On the surface, BenQ's Joybook Lite U101 doesn't appear to have any features that differentiate it from all the other netbooks on the market. However out of all the netbooks we've tested, this is the easiest one to upgrade. It has easily accessible RAM and hard drive compartments, and this alone should garner interest from PC enthusiasts.
Notebooks & Road Warriors
Make no mistake, netbooks when compared with full-featured notebooks or PCs, do not perform the same tasks with the same speed due to less CPU power and the small form factor. Netbooks are perfect for running basic tasks while you're at home or on the road. The Fujitsu M2010 is one such netbook, which can be used for word processing, cropping photos and playing movie and music files.
Startup NetBooks is making a second run at the nation's millions of small-business users with a new company name and revamped on-demand suite.
The MSI Wind U123 netbook ships with Windows XP and is the follow-up to the MSI Wind U120. It's available in three different versions: there is the plain MSI Wind U123, the 3G-equipped MSI Wind U123H, and the MSI Wind U123T, which has a built-in digital TV tuner.
Fujitsu’s LifeBook P8020 (3.5G) sits at the premium end of the lightweight notebook market and is aimed at anyone who works while travelling. It’s a 12.1in model that weighs 1.4kg, yet it packs a DVD burner, an Intel Core 2 DUO CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Most importantly, it ships with a 3G (UMTS) module that will work with mobile broadband plans from any carrier.
Dell's Latitude 2100 is designed specifically for school students, but it's available for everyone. It's the first netbook we have seen to feature a touch screen as well as a ruggedised case. It's a little heavier than a typical netbook, but it doesn't have atypical specifications for a netbook. It comes with an Intel Atom N270 CPU and a 10.1in screen. You can choose from a variety of configurations.
HP’s TouchSmart tx2-1000 Notebook PC is one of the rare laptops that use an AMD Turion X2 CPU. It is also the first touch-screen laptop we have seen to be priced under $2000 and aimed at the home user rather than the business user.
The MSI PX600 is an attractive leather-bound notebook that has a fast processor, plenty of RAM and a good price. However, this 15.4in laptop comes with a keyboard that is too spongy and it weighs a hefty 2.75kg (not including the power supply).
With the 1004DN, the ASUS Eee PC range has moved away from being just a simple netbook. The inclusion of a DVD burner, a fingerprint reader and an ExpressCard/34 slot all make the ASUS Eee PC 1004DN more of a traditional notebook than a netbook because you can do so much more with it. The good thing is that it is still a relatively inexpensive, 10in ultraportable notebook that's very stylish and reasonably comfortable to use.
You'd be hard pressed trying to find a lighter notebook than Toshiba's Portege R600 (PPR61A-00400R), which weighs only 950 grams and is aimed at business users who regularly need to travel. It's a 12.1in laptop and it's very thin, but it doesn't have cut-price parts running it: you still get an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, 3GB of RAM and a 120GB solid-state drive. It runs Windows Vista (or Windows XP — you get to choose).
HP's EliteBook 2530p is a 12in laptop that weighs 1.7kg, yet packs in a lot of features. It's aimed squarely at business users and has a tough exterior that protects it from knocks and scratches while on long business trips. However, it's not perfect, and could still use some refinement in its design.
Intel reaffirmed on Friday that it was readying new ultra-low-voltage chips, due in the second quarter, for inexpensive ultraportable laptops.
Taiwanese processor vendor Via Technologies rolled out a new reference design for laptops, called Surfboard C855, that includes its recently announced VX855 chipset capable of playing full high-definition video.
Lenovo has decided to unveil photos of its Pocket Yoga concept PC, an ultra-compact portable that's slim enough to slide in a back pocket. The leather-bound device, which resembles an oversized wallet, features a QWERTY keyboard and a touch screen.
Look out Australia, there's a new netbook about to hit town and it's by Kogan, the company responsible for affordable big-screen TVs, photo frames and other nifty products. After receiving a lot of feedback via blog comments about what people want to see in a netbook, Kogan is set to release its first one this week: the Kogan Agora Netbook Pro. It's a 10.2in netbook that will cost $539. For the price you'll get 2GB of RAM and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, as well as 802.11g networking, a Bluetooth USB module, a 160GB hard drive and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
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