Back in October of last year, MSI mentioned a high return rate for Linux netbooks versus Windows XP-based netbooks. In some cases, up to four times the Windows XP return rate.
That hasn’t been the case with the 8.9″ Dell Inspiron Mini 9 when it comes to Linux. In fact, Dell has been very successful with their Linux-based sales. They’ve also had a low return rate, and it’s even comparable to their Windows XP return rate.
Dell mentions that a big part of their high number of Linux sales is due to the Linux-based Mini 9s having a low price at the entry level – one third of the Mini 9s sold are running Linux (specifically, a distribution based off of Ubuntu).
They attribute their low return rate to communication:
â€œA third of our Mini 9 mix is Linux, which is well above the standard attach rate for other systems that offer Linux. We have done a very good job explaining to folks what Linux is,â€ says Dellâ€™s Jay Pinkert.
Read: LAPTOP Magazine
Back at the beginning of this month, it was mentioned that some of the new 10.1″ Acer Aspire Ones were shipping with larger batteries. This was a mistake on Acer’s part (and a welcome one for a lot of us who had pre-ordered). These were six-cell batteries (and current 10.1-inch Aspire Ones still ship with six-cells), however they were 5800mAh versus the standard 4400mAh. These higher capacity batteries allowed for over 7 hours of battery life in some instances.
Unfortunately, the 4400mAh is what is shipping now, as far as we know. There maybe a few 5800-mAh models still floating around, but chances are you will get a 4400-mAh battery if you were to order today.
LAPTOP Magazine got their hands on a 4400-mAh battery and put it to the test. They were able to get just under 4 hours, 30 minutes. For the price ($350), it’s still a good value, and probably still one of the best values around – early 8.9″ Aspire Ones did not ship with 6-cell batteries. As they point out, you can spend a bit more for the 10″ Asus Eee PC 1000HE and get a big bump in battery life.
Read: LAPTOP Magazine
Could Acer be positioning itself to offer different models in its Acer Aspire One line? According to some information and photos that Macles (an Acer Aspire One enthusiast site) has obtained, it could that Acer is offering a special model that is thinner and possibly lighter than existing Aspire Ones.
Right now the simplicity of the Aspire One line has been a strong selling point – you now pick either the original 8.9″ Aspire One or the 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One (AOD150). There were plenty of variations, but for the most part it came down to picking an OS, hard drive, and color.
Macles has some photos of what looks to be a thinner AAO, which they believe is an indication of an Solid State Drive (SSD) only model (no upgrading a 2.5″ SATA HDD here). They also point out what looks to be a second SD Expansion (which is apparently something Asus is doing with the Eee PC T91). This would allow you to easily add up to another 16GB of storage. On the original 8.9″ Aspire Ones, this was only used by the Linux models to expand the onboard storage, but as Macles points out, there is a Windows-key so this isn’t just a Linux-based device.
It’s definitely something to keep an eye on. With the price of SSDs and flash memory in general coming down, it’s bound to happen that we are going to see some netbooks roll out with 32GB or 64GB of internal SSD storage, and because of the reduced size requirements, it could allow for quite a bit of space (and weight) to be removed.
Fudzilla is discussing a document released by Intel called “Nvidia Ion Competition Position Guide”, and it’s definitely not a good sign of things to come. Intel goes after the Ion platform.
As Fudzilla points out, some of the arguments don’t make much sense – Intel mentions that Ion is not a new chipset, and is instead derived from the MCP79M/NCP7A chipset family.
Let’s stop and think about this for a moment. Intel’s 945GSE/GM chipset is nearly 4 years old. At this time last year, we were still a few months away from Intel Atoms being widely available, and were still using older Intel Celerons (that probably predated the 945 chipset). From the beginning, these devices were based on older technologies in order to keep the costs down. As shocking as it may seem to some, the whole point of these devices was not to include the latest and greatest technologies – most of those would severely impact the battery life on these devices, given that the batteries are smaller.
Intel also argues that Ion will consume more power and add to the cost (or Bill of Material). So what? The Ion has been positioned from the beginning as being for people wanting better performance than what’s currently available and what will be available later this year (Intel’s GN40 chipset). I include myself in that group – I would gladly give up a little battery life for something that can spit out smooth HD video and that has a much better graphics chipset than anything we currently have. That does fall well outside of the range of what netbooks were originally meant for, but there shouldn’t be a problem with having offerings that are $50-$100 more, unless you are worried about it really eating into conventional low-end laptops powered by normal laptop CPUs (which I can see Intel being concerned about that).
VIA Technologies has launched a site, How To Be Mobile, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. The tagline is “Your guide to geting the most from your mini-notes, notebooks, and ultra mobile devices” and it looks to be aimed at how-to types of articles. Of course, since it’s sponsored and administrated by VIA, it’ll probably lean towards VIA-specific technologies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it heavy with Samsung NC20 related content, although from the sounds of things, VIA’s new Nano CPU should see wider use than the C7-M series.
If you’ll recall, last year Intel paid quite a bit of money to buy up Netbook.com, which is more of a showcase of Intel’s Atom CPU.
VIA is being smarter about it – from the looks of the site and content, it’s not as dry as Netbook.com, and is more focused on interaction with mobile users.
The website: HowToBeMobile.com
Yes, they even have a Twitter feed.