New Products News

Intel Atom: Powering the $199 UMPCs

The Intel Atom is a family of ultramobile processors based on the company’s Silverthorne and Diamondville designed to work with the Menlow platform, now also known as Centrino Atom.

The Atom chips tiny, low–power offerings designed for small mobile devices, far smaller than your typical laptop. Speeds are expected up to 1.8GHz with thermal design power (TDP) at 0.6 to 2.5 watts. Simply said, these chips are designed to run cool with low power consumption. Exciting.

Now what makes everything even more interesting, the Atom will be relatively cheap, allowing computer manufacturers to produce desktops and simple media/DVD viewers within the $199 to $250 USD range. Despite compromises in these chips, they are capable of running Windows and Linux, our mainstream operating systems. In fact, they are designed specifically for mobile internet devices, also called MIDs, which will do most of its work with web browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox.

Without question, devices powered by the Intel Atom will most likely be similar to the Asus Eee PC, our current ultramobile favorite. I guess we all have a lot of shopping to do come Christmas. ;)

Laptop Reviews New Products

The Everex CloudBook

Everex CloudBook.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Everex CloudBook, a contender to the cheap ultraportable crown that the Asus Eee PC has comfortably held for a few months now. Do you think it stacks up to the current king?

Having the same screen size and amount of default RAM as the Asus Eee PC 4G, it has an advantage in storage space with an ample 30GB hard disk drive, compared to a 4GB SSD on the Eee. Both also use Linux variants as their default operating system.

However, what might be the CloudBook’s Achilles’ heel is its touchpad which happens to be a lousy excuse for a pointing device. It is a two–handed operation device, a first and hopefully the last for such small devices. The keyboard, though seemingly the same as that on the Eee PC, has considerable flex that makes it no fun to use.

I guess the CloudBook’s not getting to a second generation anytime soon.

Asus Eee PC New Products News

9-inch Asus Eee PC with Windows XP

Windows XP on the 9-inch Eee PC.

Yes, as Engadget has reported, the second generation Asus Eee PC that comes with 9–inch LCD screens will also come in Windows XP–powered variants.

Let’s just hope that XP will stay just as an option and for Asus to continue using Linux as the main OS; alternative operating systems makes it cheaper for the consumers!

Asus Eee PC New Products

2nd generation Asus Eee PC

Second generation Asus Eee PC

Yes, even before everyone could get their hands on the always sold–out Asus Eee PC, they have announced a new model with compelling improvements. The 9–inch Asus Eee PC is currently covered extensively by gadget blogs like Engadget, who managed to give us the scoop over at CeBIT.

Notable improvements on the new Eee PC:

  • New 9–inch LCD, actually 8.9–inch, much bigger than the previous 7–inch display
  • 1024 x 600 resolution, an ergonomic screen estate better matched for today’s operating systems unlike the older 800 x 480 pixel screen.
  • 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, twice than that before and a better starting point for a reasonably snappy system
  • Larger SSD drives reportedly coming in 8 GB up to 12 GB offerings.
  • A bigger trackpad!

Though there is more than enough reason to think that this is a completely new model, it isn’t. It is still heavily based on the previous model with the same keyboard and basic structure, with some components changed to accommodate the improvements.

Though price may be fractionally higher, the new Eee PC will still be a good buy considering the price of comparable ultraportables.

DIY Hacks

Should you rebuild your laptop battery?

A common alternative to buying a replacement battery is to rebuild a battery. Basically, it involves replacing the cells inside your original battery and replacing them with new ones that can be purchased online. The process can dangerous, as any mistake can easily set your laptop on fire, not to mention risk your home or office.

Aside from the risks involved, the process may not necessarily return your battery to its original capacity, as this DIY laptop battery rebuild guide reveals. Always consider an OEM replacement, or a refurb done by pros before attempting a battery rebuild.


Everybody wants to beat the Eee

So it seems every PC maker now wants their own version of Asus’ Eee PC. Electronista reports Gigabyte’s interest in producing a micro–notebook like the best–selling Eee. Their version will be using the upcoming Shelton platform from Intel, sporting a 1.6 GHz single core CPU with a power draw of less than eight watts. Similarly, the screen is planned to be of the same size as Asus’ 399 USD micro–wonder. Gigabyte intends to produce the whole PC internally and not have it produced by other contractors.


HP now shipping Penryn laptops reports that now offers laptop configurations using the latest Intel Penryn processors, with speeds up to 2.5 GHz.

The Pavilion dv2700t, dv6700t and dv9700t can now be customized with the said Penryn processors, offering 6MB of L2 cache resulting up to a 10% performance increase compared to equivalent Santa Rosa chips. The 2.5 GHz Penryn chip goes by the code T9300.

HP is first in offering these new processors though it certainly comes at a premium: 225 USD more than the preceding high–end Santa Rosa processor.

With this development, Dell and other major laptop makers will surely offer the said processors in the coming days. From the consumers’ standpoint, this could only be a good thing — the price of Santa Rosa based notebooks and the even cheaper ones will get even lower, and technology will trickle down to the cheapest models. More bang for our bucks!

Asus Eee PC News

Where to buy Asus Eee PC in the Philippines?

A lot of our commenters in our previous post on the Asus Eee PC have been asking where to purchase the best–selling mini–notebook here in the Philippines. As of December, it was safe to say that most of the major PC hardware shops were selling it like pancakes.

Price ranged from 17,000 to 20,000 pesos, depending on how badly the shop took advantage of the huge demand for the Eee PC. A good number of these shops offered the product for a 12–month, zero–interest deal that puts it at 1,650 pesos a month, putting it at 19,800 pesos.

When buying an Asus Eee PC, I recommend getting it from a reputable shop like Villman to make sure you’re getting locally procured and not smuggled units. We got two of our Eee PCs from them, with our third one from PC Live.

By the way, if you finally got yourself one, you might want to head over to my Asus Eee PC Hacks blog, a sister site dedicated to getting the most out of your new toy!

New Products Rumors

Asus Eee PC Price in the Philippines

Asus Eee PC 701

The Asus Eee PC is probably the hottest non–Apple tech gadget today, and for good reason. Offering the mobility of ultraportable notebooks/laptops at the price of an advanced PDA or smartphone (hint: iPhone?), geeks and mobile warriors are quick to appreciate the goodness this device provides.

So how much will it (Asus Eee PC 701) retail in the Philippines? 17,999 pesos. Insiders have leaked this price though it is still unconfirmed until we see it in the stores. At the said price, it is actually cheaper than the announced price of USD $399, if converted using 44 pesos to a dollar. It’s cheaper to get the Asus Eee PC here in the Philippines!

But wait, knowing how unscrupulous some local retailers are, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it selling for more than twenty thousand pesos, especially considering the holiday buying rush. Needless to say, I want one. Want it enough that I’m reconsidering if I really want one of those new MacBooks now.

Laptop Reviews New Products

Asus Eee PC: Holiday Bestseller?

Asus Eee PC

Despite the weird name, the Asus Eee PC is a well–anticipated mobile computing device that’s sure to be in most geeks’ wishlist this Christmas. It isn’t exactly a workhorse, and spec–wise it may as well be a good cross between a laptop/notebook and an advanced PDA. The 4GB version, known as the Asus Eee PC 701, is reviewed by, with its features listed as:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron M ULV 900MHz
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel GMA 900 GPU
  • Storage: 4GB of Flash-based storage (SSD)
  • Memory: 512MB of DDR2 RAM (667MHz)
  • OS: Xandros Linux (Asus customized)
  • Screen: 7-inch screen with 800 x 480 resolution
  • Ports: 3 USB 2.0, 1 VGA monitor out, headphone jack, microphone input, SD card reader (SDHC compatible), Kensington lock slot, Ethernet 10/100
  • Webcam (0.3 MP)
  • Battery: 4-cell 5200 mAh 7.4V Li-Ion (rated at 3.5 hours)
  • Wireless: 802.11b/g Atheros
  • Input: Keyboard and Touchpad
  • Weight: approximately 2 lbs with battery, 2.5 lbs travel weight with AC adapter.
  • Two-year warranty

The folks at gives this device an “Editors Choice” rating, a tag they rarely give out, suggesting something special about the Asus Eee PC.

In the end, the Eee PC is the single most impressive notebook we’ve seen priced below $400. The technical specs might look sub par, but the usability and overall performance of the Eee PC rivals notebooks costing several thousand dollars more. Granted, you can’t install Photoshop on this little notebook and you can forget about playing Bioshock on this thing, but the Eee PC can do just about everything you “need” to do with a notebook while on the go.

Now I’m sure you’re almost ready to get one soon. Be sure to familiarize yourself with it so you’d know what to expect, and read this helpful tweak guide to get the most out of it.

Other reviews of the Asus Eee PC:

Apple New Products

Updated MacBooks

Apple MacBook

Yes, the new MacBooks are here!

But they’re not exactly new. It’s the same Intel–based MacBook that we’ve had for some time now, updated to “Santa Rosa” specs, though not exactly Santa Rosa since Apple chooses to use its own wireless card instead of Intel’s.

Listed below is the current specs for Apple’s mainstream notebook:

  • 13.3-inch glossy display
  • 2.0GHz or 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Up to 4GB memory
  • Up to 250GB hard drive
  • Apple Remote with Front Row
  • Built-in iSight camera
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
  • Slot-loading optical drive
  • Built-in AirPort Extreme
  • FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 2.0+EDR

Now with 800MHz front side bus, a better though still built–in graphics card GMA X3100, a new maximum RAM of 4GB DDR2, the new updates are very much welcome and should be good enough for those holding out on getting a MacBook, like me. The keyboard layout has also been updated to reflect the changes in the recently released thin aluminum wireless keyboards, and can be seen in this page. Additionally, rear vent fins are spaced farther, detailed in this list of differences in the new MacBook compared to the previous ones.

One problem though is price. At the same price levels, there are several win–tel offerings that pack more punch, or you could get a similarly functional machine with less of the bells–and–whistles for much less cash. The Apple MacBook might still be competitive enough, but I doubt it will catch a good chunk of the pie, especially not this coming holiday season.

Unless Apple has another surprise up its sleeves.

Apple Rumors

The New MacBooks

are almost here?

Can’t wait to get my hands on them.


Philippine Laptops

If you’re in Manila and looking for a good laptop that’s actually locally available, Jozzua’s Philippine Laptops will likely be very helpful. The site is a spin–off after his entry on a Neo laptop he used to use popularly comes out for search queries on the Neo laptop brand.

Wanna know which brand and model to get, and what to avoid? Philippine Laptops is a good place to start with.

Laptop Reviews

Lenovo vs. Compaq

LenovoOur favorite has a head to head to head (three–way?) battle between the HP Compaq nx8220 and Lenovo’s T60 and Z60t. This is an interesting comparison, with the new T60 going against the lowly nx8220 and the older (and slightly better) Z60t.

Expectedly, the Core Duo–based T60 outperforms the other two in many ways. Read the complete review for a thorough discussion of these products.

Site News

Welcome to mobile!

Hi, I’m Markku Seguerra, more known for my site rebelpixel productions.

I’m starting this new weblog dedicated solely to one major topic: mobile digital lifestyle. A place where you learn on the latest mobile gadgets, from cellphones to laptops and all the little electronic things in your bags and pockets. My interest in these things has led me to ask: “why not write about the things I know a lot about?” Stay tuned, there should more to come in the next few days and weeks.