Monday, June 30, 2008

ASUS Eee Branding Challenge: Increasing Keyboard Size Kills Uniqueness

ASUS is ready to launch new models of the Eee PCs; models are the 904 and 905. According to DigiTimes, "The Eee PC 904 and 905 will adopt Atom processors and the major difference between the two and the previous 901 model is that they feature a bigger keyboard. Asustek is still evaluating whether to make changes to the two models' battery and storage capacity."

The new models may lower the prices for the 900 and 901 so that inventory is cleared.

Warner's take is poignant: "This market seems to change almost overnight, and I'm not so sure playing "up the keyboard size" is a good thing for it in the long run." Kevin Tofel is also concerned about the change: "Where I'm really lost is in the vision. What was once a ground-breaking device in terms of size and cost appears to have become a giant test lab for Asus and consumers alike. Maybe I'm over-reacting or this is what the market is becoming: quick moving and in constant flux in terms of choice? Perhaps, but Digitimes says that the new models will replace the 901. There's just something unsettling to me when notebook models last a few short months..."

Does keyboard size matter for the Eee PCs branding? Yes. The uniqueness of the brand starts with the size, weight, and price of the product. Changing the screen size, increasing weight with different components, and now increasing the keyboard places the Eee PC in a different computer category. Consumers may opt to look at other options such as the MSI Wind or the Acer Aspire One.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Internet Tablet "Diablo" update released

It looks like the folks at Nokia are still working hard as ever to improve the user experience on the Nokia Internet Tablets, specifically the N8×0 models. While the new update isn’t OS2009, it offers some significant improvements to OS2008 that were frustrating to users. I can tell you personally how annoying it was to [...]

Saturday, June 28, 2008

MSI Wind running Mac OS

Three picture posted by Jav in the Insanely Mac forums shows the MSI Wind U100 running the Mac OS. Very cool.

Teens in Tech

Teenagers will soon have a dedicated outlet for their technology enthusiasm, Teens in Tech. An interview video on GigaOm provides the future plans. Even Robert Scoble managed to get involved in this project and the success will be predictable - an excellent place to foster future leaders and technology enthusiasts. I love it and wish the project success. I'll be watching the official blog!

According to the blog:

Teens in Tech is planning on launching this July. We are putting the finishing touches on our service now and can’t wait to launch to the public! Teens in Tech is committed to create the best possible community for teenagers looking to become involved in technology, be it through blogging, podcasting, or any form of new media. We can’t wait to see you checking out our service soon!

Will this service distinguish itself from larger places?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1 gets demonstrated on video

The guys over at have found a video showcasing some of the intended applications of the new Panasonic CF-U1. The video is surprisingly high quality when it comes to scene and prop setups, but the acting is, dare I say, pathetic. Still, the video gives a pretty good idea of how the U1 is [...]

ASUS Eee PC 901 and 1000(H) available July 8

Lora says "July my 8th" and refuses to share her birthday with anyone else. Will she share the day with ASUS? According to Liliputing, the UK will see the Asus Eee  901 and 1000 on July 1 st  and the U.S. release will be July 8. In comparison, the MSI Wind release is pushed back to July 7.


Pricing may be a downfall for the ASUS.  After all, the Wind has better battery life. Laptop magazine has a great comparison of the two products.

Luckily for ASUS shipping delays has plagued the [Wind] product. Watch the for conversations about the shipping delays

Micro Conversations Ease RSS Feed Overload

I admit my dislike of RSS feeds. There are simply too many posts, too many stories, too much information to digest quickly.  While sites like Digg, Slashdot, and Techmeme are wonderful, small topics and small sites are generally ignored.

Loren has quietly assembled - a site now organizing over 1,000 RSS Feeds and finding the micro-conversations taking place. While not every topic is present, and Loren is going to change some of the algorithms, the site quickly shows the latest conversations in the blogosphere.

Now what I need is Loren to add Linux sites, which he is doing, and will be useful for many topics I read each day.  What topics would you add?

Germany’s netbook day grows bigger and bigger. See you in the Queue!

A few days ago I highlighted July 3rd as an important one on the netbook calendar. Aldi Süd, an important supermarket chain will have the Alkoya Mini in stock as part of one of their Thursday offers. now reports that not only Aldi Süd will be carrying the product. Aldi Nord has 2000 shops [...]

Thursday, June 26, 2008

AMD introduces XGP, opens doors for high end graphics on low powered hardware tells us of a new platform that AMD is introducing. XGP (eXternal Graphics Platform) as AMD calls it, is a sort of external graphics card platform that will hook into laptops (and potentially other computer hardware; *cough* netbooks *cough*) and enable them to make use of desktop quality graphics cards. Of course this will [...]

Opera Mobile 9.5 public beta on July 15th

James says we should jump on this and Matt highly recommends we should download it. If you’ve got a compatible device that is! Opera Mobile 9.5 will be available as a public beta for Windows Mobile on the 15th July. Its based on the same browser engine as the desktop 9.5 version which has quite [...]

ULPC Forum Added

Microsoft calls the class of computers Ultra Low Cost PCs (ULCPC) while others remove the extra "C" and use ULPC. I chose to add the forum leaving off the "C" and broaden the definition.



ASUS Eee PC Forum

My sister has been after me for months to create a forum for the ASUS Eee PCs. My hesitation comes from the dozens of other sites designed to help people. However, I have decided to purchase the Eee PC 901 and a forum is a nice addition for collecting resources.

According to the ASUS Eee website, there are six models to watch. The Eee 901 interests me because of the SSD and atom-based design. I was close to purchasing the Eee900 series with Linux but stopped short because of the cost and lack of memory upgrade.

Are you planning on purchasing the Eee or maybe the MSI competitor? And thinking of competitors, what happened to the Everex?

Note: Lora added a few other forums for Microsoft discussions.

Microsoft's Hyper-V server virtualization software

VMWare holds the mindshare but can Microsoft's Hyper-V server compete and take over the market? According to Reuters, "Customers of Microsoft, the world's biggest software maker, can start downloading the product on Microsoft's website on Thursday, Microsoft said."

Ina Fried reports "{Microsoft] plans on July 8 to make it an option via Windows Update." The report also quotes MS employees describing the uphill battle they face in competing with VMWare and others.

Life with PlayStation

While no release date was provided (or accepted because of past long delays), the announcement by Kaz Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, suggests "Life with PlayStation" will provide news headlines and weather. How different will this service be from Nintendo's? Besides higher resolution, the PC World article does not provide details. However, movies and photo storage appear to be on the horizon.

Dave Parrack sums up a negative sentiment:

The virtual world for the Playstation 3 has been in development since 2005, and here we are, three years later, and there’s still no sign of it emerging from beta in to the cruel hard world of the Sony die-hards. The problem is that the lucky few who have been in and had a look around the closed beta are emerging completely unfazed and displeased with what they see.

A writer for Kotaku is amongst the latest to pay a visit and emerge to write a scathingly unexcited review of its contents. The reviewer basically summed up the experience by saying it’s nice in theory but crap in reality. And that is now, after over three years of development time, and just a few months away from the rumoured open beta release date of Fall 2008.


Hugo wonders: "It may not be long before, instead of going to Blockbusters (other film-rental chains are doubtless available) in real life, you can head over the PlayStation Home-based equivalent a rent out a virtual film downloaded to your PS3."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Panasonic Toughbook UMPC is impressively feature packed

I dropped a quick line about the upcoming Panasonic Toughbook UMPC the other day, and now that more details are available it looks as though the device is actually shaping up to be a very well rounded piece of hardware. Before I start listing specs, lets keep in mind that this is a rugged UMPC [...]

Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1, the first UMPC to use the Intel® Atom™ processor

August is going to be exciting for the UMPC Market with Panasonic introducing the first Atom based UMPC.  Dang, I want one. According to the press release on BusinessWire:

In response to the increasing demand for full-function handheld PCs for the mobile field worker, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook® mobile computers, today announced the availability of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1, the first ultra mobile PC (UMPC) to integrate the new low power Intel® Atom processor in a rugged handheld computer for use in the field. With the introduction of the extremely portable Toughbook CF-U1, remote workers are able to connect to critical information and applications in real time, thus improving organizational efficiency, increasing information accuracy, and enabling field-based decision-making. The CF-U1 reinvents handheld computing by integrating robust features previously only available on a full size Toughbook PC in a rugged UMPC form factor that can be used anywhere.


Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1 Specifications:

  • Windows Vista Business (with XP downgrade option) 

  • Intel Atom processor Z520 1.33GHz

  • 16GB solid state removable drive (32GB optional)

  • 1GB memory

  • 5.6” WSVGA sunlight viewable touchscreen (1024 x 600 resolution)

  • LED backlighting

  • MIL-STD-810F and IP54 compliant

  • 4-foot drop approved

  • Magnesium alloy chassis encased with ABS and elastomer

  • Sealed all-weather design

  • Rain, spill, dust and vibration-resistant

  • Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100 Series (802.11a/g/draft-n)

  • Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR

  • USB 2.0 x 1

  • SDCard  x 1

  • Microphone x 1

  • Headphone x 1

  • Expansion Bus x 1

  • Integrated options include 3G mobile broadband, integrated camera, fingerprint scanner, GPS, barcode or RFID readers

  • Optional expansion modules for magnetic stripe reader & serial/Ethernet/smartcard are expected in late 2008

  • Approximately 9 hours of battery life

  • Weight: 2.3 lbs (with strap and both batteries)

  • Dimensions: 2.2” (H) x 7.2” (W) x 5.9” (D)