As busy weeks go, this one has certainly been something to write home about (or at least a Week in Review about), with CeBIT, PMA and an Apple mega-announcement all taking place. ASUS arguably stole the former show in Germany, with the Eee PC 1008HA "Shell" once again proving that netbooks needn't be the ugly cousins to expensive ultraportable notebooks. For our full CeBIT 2009 coverage, hit the tag.
One of the major announcements for CES 2009, the Sony VAIO P has been hailed by some as the ultimate netbook, and by others as a folly of "what Sony can do" rather than "what Sony should do". SlashGear has been using the VAIO P for near enough the past two weeks; we shared our first-impressions back during the show, now it's time for the full review.
Further details of the Psion netbook trademark case have emerged, thanks to a number of statements from the legal team, Origin, supporting the UK company. The situation came to light last week, with several UK sites reportedly receiving cease & desist letters regarding their use of the term "netbook", a term which Psion trademarked back in the 90's for use on a range of sub-notebook devices. While the devices themselves are no longer in production, Psion does still hold the trademark and produce accessories for the line; according to their legal representation, they're not in fact targeting fan-sites and bloggers using the term "netbook" but those making "a direct, financial profit" from its use.
Full legal correspondence after the cut
With the recent boom in the popularity of Netbooks, providing customers with the most cost effective way to get on the Internet without adding all of the extra software is what a lot of consumers are looking for. Most of us have a desktop PC that we do most of our work and browsing on, the cost of purchasing a laptop to surf the web while on the go can be a bit to much in these trying times. Hp took this into consideration when creating the successor the Mini-Note 2133, the HP Mini 1000. HP has taken the slick design and brilliant construction of the Mini-Note 2133 and made it surprisingly affordable.
We kicked off the week with some high-profile reviews here at SlashGear, putting the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops through their paces. If you're considering one of these slick new machines - or are wondering what style features other manufacturers will be copying over the next six months - make sure to check them out! We also played with a more budget computing option in the shape of the ASUS Eee PC 1000HA.
Meanwhile cellphones have been on the test bench, with Sprint's pair of new Samsungs - the messaging Rant and the musical HighNote - squaring up against Velocity Mobile's 103 smartphone. We had to leave our desks to try out Blackline's GPS Snitch, however, but were back in before curfew to play with some toys: WowWee's Bladestar remote control helicopter, for one, and a rather more unusual review of the WowWee Femisapien.
While there's no shortage of variety in the netbook market, one of the most commonly recommended - and certainly most commonly searched for here on SlashGear - is the Acer Aspire One. With a slick casing, brand name recognition and relatively large degree of flexibility in specifications, even with new rivals from Dell and others, Acer is holding its own. We've had the Aspire One in for the past fortnight to put it through its paces; check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.
Somewhat ironic in following a netbook unboxing, but AMD's Pat Moorhead, VP of advanced marketing, doesn't seem too impressed with the whole budget ultraportable trend. Despite Intel's fabrication plants working like crazy to meet demand (and being featured in more and more devices from big-name companies), Moorhead says AMD are "taking a wait and see attitude on it". He also goes on to criticize the price creep in the segment, where machines that initially aimed for a $299 price tag are now nearer to $499.
Check out the video interview with Pat Moorhead after the cut
Lenovo's S10 netbook is merely the first in a range of budget ultraportables, according to the company. The recently announced IdeaPad, which has a 10-inch screen and uses Intel's Atom CPU, will be joined by an 8.9-inch IdeaPad S9, following the screen sizing convention established by ASUS' Eee PC notebooks.
If you bought into the ASUS Eee early on, and now are looking enviously at the array of budget ultraportables available today, why not redirect your angst into crafting an upgrade for the compact notebook. Since there are numerous points on the Eee motherboard where both 3.3v and 5v power can be tapped into, plus some extra space in the casing, adding an internal Bluetooth adaptor, GPS or card reader (to mention just a few) can be relatively straightforward.
As promised, Acer's Aspire One budget ultraportable is now officially available in the US. The notebook, intended to rival ASUS' wildly popular Eee PC, uses Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU, an 8GB SSD (or 120GB standard HDD) for storage and runs the Linpus Lite Linux OS (with Windows XP Home as an option). It weighs 2.17 pounds and measures 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.14-inches, and will be available at first in sapphire blue or seashell white before golden brown and diamond black arrive later in the year.
Everex are planning to take on the ASUS Eee PC 1000-series with a new 10.2-inch budget ultraportable notebook, according to sources at the company's manufacturing partner FIC. The leak suggests that the devices will include 3G WWAN connectivity with WiMAX an option; a decision on processor has obviously not been made, as both Intel's Atom or a rival from VIA's stable have been mentioned. It will be joined by new 8.9-inch ultraportables, adding WiMAX to the Cloudbook range.