Google is making a special netbook (or two) for its Chrome OS’ hardware debut later this year (hopefully) and that is not a very good secret. But the actual hardware specs for this netbook have so far been out of reach for most of us. Yes, we do know that Google really wants only the fastest possible hardware and hence has done away with slow old HDD’s in favor of the fast and new SSD’s. But beyond that, questions like what powers the entire device were far from being answered.
Now however, it seems like they we have a leak that predicts what Google has been up to with the hardware. News resource IBTimes reports that there has indeed been a leak of the Google netbook and they are saying that the rumored device will be powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra chip.
Those unfamiliar with Tegra just need to know that Tegra is NVIDIA’s System on a Chip that is meant to rival Intel’s Atom. It is capable of running full HD content and such things on a miniscule amounts of power that is only marginally higher than Atom, thus bettering Atom on quite a few counts. However, it has failed to gain much traction in the market.
Until now it seems. If Google is really interested in Tegra, NVIDIA is surely celebrating with champagne right now. However, the report also says that Google is going to use ARM CPU, so everything won’t be supplied by NVIDIA. So overall, Google knows what it wants and it is speed without sucking on power.
Other features will apparently include 64GB SSD, 2GB RAM, HD ready 10.1” TFT multitouch display. In fact, this could easily be turned into the Google tablet that is being rumored. After all, these are all components used on mobile devices like the Zune HD. The schedule for Chrome OS device is around Q4 2010.
The HP 210 Netbook is officially available. It is available on retail and it is also available in troubleshooting entries. But there’s one major thing missing — the thing was never announce officially. No glitzy photosets, no long winded PR, none of that. May be HP is cutting costs while the global economy stabilizes out. You never know what they are up to but at least the device is here for us to buy.
The HP 210 is a netbook device that turned up just a week or so back on troubleshooting pages where support pages fully list it’s specs. In the meantime, it was available for sale on the e-tailer eCost. On eCost, it was said to be in stock and going for $399 for the matte black option. I like that, the matte black option.
Other than that little morsel, you also get to know that the thing is another netbook that belongs to the first wave of Pine Trail netbooks. Pine Trail is the next version of Intel’s Atom chip.
The 210 is powered by an Intel Atom N450 (a Pine Trail indeed) and has integrated graphics. That means no HD video or any such thing. It will still be pretty sluggish at only 1GB RAM and storage is the usual (read boring) affair with 250GB coming in as standard. Battery is 6-cell but no estimates have been found. Is this beginning to get a norm with HP? Let’s hope not. I say this because a similar thing happened with the Mini 311. May be the marketing dept. is really small and forgetful at HP. Get your act together HP, everybody’s watching.
Toshiba has obtained the FCC’s approval for one of its latest netbook offering — the NB300. The details are scanty at this moment. It is more or less certain that this netbook will be similar in size to Toshiba’s existing offerings — the NB200/NB205.
Unlike the LG XNote LGX30, which uses the Poulsbo platform, the NB300 is using (supposedly) the Pineview platform. So it can be expeced in the first quarter (Q1) of 2010. As was last heard, Intel is still planning to announce the Pinetrail and Pineview Platforms in early 2010. The announcement would likely see a deluge of new Atom-based netbooks following it, offered by most of the major and minor players.
The NB300 is also highly likely to show up on the roster of one or more US carriers because it is apparently packing a Qualcomm 3G chip (the Gobi2000) so that it can connect to 3G network natively.
Out of all the companies that have been making netbook so far, only a few have reached a stage where people readily accept what they are offering. And although Toshiba is a well-known and well-respected brand in the notebook market, its netbooks have been received with a lukewarm response. Acer and Asus are currently enjoying a lot customer attention and hence they can afford to produce a wider array of netbooks. Even though Atom-based netbooks are extremely similar to each other, certain smaller component and design decisions actually influence the buyer’s decision a lot.
Toshiba has so far kept its build quality more or less intact but the company needs to up the Ante a bit more to strike it better in the already saturated market.
A blogger at MyHPMini had recently spotted a new HP Mini series netbook hiding in the HP support pages. The model named appeared to be HP Mini 210. Then he uncovered the fact that this was indeed a new netbook that was coming up from HP and it is going to be a Pinetrail netbook. That was some time back.
Now, NetbookNews has spotted the same model in some Spanish store. It is of course not up for sale yet but the listing sure gave away the specs. So what is it like? Well, sadly it turns out to be yet another netbook (YAN!) that has all the typical specifications — 1GB memory, 250GB HDD, 10.1” display, powered by Atom N450 (Pinetrail) and running Windows 7 starter. The price was apparently 277 Euros., which is basically hovering about the $400 mark. Of course, the price may vary when this reaches the US simply because there’s a difference in the economy. But there is no reason to believe that this will be anything out of the ordinary in terms of success.
But since we do not know abou the screen resolution or other options yet, passing verdict on this one is rather difficult. After all, they might decide to add SSD, Bluetooth and modem options. In that case, it would become pretty interesting. Also, we have no clue what it looks like. So that might be another point for it. However, looking at the HP Mini 110, which this model will likely succeed, there isn’t much hope for it to be anything but the usual stuff. With so many Pinetrail Netbooks coming out one after another it would be hard to decide exactly which one you want to go for. Nevertheless, the offerings are (going to be) much varied and it should not be all that hard, given that you budget and needs are already pegged down.
Whoever figured out that spying the FCC’s list of pending approvals would be a good idea, did something extremely right. It has been a busy few months for all the tech companies and with major start-of-the-year events coming up, there’s no space to breathe post the holiday product release rush.
A new netbook from LG has been spotted at the FCC, it is from the company’s XNote Series of Netbooks and is extremely handy and slim. What it isn’t is a netbook that is based on Pinetrail, Intel’s next generation Atom Processors. With the official launch of Pinetrail Atom chips rumored to be early next month and other companies already lining up their offerings, you would think that LG would be preparing something with the Pinetrail instead of the Poulsbo generation that uses Atom Z Series CPUs.
This netbook is an 11incher and has a native display resolution of 1366×768. As mentioned earlier, it is powered by an Atom Z series processor along with a GMS 500 series graphics chip. RAM is likely to be the netbook standard at 1GB, which is pretty pathetic no matter which way you look at it. When it comes to storage, LG has gone the SSD route and that might mean a hefty price tag for this pretty average netbook. But at least it will be faster than your usual fare.
It has the usual bells and whistles – 2 USB ports, WiFi b/g, 1.3MP webcam and optional Bluetooth and HSPA modem. It has VGA out and no HDMI, which is only to be expected.
From the pictures it is apparent that the netbook has the non-tradional, isolated keys style keyboard which is becoming more and more common now. Over all, the slightly stylish features of the XNote series remain but only a decent price tag will sell this netbook in this recessive and saturated market. The older platform (Poulsbo) is going to be another setback.
After being leaked earlier this month, Lenovo’s ThinkPad series netbook is getting more and more real as time passes by. A fresh new leak has finally released the specifications of this alleged ThinkPad branded device and so far, it looks pretty good.
The device has been identified as the X100e and it is rumored to be slated for the 5th of January next year, which is approaching soon. If the latest rumors are to be believed, we are actually looking at a non-Atom, 11inch netbook device made by Lenovo.
The x100e apparently uses an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 CPU and supports up to 4GB of RAM. The display is 11.6” and has a native resolution of 1366×768. There are exactly 3 USB ports, one VGA out port and a 4-in-1 card reader.
For storage, you get options between 160GB/250GB/320GB 5400rpm HDDs. It has WiFi (b/g/n) with Bluetooth and 3G as optional. The touchpad will have multiouch support and we had already seen the trackpoint in the previous pictures. There will be a webcam but it will be pretty bad at only 0.3MP. You can choose from either a 3-cell or a 6-cell battery.
As for the OS, you will get a choice between Windows 7 Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate. So it pretty much covers all your needs. The last thing to know about it is the price and since this is a ThinkPad series device, the starting price is on the higher side at $449.
While a business netbook might be an oxymoron, Lenovo is surely looking to capitalize on the demand for a capable netbook device that is designed like a business notebook but has the advantages of a netbook. Besides, Lenovo is not the first company to do this. It was only last month when Asus announced its own business netbooks. But those were just normal Eee PC models running the Windows XP Professional OS.
Rumors and spy shots have been doing their rounds on the Internet that carry the news of a ThinkPad series netbook that is being developed by Lenovo. There has been no official word on the matter but everyone is fairly certain that the images that have been leaked on the Internet are indeed of a genuine ThinkPad device that comes in the size that can only be called a netbook.
The device in the images looks extremely similar to all the current ThinkPad models and it has all the signature features that are visible on other devices of the line. The highlighted enter key, the touchpad and the navigation nub between keys g, h and b are all similar to what we are accustomed to see on standard ThinkPad devices. There is also a visible ThinkPad branding on the device.
But there are quite a few differences that are startling for most regular ThinkPad users. First, the size of the device seems quite smaller than the regular ThinkPads, which is why the netbook form factor claim is validated by the images. The traditional keyboard has been replaced with a keyboard that has isolated flat keys. Although this style is becoming popular on mid-range and high-end portables, the ThinkPad series has always retained certain legacy features for its dedicated business clientele (like the navigation nub).
The styling also seems to be different. This is probably the only ThinkPad in the market (if it is real) that has a white outer body. Almost all ThinkPads so far have been black or at least a very dark color and nothing close to white.
A new netbook model from Lenovo was also spotted on the FCC’s database and it is being concluded by many the rumored ThinkPad and this new model are one and the same. Whatever it is, more rumors peg this device around 5th January in 2010. The name has been apparently been settled as X100e. There was some confusion with suggestions of the device being called X200e.
The FCC has sprung a leak somewhere and through it we are getting all sorts of pre-launch news that is not supposed to reach the public. Through this channel we are getting new of new Asus Eee PC models that seem to be sporting the new Atom Pineview processor.
Intel’s Pineview is the code name for the next generation Atom chips that will power highly portable devices. The Pineview has not reached a stage where it is available on models that are hitting the shelves in this pre-holiday season but they are going to start appearing early next year for sure. The new chips are expected to couple more processing power with better energy efficiency.
The unannounced Asus Eee PCs that have been dug up differ from the current models only on the point of the processor being used. For the other things they are still carrying only 1GB of RAM and 160GB of storage. It can also be speculated that the design of the models will remain the same as well. So over all, people will get better multi-tasking performance but RAM-dependant tasks will still hit a bottleneck.
However, since these are pre-release details, they might not remain the same when Asus finally gets around to making these models public. Since they are already on the FCC’s list pending approval, them turning up right before the holidays kick in is not very unlikely.
Of the two models that have been found, at least one seems to be carrying a 3G modem onboard for mobile Internet connections. That should make the model very attractive to holiday shoppers, given the usually low price point of Eee PCs of that configuration.
The Android OS has become plenty common in smartphones and MIDs. We had the Archos 5 MID using the Android OS and there are quite a few Android phones in the market right now. What has not been common is Android being used on Netbooks. Now even though Google is working on a separate OS for the netbooks, namely the Chrome OS, putting the Android OS on netbooks should not be too bad. In fact, it might actually be a very good idea.
That is because the Android OS is meant to run on low resources and is tuned to perform well even under low-powered conditions. Running it on netbooks might mean super fast response actually. However, adapting the UI for a keyboard and mouse setup might prove challenging. So far, it has only been used on touchscreen phones.
The Chrome OS is a good few months away with most major manufacturers looking at releases dates sometime next year. In all likelihood, we will see a major roll out about this time next year.
Acer has not officially announced the Android netbook yet but major tech blogs have already posted information leaks that give out the details. The netbooks will not be solely dependant on Android but will dual boot with Microsoft Windows XP. Looks like Windows 7 needs more time to eclipse XP completely. Perhaps half a decade or so more.
This new netbook is expected to be out before the holidays hit, with the leaks putting it sometime this November. It will be part of Acer’s current Aspire One line of netbooks and configuration-wise it should not be that much different from existing Windows based netbooks. Since the lowest Aspire One starts from $350, the new Android dual-booting netbook will possibly hover around the $400 range. Acer is also expected to bring out Android phones sometime next year.