Monthly Archives: June 2009

Definition of a netbook

I’m reading a lot of about people buying a netbook because they think they are buying a cheap laptop.  I could see why people could get confused.  They see something that looks like a laptop next to a price tag that reads below $400.  The natural reaction is to wonder why anyone would spend upwards of $1,000 on a laptop when they can purchase one for less than half the price.

A netbook is not for everyone.  A netbook is meant to be a secondary system.  Something you take with on on trips.  It’s not meant to replace your work machine.  I use it to write, email, surf the web, and light duty task.  It has a low powered CPU, no optical drive, and weak graphics.  Look at it this way, you’re expecting a four door sedan, but what you’re really getting is a scooter.  Keep that in mind.

I have a quad core desktop to handle most of my work, a laptop to support my mobile needs, and my netbook to keep me occupied during long trips.  It is not possible for me to have the netbook meet all of my needs.  Now, for some people who do not rely on a computer as much, a netbook might be perfect as the only computer in the house.

Laptop Deal – Best Bang for the Buck #1

Acer Aspire AS5735-6694 Notebook is a good value for your bucks.

acer-aspire-as5735-6694

acer-aspire-as5735-6694

In this economy, you have to stretch your dollar and get the most you can.  Buying a new notebook can be tough.  Most of the salesman in the big box stores seem to speak another language.  I admit that you really should buy a laptop that fits your needs.  For the sake of simplicity, I’ll pick one that does a little bit of everything.

I recommend this Acer laptop because it has a strong CPU, a nice screen, lots of memory, a decent hard drive, and a better integrated graphic chipset.  It could have a stand alone graphic processor, but the Intel GMA 4500MHD is a newer chip.  It has an Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 (2.0 GHz), 4 GB of memory, 15.4 inch WXGA screen  (1366×768), and comes with wireless N connectivity.

Rating 4 out of 5, 5 being the best.

Amazon.com has this unit for $594 with free shipping.

Newegg.com has this unit for $599.

More Netbook Madness – Asus Eee PC T91 and 1000HV

Well, at least this new netbook has something new and not just the typical Atom N270, 1GB memory, 160GB hard drive, and 10 inch screen.  I’m so tired of those specs already.  Every “new” netbook is the uses the same cookie cutter model…except Asus.

Asus just released the new Asus Eee PC T91.  It’s basically a 9 inch tablet netbook.  The screen swivels around and lays flat.

Asus Eee PC T91

Another recent Asus announchment is the Asus Eee PC 1000HV.  This was Asus response to the new Nvidia ION GPU.  The Eee PC 1000HV is basically an Eee 1000HE with an ATI Radeon HD3450.  The addition of the Radeon GPU helps the tiny netbook do Hi Def 1080P videos.  This is pointless since the native resolution of most netbook screens are not equip to even handle 720P.  Early reviewers are saying the video performance of the Eee PC 1000HV is nothing stellar.  My opinion about the 1000HV is to just get the 1000HE and wait for ION.

Asus Eee PC 1000HV

Intel Atom N450

Intel announced that there will be a new Atom processor to replace the netbook popular Atom N270.  In my opinion, it’s about time.  Sure, they released the Atom Z series.  But that’s just a more efficient N270.  I like the N270, but I always thought it could use a little more power.  On my Eee PC 1000H, running a few tabs in Firefox will give the CPU some trouble.  Flash video requires the majority of the CPU cycles.

Intel Atom Pine Trail

Intel Atom Pine Trail

The new Atom N450 will push the tiny CPU to the 2 GHz range.  That’s a much needed increase for the highly efficient platform.  Future netbooks will benefit greatly.  Along with more power, the new CPU incorporates the GPU and memory controller on one smaller chip.  The new platform, code name “Pine Trail”, will process information more efficiently and increase battery life.  The newer chip will be easier to keep cool and easier to fit into smaller netbooks.

Asus Eee Top

Asus Eee Top

As we move to a more green society, expect a lot from the little Atom.  You can already see it in action in form of nettops.  A nettop is a netbook in a desktop form factor like the Eee Top.  It’s basically an Eee PC with a 15.4 inch touchscreen for $500.  Click here for more details. As for me, I like my Q9650.  It’s fast.

Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

Another day, another netbook.  Today, I bring you the Asus Eee PC 1008HA, also named “Seashell”.  Think of this netbook as the MacBook Air of netbooks.  It’s thin, light, with all of it’s components designed to fit and operate in tight quarters.  All the ports are hidden away behind tabs.  The Seashell has a mini VGA port with an adapter built-in to the bottom of the netbook.  The Seashell is about an inch think and weighs about 2.5 lbs.  You can pick up the Seashell at Amazon for about $420 with Free Shipping.  Click here to go to the product page.

Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

Asus Eee PC 1008HA Seashell

Specs:
Intel Atom N280 1.66 GHz
10.1″ LED Backlit WSVGA screen (1024×600)
1GB DDR2 Memory
160GB + 10GB Online storage
1.3 Megapixel Webcam
6 Hour Battery. (Molded to fit the new design)
2 USB 2.0 Ports
1 Mini VGA Connector
1 RJ45 Ethernet port
Mic in, Headphone port
SD Card reader
Win XP Home

Netbook Bandwagon

The Netbook bandwagon has become the netbook big rig truck.  It seems everyone has a netbook these days.  They’re all about the same price and have almost the same specs.  For about $350, you get a 10 inch, 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom, 1GB, 160GB hard drive, running Windows XP Home.

Asus Eee PC 1000HE

Asus Eee PC 1000HE

The problem is that all the manufacturers are making the same thing with no product differientiation.  When it comes to netbooks, I think of 3 brands, Asus, MSI, and Acer.  Since everything else is the same, the keyboard and battery life is a huge factor when it comes to picking out the right one.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a place that lets you have any hands on time with the netbooks.

Acer Apsire One AOD 150

Acer Apsire One AOD 150

So my recommendations:

Asus:  Asus Eee PC 1000HE $385
Acer:  Acer Aspire One AOD150 10.1 Inch $330
MSI:  MSI Wind U120 $330

Coming Soon:

If you’re looking for something a little bigger, I would wait for the Lenovo S12.  It’s a 12 inch, Atom powered netbook with the Nvidia ION GPU.  ION brings 1080P capabilities to a netbook.  That also means it can handle games at a decent frame rate.  Read about it here.

Lenovo S12

Lenovo S12

Nokia E71

In my search for a new cell phone, I considered many.  The iPhone was appealling, but I can’t stand using iTunes.  After my T-Mobile Dash, I think I’m done with Windows Mobile too.  My Dash held up for 3 years, but it’s performance was slowing and eventually, freezing.  Yes, I was running WinMo 6.1 Kadana.

nokia-e71-t-mobile-dash-blackberry-curve

nokia-e71-t-mobile-dash-blackberry-curve-side

As you can see, I’m already using a BlackBerry for work.  Don’t need two berries in my life.  I wanted something unique.  Practically everyone I know has an iPhone.  No thanks.

Enter the Nokia E71, sleek, thin, beautiful, and fast.

nokia-e71-t-mobile-dash

It runs on the Sybian S60 Platform.  I’m still learning all the features and add ons.  My first impression is that the phone is fast.  Menus appear as soon as you press the button.  The sound quality is just amazing.  Everything sounds crystal clear.  With built-in GPS and WiFi, I’m all set.

nokia-e71-unboxed

I’ll post more about the Nokia E71 as I learn.  Right now, I’m still making the transition from my Dash.

Asus Eee PC User Experience Survey

Back in November 2008, Asus had a User Experience Survey about the Eee PC.  By participating in the survey, you were automatically entered to win an Asus Eee PC 1002HA or 1 of 30 Asus Mouse.  Well this Chief Monkey won the grand prize.

Asus contacted me in late April, and I finally got my new Eee PC today.  I think the unit was a review unit.  Just unpacking it felt as it was already unpacked before.  The foreign plug was a dead giveaway.  But whatever, it’s not like I paid for it.

Asus Eee PC 1002HA
Asus Eee PC 1002HA
Asus Eee PC 1002HA
Asus Eee PC 1002HA
Asus Eee PC 1002HA