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The Eee-zine, Issue #001
February 01, 2009

Welcome to the first edition of The Eee-zine!

Editors note: Thank you for signing up to the Eee-zine, the inhouse ezine for www.mini-laptops-and-notebooks.com. We hope you enjoy the following email. We endevour to send out The Eee-zine on the first Sunday of each month.

We welcome you to email us at: editor@mini-laptops-and-notebooks.com


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What's included this month

> News > Ladies laptops for the coming season > Apple and mini laptops > iPhone vs. Netbook > Bargain Bin > What can mobile broadband do for you? > Netbook buying guide > One Laptop Per Child and Our Vision



News in Netbooks

HEADLINE NEWS: Sony unveils the new VAIO P series “lifestyle pc”

At last, a Sony mini laptop is here, the Sony VAIO P Series. Although not in the form some originally expected, an adapted Via Openbook, the Sony VAIO P series has all the size and weight credentials that a netbooks should have. It weighs a minuscule 638g, that’s around two thirds the weight of the original netbook; the Asus Eee PC 701. Like the heavenly thin MacBook Air, the P-series is also under 2cm thick at 19.8mm and only “slightly larger than an office envelope.”

It comes with a wave of new features including Windows Vista, 128GB of Solid State Drive storage and a high 1600x768 resolution widescreen. Other features include 3G Mobile Broadband, webcam, inbuilt GPS and more.

It comes out this month with a hefty RRP of £849.

>>> Check out our main article on the new Sony Lifestyle PC

Official launch at CES


Dell makes Inspiron Mini 12

An extension to the somewhat successful Inspiron Mini 9 range, the Mini 12 takes netbooks to the 12 inch screen size category, and directly competing with dual-core powered notebooks. The good news is that the Mini 12 has all the keys unlike the smaller model and also is capable of running Vista.

Netbooks outsell iPhones in 2008, but won’t save the computer slump

Netbooks have outsold Apples revolutionary iPhone over the course of 2008, an estimated 5.7 million netbooks over 4.7 million iPhones. But despite its massive sales, it won’t stop computer sales overall taking a dip in the current economic climate.

£99 netbook from Elonex hits the shelves in Next

Elonex have brought out a £99 netbook being sold in Next. We're yet to investigate...



Ladies laptops for the coming season

HP mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition

As the ever important February 14th approaches, women are increasingly in need of satisfaction. Within the mini laptop market overall, clear efforts to support this niche have been made. Female fashionistas want both computers and style. Here are some ideas: -

HP mini 1000 – Vivienne Tam Edition Special edition version of the excellent consumer netbook Asus Eee PC S101 Stylish browns and blacks, smooth curves and a quality finish make this netbook far more appealing to the eye.

Acer Aspire One This affordable netbook comes in a rather unsubtle pink guise, but is perfectly suitable for girly girls.



Apple turns back on netbook boom

Mini laptops are one of the fasting growing sectors of the computing industry, yet one of the industry leaders has turned its back on the small, cheap and light models claiming that it’s "hardware that's much less powerful than what customers want," with "cramped keyboards" and "small displays."

Whether Apple is being perfectly serious about netbooks or not is a heated debate. Some argue that they’re merely paving the rode for a superb MacBook (that is Apples line of notebook computers) that is both small and portable. Others argue that it would detract from sales of its new touchscreen iPhones and iPod touches since they have similar features like wifi connectivity and simple processing.

Regardless, rumours have been circulating about a potential touchscreen ‘netbook-type’ device, essentially an enlarged iPhone chassis with a size of around 7-9 inches (compared with the iPhones 3.5 inches) and Mac operating system.




Netbooks vs. iPhone

Everyone knows what an iPhone is. It has been at the centre of technology buzz since it was released. The latest variant, the iPhone 3G comes with 3G mobile broadband and combines with Apples Safari internet browser. It combines 3 consoles, a phone, a music player and a internet browsing device.

But it shares many similar functions to a mini laptop; the question is which is better?

Turning on

Both have a simple on button but time to take to load up varies. With Linux, the time can be as short as 15 seconds, although Windows XP will take longer. The iPhone will take around 20-25 seconds from turning on to being ready to use.

>>> Winner is this category: Netbook

Typing

Typing on both isn’t the same as on a desktop, but the netbook still has the edge here. It has a full qwerty keyboard rarely less than 80% the size of a full size keyboard. It takes practice to type quickly on the iPhones 3.5” touchscreen – I find it fastest with two thumbs, but accuracy is compromised. If you need to be accurate, using the corner of your finger helps. Still, it’s difficult, especially when you’ve got a protective case on to stop scratching the back.

>>> Winner is this category: Netbook

Browsing the net

Apple safari as its limitations, but the version on the iPhone is more than adequate. Still, the Mozilla Firefox or Windows Internet Explorer are capable of viewing a lot more and it working. You can surf easier on netbooks, fill in forms quicker and open more windows.

>>> Winner is this category: Netbook

Communications

The iPhone was essentially built entirely as an application for communication. Netbooks are designed for another role. As a phone, it would seemingly have the upper hand on communications, what with it’s 3G internet and wifi. Netbooks don’t generally come as standard with 3G, but wifi is standard. The rise of Skype and other internet phone companies make the netbook very competitive – but it would look a bit strange talking into your microphone of your mini laptop on your typical commute

>>> Winner is this category: iPhone

Portability

The iPhone is easily small enough to fit in a pocket, so perhaps is an easy winner here. Still, most of us carry a bag or something similar around with us, which a netbook can easily slip into. The new Sony VAIO P Series can easily slip into a jacket pocket.

>>> Winner is this category: iPhone

Cost

Netbooks typically cost between £200-300, whilst your unofficially unlocked iPhone will cost between £350-400 depending on where you want to buy or free on a £45 per month, 18 month contract with O2 (so £1800). You can only but the official factory unlocked iPhones in countries where it is illegal to sell locked phones like Belgium, New Zealand, Italy, Australia, France, Germany and Singapore. Officially unlocked iPhones will set you back around £500 – and the price keeps rising as the pound weakens.

Overall: Netbook wins



How Can Mobile Broadband Work For You?

Broadband was a breath of fresh air for people used to using dial up Internet connections. It offered a whole new world of Internet usage. Downloading music and streaming videos became a thing of ease and it absolutely transformed consumer’s Internet usage. The next step was Internet access wherever you have a laptop and mobile modem. That next step was UK mobile broadband. It uses the mobile phone networks to provide customers with a high speed Internet connection that can be accessed with their laptops or netbooks.

The UK mobile networks had a huge bidding war a few years ago for the next generation 3G licences. Part of the usage of the 3G networks is the ability to provide high speed mobile Internet. It is possible to access these services with simply a USB dongle and a netbook or laptop. A great advantage is that there is no requirement for customers to also have a phone line. This removes the worry of moving house and is a great option for students.

USB Internet access also offers flexibility of working environment. It may be that you want to work in a café or in the park. It also offers the option of working on the train.

Portable Internet access can offer speeds of up to 7.2Mbps, but this varies from operator to operator. Vodafone currently offer the fastest speeds available. Most operators offers speeds around 3.6Mbps but connections can be affected by your location. Many of the operator websites offer the ability to check the potential speeds in your postcode area.

It is also possible to get a free netbook or laptop with the best mobile broadband packages. Some of them even have mobile modems integrated into the unit. This can add to the convenience of a netbook.



One Laptop Per Child

The One laptop Per Child foundation is a cause in line with future thinking. At mini-laptops-and-notebooks.com, we believe in education and its role in the future, bringing knowledge and new skillsets. Education however isn't so freely available in some countries.

In third world countries where aid gets poured in, is that really a sustainable, long term answer? Can we keep giving the solution, instead of giving the oppurtunity to the locals to come up with a solution. Whilst aid can and often is a necessity, how about "giving" education - and if so, how?

Mini laptops, in particular the XO laptop is a very viable, purpose built solution to this problem. It's robust, cheap and intuitive. So we’re throwing our weight behind it too, supporting this drive to educate children in less fortunate positions.


Thank you for reading The Eee-zine!

NEXT MONTH

> The £99 from Elonex > Our vision with One Laptop Per Child > Full review of the new Sony VAIO P Series > Latest industry news

If you enjoyed this ezine, please forward it to your friends and contacts.

All the best,

Ed Fry

www.mini-laptops-and-notebooks.com

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