December 19th, 2008 — Hands On
The end of 2009 is less than a two weeks away, and it’s only been a few short months since mobile computing enthusiasts were treated to the first netbooks making their way to retail shelves, with the likes of the early Asus Eee PCs and HP’s short-lived but strangely popular Mini-Note 2133 powered by Intel Celeron and VIA C7-series processors. Today, we’re already seeing a throng of netbooks in various shapes, sizes and colors available to buy, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad S10.
Lenovo may be a little later to market than most of the other laptop makers also keen to grab a slice of the netbook pie, but at the very least they’ve managed to produce a respectable product that also happens to be one of the better netbooks we’ve had the chance to play with so far.
Full write-up and oodles of pictures, all after the break.
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November 27th, 2008 — Soapbox
Macworld 2009′s coming up in a little over a month, and as usual, the Mac faithful are already throwing ideas into the wind on what Apple will announce in one of the most significant tech-related events to start off the year.
While i’m admittedly not the most knowledgeable around on all things Apple, come January 5th, i’ll be neck-deep among the hordes of Mac acolytes thronging through San Francisco.
Before that happens though, here’s my take on what Apple (i.e. Steve Jobs) will most likely talk about:
- Mac Pro – The Mac Pro’s been lying rather quiet, and since Intel’s gone and announced their Core i7 platform, this is a good time as any to finally bring some fresh blood to Apple’s high-end workstations. Nehalem, here they come.
- Mac Mini / iMac- The ‘forgotten child’ of Apple’s product lineup, the Mac Mini hasn’t seen an update since getting fitted with Core 2 Duo chips in 2007. It’s either Apple’s going to officially sink the product line, or announce an update. My gut says update, but with some of the new 65W quad-core chips from Intel. These babies make excellent media centers, and as they bring a more affordable side to owning an Apple-branded computer, cutting these out of the lineup wouldn’t make a lot of sense where product segmentation is concerned. On the other hand, Apple might also stuff these quad-core chips into their iMac lineup.
- 32GB iPhone / 64GB iPod Touch – More storage is always a good idea, and i’m hoping that Apple will ditch the 8GB iPod Touch while introducing a 64GB variant, pushing the 32GB model down the price ladder. Similarly, a 32GB iPhone would be very welcome; 8GB or even 16GB doesn’t really cut it, not when the 32GB iPod Touch’s already been around for quite some time.
What Apple’ll likely NOT announce:
- Snow Leopard @ Mac OS 10.6 - Initially announced during WWDC earlier in June this year, Apple’s latest big update to their operating system was stated as only shipping sometime mid 2009, likely in time for WWDC 2009.
- An Apple Netbook - Pricing themselves out of the market has never been one of Apple’s aims, not even with the ultra-cheap iPod Shuffle (US$49 on the Apple US online store, S$78 in Singapore). With that in mind, it makes no sense that Apple would announce a netbook product, and even less sense that they’d adopt the Intel Atom (if any) to power one.
- Blu-ray on a Mac – Forget it. Despite the death of HD-DVD, Blu-ray isn’t getting anywhere closer to toppling DVD. Apple’s always made it a point to go cutting edge, but at this point in time, Blu-ray is far from cutting edge, and still a little too expensive to appeal to the mainstream.
What do YOU think Steve-o will announce at Macworld?
November 14th, 2008 — Inbox
So it seems that AMD does want a chunk of the Netbook pie after all, announcing a pair of ultraportable platforms, dubbed ‘Congo’ and ‘Yukon’ respectively. Some tidbits taken from their recent Financial Analyst Day summary release:
- “Congo” is based upon the dual-core “Conesus” CPU with the RS780M and SB710 chipset. “Yukon” is based upon a single-core CPU with the RS690E and SB600 chipset. While targeted at the ultra-portable market, these platforms have been designed to address a portion of the mini-notebook market, specifically those people who are dissatisfied with the limited experience offered by mini-notebooks. “Yukon” is planned to be available in 1H09 followed by “Congo” in 2H09.
- AMD also announced the 2010 ultraportable notebook platform code named “Nile”. “Nile” will feature the dual-core “Geneva” CPU utilizing DDR3 memory technology.
- In 2011, AMD plans to introduce the dual-core “Ontario” APU for ultraportable and mini-notebook platforms.
My take on this particular bit of info? While this is all very nice and forward looking, AMD’s basically saying that they’re only planning to make things available somewhere in late 2009; that’s almost a year away. Even if you take away the fact that the economy’s in the toilet, we’d still be betting that AMD’ll eventually announce some more delays here and there, given their recent track record of much chest-pounding but not delivering. Also, this just gives Intel a nice bit of time to further stake their claim on the netbook market with their Atom lineup.