Notebook

Ubuntu Netbook Remix gets an interface overhaul

Posted on August 11, 2009. Filed under: Notebook, Tech News | Tags: |

Ubuntu netbook

The folks at Canonical are in the process of redesigning the user interface for Ubuntu Netbook Remix. UNR is basically a custom version of Ubuntu that includes optimizations for netbooks with Intel Atom processors as well as a desktop environment and program launcher designed for computers with small, low resolution displays.

The first version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix introduced a few key concepts. By default, all program windows opened up in full screen. And instead of a typical desktop and start menu approach, you had a list of application categories on the right side of the screen, program shortcuts with big icons in the middle, and a list of places on the right side.

The new version eliminates the toolbars on the right side of the screen to give you more space for program shortcuts. Instead, the places menu has been integrated with the right-side panel. There’s also a slightly refined color scheme, and it’s easier to add program shortcuts to your Favorites area.

The updated version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix should be ready in time for the launch of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala in October. You can get an early peek by downloading the pre-release version of the operating system. Make sure to select the ISO labeled “netbook remix.”

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Gigabyte T1028X touchscreen netbook quietly debuts

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Gadget News, Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Chris Davies, Slashgear

Gigabyte have quietly updated their convertible touchscreen netbook range with the T1028X, a slightly re-fettled version of the T1028M they announced back at CeBIT 2009.  Among the key changes are a switch in processor, moving up to the Atom N280 1.66GHz CPU paired with a faster FSB, and a higher-resolution display, now running at 1,366 x 768.

gigabyte_t1028x-540x449

That latter change will demand a trade-off between fitting more on-screen at any one time – important when you’re dealing with a mere 10.1-inch panel – and touch-accuracy.  The T1028X also gets the 6-cell 54wh battery pack as standard, and keeps the optional integrated HSPA of the original T1028M.

There’s also an ExpressCard 34 slot, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard-drive, while Bluetooth and WiFi b/g are both standard.  Unfortunately, Gigabyte have also seen fit to raise their prices with the new machine; no sign of an MRSP, but the T1028X is available online in Europe for around €497.70 excluding tax ($702).

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What Is The Real Reason Dell Is Discontinuing 12-inch Netbooks?

Posted on August 9, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Michael Arrington, Tech crunch

Dell has retired their 12-inch Intel Atom-powered netbooks, they said today. The official reason – “It really boils down to this: for a lot of customers, 10-inch displays are the sweet spot for netbooks…Larger notebooks require a little more horsepower to be really useful.”dell netbook

That makes absolutely no sense, since it requires no additional hardware horsepower to power a 12-inch netbook v. a 10-inch netbook. The only difference is power usage from the bigger screen. And the two extra inches more than makes up for the shorter battery life or slightly heavier device from packing in more batteries. It only costs a few more dollars to build a 12-inch v. a 10-inch netbook, and users get a bigger screen with the same performance.

In fact, Intel’s official position on 10-inch netbooks is almost exactly the opposite of Dell’s. Intel says “If you’ve ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size–it’s fine for an hour. It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.”

So why is Dell really discontinuing 12-inch netbooks?

Probably a couple of reasons. First, Intel doesn’t like 12-inch netbooks because they are deep into dual core territory, where Intel has much healthier profit margins. For casual users a 12-inch netbook with an Atom chip works just fine, and they are buying these devices instead of more expensive dual core machines. Intel has put pressure on OEMs to build netbooks that have 10 inch or smaller screens.

This includes direct pricing pressure – Intel prices Atom chips based on the size of the device screen. Anything over 10 inches is priced higher than devices with 10 inch or smaller screens. We think this is an inappropriate way to price Atom chips.

Dell may also be seeing customers who would otherwise buy a dual-core 13-inch or 14-inch Inspiron choosing the lower priced (and less profitable) 12 inch netbook instead. That’s something they aren’t going to be happy about.

Netbooks should be getting bigger, not smaller. That’s what users want.

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Verizon readying subsidized HP laptops, Hub 2

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

vzw1000sm

We just got a pair of small-but-juicy Verizon rumors from a very reliable tipster: first, we hear that HP and Big Red are working together on subsidized WWAN-enabled laptops for launch in Q2. Exactly what machines will be involved can’t be confirmed, but if we had our guess we’d say Big Red’s got a cheap Mini 1000 on a two-year contract in the works, since these so-called “netbooks” are all the rage these days. Second, a updated version of the charming-but-questionably-useful Hub “landline killer” home phone is due out in the second half of the year, and VZW’s apparently retargeting it a little: we’re told it’ll be more upscale and boast even more features. And here we thought that internet radio widget was gettin’ all crazy. No word on pricing for any of this stuff, but we’d bet we’ll find out more soon.

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Dell Adamo to arrive tomorrow: $1,999

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

adamobox

Not a ton of details to work with here, but Dell’s confirmed to the hometown Austin American Statesman that the 13-inch Adamo we saw at CES will indeed launch tomorrow and be priced at $1,999. As expected, the machine will be just the first in an entire line of high-end Adamo-branded machines, but we don’t know if Dell has anything else in store right away — hopefully we’ll find out more soon, as the 13-inch version is due out in 24 countries including the states on March 26th. Ballsy move launching a premium line in the shadow of Apple’s iPhone 3.0 event, but you know we’ll bring you all the details as soon as we have ’em.

Update: Well, that was fast — the Adamo is apparently already floating around SXSW in Austin. No specs yet, but that’s a picture of the box up there. Yeah, it’s hot. Check out a bunch more pics by Brian Solis here.

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Dell Adamo announced: 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, $1,999

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

adamo

After months of drawn-out buildup, the Adamo endgame has played out pretty damn fast: we had pricing and box pictures leak just about an hour ago, and now Dell’s officially announced the first machine in the Adamo line, the 13.4-inch model we saw at CES. Sadly, it sounds like beauty is only aluminum-skin deep here: that hot little case holds a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo U9300 with integrated Intel X4500 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, and it all weighs four pounds — a pound more than the MacBook Air. Not exactly a barnstormer, especially for $1,999 — it looks like you’re spending the majority of that cash on high-end design flourishes like a magnetic cover that hides the Microsoft-required Windows authenticity sticker. Hopefully this thing will be joined by some higher-powered siblings when it arrives on March 26th, keep your fingers crossed. Two videos and the full release after the break.

Update: Looks like CNET scored one early — check out their hands-on here, and a pic of that magnetic cover here.

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Dell lets Adamo 9 and Studio One 22 slip

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Thomas Ricker, Engadget

dell-adamo-9-studio-one-22-highlight

In another of those extra-special slip-ups peculiar to Dell, we get the unofficial announcement of a pair of new computers courtesy of Dell’s own support documents. This time, it’s the Dell Adamo 9 and Studio One 22. From that bit of info we can deduce a 9-inch, ultra-glam, ultra-portable laptop carrying Dell’s luxury Adamo brand as well as a 22-inch version of Dell’s sexy Studio One all-in-one PC. Pretty sweet by comparison to the relative heft of the just announced 13-inch Adamo laptop and the tiny display on Dell’s 19-inch Studio One. Good times.

Update: Blogeee.net spotted the Adamo 9 on the compatibility list for the Dell Wireless 5530 card. In other words, the Adamo 9 will offer both internal HSPA data and GPS lock as an optional update.

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MSI Wind U110 Eco doesn’t have ATI graphics

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

msi_wind_u110_eco_portada1

Well, so much for that: our friends at Laptop have discovered that the ATI Mobility Radeon HD3200 listed on the Wind U110’s spec sheet was a typo, and that the machine’s 1.6GHz Atom Z530 is actually paired with the dramatically more boring Intel GMA 500 graphic chipset. That makes the claimed nine-hour battery life slightly easier to believe, even if it is super-disappointing — looks like we’re still waiting on that dream netbook.

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Lenovo leaks Pocket Yoga mystery netbook pics

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Joseph L. Flatley, Engadget

lenovopocketyoga-teaserlg4

The mysterious netbook that Engadget Chinese hepped us to from the floor of Lenovo’s Beijing office now has a name — if little else. Images have surfaced on the company’s photostream with this bad boy in a number of compromising positions, showing off its convertible design and touchscreen stylus capabilities. Tantalizing, yes? That’s it for details, but be sure to hit up that gallery for those red hot pics.

Update: The mystery is solved, folks. According to Johnson Li, the director of Lenovo’s Beijing Innovation Center, the device is a two-year-old laptop design concept that features a leather exterior and detachable keyboard. You know what? We still want one.

lenovopocketyoga-teaserlg5

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Mouse Computer unveils its Dual-Core Atom Nettop

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Kamal DS, Gadgetmix

mouse-nettop

The Mouse Computers have added a new product to their netbook/nettop range, a Dual Core Atom Nettop named EGPA33DR32XP. It uses the mighty Atom 330 processor with 2GB of RAM, 320GB HDD and uses XP Home as its OS. Mouse Computers have also thrown in a super DVD drive to make the package even more attractive. Price? It is going to cost you less than 400 euros. For the common man who does not do heavy video editing, this nettop can do everything you throw at it.

Most of us (except heavy gamers) use our computers for basic web-surfing; for managing media and office-editing. For such people, these nettops, especially the Dual-Core Atom processor ones are more than enough to do the job. The obvious question that immediately comes into my mind is: where does the market for cheap PC go from here?

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MSI Wind U110 Eco rocks ATI graphics, 9-hour battery life

Posted on March 16, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Nilay Patel, Engadget

msi_wind_u110_eco_portada

Looks like MSI’s trying some new things with its next generation of netbooks — instead of the expected Atom N280 or the NVIDIA Ion platform, the new Wind U110 ECO pairs a 1.6GHz Atom Z530 and Intel’s traditionally MID-oriented Menlow chipset with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD3200 to achieve nine hours of battery life. Of course, it remains to be seen what that number translates to in the real world and we’ve got questions about performance, but it’s an interesting mashup of laptop, netbook, and MID parts — let’s hope pricing stays firmly in netbook territory.

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AMD proposes new laptop battery life metrics, Intel is like “whatevs”

Posted on March 15, 2009. Filed under: Notebook, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By Darren Murph, Engadget

1000he-battery1

AMD has struggled of late to produce anything akin to a “good idea,” but we’ve got to give a serious high five to senior VP and CMO Nigel Dessau on this one. While pumping gas one day and thinking about the low / high MPG ratings on vehicles, he began to wonder why laptops are being left out of that scheme. Handsets have talk time / standby time, PMPs have separate longevity ratings for audio and video — so why on Earth are we generally given just a single figure for laptops? Testing has shown that almost always the quoted figures from laptop makers aren’t even close to what users get in the real world, so Dessau is suggesting we implement a “guide rail” system that explains a maximum and minimum life expectancy. As for Intel‘s take? “There are many ways to measure battery life. We believe the best way to determine how to measure battery life is by making proposals and debating it in industry consortiums and not via a blog post.” Oh Intel, could you possibly be any more corporate?

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HP Pavilion dv6t laptop gets a quiet upgrade

Posted on March 15, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Donald Melanson, Engadget

hp-dv6t1

HP just dished out a quiet upgrade to its dv7t gaming laptop last month, and it now looks like it’s done the same with its slightly more modest Pavilion dv6t, which gets some sprucing up inside and out. That includes your choice of 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4530 or 1GB HD 4650 graphics, which have edged out the previous NVIDIA options, although the rest of the specs seem to have remained largely untouched, including the usual range of Core 2 Duo processors, up to 8GB of RAM, a max 500GB hard drive, and an unfortunately lackluster 1366 x 768 resolution on that 16-inch display. You can also now get the laptop in your choice of Espresso Black or Moonlight White color schemes, although there seems to be a $25 premium over the $679.99 base price for the latter option (pictured above).

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Packard Bell drops “dot” netbook in favor of new

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , , |

By Donald Melanson, Engadget

packard-bell-dot

Well, it looks like Packard Bell’s “dot” netbook just didn’t capture that trademark Packard Bell flavor the company was looking for, as it has now officially ditched the netbook in favor of a new, as yet unannounced model. As you may recall, the dot was essentially just an original Acer Aspire One in disguise, with it packing an 8.9-inch display, an Atom N270 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, and an optional 3G module, among other standard fare. Unfortunately, Packard Bell doesn’t seem to be saying anything at all about the new model just yet, with it only going so far as to tell Pocket-lint that there will be “some changes made to the brand.”

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MSI VX600

Posted on March 12, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , |

By Brian, Mobilewhack

msi-vx600

MSI unveils another great laptop for mobile computing enthusiasts with the MSI V600. Boasting of an ECO engine, this latest laptop offering from MSI promises to be a powerful notebook that any mobile computing individual would love to have.

Specs:

• Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
• SIS 672DX+SIS 968 Chipset
• 15.4″ 1280×800 WXGA Display
• ATi Mobility Radeon HD3410 Graphic Card
• DDR2 533/667Mhz Memory
• 10/100Mbps LAN
• 802.11 b/g, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN
• 160/250/320 GB HDD
• Physical Dimension: 358 x 259 x 27-33mm

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Linpus demos uber klein mystery netbook

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , |

By Tim Stevens, Engadget

mystery-netbook

Like a little intrigue with your morning Joe? Check out the video below of this sleek little unidentified netbook on display at CeBIT last week at the Linpus booth, found by the same excitable bloke who brought us a glimpse of the company’s Linux Lite OS. The hardware sounds to fit the standard Atom-based mold as the rest, adding 3G wireless for true portability, and is said to be built by Quanta, the company rumored to be on tap to build Apple’s supposed netbook. Does that mean it could look something like this? We doubt it — but wouldn’t be surprised if it, too had a glossy screen.

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UMID M1 mbook now less close to US release

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Notebook, Tech News | Tags: , |

By Darren Murph, Engadget

umid-m1

Less close, further away — take your pick. The bottom line is that the UMID M1 mbook that we’ve been secretly swooning over for weeks now may be further away from a US release than any of us Yanks would like. According to new intel gathered by Pocketables, a Stateside release of the MID is still planned, but it’s apt to ship later than previously expected. Furthermore, the units already prancing about in other corners of the globe aren’t likely at all to support US 3G bands, so importing one won’t fill that hole in your soul the way a WWAN-enabled MID should. Better hurry up and deliver the goods UMID, else we’ll be forced to buy a rivaling unit and hack it up to suit our needs. Don’t say we won’t.

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Apple Netbook Gets Confirmed?

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook | Tags: , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack

apple-netbook

It was only yesterday that we brought to your attention the fact that there’s a new rumor in town saying that a netbook is going to arrive later this year, despite Apple’s previous assurances that such a thing won’t happen.

And today the Dow Jones Newswire kind of confirmed the rumor. According to its sources, an Apple touchscreen netbook is supposed to be launched in the second half of the year. It will have a 10-inch display from Wintek and Quanta will make it. The interested parties failed to officially comment. Are we to understand from their silence that Apple is indeed launching the new device this year?

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Lenovo’s VAIO P Reserve Edition?

Posted on March 11, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , |

By Thomas Ricker, Engadget

lenovo_vp1x

What you’re looking at is a genuine Lenovo device taken by a trusted source from inside of the Beijing IBM headquarters. The details sent to Engadget Chinese are brief so we can’t tell you if it’s a working model or not. Nevertheless, it bears all the hallmarks of a ThinkPad Reserve Edition with just a tad of Vaio P thrown in for taste… so to speak. A few more hurried shots at the break.

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Lenovo’s 16-inch IdeaPad Y650 reviewed

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , |

By Darren Murph

lenovo

Lenovo’s curiously cute IdeaPad Y650 has been shipping out to multimedia lovers everywhere for just under a month now, but if you’ve been holding tight until a legitimate review hit the tubes, here’s your sign. Computer Shopper managed to get ahold of one of these 16-inch beauties, and while it was disappointed in the lack of a Blu-ray player and 1080p screen option, it generally had positive things to say. The screen, though limited in resolution (1,366 x 768), was deemed “brilliant,” and the gesture-enabled touch pad was also a joy to use. It was found to be “surprisingly light” for a machine this large, and the attractive pricing made it all the more, um, attractive. All in all, it seems the Y650 is a solid choice for those looking for decent power, good looks and a large panel, but gamers and high-def junkies should probably turn their eyes elsewhere.

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Dell Inspiron Mini 10 gets reviewed

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Donald Melanson, Engadget

dell-mini

Dell’s Mini 10 netbook certainly seems to occupy the sweet spot between the company’s Mini 9 and Mini 12 offerings but, according to Laptop’s review of the netbook, there may be just a few too many trade-offs for some folks. On the upside, the Mini 10 does compare favorably to most other 10-inch netbooks in terms of size and weight, and the keyboard is actually a tad larger than the one on the Mini 12, with it measuring about 0.3-inches deeper and extending right to the edge of the system. Unfortunately, Laptop found that the reworked touchpad was quite a bit more finicky than the one’s on its counterparts, and Dell’s decision to hold back on some features like a six-cell battery means that it doesn’t quite give you the same bang for the buck as something like the Samsung NC10 or ASUS Eee PC 1000HE. Still undecided? Then hit up the read link below for the full rundown.

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ASUS showcases HD-minded Eee Top ET2203 and ET2003

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Darren Murph, Engadget.com

asus

Amongst many, many other things at CeBIT, ASUS also found time to showcase two new Eee Top all-in-one PCs, though it completely failed to make any deal of it at all. In fact, it didn’t even bother hosting up specifications placards, leaving us curious as to what these offer over the existing (and smaller) Eee Top machines. Aside from boasting 22- and 20-inch panels (respectively), NotebookItalia noticed that the ET2203 and ET2003 both included an HDMI socket and a Blu-ray optical drive, not to mention a natural affinity towards kitchens. We’ll keep an ear to the ground for more on these in the coming weeks, but for now, you’ll have to let ye old imagination handle the hard work.

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5 things Apple could be doing with their new touch screens

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By John Biggs, Crunchgear.com

appletouch

Now that the Internet is blowing out a kidney over news coming out of Asia that Apple bought up a bunch of touchscreens, I thought it might be nice to posit what Cupertino has in store for those babies.

The report then names Quanta Computer as the manufacturer “of Apple’s new netbook.” Here’s what we think could be happening.

1. HD iPod Touches – A bigger iPod Touch could be in the cards, especially with the move towards HD content in iTunes. Add in a bigger processor and you could be dealing with what amounts to a Newton 2.0.

2. Apple Netbooks – This is a bit hard to stomach simply because its not in Apple’s best interests to build a loss leader. However, given the popularity of the Mac Mini as a gateway Mac you could see a ~$500 laptop coming out sooner than later. Perhaps the touchscreen would allow for easier interaction, something important for a smaller-sized laptop?

3. A touchscreen MacBook/MacBook Pro – This is a considerably harder to accept. What could Apple do to the interface to make a touchscreen a compelling addition? Unless it was a convertible tablet it sounds far-fetched.

4. An Apple Tablet – Apple doesn’t do something until it knows it can do it well – and then it owns the space. Perhaps the time is ripe for a MacBook stuffed into a tablet. There are many markets where tablets are popular and offering something as thin and light as the air but with no keyboard might make sense especially due to the commoditization of netbooks.

5. Everyone is wrong – This is the most likely scenario. OEMs don’t want to piss off Apple. For Wintek and Quanta to admit they’re building hardware for Apple takes a lot of balls or a lot of stupidity. In Apple’s world, loose-lipped OEMs usually get the beat down and Apple can’t afford to mess up the launch of a low-cost netbook because it would cannibalize the sales of their current wares.

What think you?

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Google to Make Its Own Netbook?

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Google, Notebook | Tags: , , |

By Chris, Mobilewhack.com

google-netbook

What better way to start the week than with rumors about netbooks? Besides an Apple netbook which is said to be in the works, a Google netbook is also rumored.

And it’s all in the words of Google’s CEO Erick Schmidt:

What’s particularly interesting about netbooks is the price point. Eventually, it will make sense for operators and so forth to subsidize the use of netbooks so they can make services revenue and advertising revenue on the consumption. That’s another new model that’s coming.

Are we going to see an Android-based Google netbook soon? Is Google planning to make some extra money off the netbook business? What would you choose between an Apple or a Google netbook?

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Apple Netbook to Arrive in Q3?

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Notebook | Tags: , , , , |

By ChrisMobilewhack.com

apple-netbook2

The Apple netbook has been denied by Steve Jobs and Co. more than once already as such a device didn’t fit with Apple’s view. We’ve had various rumors and leaked images too but Apple has never shown any interest in the netbook market.

That’s why this might be just another rumor. According to the Commercial Times and DigiTimes, Apple will release a netbook in Q3. Wintek is said to supply the thouch-panels while Quanta computer will assemble the netbook. What will it be called? iNetbook? MacBook Mini? We’ll believe it when we see it…

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