Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Review (LAPTOP Mag)

Dell Inspiron Mini 10 On Friday, LAPTOP Magazine posted their review of the new 10.1-inch Dell Inspiron Mini 10. The Inspiron Mini 10 joins the 8.9-inch Inspiron Mini 9 and Inspiron Mini 12 in Dell’s Intel Atom-powered netbook/ultraportable lineup. The Mini 10 comes with a Z530 Silverthorne CPU, still running at 1.6GHz.

In the review, Joanna Stern mentions this interesting fact: The Mini 10 has a larger keyboard than the Mini 12. It’s slightly deeper, with the bottom row of keys being slightly larger. It’s quite a bit larger than the Mini 9, due to Dell removing the dedicated row of function keys on the Mini 9. The touchpad also has the left and right mouse buttons integrated into the touchpad itself. It can create some issues with the “pinch-and-zoom”/multi-touch capabilities of the touchpad.

In order to keep it thin on the sides, Dell went with an HDMI port instead of a VGA port. They mentioned there wasn’t too much glare even though the display is glossy. The model they tested had a 3-cell battery, and Dell told them that a six-cell would be available in the next few months (along with the 1366 x 768 display).

Read: LAPTOP Magazine

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Intel to Push Ultra Low Voltage Tech into Mainstream

Intel Logo Channel Register posted some comments made last week during CeBIT 2009 by Intel’s mobile marketing director, Karen Regis, as well discussing the roadmap Intel is laying out for some of its mobile platforms.

First, the Montevina Plus platform, sequel to last year’s Montevina, would be rolled out by Intel starting sometime in the second quarter. This platform would see Intel Penryn CPUs clocking in at 3GHz or faster. High Definition content/video would also see a boost from Montevina Plus.

Next, and most important to those of us interested in smaller laptops/notebooks and other ultraportables, Intel would be making it’s Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) technology available to mainstream devices. The best example of Intel’s current ULV deployment includes the 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Air and Samsung X360, with the upcoming MSI X-Slim X340 being an example of the newer deployments.

Intel wants to get ULV tech into cheaper platforms, with the MSI X340 being a prime example – Intel wants to see these in systems costing around $599 – $1,000 USD. These are full systems and not scaled-down ultraportables like “netbooks” or MIDs.

Read: Channel Register

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Special Edition Samsung NC10 (Amazon) – Ship Dates, Price Drop, Display

Samsung NC10 If you are in the US, and are looking at the 10-inch Samsung NC10, specifically the “Special Edition” Samsung NC10-11PBK, shipments have started. Currently if you order one, you maybe waiting 2-5 weeks, but they have already started shipping to those who pre-ordered back in February.

The NC10-11PBK is available exclusively from Amazon.com. Do you see a trend here? The 12.1-inch Samsung NC20 is going to be available through only one retailer in the US as well, although it’s not a special edition (the NC10 is available from other US retailers). It’s an interesting move by Samsung.

Not only that, but the price has dropped to $469 (link at Amazon). That puts it on average of around $30 or so more than the typical NC10.

The NC10-11PBK is a really interesting move, since it differs quite a bit from normal NC10s:
6-cell High Capacity Battery – 5900mAh (Samsung claims 9.4 hours)
– Larger touch pad than other NC10s

The first is not such a big deal – swapping batteries is not a big issue. The larger touchpad required a change in the manufacturing of that part of the chassis/case.

What was reported to be Anti-reflection gloss coating for the display, seems to resemble a matte display instead – up on Amazon.com, somebody who received their NC10SE said that it was more of a matte display. Others contacted Samsung and reported that “anti-reflection gloss coating” is just a marketing term and that it was more in line with the matte displays of the conventional NC10. We have sent a note off asking for confirmation as well.

As far as the other specifications, it comes with a standard 1.6GHz Intel Atom, 1GB Memory, 160GB hard drive, Windows XP, and it’s black.

Read/View: Samsung NC10 NC10-11PBK (Amazon)

via Engadget

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Windows 7 – Turning Features On and Off

Windows 7 Some interesting news coming out of Windows 7 development (which is on track for a Release Candidate – RC). The “Turn Windows Features On or Off” function has been greatly expanded. It even includes the ability to turn off Internet Explorer 8.

You can now turn of quite a few things in Windows 7 – the files are literally not loaded by the Windows 7 operating system. One of the developers sees this as a big benfit for “security-conscious customers”, but I’m thinking in terms of netbooks/ultraportables/mids/etc. where the resources are much more limited than on larger laptops/notebooks.

It is mentioned that even if you turn off a feature, that the data/binaries/software still exists on the drive. The benefit is that you don’t need a DVD to enable the feature, which is important to those with smaller devices which don’t have optical drives.

However, and it’s not quite addressed by any of the developers in the article, it doesn’t appear there is a way to remove the actual features, which might free up some space. As somebody in one of the follow-up comments mentioned, storage space is becoming less and less of an issue. Solid State Drives (SSD), where storage space is at a premium, have only been increasing in size while decreasing in cost. As I mentioned yesterday, you can easily get a netbook/ultraportable with a 16GB or 32GB SSD for under $400 USD.

Back in November, we mentioned that we were seeing Windows 7 take up 20GB in a fresh install. Chances are that the space requirements would come down by the time Windows 7 is released to manufacturing, since there was probably a lot of debug code and binaries that would be removed before RTM. By the time Windows 7 is released later this year, 32GB SSDs will probably be much cheaper and more widely available as an option in these devices.

From the MSDN blog:
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LG X110 in the US Before July, X120 in Europe This Month

LG X110 Earlier this past week, Skott Ahn, the president and CEO of LG’s mobile communications business, gave some release dates for the 10-inch LG X110 and the LG X120 (aka the Xnote Mini/Xenia series).

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Ahn said that LG will be entering the US PC market before July, with the X110. The X110 is already available in other major markets. The unsubsidized price will be around $400. This matches some tentative information that came out back in the middle of last month that AT&T would be selling some netbooks through the AT&T stores, with the LG Xenia being mentioned (and a subsidized price of $279 USD) as being sold with a mobile broadband data plan.

The X120 will be available later this month in Europe. No date was given for the X120 in the US.

LG’s spokeswoman Judy Pae said “We expect the global market for netbooks will show continuous growth” and Ahn mentioned that LG Electronics is trying to find a balance between traditional laptops and smartphones, saying “A lot of experiments are taking place to come up with something between smart phones and laptops….There is a gap, for sure, between the two categories, so we are experimenting to see which products fit our customers’ unmet need.

Read: Forbes
via LAPTOP Magazine

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