11.6-inch Netbooks Later This Year?

Netbooks DigiTimes is reporting that companies such as Acer and Asustek will be rolling out 11.6-inch netbooks later this year, based on sources discussing plans from LCD panel makers. The resolution would be 1366×768 and there would be a definite boundary between current 10.1-inch netbooks (which run in the $350 – $500 USD range) and these larger models (which start to compete with devices such as the 12.1″ Samsung NC20)

I would definitely welcome the larger resolution, however I find it odd that Acer was mentioned.

In interviews Acer gave last week, Acer Taiwan’s President Scott Lin said they had no plans to go above 10.1″, and that they expected the 10″ segment to dominate the netbook market, with up to 70% of the devices moved falling into that category.

I would be surprised they are moving this quick – I would expect companies to see how well the 12.1″ market plays out.

Read: DigiTimes

Update: It would be keeping in line with the report that Lenovo would be adding an 11″ model to their lineup.

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Samsung NC20 – In-Stock/Shipping Soon in UK

Samsung NC20 If you are in the United Kingdom and are interested in the new 12.1-inch VIA-powered Samsung NC20, you are in luck. The resolution listed is 1280×800 as well.

Amazon.co.uk has the NP-NC20-KA01UK listed as being in stock and shipping on February 28, 2009, and other retailers in the UK should be following suit.

Specifications:
– VIA Nano U2250 CPU (1.3GHz)
– Display: 12.1″ 1280 x 800
– Graphics: VIA Chrome9 HC3 (128 MB)
– 1GB DDR2 RAM (800MHz)
– 160GB HDD
– Bluetooth 2.0
– 1.3MP

Right now it looks like the only color listed is Sapphire White.

The recommended retail price (RRP) is £458.85 (Around $668 USD), however Amazon is listing this at £379.54 (Around $553 USD).

Read: Amazon.co.uk

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Asus Eee PC T91 Early Look and Preview (bit-tech)

Asus Eee PC T91 Touch Yesterday, bit-tech.net got an early look at the upcoming 8.9-inch Asus Eee PC T91. The T91 breaks the conventional laptop form factor line that Asustek had established with their Eee PC line. It’s a convertible laptop/Tablet PC – the touchscreen display rotates on a swivel, allowing it to be used as either a normal laptop (with a touchscreen display) or with it folded flat, a Tablet PC.

The T91 could every well be the first convertible Atom-powered netbook/ultraportable available to mainstream consumers in North America. Right now, they are limited to using importers such as Dynamism to import such devices like the 8.9″ Gigabyte M912X .

bit-tech.net has posted a lot of good photos showing the various configurations of the display. Keep in mind it is a pre-production model. They also took a look at the size compared to other 8.9″ devices in this range, and surprising, it’s actually smaller than the Eee PC 900 and 901. There is a T101, a 10-inch version, that will be out later this year, for those who want something slightly bigger. A switch has been included allowing you to turn off the touchscreen functionality, and the power switch is a sliding-type of switch so that the power isn’t accidentally turned off when using the T91 in various modes.

One problem some may have, and this is probably because of engineering/technical issues, it does have a fixed battery, instead of one that can be easily swapped or replaced. Asustek points out that the Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz) does consume less power than the normal 1.6GHz N270 (20% less). The Intel US15W chipset also consumers less power than the 945/950 chipset found in most of these devices these days. The model they had access to had a 32GB Solid State Drive (SSD) which should lower power consumption a bit. Asus claims up to 5 hours, which as bit-tech points out, is probably up to 4 hours of normal usage.

bit-tech.net was given a tentative release date of April of this year for the UK .

Read: bit-tech.net

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MSI Shows Off X-Slim X340, X600 Before CeBIT

MSI X-Slim X340 Ahead of next week’s CeBIT 2009, MSI is showing off what is being called the 13.3-inch MSI X-Slim X340, alongside the 15.6-inch X600 which is almost as thin. How it fits in as far as the X-Slim X320 series is unknown – chances are they wouldn’t be launching a sequel to a machine that’s not even out yet. It could be the exact same as far as internal components but may have a slightly different display or CPU options (similar to the Lenovo ThinkPad X200 and X200s).

It will retail for around $699 – $999 USD, and both the X340 and X600 appear to be using an Intel Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Centrino 2 CPU.

From the photos included on the Chinese Engadget side, ports include: HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, Secure Digital (SD)

Read: Chinese Engadget (Translated – English)
via Engadget

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Lenovo ThinkPads Meets Semi-Rugged Requirements

Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet This kind of came out of nowhere. We all knew that ThinkPads had a reputation for being tougher than a lot of other laptops/notebooks in the market.

Lenovo has now announced that the following eight ThinkPads have been designated by Lenovo for use in semi-rugged environments, as well as various field conditions:
Lenovo ThinkPad X200
Lenovo ThinkPad X200s
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 Tablet
Lenovo ThinkPad X301
– Lenovo ThinkPad T400
– Lenovo ThinkPad T500
– Lenovo ThinkPad R400
Lenovo ThinkPad SL300

The X200 series is Lenovo’s first widescreen 12″ ultraportables in the ThinkPad X series line; the X301 is a 13.3-inch widescreen, as is the SL300. The T400 and R400 are 14″ laptops, and the T500 is a 15″ laptop.

This is surprising in that usually when laptop manufacturers try to meet certain military or field specifications (utility work, construction sites, law enforcement), they offer a special model/version, with various changes from their normal line. As the press release points out however, these ThinkPads come with protection for the hard drive, as well as a sturdier chassis and display than some.

Via: SlashGear

Press Release:

Lenovo Puts ThinkPad Laptops to the “Tough Test”: Meets Military Specs for Semi-Rugged Computing

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 24, 2009: Lenovo today announced that it is designating eight ThinkPad laptops for use in field and vehicle semi-ruggedized computing environments such as in public safety, utilities, construction and the military. The ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400 and SL300 laptops meet a barrage of military specifications tests and are enhanced with specially-designed durability features such as an air-bag like protection system and a roll cage in select models. Because field computing requires excellent screen viewability, Lenovo is also adding a new optional 680-nit high brightness panel to its most popular laptop, the ThinkPad T400 laptop.

“ThinkPad is well known for quality, reliability and innovative security technologies for business computing,” said Tom Ribble, executive director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. “The truth is we’ve always built tough laptops that can weather extreme conditions from hiking the rainforests of the Amazon to flying in space. You don’t need a PC that looks like a tank to excel in harsh environments, and unlike many of our competitors, we don’t put an extra charge on toughness.”

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