The Asus Eee PC 1015PN-PU27 belongs to a new breed of netbooks that run on dual core processors and come with faster DDR3 memory modules. The 1015PN is powered by an Intel Atom N570 dual core processor and it comes bundled with 1GB of RAM. It has one SODIMM slot that supports up to 2GB.
This netbook comes with a 10.1-inch LED backlit display that makes for good image quality for movies and images. It comes with NVIDIA’s ION graphic solution for the Atom series built in, making it quite a capable netbook that can handle high resolution movies and also some of the modern games at low resolutions. It also comes with the NVIDIA Optimus intelligent graphics switching technology for better battery life.
Features & Specifications:
• Operating System: Windows 7 Starter
Since the 1015PN is from the SeaShell series, it inherits the sleek design cues that have made the series popular. The netbook has a plain black matte finish along with a slim profile that makes it look quite good. The keyboard has Chiclet keys in a layout that utilizes every bit of space possible to make individual keys larger. The keys are shaped well and have a good travel, making for comfortable typing. The touchpad sits flush with the rest of the palm rest and has the same finish. It is demarcated by sliver strips on either side and sports a single bar click button. It supports multitouch and enables you to zoom in and out through gestures.
The 10.1 display is LED backlit and quite bright under most average indoor scenarios. Coupled with the NVIDIA ION graphics, it makes for a good entertainment netbook with high-resolution movies and 3D Gaming support.
The dual core Atom processor supports a good bit of multi-tasking. You can easily have a good multi-tab web surfing experience whilst playing music in the background and perhaps one more lightweight application open. The processing power is also good enough for you to do some photo editing and similar processor intensive work. Increasing the RAM will also help in getting more performance out of the processor and graphics chip.
The Eee PC 1015PN-PU27 comes with 250GB of local storage and a complimentary 60-day trial of ASUS Web Storage cloud storage service with 500GB storage space. The battery life is rated at up to 9.5 hours, which in real life scenarios can come down to around 7-8 hours and hence makes for all day mobility if used judiciously.
On the wireless front, it comes with Wireless-N WiFi support (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 3.0 support. There’s also a 10/100 Ethernet port for LAN connections. There’s a 2-in-1 card reader with MMC and SD card support. There’s a VGA port, 3 USB 2.0 ports and the usual audio ports.
It comes bundled with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is usually the only complaint that consumers have about this netbook because of the OS’s limited functionality. However, most are able to find a way around it using tools found online. Other than that, consumers reported being quite happy with the netbook with special praise directed at the processing, graphics, battery life, keyboard and overall design.
Toshiba’s NB505-N508BL is a 10inch netbook powered by an Intel Atom N455 1.66GHz processor with a 512KB L2 cache. It comes with 1GB DDR2 RAM, which can be expanded up to 4GB. This netbook is aimed at those who want to perform daily and basic computing tasks while on the move. The NB505 is a simple netbook with soft aesthetics and a small footprint that makes it easy to carry around.
Most of the laptop features a smooth black finish with a blue rubbery coating at the back of the screen. The palm rest also features a black finish but the material is the same rubbery one as the coating on the back of the lid. The bottom has two pegs located right underneath the screen hinges where the battery is. This gives the netbook a slight incline towards the user when placed on a flat and level surface. This makes for comfortable typing when using it on top of a table or similar things.
Features & Specifications:
• 10.1-inch LED backlit widescreen display (1024 x 600-pixel resolution)
The 10.1-inch screen does not offer much screen and the 1024×600 native resolution suits it well. Any higher and the on screen elements would become to small to work with. It’s a LED backlit display, which makes for a good image quality when watching movies or viewing images.
The 1.66GHz Atom N455 processor on the NB505 is just enough to handle your basic needs. You can easily surf the net, check your email, listen to music, edit documents, read eBooks and watch standard resolution movies. However, you can only do a few of these things at a time. Surfing and playing music is fine but too many tabs will slow the netbook down. A RAM upgrade will solve this issue to a certain extent though.
The 250GB SATA 5400RPM HDD is enough to carry a lot of your music, movies, documents and other things around. The integrated Intel GMA graphics chip will not be able to handle HD movies but standard videos, including low resolution online streaming videos will play smoothly.
Toshiba has thoughtfully added Wireless-N WiFi support along with support for backwards compatibility with b/g type wireless networks. There’s no Bluetooth on the NB505 but it can easily be remedied with a small USB Bluetooth dongle that are easily available online and at your local computer store.
There are 3 USB ports and a VGA out port in case you want to make presentations. There’s an SD card reader and a 10/100 Ethernet port.
The Toshiba NB505-N508BL netbook comes bundled with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is point of complaint for most consumers. Most have either upgraded or found ways around the restrictions placed by the Starter Edition such as no support for different themes or backgrounds. Customer reviews are mostly positive with praises for the Chiclet style keyboard with separate page-up and page-down keys and dedicated arrow keys. For most who desire a basic and small computer, this is a good option. Most users prefer to uninstall the bundled software from Toshiba although some find them useful.
LG [NYSE:LPL] has just released a new netbook that goes by the name of X170. It is your normal netbook fare with an Intel Atom processor and average memory and storage. But it has a new feature that distinguishes it from all other netbooks in the market. This feature is what LG calls the “SmartPOP” feature. It allows you to access your phone from your netbook in ways that you wouldn’t expect.
Asus, as I have often remarked, is the company that is solely responsible for starting the whole netbook trend. The form factor was already there but not very popular or wanted. Now it seems like the company is again on the verge of starting something new — including the latest tech in netbooks. Asus recently released the Eee PC 1015PEM that houses multiple cutting edge features.
The 1015PEM has USB 3.0 ports, which are quite the rarity right now because of how new the standard is. It is usually available only in high-end laptops and portables. Besides, there are talks of it being rendered obsolete by Light Peak — something that jointly developed by Apple and Intel.
It also has Bluetooth 3.0, which is again another first in the netbook category in all likelihood. There are hardly enough mobile devices out that have this standard. As can be deciphered from the version number, this is an upgrade on good ol’ Bluetooth for more speed and better connectivity.
Rounding off the whole thing nicely is the latest Intel Atom processor powering the whole machine. This new chip is the first dual-core Atom that is meant for portables. The previous dual-cores were meant for low-power desktops and nettops. Although some netbook models did experiment with it, this new chip is the first one that has been designed to be used in a portable.
The new chip fuses two cores on the same piece of silicon along with a GPU. This makes the overall communication faster by cutting out the bus communication paths between the CPUs and the GPU. The single die approach also ensures that there is no noticeable increase in power consumption even with the increased speed.
Looks like Asus has quite the netbook on their hands right now. But this is just the initial stage before this becomes the standard configuration and that will happen fast.
Acer is not cutting its main netbook competitor any slack and is going to release its own dual-core Atom netbook soon. This development comes from newly leaked development details from deep inside Acer. The new model is going to be called D255 and it is going to go on a head to head collision course with Asus’ Eee PC 1215N.
The Eee PC 1215N is a fairly new model from Asus and it is their first to sport the new dual-core Atom N550 chip. Atom of course, already had a dual-c0re chip before this — the N330. But that was not meant for use in portables, for power consumption issues of course. Intel has been hard at work developing a chip that will work well for netbooks and still be able to run twin cores simultaneously. The Atom N550 has two chips running at 1.5GHz each and thus gives the whole system a significant power boost.
The difference will especially show in multi-tasking performance, which is a processor oriented job. However, other than the processor details, little else is known about this forthcoming Acer netbook model. It is believed that the D255 will actually resemble the D260 in terms of the other hardware features and looks. The D255 is expected to have different color options and perhaps a chrome trim. So nothing out of the ordinary is to be expected from this release.
There’s one thing that might differentiate the two competing models from Acer and Asus respectively, quite distinct from each other. Whilst Asus’ model uses the NVIDIA ION 2 graphics to deliver superior graphics and 3D performance, Acer’s model might be paried with an ordinary Intel onboard graphics. But less graphics performance also means longer battery life and vice versa. So it might be a close one after all.
There was a lot of excitement around FroYo (Android 2.2) when it was released and Android owners everywhere celebrated the fact that they will soon have a phone full of those cool features that they saw at the presentation at Google I/O. However, in all that excitement it is easy to forget that phone and tablet owners with various ARM inspired goodies powering them are not the only ones who use Android devices. There are also those devices that use chips with the x86 architecture and finally their owners have a reason to rejoice at the wonders of FroYo. Intel [NASDAQ:INTC] has finally started to port Android 2.2 for their x86 platform. FroYo netbooks, here we come!
Intel’s port x86 port of FroYo is destined for a summer release at the moment and it has the whole community buzzing with excitement. As you might know by now, Intel really wants to shoe horn itself into ARM’s position in the mobile industry but so far has failed to do it. So it grabs at every opportunity to bring the new-age mobile experience to its platform. Hence, they are hoping to have FroYo ready for some x86 action this summer so that their platform can also be benefitted from the rich radiation of the “less than free” mobile platform.
This port has been reported to be not all that difficult to accomplish and soon they will have it ready for manufacturers to use. There are already a lot of experimentation going on with the Android on Netbooks and it is more than as just another Linux-based mobile OS. Android’s burgeoning Marketplace and backing of the one of the largest tech entities in the world right now (the only other being Apple at the moment), it makes for one helluva deal. Not to mention the fact that this fantastic OS is available for free to anyone who is willing to work with it. So we are very likely to see some interesting new FroYo netbook ideas this summer.
Onkyo has launched a new netbook in Japan today and it is called the Onkyo C413. It is a 10″ netbook that has the basic look and feel of a netbook and has absolutely nothing that separates it from the rest of run-of-mill netbooks crowding the netbook space in Japan and elsewhere. There is however one thing to note about it — it sure looks similar to the C411 netbook released by Onkyo earlier this year.
The Onkyo C413 has a 10.1 inch display and has a 1024×600 native resolution. It is powered by a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 processor and has 1GB of RAM. Storage comes in the form of a 250GB hard drive. It has WiFi (b/g/n) and comes loaded with Windows 7 Starter Edition.
Even though he C413 looks like the C411, it does not have the option to choose between a AM/FM radio tuner and a Digital TV tuner like the C411 did. However, it does have separate left and right mouse buttons with the touchpad. This wasn’t the case with the C411.
It is possible that Onkyo decided not to run with the C411 and change the model to the C413 configuration because the demand for the C411 wasn’t high enough. Even though the idea of having the radio tuner/TV tuner on a netbook sounds like a fun prospective, you have to remember that people are usually on the move with a netbook and saving battery life is of the utmost importance.
And they are very likely to have a phone/PMP with them that already has their music on it and may be also a radio tuner. Considering all this, a consumer might decide that paying extra for a netbook that has a radio/TV tuner is simply not worth it when it will hardly be used. Hence, it is quite possible that the C411 will be phased out.
We know now that the dual-core Atom is finally going to make its way to netbooks. The dual-core Atom chips that we have now are basically targeted at the desktop/nettop area. Even though we have a few portable models sporting them, they are not known for battery life efficiency. So now, Intel [NASDAQ:INTC] is going to release a new dual-core Atom that will bump up the processing speed of our beloved netbooks and still keep them running for a sizeable amount of time.
But this joyous news was tainted some time back, when reports of Intel maintaining its restrictions over the netbook screen sizes surfaced. If it were to happen, manufacturers would not be able to use the new dual-core Atom chip in netbooks that had a screen size of more than 10 inches. But that claim was always conflicted because there were already talks of the Asus Eee PC 1215N getting this upgrade and that model has a 12 inch screen.
Now, another claim is surfacing that states Intel will be pulling this restriction upon release of the said chip. This would finally enable manufacturers to make dual-core Atom netbooks that have screens sizes like 11 and 12 inches. We are of course not expecting to see 15 inch screens on Atom devices but 12 inch options are always nice to have.
It seems like as Intel continues to innovate on the Atom front, it is beginning to lift some of the restrictions that have held manufacturers from getting more creative with their offerings. Intel’s restrictions have actually kept the netbook market in a sort of forced conformity that made a lot of the mainstream netbooks look very similar. Some are only distinguishable by their branding and built quality because the internals are the same.
However, those things are about to change it seems and the predictions of the netbook really taking over this year might come true after all.
Intel’s Developer Forum is now being held in Beijing and the company is seizing this opportunity to show off its latest attempt at entering the mobile and netbook computing industry in a bigger way — MeeGo. MeeGo is the result of a cross-pollination between Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo 5. If you don’t remember this from this years MWC — both companies abandoned their respective nascent mobile OS projects in favor of this joint venture that they call MeeGo.
MeeGo works on a cross platform QT framework that is commonly used for app development in Linux environments. Intel showed of it’s own iteration of MeeGo and it looked like the UI has remained much the same as it was on Moblin. So this makes us wonder if Nokia will also make their version have the same UI as Maemo and only share the framework that ties the two as one. But in that case, the apps that they share in common might look a bit out of place on one or both.
Intel displayed multiple deployments of the MeeGo 1.0 – TV, netbook, mobile phone and kiosk. The demoes reportedly displayed the ability to sync up with each other and pull media files and play them back from the point where they were left off on the other device.
Embedded above is the video of MeeGo running on a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom netbook. The UI uses tabs to separate major zones like real time social networking updates, applications, contacts, etc. The switching looks fast enough for a 1.6 GHz netbook but it remains to be seen how well it performs on less powerful devices under real life conditions.
MeeGo will be tied to both Nokia’s Ovi Store and Intel’s AppUp store based on what kind of a device it is running on. Consumers can get their hands on MeeGo phones later this year with the latest N900 and LG GW990 running on it.
At the last IDF, Intel made quite a few important announcements and one of them was the up coming app store for the Atom/Moblin platform with the Atom developer initiative. Well, months have passed and that store has been shaping up gradually but so far it has been restricted to only the US and Canada. That will now change, finally, come the end of this month.
On the 31st of March, Intel will make their app store, named AppUp, available in 27 countries. All of these countries will have app prices displayed in their local currencies. But everything will still be in English. Intel is working on translations and localized language options will be made available after this lanch.
This app store will support Mobile 2.1 applications, which will add to the existing support for the Windows-based netbooks. According to Intel, the AppUp store will (hopefully) come pre-installed on netbooks from various companies — including Acer, Asus, Dell, Samsung and the others. But this will only happen when the AppUp center finally graduates from beta and enters the world of mainstream solutions. Working on such a broad scale makes it hard to accomplish such goals. So it might be a while before they accomplish that.
Once it is out of beta, the AppUp center will carry all the different kinds of apps that are popular in the market. They will include games, social media apps, social networking apps and hopefully much more. Educational apps are also likely to feature prominently because of the relatively low cost of Atom devices.
This venture is Intel’s attempt to ensure a secure hold on the market as well as increase revenue from the Atom line. Intel currently not selling as many mainstream chips as it would like and it seems Atom as the future with all the focus now being shifted to portable, handheld devices.