Keep Windows XP on my netbook or upgrade to Windows 7?

With Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) widely available, and netbooks coming shipped with primarily Windows XP, the natural question is, “should I upgrade or is Windows XP good enough for my netbook?”

A detailed review of Windows 7 RC by Notebookcheck.net provides some insight. It ran a side-by-side comparison of XP, Vista, and Windows 7, rating each OS on several factors such as performance, ease of install, compatibility, and stability. Although the review was run on a desktop PC, the review does offer this final opinion to netbook owners:

Whoever likes to play older titles, can do without the newest (graphical) effects, owns a netbook/laptop that is not a strong performer or has old hardware that he/she wants to make further use of, you will still get on well with Windows XP.

Windows XP offers assured compatibility with many of the older software that can run on netbooks, so this conclusion makes sense. We’re comparing an OS with several years of patches and service packs versus a not-yet-released product.

In Windows 7’s strong favor, however, is security- the newer OS was rated much more secure than Windows XP, which was notorious for its security issues.

Still, if you want to make the leap to Windows 7, most netbooks should run perfectly fine with the new OS. It’s basically a decision of compatibility/stability versus security/”shiny factor”.

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This post was written by admin on July 17, 2009

Asus Eee PC T91 Review, Size Comparison

Laptop Magazine posted its review of the $499.99 Asus Eee PC T91 Tablet Netbook. The review only gave it 2.5 stars out of five:

This tablet netbook sets itself apart with an attractive touch interface, but it’s held back by slow performance, a small hard drive, and cramped keyboard.

The T91 uses the Atom Z520 CPU, widely considered to have better battery life, but at the cost of inferior performance to the N270/N280.

If you are curious how the T91 compares with other netbooks in size, Liliputing posted a nice series of photos of the T91 alongside with the Eee PC 1000H and the Lenovo S10.


Posted under Eee PC T91

This post was written by admin on July 17, 2009

ASUS Eee PC T91 Tablet Netbook Pre-Order

After much anticipation, the first tablet netbook from a major manufacturer is finally available for pre-order in the US.

According to Asus, the Eee PC T91 is the world’s smallest and slimmest touch PC with dimensions of just 8.77 x 6.39 x 0.98-1.10 inches. Weighing a very svelte 2.11 lbs (slightly less than even the 1008HA), the T91 has an 8.9 inch screen and will come with Windows XP and up to 5 hours of battery life.

Pre-order the Asus Eee PC T91 8.9-Inch Black Tablet Netbook

More detailed specifications on the T91:

  • Display: 8.9-inch Gloss LED-Backlit WSVGA touch screen (1024×600)
  • Operating System: Genuine Microsoft Windows XP Home
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z520
  • Wireless Data Network: WLAN 802.11b/g/n (draft 2.4GHz n) and Bluetooth2.1 + EDR
  • Memory: 1 GB DDR2 SO-DIMM (upgradeable up to 2 GB)
  • Storage: 52 GB Hybrid Storage (16 GB SSD + 16 GB SD Card + 20 GB Eee online Storage**)
  • Camera: 0.3 Megapixel
  • Audio: Stereo Speakers, Hi-Definition Audio CODEC, Digital Array Microphone
  • Card Reader: 2-in-1 MMC/SD(SDHC)
  • Input/Output: 1 (D-sub 15-pin for External Monitor) VGA Connector, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x LAN RJ-45, 2 x Audio Jack (Head Phone/ Mic-in)
  • Battery: Li-Polymer Battery, 5-hours*
  • Dimensions: 8.77 x 6.39 x 0.98~1.10 inches
  • Weight: 2.11lbs (with battery)

Posted under Eee PC T91

This post was written by admin on July 16, 2009

Hands on with the Gateway LT3103U

The local Best Buy had set up an Gateway LT3103, the new 11 inch notebook featuring an AMD Athlon 64 processor, Radeon X1270 discrete graphics, 2GB memory, Windows Vista Basic, and a 6-cell battery. It will sell for $399. I got the chance to play around with it for a few minutes, and here are some quick observations:

  • There was some flex in the screen portion, while the base seemed fairly sturdy.
  • I didn’t get to run any benchmarks, but Windows Vista gave the 3103 an Experience Index base score of 2.3. IE started fast enough but some of the menus and such had a slight lag.
  • The keyboard is really mushy. Not much feedback at all.
  • The touchpad is a bit small but worked well enough. There’s a scroll area on the right hand side of the pad. The touchpad button was solid.

Official page for the Gateway LT3103.

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This post was written by admin on June 27, 2009

14.55 Million Netbooks Worldwide in 2008

According to a research study by Digitimes, the market for netbooks worldwide totaled to 14.55 million units, and projects that the 2009 market will nearly double to 27.7 million units. It would be really interesting to see a copy of the full report.

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This post was written by admin on February 27, 2009

MSI X-320: Netbook or MacBook Air?

As we emerge from blog hibernation on the eve of CES, we came across this Chinese article on an MSI pre-CES event introducing the new MSI X-Slim X320. Upon first glance at the pics, it really reminds us of the MacBook Air, which would seem natural, but looking closer at the internal specs reveals what is closer to what you’d find in a netbook. According to the specs posted, the X-Slim will be using the Intel Menelow chipset with the Intel Atom Z530 1.6 CPU. Other specs are:

Screen resolution:1366 × 768
Wireless:802.11a/b/g/n、Bluetooth, 3.5G
Ports:USB × 3、ExpressCard × 1, RJ-45, VGA out, headset/mic jacks, multi-card reader
Battery :4-Cell up to 4 hours, 8-Cell up to 10 hours
Weight:1.3kg
Availablility:Q2 2009
Price:30,000TWD/~$800 USD

As reported in LaptopMag, it will be available in Champagne Gold, Pearl White, or Fashion Black.

Lots of great pictures- even if you can’t read Chinese, it’s worth checking out just for the visuals.

This model does bring up a question: is it processor type, or screen size, that ultimately defines a netbook? Previously there were no laptop models larger than 10 inches using the Intel Atom, but with this model and the 12-inch Inspiron Mini, manufacturers are starting to push the envelope.

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This post was written by admin on January 5, 2009

The Dell Inspiron Mini 12

APCMag is offering what they claim is the first review of the Dell Inspiron Mini 12, with test unit lent by Michael Dell himself at a Dell event in Shanghai. The Inspiron Mini 12 is scheduled to come out in mid November. Basic stats are a 60 or 80 GB hard drive (no SDD), Windows Vista Home (with options for Ubuntu and WinXP), 1 GB memory, and GMA500 integrated graphics. There are also plans for a 3G HSDPA version early next year. Interestingly enough, the Inspiron Mini 12 doesn’t use the Intel Atom N270 processor commonly used in most recent netbooks, but the Z520 and Z530 from the Silverthorne series aimed at Mobile Internet Devices and Ultra-Mobile PCs. Price is $999. Lots and lots of nice pictures in the review.

Read the full review

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This post was written by admin on October 26, 2008

A crazy deal on the Acer Aspire One

…but unfortunately, most of us will just have to read it and say “darn”. Eureka Electronics, a store based in Kuwait, is, or at least was, offering the Aspire One basic model (Linux, 8GB SSD) for 59 Kuwaiti Dinars, which is a very affordable $221 in US dollars. Unfortunately, the sale was short-lived- according to commenters on the original article, the stores sold out and were down to display units within about two and a half hours.

Read the original story

Posted under Acer Aspire One

This post was written by admin on September 25, 2008

MSI Showing Some Love With the Wind

According to a press release on their web site, MSI has now unveiled a special charity model – the “MSI Wind Netbook Love Edition”. Proceeds from sales of this model will be earmarked to support a range of notebook donation programs around the world to children in rural and remote areas learn computer skills and get online.

The Love edition will be a special white version with special trim of silver and heart patterns to convey a “gentle softness”.

MSI Wind Love Edition

MSI Wind Love Edition

MSI Press Relese

Posted under MSI Wind

This post was written by admin on August 14, 2008

VIA quits motherboard chipset business

VIA has announced that it will no longer make motherboard chipsets for AMD and Intel, and will instead focus on its own custom chipsets

Previously one of the best chipset makers for enthusiasts looking for high performance on a budget, VIA now sees no future in making chipsets for third parties such as Intel and AMD.

In an interview with CustomPC, Richard Brown, VIA’s VP of corporate marketing, explained that: “One of the main reasons we originally moved into the x86 processor business was because we believed that ultimately the third-party chipset market would disappear, and we would need to have the capability to provide a complete platform.”

VIA quits motherboard chipset business | News | Custom PC.

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This post was written by admin on August 13, 2008