We’ve been hearing about the rumors and leaked information since last month, and now we have some confirmation – This new netbook/ultraportable has now shown up at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for testing of its communications hardware (WiFi, etc.). The document dates are listed as March 9, 2009, with some of the submission documents listing March 4, 2009 in the headers, while some of the documentation lists application dates of February 11, with test dates of February 27, 2009.
One of the documents lists this information:
We, Acer Inc, hereby declare that ZG8, Aspire one, AO530 (model name) can not be used for operation of HSUPA and CDMA2000 1xRTT/EV DO function. The HSUPA and CDMA2000 1xRTT/EV DO functions of this EUT are disabled by firmware control, which the users cannot enable it.
If adding a touchscreen to your 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One wasn’t enough, tnkgrl Mobile has put together the 4th part in their ongoing series on modding the AAO.
This time around, it’s a really major mod/upgrade, but it wasn’t as difficult as some mods. She’s added an external Serial ATA (eSATA) connection to her Aspire One. Obviously this invalidates your warranty.
Note that her Aspire One is the Solid State Drive/SSD/SSD version which uses a ZIF connector (which allows for 1.8″ PATA hard drives). This leaves an unused SATA interface inside the Aspire One.
Using an eSATA socket from a PCI-slot bracket, and some shielded cable (it must be shielded), she was able to fairly easily connect the onboard SATA connection to an eSATA socket. The real work was in finding a place for the eSATA socket to be mounted, without it obstructing anything else. She mounted it above the Secure Digital (SD) slot on the left side of the Aspire One.
In the video, you can see her clever mod that allows you to use the WiFi switch to turn on/off the 3G mobile broadband as well (see part 3 of her modding series).
– tnkgrl Mobile
– Video at qik.com
– Photo gallery at flickr
If you are interested in seeing what’s under the hood of the upcoming LG X120, Linus Tech Tips Blog has taken apart a European model. The European model at least has a glossy screen (and when the LG X120 is available in the US, it will probably have the same display as well).
It’s easier to take apart than some – once the bottom screws are removed, and the keyboard is gently pulled up, there are two more screws and then everything comes apart.
From the included photos, RAM and the 2.5 Serial ATA (SATA) hard-drive are easy to swap/upgrade. The Wireless/PCI-Express card(s) (WiFi) is easy to change if you need to as well – from the photos, you can see the layout, right next to the HDD.
Even though it’s similar to the LG X110 (at least as far as specifications), Linux mentions that the X120 has improved in a lot of areas:
… the fit & finish of this new model is definitely improved. Itâ€™s stylish looking and I LOVE the keyboard/touch pad. Someone finally got it right. Too many times Iâ€™ve seen â€œperfect keyboard exceptâ€¦â€ and touchpads that are just ridiculously small. This 10â€³ model has crammed in everything you need, a decent-sized touch pad, and normal button positions.
Read: Linus Tech Tips Blog
Back in September, the Packard Bell Dot was announced. It was a re-badged 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One.
Now, according to Pocket-lint, the dot is going to be discontinued, even though it never actually made it into the retail channels. It had been scheduled to be available in January of this year, with a price starting at Â£299. From the information we had, and from what Pocket-lint mentions, it was going to be a standard Acer Aspire One with 1GB RAM, Intel Atom, and a 160GB HDD, with an optional 3G mobile broadband module.
This is what Pocket-lint was told:
“The DOT is going end of life and will be replaced by new model”, a spokesperson for Packard Bell told Pocket-lint before eluding to there being “some changes made to the brand”.
“Replaced by a new model” brings up an interesting thought – would they go with the 10-inch Intel Atom-powered Acer Aspire One, or would Packard Bell go with a VIA-powered system, similar to the 12-inch Samsung NC10. After all, Packard Bell did have a VIA-powered netbook, the Easynote XS.
Given all of the interest in the NVIDIA Ion platform and its abilities to handle HD content, as well as some of things being said as well as the rebuttals, Intel has discussed the performance of it’s upcoming GN40 chipset when paired with its Atom CPUs.
Fudzilla has Intel’s official statement on HD content and the GN40 chipset:
GN40 is designed to do 1080P HD playback for typical broadband internet content; it is not designed to enable full Blu-ray capability where the bitrates and demands of multi-layer content are significantly higher than that of internet HD content.
As Fudzilla points, out, there won’t be any netbooks with 1080p displays for a long time (although the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 has a 720p-capable display). There’s also a huge difference between Blu-ray decoding and “HD playback for typical broadband internet content”.
There are netbooks with HDMI outputs coming out (such as the Inspiron Mini 10), and you could hook those up to HDTVs or HD-capable displays, but you aren’t going to be copying Blu-ray movies over to them and then playing them out to an HDTV, even if they could handle BRD movies.
Instead, many of us are wanting smoother playback of things like Hulu.com in 480p, as well as movie trailers, etc., (and don’t forget YouTube has been adding HD content).