Tag Archives: netbook

PC Makers Considering Android for Netbooks

Here’s a link to the article.  I have a netbook with Window’s XP, but I’m not beholden to XP.   I can’t install anything like Office on my netbook because it’s too much of a resource hog and required installation from a DVD drive.  However the basic version of MS Office that comes with the laptop is fine for the things I do on it.

What I do need with respect to my netbook is the ability to get on the Internet and to view whatever parts of the Internet I desire.  On my iPhone my current limitation is Flash —  but that more of a problem with Adobe than anyone else.  My feeling is as long as the browser works well, I’m golden since I will most likely used web-based software because a netbook doesn’t have much on board storage.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that netbooks will be treated as the lowest-end computer.  I did witness over the holidays, many financially pinched people considering a netbook as their first PC purchase or as a replacement for an ancient computer that was too old to allow access to the Internet.  When I think about this user, I really don’t know what’s best.  They may be used to “ancient versions” of software or they may be computer illiterate.  This tends to make me think, the simpler the better.  But when I consider which is easier to use, my PC or my iPhone, I would have to say they are about the same since the iPhone mimics a PC experience.  In other words, to successfully use most mobile devices beyond basic dialing phone numbers, there is an expectation of computer literacy.  Thinking in this vein, does the OS matter?  No, just as long as there’s a big clear “Internet” button,  links to do basic things like calendars and view images, and the presentation is professional.   This is most important because I think past attempts at Internet appliances failed because the interface design “looked down” on potential customers (the young, the elderly, and the computer illiterate).  It has to look like a real PC and it has to function like a real PC.

For the more savvy user, I think speed is the key. If Android turns out to be the speedier OS that allows similar functionality and software selection to PC and smartphones, then I think Android will be a winner.  I hope, though, that Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels and are, instead, working dilligently on a Windows-lite for netbooks.  It’ll be a tough fight once the cell phone makers enter the fray.   However, this competition will be good for everyone because it will force innovation.  I’m looking forward to it.

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Screen Rotation on HP Mini 1000

I finally got some time to play with the settings on my Mini 1000.  The rotate display function can be found in the graphics/display user interface.  I did rotate the screen 90-degrees and, indeed, what was on the screen the rotated (in the most literal sense).  However, the rotate function is not integrated.  The touch pad does not rotate to match and Windows and the Firefox do not display in a user friendly fashion.  The side window frame slider bar doesn’t move, so in the 90-deg state, the slider bar is at the bottom of the screen.  Also, the programs do not resize to match the screen ratio.  So, I had to slide the screen left and right to see the whole window and the window did not span the entire height of the display.  I was quite disappointed, because it seems to me it would be easy to rotate the screen and then apply the screen ratio, like you would when choosing a different a screen resolution.  As for the touch pad, rescale that translation.  Haha, well, these situations could remedied with graphics and touch pad driver updates.  I look forward to them, I hope …

Santa Delivered — HP Mini 1000

I guess I was nice this year because Santa delivered :). I didn’t get the Vivienne Tam Edition, but I did get the HP Mini 1000 Mini-notebook with the 60GB harddrive and bluetooth connectivity. So far I’m surprised by the power of this little notebook. I am able to play standard definition avi files on it.

We’ve place the little notebook in the kitchen next to the telephone. This turns out to be a perfect place for it. So far I set up e-mail, I used it today to look up recipes for Christmas dinner and I researched external laptop sound cards for our entertainment laptop. It was convenient to have the little notebook on the counter so I could browse while waiting on food to cook. The small footprint also it made it fit nicely on the little bit of corner space we have where our phone is.

A few things about the notebook that you may want to know before purchasing. It is strictly wireless. There is no Ethernet port for a wired connection. It comes with Windows XP installed so you don’t have to worry about the little laptop barfing on Vista. I went ahead and moved the windows bar to the left side and had it auto-hide. I found this to be a good use of the small screen. It also came installed with Microsoft Works, which has everything you need for home and student use — word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, and a calendar. The keyboard takes a little getting used to. True the keyboard is about the same size of a standard keyboard, but some of the keys do double duty when combined with the function key.

I don’t recommend this little laptop as a main computer. I think you are far better getting a full-sized laptop if this is your first or only computer. It is a great secondary and travel laptop. It does basic computing and supports music and standard definition videos nicely. I also recommend getting the 10-in form factor. Web pages display nicely and are readable. It also passed the online manga test ;p. Now if only I could rotate the image on the screen like an iPod touch or the iPhone so I could get a full page of manga or a book on the screen. The screen is about the same size as a paperback book and the arrows keys are in the right place currently for page flipping ;). Hint, hint … it could be fudged with a software update … Though, the hinge doesn’t allow the device to open the full 180-degrees … maybe the next gen …???

HP Leaks it’s Mini Netbook

So cute! Now this is one way to do a mini-notebook.  Filling the entire space with keyboard makes it look like there was an effort to make the keyboard as large as possible to accomodate chubby fingers.  I think this also contrast with the smallness of the device, giving it that cute appearance — much like big eyes on a face.   I would love to see a follow-on with a screen that has very little border and that is one uninterrupted smooth and shiny surface.  No wasted space — I think that would look cool.  I also like the shiny lid.  If it’s like my big laptop, then the HP logo lights up on the back when the notebook is powered on.  The rumor is that the screen is 10-in.  It looks like it has a width heavy aspect ratio, which kinda concerns me because the menu bars of most programs eat up a lot of space along the top and bottom of the screen.  I wonder if there is a way to customize the presentation such that these menu bars run along the side, giving the viewing area a more natural look.  Well, I know you can move the main windows bar into and vertical postion.  I can’t wait to see both this laptop and the other new mini-notes in the stores this holiday season.

Dell’s 12-in Netbook

Here’s a preview from the folks at Crave.  The styling looks like nothing special, but I do like the 12-in size.  I am one of those people who complain that anything below ~11-in is too small to see and to type on.  I would like it, though, if the little PC had some charming styling cues — something that would make me say “this laptop is adorable.”  (I’m still craving somthing reminencent of a stylish or a fun purse.)  This looks very utilitarian.  As for the specs and the price, it sounds decent for a travel laptop.

Intel's Netbook

Quite honestly, I'm not sure if I get this cheap, wimpy notebook push.
1.  A computer needs some oomph to have a good Internet experience.
2.  I question whether a PC is a priority in a “developing” nation.  It sounds altruistic and utopian, but what's the practicality of it?
3.  Developing nations and Asia are bypassing PCs for mobiles because a mobile infrastructure is easier and cheaper to deploy and because mobiles fit better in their lifestyles.
4.  Why would I want a crappy little computer as a secondary when I can get a nice mobile for about the same price? 

Like one of the commentors to this article, I also paused a bit when they said this computer will use SSD harddrive — at $300 ???  Maybe a few years on down the road.

Eitherway, I see that these cheap laptops are a very “US” way of thinking.  I really don't get it.  Besides, I and any school or developing nation can build a decent barebones computer for ~$300.

Somebody please explain this to me …