to DigiTimes, the G-series will target entry-level and netbook markets. The website further claims that the first notebook in the G-series will be the 14.1 inch G340 that will be powered by Intel’s brand new Centrino 2.
Lenovo can be rest assured that its low-cost offerings will have to contend with netbooks from manufactures like Asus, MSI, Acer and HP who will surely give it a very hostile welcome.