Ultraportable Breakdown

29 05 2008

Now, If you haven’t noticed over the last few months, the “ultraportable” notebook market has become obscenely crowded and many people don’t know where to turn, if they’re considering one. Many will just say “Oh, I’ll just get the Asus Eee PC, since its pretty popular.” Now while there may be nothing wrong with this, you are surely closing the door on many other viable options that may even be better that the Eee. Below I listed the most popular ultraportables on the market, though some are yet to be released, along with their accompanying stats.

Asus Eee PC

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This little guy really got the ball rolling in the ultraportable market. It was designed after the OLPC XO laptop which was geared towards those who were needy and required an inexpensive laptop. On the opposite side though, the Eee was designed for consumers and consumers alone.

  • Processor: Intel Celeron 800 or 900MHz (Atom model coming soon)
  • RAM: 512MB to 1GB
  • Storage: 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB solid state flash memory
  • Display: 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen (9/10 inch models being released on Tuesday, June 3)
  • Expansion: 3 USB ports, 1 VGA output, 1 SDHC card slot
  • Operating System: Xandros Linux or Windows XP
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11b/g
  • Webcam: 0.3 megapixels
  • Weight: .92kilograms / 2 pounds
  • Battery: 4 cell 4400mAh or 5200mAh battery (around 2 and 3 hours of battery life)
  • Price: $299 to $499

Everex Cloudbook

From what I’ve heard, this laptop hasn’t gotten the greatest of reviews, but it’s still an ultraportable and needs some lovin’ too. Stay tuned though, because a newer model called the Everex Cloudbook MAX should be coming along sometime in 2009, with built in WiMAX.

  • Processor: 1.2 GHz VIA C7 Mobile processor
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Storage: 30GB hard drive
  • Display: 7 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen
  • Expansion: DVI-I output, 2 USB ports, 4-in-1 media card reader
  • Operating System: gOS Linux
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11b/g
  • Webcam: 0.3 megapixels
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Battery: 4 cells
  • Price: $399

HP 2133 Mini-Note

Catchy name, I know. This one from HP’s main feature that sets it apart in the ultraportable category is the fact that it has a much larger keyboard than any other on the list. From what I’ve noticed, the biggest complaint in the ultraportable market is the fact that the keyboards, well, kinda suck – this one’s hoping to change all that.

  • Processor: 1GHz – 1.6GHz VIA C7 Mobile Processor
  • RAM: 512MB to 2GB
  • Storage: 4GB solid state flash memory or 120GB/160GB hard drive
  • Display: 8.9 inch 1280 x 768 pixel screen
  • Expansion: VGA output, 2 USB ports, Express Card slot, SD card slot
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Business, OpenSUSE Linux
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth optional
  • Webcam: VGA
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Battery: 3 cells or 6 cells
  • Price: $499 to $849

MSI Wind

This is one of my personal favorites, ahead of the Eee, for a couple reasons. One, its specs are top notch (e.g. Not limited to 8GB hard drive) and two, its cheap. This ultraportable will be released June 3, the same day as two other models of the Asus Eee PC. Hmm…interesting.

  • Processor: Intel processors between 1GHz and 1.6GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 80GB hard drive
  • Display: 8.9 inch 1024 x 600 pixel screen
  • Expansion: 3 USB ports, VGA output, SD card reader
  • Operating System: Windows XP Home
  • Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Webcam: 1.3 megapixels
  • Battery: 3 cells
  • Weight: 1.2 kilograms / 2.6 pounds
  • Price:$399 to $549

2Go PC

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one, but what I do know is that it will be geared towards educational purposes, although it will be sold commercially.

  • Processor: Intel Celeron M 900MHz
  • RAM: 512MB or 1GB
  • Storage:40GB 1.8 inch 4200 PATA hard drive
  • Display: 9 inch 800 x 480 pixel screen
  • Expansion: SD/MMC card reader, 2 USB ports
  • Operating System: Windows XP or Linux
  • Connectivity: 802.11 b/g with support for open mesh
  • Webcam: VGA
  • Battery: 4 cells, 3 hours battery life
  • Weight: Less than 3 pounds
  • Price: $400 to $500

Dell “Mini-Inspiron”

This one was just freshly “discovered” not all that long ago. Michael Dell showed a prototype of it to Brian Lam, at All Things Digital only a couple nights ago, then released some pictures of the beautiful ultraportable. I can’t wait to find out more about it in the coming weeks.

  • Processor: Unknown
  • RAM: Unknown
  • Storage:Unknown
  • Display: 8.9 inch screen
  • Expansion: 8-in-1 card reader, 3 USB ports
  • Operating System: Windows XP Home or Ubuntu
  • Connectivity: “A host of wireless access options”
  • Webcam: Yes
  • Battery: Unknown
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Price: Less than $500

And that’s all there is too it; not to say that there aren’t many, MANY more ultraportables flooding the market as I write this. This by no means is every ultraportable there is, so if you didn’t find this satisfying enough, do some of your own digging and make the decision that is right for you.

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Windows 7 Preview at ATD

27 05 2008
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This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for…except, not really. Both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have decided to showcase their upcoming OS, nicknamed Windows 7, at All Things Digital this evening. Its not exactly as clear as stating “This is Windows 7”, although I wish it was. Its more of a preview of what to expect on Windows 7. What’s been detailed so far is that the new OS will have multi-touch capabilities, presumably acting like the Microsoft Surface table. So far, it looks like a tablet PC with multi-touch; nothing too awe-inducing, unfortunately. Also noted, is that Windows 7 will not be a completely new operating system, but it will use the same base as Vista, so when the upgrade takes place next time around, it will hopefully go smoother than the previous one. The timetable for Windows 7’s release is somewhere around 2010, with both 32-bit and 64-bit. Previous quotes by people within Microsoft have hinted at the touch-controlling abilities in the new system. Hilton Locke, who worked on the Tablet PC team at Microsoft mentioned the features in an interview in December.

“I will say that if you are impressed by the “touch features” in the iPhone, you’ll be blown away by what’s coming in Windows 7. Now if only we could convince more OEMs that Windows Touch Technology is going to drive their sales.”

Also, Bill Gates stated that it will be “a big step forward” for speech technology and handwriting recognition.

Gizmodo’s following the entire thing minute-by-minute, but I’ve added some photos at the bottom to show what they’re exactly demoing. (Pictures from Gizmodo)

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Exposé in Ubuntu

25 05 2008

I was doing some digging today, looking in the Compiz settings to see if there was something similar to Expose, from the Apple OS – and of course, there was. If you open the Settings pane under System>Preferences>Advanced Desktop Effects Settings, you will be able to scroll down to a heading titled “Window Management”. In here there is an option called “Scale” – enable that by clicking the checkbox to the left of the icon. By default, the trigger is Shift+Alt+Up, but if you click on it, go to Bindings and find where it says “Initiate Window Picker”, you are able to change it to your preference. The first option titled that is for choosing a “hot corner” to trigger the program, while the second is for using a keystroke.

Note: You must install Compiz Fusion in order to get this effect to work. To do so, read the post on installing common programs in Ubuntu.





Put Fedora 9 on a USB Stick [Linux]

24 05 2008

A little bit ago, the people over at Lifehacker published a great article on putting the latest version of Fedora on a 1GB+ USB thumb drive. The steps are abut as simple as can be. All that’s necessary is for the user to download the live-usb creator, extract it and run it. Also, the program allows you to allocate how much space you want available to save applications/files to your USB drive (its titled “Persistent Overlay”). If you still don’t feel comfortable doing it, you can check out the whole article and tips for problem-solving here.





MSI Wind Details [Eee Competitor]

13 05 2008

Everyone’s favorite ULPC (Ultra Low-cost Portable Computer), the Asus Eee PC has just found a new competitor in town – The MSI Wind. The people over at Laptop Magazine have managed to get an interview with Andy Tung, MSI’s Director of US Sales. So far the following stats for the Wind are:

  • It will run a version of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise or Windows XP – buyer’s choice
  • Screen options are 8.9″ or 10″ display (10″ is the only choice in the US)
  • Color choices are black, white, silver, and pink
  • 6 cell battery (more than 6hr of continuous use with Linux version)
  • Sales begin June 3

Linux Version

  • 512MB RAM
  • 80GB Hard Drive
  • Atom Processor
  • $399

Windows Version

  • 1GB RAM
  • 80GB Hard Drive
  • Atom Processor
  • Bluetooth
  • $549

Read the full interview along with a gallery at Laptop Magazine, here.





Boot Camp & Parallels Together

9 05 2008

Recently I found myself installing my Windows Vista on Boot camp but I didn’t want to have to reboot every tome I wanted to do something simple. Through some playing around, I found a very easy way to use your Boot Camp partition in Parallels.

First install your Windows operating system through Boot Camp. Once that is completed, Open Parallels and follow this path:

File > New… > Custom > Choose your OS > Allocate RAM used > Use Boot Camp.

And that’s about it. It’s pretty straight forward after that, but if you have any trouble, feel free to comment below.








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