Splashtop OS – New Version for Laptops and Netbooks

Are you tired of waiting for Windows to boot up? Let’s say that you are on the road and you want to stop briefly at a wifi hotspot to check on directions or weather. What might take you 3 or 4 minutes in Windows, can easily be done in less than a minute in the Splashtop OS (operating system).

Previous to the latest version of Splashtop, you either had it installed from the factory, or you didn’t. Now Splashtop can be installed on many Windows laptops and netbooks.

According to the website:

If your device is not one of the currently supported platforms … , you can still install and try Splashtop OS you will be given a pre-boot menu with the option to launch Windows (default) or Splashtop OS.

I’ll show you how easy this OS is to install, but first, take a look at Splashtop in action:

Chrome OS Launch in 2011? Rumors of November Launch are Dead

Google ChromeGoogle’s Chrome OS cloudoperating system may be close to release, but it’s slower to launch than previous rumors suggested. (see video: What is Chrome OS?)

We reported the rumors of November launches for a Chrome OS Tablet and Chrome OS Netbooks and Smartbooks. However, during the recent Web 2.0 Summit, all that Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) would say about it was the software is coming out in the next few months.   Since that’s the case, Google has definitely missed the upcoming Christmas shopping and we won’t see Chrome OS until the beginning of 2011.

If you are curious, here’s the latest peek at the Chrome OS wallpaper and screensaver.

(Wallpaper: click to enlarge)

Chrome OS Wallpaper

(Screensaver: click to see animation)

Chrome OS Screensaver

Naturally, these images could change any time before the actual release.

Some people believe that the delays in Chrome OS are due to Android being used in more and more devices. Some say that there isn’t a big demand for a cloud OS that depends entirely on web apps. For a good example of a cloud OS, see Jolicloud.

For those wanting a live preview, you can run this new OS from a USB stick by using the Chrome OS builds by Hexxeh.

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.

Screenshot Preview of Kubuntu Netbook Remix

kubuntu-icon I recently tried the newest version of the Kubuntu Netbook Remix (KNR). As you may already know, the newest versions of Ubunutu 10.4 LTS (Lucid Lynx) and Kubuntu were recently released.

I’ve always been a bigger fan of the Gnome desktop in Ubuntu, but I still like to check out the KDE versions in Kubuntu, just to see what’s new. This release of the Kubuntu Netbook Remix, is really a great operating system for netbook users. I’ll show you what it looks like below.

Loading it onto the netbook was an easy task for me. I simply downloaded the 776mb ISO file from the download page. Then I burned it to a 2Gb SD Flash card using Unetbootin.


Here are the screenshots:

1. The Newspaper Page

This page is revealed when you click the Newspaper’ button on the top task bar. The image below is actually a screenshot of the last version of Kubuntu. Somehow, I totally missed seeing this page when I gave it my test run. As you can see, it has a task list, calendar, weather report, sticky notes and image viewer.


2. The home screen

This first screen shows you the major categories of applications and settings. At first, I had no idea why there was an Installicon at the very top, all by itself. Later I found out that this section at the top is the favoritessection. You can add your favorite apps to this section by clicking on the little star you see when you hover over an application’s launch icon.


3. The Office’ applications

Everything you need for your mobile office is included. I use the Open Office apps almost exclusively when I’m at home or on the road. Who needs the big dollar MS Office Suite when you can get the same functions for free?


4. Education software

I can’t tell you much about the applications in the educational section. I’ve never used them.


5. Games!

That’s my favorite section and I was happy to see my favorite game, Mahjongg. You might recognize some of the others as your favorites.


6. Graphics

A good selection of image viewers and editors. I think they need to put Gimp back in though.


7. Internet applications

There are tons of internet apps here. Browsers, Email, and a Blog editor are the main ones I’ve used. I was surprised to find that Firefox was not installed. However, they have a nice little launcher here that made it simple to install.


8. Multimedia apps

I have never used any of these three apps. However, I’m told that Amarok is an awesome music manager.


9. System tools

Everything you need to tweak your system is here.


10. Utilities

Several handy and must have’ utilities are included here.


11. Application switching (method 1)

The first way I found to switch the application displayed, was to click on the apps runningbutton on the top taskbar. It gives you a nice overview of the apps currently running. Just click on the one you want to use.


12. Application switching (method 2)

The second method to switch running apps, is to use the ALT + Tab keys. This takes you into the awesome looking 3d task preview. It will certainly get some attention when someone is looking over your shoulder.



I enjoyed the few minutes I spent trying out Kubuntu Netbook Remix. I was amazed at how well it ran on the very limited resources that my netbook has. The KNR team has really put together a big winner here. However, it’s not enough to steal me away from the UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) that I love even more.

Splashtop : Version 2.0 is here

Splashtop is one of those application which makes eye-candy out of low power, low memory and small laptops, namely the netbooks. Netbooks seem to be the next big thing. We saw it with the fast paced development of netbook OS last year and now with netbooks stealing the show after smart-phones, everywhere.


This seems to be a ripe time for the launch of Splashtop 2.0. Splashtop 2.0 will now officially feature on all major netbook releases ranging from Asus to acer and to HP, naming a few.

If you do not already know what Splashtop is,

Splashtop is a software-only solution that requires no additional hardware. A small component of Splashtop is embedded in the BIOS of the PC that’s the part that runs as soon as you press the power button.

It is basically a Linux environment which loads up when you press the power button of your laptop and takes around 10 seconds to boot up. It allows you to connect to the Internet, chat on IM, use Skype and do a lot of other things online.

The version 2.0 of Splashtop bring new features like,

  • 3G connectivity for better speed of web-surfing
  • Touch interface which has been enhanced unlike earlier
  • Faster startup time of just 10 seconds
  • Visual navigation of history
  • Customizable look and feel

Splashtop 2.0 will first appear on the Lenovo Ideapad S10-3t which is a touch enabled netbook. Splashtop has won numerous awards like:

  • PC World top 25 most innovative products(2007)
  • 100 top products of 2007 by Hardware Zone
  • AlwaysON onDC Top 100
  • Popular Science, best of whats new

With the release of version 2.0 in early 2010, Splashtop has marked just another beginning.

Update : Laptop Magazine named Splashtop 2.0 “Best of CES” in the software category. You can check this at their best of CES 2010 review.