Netbook Digest

news + analysis on the netbook megatrend

More Portability Deals: Netbook Cases

March 13th, 2009 · Uncategorized

We gave you the lowdown on a handful of netbook bags last week, and they ranged from classy pin-up to simple, plain and black.  We’ve got an assortment of new netbook transportation options for those of you who were left unsatisfied by last week’s post.  This time around, we’re focusing on the fabled netbook case, which generally offers a more solid barrier from the hazards the outside world threatens your precious netbook with.  A turtle shell to the netbook bag’s fur coat. Finding a deal is key.

1353592md09esk1-1Leather is, and always has been the epitome of class, ya know, except when you had to do all the skinning and tanning yourself.  So what better way to look like a high-class business professional than to get a leather netbook case from Kroo.  The leather case/cover comes in several different models, each one uniquely fitted for a different brand of netbook.  There have cases for all of the major netbook lines, Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and MSI.  Amazon is listing them for around $20 each.  They’re definitely a viable option for someone who wants a some differentiation in their generic black netbook by adding some leather casing for protection and aesthetics.

Next, for my brethren who are still rocking their soon-to-be vintage 7” netbooks, Belkin offers two different styles of carrying case, both for std1_f8n085-thbaround $30.  For those of us who want something more grandmotherly, there’s this quilted case that looks like it was knitted by your nana, and offers some style and protection for your 7” netbook.  If you’re not a fan of quilting, Belkin also offers this less textured design for the same $30 price tag.  It comes in four colors, two of which at the time of this posting are sold out.  This design sacrifices the quilting for a little harder covering and slightly more protection.  Neither of them, however, will fit anything bigger than a 7″ netbook, which makes them more than a little outdated considering the standard is now  anywhere between 10.1 and 12 inches.  Skip these and tell your well-meaning friends that they are not in fact a good office warming gift when you get promoted because your productivity increased ten-fold after buying a netbook.

225332ndemnep1-1Also from Kroo, is this significantly less classy netbook case that is 100% guaranteed to make it look like you’re carrying your lunch in a bright pink cloth covered box rather than a new netbook.  The Kroo Cube series will do it’s job, granted that job is making you look like a tool while toting around a piece of technology that’s supposed to be not only efficient, but fashionable in the same way an iPhone is fashionable.  The lunchbox-esque carrying device comes in five different colors, not that you’d want to get this thing in anything but black so as not to draw attention to it.  If you do decide on this thing, you’ll be paying $25 for it.  It comes in different sizes to accommodate whatever netbook you feel like hiding away.

Choiix offers this awesome metal case/sleeve/computer stand for all your netbook needs.  This thing is actually made c-mb01_03out of metal and doubles as a heat dissipation stand when you open it.  The design is unique, simple and lacks a lot of branding.  It also offers a good deal of white space for customization purposes, and allows you to make the metal case your own.  It comes in a few different colors, depending on the size, with the smaller ones having more options.  You won’t find better protection than a full metal case, and the stand is a great touch.  I don’t know just from looking at it how tightly it holds the netbook inside, which is information I’d like to have regarding the potential for scratching what it’s protecting on the metal.  The only drawback is that you’ll be paying $30 for one of them.  On second thought however, if you were to buy a stand separately from this, you’d probably end up paying more.  Overall, seems like a good buy.

There you have it, if you don’t have a good idea about your options for carrying devices by now, there’s not much more we can do.  Besides the more unique options we’ve detailed here, there’s always the sleeve plan.  There are literally dozens of different options if you decide to go with the sleeve option.  Everything from plain solid colors to designer sleeves are available all across the interwebs.  Google ‘netbook sleeves’ and you’ll see what I mean.  Besides variety, they’re usually pretty cheap as well, even tho the single neoprene covering doesn’t offer much in the way of protection from wear and tear.

If any particularly interesting new products arise we’ll be sure to keep you all updated.

→ No CommentsTags:·····

Apple to Officially Announce Netbook Tuesday?

March 13th, 2009 · Uncategorized

images3Via CNNMoney:

Apple is definitely announcing plans for new software on Tuesday and maybe announcing plans for the rumored Apple netbook, talk of which has pervaded the netbook blogosphere for the past few days.

Apple hasn’t done anything to squelch rumors, leading everyone to believe that there is at least some truth to them.  To those who haven’t heard, the netbook is reportedly being manufactured by Tawainese companies Wintek and Qunta, and will feature a 10.1 inch touchscreen and no keyboard to speak of.

Assuming that Apple is going to have some sort of crazy surprise announcement is a bit of a hasty assumption.  Expecially when the closest anyone has come to predicting any specs whatsoever is that it’ll be 10ish inches.

Apple plays things notoriously close the the chest, case-and-point the recent announcement of a new brand of iPod no one saw coming.  (Or if they did, no one talked about it).  I predict, come Tues. the only thing we’re talking about is whatever new software Apple decides to announce, look further in the future if you want a netbook announcement.

→ No CommentsTags:····

A New Challenger Approaches! Australia’s Kogan Agora

March 13th, 2009 · Uncategorized

kogannetbook1Via Electronista:

Guess what?  Another completely generic netbook, this time from Australian company Kogan is set to be released this April in the US.

It’s got everything you’d expect it to have and nothing else even remotely notable.

The CPU will be Intel’s 1.6GHz Atom N270, and the hard drive will have 160GB capacity, with no option for an SSD upgrade.

If you check the link to the Electronista coverage or just closely examine the picture accompanying this article, you’ll note that this thing looks almost identical to an Eee PC, except for the mouse pad placement.  The keyboard is also the same size at roughly 92% of full size.

If it makes any significant mark on the market when it’s released in April, we’ll let you know.

→ No CommentsTags:····

Netbooks Are The New Lunch Box

March 12th, 2009 · Uncategorized

another-netbook-for-kids-say-hello-to-doraemon-portable-monkeyVia GottaBeMobile:

Netbooks have always been known to be very kid-friendly, which makes sense considering they originated in part from the One Laptop Per Child initiative to get cheap, efficient and economical computers to kids in third worlds.  Anyone who owns an Eee PC running the base Xanadros OS knows it’s set-up to be so simple a child could literally be at home using the thing.

Thus, it’s about time someone slapped a goofy cartoon character on a netbook and started marketing to everyone’s favorite demographics, little kids.  Japanese company KuroKids took Intel’s Classmate PC and slapped a fancy cover featuring a goofy Japanese cartoon character on it, and is now selling it to the general public in small quantities.

Adults get fancy, designer covers and bags to keep their netbooks in, it’s about time someone decided to do the same for the kids. I don’t predict custom made netbooks with Pokemon, Power Rangers and other beloved cartoon franchises painted directly on, however, but a massive line of detachable covers with a huge assortment of different options.  There’s a market for the special addition painted netbooks, and companies will drastically overcharge for them.  Sleeves with similar designs to go along with your Pikachu netbook will probably become available as well.

Remember when you used to brag at the lunch table about your awesome new lunch box with your favorite superhero on it?  Replace that lunch box with a netbook, and instead of putting chicken soup, an apple and a PB&J sandwich in it, put a 250GB SSD drive, 1.6 GHz processor and 10.1 inch LCD screen in it.

→ No CommentsTags:·····

The Reason Why 1.6GHz is the Netbook Standard

March 11th, 2009 · Uncategorized

intel-atom0-h-95921-1Via Tom’s Hardware:

It’s almost become unnecesary to type out the proccesor speed when typing out the specs of a new netbook.  Every netbook that fits the standard pricetag running an Intel Atom proccesor utilizes the Z530 at 1.6GHz.  You can chalk that up to the pricetag.  If you go one step higher to the Intel Atom 1.86 GHz Z540 you double the price from $65 to $130.

This is the kind of thing that leads people to believe that ARM/Linux is the future.  Money, money and money.  When ARM gives you the same power for less and Linux gives you the same features for nothing, the choice becomes easier than it has ever been.  Always Innovating’s TouchBook is sporting an ARM proccesor and is claiming 10 to 15 hours battery life, which is almost unheard of.  Unless Intel/Windows cuts their price points more than they already have (Windows already takes a hit on every netbook they sell) ARM/Intel will soon catch up to them.

→ No CommentsTags:·····

Analyst Says That Windows/Intel Domiance May Be Usurped

March 11th, 2009 · Uncategorized

linux-online-incVia Ars Technica:

9 out of 10 netbooks sold run Windows.  Windows/Intel has dominated the computing market for as long as anyone can remember, but at least one market analyst is predicting an upheaval and is citing the new focus on efficiency and low-power that has come with the netbook revolution as the catalyst.

Robert Castellano from The Information Network is daring to predict the future is going to be an Linux/ARM one.  Castellano says the onset of cloud computing will make local storage obsolete and consequentially lower netbook costs to levels that Windows/Intel simply won’t be able to compete with.  When a fully equipped netbook only costs $2oo, that extra $50 for a Windows operating system all of a sudden seems like much more.

This isn’t the first time a rogue analyst has sung Microsoft’s swan song, but Castellano makes a strong case.  2 or 3 years down the road in a market as new and volatile as this anything is feasible.  There’s never been any question that Linux is a more efficient system, but that’s never been the problem when it comes to sales.  People have always been reluctant to purchase an OS they’re unfamiliar with, and despite the numerous advantages Linux offers, people on the whole are unfamiliar with it.  Linux greater prevalence in the netbook market is slowly changing this fact however.  As more and more people own netbooks and Linux starts to become less of the bargain option and more the efficient option, a Linux utopia filled with Linux computers running on ARM processors might become a reality.

→ 1 CommentTags:········

Toshiba Introduces Netbook to US Markets

March 11th, 2009 · Uncategorized


In case you haven’t lost interest in the plethora of netbooks from the countless tech companies being introduced to into the US market, there’s another one.

Toshiba, a company that already offers netbooks to Europe and Latin America, has announced that it will be manufacturing a netbook for the booming US market next year.

Ok, it’s time to draw the line.  You can get your generic, $300 netbook from Acer, Asus, Dell, MSI, Always Innovating, OEM, Samsung, and now Toshiba.  Every source in the business is pointing toward an upcoming Apple netbook, and possibly a Google netbook in the near future as well. When does too much happen?  Is the effort to build a netbook of your own brand worth it anymore?

→ No CommentsTags:····

Microsoft Hamstrings Windows 7 for Netbooks

March 10th, 2009 · Uncategorized

images1Via DailyTech:

It’s common knowledge among the netbook community that Steve Balmer cringes every time someone buys a netbook running Windows instead of a full notebook or desktop running Windows.  Microsoft hacks down the price of their Windows OS in order to keep their netbooks competitive with the cheaper, free-er Linux option.  So, instead of compromising on the price point with Windows 7, the Starter Edition of the hotly anticipated new Operating System will be running on all of their netbooks.

This hamstrung version of the OS will only be able to run three programs simultaneously, and this is on purpose.  Microsoft’s banking on netbook purchases to pay to upgrade to the full version of their new operating system, a bold marketing strategy, especially when consumers can get a full-featured Linux netbook for the low low price of free.

This strategy hinges upon the fact that Windows 7 is going to live up to the hype and make up for the lackluster performance of Vista in previous years.  The full versioned Windows 7 is going to have to be very attractive for consumers to pay-to-upgrade instead of just installing Ubuntu, Xandros or EeeBuntu on their netbook.

→ No CommentsTags:······

Two New Sources Arise in Support of Apple Netbook Rumor

March 10th, 2009 · Uncategorized

mac_touchscreen_netbookVia ArsTechnica:

Well, two new, completely unconfirmed sources who claim to be “close to the situation” have given us a new tidbit on the rumored Apple netbook .  Apple is rumored to be working with manufacturers Quanta and Wintek on the hypothetical netbook, despite previous quotes by Steve Jobs saying that Apple doesn’t know how to make a sub-$500 laptop that isn’t “junk”.  ‘

The new sources have reported that the touchscreen netbook will be either 9 or 10.1 inches, and….that’s it.  Any other specs or functions are “still under evaluation.”

We’re skeptical about a full touchscreen netbook, or what would essentially be an Apple tablet.  One would tend to agree with Ars’s desire for a “Macbook Mini,” merely a Mac laptop of smaller size, sans optical drive, with a full keyboard, and possibly 3G access.  I don’t think anyone would argue that there’s no room for such a thing in the Apple line.  A touch screen netbook seems like a risky prospect where this Macbook mini is a close to a sure bet as Apple could get.

Look here for more information as it becomes available to us.

→ No CommentsTags:······

OEM Throws Their Hat in the Ring

March 10th, 2009 · Uncategorized

ocz-neutrinoVia SlipperyBrick:

The OCZ Neutrino Netbook by hardware  manufacturer OEM is generic.

Featuring a 10 inch LCD display, 2GB Memory, and Intel Atom 1.6GHZ proccesor, the only noteable thing about OEM’s new notebook is it’s 250GB hard drive, with option to switch to 250GB SSD, for additional cost, of course.

Don’t expect this thing to make any waves, unless the cost turns out to be something outrageously low, which doesn’t seem feasible considering the specs OEM is offering.

→ No CommentsTags:····