Tag Archives: netbook

Would You Like to Win an HP Laptop?

Anne, Karen, and their teams from HP were an awesome addition to the Gnomedex sponsor roster last year. They were on-site with several of their products – and even gave away many things! I was fortunate to receive a TouchSmart from them during this time period, to review and use for myself. Even though I’m a Mac guy at heart, I have to admit I really love using the TouchSmart whenever I need to be on Windows. It runs beautifully, and has never given me any issues at all. It’s a powerhouse of a machine, honestly. I can convert videos while searching on the Internet, having multiple other programs open and even running a Skype conference all at once. There is no “lag”, like you would find on many systems while trying to do all of these things. And, of course, you can’t beat the sheer fun (and yes – functionality!) of using the actual Touch features! It’s not just me who loves this machine. My assistant, Kat, won a TouchSmart after the conference was over. She has used hers ever since as her primary machine, and is quite happy! HP continued with a presence this year at Gnomedex, too!

So why am I waxing poetic about HP and their products? I’m glad you asked! Not only were they awesome to work with during Gnomedex last year, they continue to support our community to this day. They’ve come up with an excellent new contest – just for all of you reading out there! You have a chance to win for yourself a brand-new HP Pavilion dv6t series laptop! Entering is so simple, you won’t even believe it. All you have to do is leave a follow-up comment on this blog post, (including your email address!) talking about HP. You can tell us what HP products you own – or have owned. You can talk about the ones you’d like to own. It doesn’t matter, so long as your comment talks about an HP product or service. Any comments which simply state things like “I want to win the HP laptop” will be disqualified. Put some effort into it! You should pore over the contest rules prior to entering, though. The contest is open now, and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2009. The winner will be notified via email within three days of that date, provided they are proven to have a valid entry (as described above).

Not only is HP giving away a laptop, they also have cooked up an awesome deal for you to take advantage of! Take 30% off of the purchase of a customized HP Pavilion Notebook PC, configured at $1199.00 or greater at the HP Home and Home Office Store. Use coupon code: NBR49875. The offer excludes the HP HDX16t, HP Minis and all Compaq models. The offer is limited to the first 1800 coupons redeemed, and will become void after that. Only 1 redemption per person or address is allowed. The coupon is not valid with other promotions and restrictions apply. For complete conditions, see Coupon Information in the Customer Service section.


I gotta thank everyone at HP for their continued support, and all of the opportunities they keep bringing to our community. Good luck to everyone who chooses to enter!

Asus Eee PC Seashell Unboxing

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I keep telling you that you never really know what will happen on the live video feed. Sometimes I leave objects sitting on my desk for days on end, just to torment people! I have here an Asus Eee PC Seashell. It’s quite cool, since there are currently only 14 in existence! I opened the box… and found it empty!! No wonder it’s so light! Nahhhh, I’m only joking. I unboxed it without you all this time. It’s pretty cool looking though, isn’t it?

The Seashell boasts a 1.6GHz processor, a 160GB hard disk, and GMA graphics. The glossy, tapered edges of the 10-incher are just plain sexy. The Eee PC Seashell offers great user comfort and convenience with its 92% scaled keyboard, multi-touch touchpad and instant key (for quick access to Wi-Fi and the touchpad lock). The 10.1-inch LED-backlit display will allow you to work or travel in absolute comfort for hours on end. The nice 170GB storage will let you store anything and everything you need to while you travel.

There’s even a webcam built-in, as well as having a fairly decent integrated sound system. The battery has an average six hour life, which is pretty good! It’s so lightweight and small, it’s perfect to carry with you everywhere.

I can’t do a full-on review yet, but stay tuned – one will be coming in the near future! I can tell you that it not only looks and feels good… it runs really well, also!

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Asus Eee PC Seashell Netbook

Asus Eee PC Seashell Netbook

  • Genuine Windows® XP Home or GNU Linux
  • 10.1″ LED Backlight WSVGA Screen (1024×600) with Color-Shine (Glare-type)
  • Intel® Atom N280
  • WLAN 802.11b/g/n @2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth2.1 + EDR
  • Hybrid Storage
  • 160GB 2.5″ SATA II 5400RPM HDD
  • 10GB Eee Storage (Eee Storage service is complimentary for the first 18 months)
  • 1.3MP Webcam
  • Hi-Definition Audio CODEC
  • Stereo speaker
  • Digital Array Mic
  • 1 x Mini VGA Connector
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • 1 x LAN RJ-45
  • 2 x Audio Jack (Head Phone / Mic-in)
  • Card Reader: MMC/ SD(SDHC)
  • Slimmer, and eco-friendly Li-polymer Battery (~6 hrs)
  • 262mm(W) x 178mm(D) x 18mm~ 25.7mm(H)
  • 1.1Kg (2.42lbs)
  • White, Black, Pink, Blue, Sapphire Blue, Ruby Red

Inspire Yourself in Twelve Seconds

During my run through everything on the Web earlier today, I came across an excellent Lockergnome article: 12 Seconds of Inspiration. Dan talks in it about how what works to inspire one person won’t work on the next – which is absolutely true. When it comes to doing your job, writing a new blog post, or even cooking dinner – you have to find your method of inspiration. Dan mentions that one little trick of his is to have a daily inspirational quote delivered to his inbox each morning. What do you do when you need a little lift? Leave a comment and let me know.

Dan isn’t the only one putting good thoughts (and inspirations!) on our network. So many of you are blogging your thoughts, it’s hard to keep up with it all! Where do you find the inspiration?

Can Hardware Development be Crowdsourced?

Looks like the TechCrunch Tablet (the CrunchPad) is coming along nicely. It’s good to see that they’re giving it a shot, at least!

Even with the wide array of netbooks now available from major vendors, there seems to be a place for the CrunchPad – so long as the hardware is up to snuff. A $300 price point is a good one, but I’d be interested in seeing what kind of bezel design options are made available. Or will they be skinnable right off the line?

Maybe that’s what TechCrunch needs to look into: a Zazzle for hardware. Mind you, not every branded product is made of quality materials, but that’s where quality control is important.

Touch screens are also tricky – and battery life will be important to keep in mind as well. They’re going to have to address a wide array of engineering problems that no other netbook / tablet PC manufacturer has been able to solve.

Scoble applauds the way things came together for TechCrunch, testament to crowdsourcing. Well, I’ll tell you that I believe this effort is the exception – not the rule. Most crowdsourcing efforts – 99.9% of them – fail if key individuals aren’t completely drawn-in or compensated immediately. And the more complex the project, the more likely a crowdsourcing endeavor will FAIL. It’s difficult enough to do with software – but with hardware?!

I’m not saying that crowdsourcing projects is an exercise in folly, but if you’re not TechCrunch, I wouldn’t bank on it.

So, here’s to hoping the CrunchPad will be different – like, notably different beyond its inception and vision. What will make it stand out on a store shelf? What will continue to set it apart? What will make it truly better than the competition – which already does a horrible job playing the differentiation game.

I can honestly say that I remember Michael before TechCrunch was TechCrunch (and Scoble before “blog” was a word, for that matter). It’s good to see these true geeks on top.

HP Mini 1000 Unboxing and Review

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A Netbook is like a subset of a Notebook. They’re ultra-portable, relatively affordable, and they have decent processing power. A Notebook has more than enough power, but do you really need one? The HP Mini 1000 is good for doing word processing and any other tasks you may need to do on the road. It has 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 60GB Hard Drive, and a 3 Cell Lithium battery. It has a webcam and microphone built in, so that you can easily make use of VoIP clients when you need to.

Ponzi has a slightly different HP Mini, designed by the very uber awesome Vivienne Tam. Hers is red, with Peonies all over it. It’s cool looking, I suppose. I just prefer black. Mine has swirls all over the case, but they aren’t like overwhelming. They just add a touch of pizazz to it.

So anyway, back on track! The screen resolution is netbook-sized… 1024×600. The keyboard is great, with regular-sized keys. I’m quite happy with that. The HP Mini certainly does make a viable contender. HP is trying to think more along lifestyle lines when it comes to their hardware designs.

Some of the notes I’ve made just in the few hours I spent with it include that they’ve made a few engineering mistakes. The keys in the lower-left corner of the keyboard are out of order. A lot of desktop keyboards may not have the Function key.. and having it where it is on this machine will cause you to mis-type often. When you move between computers, you want it to be seamless, and the keyboard is a large part of that. We don’t have time to adapt to different keyboards all the time!

Another thing that I picked up on is on the trackpad in the middle – they put the buttons on either side (mouse buttons). It’s a little weird to use it in that way. Who knows… once I get used to it, I may like it. For now though, it is just odd.

Another thing to note… I don’t think HP is being very competitive on price. I bought the MSI Wind, and this one was sent to me as a review unit. The Wind has a few more features, yet the price is lower. Heck, the MSI Wind even has a 6 cell battery, so it lasts much longer than this HP Mini will.

HP is leading the charge when it comes to design. I know Ponzi’s review is likely going to be much different than mine. She’s been complaining for a long time about all computers looking the same. At least now, she doesn’t have that to worry about. Her Mini sure stands out from the crowd.

Email me if you know of another netbook that I should review and compare against both this HP Mini, and the MSI Wind.

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MSI Wind Mini Laptop Netbook Notebook Computer

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The MSI Wind Notebook that I have here in my hot little hand is very lightweight. It has the Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB of Ram, and a 160GB hard drive. Oh – did I mention I have the black one?

The MSI Wind offers many features that make this notebook a portable laptop PC. The 10-inch screen has a 1024 x 600 resolution, which allows you to view entire web pages while online. The Wind is also equipped with a webcam and microphone, allowing you to interact with friends, family or co-workers while on the go.

Of course, I put my Chris logo sticker on the back of it. You can grab one for yourself if you choose to have a cool-looking sticker on your netbook!

It comes with a 6-cell battery. This allows it to run for about six hours. There’s also a 9-cell available, if you need to have it run longer.

I’m pretty happy with this little Netbook. I wasn’t really in the market for one, until I read an article about a variety of Netbooks. This thing is very neat, actually. The keyboard is not full-sized, however it’s only about 20% smaller than a normal one. I don’t like the fact that keys like the period, comma and slash keys are smaller than the other keys… which makes me typo frequently. I don’t like that, as it makes me less productive.

There are many Netbooks in this price range, which all do the basics. I can get online with this one, I can do some processing with this one. It will do anything I actually need it to do. Generally speaking, I can do quite a bit for hours on end without having to charge it.

I really like the MSI Wind. It works well, and does more than I need it to do. It even sleeps well! Just shut the lid, and it’s out like a light.

So there you have it, the skinny on the new MSI Wind Netbook. Why not pick one up for yourself today?

MSI Wind Deals:

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What’s the Allure of these Netbooks?

I think I get it: these things are pretty darn tiny!

Understand, I’m completely happy with my Macbook 17″ notebook computer; even though it’s a bit heavy to lug around, it certainly gets the job done (with plenty of screen real estate to boot).

I still have my Asus Eee PC sitting here in my home office, although it’s currently not doing much more than displaying photos through Google’s photo screen saver. The system is generally underpowered for any given task beyond Web browsing or email, its keyboard is too small (even for MY fingers), and I was running out drive space after just a handful of Windows system updates. Nice, but not necessarily awesome for me. Too small.

After reading a few reviews of the MSI Wind U100, I decided to get one for myself. Apparently, they top the list of “hackintosh” netbooks, in terms of both driver AND community support. Of course, they’re still running Windows XP – an operating system that debuted almost a decade ago. A full review (video) is forthcoming, as I recorded it the other night. Verdict? Worth thinking about if you’re in the market for a netbook:

I also recommend reading the Mac OS X Netbook Compatibility Chart, and watching Running OS X on a Netbook – both of which are MSI Wind-friendly. msiwind.net appears to be the premiere community for conversations (legal or otherwise) regarding the hardware.