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.

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