Saturday, November 21, 2009

Asus Eee PC 1201N is ION-powered

has announced a new 12-inch Eee PC 1201N netbook powered by Nvidia ION graphics and dual-core Intel Atom processor. This new 12-inch Eee PC 1201N netbook will come pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home premium and would be available in black and white colour options. As noted earlier, Asus has now made this netbook official and it will be available by mid-December for $500 (Rs. 24,000 approx.). This 12-inch netbook joins the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 and Samsung N510 as ION-based netbooks.

The new Asus Eee PC 1201n sports 12-inch LED Backlit display screen offering 1366x768 pixel resolution and supports 720p HD content playback. Asus has packed in dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom 330 processor, up to 3GB DDR2 memory and 250GB SATA 5400RPM HDD for storage. Samsung N510 netbook boasts superior Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics compared to Lenovo IdeaPad S12 and the Eee PC 1201N.

Other features of Eee PC 1201N include HDMI out, WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth, Ethernet and 1.3 megapixel webcam comes built-in. Asus may add 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery that will last about five hours. With isolation keyboard, the build of this netbook resembles Asus' Seashell family netbooks.

Technical Specifications:

* 12.1-inch LED-backlit WXGA screen (1366 x 768)
* Genuine Windows 7
* Intel Atom 330 Dual Core processor
* NVIDIA ION Graphics
* 250GB HDD/320GB + 500GB* ASUS WebStorage
* 802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
* 1.3M Pixel Webcam (with digital zoom function)
* Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
* Stereo Speakers
* VGA Port (D-sub 15-pin for external monitor), HDMI out, three USB 2.0, LAN RJ-45 port, 2 x Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in), Card Reader: MMC/ SD(SDHC)

As this is an announcement (read launch), expect this netbook to be available in India by the end of December or January 2010.

Snow Leopard netbooks resurrected

So you dared to temp fate (and Apple) by converting your netbook to run Mac OS X. But when you upgraded your netbook to the latest version of Snow Leopard (10.6.2) suddenly your Hackintoshed netbook became toast. It rebooted in a never-ending cycle rivaling the infamous Macintosh “spinning ball from hell.”

For reasons never publically stated, Apple quietly made a change in the most recent version of Snow Leopard. “The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for (the Intel Atom) processor, leaving (Snow Leopard) updated netbooks in a useless state.” This according to the folks at InsanelyMac.

Now that we know what went wrong, it was simply a matter for those who understand things Macintosh to dig under the hood and fix the problem. And that’s exactly what they did. Again, according to InsanelyMac, “Fortunately, insanelymac user ‘teateam’ patched the new kernel just two days after Apple rolled out the update.”

They go on to tell netbook users that, “Many users are reporting success with this patch, so if your (sic) an Atom user looking to update to 10.6.2, give it a try.”

For readers concerned with this kind of activity, let me state that Apple does not support nor do they condone using Mac OS X with non-Apple hardware. In fact, Apple’s EULA specifically prohibits this kind of use of their Operating System. Remember, that Apple sells both hardware and software and these are designed to work together. Therefore, Apple isn't pleased to see their OS running on other vendor's hardware. In addition, in these circumstances there can be issues with hardware not working as expected.

On the other hand, many users, even those who are faithful to Apple, are miffed that Apple has stubbornly refused to release a Mac netbook. Wanting something that doesn’t feel like a chunk of heavy metal sitting on their laps, they’ve opted to convert their feather light netbooks to Hackintoshes. Now those users have the option to download the patch and run the latest, greatest, OS 10.6.2 on their netbooks.

Before long we can expect Apple’s engineers to put an Intel Atom processor squelch on the next version of Snow Leopard (10.6.3.) Then we can count on those creative and motivated hackers to figure a way to overcome this with another patch. Point and counter point! So it goes with Hackintoshed netbooks.

Google Chrome OS will be adobted From Broad Enterprise in 10 years

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why Would AT&T Want Dell's Android Phone?

AT&T takes plenty of criticism for its aching wireless network, but it's rarely accused of lacking a stable of solid smartphones. So, the reports (from the Wall Street Journal's anonymous sources) that AT&T will offer an Android-powered smartphone from Dell, are a bit of a head-scratcher. But, when you really think about it, it makes plenty of sense for AT&T to be interested in this Android phone.

The clearest motive, as my colleague JR Raphael points out, is AT&T's need to join the Android party, as all three other major carriers have already shacked up with Google's operating system, or at least plan to. With one analyst from Gartner expecting Android to overtake the iPhone in global market share in 2012, AT&T could be planning ahead.

Moreover, AT&T needs to prepare for the day when the iPhone is no longer exclusive. Even AT&T says that's inevitable, so the carrier will want another exclusive touch screen phone to fill the void. Sure, the carrier has a nice line-up of Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones, but those lend themselves best to business uses, while the iPhone does not.

It's possible that the Dell smartphone could even look like the iPhone. Depending on who you believe, AT&T's Dell phone will either be similar to the Mini 3i Dell is introducing in China (that's the Journal's take) or basically the same phone with a few enhancements (says CrunchGear). While AT&T won't want an iPhone clone, some similarities could be helpful, as customers would see Dell's phone as a clear alternative to the iPhone.

If I'm right about all this, then there's just one snag: AT&T would be putting its faith in a computer maker that, before the Mini 3i, had no experience with smartphones. Dell is an unproven manufacturer, so this rumored deal is riskier than going with, say, HTC.

Then again, rolling the dice on a computer company with no smartphone experience worked out swimmingly for AT&T last time around.

Verizon Users: iPhone or Android?

We learned during the week that Verizon had made a deal with Google to start to provide Google Android powered handsets, the first is to be in partnership with Motorola. This is great news for fans who like the Android OS, but where does this leave Verizon Wireless users who long for the Apple iPhone?

Both companies announced that two Android based phones will be launched before the end of the year, with many more planned for 2010. Although the deal was only announced last week, they have both been in talks about a possible coming together for more than a year-and-half.

Verizon customers hope that this latest announcement will not affect Verizon’s desire to try to make a deal with Apple over the iPhone. We mentioned in a recent post that this would not happen in 2010, as Apple does not like the restrictions that Verizon have made.

The Google Verizon phone will come with Google’s standard app market preloaded, not Verizon’s VCast Store, which is what will happen if we have a Verizon iPhone.

The Google OS is becoming very popular and there is even talk that the mobile operating system will become even more popular than the iPhone OS. Apple has had a good run with its Apple OS, but it is limited to just one handset, not great for growth potential. Google Android is on a range of handsets on a range of networks in most countries.

Which of the two cell phone operating systems do you prefer?

Netbook Gets Speed Boost From Dual Atom Chips

A Colombian computer maker has designed a netbook that aims to provide the performance of a standard laptop at a lower price.

Haleron combined two of Intel's Atom processors in its new netbook, which it says provides better performance than existing models. Most netbooks today use a single Atom chip.

The Swordfish Net N102 includes two Atom N270 processors running at 1.6GHz. It is designed to provide the power of a standard laptop at a price most Latin Americans can afford, the company wrote on its Web site.

"The standard notebook or laptop computer, although an industry standard around the world, was out of reach for many Latin Americans," the company said.

A netbook with a single Atom chip "just could not support the multi-tasking needs of students and professionals," it said. So it set out to build its own. It modified Intel's 945 chipset to run the two processors, which took it about six months. The processors divide the workload, much like a dual-core processor does, the company said.

But running two processors took its toll on the netbook's battery life. A three-cell battery provides only two-and-a-half hours of run time, so the company offers an additional six-cell battery that adds up to four-and-a-half hours of use.

"We have developed what we feel is the best solution for a load sharing dual Atom processor netbook," the company said.

The netbook is priced at US$449, and the optional six-cell battery adds another $29. It comes with 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. It also includes a Web cam, a 4-in-1 card reader and built-in WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) 3G broadband module and 802.11b/g wireless networking.

The netbook comes with Windows XP Home Edition. "We found that it works best on the Windows XP operating system. Both Windows Vista and the new Windows 7 performed below Windows XP in the load sharing department," the company said.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weibu N10A netbook now out Japan

Japanese will be able to get their hands on the Weibu N10A netbook that comes with a 10.1" display, albeit running on NVIDIA’s ION chipset that will make portable graphical capability a snap on this diminutive device. Retailing for approximately $556 after conversion, it sounds rather expensive to us living Stateside but one must take into consideration that netbooks tend to cost a wee bit more in Japan compared to other countries around the world. The Weibu N10A will be running on an Intel Atom 230 processor, featuring 2GB RAM, a 160GB hard drive, HDMI connectivity and a 10.1" display at 1,024 x 600 resolution.