Netbook Reviews and Comparisons

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

PC Magazine has an in-depth look at the Acer Aspire One this week. The magazine gives the little computer high marks for its bright screen, but low marks for its keyboard. The keyboard is a bit larger than the one on an Eee PC 900, but the reviewer says it feels just as cramped.

The Aspire One is at the head of the class when it comes to expandability thanks to its 2 separate memory card readers (one is a dedicated SD card slot that you can use for additional system storage, while the other is a 5-in-1 card reader for transferring files from one computer to another), but comes with less storage than the Eee PC 900/901/1000, the MSI Wind, or the HP Mini-Note. The computer also has a tiny 24Wh hour battery. That’s nearly half the capacity of the 42Wh battery that ships with the Eee PC.

Probably the best part of the review is a nifty chart comparing the Aspire One with several other computes. It wins hands down when it comes to price and processor. But Acer is going to have a hard time making the case for the Aspire One once the similarly priced MSI Wind Linux notebook is available.

Elswhere in the mini-laptop world, Laptop Magazine published a complete review of the Eee PC 1000H today. One thing that surprised me was the revelation that the Eee PC 1000H is a bit larger than the MSI Wind Notebook. Both computers hae a 10 inch screen, but the Eee PC is both larger and half a pound heavier at 3.2 pounds. Sure, I probably could have figured those things out by reading the specs, but sometimes you need a real person with real eyes to look at the thing and report how it looks in real life.

Laptop’s Joanna Stern says the display is pretty decent, and she was able watch videos even at an angle. The 1.3 megapixel camera reportedly works well and shoorts smooth video, which is more than I can say for the webcam on my HP Mini-Note.

Stern points out that there’s a user-defineable shortcut key in the quick-launch area, which is always nice to have. There are also buttons for changing screen resolution and switching your processor speed to save power or boost performance.

The computer also boots up quickly (in about 45 seconds), and gets about 4 and a half hours battery life from a 6 cell battery. You can find many more details and a whole bunch of pretty pictures by reading the complete Laptop Magazine review.

Looking for more netbook reviews? Here are a few more reviews/overviews from Liliputing:

And here are a few more reviews from sites we like and trust:
And make sure to check out the Liliputing Product Database for more info on dozens of netbooks.

History of the Netbook

•November 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

History

The concept of the netbook began with the HP OmniBook 800 CT laptop running Windows 95 in 1997[citation needed], while the term itself was introduced by Psion in 1999[1] and re-introduced by Intel in the first quarter of 2008 shortly after they withdrew from the OLPC Association.[2][3]

In 2007, Asus unveiled the Intel Celeron-based ASUS Eee PC range running a customised version of Linux (or, user installed, Microsoft Windows XP) on a 7 inch color screen[citation needed]. These machines measure just 8.9 × 6.5in and have less-than-full-sized keyboards. The Eee PC has been a top seller on Amazon.com[4] and is often sold out in retail stores. Its success is largely contributed to the relatively low price (~USD $350/GBP £230). Compare with similar products, which easily priced above $1000 at that time.

In mid February 2008, Everex launched its VIA chipset based CloudBook, running gOS. The CloudBook is based on the VIA nanobook reference design. Unlike its closest competitor, the Eee PC, the CloudBook uses a hard-disk. The design of the cloudbook is optimised so it can be held in one hand while typing, or in two hands when using the mouse-cursor control, with the left thumb controlling the two “mouse buttons”, and the right thumb a small trackpad, both mousepad and keys are placed directly under the screen.

In April 3, 2008, Microsoft announced a program to extend the availability of Windows XP in “ultra low-cost PCs”, past its original deadline for ending the support of this operating system, as long as hardware developers deploy it on systems with limited hardware specifications.[5] Commentators have seen this announcement as a market movement both to prevent mobile PCs eating market share of full-featured desktop and laptop PCs,[6] and to stop the advance of Linux installations on this format.[7]

In June 2008, MSI launched the MSI Wind PC, with features such as Bluetooth and a 10″ led backlight 1024×600 screen. This new laptop is the first built with Intel Atom low power technology and competes with the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC which has a 8.9″ screen and is capable of a higher resolution. Both laptops are offered with SUSE Linux and Microsoft Windows pre-installed; HP offers Windows Vista on their laptop while MSI ships with only XP Home edition.

Recently, many sites have been devoted to the Netbook, for example, Liliputing.com and Netbookreview.co.uk