Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

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All posts tagged "netbooks"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Netbooks and New Intel Atom Processors: Still Here!

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 09:30 AM

"Despite a recurring belief in the press that netbooks are dead, the lilliputian, low-power laptops are still selling in volume. Intel certainly isn’t giving up on the category. Today, the chipmaker announced its next-generation “Cedar Trail” Atom processor for netbooks, which promises even lower power consumption than current models, along with the ability to play 1080p video."

Intel's new Cedar Trail processors will be marketed as Atom N2600 and Atom N2800, using Intel's 32nm process. This should enable better power efficiency and allow thinner, lighter (and I assume faster) netbooks to be built. Intel says that this generation's battery run time should be around 10 hours. The new chipset(s) also enable playback of 1080p video, supports Intel's WiDi (wireless display) technology, and should allow one to stream content to a TV (additional hardware may be needed for this feature). Additional features support faster connectivity and startup. We should see netbooks from the usual suspects (minus Dell) in 2012. I still like this form factor, if the screen resolution is 1366x768 of greater, so it'll be interesting to see how this generation of netbooks is marketed.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Netbooks are not Completely Dead. Behold the HP dm1z!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"Netbooks, having enjoyed so much excitement during their early days, have now retreated for the most part from the public eye. Part of the reason is likely the rise in tablets, and now Ultrabooks, but netbooks themselves are also partially responsible. There simply has not been much movement in the market."

It is true that netbooks are no longer the hot buy they once were. Tablets are all the rage, and interest in Ultrabooks is increasing. Still, netbooks are still around, and while there has been very little progress with them, either in horsepower or design, they still provide a very portable choice for someone on the go. The only development I have really seen with netbooks is that they are slowly improving in their graphics capability. With more capable GPUs, things like HD video playback is getting better. Pricing, however, varies. While newer models like the latest dm1z are still a bit high at just shy of $400, you can find older models bumping around at half the price. Does anyone remember when ultra-portable laptops cost thousands of dollars?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Still Waiting for the ASUS Eee PC X101

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:30 PM

"ASUS has gone and made its super svelte Eee PC X101 official with a dedicated product page live on its site. We'd already gotten our hands-on with the crimson-colored ultraportable, but now there's a whole list of specs to flesh out this 920g wonder."

The specifications for the X101 do not look that impressive. In fact, it looks a lot like many of the netbooks of years gone by. Probably the biggest part of interest is the $199 price tag, which is finally starting to get the price of the netbook down to where it was originally supposed to be. I do not see the X101 saving the netbook industry, however. Netbooks will still play a wonderful role in our mobile computing, but tablets are the hot item, and what everyone is talking about. You will definitely not impress anyone at Starbucks with one of these.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We Have Smart Phones, And Do We Want to Simplify Our Lives

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 10:34 AM

"Almost two-thirds of Americans are using more than one computing device - defined as a Smartphone, tablet, computer or netbook - according to a poll released this week. Unsurprisingly, the poll, which surveyed 2,000 Americans, found that 83 percent of people want access to their documents in the cloud. Of course they do. When 63 percent of the population has multiple computers and one-third has more than three, keeping them synced is a pain best left back in the early '00s and late '90s where it belongs."

The author of article has statistics on his side that some 15% of the computer users use 4 or more computer devices a week. That is probably true if you use one at work, have a laptop at home, netbook, Smartphone, Server, tablet, work multiple jobs or your family has multiple computers. However, is it really necessary to put all your data, music, photos etc. in the cloud? To me the answer is no. It does make sense with certain files. So, with all these devices do we really want dumb down these devices to simplify our lives? Some probably do, others no. To me, it is all about customizing the device. It will be interesting to see what the manufacturers will do with the devices and the cloud in the next few years.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Android Tablets Face Off against the Asus Transformer

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 02:30 PM

"Two of the latest low-cost Honeycomb tablets to hit the shelves are the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The only trouble is, it's almost impossible to tell the two apart (beyond the $50 price difference). At first glance they are pretty similar. Both have a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen, run NVIDIA's 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. Each has 16GB or 32GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot that can handle an additional 32GB. Connectivity includes WiFi b/g/n on both (the A500 adds in 802.11a support) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, together with a mini-HDMI port for outputting up to 1080p HD video. 3G versions of each tablet will follow later in the year."

The improvements keep coming in the tablet market. The Asus Transformer looks very impressive. Both the tablets have about the same specifications. The Asus has the biggest glaring standout about 16 hours of battery life with its docking station. To me that is just amazing, as the Asus tablet will last for a business day and still have battery life to spare. The question that comes to mind are both the tablets better than an Apple iPad. From the hardware, I would say yes. When it comes to the software, Android market is just starting for the tablets. Keep in mind this is new technology and it is not cheap. However, if you are looking for that extra battery life (Asus), ports, portability (1.5lbs), and Android O/S these tablets might fit the bill. One other thing is the new laptop are cheaper than these tablets. It is something to keep in mind.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The LapDawg X4: A New Breed You Can Cuddle With

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

When life's circumstances breed new technology, great things happen. The LapDawg X4 is a good example. If you use your laptop to get your email in bed, browse the Internet from the chaise longe, or work in non-office environments, the LapDawg X4 is for you! Or, if you are just looking for the ultimate in ergonomic adaptability, you need to read on. Read more...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Atom Z670 Ready And Willing

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Built using a 45nm manufacturing process, the Z670 runs at 1.5GHz and promises to support 1080p video with the aid of Intel's GMA 600 integrated graphics, while also keeping power consumption to a minimum and allowing for smaller, thinner, and fanless devices."

Intel seems to want to move the ultraportable x86 market at a glacial pace. The Z670 is an improvement. Woo hoo! Look! It can how handle 1080p video! If that is the biggest claim it can make, I worry about how incremental we can get. Next year, a new model Atom will come out that can decode 3D 1080p video. With AMD's APUs now out in the wild, providing some real competition, the only leverage I can see Intel having is branding and possibly manufacturing capacity. And that is only if the ARM behemonth does not come up and smack the bottom out from under the market.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Netbooks: Not Dead Yet (Really!)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"The netbook market is expected to maintain shipments of about 30 million units in 2011 with the top-three vendors to ship about six million units each, according to the word on the street here in Taipei. Netbooks are Dead is a catch phrase that's been going around since the release of Apple's iPad. However, it appears that the manufacturers have recently changed their position after looking at the market and believe that netbooks still have a place."

With a new generation of technologies on the near horizon, manufacturers have decided that there -is- a future for netbooks, and that the entire planet is not migrating overnight to tablets or smartphones. There is still a large market for these tiny laptops, and the improved hardware should further blur the distinction between netbooks and laptops. More power, low price, and great battery life is still a winning combination for consumers. As far as I can see into the future, as long as tablets remain primarily content consumers (and not content creators), there will be a place for netbooks.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Laptop Bag
Manufacturer: Everki
Where to Buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
Price: $59.99
Specifications: Length: 16.54 in., Width: 7.09 in., Height: 12.99 in., Weight 1.98 lbs.


  • Handy compartment designed for Apple iPad or any other similar sized tablet computer;
  • Lots of additional compartments to store other electronics, including power cords;
  • Small enough in size to take anywhere, yet can hold a lot more equipment than you would think.
  • Clasps on front flap are difficult to manage while on the move;
  • The bag only accommodates up to a 15.6" laptop.

Summary: The Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag, is a bag with a twist. It comes with a compartment especially designed to carry an Apple iPad. Given the wildly popular reception the iPad has received since its debut, there have been a lot of products designed to carry and protect it, but this is the first time I have seen a solution designed into a laptop bag, and that makes it rather unique. While some people might argue that the whole reason they bought an iPad was to ditch their laptop, for other people, myself included, that just isn't realistic. As handy as my iPad is, there are just some things that are done more efficiently with a laptop. So how do I easily carry both? Everki attempts to answer that question with their Track Laptop Bag. Just how successful are they? Let's see!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Notebook Buyer's Guide: Holiday Edition

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 AM

"Welcome to the Holiday Season!Each year, technology gadgets and toys top the charts as some of the hottest items for the Christmas [Insert your personal holiday preference] shopping season. We like to think we know a thing or two about technology, with expert coverage of the latest CPUs, GPUs, SSDs, Laptops, Smartphones, and other items, so we usually try to put together some recommendations for the technophiles out there (or their significant others)."

image source:

AnandTech's first Holiday Buying Guide for 2010 is here, and specializes in notebooks. Interesting that the authors point out Intel's impending release of their Sandy Bridge architecture, and hint at waiting on new purchases. They've broken down their guide into five sections: netbooks, ultraportables, mainstream, gaming machines, and workstations, and the offerings discussed run the gamut of power and price. Their approach is consumer focused, presenting what they consider to be 'the best for the money you can get.' Worth a read if you're in the market this holiday season.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Samsung's New Netbook Ups The Netbook Ante

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:30 AM

"The NF310 joins the similarly priced Asus Eee PC 1015PEM as being one of the first netbooks to use the Atom N550, the first dual-core processor from Intel specifically designed for such devices. According to Intel, the 45nm N550 has a 1.5GHz clock speed, 1MB of second-level cache, and an 8.5 Watt TDP."

While netbook sales have been slumping, there seems to be a little progress in advancing the category. While dual-core netbooks are becoming more common, the most notable difference between the NF310 and many other netbooks is that it offers a 1366x768 screen resolution. While the extra 168 rows of pixels may not sound like much, it means that the netbook is capable of playing back 720p movies without downscaling, and you get to see that much more while web browsing. Sure, you can scroll down webpages if you really want to, but being able to absorb that much more at a glance does make a huge difference for me. I have always felt that 1024x600 to be cramped, even though it leads to easier to read text. Maybe when I start telling people to get off my lawn, I will appreciate lower resolution screens more, where the letters are nice and big.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Winter Refresh for Vaio Line

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Sony Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 AM

"It’s not just new winter coats you’re seeing this fall hit store shelves. Today, the Sony VAIO® division has released a variety of updated models in preparation of this holiday season. Available today on, this fall’s update reveals not only new CPU options but a few other enhancements."

The Vaio E series sees new color options, screen sizes, and processor upgrades. The F series snags some USB 3.0 goodness along with an upgraded processor and graphics card. Finally, the L series sees the return of Blu-ray. If you are a fan of Sony's hardware, be sure to check out their latest offerings.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Netbook Sales Continue to Crash

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:30 PM

"According to recently released numbers from DisplaySearch, the iPad is taking over, and netbook sales continue to crash. From the second quarter of 2009 to Q2 of 2010, sales of clamshell mini-notes with 10-inch displays were down 8 percent to 6.5 million units."

The graph is a bit confusing, but the bottom line is that the iPad appears to be drawing buyers away from netbooks. According to DisplaySearch, from Q2 of 2009 to Q2 of 2010, netbook (clamshell netbooks with 10-inch displays) sales dropped eight (8) percent to 6.5 million units sold. The article states that over the same time period Apple sold 3.3 million iPads. A slight problem in the statistics, since the iPad wasn't available until April 2010. But the underlying meaning is clear, buyers are looking for something portable. DisplaySearch predicts tablet growth "as much as 41 percent" from this year to next. Even though I own an iPad, I won't replace my "business netbook" with a tablet until I can get one that runs MS Excel and Word. I guess that means that I wait for a Windows 7 tablet ... Come on HP!

Tags: netbooks, slate, ipad

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Death Of The Netbook, Again

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"While PC makers are running full-speed to chase the iPad's success, it's notable that just as quickly they've stopped talking about Netbooks. Some people call them mini-notebooks. Even more people now call them that thing that's bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a laptop that looks more than a little bit clunky next to a tablet device."

Oh no! If you want a netbook, you better go out and buy one fast! From all the press that it has been getting, you would think that manufacturers would be panicking and switching all their factories over to making slates! At 8.4 million shipped in the second quarter of this year, that still sounds like quite a healthy number. And there are some developments, although marginal, in the netbook space. Netbooks just do not have the sparkle they once had and have largely stagnated. If they were to drop in price, or offer something new like great performance (which may be coming!) or 3D acceleration (which is possible!) and more creative designs, consumers might be willing to buy more. I still think that netbooks are a great value, and will continue to exist for years to come. They just are no longer the hot topic.

Monday, September 6, 2010

ASUS Releases Another 12" Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

"The Asus Eee PC 1201K is a 12 inch mini-laptop which looks a lot like other Asus notebooks such as the Eee PC 1201N or Asus UL20A. But while those machines have Intel chips, the Eee PC 1201K has a low power AMD Geode processor."

I may not have been paying much attention to the CPU market lately, but it has been a long time since I have seen the Geode CPU in consumer electronics. My last experience with a Geode based computer was probably close to a decade ago, though I recall some mobile UMPCs making use of them. I have to wonder about the timing of this release though, as AMD's Bobcat is not that far away, and will probably offer far better performance per watt compared to the aging Geode platform. Even if the 1201k was available in Canada, I cannot say that I would find it that tempting. I would much prefer an Atom or Athlon Neo based setup.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Netbook Revolution is Over, But it Served a Purpose

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 04:23 PM

"Congratulations! The netbook revolution is over and you won. Monday, Intel announced the general availability of new systems from most major vendors featuring its dual-core Atom N550 processor. The company also shared that it has shipped over 70 million Atom CPUs since it first launched the low-voltage, low-priced platform back in 2008. Yet with so much success has come massive stagnation-and even declines in sales. The problem isn't that netbooks have failed. On the contrary, they've succeeded so well that they have become irrelevant."

Despite what some iPad hype-masters would have us believe, the drop is netbook sales has nothing to do with the iPad coming out - the reality is that netbooks re-shaped the notebook landscape, cluing manufacturers into the fact that for online tasks, a small form factor and "good enough" hardware are what many consumers were looking for. Netbooks still sell, especially amongst certain segments (they're big with students), but because the technology in a 2010 netbook isn't very different from a 2008 netbook, it's not surprising that people aren't rushing out to replace their hardware - especially since, odds are the first netbook they bought meets the "good enough" criteria.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best Netbooks and Laptops for Back to School

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:00 AM

"You didn't think we'd let back to school season roll around without rounding up the latest gear, did you? Good, because here at Engadget we understand that not only is heading off to college nerve wracking, but picking out the best gadgets can as equally scary. We couldn't think of kicking off our back to school guide with anything but our top netbook / laptop choices since, you know, a good performing and well-rounded machine is absolutely essential for those hours of Facebook stalking, err of homework and studying. No matter what your budget, we've got you covered with recommendations and loads of mobile computing options."

I usually find that most of these guides recommend more horsepower than is really necessary.  I see too many parents investing in a high-powered machine for their first years student with the plan that it will last them all four years.  I usually recommend a pretty low end laptop for the first two years.  Even a low end netbook can surf the web for research and run your basic office apps.  They can also handle Hulu and Netflix streaming for entertainment needs.  But the laptop is probably the better choice just for the larger screen/keyboard/DVD drive.  They should also invest in an external backup solution and be religious about using it, if not, that first lost paper the night before it is due is going to be a painful lesson.  Next, I recommend taking that big pile of money you saved by going cheap and putting it aside for when you get that call that your child's laptop has been lost/stolen/breaks.  Finally, by the time they've reached their junior year and are in a specific program that might require specialized software and a higher powered computer, hopefully with market price declines you may still have enough left over to buy a more powerful machine than you originally planned to buy when they first started school.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A $99 Android Netbook

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 PM

"So, is the GenBook worth your $100? Depends on what you need this thing for -- it's alright for looking up a quick Website here and there, and we assume if you can get some light apps running on it, it could be a decent single-function device. However, if you're looking for something that can provide decent video playback and be more of a multitasker, it's probably best to save up an extra $100 and get something a bit more substantial (like a bona fide netbook)."

This is the same company that is bringing you the $150 Android tablet I reported on yesterday. This one fares poorly in the review and I'm hoping it doesn't reflect on the quality of the tablet (although it probably does). I'm still keeping my fingers crossed since the tablet supposedly has Android 2.1 as opposed to 1.6 on this and more horsepower. Otherwise, this really is similar to what Asus first offered in the original Eee at a fantastic price point. With some fine tuning, it could still be a winner. Still, I've got to ask, where the heck did this company come from?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ASUS Eee PC 1215N Netbook for Power Users

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 02:00 PM

"The phrase "netbook powerhouse" would typically be considered an oxymoron. That was before ASUS announced its Eee PC 1215N bumpin' a 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor with NVIDIA Optimus to intelligently switch between its NVIDIA Ion discrete and integrated graphics."

ASUS has always been good at anticipating the changing needs of netbook users, and the new Eee PC 1215N continues the trend, further blurring the thin line between netbook and laptop. Details are a bit sparse today, but this "network powerhouse" sports a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 processor, a 12-inch 1366x768 display, NVIDIA Optimus to allow switching between integrated and NVIDIA ION graphics, and hardware decoding for H.264, MPEG2 and VC1 HD Videos to allow 1080p video playback in 16:9 format. Read more...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Asus Eee 1201N Sports Dual-Core

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 06:00 AM

"At $500, the 1201N hits the upper end of the netbook range. But that buys you Ion graphics, dual-core processing power, 2GB of RAM, a real version of Windows 7, and a screen that can display 720p video. Next-gen Ion systems will have better battery life, but will they be dual-core? We’ve gotta give Asus credit for releasing a 12-inch netbook with moxie and proving that Atom isn’t dead yet."

A lot of netbooks have really become commodity items with not much differentiating the different models. The 1201N, breaks that mold and provides a dual-core machine where most other models are trying to eek out every last minute of battery life instead. So, if you aren't away from a power outlet for too long and can stand just a little more than 3 hours of battery life, you can pick up a netbook that doesn't come with a crippled version of Windows 7 and could actually run some less intense games.

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