ASUS' Eee PC 1004DN is one of the first generally available netbooks to include an integrated optical drive, something which has split opinions among aficionados of the segment. HKEPC have been playing with the Intel Atom N280/GN40 netbook and, while on paper it's an impressive prospect, the reality is that hardware and software just don't tally up quite yet.
After confirming back in March that their GN40 chipset was not intended for 1080p Blu-ray playback, Intel have now confirmed that, in choosing Windows XP, netbook manufacturers are leaving customers without some of the enhanced 3D graphics performance and hardware video decoding the graphics chipset supports. The issue arises because the more advanced features require DirectX 10 and DXVA 2.0 (DirectX Video Acceleration 2.0) APIs, which demand Vista or above.
One of the biggest issues consumers have had with MID and UMPC devices is start-time. Linux offers a speedy boot - down to just 5 seconds if you fettle it right - but lacks user-familiarity for entry-level buyers, while Windows XP satisfies on the latter but tends to miss out on the former. That's why we're glad to see the UMID M1 MID can hit an XP desktop in just 30 seconds from a cold start.
Video demo after the cut
Acer may have thrown down some new netbook love this week, but it doesn’t mean they’re getting ready to join in with the latest trend: putting Google’s Android platform onto the budget ultraportables. At the company’s launch event, Acer’s business IT product manager Jim Wong told reporters that while the company plans cellphones using Android, he believed the platform isn’t ready for the “total internet experience” on netbooks.
We’ve a definite soft-spot for the UMID M1 here at SlashGear, but with the company themselves dragging their feet on official US and European sales, and import prices riding ever higher, it’s hard to see the clamshell MID ever finding its niche. Australian-based importer Justek have tweaked the pricing on the non-HSDPA version of the M1, but for US customers it’s still in excess of $660.
I like Windows XP. It's a solid operating system, if a bit outdated. The Windows 7 Beta has been promising, and is a definite improvement in both speed and stability over Windows Vista. However, some people might not share my warm feelings towards Microsoft's latest OS, and would prefer that their new computers have XP preinstalled, or have the capability to install XP over Windows 7. It has been confirmed that users can do this without having to deal with Vista at all.