While it's hard for us to put design over performance when looking at a laptop, products such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U350 make it a little easier. As another entry to the growing field of affordable CULV thin-and-lights, the compact and really great-looking U350 is Lenovo's MacBook in terms of design. Lighter than it is thin, the Pentium U2700 processor-packing machine is clad in minimal silver and black and aims to keep a stylish low profile. And while the U2700 processor is both low power and low performance by Core 2 Duo standards, this thin-and-light is perfectly capable … Read more
While much was made of Dell killing off its Mini 12 Netbook recently, one question raised was: what might fill that 11-to-12-inch void in the future? That question is answered, in part, with today's announcement of the Dell Inspiron 11z, an 11.6-inch thin-and-light weighing only 3 pounds. How thin? At its thickest point: 1.02 inches, according to Dell's specs. This is Dell's first real entry into thin-and-light, a category that's been gaining momentum recently (the Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T, MSI X340, and Lenovo IdeaPad U350 to name a few).
Inside, there's no Atom processor, but instead a single-core 1.2 GHz Intel ULV Celeron 723. Equipped with a three-cell battery, Dell promises long battery life in a chassis that's "24 percent smaller than 14-inch laptops" (but this is an 11.6-inch laptop, so how is that fair?). Unfortunately, that "long battery life" equates to 3 hours in the press release, but we'll remain optimistic. The keyboard is 92 percent standard-size, close to a regular laptop experience (although sometimes we've found that small differences in ergonomics can be disorienting). Like a Netbook and most thin-and-lights, the 11z has no optical drive.
One of the best features is the price: Dell's Web site lists the Inspiron 11z as $399, the same cost as a Netbook.
So, you might ask, why get this over a Netbook? For one, it runs Windows Vista SP1 Home Premium--while Windows 7 is just around the corner, this OS qualifies for a free upgrade. And the 11z also breaks through the XP Netbook barrier of RAM/hard drive space, with 2GB and 250GB respectively. Other notable features include HDMI-out and a 1.3-megapixel Webcam. The Inspiron 11z comes in Obsidian black with silver tones.
Full specs below, as well as more product shots after the break.… Read more
We feel like we've been waiting a long time for this, but Netbooks running Atom processors alongside Nvidia's Ion GPU are finally coming to the America...soon.
Reports from Liliputing.com claim that the Samsung N510, an 11.6-inch Netbook, is on its way next month. Included in the N510 will be HDMI out and an "ability to handle Blu-ray," though we're not sure how that will apply in a laptop without an optical drive. We're still waiting for the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 Ion version to arrive--we reviewed the non-Nvidia Atom version of the … Read more
During Intel's earnings conference call Tuesday, CEO Paul Otellini said inexpensive "ultra-thins" will give users what they're missing in Netbooks, a theme that the chipmaker has been reiterating in various forums lately.
Intel continues to try to maneuver this new and more profitable category of laptops into territory where Netbooks continue to hold mindshare. Ultra-thins are low-cost laptops, typically with 13-inch screens, based on Intel's ultra-low-power (ULV) chips. Netbooks have screens usually no larger than 11 inches and use Intel's lower-cost, lower-performance Atom processor.
Although Lenovo has been reinventing itself as of late with its IdeaPad and Netbook lines, it's still a company known for boxy, business-end ThinkPads. There's no shame there: the ThinkPad was revolutionary in its time, and the iconic (if plain) design defined the modern business laptop. It also put Lenovo on the map after taking the brand over from IBM.
Despite having similar looks to its predecessor, the new 14-inch T400s is markedly thinner and lighter than the original T400, creating a highly portable machine that still packs a full-powered Core 2 Duo processor under the hood, unlike … Read more
Correction at 7:20 a.m. PDT June 23: The energy production of the tiles has been fixed. The tiles can generate 860 kilowatt hours per square (or per 100 square feet) annually in an area with "5.8 peak sun hours" per day.
Will a better aesthetic tempt more people into going solar? SRS Energy is betting on it.
The company has partnered with US Tile, a leading manufacturer of Spanish, slate, and shake roof tiles, to design solar panels with the exact same shapes as their clay counterparts.
The result is solar tiles that can be … Read more
PARIS--CNET got a "world first" teaser at a Dell keynote here in Paris, when Dell execs Michael Tatelman (pictured right) and Phil Bryant surreptitiously showed off two new laptops coming to the company's Inspiron lineup--both described as belonging to the "thin and light" category (as opposed to fat and clunky, one trusts).
Similar to the stunt the PC maker pulled at CES in January with the Adamo, nothing was revealed about specs. We were able to talk with Tatelman after his keynote, where he confirmed both models would launch in "late summer" this … Read more
Owning a portable powerhouse of a lap-dwelling machine may be a bit economically out-of-reach for some, but there's never been a better time to get a decently-performing laptop for a great value. Just follow these tips:
Try a Netbook. If your computing needs are low, or even basic (web browsing, office doc work, and not too much need for heavy-duty graphics or HD video), Netbooks offer a great package for very little money. Mainly equipped with Intel Atom processors and running Windows XP, they're not so great a multitasking, but they'll do the work that most computers handled five years ago with ease. Low-end Netbooks are where the best value's at, with some coming in at under $300, like Dell's Mini 10v. Some are on sale online for even less, or are subsidized by cell carriers (the HP Mini 1151nr costs $199). You will, however, need to sign up for a wireless 3G data plan for a subsidized Netbook, which will cost more in the long run than simply looking for free Wi-Fi hotspots.
Thin-and-light laptops are getting cheaper. It was just a year and a half ago when the MacBook Air cost an arm and a leg for super-light computing power. While the Air is more affordable now, there are a variety of similarly-powered machines running lower-cost CULV processors just hitting the market that cost even less. MSI's X340 is practically a Windows version of the MacBook Air, with an equally good form factor (but made of plastic instead of aluminum), but costs $800.
Leave off the extras. Go for the bare-bones configuration unless you really need more RAM or a larger hard drive -- those can sometimes be added later, usually for less money.… Read more
Netbooks had a rocky start last year in some markets, Intel's marketing chief said at the Intel investor meeting Tuesday.
"In the first period--June, July, August of last year--there were some in the retail channels that were shipping (Netbooks) as notebooks," Sean Maloney said in a question-and-answer session that was streamed over the Web. "They were running ads that had a continuum of notebooks and had this Netbooky thing in there--it was called a notebook. They had very high return rates and a couple of these guys had return rates in the 30 percent range, which … Read more