Intel to Push CULV Platform – 2Q 2009

Intel Logo DigiTimes is reporting on a new platform that Intel is developing, to be rolled out sometime in the second quarter of 2009. Their sources believe that it’s targeted at AMD’s Yukon platform.

This Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) platform is a good indicator of Intel’s plans on breaking up the laptop market into four distinct segments:
– Traditional laptops (normal laptop CPUs, storage, RAM, etc.
– What DigiTimes refers to as ultraportables – 11″ to 13″ displays.
– Netbooks (Atom/Pineview/Menlow)
– MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) (UMPCs, some 4″ – 7″ devices) (Menlow)

This CULV platform would be targeted at the ultraportable segment – devices that are priced above netbooks and that would have better performance than typical netbooks. DigiTimes mentions that the top-three vendors have products planned around the new platform and that up to 10 million of these products could be shipped in 2009. Hewlett-Packard is singled out as having had plans to expand the Mini-Note line later in June with a 13.3″ Atom-based laptop, but changed those plans to use the CULV platform instead.

AMD had planned on skipping the “race to the bottom” as some call it, and ignoring the low-end/cheaper netbooks, and instead creating the Consesus/Yukon platform to compete in the market segment that Intel is targeting with the CULV. AMD wants to bring a “full-fledged PC experience” to the $699 and above ultraportables.

Read: DigiTimes

Posted in AMD, Announcements, Intel, Intel Atom, Netbook, News, UMPC | Comments Off on Intel to Push CULV Platform – 2Q 2009

Acer Aspire One 10.1 – Soon

Acer Aspire One 10-inch The highly anticipated 10″ version of the 8.9″ Intel Atom-powered Acer Aspire One could be just around the corner – it could start showing up in people’s hands next month.

TechRadar UK managed to spot the 10″ device at BETT 2009, which wrapped up last Friday. BETT 2009 is an educational technology event that takes place in London. They mentioned it was fairly close to the existing Acer Aspire One series, style-wise. They were told by an Acer sales representative that the Acer Aspire One 10.1 would be available in the UK in 4-6 weeks.

The biggest change they noted was the the mouse buttons being changed from the sides of the touchpad to a larger button below the touchpad (probably a “rocker-style” style button that’s available on other netbooks in the market). You can see the new button at the images below in the AspireOneUser forums – they were posted just over a week ago.

Possible specifications:
– 10.1″ display with 1024×600 resolution
– White, black, red colors
– 3G mobile broadband options
– Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
– Rest of specs match existing 8.9″ AAOs

With the black Samsung NC10 now shipping in the US, the 10.1″ Aspire One is probably the next most anticipated netbook shipping in the near future.

AspireOneUser Forums
TechRadar UK

Posted in Acer, Announcements, Intel Atom, Netbook, News, Rumors | Comments Off on Acer Aspire One 10.1 – Soon

Sony VAIO GS at the FCC

Sony This came out of nowhere – a new ultraportable laptop from Sony has shown up at the FCC to undergo various tests before it’s allowed to be sold in the US (most having to do with wireless networking).

The reason why I said it came out of nowhere – it appears, as several have pointed out, that this matches the Sony VAIO Type G that came out in the second quarter of 2007 in Japan. The model numbers typically started with “VGN-G1”.

One of the biggest indicators – it has a 12.1″ non-widescreen display, just like the original 2007 G did (with a 1024×768 resolution). The original G was based on Intel’s 945GMS Express chip set (GMA 950 graphics) and features Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) CPUs, both Core Solo and Core Duo.

The G-series was one of the first to ship with the option of a Solid State Drive (SSD) – originally a 32GB, which bumped the price way up.

The one at the FCC has an optical drive (maybe optional), what looks like a PC Card slot, and typical other options.

As the comments at Engadget point out, it doesn’t make a lot of sense unless the price is radically lower than the original asking price (which was in the $1800+ range). Why Sony waited so long to introduce this is a mystery.

FCC Link
via Engadget

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Netbook Marketing – Costco and Office Max, HP Mini and Acer Aspire One

Netbook When Asus began selling the Eee PC line of netbooks/sub-notebooks, whatever you prefer to call them, they (and later Acer and MSI) seemed to have problems defining who they were for, or at least the message wasn’t clear. It wasn’t helped by the fact that Best Buy and other physical retailers (along with the online retailers) weren’t sure where they fit into the laptop family. Many of us had no problem defining where they fit in – basic internet use and mainly as a second machine.

That’s been changing over the past several months. I saw this in action twice today.

The first was at Office Max – they had an 8.9 Acer Aspire One AOA150-1635 on display, along with a placard below it describing why you would buy this. Their message for who should buy this and why is quoted directly below (as you can see from the photo below this):
Why Buy:
* Netbooks may look like regular laptops, but they do not have the full capabilities of one.
* Great for basic tasks such as email and internet use or a secondary unit.
* Netbooks are light weight and great for mobility at a great price.

Acer Aspire One

Costco had a rather prominent large and prominently placed display – an endcap, that was selling a 10.2″ HP Mini 1033CL from the HP Mini 1000 line for consumers. Their description was “Take Me With You” and “The small, light mobile companion keeps your friends, family, social networks, and websites close – wherever you go.

They then included a large comparison titled “IS A NETBOOK RIGHT FOR ME?” with a point-by-point comparison between the “HP Mini 1033CL Netbook” and a “Typical notebook” (typical = 14″ display, 5+ pounds, 2GB RAM, 250GB+ drive space, optical drive, etc.).

HP Mini 1033CL

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Posted in Acer, Articles, Featured, HP/Compaq, Intel Atom, Netbook, News | Comments Off on Netbook Marketing – Costco and Office Max, HP Mini and Acer Aspire One

Samsung NC20 – it’s got a VIA Nano in it!

Samsung NC20 About three weeks ago, some specifications of the 12″ Intel Atom-powered Samsung NC20 leaked out through online retailers.

Yesterday, news came of the user manual for the NC20 being online, and it’s confirmed some things that surprised me. I mentioned that I thought the VIA Nano CPU listing was inaccurate (the information was from some online retailers, but Intel Atom was also listed).

This is a huge deal – the NC netbook series was already fairly high-profile (for its design, features, and battery life), and VIA convincing Samsung to add the Nano to the NC lineup is a huge win for VIA, especially after HP switched to the Intel Atom for their new netbook updates and models.

– 1.3GHz VIA Nano CPU
– 12.1″ 1280×800 display
– HDD or Solid State Drive (SSD)
– 6-Cell Battery

Width: 11.5 inches / 292 mm
Depth: 8.5 inches / 215.9 mm
Height: 1.2 inches / 30.5 mm

While it’s supposed to be a little harder on the battery, it’s been reported that the Nanos have better performance than the Intel Atoms. This is a huge win for VIA and it will be interesting to see what the production models are capable of when it comes to performance.

Samsung User Manual
– via liliputing

Posted in Announcements, Netbook, News, Samsung, Solid State Drives, VIA | Comments Off on Samsung NC20 – it’s got a VIA Nano in it!