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.
Asus has been known as the company who put the ‘netbook’ into the consumers’ hands. They almost single-handedly created this extremely popular segment. And now they are trying to upgrade and adapt fast, as the market remains depressed and volatile.
The Eee PC 1005HA has been, one of the most successful netbooks in the market. It has certainly made Asus a lot of money. It is one of the best-selling Eee PC models and everytime Asus tries something new, it adds it to the Eee PC 1005HA. So now we have a new Eee PC that has HD screen and it has been added to the 10.1” 1005HA model, which is now called the Eee PC 1005HR. The 1366×768 display is coupled with WiFi (b/g/n) and a 1.66GHz Atom N280 CPU. The 6-cell battery gives you 8.5hours of battery life.
Asus has gone ahead and done another interesting thing. Instead of upgrading all their models to Windows 7, they have taken the 1005HA model once again and changed it into the Eee PC 1005HA Business Edition. Asus has decided to remain with XP and change it to XP Professional to give business users all the functionality they want. That, 2GB RAM and a silver-black chassis are the only things separating the Business Edition from the regular 1005HA.
While it is easy to see through this, the portability and the convenience of a netbook are undeniable. So this $715 device just might click with a few business buyers.
Both these models were released in Japan around the Windows 7 launch. The regular models are all available with Windows 7 all over the US, Europe and Asia.
A new budget netbook from the house of Asus has shown up in Japan. The funny part is that the entire netbook segment is considered as budget. But this new model of the Eee PC range, called the 1000HT, has been released as a cheaper alternative to the existing Eee PC’s and netbooks.
The 1000HT is in no way a performance netbook and it is actually meant to be the opposite. The main point of the netbook is to offer usable specs and features at a price that undercuts the average netbook by a large margin. But thanks to the performance trade off, the 1000HT has a rather nice battery life, which is rated at about 6.4 hours at a maximum. Considering that this is a small device and the battery sits flush with the chassis, this is a long battery life. The other netbooks in this class usually have a battery life of about 4-5 hours. So an extra hour and more added to that is something noteworthy.
This is a 10inch device that weighs 3.2 pounds, so it is not the lightest in its class. It does not have Bluetooth but it does have WiFi and Ethernet. The screen resolution is 1024×600, which is typical for this form factor. Since the device is aimed at casual users who are just going to surf the net, listen to music, chat and shoot off emails, this resolution makes no difference really. It’s neither good nor bad.
There is also an SDHC card slot that you can use to augment the bundled 160GB memory. This netbook comes with Windows XP and I frankly don’t think that Asus had any other option here. Sure Windows 7 is supposed to run well on netbooks but it will probably be too much for the puny 1.6GHz Atom N270 CPU that the 1000HT has. Memory is standard at 1GB and the price is roughly $420. Given the different environment there, it is comparable to a $300 netbook in the US.
This is another protoype netbook that was on display at CEATEC Japan this year. This is the Toshiba L01. This is being called a netbook by some people only because it has comparable components and (estimated) performance. Other than that, it is mainly a really good concept that takes the netbook and turns it into a modular array of parts that work together.
The L01 has a 7-inch display that works quite well on its own and can also be paired with a separate keyboard for those times when you have to type out a document. The L01 prototype is running Windows Mobile 6.5, which should not come as a surprise considering the fact that that is what most of Toshiba’s smaller devices use.
What is missing here is of course a touchscreen. If the central stand-alone piece that has the display had a touchscreen as well, this might have had a chance at becoming a really compelling idea. That is because people would have been able to keep the keyboard away from it and use it as a tablet only. Then when the keyboard was required, they would take it out and start typing.
Making a device like this work is also about the UI and knowing the native Windows Mobile UI, the device cannot be all too compelling right now. So if Toshiba wants to take this prototype to the next level, investing in better UI would be advisable.
With the netbook market fluctuating and slowly saturating, it is obvious why manufacturers are going in for these experiments. They are all looking for something new that would rejuvenate the stagnant market and drive sales along with it.
Out of the few impressive prototypes at the CEATEC, this is actually one of the less impressive ones. If Toshiba wants to create a buzz, they have to create something more compelling than this.