Amazon’s Kindle 2 is Actually in Stock

Amazon Kindle 2 For those who prefer to pack a lot of books with them on trips, or who are trying to simply their lives and move to all digital media where possible, Amazon’s Kindle 2 is actually in stock a day earlier than anticipated.

Specifications:
– Price: $359 USD
– Slight over 1/3-inch (8.5mm) thick
– 10.2 ounces (0.3 kg)
– Built-in 3G wireless to download books (no fees or service plans required)

Improvements over the first generation Kindle:
– Better display – 16 shades of gray, closer to real paper
– 25% longer battery life
– Increased storage
– Faster page turning

It’s also got the “Read-to-Me” feature which is basic Text-to-Speech function that will read anything loaded on your Kindle.

Originally it was supposed to be available tomorrow.

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HP Mini 1000 Review (The Gadgeteer)

HP Mini 1000 Over at The Gadgeteer, there has been kind of a group review of the 10.2″ Intel Atom-powered HP Mini 1000. Models reviewed included the 60GB 4200RPM PATA Hard Drive, which is the 1.8″ drive (similar to iPod drives) with a 3-cell battery. They’ve included quite a few photos.

There is actually a full comparison to a Fujitsu T4020 Lifebook, which has an older Intel Pentium M CPU and provides a good baseline comparison.

There is also, for those who are a bit more adventurous, a comprehensive look at running Mac OS X on the HP Mini, turning it into a “Hackintosh” or “MacBook Mini” as they called it. The HP Mini 1000 is considered one of the harder netbooks to turn into a Hackintosh because of some of the hardware involved.

Read: The Gadgeteer (Part 1)
(keep in mind it’s a series and not just one article)

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Ubuntu 9.10 – Better Linux Experience for Netbooks

Ubuntu Linux Netbooks One of the goals for the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 release is to provide a better experience for netbook users who want to use Linux. Ubuntu 9.10 is a ways off – Canonical is going to be releasing 9.04 in April of this year, while 9.10 will be released sometime in October. In addition to discussing ways to improve Ubuntu in the 9.10 release, Mark Shuttleworth is also inviting netbook owners to try out 9.04 and Netbook Remix:

The goal for Jaunty on a netbook is 25 seconds, so let’s see how much faster we can get you all the way to a Koala desktop. We’re also hoping to deliver a new login experience that complements the graphical boot, and works well for small groups as well as very large installations.

For those of you who can relate to Mini Me, or already have a Dell Mini, the Ubuntu Netbook Edition will be updated to include all the latest technology from Moblin, and tuned to work even better on screens that are vertically challenged. With millions of Linux netbooks out there, we have been learning and adapting usability to make the Koala cuddlier than ever. We also want to ensure that the Netbook Remix installs easily and works brilliantly on all the latest netbook hardware, so consider this a call for testing Ubuntu 9.04 if you’re the proud owner of one of these dainty items.

Where that leaves third-party distributions designed for netbooks/ultraportables that are based on Ubuntu remains to be seen. Given that most of those, such as Easy Peasy, focused on the user interface and applications, it should be quite a boost to them, since they can take the performance improvements from 9.10 and combine them with their interface and application updates.

Read: Ubuntu.com
via Portable Monkey

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Asus May Offer Android-Based Eee PC Netbook

Asus Eee PC In an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, Asustek’s Samson Hu (in charge of the Eee PC line) said that Asustek had assigned engineers within the company to work on an Android-based netbook and that it might be finished by the end of this year. They won’t make a decision on whether to offer it as a product (probably through the Asus Eee PC line).

Google’s Android (Code.Google.com/Android) is free, and has been booted up on some ultraportables. Right now, the majority of the market is running Microsoft Windows XP Home, with various distributions of Linux coming up in second place.

By the time this device would be finished, Windows 7 would probably be widely available as an OEM install on netbooks/ultraportables, however nobody is quite sure how much Microsoft is going to charge per device at this point. Microsoft would have preferred to have retired Windows XP before now, however Windows Vista was not a realistic option for these devices, both because of performance and because of price, and they faced the problem of letting this market be dominated by Linux had XP been discontinued.

Android would certainly not be an issue as far as performance or licensing fees on these devices – the main focus was to originally run on mobile phone handsets. This would be a reverse of Apple’s decision to port and scale OS X down to the iPhone level, since the OS would be scaled up to a laptop level. If anything, performance should be the same or better than Windows on the same device.

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has been in talks with other companies, including Pegatron Corporation, to come up with a platform for netbooks that would be based on Android.

At this point, from what I’ve seen of Android, it would be able to easily handle most of what people are buying these devices for. It would be interesting, since this is all coming about just as we are not too far away from devices based on the NVIDIA Ion platform.

Read: Bloomberg.com

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10.1-inch Acer Aspire One Review – Windows 7

Acer Aspire One 10-inch Earlier this week, I posted part 1 of a review of the new 10.1″ Acer Aspire One (aka the AOD150). I was going to follow it with a closer look at the physical layout of the hardware, but several people asked me how well Microsoft’s Windows 7 runs on the 10.1″ Acer Aspire One, and so I’ve been playing around with it for the past few days.

For the most part, if you are familiar with running Windows 7 on the original 8.9″ Acer Aspire One, this is basically the same experience. I have installed 2GB of RAM in place of the original 1GB, which helps immensely when you have a few applications open, although even with Skype and Safari open, I was barely hitting 800MB used (out of the 2GB of memory).

Installation:
I installed the Windows 7 public beta 1, build 7000, 32-bit. I installed it using an external USB-powered DVD drive, a Samsung SE-S084B to be exact (Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk). You can usually find this drive cheaper -$70 – $90 USD. I prefer this or other small external optical drives powered by the USB bus, as they don’t require an extra power adapter, just a powered USB port, or two USB ports close together. It was less than half an hour to install – I’ll do another install this weekend and time it and compare it, as well as a USB-key install (no optical drive).

Some quick notes:
Battery Life: With around 88% of the battery life, I had just over 4 hours of battery life left – this is with Skype running and browsing the web in Safari. This is the higher-capacity battery that came with some 10-inch Acer Aspire Ones.
Windows 7 / Vista / XP Compatibility: So far I have not had to install anything using the Vista compatibility mode.
Skype worked great with both video and audio chats. CPU usage was around %50-80 with video chat and a web browser open as well. It’s acceptable.
Apple’s Safari worked fine as well and was “snappy”. I prefer Firefox and will be setting up Littlefox, as jkOnTheRun mentioned a few days ago. CPU usage was dependent upon the web pages of course (was there a Flash banner, etc.).

Overall impressions:
Performance is good. I prefer the Windows 7 beta over Windows XP Home – it feels faster, the networking interface is much better (especially if you are accessing multiple internet/wireless connections throughout the day). I’ll need a few more days before deciding how the battery life is versus Windows XP, but I don’t see a gain or a loss at this point. I’ll be following this up with some more details sometime this weekend.

10.1-inch Acer Aspire One Review – Part 2 – Windows 7
10-inch Acer Aspire One – Windows 7 – Page 1 – Drivers, Updates, Networking
10-inch Acer Aspire One – Windows 7 – Page 2 – Synaptics Touchpad Drivers/Setup
10.1-inch Acer Aspire One Review – Part 1 – 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One vs 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One

10.1-inch Acer Aspire One Windows 7

Posted in Acer, Articles, Featured, Intel Atom, LED Backlighting, Netbook, News, OS - Windows 7, Reviews | 2 Comments