Along with other media folks, we got to witness first hand the unveiling of the Sony Vaio P here in the Philippines. It lives up to the Vaio brand name and is definitely a thing of beauty. There are basically two models to choose from: the VGN-P15G and the VGN-P13H. Both models come in at a mere 19.8mm in thickness which makes it probably the thinnest and lightest ultraportable in the market today (not counting the Macbook Air, of course). 2GB of RAM, an 8-inch wide UWXGA 1600x768 TFT display, Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 b/g/draft N, MS Duo and SD Memory card slot, 2 USB ports, headphone jack, IO connector, motion eye webcam and an Intel GMA 500 graphics chip are the other specs that are common to both models. They differ in the processor, storage type, OS and weight as the VGN-P15G touts an Intel Atom Z530 1.6GHz processor, 64GB SSD, Windows Vista Home Premium, and weighs 594 grams while the VGN-P13H comes with an Intel Atom Z520 1.33GHz processor, 60GB HDD, Vista Basic and tips the scale at 620 grams. The VGN-P15G is pricier at P69,999.00 and comes bundled with noise-cancelling headphones similar to the ones packaged with the Vaio TT. The VGN-P13H, on the other hand, will retail for P49,999.00. It’ll be released in the market on February 25, but you can pre-order yours starting January 30th via the Sony Philippines Vaio P microsite. While many will classify the Vaio P as a netbook, Sony officials are quick to note that this is not a netbook by any stretch. It is more capable and full-featured than a netbook, and given its price, we’re more than inclined to believe them. However, while it does seem to offer more in terms of performance, it does lack a lot of things that we’ve grown accustomed to in most of the modern ultraportables of today. Here’s a quick rundown of what the Vaio P is missing: - VGA out (display/LAN IO adaptor can be purchased separately) - LAN port - Trackpad (replaced by trackpoint) - User replaceable RAM/HDD - Microphone jack The keyboard is actually not that bad as it can challenge the HP Mini-Note 2133 anytime of the day in terms of usability, but as the case is with most under 10-inch displays, reading text on it can be quite a challenge due to the high resolution and small display size. It also features a quick-on mode that boots up to a PSP-like interface familiar to Vaio fanboys as the Media Xross bar granting users quick access to media content and the internet. At the end of the day, we’re still a bit skeptical especially since it’s worth a hefty sum of money. We’ll postpone passing judgement on the it until we get to play around with one more thoroughly, but as for our initial impression, it’s a hit and miss for the Vaio P. Sure, Sony has probably struck gold in terms of a coming out with an ultra-compact laptop, but it also sacrificed a lot of essential features that are pretty much standard in today's laptops.
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Even though we have yet to see an actual 10-inch Acer Aspire One being sold in the local stores, that doesn’t mean you can’t reserve one for yourself right now. As a matter of fact, PC Corner is already accepting pre-orders for the Acer Aspire One 103 with the first batch expected to arrive on March 15, 2009. This bit of news is courtesy of Yugatech and will certainly delight netbook aficionados waiting for this highly-anticipated upgrade to the Aspire One. Aside from the newly designed body and bigger display, the Acer Aspire One 103 comes with the 1GB RAM, 320GB SATA HDD, Acer CyrstalEye webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery, multitouch-enabled trackpad, and is the first netbook to feature Intel's latest Atom N280 processor that's slightly faster at 1.66GHz. The standard package is priced at P25,500, but if you want to avail of the optional 3G module, you’ll have to add P2,995 for it. Likewise, they're also offering an Acer optical drive as part of a package which is just slightly a bit more expensive at P26,500. It might seem a hefty price for a netbook, but remember, most of its contemporaries in the market that offer more or less the same specs are being sold at around the same price point as well. So, should you pre-order one right now? Personally, I’d wait for the first batch of reviews to come out first before I make any commitment, but based on its looks and features, it looks like a pretty decent offer in my opinion.
It looks like Acer fanboys are in for a treat as images and details of a new 10-inch Aspire One netbook has surfaced on the internet.
Joining the likes of HP, Asus and Dell, this new Acer Aspire One comes with a 10-inch display, Bluetooth and a multi-touch capable trackpad in addition to the now standard 1.6GHz processor, 1GB RAM, WiFi and Win XP OS. Aside from the cosmetic changes done on the body, it seems that Acer has also decided to include easy access compartments for RAM and HDD upgrades making it even more enticing for consumers.
No pricing and release date available at the moment as Acer hasn't even officially announced this new 10-inch Aspire One just yet. Taking into account how primed and ready it looks in the pictures, I suspect that its release is just around the corner. UPDATE: More PR-ready pics have just surfaced showing off the various colors of this new Acer Aspire One. They can be found at Slashgear.
Dell has unveiled their latest addition to their netbook line, the Inspiron Mini 10. While it does offer a smaller screen size as opposed to the Inspiron Mini 12, it does, however, offer more features. The Inspiron Mini 10 comes with a 10.1-inch 16:9 HD 720p display, Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G WWAN, webcam, multi-touch trackpad and a TV-tuner USB accessory. No word though on what the RAM, storage and OS options will be made available for this new netbook, but we're guessing that 1GB/2GB RAM, 80GB/160GB HDD and SSD storage as well as Win XP/Linux options are a sound choice. Likewise, an exact release date and price are yet to be known. Considering that the Inspiron Mini 10 comes with more than you're average feature set, it wiill most likely be more expensive than any Inspiron Mini we've seen to date. Nevertheless, we're pretty excited about this one as it looks to be a pretty handy netbook to lug around while on the road.
Sony has officially joined the netbook bandwagon with the announcement of the new Vaio P laptop. It sports an 8-inch display, Intel Atom Z530 1.33GHz processor, 2GB RAM, WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth, 3G WWAN, GPS, webcam, Windows Vista OS, and 60GB HDD, 64GB SSD and 128GB SSD storage options. It also does away with the usual trackpad and features a pointer instead to save up on space. The Sony Vaio P also boasts of being the lightest netbook weighing only 1.4 lbs and has enough juice in its battery to last up to 4 hours which is still unheard of as far as 3-cell battery-running netbooks go. It’s expected to start shipping in February in 5 colored variants (garnet red, emerald green, onyx black, crystal white and classic black) with a starting price of $900. Here's a hands-on video showcasing the Sony Vaio P courtesy of Engadget. With such a steep price and awkward design, I doubt the Sony Vaio P will actually draw much attention from the usual netbook-buying public. I personally find an 8.9-inch display already too small, and I can’t even begin to image how people will get their work done on a smaller 8-inch display. Anyway, for what it’s worth, the Sony Vaio P is indeed a technological wonder cramming in all those features in an ultra-small form factor, but as far as practicality and functionality are concerned, it’s still got a lot of room for improvement.
We’ve got good news for those who love the HP Mini Note 2133 for its design and form factor but hate its processor and Vista OS. HP has decided to continue their first netbook’s legacy with the Mini 2140. The HP Mini 2140 comes with an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 10.1-inch LED display, 1GB (max 2GB) RAM, 80GB or 160GB HDD options, WiFi, Bluetooth, Express Card slot, and a ton of OS options that include Windows XP Home/Pro, Vista Basic/Premium, SuSe Linux and FreeDOS. The starting price for the HP Mini 240 is pegged at $499 which is exactly the same price of the Mini Note 2133 when it first debuted a while back. This, likewise, means that the Mini 2140 won’t be cheap at all. However, with the best features of both the Mini Note 2133 and Mini 1000 all packaged in one stellar looking device, I certainly wouldn’t mind paying extra for it. While this is certainly good news for those holding out on buying a netbook, this latest announcement will definitely disappoint those who have already bought an HP Mini 1000 thinking that they were already getting the best of what HP has to offer as far as netbooks are concerned.
The Steve Jobs-less Macworld 2009 has ended without much fanfare, but one of the definite highlights of the show was the unveiling of the new 17-inch Macbook Pro. The full-featured big brother of the Macbook family has finally gotten a much deserved aluminum unibody make-over that ties it in nicely with the rest of Apple’s product line. There will only be one base model for this new 17-inch Macbook Pro which will feature an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz processor, 4GB RAM, 320GB 5400rpm SATA HDD, NVIDIA 9400M and 9600M GT graphics chips, 3 USB ports, and a 39% bigger glass trackpad as compared to the regular Macbook. However, there are options available to upgrade to an antiglare display, 2.93GHz processor, 8GB RAM, and 320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD, 128GB or 256GB SSD for storage. It’s also interesting to note that the battery life of this new Macbook Pro is rated at 8 hours on the 9400M chip, while using the more powerful 9600M GT chip lowers it to a respectable 7 hours. That’s really impressive if it can truly lives up to its billing in real world conditions. The 17-inch unibody Macbook Pro’s starting price is at a whopping $2799. This will hopefully hit the local market before the 1Q of 2009 comes to a close.
Without a doubt, 2008 has been a break-out year for netbooks and it seems that MSI wants to set a new trend in 2009 with the announcement of the world's first hybrid netbook, the U115.
Instead of offering either an SSD or HDD variant, they’ve decided to combine both in a single device offering you a taste and the best of both worlds. There’s an ECO mode feature which when turned on will shut down the HDD to extend battery life in extreme situations wherein an external power source cannot be found. The U115 comes with an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 10-inch display, 1GB DDR2 522MHz RAM, Bluetooth, Windows XP Home, 1.3- or 2.0-megapixel camera, 3- or 6-cell battery, 802.11 b/g/n or b/g WiFi connectivity and 120GB HDD with 8GB SSD or 160GB with 16GB SSD options. No word yet as to when, where and how much the U115 netbook will cost, but taking into consideration that it will feature two storage devices, expect it to cost a bit more than you’re average Wind netbook.
Maybe you’ve already bought yourself that dream phone or laptop you’ve been lusting for the past couple of months, but for those who still have some money left over from their Christmas bonus, you might be interested to know that the HP Mini 1000 is already available locally. This bit of news is courtesy of Yugatech, and based on the provided info, both Villman and PC Corner have this second generation netbook listed on their respective websites already. PC Corner is selling it for P21,950 while Villman is offering theirs for P21,948. Other retailers might also be offering this new netbook already though I have yet to actually see one in the local stores. The specs of the HP Mini 1000 includes an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor, 10.2-inch display, 1GB RAM (single slot, max 2GB), 60GB 4200rpm IDE, Bluetooth, WiFi, webcam, 3-cell battery and runs on Windows XP Home SP3. While I love the over-all design and cheaper price of this new HP netbook, I just can’t get past the thought that it only comes with 60GB 4200rpm HDD. I don’t exactly mind the average capacity, though I would have preferred it to be bigger, but the 4200rpm will definitely take its toll in performance. Nevertheless, it should be functional enough to meet the average PC user’s needs and its stylish and excellent design is surely a winner. So if you’re still looking for a decent gift to give yourself this Christmas, this is one netbook that’s worth considering. Merry Christmas everybody!
While so far the HP Mini Note is the only netbook that has dared to enter into the Vista arena, Dell has made its intention known to venture into the same playing field when they release their new Inspiron Mini 12 next year. True, the HP runs on a Via processor as opposed to the Intel Atom found on the Inspiron Mini, but based on the findings of Laptop Mag, performance-wise, Vista's still too much for the Inspiron Mini to handle. The good part, though, is that the bigger screen (biggest as of this writing), thinner profile and near-regular-sized keyboard are positive changes in the right direction and battery life has likewise been improved. So if you're completely sold on the idea of getting yourself the Inspiron Mini 12 when it does become available locally, they suggest to get either the Win XP or Linux variant. I totally agree with them.