Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Series 5 XE500C21-A04US Chromebook

I love chromium netbooks and today, Samsung has rolled out Samsung XE500C21-A04US that sports a 12. 1inch display and looks absolutely gorgeous. It features two USB 2.0 ports, and has a SD card slot as well.
It measures 0.79 inches thick and will hit the retail stores for 350 dollars.

For some reason, Samsung decided to go with the dual core processor and not Atom processor which is what they went for in its predecessor.

Keyboard looks very comfortable and the company says that it has stretched it to the sides to make extra room that results in better typing experience. The palm rest also looks very spacious.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ultraportable or Netbook?

Last week, Asus made the U24e official in Japan. While the US release date was no where mentioned, it surely did pump us up. After all, how many ultraportables about the size of Asus u24e pack a Core i7 processor which is not ULV (ultra low voltage). According to the forum report, this notebook is supposed to be launched on November 6th for ¥59,800, or about $760, but the US price could well be lower when this netbook hits US mainland.
Specs are as follows:

i7 2620M @ 2.7 GHz (3.4 GHz turbo), 4MB cache, 35W TDP
Intel HD 3000 graphics @ 650MHz to 1.3GHz
4GB DDR3 SDRAM Hynix PC10600 9-11-F3
500GB 5400RPM WD Blue HDD WD5000BPVT-80HXZT3 firmware rev 01.01A01
11.6" AUO205C LED backlit LCD @ 1366x768
Gigabit Ethernet Realtek RTL8111/8168B
AzureWave AW-NB037H Atheros AR9285 802.11b/n plus Bluetooth 3.0+HS combo card
2x USB 3.0 + 1x USB 2.0 Charger+
SD card reader
HDMI, VGA outputs
0.3MP webcam
Integrated microphone
1/8" Microphone in, 1/8" Headphone/Line out
Elan Multitouch Touchpad
Chicklet keyboard
6-cell 10.8V 5200mAh 56Wh battery P/N: A32-U24
65W AC adapter, right angle connector, 3-prong
Kensington lock port
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
1 year international warranty
1 year accidental warranty covering 1 incident
30 day zero bright dot LCD warranty

Read the full Asus u24e gadget review to find more about it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Asus 1015PN Review

Like many people, I awaited the release of the 1015pn release with skepticism - how well it would function, what if any features would be cut out upon release, and when it would even come out.  Asus is about as unreliable as it gets when it comes to product releases (at least with the EEE line), and to be honest I doubted the 1015N (PN) would be out this year.  But here it is sitting on my desk.
asus 1015pn review
First things first, the touchpad.  It's the first thing any laptop user lays their hands on, until they can get their bluetooth mouse connected if that's their poison.  The touchpad on the 1015PN excels - it is both accurate and responsive, and has quite a nice feel to it.  It's also about 1.5x the size of the average netbook touchpad, which makes it way better than anything else that's been put out.  The multitouch functionality works flawlessly, and comes in handy, especially the gestures.  I find it much superior to have a gesture-based page scrolling as opposed to a dedicated touchstrip along the right side for such functionality.  The omnibutton is excellent, it reminds me of the magic mouse I use for my mac, in that there are not physically separated buttons.  It makes it a lot more comfortable to use.  Great touchpad, great feel.
The keyboard on the 1015PN is great.  No real complaints to be made - it's well layed-out and the keys are a great size, and aren't hard to type on unlike the Vaio W that I replaced with this netbook.  The only aggravation is the tiny right-side shift key, but I just stopped using it to no issue.
The Ion2 graphics engine is fantastic, and once I replaced 7Starter with 7Pro, the Optimus automatic switcher works phenomenally.  The only downside is with Steam - Steam does not work well with Optimus, and you must manually add the executable of steam games to Optimus' preferred list in the NVidia control panel.  My experience comes from Portal - on the Intel GMA 3150 alone, portal lags considerably on the lowest settings unless I disable portal transparency which pretty much breaks the game.  But on the Ion2, I can run the game on full settings (which is very, very impressive for a netbook) with a portal render depth of 2.  Full HDR also works.  Once the portal depth was placed above 2, however, the framerate dropped below a smooth level.  HD video displays beautifully, and 1080p output works as promised, with very few stutters.  720p video from youtube displayed perfectly.
The display is where I'm having problems.  The initial specs promised a 720p screen, so this 1024x600 LCD is really aggravating.  If you've seen my other forum posts I'm planning on upgrading it to an LG 1366x768 display provided it will work, and provided I can find out how to pop open the bezel on the casing.  Once that's done this netbook will offer a lot more from its Ion2 graphics.  To its credit, however, the screen is a nice matte finish, and looks very sharp (though the brightness leaves a lot to be desired.  It's too dim even at max brightness.)
In terms of speed, to be honest I'm left with a few complaints.  The processor is great, the n550 chip is fast and flexible, but only including 1GB of DDR3 is in irritating bottleneck - i've several times found myself waiting for things to load.  That's fixable, however.
Anyways, I hope this little review will help out any potential buyers.  In short:
Graphics:  GREAT.  Except for low-res and slightly dim screen.
Power:  Very powerful, very flexible.  But too little ram.  Upgradeable.
Input:  Great keyboard, Excellent touchpad.
Features:  Rare 3rd USB port and HDMI output are indispensable, Bluetooth and Wifi work excellently.  Surprised at the lack of USB 3.0, however.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

CES is Over-rated


1. It's the king of tech shows and yet the king of tech toys is, once again, a no-show: Apple!

2. The major product announcements that come out of CES are actually pre-announced before the show, so there are never any big surprises.

3. Products get announced and then we never actually see them again. Anyone remember that HP Slate that Ballmer showed off last year?

4. Products get announced long before they are ready to be launched, just to make sure they are shown at CES. By the time they come out in the second half of the year (or even later), we've forgotten all about them.

5. Speaking of Steve Ballmer; why does he still give the opening keynote? When you think visionary, when you ask yourself who are the real game changers in tech these days; does Microsoft really come to mind anymore?

6. CES has a credibility gap with me. It over-hypes trends for a week of interesting headlines and then, lo and behold, the trend tends to not pan out the rest of the year. Last year, 3-D television for the home was the big trend to watch in 2010.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Asus Eee PC 1215B Specs

12.1' LCD
1366 x 768 resolution
APU Zacate E-350 APU
2 to 4 GB of RAM
250 GB to 320 GB HDD
LAN card
Bluetooth 3.0
WLAN 802.11b/g/n
6+ hours of battery life w/ 6 cell battery
available in black, silver and red
1.45kg with battery
via mobility update

Friday, January 7, 2011

Asus 1015PEM Review

Asus 1015PEM has a sleek and perfectly designed exterior profile. Its body is a bit thicker at the back. Its entire body displays a curved design with a smooth matte touch, on the back lid. This portable PC is available in color shades of red, white, black and blue. Machines with red shade display an attractive coppery brown hue. The back lid of this computing device is thick and gives a solid look to it. The keyboard of this computing device has a chiclet design. Keys are soft, highly responsive and ensure pleasant typing experience. The keyboard of EEE PC 1015-PU17 has been supplemented with a multi touch track pad and smooth matte lid. A small plastic button for power on can be seen on top right of the keyboard. Buttons for Wi Fi and quick start can also be seen on left of power on button.asus 1015pem review

Other applications and features: Asus PC 1015 is cost effective. It is good to buy for those users who have a weak financial budget. Yet it commands multiple features and useful applications in its interface. It has a long battery life of 13 hours. Such a long run time is a great boon for those users who remain mostly in outdoor locations, during daily work. It also insures additional money savings with a free installation of Windows 7 in its 32 bit operating system. Image resolution of display screen is 1024 x 600 pixels. This insures greater picture clarity while viewing static and live multimedia images. Sata Series hard drive of this machine has a storage capacity of 250 GB. A 0.3 pixel webcam is an additional attraction in this mini PC notebook. Asus 1015 PEM-PU17 net book is also loaded with 3.0 blue tooth. The exterior body of EEE PC 1015-PU17 is 10.1 inches. It displays an attractive matte finish with LED display feature