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.
Just how green can we make a PC? Pretty damn green, although the Cherrypal isn’t very pretty or particularly cheap, although $250 isn’t really bad as far as computers go.
On the technical side it can best be described as the 90 pound weakling. The CPU is a 400 MHz Freescale MPC5121e mobile GT triple-core processor, originally developed to run devices like navigation systems in cars. It has 256 MB DDR2 memory, 4 GB of NAND flash memory which contains a Debian Linux-based operating system and the Firefox web browser. It also sports 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, VGA out, and Audio out. It’s just enough to fulfill its purpose -cloud computing.
Basically it allows you to surf, email, watch YouTube, watch Flash animations, and create documents/spreadsheets. Something that does bother me is the claims that the device is secure, because it accesses the Internet through the Cherrypal Cloud. I don’t like that all my data goes through one company like that. There are also many “what ifs” to be answered on that point.
We’ll have to see how this compares to the netbooks when they are actually shipping, Netbooks after all at least look cool. From the picture the Cherrypal looks like a bar of black soap.
Anyone that has used a smart phone for browsing the internet knows that those little screens are just too small to be really comfortable to use. We also know that we don’t like to tote a notebook PC around on the chance that we need to use the internet for something.
The industry has known we needed something between a notebook PC and a smartphone sized device. It has taken several stabs at it, but nothing has quite stuck until a new breed of device has started to hit the market, called netbooks. These power sipping, devices are made primarily for checking email and surfing the internet at a low cost, some selling for $300. The PC industry is set to sell tens of millions of these devices. Good deal for the PC industry, right?
Maybe not. The NYTimes.com reports that industry analysts say that the emergence of this new class of low-cost, cloud-centric machines could threaten big market companies like Microsoft, Intel, HP, or Dell. “When I talk to PC vendors, the No. 1 question I get is, how do I compete with these netbooks when what we really want to do is sell PCs that cost a lot more money?” said J. P. Gownder, an analyst with Forrester Research.
Why are these tiny PCs a threat? Make the jump to find out!
Say what you will about Best Buy's Geek Squad and Circuit City's Firedog computer repair centers, but no matter what amount of ridicule each one might receive in tech circles, those without access to a next-of-kin techspert find themselves using the oft overpriced (and sometimes overzealous) services offered by each. Now Wal-Mart wants a piece of the fix-my-PC pie too.
According to the mega-chain, Dell is testing a repair and installation service for electronics in up to 15 of its stores in the Dallas area. The "Solution Stations" will not only offer PC repair, but HDTV and home theater installation, wireless support, and other electronic services.
"For Wal-Mart, the program provides an opportunity for us to understand more about what our customers need and expect in home installation and technology services, within a specific market," the company said in a statement on its website. Wal-Mart also indicated that the program is a small pilot and that there are currently no plans to expand outside of Dallas beyond the 15 select stores.
And what about pricing? According to the Dallas Morning News, memory installation will run $29 in-store, or $99 if making a house-call. To install a wall-mounted TV, connect cables, and integrate three video components, it is charging $289.
So it's official; you can now get everything and the kitchen sink at Wal-Mart, and that includes PC repair. But would you want to?
Back in April, Australian PC maker Pioneer Computers leaked details on the processors Intel will use in its Centrino 2 mobile platform, and now the Aussies are back at it again. This time, Pioneer Computers is taking preorders for laptops built using unreleased quad-core mobile processors from Intel, claiming the CPUs will be available within one to two weeks.
The upgrade doesn't come cheap, with Pioneer Computers charging $1,390USD to boost its DreamBook Style 9008 laptop from a Core 2 Duo P8400 to a Core 2 Extreme QX9300. The upgrade alone more than doubles the cost of the laptop in its default configuration - ouch!
Intel hasn't yet listed the QX9300 on its most recent price list, but the high end part will pack four cores clocked at 2.53GHz each, along with a beefy 12MB of on-chip cache, according to Pioneer.
Intel declined to comment, as it does with all "unannounced products," but that doesn't mean you can't. Would you be willing to double up the cost of your notebook for twice as many cores and more cache?
Microsoft seems poised to finally fight back against Apple’s Mac Guy vs PC Guy ads. The trendy, cool young ‘Mac’ guy versus the older staid business “PC” guy in a suit, have become pop culture icons. Every Mac user I ever knew was into granola, watching tree’s grow, and communing with nature, not trendy and cool. Microsoft’s position until now has been to sit back and let them play out. This may have been a bad move on Microsoft’s part. Mac Guy has been thoroughly ingrained into the national psyche.
Brad Brooks, the Corporate Vice President of Windows Consumer Product announced during his keynote address July 8 at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference that Microsoft is launching a 300 million dollar advertising counteroffensive against certain “unnamed competitors”. Dailytech.com quoted him as saying , "We know our story is very different from what our competitors want us to think. Today we are drawing a line and are going to start telling the real story (about Vista)."
Gizmondo and Crunchgear report that Acer's new Aspire X1200 is loaded with multimedia features in a slimline mini-PC form factor. Featuring nine USB 2.0 ports, a full-featured Flash memory card reader, and an HDMI port, the X1200 is ready to connect to your home theater system. It also features AMD Athlon X2 dual-core processors, 4GB of RAM, DirectX 10 support, and PCI Express v2.0.
For a complete feature rundown and available configurations, see me after the break.
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?
The folks at Purdue University who are working to bring us miniaturized refrigeration are also working on Quantum computing. They have created a new, hybrid molecule in which its quantum state can be intentionally manipulated, useful in the building of quantum computers. Quantum computers could harness the strange behaviors found in quantum physics to create computers that would carry information using quantum bits, or qubits. Got a headache yet?
They go on to say that quantum computers also could take advantage of the strange behaviors of quantum mechanics perhaps like two quantum computers could communicate instantaneously across any distance imaginable, or maybe the binary bits we are used to dealing with could exist in their usual on or off state, but also a both on and off state. Okay I need aspirin now.
We don’t have to worry about seeing a quantum PC anytime soon. They say this new discovery won’t bring quantum computers even 10 years closer.
Who knew? Purdue doesn’t just bring chicken to mind anymore. They are working hard on building the future PC enthusiast's dream machine.
Are you tired if the Asus Eee mania yet? Surely not! LaptopMag.com reports on some leaked photos of an Eee Monitor or more likely an all-in-one PC. There looks to be a camera in at the top with microphone. The Denon logos in the corners with the grill suggest built in speakers. On the back looks to be a phone jack, Ethernet jack, 4 USB ports, various audio ports and a cable lock port. It seems to have a clear plastic foot at the bottom, and is shown in either black and white colors. LaptopMag.com reports it’s rumored to have a built-in TV tuner and a starting price of $500, but believe that when you see it. Soon we may have Eee coffee makers and toasters.