The HP Mini 1001xx is easily the classiest-looking little netbook we’ve come across. Like most of HP’s recent computers, from the Blackbird to the HDX 18, the Mini 1001xx opts for subtle design flair instead of solid colors—in this case, faint gray spirals on a glossy black clamshell lid. The interior is smooth and matte black, and the keys are soft and very square but still provide an audible click—no mushiness here.
The keyboard is the most comfortable we’ve ever used in a netbook; it doesn’t feel cramped at all, although those with large hands will still find their wrists dangling off the end of the board—a familiar story in this category.
Like the other netbooks we’ve tested, the Mini 1001xx is built on Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom processor, runs Windows XP, and has 1GB of DDR2 RAM. It has the smallest hard drive of any non-SSD netbook we’ve tested, but we suppose 60GB isn’t terrible. Like the Lenovo S10, the Mini 1001 ships with only two USB ports, and the Ethernet port is so well hidden as to be virtually invisible, but it is there, behind a thick rubber cover
The latest in Asus’s ever-expanding line of Eee netbooks is a welcome addition to the fold, and much more to our liking than the 901 model we reviewed in December.
Eschewing the previous model’s unremarkable white plastic exterior for a brushed aluminum shell is a smart move on Asus’s part. This changed aesthetic adds legitimacy to the product: The 901’s finish made the device feel disposable, while the 1002HA feels like a real computer.
More importantly, the 1002HA Asus sent us forgoes the pair of low-performance, ultra-low-capacity solid-state drives that bumped up the Eee 901’s price while wreaking havoc with its Photoshop performance (owing to the poor write speeds of cheap MLC SSDs). Instead of SSDs, the 1002HA sports a much more generous 5400rpm 160GB standard hard drive. And it really pays off: The 1002HA breezed through out Photoshop benchmark in just 690 seconds—40 seconds faster than the Acer Aspire One, our prev-ious champion, and less than half the 1,530 seconds the Eee 901 took to accomplish the same task.
A few years ago, SUVs were riding high, with throngs of the massive gas-guzzlers clogging the highways. Compact cars were considered wimpy and passé. Fast-forward to the present day and suddenly small is back in style. It’s not the size that matters, as the saying goes, it’s what you do with it. Since the advent of Asus’s Eee PC, manufacturers have been racing to bring tiny, low-powered laptops, also known as netbooks, to the market. You probably won’t use a netbook as your primary computer: limited storage space, integrated graphics, and the lack of an optical drive make them unsuitable for any really intensive tasks. But as small, eminently portable word-processing and Internet-browsing devices, netbooks hit the price/performance sweet spot for many people. By the end of 2008, more than 8 million netbooks will have been shipped.
In just the past several months, the netbook market has gone from nonexistent to immense, with dozens of models out already, most of them built around Intel’s low-voltage Atom processor, but some on VIA’s C7-M.
For this roundup, we chose three Atom-based netbooks running XP from three different vendors at three different price points to determine what this new category of portable PCs is capable of and how much price figures into performance. Ultimately, we aim to answer whether this new breed of portable PC is something we should even care about.
MSI has been moving into the notebook market in a big way over the past few years, with forays into business and gaming notebooks, and, this summer, netbooks, with the Wind U100. We have to say, we’re impressed.
In many ways, the Acer Aspire One is like the little sibling of MSI’s Wind. Besides sporting the same Intel Atom N270 processor running at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, and Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics, the two netbooks share a similar look and feel.
So you opened your advent calendar today, and what did you find? A new episode of the No BS Podcast, of course. In our penultimate podcast of 2008, we find time to not care about Apple’s recent announcement that they’re pulling out of Macworld Expo, discuss the merits of Nvidia’s new Ion netbook platform, and speculate about what we’ll see at CES next month. Join the podcast gang as we send off this past year (next week is a special all-rant edition), visit the lab, and answer your tech questions.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by. For the love of all that's holy people, if you guys don't start asking tech questions, we're going to change the name to the Nothing But Undead podcast...
The Netbook movement, if it may be labeled as such, has received a shot in the arm in the U.S with the launch of Sprint’s XOHM WiMax network in Baltimore. The launch effectively ushers in the WiMax epoch in the U.S.
Subscribers will have unabated mobile broadband access throughout Baltimore as the XOHM network envelopes the entire city. Sprint is claiming downlinks speeds of 2-4 Mbps, effectively faster than 3G.
Netbooks are expected to become more practical and even indispensable to a fair degree as more cities appear on the WiMax map in coming months. Moreover, netbook are beginning to make much more sense due to the financial meltdown.
Microsoft has revised the cap on hard disk space in netbooks running Windows XP. Now netbooks can have up to 160GB hard drive space, which is double the 80GB space previously permitted. It is anticipated that this increase in storage size will boost netbook sales, though not as significantly as enhanced processing power might. MSI and Asustek have already released the 160GB variants of their Wind and Eee PC netbooks respectively. This move can also dampen the sales prospects of SSD-bearing netbooks, which have comparatively lesser storage space due to current SSD prices.
Dell CEO Michael said Wednesday at the Citigroup Technology Conference that notebooks will eventually become subsidized by wireless telecom carriers, who will no doubt sell the devices with 3G service and capabilities in an effort to profit from the growing mobile market.
The prediction merely came off as an indication of the company’s strategy to stay afloat among the sea of competition infiltrating the notebook market, especially considering that the company has had less than expected profit margins. With the rising popularity of 3G, Dell expects that telecom carriers will take over the laptop market in order to sell the services and prepare for the eventual initiation of 4G. Notebooks will ultimately become netbooks.
At the conference, Citigroup said that netbooks will account for about a third of global notebook sales. Dell agreed, saying that “(Netbooks are) a market expansion,” according to ZDNet. Dell will no doubt follow this strategy as it attempts to reinitiate itself into the notebook market.
This means that the Asus Eee PC 2G, 4G, 900, 900A, 904HD and 1000HD models are going to feature Celeron M processors. However, it needs to be mentioned that some of the above models already employ Celeron processors. By using the cheaper Celeron M processors Asus also intends to keep costs low. According to PC World, Intel expects to catch up with demand by Q3 2008.