Sony VAIO P Refresh – This Summer?

Sony VAIO P Sony Insider is reporting that the 8″ Intel Atom-based Sony VAIO P series could be undergoing a refresh in coming months.

Keep in mind that not all models currently available elsewhere, are available in the US – US VAIO P models are currently limited to 1.33GHz Atoms. While the built-in GPS, high resolution display (1600×768) and other features for the not-quite-a-netbook have impressed some, others in the US have wondered about the CPU speeds.

SonyInsider dug up some potential new model numbers – currently in the US, all of the models start with 5, aka as part of a 500 series ( VGN-P598E/Q, etc.), but they’ve produced model numbers that look to be part of a 700 series (which as they point out, keeps in line with Sony naming schemes).

Model numbers found:
– VGN-P710T/B
– VGN-P710T/R
– VGN-P710T/G
– VGN-P710T/W
– VGN-P730A/Q
– VGN-P730T/Q

The Q designations are interesting, because of the P730 instead of P710. I agree that they’ll probably be a different CPU, SSD option, or possibly Windows 7 variants, since companies are starting to make plans for Windows 7. Windows 7 is a natural fit, and it’s already been demonstrated on the VAIO P (albeit unofficially).

Read:
SonyInsider
via SlashGear

Posted in Announcements, Intel Atom, LED Backlighting, Netbook, News, OS - Windows 7, Solid State Drives, Sony | Comments Off on Sony VAIO P Refresh – This Summer?

Lenovo Pocket Yoga (Pocket Notebook) Discussed

Lenovo Pocket Yoga There has been a lot of talk about Lenovo’s “Pocket Yoga”, which closely resembles the form factor of the Sony VAIO P series (or rather, the VAIO P resembles it). In the words of Lenovo, it’s the smallest pocket notebook. The photo(s) were from two years ago.

Over at Design Matters, one of Lenovo’s official blogs, Johnson Li, who is the Director of Lenovo’s Beijing Inovation Center, has spoken about the concept product from Lenovo that was leaked out.

Note: If you are curious to see several images from the Pocket Yoga concept design, Lenovo has posted photos on the Lenovo Photo Library at flickr. Yes, there is a photo of it in somebody’s back pocket.

Li mentions what created the hoopla:

Last week some buzz was created by a photograph that someone snuck out of our Beijing design studio. The picture was of a pocket-sized PC we developed about two years ago, well before the current netbook craze and the introduction of a similar form factor by one of our competitors. Since the design has been shown in public in the past and received some attention, I thought it might be of some interest to discuss the design inspiration and share some photos and drawings of the device.

We in Lenovo’s Beijing design center refer to this concept as the “Pocket Yoga,” an extension of an award winning design we’ve shown in public based on a folding concept inspired by the practice of yoga by one of our New Zealand-based designers. The full Yoga concept was a folding notebook with a detachable keyboard. The system unit was covered in leather.

The use of leather is interesting – Li says that it can “transform a cold, plastic or metal machine into something warm and considerate, transforming it into something friendlier and more like a trusted and valued possession. Always there, always waiting.

He also considered the “soft hinge” design that has three different modes, to be one of the major innovations. It allows the touchscreen display to rotate all the way over to lay flat, and turns the device into a Tablet PC.

Read: Design Matters (LenovoBlogs.com)

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Lenovo Reorganizes by Market, Product Lines

Lenovo Lenovo Group Ltd., the largest computer maker in China, and producer of the former IBM-owned ThinkPad laptop series, has announced that it’s creating two new major business units. This follows the return of Liu Chuanzhi as the chairman of Lenovo.

One is going to be focused on developed countries (aka mature markets), while the other will be focusing on emerging markets. Currently, there is a more regional focus. Lenovo said in statements today that this will allow them to focus on products from an income level rather than a regional level. In theory, it should be more efficient – there are plenty of places where mature and emerging markets are nearly side-by-side (or are in fact side-by-side).

Lenovo is also going to create two other units that are product-focused.

One is going to be the “Think” product group, with former IBMer Fran O’Sullivan at its head (ostensibly to focus on business/professional products). The other product group will be the “Idea” product group, which will be led by Lin Jun, and will be focused on consumers.

There were recent rumors that Lenovo would be buying the PC business unit of Fujitsu, but those were denied by a Lenovo executive recently.

It’s an interesting situation – there will be more of a gap between the Think/ThinkPad line and Idea/IdeaPad line, at least from what it looks like. That begs the question of whether there will ever be a ThinkPad version of Lenovo’s netbook/ultraportables like the Lenovo IdeaPad S10, and whether or not some of the technology behind the Lenovo X-series would make its way into future IdeaPad S10 variants or sequels.

Read:
Bloomberg.com
LocalTechWire.com (WRAL)

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2008 Engadget Awards – Voting Winding Down

Netbook If you haven’t had a chance, you still have several hours to vote in the 2008 Engadget Awards, for the “best of” tech from 2008, as well as the tech-related items you most anticipate this year. Voting ends tonight.

The results will be released at the end of the month, as well as the Engadget Editor’s Choice awards.

Quite a few ultraportables/laptops/netbooks were finalists this year:

2008 Engadget Awards – Gadget of the Year
– Acer Aspire One
– Intel Atom

2008 Engadget Awards – Worst Gadget of the Year
– Alpha 400 netbook
– MacBook Air Rev. A

2008 Engadget Awards – Most Anticipated Gadget of 2009
– Dell Adamo
– Windows 7

2008 Engadget Awards – Laptop of the Year
– Lenovo Thinkpad X300
– VAIO Z Series
– Voodoo Envy 133

2008 Engadget Awards – Netbook of the Year
– Acer Aspire One
– ASUS Eee 1002HA
– Dell Inspiron Mini 9
– HP Mini 1000
– Lenovo S10
– MSI Wind
– Samsung NC10

2008 Engadget Awards – Tablet PC of the Year
– Axiotron ModBook
– Fujitsu LifeBook U820
– HP TouchSmart tx2z
– Intel Classmate 2 PC
– Raon Everun Note
– Lenovo ThinkPad X200t

I was surprised at the commanding lead that the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 had in the “Netbook of the Year” category, with the HP Mini 1000 right behind. I wasn’t surprised at Windows 7 leading the way in the “Most Anticipated Gadget of 2009” section or the HP TouchSmart tx2z leading in the Tablet PC category.

Read/Vote: Engadget

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Asus Eee PC 1000HE Review (TechRadar UK)

Asus Eee PC 1000HE Earlier this week, TechRadar published their review of the new 10-inch Asus Eee PC 1000HE.

They found the claim of 9.5 hours of battery life to be really pushing it – they were able to get over seven hours of regular usage out of the battery, but they compared it to the Samsung NC10 (also known for its battery life) and found that the 1000HE held its own.

They also found the new chiclet-style (or Scrabble-style) keyboard to be easier to type with. They gave it high marks, basically saying that if you already have an 8.9-inch or 10-inch netbook/ultraportable, it’s probably not worth upgrading, but if you do, then this might just be the one.

Read: TechRadar UK

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