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Intel Portables Hardware

Second Netbook Wave Begins 318

Posted by kdawson
from the first-blood-to-asus dept.
nerdyH writes "Asus is taking pre-orders for a netbook based on Intel's second-generation platform, the secret-shrouded N280/GN40 chipset. Early product specs confirm that the second wave of netbooks are likely to offer faster graphics and lower power use, along with room for much, much larger batteries. The N280 apparently integrates the northbridge and CPU, meaning that the GPU moves to 45nm process technology, the FSB gets replaced by an on-chip interconnect, and overall board real-estate drops to a third of what it was previously — hence the ability to stuff an 8,700mAh battery into a 3-lb. device. The right shift key is slightly bigger, too, though still no trackpoint pointer (guess I'll keep waiting)."
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Second Netbook Wave Begins

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  • No thanks. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:05PM (#26702891)

    I'll wait for the Apple idea of a NetBook. It will change everything.

    • by MrEricSir (398214) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:06PM (#26702905) Homepage

      Will it change diapers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it will be the first netbook with a wheel instead of a keyboard.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Davemania (580154)
      Yeah over priced netbook.
      • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bcrowell (177657) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:26PM (#26703851) Homepage
        Seriously. Asus kept promising low price, but what they kept delivering was higher performance. The article says, According to Asus, the PC 1000HE will be available "soon" for approximately $400. Following the pattern they've always followed, that means it will actually sell for $800. What would have been really revolutionary would have been a $100 laptop -- but OLPC screwed up, and Asus decided to head up instead of down. If Asus had actually followed through on their original plans to deliver these things at low prices, we'd be seeing the imminent death of Microsoft. As it is, there may be some downward price pressure on Windows, but not enough to make MS surrender a whole sector of the market and allow Linux to move beyond the 1% share of the desktop where it's been stagnating for years now.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cheesybagel (670288)
          One more die shrink and less batteries would lower the price considerably, I am sure. That could take less than a year.
        • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:57PM (#26704119)

          > Following the pattern they've always followed, that means it will actually sell for $800.

          Nope, it is already showing up for preorder at or below the MSRP.

          > If Asus had actually followed through on their original plans to deliver
          > these things at low prices, we'd be seeing the imminent death of Microsoft.

          Don't look to ASUS for that. The origional EEE was a joint venture with Intel and seeing as they are introducing the first product with this new chip they are still bound to em. To really cut the price is going to require ARM based products.

          Which means the low end is going to be left to others. Coby was showing product at CES with $139 MSRP but it is believed to be the older MIPS stuff. Be patient, if somebody can get a product designed that doesn't suck, built in quantity and fight the fierce resistance Intel and Microsoft will throw up to block the normal retail channels.... Xmas '09 will redefine what people think of a laptop/netbook. Just don't look for it in Best Buy.

          • Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Taxman415a (863020)
            If I had em right now you'd get em, but someone should mod you up.

            I think you're right about it taking an ARM product to really bring the prices down. A number of articles have been claiming people are working on them but we'll see. I'm sure you're right about the Wintel cohort putting all their collective muscle into stopping anything like that from happening though. It would carve into both of their margins if someone could make a decently functional product that used less battery, lasted longer, was lig

            • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Interesting)

              by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:49PM (#26704525)

              > I'm sure you're right about the Wintel cohort putting all their collective muscle into
              > stopping anything like that from happening though.

              Which is why the MIPS based units designed and pushed by Chinese only vendors aren't getting anywhere after almost a year of units being available to buy in bulk. The ARM efforts have several advantages. First they are faster, better tech. They can probably really do HD video and a Flash player is known to exist for ARM so a full browser experience is possible. More important is several Western/US chipmakers see a multi-billion dollar opportunity if they can leverage smartphone chips up a notch to compete in the netbook space. Broadcom, TI, Nokia, etc aren't exactly on the same playing field with Intel and Microsoft but they have enough marketing muscle and existing presence in the retail channels to avoid being locked totally out of the store shelves. Now imagine what happens when these vendors who already have good relationships with the cell carriers pitch bundling deals. Imagine the fireworks should AT&T offer up a free ARM netbook with a service plan.

              All that has ever been needed to blow the Windows monopoly to smitheens is for a critical mass of customers to realize they can survive without Windows/Office. Putting tens of millions of ARM+Linux netbooks in the field just might do the trick. No Windows wouldn't vanish but their ability to command monopoly prices would be forever smashed and that would end their cash cow, without which they would lack the ability to cause much mischief.

              • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Interesting)

                by EvilNTUser (573674) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:44AM (#26706469)

                >Imagine the fireworks should AT&T offer up a free ARM netbook with a service plan.

                Be careful what you wish for. Do you really want people getting "free" computers that are as restrictive as the "free" cell phones they push at people? It would be the *death* of mainstream Linux.

                And don't think people wouldn't put up with it. Us Europeans are already amazed you put up with the crippled cell phones just so you can buy them on credit.

                • Re:Mod parent up (Score:4, Interesting)

                  by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @07:58AM (#26707951)

                  >Imagine the fireworks should AT&T offer up a free ARM netbook with a service plan.

                  Be careful what you wish for. Do you really want people getting "free" computers that are as restrictive as the "free" cell phones they push at people? It would be the *death* of mainstream Linux.

                  Why? As long as the machine lets people surf the net and do light office type tasks (which Linux/Firefox/OO) will do just fine, they won't care what OS it runs.

                  The challenge will be games; and if enough devices can be pushed you'd start to see developers write games for it.

                  I'd guess that a manufacturer would use BSD rather than Linux if only to better control who can use any changes they make; if they thought the market was big enough.

                  And don't think people wouldn't put up with it. Us Europeans are already amazed you put up with the crippled cell phones just so you can buy them on credit.

                  If by crippled you mean carrier locked the reason we put up with it is that it has no impact on most US cell phone users. We have a network that spans a space about the size of Europe where we can use our cell phones anywhere in that space without worrying about roaming charges. We don't need to worry about changing carriers to get good rates; so you pick a provider based on coverage or that has the cool phone you want.

                  In addition, our "locked" phones aren't that locked, ATT will unlock some phones after you've been with them a few months, including pay as you go phones; not sure about T-Mobile. Sprint and Verizon phones aren't really locked but since each others phone id's don't show up in the others database they can't or won't activate a rival phone; although at one time you could activate Sprint Treos on Verizon. There was talk of allowing non-carrier branded phones to be activated but I'm not sure if that ever happened.

                  The bigger question is why worry about phone mobility? If you switch carriers you get a new subsidized phone anyway; and it seems many people view phones as a throwaway that gets replaced every 15 months or so anyway. You don't get a price break for a non-subsidized phone, so there is no advantage to buying one. In the US you don't have to worry about roaming charges so you don't need to swap SIMs as you travel. Since a significant percentage of Americans never travel abroad the ability to get a cheap SIM plan overseas is not needed. I do travel abroad and have a cheap pay as you go phone that is unlocked fro use overseas; it cost me a total of $10 for the phone. I unlocked it myself; but had I kept my account active for 3 more months (after the 1st month that was included in the price of the phone) at $10 or so a month ATT would have unlocked it for me for free.

                  Not having to shell out a few hundred dollars up front increases the penetration of cell phones in the US since more people will pay XX$ per month than $200 up front plus XX$ less the subsidy cost. If you look at European providers they also offer subsidized phones so it seems Europeans like that option as well.

                  In short, the US and European markets are different because of the nature of the markets. Ours created one large calling area rather than the patchwork of carriers that are legacies of the period prior to the "United Europe." Ours works for us, yours works for you. Both have pluses and minuses, but neither way is inherently better; just different.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by EvilNTUser (573674)

                    It's not just about switching operators. The widespread lockin lets the operators dictate what features the phones have, and it has damaged the US market significantly. In Europe, a lot of people go for the contract option, but the large unlocked market ensures that operators don't have power over the phone manufacturers. I'm constantly reading articles raving about features we've had for years that have nothing to do with building networks.

                    If you don't get a price break for buying a phone on your own it

                    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                      It's not just about switching operators. The widespread lockin lets the operators dictate what features the phones have, and it has damaged the US market significantly. In Europe, a lot of people go for the contract option, but the large unlocked market ensures that operators don't have power over the phone manufacturers. I'm constantly reading articles raving about features we've had for years that have nothing to do with building networks.

                      Don't confuse writer's opinions with those of the broad customer base. Most people want a phone that works, and messaging. A camera is nice as well. While many /. would like the latest and greatest my experience has been their preferences aren't those of the broader market.

                      So I guess I don't understand what you mean by it has damaged the US market significantly.

                      If you don't get a price break for buying a phone on your own it just means the carriers have so much power they can screw you over. That's not a sign of a healthy market.

                      As for people being happy with what comes installed, sure, but the effect of lockin on competition retards progress, and prevents anyone who does care from installing what they want. There is NO benefit to the consumer in such a system.

                      ,P>I'd submit that the constant lowering of the cost of cell phone contracts is the sign of healthy market that benefits consumers. Over the

        • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:37PM (#26704441) Journal

          What happened to those ultra cheap ARM laptops we were hearing about awhile back, that is what I want to know. While I agree that a $150-$200 x86 laptop would be the hot product, especially in this economy, I just don't see that happening without some competition. After all, both the major laptop manufacturers and Intel would probably like the Netbook market to either die or become like what ASUS is pushing, which is just full priced crappy little laptops.

          But seeing as how most of the folks using a Netbook are mainly using it as a "browser in a box" and with an ARM CPU you should be able to get great battery life with decent performance the ARM based Netbooks could take a chunk of the market, especially if they hit the under $150 price point. After all there are already ARM based distros ready to go, there are programs that will let you edit a doc on a ARM based machines, and as long as the browser lets you surf the web and check your webmail most folks I know would be happy little campers. And the ARM processors out there can be had VERY cheaply, and with the scale of making a product like a Netbook the price will only go down. The screens are getting cheaper by the day, ditto for SSD storage, and Linux means no MSFT tax.

          So what happened? Where the hell are they? If they get them out in the $125-175 range I would have NO problem selling them to the local college kids as a "browser in a box" which they could throw in their backpack and check their email and IM with. But I haven't heard diddly squat past the original announcements. Being an underdog and not already having established laptops to compete against in house(unlike ASUS) they would have reason to go low on price to capture market share. And in this economy cheap price beats just about anything. So where in the hell are they?

          • Re:No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by EvilNTUser (573674) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:55AM (#26706539)

            I could still live with the slightly higher price, since many other products, like graphics cards, use perfectly acceptable previous generation products for the low end.

            What I don't understand is the push for ever bigger screens and storage. The 900-series could be even smaller, but is optimized for an acceptably large keyboard and display, and that's ok. A 10" hd-based laptop however, is not what I would consider a netbook anymore. The whole point is maximum portability. That means 7-9" screen and a flash drive.

            Adding insult to injury, they don't even use the size to support a bigger resolution, and have removed the respected ASUS brand in favor of the childish Eee logo. No thanks.

      • Re:No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rwa2 (4391) * on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @12:58AM (#26705441) Homepage Journal

        Well, so I rushed out and bought an Eee901 for my wife for about $550. I'd say it's about the "sweet spot" for their netbook line. They're about the same size as the 7" models but make better use of the screen real estate, yet smaller than the 10" models, which seem a tad too big and don't offer any extra screen resolution for it.

        Anyway, you all remember what fanfare that piece was released with. But a few months later they quietly started selling the stripped-down version of the Eee901 (with 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB and 4GB of SSD instead of 16-20GB) for only $300 at places like Target and Walmart, even in the Linux flavors to boot. And it's ridiculously easy cheap and easy to upgrade the RAM (up to 2GB if you replace the stock OS - I'm liking eeebuntu) and storage (add as a big SD and as many USB drives as you like).

        So it seems to me that Asus has a strategy of doing lots of press releases for their high-end models and scalping the rich tech boys to pay off the engineering costs, but then selling the very competitive stripped-down version at the mainstream retail outlets to get volume.

        So anyway, keep a lookout for these cheap stripped-down pieces they sell to the "low end market"... I'm already planning my Eeebot army.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      I'll wait for the Apple idea of a Netbook

      It's called the Macbook Air. Most people can't afford it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by edremy (36408)
        It's called the Macbook Air. Most people don't want it.

        Fixed that for you. They aren't in the same market segment- they aren't even in the same market. The eee is a cheap, durable, ultraportable minimal machine that does simple tasks. The Air is a large, fragile, very expensive machine that wants people to ooh and ahh. I have access to both at work- a first gen eee701 and a high end Macbook Air. I carry the 701- it's far smaller, less obtrusive and if I drop it I don't feel bad since it will probably su

  • by JickL (1398643) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:15PM (#26703029) Homepage
    1.45 kg is just slightly too much in my opinion. I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less. But that's just me! Also why aren't we seeing huge batteries like these in the cheap 15-inch laptops that would really need them? This pretty much proves that it can't be the cost that's prohibitive.
    • by denzacar (181829) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:23PM (#26703131) Journal

      1.45 kg is just slightly too much in my opinion. I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less.

      Yeah... cause lugging around the extra weight equivalent of couple of Mars bars is more than anyone should be forced to endure.

      • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:32PM (#26703273) Homepage Journal

        1.45 kg is just slightly too much in my opinion. I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less.

        Yeah... cause lugging around the extra weight equivalent of couple of Mars bars is more than anyone should be forced to endure.

        It all adds up. I can take my 701 to work on my bike. Carrying a load momentum is the real problem, not weight. For me the 701 belongs with my multimeter and GPS. Its an instrument, just not as specialised as the others.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by szap (201293)

        0.9 kg vs 1.45 kg. I don't know how many Mars bars that is, but that's over 60% increase in weight.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by denzacar (181829)

          I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less.

          And 1.3 kg vs. 1.45 kg is about 2-3 Mars bars, depending on which Mars bar we are talking about. [wikipedia.org]

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by amRadioHed (463061)

          Not .9kg, he said 1.45kg is too much and 1.3kg is ok. That's a difference of 150g which is three 50g mars bars or about than two and a half of the 58g size.

          Yes, there are probably more important things to be discussing right now.

        • Good job with the math. Now for some perspective:
          Average adult male should be able to comfortably carry at least 15kg on their person while riding a bike (much more if just walking).
          The extra 0.5kg for the larger screen, better performance, and close to double the battery life costs them about 3.3% of their load capacity. Less than an extra can of Rockstar would.
        • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:40PM (#26703985)

          If netbooks continue to grow like this, in a mere ten generations they will weigh 158Kg. Clearly the government should intervene and legislate a maximum weight of 100kg.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by diamondsw (685967)

        It's all a matter of perception, and once you get down to these weights, yes, you notice a couple ounces. One of them is 50% heavier than the other, does that help?

        Of course, you might not notice it if you're toting the standard 8lb budget brick laptop that most Windows users seem to have.

      • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday February 02, 2009 @10:06PM (#26704211)

        1.45 kg is just slightly too much in my opinion. I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less.

        Yeah... cause lugging around the extra weight equivalent of couple of Mars bars is more than anyone should be forced to endure.

        at that weight you might as well buy a fully fledged laptop with some real power. Netbooks are experiencing "power-creep" right back into the laptop fold.

    • by beav007 (746004)

      1.45 kg is just slightly too much in my opinion. I love my 701 weighing in at just over 900 grams, I'd prefer a model weighing 1.3 kg or less. But that's just me! Also why aren't we seeing huge batteries like these in the cheap 15-inch laptops that would really need them? This pretty much proves that it can't be the cost that's prohibitive.

      Yes, I see your point. Lets try to simplify </3rd Rock>

      <JickL> Your netbook is too heavy. Also, can I have a bigger (heavier) battery?

      Or did I miss something?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by popo (107611)

      mod parent up.

      The 3.2 lbs of the 1000 series might seem light, but compared to the 2.18 lbs of the 900 series, it's a beast. The 900 was perfect. They should keep going in that direction...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jaxtherat (1165473)

        Pounds? Leagues? Quarts? African Swallows?

        Good grief man, this is 2009 use the Metric system!

  • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:16PM (#26703031) Homepage

    It's always been kind-of annoying knowing that in a lot of netbooks, the super-efficient 2W Atom processor was paired with a clunky old 6W 945 chipset [wikipedia.org]. Such a waste of battery life.

  • Tag (Score:5, Funny)

    by hax0r_this (1073148) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:17PM (#26703049)
    Someone should tag this "clitmouse".

    Just saying.
  • by fireman sam (662213) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:22PM (#26703111) Homepage Journal

    Who decided to use touch pads in these netbooks. Why not go with the more controllable clit mouse. Much more pleasurable to use - for both the user and the computer. I refuse to purchase a new laptop/netbook unless it has the clit mouse. Also, the touch pad wastes too much realestate.

    • by Nimey (114278) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:27PM (#26703191) Homepage Journal

      Do you manipulate your clit mouse with your tongue?

    • by wjh31 (1372867) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:30PM (#26703241) Homepage
      because most people wouldnt be able to find it
    • by imsabbel (611519)

      And i would refuse one without a touchpad.

      Face it, people like different things.
      I dont like touchpads, but those stupid mouseclits are unusable.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I refuse to purchase a new laptop/netbook unless it has the clit mouse."

      One benefit:
      If the clit mouse cover turns brown and greasy or wears off, you can easily rip it out and replace it.

    • by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > I refuse to purchase a new laptop/netbook unless it has the clit mouse.

      Well Sony has one..... Along with some other neat features. But it also ships with Vista and starts at about $1000 which is pretty much out of the netbook catagory.

      > Also, the touch pad wastes too much realestate.

      Duh! Which is why I'm shocked that precisely zero netbooks makers have managed to figure out something so blindingly obvious. Take the Sony form factor, scale it up just a bit to cut price a little and get a little mo

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      I slightly prefer the touch pad, if only because if you are in any kind of a moving vehicle the little nub is very hard to control.

    • by guisar (69737)

      Yeah- all the netbook manufacturers seem stuck on that paradigm- I vote for getting rid of the speakers and touchpad, putting in a larger keyboard which can "unplug" from the surface of the system and all bluetooth accessories (mouse, keyboard, sound out) and switch to a DVI video out. Touchpads are the biggest change that's needed- they just make the system LESS usable not more.

  • by macshit (157376) <miles @ g n u . o rg> on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:26PM (#26703163) Homepage

    Seeing how annoying some of the teeny trackpads in netbooks are, why on earth aren't some of them using trackpoint/eraserhead/clit/whatever controllers instead?

    I get the impression most manufacturers do not do a whole lot of thinking when designing these things...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by JickL (1398643)
      Actually I prefer the trackpad on my EeePC 701 to the one on my MBP. I find it more precise and I prefer the texture of it. Have I lost all credibility now?
      • Actually I prefer the trackpad on my EeePC 701 to the one on my MBP. I find it more precise and I prefer the texture of it. Have I lost all credibility now?

        No, I find the 701 track pad perfectly okay. The only problem is that when I run the laptop off a cheap inverter in my car noise gets into the track pad and it is useless.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        OK, so you like touchpad, great. It works for you, and that's all that matters...for you. (as a sidenote, you seem to be in the minority - most people with touchpad-only laptops use mouse if they can; certainly on every desk that I've seen where there's touchpad-only laptop, there's also a mouse; some people even have "travel mouse"; I even witnessed somebody trying to use a mouse on a flat area next to the touchpad, while sitting on a park bench...ridiculous!)

        HOWEVER...I, and many other people, really like

  • by darkmeridian (119044) <.william.chuang. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:27PM (#26703195) Homepage

    A five-hundred dollar, three pound netbook with a ten inch screen, over five hours of battery life, and an integrated 3G wireless card would make regular laptops obsolete for most consumers. You can check your e-mail and word process, and edit photos. That is what most people need.

    I currently have a Dell Mini 9 I bought for $265. It has a four hour battery life and is really snappy with Ubuntu 8.10. I use it to check my e-mail. The only downside is the weak graphics, but the new Intel chipset supposedly processes HD video on board.

    I cannot wait to get one of the second gen netbooks.

    • by X0563511 (793323) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:30PM (#26703243) Homepage Journal

      That new Intel chip isn't actually made by Intel, and because of it linux support is really bad right now.

      Beware - don't expect it to be perfect.

      • by jcaplan (56979) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:34PM (#26703933) Journal
        Yep, I almost submitted the same post. But then I checked my facts.

        It turns out that the graphics in this new Asus Eee 1000HE netbook is based on Intel's GMA 950 core, which is integrated into the new Atom N280 core. The recent news (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/31/1859200 ) was about the GMA 500, which has been in some recent Dell Netbooks. The 950 seems to be in the GMA 900 family, with good old Intel technology and hopefully reasonable Linux drivers.

        Sorry, but that egg was *so* close to being on my face!
    • by joh (27088)

      They are great as long as you have a second more powerful machine. A regular laptop *can* fully work as your only machine but a netbook can't in most cases.

      I have seen too many netbooks ending up as a rarely used toy... and they're too expensive for that actually. If you're wise go for the cheapest you can find, for checking your email and a bit of surfing they are all good enough.

      • by Shados (741919)

        Well, if we're talking home machine here, what CANT a netbook do for an average user? You can browse the web and emails fine, an office suite will work fine, you can listen to music and view your pictures.

        What else does an average user do (lets keep it in the realm of legality here). Graphic design? No. 3d modeling? no. Compiling C++? No. Watch HD movies? Uncommon, thats for the TV, and besides, some netbooks could play 720P. High end games? No, even the average lap-top can't do it, hell, even desktop, and

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by guisar (69737)

        I have to assume you haven't tried to just use a netbook. Yeah I have desktop with a giant screen and quadcore at home but at work and on the road my Asus works just great, really well in fact. I bring a long cable so I can hook it up to the flat screens that are in more and more hotel rooms. Its fantastic for meetings and I don't have to worry about battery usage. On a plane it's fantastic as it fits right in my lap. At home we keep it on a shelf in the kitchen for looking up recipes, talking via skype an

    • Agreed. For school, lugging around my 7-pound laptop was far too much (like 2 extra textbooks). Investing $300 in a netbook was one of the best purchases I've ever made. Set up an ssh server at home and you're good to go. Now I don't even need to buy another non-portable laptop; from here on out, it's all desktop server machines and netbooks for me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      I currently have a Dell Mini 9 I bought for $265. It has a four hour battery life and is really snappy with Ubuntu 8.10. I use it to check my e-mail. The only downside is the weak graphics, but the new Intel chipset supposedly processes HD video on board.

      to Fully agreed on the Mini 9. I loved mine so much, I ordered a second one to run OS X on fulltime (typing from it right now). For basic things like emails and browsing slashdot, these things are absolutely perfect. I even hooked it up to a 17" monitor a
  • Even lenovo's offering doesn't have a trackpoint, it's ridiculous. Sony's new pictu^WVaio P looks like a sweet machine and is equipped with one, but it's pricey.
    • by macshit (157376)

      Lenovo is slowly but surely tossing out everything that made thinkpads nice. They'll be yet-another-generic-laptop before long.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      I guess the suits thought it would cannibalise the sales of X-series.

      But...most people don't need that much power in a portable computer, can't justify buying it. So I'm waiting for the succesor of Lenovo S10...if it won't have a clit, I'll just have to hunt down some used X40/41. No new sale from me.

  • by jfruhlinger (470035) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:50PM (#26703439) Homepage

    Off-topic, but ... does anyone know if there's any such thing as a notebook that has basic netbook specs, but is a bit bigger? Yeah, I know, the smallness is supposed to be the whole point, but ... my second laptop (an IBM-era ThinkPad) is getting a bit long in the tooth and somewhat flaky. All it's ever used for these days is Web surfing and occasional word processing, and I'd love to replace it with a sub-$500 machine ... but my wife watches video on it quite a bit and doesn't particularly want to squint at a 9- or 10-inch screen (the current laptop is 14 inch). I know that LCD prices add some to the final cost, but is there a netbook-quality 13- or 14-inch laptop out there for not too much more than a netbook?

  • HDMI and DVI? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tknd (979052) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:50PM (#26703443)

    I know lots of old displays still use DSub VGA but when can I get one with HDMI?

    It'd be really cool if I could just hook this up to a digital TV which everyone seems to have these days.

    • Re:HDMI and DVI? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jim_deane (63059) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:58PM (#26704125) Journal

      I know lots of old displays still use DSub VGA but when can I get one with HDMI?

      It'd be really cool if I could just hook this up to a digital TV which everyone seems to have these days.

      Wow. Full circle...from plugging my TRS-80 MC-10 into the television, through several generations of specialized monitors, to the "wonder" of watching TV/video on the computer screen, and now back to plugging the computer into the TV.

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:04PM (#26703569)
    The eee PC 701 was the prototypical first-gen netbook (awkwardly cramped 7" screen and as little as 2 GB flash memory). Machines like the eee PC 901 and Acer Aspire One were part of the extremely successful second-gen (8.9" screens, 8 GB to 32 GB flash memory or up to 160 GB HD + XP or a Vista Neutered option). The new chipset (along with 10" screenage) belongs to the third generation.
  • Ditch x86? (Score:4, Informative)

    by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:18PM (#26703739)
    I keep reading how the x86 instruction set is a limiting factor on efficiency when compared to others such as ARM and MIPS. Though x86 chips are capable of being cranked at higher Hz to compensate.

    Though Intel didn't have spectacular success with 'Itanic', might they now consider designing an ISA specifically for low power?

    Attracting a big enough market would be the issue, given the Wintel hegemony. But if Linux netbooks find a niche, perhaps Apple could be persuaded to port to this new 'Proton' CPU for "OS X Netbook Edition"? With intel's backing they wouldn't face the same fabrication problems as they had with PowerPC.
    [Insert obligatory beowulf cluster comment].
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by guppysap13 (1225926)
      I remember reading about some Dell laptops that had both an Intel chip and an ARM chip. The Intel was used for Windows/Linux normally. For simpler tasks (basic browsing, email, etc.), the laptop booted Linux using the ARM chip, attached to the same hardware. It had much better battery life on ARM, but still was able to use the Intel if it needed to do more processor-intense tasks. Or run Windows. Ahh...here's the article http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intel-and-ARM-Processors-Inside-the-Same-Not [softpedia.com]
    • Re:Ditch x86? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday February 02, 2009 @09:36PM (#26703949) Journal

      I really doubt Intel would branch out with a new architecture - or at least, not a low power one. Remember that 80-core processor they made a while back? They'd probably make a new architecture for processors like that, to improve their dominance in the server/render-farm market.

      ARM really has low power and small locked down. An Atom is impressive at 2 watts, but ARM will soon be doing the same at 0.1 watts, and with ARM SoCs everything is in a single chip, so you can also cut out 20 watts from the other components in the netbook.

      There's no point really... The Atom(and netbooks in general) are huge cash cows, but x86 will never try to take over the Cellphone/Ultra-Low-Power-Device market.

    • When last I heard, all intel's chips were risc with an x86 hardware interpreter tacked on.

      Remove the interpreter?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I keep reading how the x86 instruction set is a limiting factor on efficiency when compared to others such as ARM and MIPS. Though x86 chips are capable of being cranked at higher Hz to compensate.

      Read a little more carefully. In practice, x86 has some actual benefits. The lack of a fixed instruction length can actually reduce code size, for example. It is true that even with register renaming, x86 suffers from register starvation, though.

      The x86 chips which can be cranked to a higher clock rate to compensate can generally do so because they have been made less efficient to do so. The most extreme historical case is the Pentium 4, which has multiple "drive" stages which are basically pipeline steps t

  • I'm personally holding out to see if they come out with (admitedly high end) multi-touch Windows 7 based net books. There's already some slick tablet PCs that are nearly netbook-sized (I've only seen them in some asian countries, dunno if some are available here...didn't see any anyway), the future is looking bright.

  • If this works out nearly as well as they say it will, this will be what the original EEE should have been. The 10" screen will be more readable, the slightly larger keyboard more comfortable, while keeping the unit light and portable compared to a regular laptop.

    Furthermore, the chipset being integrated into the 45nm CPU will fix the problem of having an outdated chipset that consumes several times more power than your CPU does (negating the benefits of a low power CPU). We might finally see some *good*
  • by ffflala (793437) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:05AM (#26705483)

    9.5 hours of battery time sounds like quite a stretch from the marketing & hype dept.

    The EeePC 1000HE's 8,700mAh battery replaces the 6,600mAh battery on the 1000 models from last August. My 1000 has gotten a bit over four hours now with light usage at the most power conservative settings on both the distros I've tried on it so far.

    I'm not sure if time scales up directly with mAhs, but if it does that would put the upcoming model around 5.5 hours.

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