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HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition

HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition

Yes, that’s the fashionably chic version of the HP Mini 1000. Noted designer Vivienne Tam comes up with a provocatively red Mini 1000 that you can easily mistakenly identify as a fashion accessory instead of a netbook.

Looks great! With a USD $699 price tag though, it will get buyers thinking twice. After all, you can get a much more usable Dell Inspiron Mini 12 for that money with some change to spare.

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HP Mini 1000 with MIE

HP Mini 1000 MIE (Mobile Internet Experience)

MIE is HP’s Mobile Internet Experience, essentially a customized Ubuntu Linux variant with a very attractive interface. It will be offered in the new HP Mini 1000 and priced at USD $379, making it the cheapest Mini 1000 available.

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HP Mini 1000

HP Mini 1000

After the not so impressive Mini-Note 2133, HP makes sure it gets its sequel right with the new HP Mini 1000. Now looking even sleeker than before, it is now powered by the Intel Atom unlike the Via processors that limited the previous model. Early photos shows an impressive black finish with probably the best keyboard in a netbook.

Priced at USD $399, the Mini 1000 just made the ultraportable/netbook market even more interesting. Expect a massive price war this coming Christmas season as all manufacturers push prices down for an upsurge in sales. We consumers are getting lucky.

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Dell Inspiron Mini 12 officially launched

Dell Inspiron Mini 12

Now the ultraportable is taken to the next level. You’ve heard about the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, right? Now Dell comes up with a 12–inch version that should appeal more to portable computer buyers. Armed with the same Intel Atom processor just like other ultraportables these days, it has 12–inch LCD display with a 1280×800 resolution, definitely much more usable for everyday use.

However, the same downside applies to this offering: the absence of an optical drive. But we know that you hardly need an optical drive for everyday use. Besides, most of us have desktop computers with DVD–writers anyway.

The less than USD $600 price tag is sure to get holiday shoppers excited. The Dell Inspiron Mini 12 appears to be a viable option to buying Apple’s Macbook Air, which comes at three times the price with basically the same limitations.

Are they going to sell it here in the Philippines anytime soon?

Asus Eee PC Ultraportables

Happy Birthday Eee PC!

Happy birthday Eee PC!

It’s been a year since the Eee PC was released and we have seen the netbook market grow to the competitive segment that it is now! None of the compact computing goodness we’ve been having wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Asus and the original Eee PC, so here’s to the first birthday of the pioneering little wonder. Happy birthday, Eee PC!

MSI Wind Ultraportables

New MSI Wind U120

MSI Wind U120

Just a few months after the MSI Wind U100 caught up with the netbook craze, MSI now comes up with an updated version in the MSI Wind U120. Specifications are basically the same as the older U100 but with the addition of a 3.5G HSDPA modem and a revised 802.11n wireless module. Worth noting is the fact that the U120 is targeted at business users, not too common in the netbook market. Availability is expected in December, priced less than USD $600.

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Samsung ultraportable

Samsung ultraportable. [1]

What Laptop unwraps the news on what is another entry in the affordable ultraportable market, this time coming from Samsung. Currently just dubbed as the “Samsung Netbook,” it has features similar to everybody’s ultraportable, running on the Intel Atom N270. It is rumored to use a hard drive instead of an SSD drive, which will make it more appealing as a general use mobile device without the storage limitations of SSDs.

Samsung ultraportable. [2]

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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 now shipping!

Dell Inspiron Mini 9

Quick to capitalize on the market’s hunger for cheap ultraportables, Dell has now started to ship the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, their great–looking entry in this currently very profitable market.

Spec–wise, it is very much like every other ultraportable out there, with a few notable omissions — no F11 and F12 keys! I think it’s a rather costly decision that may be a huge factor in the acceptability of this product. Here’s the compete specs:

  • 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom Processor
  • 1GB DDR2 533MHz (1 DIMM)
  • Ubuntu 8.04 Linux with Custom Dell Interface (Includes Open Office)
  • 8.9″ 1024 x 600 WSVGA glossy LED backlit display
  • 8GB miniPCI SSD card
  • Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics
  • 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • 4-in-1 Media card reader
  • 1.3 Megapixel webcam, Dell Video Chat application, Dell Support Center
  • 4-Cell 32Wh Li-ion battery (14.8V)
  • Size: 9.2″ x 6.8″ x 1.3″ (including feet)
  • Weight: 2lb 5.5oz (with 4-cell battery), 2lb 11.6oz (with battery and AC adapter)
  • Price: $434 ($474 with Windows XP)

Pretty solid model, but I think I like the Acer Aspire One better. If you’re interested how the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 performs, here’s a review you should be reading.

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Lenovo IdeaPad S10

Lenovo IdeaPad S10

Now here’s another one for our crowded ultraportable market: The Lenovo IdeaPad S10. Announced earlier this month, the IdeaPad S10 is equipped with the Intel Atom processor that’s now common for cheap ultraportables these days. Curiously, it is offered in configurations that use traditional hard disks without the SSD option that others have.

Red Lenovo IdeaPad S10

Pegged at 399 USD is the base model that comes with 512MB of RAM and 80GB of storage, while the 449 USD model has 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard disk. The IdeaPad comes with Windows XP without any mention of Linux, yet. With a familiar operating system, this may make the IdeaPad more appealing to common consumers and not just to the geek market.

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AMD developing low-power Intel Atom rival

Planned AMD BGA CPU.

If you think the Intel Atom mobile CPU sells at a reasonable price, things will get even better for us consumers as AMD is developing a low–power CPU to compete with Intel’s Atom processor that powers most ultraportable laptops these days. With a specced TDP of just 8 Watts for the CPU with the northbridge and the memory controller, this puts it in a better position compared to the Atom which reaches arounf 30W because of its power–hungry chipset. Come November, AMD is scheduled to reveal more information about this CPU which may just spoil the Atom’s (and Intel’s) holidays.

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Dell E: Asus Eee PC killer?

Dell E ultraportable notebook.

While the cheap ultraportable/netbook market seem saturated enough now, Dell doesn’t agree. They will be releasing the Dell E, yes, with just one “e” instead of three as that on Asus’ ultraportable. Expected to arrive this August, we will have a huge ultraportable battle with the Dell E joining the fun, competing against the Asus Eee PC, the MSI Wind, the Acer Aspire one, the HP MiniNote, and several others from smaller manufacturers.

The Dell E will be utilizing an Intel Atom processor just like the Acer Aspire one. It will reportedly sell for 299 USD. Here are more details:

  • Intel  Atom 1.6GHz processor
  • 8.9–inch 1,024 x 600 display
  • 3x USB 2.0
  • SSD
  • integrated webcam
  • WiFi
  • Thickness: 0.82–1.22 inches
  • Weight: Approximate 2.2 pounds

Let the battle begin! Cheaper ultraportables for everyone this coming Christmas season!

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Acer Aspire One Philippine Price: 18,800 Pesos

Acer Aspire One

Yes, the Acer Aspire One is finally here in the Philippines! Another competitor of the popular Asus Eee PC just like the MSI Wind, it is now listed at Villman’s website for just 18,800 pesos. This is a very tempting price compared to the MSI Wind which is now selling at the 25 thousand peso level. At this price, it is obviously a better alternative to the Asus Eee PC 701 which still sells for 18 thousand. Left in the dust is the Asus Eee PC 900, which at 25 thousand pesos pails in comparison to the models we just mentioned. Good thing I resisted the urge to buy the Eee PC 900 just a few weeks ago.

Here’s a short spec sheet for the Acer Aspire One:

  • Intel Atom Processor N270 (1.60GHz. 512KB L2 Cache,533MHz FSB)
  • Mobile Intel 945GSE Express Chipset
  • Acer Invilink 802.11b/g WiFi Wireless Network Network Connection
  • Linpus Linux Lite
  • 1GB Memory (onboard 512MB + 1x 512MB Module)
  • 8.9″ WSVGA TFT CrystalBrite LCD (1024×600 pixel)
  • LED Backlight – 262,000 color supported
  • 8GB SSD (with one storage slot for SD Card for storage expansion)
  • Integrated Acer CrystalEye Webcam
  • Multi-in-1 Card Reader
  • Built-in 10/100 Mbps LAN
  • with 89% full size keyboard
  • with notebook sleeve
  • Weight: 995g (2.19lbs)
  • One (1) Year Warranty (Parts and Labor)
  • One (1) Year International Travellers Warranty

Almost everything’s to like in the Aspire One, except for the weird touchpad buttons placed on the left and right side of the pad, just like the HP MiniNote’s blunder. It is not a deal–breaker though and considering how beautiful the Acer looks compared to the others, I wouldn’t be surprised if Acer scores big on this one.

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The MSI Wind PC is one ultraportable that came after the Asus Eee PC craze. Fortunately for MSI, coming late gave them the chance to produce a good product. With a 10-inch LCD powered by a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, the Wind was designed to e much more usable than the Eee PC. With 80 GB of storage available and a battery capable of getting four hours of continuous use, it can easily outdo most of the other ultraportables in the market, even the more expensive ones. It’s no surprise that LaptopMag’s review praises it so highly:

If there were a Survivor: The Mini-Notebook series, and each of the ultra–low-cost notebooks were incrementally eliminated, the MSI Wind NB would be the one left standing. Unlike its competitors, the Wind NB offers the complete package, including an adult-size keyboard, a larger 10-inch screen, and a very capable Atom processor. This system’s solid performance, stellar 5-plus hours of battery life, and $499 price make it the best all-around mini-notebook to date.

The MSI Wind PC is now available locally here in the Philippines and sells for 25,500 pesos. It’s in the same range as the 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC 900 but it sports a better processor, a larger LCD, more storage, and more battery life. What’s not to like about this one?

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Asus Eee PC 900 Battery Life

Are you curious about the Asus Eee PC 900’s battery life? With conflicting reports on the rated capacity of batteries shipping with the Eee PC 900, the issue of battery life is now a significant concern. The first review units of the second generation were tested with a 5800 mAh but the first batches in Hong Kong included a much lower 4800 mAh battery. Consumers were obviously not happy and Asus offered a 5800 mAh replacement battery.

One of the first few users to get an Eee PC 900 shares with us his findings on the life of the 4400 mAh battery. Running Windows XP with brightness at 50% and sound volume at 80%, he managed to get 2 hours and 24 minutes before the Eee PC breached the 7% critical warning in Windows XP. Not bad, though far from Asus’ claim of 2.8 to 3.5 hours.

Personally, I’d be happy with 2:24 on a cheap ultraportable. And considering he was at 50% brightness, a notch just above the lowest would probably yield another 10 to 20 minutes. If only I can afford another Eee PC.

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Neo Explore X1: Asus Eee PC wannabe?

Neo Explore X1

Here’s something first in the Philippines: Local laptop maker Neo has just released an ultraportable not much different to the Asus Eee PC. Named the Neo Explore X1, it has the same 900MHz Celeron 353 ULV in the Eee, along with a 7–inch screen.

Though a lot of the specifications are almost the same, the Explore X1 sports a roomier 30GB hard disk! The keyboard appears meatier than that on the Eee, though of course it doesn’t guarantee that it’s better in actual use.

Unfortunately, the Explore X1 lags in the looks department — it looks just like a kid’s VTech toy.

Here’s the complete specs:

  • Intel Celeron M 353 (900 MHz)
  • 512MB DDR2 RAM
  • 30GB PATA Hard Disk
  • 7–inch LCD Display (WVGA)
  • WiFi
  • 2 USB ports
  • Card reader
  • 10/100 LAN
  • Microsoft Windows XP Starter

Now what is Windows XP Starter? I believe it’s much like XP Home Edition though I’m not very sure. The Explore X1 retails for 17,999 pesos here in the Philippines, roughly $400 USD, right up against the Asus Eee PC 4G.

The Explore X1 is a good alternative to the Asus Eee PC if you need more space, if you can stand the way it looks.