Rumor has it that Acer is planning to make dual boot a standard feature on all of their dual core netbook models. And that dual boot includes a Windows 7 install sitting beside an Android install of all things. If it was some other distro of Linux like MeeGO, Jolicloud, Ubuntu Netbook or even the newly releases SmeeGol, — then things could’ve been slightly different.
Not only is the ThinkPad netbook real, it seems like the one that has been leaked so far is not the only model that Lenovo is planning to make. According to a recent FCC filing by component manufacturer Realtek, there are at least two other netbook models that carry the ThinkPad branding. These netbooks are called ThinkPad Mini 10 and ThinkPad Mini 11. Together with the ThinkPad X100e that has been the talking point of ThinkPad lovers everywhere, we now have 3 different ThinkPad netbook models.
The FCC filing that started all this is actually very scanty in detail and it only produces these names and the details of one component — the WiFi. That’s because these devices use a Realtek chip for equipping the devices with WiFi. Realtek’s filing was probably a startegy on Lenovo’s part in order to hide the actual components that these new netbooks are using.
Reverting back to what we already know — the X100e seems like a powerful netbook that will be equipped to handle as much business as a netbook possibly can. The leaked photo of the X100e shows that the build of the netbook(s) is very much like the current (full sized) ThinkPads. It has the look of a sturdy machine that can take some beating. These new models thus can be expected to have similar builds. The difference in naming of the X100e from the Mini10 and Mini 11 might have some significance but right now there’s nothing the actual specs yet.
Businessmen have apparently been wanting something like the netbook in order to make it easier to carry work with them. Even they realize that you sometimes have to carry notebooks for really light work that does not need anything like a notebook. So why not carry a netbook instead? Of course, businessmen can’t just pick up any silly old netbook. Hence the ThinkPad netbooks. It’s a brand that has many a loyal corporate following and hence the netbooks might be met with a lot of success.
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.
Techcrunch has published a report in which they claim to have it from reliable sources that the Google Chrome OS is going to come out next week. But didn’t Google say that the OS is due sometime in the middle of next year? This is way too early for even an ahead of schedule release.
However, how Google put it back then is where the trick lies. Google said that the first devices running the Chrome OS will be available some time in the second half of the year 2010. What they said nothing about is when the first versions of the OS will be made public. And we have to keep in mind that Google has a thing for beta-testing products with the public for unnaturally long time-periods.
With that in mind, it is not unreasonable to think that Google will be making the OS public sometime soon so that the first release worthy version will be ready in time for next year’s launch target.
The report also notes that drivers are likely to be the main problem that will cause problems during the initial testing. Apparently, Google engineers have been working on building hardware drivers for the Chrome OS and so are the hardware makers. Over all, there is a lot of interest that surrounds this particular OS and it is no doubt one of the most anticipated projects in recent times.
The first reactions to the OS are not very easy to predict. It will likely be in very early beta, so experiences are going to vary from stellar to down right unworkable thanks to the myriad device configurations that it will be used with. But Google is likely to move swiftly through those initial stages to make the OS mature faster.
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 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.