Tag Archives: Netbook

Google Chromebooks Up For Sale on Amazon and BestBuy

A few months ago, Google made a bold move to enter the Netbook market with a new web-based OS called . In the initial months, Google gave out free netbooks to few users called as Cr-48. I was one of the few lucky users to get my hands-on the Cr-48 netbook and found it pretty usable while travelling and performing tasks such as creating documents, emailing and more.

Chromebooks

Last month, Google announced retail availability of Chromebooks in partnership with Samsung and Acer at the Google I/O 2011 conference. The sales of the Chromebooks were slated to begin by June 15, and today Google has officially announced that the Chromebooks are available for sale on Amazon and BestBuy.

Chromebooks are available from two manufactures currently; Samsung and Acer. Samsung has already released their version. However, Acer is yet to make their Chromebooks available for sale.

Samsung Chromebooks are available on Amazon starting at $429.99 for the Wi-Fi version and $499.99 for the 3G version. They are available in two colors: Black and Titan Silver. Acer Chromebooks might be available later this month, however, there is no fixed date yet.

So go ahead and browse through the available selection of Chromebooks at Amazon.

Asus To Sell Eee PC Netbooks With Ubuntu Installed

PC manufacturer Asus has announced that they are releasing three Eee PC netbook models with Ubuntu pre-installed. The three models that will be available with Ubuntu are the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX. Asus also announced that they plan make more models available with Ubuntu. The version of Ubuntu that will ship with these netbooks is Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

ASUS-Eee-PC-1015PX-Netbook
Asus Eee PC 1015PX

This represents a homecoming of sort for the Eee PC models. Asus released the first Eee PC netbook with Xandros Linux installed. However, they subsequently replaced the operating system with Windows Xp, citing the high return rate of the netbooks with Linux.

Chris Kenyon, vice president of OEM at Canonical, said that Canonical has leaned from the mistake with Xandros Linux.

The netbooks previously sold with Linux, people hadn’t pre-installed all the right media codecs – it wasn’t necessarily a fantastic web experience. That has fundamentally changed.

The Ubuntu netbooks that Asus will sell will have Flash installed by default, along with the media codecs. These are normally not included in the Ubuntu installer because they are proprietary software.

Canonical and Asus’s decision to pre-install Ubuntu with these non-open source codecs will not go down well with some people. However, if Ubuntu is to truly achieve any significant market share, some compromises like this will have to be made on the way.

Pricing for these netbooks are not available yet.

[sources: PC Pro, The Inquirer]

Asus Unveils The First MeeGo Powered Netbook – X101

Asus has just unveiled a new Eee PC netbook at the Computex the X101. The X101 is the first ever netbook to ship with MeeGo as its default operating system.

The netbook is powered by an Intel Atom N435 processor clocked at 1.33GHz. The X101 is insanely thin at only 17.6mm and weighs only 950g. It will pack a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1024×600.

ASUS_X101

ASUS evolves the Eee PC further with new models that take netbooks to ever-greater heights. The new Eee PC X101 has been designed from the start to be the perfect ultraportable for modern mobile users, with its Intel ® MeeGo operating system incorporating full support for a wide range of social networking services.

The X101 will also pack in 2 USB ports, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and Bluetooth. Asus will provide users with an option to replace the traditional hard disk with an SSD. The netbook is powered by a 2600mAh battery.

Asus will ship the X101 netbook in two variants one with Windows 7 as its default one, and the other one with MeeGo OS. The MeeGo model of the X101 is expected to cost around $200 only!

Sadly, Asus did not mention anything about the release date of the X101 netbook.

The Razer Switchblade Concept PC Will Blow Your Mind

At the Baskerville estate, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have a rather curious conversation:

Watson, how do you play your High Def games on the go?

Well Holmes, you must know that I use my Alienware M15x. It’s huge, it’s bulky, but it delivers near the wild Dartmoors and keeps that wretched Hound at bay!

An Alienware? Come now, Watson if you really want to game on the go, you should use the Razer Switchblade portable PC.

Ha but that is still a mere concept! How will I ever use it?

Elementary, my dear Watson; all you have to do is write sufficient blog posts to generate enough buzz about the platform and you’ll have the hardware in no time.

You are right, Holmes, as always!

Alright, it got strained towards the end, but the Razer Switchblade is probably one of the most ambitious projects to come up in the Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) platform in ages. It was made specifically to cater to the correct form of gaming: PC gaming.

razer-switchblade-1

You see, Razer is a company that strives to perfect the PC gaming experience, and makes boatloads of cash while doing so. Their equipment is extremely expensive, but satisfyingly awesome. I have no doubt that their foldable UMPC, the Switchblade will be the same.

The Switchblade concept features a multi-touch ultra-precise touchscreen, a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port. What sets it apart from any other UMPC (or laptop, for that matter) is the beautiful, adaptive keyboard. Now, it’s hard to describe just how beautiful this keyboard concept is, and while it has been done before it’s never been done this well. You see, each key of the keyboard has a tiny color LCD screen at the head of the keyboard. These can change to show the normal QWERTY layout, or (as in the case of the Switchblade) show tiny icons of shortcuts for the game that you are playing. Like the icon of a gun in Quake, or a spell in World of Warcraft.

razer-switchblade-9

I’ll let the pseudo-solemnly-epic video do the major part of the talking here:-

razer-switchblade-2

If implemented, the Switchblade will feature an Intel processor and a dedicated graphics card (obviously). The hands on preview is available at CES South Hall #30754. Since it’s still a concept code, the name is bound to change to a predatory animal’s as soon as the device is in production.

Motorola Showcases the Atrix 4G, Android Smartphone-Netbook Hybrid

Motorola Atrix 4G

At AT&T’s press event in CES 2011, they launched a series of mind blowing devices including the HTC Inspire 4G and the Samsung Infuse 4G. Another very impressive device that they showcased is the Motorola Atrix 4G. It is a very interesting concept which combines your smartphone and netbook into one device.

The Motorola Atrix 4G comes with a dual core ARM Cortex A9 processor on the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform with 1 GB RAM. It comes with 16 GB internal storage and a 1930 mAh battery. It will run Android 2.2 Froyo with a custom UI shell, possibly MotoBLUR.

Now for the awesome part: it comes with the Motorola Webtop app which converts your Atrix 4G into a netbook. The Atrix 4G comes with a netbook dock. When plugged into the dock, the Atrix 4G functions as a netbook and drives the netbook’s 11.6 inch display. As a netbook, the Atrix 4G offers 8 hours of battery life on a 36 Whr battery.

It’s a very interesting concept. Knowing that an ARM version of Windows is in the works, it might be the only device you need to carry around.

Motorola Atrix 4G

Motorola Atrix 4G

Images via Engadget

Intel To Deploy It’s Netbook App Marketplace Through Croma Retail

Intel launched a service called the AppUp Center for Intel Atom based netbook users so that they can browse a catalog of applications for purchase or download on their netbooks or other computing devices. Now in order to push the AppUp Center to users in India, Intel has signed a deal with Croma Retail stores. This app store will be termed as “Croma Apps” and a corresponding application (that lets users browse the AppUp Center) will be pre-installed on Intel Atom based netbooks which will be sold by Croma.

The Croma App Store currently has more than 1000 free and paid applications for a wide range of verticals such as entertainment, social networking, gaming and productivity. The Croma App store is currently supported only on Windows based netbooks. Existing Intel Atom netbook users can also download these applications by visiting Croma’s website and downloading the Croma Apps client.

Users can download the Croma Apps client from this link:   cromaretail.com/apps

Google Showcases the Cr-48, First Chrome OS Laptop

Chrome OS is now official; Google is definitely making a play for a share of the laptop market. It announced Chrome OS and the Chrome Web Store at its event yesterday. It also showcased the first laptop powered by Chrome OS – the Cr-48.

Google Cr-48 Specifications

Cr-48 Chrome OS

12.1 inch display
Full size keyboard
Oversized clickable touchpad
3G connectivity
802.11n dual-band WiFi
8+ hours of active use
8+ days of standby
Webcam for video chat
100 MB free data usage / month (Verizon US only)
Plans starting at $9.99/month (US only)

At 12.2 inches, it is a bit bigger than I expected it to be. 10.1 inches would be the perfect size for it, primarily being a netbook OS.

No other details are out yet; you cannot even buy it yet. Google is offering free laptops to those who qualify for the pilot program though, here’s more information about that.

Toshiba Launches The AC100 Android Smartbook In India

Toshiba had announced the Android Smartbook AC100 back in June. It is one of the first Android powered netbooks which offers a nice set of hardware with the Android OS.

It was launched in the UK in September. Today, Toshiba has launched it in India as well. It is priced at Rs 18721 which is a bit pricey, when compared to other netbooks which run Windows 7 Starter and come with 1 GB / 2 GB RAM and an Atom processor. It runs Android 2.1 Eclair with a custom UI and comes with a 10.1 inch TFT display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels.

It is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform and comes with a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB DDR2 RAM. It has 8 GB internal storage and offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. It also has a 1.3 MP camera, HDMI out, USB ports and a card reader.

Toshiba AC100 Android Smartbook

Are Google Smartbooks Coming in November?

It’s already November, but there’s still time for plenty of surprise launches before Christmas shopping hits us hard. I was surprised to learn that there may be a few smartbooks running Google’s Chrome OS coming soon. While netbooks were a big hit last year, smartbooks have been tried before and were not popular. Maybe their time is coming. Will we find out this month?

smartbook In case you didn’t know, a smartbook is barely big enough to support a full qwerty keyboard, and typically runs on ARM processors. The battery on one of these mini computers can last you all day.

According to an article at Digitimes:

Global brand vendors are expected to launch their new generation smartbooks featuring the Google Chrome operating system (OS) later this month (November), while Google also plans to launch its own-brand Chrome notebook with a similar strategy as its Nexus One smartphone, according to sources from component players.

The article mentions that Google is planning a November launch for a Chrome OS notebook, in addition to the rumored Chrome OS tablet. That sounds like a lot to deal with, and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither one of them make it to the market this year.

For those of you who are adventurous, curious and a little geeky, there are some Chrome OS builds by Hexxeh that can be booted from USB sticks. If you are only mildly curious, we have some Chrome OS screenshots and video for you.

Rythmbox To Remain As Default Music Player In Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10

In the Ubuntu Developers Summit – Maverick, a decision was made to replace Rythmbox, the current default music player, with a new one in UNE 10.10.

Banshee was picked as the replacement and the developers have been working on getting it ready for October 10 (that is the date for the release of UNE 10.10). They have even finished works on tweaking the Banshee UI to go with the new Unity interface that is making an appearance in Maverick.

In an update to the blueprint today, there is a change in that plan. Banshee is now deemed too buggy to be the default music player. So, for UNE 10.10, Rhythmbox will retain its position.

The plan to have Banshee instead of Rhythmbox is now postponed till UNE 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

Banshee will still be there in the repository as always.

[via OMG! UBUNTU!]