Web Servers

Web Pads

(Demand without supply?)

Copyright 2010 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2010 Sep 02
Windows C++ Programming Notes





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One of these days someone is going to wake up and really release a nice little web pad. I would like to be able to surf my favorite sites while laying down on the couch, or reclining in the garden. I would like to be able to compose and send small emails, or else do a small amount of file editing - an on-screen touch keyboard or graffiti-like input system would do (for example take to jot down some notes on what I have just read or to edit one of my web pages to add a useful new link). I would like to be able to access other machines on my PC network to look at local files (but this is less important). It would be nice to be able to run VNC on it to check on other machines, or see what's going on at work.

Tablet PCs sound like they would make good WebPads, but they are far too expensive. Even the manufacturers think this is the case, see Slashdot for further discussion.

In Nov'05 Nokia started shipping their 770 Internet Tablet device, by Jan'06 they were reporting that they had underestimated demand and there was now a 2 week wait for these. So now at least one major manufacturer of mobile devices realizes that people do want to buy a basic web-surfing device that is something less than a laptop. In Feb'06 news of a followup to the 770 appeared. The Washington Post does not like the 770 very much. In June'06 a new version of the Nokia 770 may become available. Looks like the new hardware version is not going to appear, rather a software upgrade is in the works. Lots of information on the Nokia 770 can found on nokia770.com.

In early Mar'06 Microsoft announced the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) platform (the Intel design for this is here), which has some specs that are pretty similar to the Nokia 770. Engadget has a good collection of articals from CEBIT. Looks like the first devices for this will be from ASUS, Samsung and Founder and that at least one will start shipping in March. Some initial reviews of these are not impressed. SmartCaddie will be another device. Another perspective on this whole Origami thing. The SONY VAIO UX Micro PC may be an alternative to the UMPC. The VAIO UX gets disassembled. A preview of the VAIO UX. In May'07 Intel stopped promoting the UMPC in favor of the less capable (and hopefully less expensive) Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform. And in the future Intel is looking at up to a 20 fold reduction in power consumption for these devices.

How small a PC is too small?

My wish list:

  • 1024x768 true colour display, although 800x600 would do if there was no choice. Of course 1280x1024 would be great, but now you are probably talking about a web pad too large to hand hold - but it might make for a great desktop replacement that you could carry along to meetings easily.
  • an x86 type processor with performance equal to or better than a Celeron at 400MHz, this is not much, but for this sort of application it is really all you need. I would be willing to trade off 100MHz in exchange for longer battery life or reduced weight. Note I'm envisioning this running some Windows or Linux OS, so I want a standard processor so that other applications can easily be added.
  • probably a minimum of 64M RAM would be needed to ensure adequate performance, but since RAM is so cheap and does not use much power as much as 256M might be useful. Something that would be nice here is if the RAM was CMOS or could be kept powered up while the computer is switched "off", allowing for an instant-on feature (that is the web pad would not actually reboot each time you turn it on) much like the Palm Pilot has. This instant-on capability of the Palm series devices adds a lot of convenience that people soon get used to, and forget about until they need to wait for their PC to boot up...
  • the battery life should be at least 2 hours, although something in the range of 4-8 hours should be achievable. I would be willing to trade battery life for lower cost, less weight and a smaller form factor. It should be possible to run off an AC power pack while recharging the batteries at the same time.
  • a battery pack that uses standard NiMH AA cells (that the consumer can replace himself when the pack gets warn out) would be highly desirable. The battery holder for this would be a simple tube (or perhaps two or more tubes) that runs across the whole device allowing 4 to 6 batteries to be placed in a tube, there's no need for a custom battery pack form factor - especially now that the use of NiMH in digital cameras has caused their performance to be greatly increased. Lithium cells would be good too, but in a year or two it will be a shock to replace them. If the AA battery is "too thick" for the finished product then using multiple tubes of AAA batteries may be an acceptable option.
  • built in floppy or CDROM drives are not necessary, but a USB port (especially a USB2.x port) and the ability to hook up these sort of devices would be useful
  • no keyboard is necessary, some function buttons and scroll/pointing device is all that would be wanted (the little touch sensitive panels used on laptops would be fine). A small keyboard that pulls out from the bottom (like a drawer) or flips up to cover the screen might be useful. Touch screen would be nice, but after using PalmPilots for 5 years I'm concerned about wear and tear on a larger display, so I would prefer to pay less for the webpad and use some other pointing device instead.
  • the ability to add a USB interfaced small keyboard (like the folding ones that are available for PalmPilots might be useful, allowing one to use it as a notebook sometimes).
  • weight would be less than 2 pounds, the lighter the better
  • size should be something like 8"x10"x1" (the range of 5x7" to 10x12" would be ok too - it depends on the display resolution and battery consumption). Any smaller than 5x7" and you are going to be competing with the PocketPC / Palm organizers and the screen will be too small for good web surfing.
  • a local hard drive to store the operating system and applications is probably required. If non-volatile ram like that used for CF or SmartMedia RAM cards was used this would reduce weight and power and increase reliability. Given Apple's success in getting flash RAM manufacturers to sell them RAM at a cheap enough price to make the 2GB and 4GB Nano devices it might not be necessary to use a local hard drive any more.
  • slots to insert CompactFlash and SD style flash RAM cards would make this device useful for digital camera owners who wish to save/edit/catalogue their photos in the field (instead of bringing a full laptop). This is not a requirement if card readers can be hooked up by USB.
  • the ability for the device to facilitate file transfers between two USB mass storage devices, so it could be used to copy files from a digital camera (or video camera) flash card onto a 2.5" laptop drive mounted in a USB encolsure, allowing for re-use of the flash device while in the field. The device should really have a minimum of 2 USB ports, and given these are so compact four would be best.
  • wireless networking via IEEE 802.11 WiFi ethernet would be better than BlueTooth because of interoperability and range (despite its security flaws) - this is pretty much essential, so should be built in
  • there should also be a built in 100BaseT network jack for when you need to hook up to a network at some site that does not have a wireless LAN you can use.
  • external VGA and s-video and/or composite video output would be useful in a work environment - could be used in a presentation environment
  • fuel cell power would be great for long run times
Appart from casual (or relaxed) web surfing, here are some other potential applications:
  • portable slate for work, take it to meetings, note taking and presentations
  • use it as a computer picture frame (hang it on the wall)
  • use it for displaying recipes (sell a "under the cabinet" mounting kit so one could be positioned in the kitchen under a cabinet and would easily drop down when needed). A little fold-out prop stand would help here too. It could even be given a tripod style mounting hole to allow it to be easily attackeh to a simple stand.
  • use it on vacation to view and edit digital photographs (the on-camera displays are just too small to check for focus and exposure quality) as well as to download the photos from your flash media and store them in the web pad.

What would convince me to buy one?

Here is the set of features that would cause me to buy a webpad:

  1. price of US$400.00, if it is in the $500-700 range then I'll think about it (it will need some additional desirable features to convince me to buy)
  2. 800x600 colour display (the Nokia 770/800 are just on the edge of what I find sufficient), 1024x768 would be better
  3. touch sensitive mouse pad (like on laptops)
  4. 256MB RAM
  5. 400MHz x86 type processor
  6. 2.5inch laptop type hard drive
  7. runs Windows, XP would be preferred, but 98 would do. Running Linux would be also OK if there is a community following that can build new versions.
  8. has a "suspend to disk" shutdown option, or better yet, if the RAM was CMOS then just stop clocking the system (the ultimate suspend to RAM approach)
  9. USB 2.0 ports (two to four of these)
  10. built in WiFi and 100baseT port

Some actual units that have been announced or have shipped

  • 2010-Sep-02: PocketBook is making a touch screen, Android powered e-reader. Their ProBook 603 and 903 units will have 6 and 9 inch screens. [9360]
  • 2010-Aug-31: The DMC Copia color e-reader, at $99 for a 5-inch unit and $129 for a 7-inch unit shows where the price is going. [9355]
  • 2010-Aug-31: The Augen Gentough 78 gets a preview from Engadget, this is a 7 inch 800x480 tablet that runs Android 2.1. Its very inexpensive at $150, but pretty sluggish. Still, it shows how low the price of tablets is going to go in the future once there is some competition in the market. [9354]
  • 2010-Aug-17: India is attempting to build a $35 tablet computer, though it will likely end up being more expensive. [9346]
  • 2010-Jul-29: Perhaps the iPod Touch can be made more useful by adding 3G connectivity to it. [9333]
  • 2010-Jul-27: Toshiba is going to try the Android/ARM based smartbook market with their AC100. Now, if only it had a twist around display that could convert it into a tablet. Engadget takes a look at one here. [9226]
  • 2010-Jul-27: CherryPal are producing a $99 netbook called Africa, this is going to run Linux or Windows CE on a 400MHz ARM processor with 256MB of RAM and a 7-inch display. That price is going to turn some heads. This kept inexpensive by assembling it from odd lots of inexpensive components. Augen is selling a $99 smart book called the GenBook 74 through Kmart in the US which looks very similar to the CherryPal unit. [8847]
  • 2010-Jul-26: The Sony VAIO P now has a Chinese clone twin, selling for under $300. [9325]
  • 2010-Jul-26: A $150 Android tablet is to be sold by Kmart, it's rather limited in RAM at it only has 256MB. [9322]
  • 2010-Jul-21: The Chief Technical Officer of OLPC has quit to start a for-profit company to commercialize some of the technology developed for the OLPC project. While the trade articles suggest this will be a blow for OLPC, unless OLPC looses the rights to use this technology (which is rather unlikely unless they had some very unconventional employee IP agreements) it probably will not have any noticeable impact. According to this article She is heading up a new project (Pixel Qi) to produce a $75 laptop. They showed a hybrid e-Ink/LCD screen at Computex'09. Turns out this new display does not use e-Ink for for the black and white mode, rather it reverts to a monochrome LCD mode which makes more sense and still allows for fast display updates. In June 2010 the Pixel Qi display was shown at Computex, including on a prototype from Innoversal. Engadget used a Pixel Qi display replacement kit from MakerShed to add this display to their Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook. [4574]
  • 2010-Jul-15: Some new Android-based webpads are starting to appear around the $199 price point for a 7-inch screen, such as the Cruz Reader from Velocity Micro, the SmartQ T7 and the Pandigital Novel. [9299]
  • 2010-Jul-01: Toshiba is going to try to pick up on the idea of a dual display netpad with their W100. Engadget has taken a preview of this in advance of the Aug'10 shipping date, and while they were great Courier fans they have not flipped over this unit. Plus the $1100 price seems a bit high - but Toshiba has never been one to aggressively price laptops. [9227]
  • 2010-Jul-01: It looks like Nokia will be entering the tablet market soon. [9273]
  • 2010-Jun-30: Viliv showed the S5 MID and S7 UMPC at the IDF, these are small form factor devices that would be nice as webpads if priced reasonably. There is something strange about the picture of the S7, the keyboard is missing the "P" key. The S7 got shown at CES'09 and it is compared to the new SONY VAIO P here (oh, and they have put the "P" key back on the keyboard). Viliv has added a larger version of the S5 called the X70. The S5 will be available for pre-order on May 8th at $599. It gets reviewed here apparently it has a video output jack that can provide VGA, component and S-Video and it can be used with Bluetooth mice and keyboards - might make a good replacement for my aging Palm PDA. The X70 device gets a short demonstration on video here. The X70 is going to be imported to the US for about $599. The X70EX is now (Sept'09) available at NewEgg, pricing starts at $599. Their S10 Blade is a netvertible (netbook that converts to a tablet) that should launch in Nov'09 starting at $570 which is pretty inexpensive for a tablet. This is now available through Best Buy and gets a review here, price is now around $889. Their N5 UMPC looks rather nice. [6717]
  • 2010-Jun-26: The Huawei S7 is a 7-inch Android tablet / media player powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon. [9257]
  • 2010-Jun-25: The ASUS Eee Tablet is ASUS's next attempt at an e-reader. [9251]
  • 2010-Jun-25: The ASUS Eee Pad might be a competitor to the iPad, except they are thinking of using Windows 7 and it won't be out until 2011. Here's some more information on the EP101TC and EP121. [9250]
  • 2010-Jun-25: Pandigital's 7-inch Novel is an Android-based e-reader that uses a conventional colour LCD. At $199 it would be competitively priced and with Android on board perhaps it might be hackable for other uses? In june'10 it appeared this would become available for $149, which would open up a whole new market price point for both webpads and e-readers. [9168]
  • 2010-Jun-25: The Blaze tablet from TI which will be sold to developers in Aug'10 looks rather nice. Since it is ARM-based I wonder if it will be Android friendly? [9238]
  • 2010-Jun-22: The Insignia Infocast Internet Media Display is a lower-priced clone of the Sony Dash, based on the Chumby system. [9224]
  • 2010-Jun-20: The Sharp PC-Z1 NetWalker might make for a good webpad and PDA. It runs Ubuntu Linux, a short video of it is here. It gets unboxed here and a first impressions review follows here. Sharp has a tablet only version called the PC-T1 as well. [8427]
  • 2010-Jun-20: For $155 the Enso zenPad is probably the least expensive Android-based tablet yet. Its a small device built around a five-inch 800x480 display (so the same resolution as the Google Nexus One phone). Looks like this one is vaporware. Or maybe not vaporware, but just disappointing. [9032]
  • 2010-Jun-16: An iPad clone based on Android might be just the thing for an inexpensive webpad. [9201]
  • 2010-Jun-06: The Dell Streak is a 5-inch Android-based MID. This sort of thing might stand a chance against the iPhone for those looking for a larger display for mobile web work. This has a dock that can output HDMI video. [8636]
  • 2010-Jun-06: The Onkyo DX1007A5B stretches the meaning of netbook by giving it two screens! Try opening that on your regular fare, airline seat back table! [9174]
  • 2010-Jun-03: The ASUS Eee Pad tablet PC is rather neat, perhaps at their $199 price it will find some market share against the more colourful iPad? [9164]
  • 2010-May-28: The Shogo 10 inch Linux tablet from Realease, probably in the $300 range. [9139]
  • 2010-May-25: Marvell (the chip maker) is looking at building a $99 Moby Tablet that would have a 10 inch screen and be capable of running 1080p video. Of course they are following the ridiculous idea of the OLPC people of only selling this into education, while they could sell tons of them if they sold to the general public. The Hanvon Touchpad BC10C sounds pretty similar to this except its running a 1.3GHz Celeron and they are looking at $877 for it (but it does have an HDMI port). Marvell is getting closer and will be showing off a 10-inch Android tablet soon, some photos of it are here. [9027]
  • 2010-May-23: The Lenovo X100e is an 11.6 inch netbook with a 1366 x 768 matte display, it runs an Athlon Neo MV-40 processor and M780G (Radeon HD 3200 graphics) chipset, so it actually capable of 1080P video. A good review of it is here. [9128]
  • 2010-May-18: ARCHOS is getting ready to introduce some new 7 inch Android-based PMP / FDA / MID style tablets. The first announcement is here and then this article refers to them as the Archos 7 Home Tablet and Archos 8 Home Tablet. The Archos 7 Home Tablet is due to ship in June 2010. Engadget takes a look at the Archos 7 Home Tablet but finds it somewhat lacking, still for $199 it might be a good choice for some users. [8986]
  • 2010-May-05: The N700 7 inch Android tablet with HDMI output (using a Tegra 2) for $300 from Aigo. [9103]
  • 2010-May-05: Maybe the next great webpad / tablet device will be from Leapfrog, we'll know on June 7, 2010. What's the bet that it only has a 3 inch display? [9098]
  • 2010-Apr-30: With the Eee PC T91 and T101H models ASUS is adding touchscreen and swivel into tablet configuration abilities to their netbook collection. A marketing video of this is available here. Engadget reviews one here, at $499 it is really quite cheap for a tablet PC - and it can be a real netbook as well. Engadget reviews, but does not really like, the Eee PC T101MT. [7414]
  • 2010-Apr-22: The WePad is an 11.6 inch Android-based web pad, at that size it's not that wee. [9087]
  • 2010-Apr-09: The Lenovo Skylight is a snapdragon powered smartbook that should be available in the summer of 2010. [9066]
  • 2010-Apr-06: The Tegra 2 powered Gemini will be an 11.2 inch tablet running Android OS. [9054]
  • 2010-Apr-06: The Pasen MID5 is an interesting mix of webpad and PMP, this one packs a 720P HDMI output and runs Android for an OS, so might be priced around $200. [9051]
  • 2010-Apr-01: The ExoPC Slate is a webpad with an 8.9 inch screen that runs Windows 7. A look at its hardware is here. This is now expected in the Summer of 2010. [8953]
  • 2010-Mar-11: Will 2010 be the year of the tablet? At CeBIT low end tablets are appearing aimed at a price point of about $100. Apparently more than 50 ARM-based tablets are currently in preparation, so the later parts of 2010 could see a lot of activity in this market sector. I'm guessing that manufacturers are looking at this "new" segment and thinking they had better not miss it like the early days of the netbook segment which allowed ASUS to run away with that market. It looks like Toshiba is thinking along the same lines and is getting back into this market segment. [8994]
  • 2010-Mar-11: The MD500 Android tablet from Hott might make it to market in the $100-130 range. If it does then it is sure to have a big impact. [9007]
  • 2010-Mar-10: Lenovo is entering the netbook market with their IdeaPad S10 which will have a 10-inch screen and are talking about a $399 starting price. CNet Taiwan gets their hands on one, just views of the exterior since the device would not boot. A 45 minute long hands-on session left this reviewer happy with the S10. There will also be a smaller version called the S9, priced around $370 (in Dec'08 this became available in the US for about $350). The S10 gets reviewed here. Another review of it is here. Another version of this is the IdeaPad S10-3t that converts into a tablet. [6627]
  • 2010-Feb-26: The HP Mini 210 HD gets reviewed by Engadget. They rather like it, though HD video playback only works properly with the included player. Unfortunately this unit only has VGA output. [8982]
  • 2010-Feb-23: The Dell Mini 5 is a small Android-based webpad, might be a good choice for those who think the Apple iPad is too large or restrictive, or who want something bigger than an iPhone. Engadget takes a look at this and rather likes it. [8973]
  • 2010-Feb-10: The LifeBook UH900 is another mini with a 5.6 inch screen that would be nice and portable, but probably on the pricey side. It appears to be available now for about US$850. [8820]
  • 2010-Feb-07: The Hivision PWS700CA could prove to be a very inexpensive Andriod-based 7 inch screen laptop. [8957]
  • 2010-Jan-28: So on 27-Jan-2010 Apple revealed the iPad, not everyone thinks it is a great thing and there could be a number of alternatives to consider soon. [8943]
  • 2010-Jan-20: Could the ASUS Eee Pad be coming soon? More rumors on this, including NVIDIA Tegra. More rumors about this, perhaps it will be shown at Computex in June'10 with a sub-$500 price point (all of that will change when the iPad enters the scene shortly). [8835]
  • 2010-Jan-08: A slight twist on the smartbook, this prototype has a detachable screen that works as a tablet, or perhaps it is a tablet with a keyboard docking station? Generally I like the idea of a netbook type device that can either convert into a tablet by rotating the screen or just pulling the screen off altogether. [8903]
  • 2010-Jan-08: Paradigm Shift is selling 5 and 7 inch e-book readers based on conventional colour LCD displays, it looks like the 7-inch unit will work as a webpad and PMP too. [8898]
  • 2010-Jan-08: The ARM processors could bring us smaller (lighter and thinner) netbooks (or smartbooks) with good battery life and at reduced prices. [8890]
  • 2009-Dec-29: The Camangi WebStation is a 7-inch Android tablet, it gets unboxed here and found to be sluggish here. [8884]
  • 2009-Dec-29: NorhTech is planning a sub $300 laptop to join the competition with the Eee. This first laptop was not a success, too expensive for what you got, they are looking at a second attempt with a 8.9-inch screen and a $200 price point, which if realized would be a good seller. They appear to have achieved this with their Gecko EduBook which is $199 F.O.B. Thailand. This uses the Xcore86 CPU at 1GHz (only using 1.2W, so it has no fan), has an 8.9 inch 1024x600 screen, has a replaceable CPU module and is also powered by eight AA batteries (either NiMH or lithium) for 4-6 hours. It also has an internal USB socket intended to be used by OEMs to customize the Gecko for particular applications (allowing telcos to add a particular radio system). Here is a look at one showing the AA based battery pack, the SD card boot disk and the CPU module. [5286]
  • 2009-Dec-28: The Fujitsu MH380 looks like a nice 10 inch netbook. [8878]
  • 2009-Dec-28: Looks like Google may be going to sell some netbooks that run Chrome OS directly. [8875] [1]
  • 2009-Dec-28: A new tablet called Adam from Notion Ink which is supposed to use a Pixel Qi low-power display is being developed in India for a June'10 release. The $321 price tag sounds a bit high for the Indian marketplace though. [8874]
  • 2009-Dec-25: The Barnes and Nobel Nook got dissected and rooted by NookDevs within days of shipping. What's rather neat about this hardware is that they are using microSD cards (rather than built in flash chips) to store the operating system and any user-downloaded data. This makes modifying the system somewhat easier as you can just pull out the microSD card to read/write it with a PC. The 1.1 update to the Nook firmware does not affect the first rook hack. [8841] [1]
  • 2009-Dec-25: The Archos9 will be a Windows 7 based tablet with a 9-inch display, which will make it a pretty serious webpad if the price is right (though currently they are thinking of 450-500 euros). A longer look at the capabilities of this device is here. This is due to start shipping Oct 22nd with a US$499 price tag. It gets a brief review where it is found to be too big and too slow. [8115]
  • 2009-Dec-24: The OLPC outfit is showing us what 2012 might bring, with their XO-3 tablet-like computing device. Certainly looks very nice. [8867]
  • 2009-Dec-21: The ICD Ultra will be an Android 7-inch tablet, perhaps with a $249 price tag. [8856]
  • 2009-Dec-16: The Entourage eDGe combines a netbook with and e-reader to give us a portable dual-monitor device. This gets a bit more coverage here. And some more coverage here. A hands on is here. [8647]
  • 2009-Dec-12: The Libre eBook Reader PRO from Aluratek is an e-reader device that is built around a monochrome LCD rather than an e-ink display, this gives it a much lower $179 price and faster page refreshes. Maybe this might have an open source software core? [8837]
  • 2009-Dec-11: Dell might be entering the tablet wars. [8836]
  • 2009-Dec-01: TechCrunch is building a prototype of a true webpad (see CrunchPad.com). This gets discussed on Engadget and Slashdot. This prototype is based on a 12-inch LCD. Let's hope someone actually builds this. In Apr'09 some more pictures of this CrunchPad appeared that look pretty slick. The team behind CrunchPad talk a bit about how the project is going (also here on Engadget and here on Slashdot). The CrunchPad edges closer, the first working prototype is expected in July'09. Some more videos of the CrunchPad in action have been released, the one about the unboxing has been pulled, but the one showing it in operation remains and it looks rather nice. More discussion about the CrunchPad, they are expecting to unveil it by the end of July'09. In Nov'09 more details of the CrunchPad's progress were revealed, now looks to be in the $300-$400 price range. And at the start of December it looked like the CrunchPad may never make it to market, discussed here on Slashdot. [7457]
  • 2009-Nov-24: The ASUS Eee PC 1005HR has a 10.1 inch display with 1366x768 resolution, which makes display of web pages a lot nicer than the previous 600 pixel high displays. [8791]
  • 2009-Nov-22: Pegatron (an ASUS spin off) is looking at producing Freescale ARM-based netbooks. These should achieve a more useful 8 hour battery life. They are targeting the $199 price point. This has been sighted in Nov'09. [7423]
  • 2009-Nov-20: The iFrame will be an Android-based 7-inch touchscreen tablet from Hikari. [8761]
  • 2009-Nov-13: The Vega tablet will be running Android 2.0 on Tegra and in 7, 11 and 15 inch sizes for a mystery price. [8751]
  • 2009-Nov-12: The BoEye MID700 might make for a nice webpad, especially if they can make the $300 price that is being talked about. [8740]
  • 2009-Nov-06: Motorola looks to be getting into the Android-powered MID game. [8720]
  • 2009-Nov-04: Bridgestone could become a significant player in the e-book / e-reader marketplace in 2010 with their Liquid Powder flexible, colour, display technology. [8701]
  • 2009-Oct-30: ASUS is thinking of launching a $180 ARM-based smartbook in Q1 of 2010. This could be $30-50 cheaper than any current netbook just by dumping the Windows tax, and it can probably be another $30-50 cheaper by reducing the size of the battery pack since an ARM chip uses less power than an Atom. So the sub-$200 price is feasible without a quality sacrifice. If they stick with the $199 price point they are going to sell a LOT of these. [8682]
  • 2009-Oct-23: The ODROID is an Android-base hand-held device with WiFi. [8655]
  • 2009-Oct-15: The BeBook Mini is a nice, no-frills, e-book device for about $199. [8628]
  • 2009-Oct-09: This is not a webpad but two screens on a laptop would be great. [8614]
  • 2009-Oct-09: the HP Mini 311 is an ION-based, large (11-inch screen and 3.2 pound weight) netbook that has much-improved graphics performance. [8603]
  • 2009-Sep-30: The Smart Devices SmartQ5a is an Android-running MID priced at $199, may never get outside of China though. [8585]
  • 2009-Sep-26: The RAmos Android-based W7 MID looks interesting, it looks like there may be some other screen sizes too. [8563]
  • 2009-Sep-22: Another entrant in the small laptop race, this time from UMID, their super mini laptop weighs in at only 315g and has a 4.8 inch 1024x600 touch screen so must be similar in size to the Nokia N800 series (though its a nice clam-shell design). This is getting closer to reality, now they are talking about a $500 price. A video of it being handled has appeared here, with its smaller keyboard, small screen and no space lost to track pad and palm rests it ends up being the size of a large PDA. The price on the UMID mbook M1 seems to have climbed to about the $1000 point. A review of it is here, it is a very small device and has some odd quirks (like not having standard headphone or USB jacks - so one must use adapters to plug many things in). The UMID mbook M1 began general shipping in late May'09 at a price of %659 with Linux or $765 with Windows. This appears to have been rebranded by Kohjinsha who are calling it the PM series UMPC and are wanting about $650 for it. UMID's new for the end of 2010 mbook M2 should start at about $499. [7202]
  • 2009-Sep-18: The mintpad from Mintpass (which is part of iRiver) is a small PMP type device that includes WiFi and web browsing (even with Flash support). This is available in Korea for about $150 and will be entering the US market soon. It uses a touch screen (probably resistive as it is operated with a stylus) for input and has a number of built in functions (camera, scheduler, paint, chat, ...). In Sept'09 this went on sale in the UK. [7780]
  • 2009-Sep-10: The Sinchun UMPC-501 is a 5-inch tablet running XP that might become available at about $450. [8499]
  • 2009-Sep-04: The Touch Book from Always Innovating is to be an ARM powered unit with a detachable touch screen. The screen part can be used as a tablet when detached, so maybe it is more appropriate to say it has a detachable keyboard? Supposed to be available in the spring of 2009 starting at $299. A more detailed write up on this. In July'09 this started production and should ship in August, they are pricing it a $299 for the screen (with brains) and another $99 for the clip on keyboard. This appears to now be shipping (Sept'09) and can (if you dare) be magnetically stuck to your fridge door - just don't slam the door too hard! [7670]
  • 2009-Sep-04: The Toshiba JournE (and here)looks like it might actually be a real webpad. Too bad its running WindowsCE. It might also have an IR port to allow to to be used as a massive remote control. [8453]
  • 2009-Aug-27: The Nokia N900 could offer the iPhone some competition, especially for those who are looking to be able to extend their phones with specialized applications. [8429]
  • 2009-Aug-20: Dell is considering making ARM-based smartbooks, this would be good for battery life and probably good for the Linux world too. [8405]
  • 2009-Aug-07: A new e-book reader called the EZ Reader Pocket PRO from Astak will be available at the $199 price point. I would expect that price to drop as Sony has also announced a reader for $199. [8378]
  • 2009-Aug-05: In Aug'09 Sony announced two new e-book readers, to be priced as low as $199, which might open up the market a bit. Though I think we're going to need to see the $149 or even $99 price point before this market takes off. [8365]
  • 2009-Jul-14: The Everun UMPC from Rayon has a thumb pad style keyboard on only one side of the screen, with the keys lettered at an angle so it can be read in either portrait or landscape orientations. In late June'07 a preview video of this appeared, should be available in July'07. A year later it looks like this might finally become available in Sept'08. They now want $879 for these, good luck with that. The Everun Note gets a positive review here, it is quite a bit smaller than the alternative netbooks, but it also has a more powerful CPU and graphics processor which allow it to perform a wider range of tasks. So the extra $300-400 this costs may well be worth it to some people. It looks like Raon Digital has closed up shop for good. [1600]
  • 2009-Jul-04: A 5-inch Android-powered webpad from Archos is due to be released on Sept 15, 2009. [8230]
  • 2009-Jun-23: The ASUS Eee 1005HA gets reviewed here and is found to be a good improvement over some of the other Eee netbooks. [8183]
  • 2009-Jun-12: The J&W Minix 811 netbook is very thin and looks like it might be a decent competitor to the Eee and others. [8134]
  • 2009-Jun-11: The dMedia M0 is a pretty small webpad device, using a 4.3-inch 800x480 screen, but without a keyboard. It runs Windows CE. [8124]
  • 2009-Jun-11: The Compal KAX15 UMPC is a small device with an 800x480 display and a slide out keyboard. [8120]
  • 2009-Jun-09: A 7-inch Android-based webpad from Kinpo. [8113]
  • 2009-Jun-07: Slashdot discusses the recent announcements at Computex'09 about ARM-powered netbooks. These promise to greatly extend battery life (or allow the size and weight of netbooks to be reduced still further by reducing battery size). [8094]
  • 2009-Jun-04: With an 11.6-inch screen the BenQ Joybook Lite U121 pushes the upper limits of the netbook form factor, but might be a great small laptop. [8081]
  • 2009-Jun-03: A bunch of new netbooks are being introduced at Computex'09 including the Toshiba NB205, a bunch of products based on NVIDIA Ion, the Tegra-based Mobinnova elan, the ECS T800 running Android, and an Eee PC running Android on Snapdragon. [8065]
  • 2009-May-29: At last, a real webpad! The Smart Q7 is a 7-inch device that actually calls itself an "internet tablet". If only the price is right. This has been spotted in the wild and the price is believed to be about $190 in China, which would be quite good for this sort of thing, it is like a low end netbook, but with less bulk and some lost functionality, so if you don't need to enter a lot of text it might be the better choice. A good video review of this device. [7946]
  • 2009-May-27: HP is adding some more netbooks to its Mini line, these will have 10-inch screens and either 3 or 6-cell batteries, plus an optional enhanced video accelerator for 1080p video. Pricing to start as low as $279. [8046]
  • 2009-May-26: The Toshiba Biblio e-reader stays with a regular LCD display, so potentially could be used for other tasks. [8038]
  • 2009-May-25: The IdeaPad S12 from Lenovo pushes the envelop for the netbook market with its 12 inch 1280x800 display (driven by an Ion chip set), but if you don't mind the larger size and slight increase in weight it would be quite attractive at $449. A preview of this unit with some videos that demonstrate gaming and HD video performance, and a $499 price tag. [8028]
  • 2009-May-22: The Sharp RD-PM10 electronic dictionary would make a pretty neat webpad. [8023]
  • 2009-May-20: moblin is a Linux distro that Intel is tailoring for netbooks that use an Intel chip set. A video demo of this on a Samsung NC10 is here, it looks pretty snappy. DesktopLinux.com takes a look at this (discussed here on Slashdot) and quite likes where it is going. Version 2.0 of Moblin appeared in May'09. [7504] [1]
  • 2009-May-20: The MSI Wind U200 extends the netbook into laptop territory with its 12 inch screen. [8002]
  • 2009-May-15: The iUnika Gyy is a netbook that should end up costing about $176, it runs a 400MHz MIPS processor so no Windows XP here. [7983]
  • 2009-May-14: The Interead COOL-ER e-book reader looks a lot like an iPod Nano, and since it does not have any of the wireless functions of the Kindle it will be a lot less expensive (plus its smaller and lighter for the same size display). [7973]
  • 2009-May-13: The Alpha 400 might be the first netbook to break the $200 price barrier. The Alpha 680 adds a tilt and twist screen for tablet mode operation to this, it looks like it will be Android-based. [7317]
  • 2009-Apr-27: At least one netbook running Android is in the works, see: I-Buddie shows a prototype. Skytone is also going to produce an Android-powered ARM-based netbook, this one in a tablet-convertible format at a price of about $250 which sounds a bit high but it is for a convertible so they have much less competition than the standard netbook form factor. [7889]
  • 2009-Apr-24: The A-Pad (from Aware Electronics) is a tablet-convertible style mini notebook that is targeting the $300 price point. This is still on its way to release. [6472]
  • 2009-Apr-21: The Sharp Mebius PC-NJ70A replaces the touch pad with a touch sensitive LCD to allow for custom controls as well as general pointer movement. A video of it in use is here. This is certainly a pretty neat idea, especially if they make it easy for ordinary applications to make use of this. [7890]
  • 2009-Apr-18: The GiiNii Movit Mini WiFi Android tablet is a real webpad. With a small 4.3 inch display it is perhaps too small, but they are also planning a 7 inch version. Looks like the 4.3 inch version will ship in Oct'09 and the 7 inch unit in Jan'10. [7412]
  • 2009-Apr-12: A comparison of current (April'09) netbook battery life. [7867]
  • 2009-Apr-04: The first Snapdragon-powered PurseBook weighs about 0.8kg and has an 8 hour battery life. [7830]
  • 2009-Apr-02: SmartDevices may have just made a game-changing breakthrough in the MID/netbook market with their SmartQ 5 MID. This is an 800x480 4.3 inch display device (so much like the Nokia 800 series) running an ARM chip (for low power use) and Ubuntu Linux. They appear to be targeting 899 Yuan (or about US$130) which would place it in a class by itself. It get's unboxed here. [7736]
  • 2009-Mar-31: OCZ is joining the netbook game with their Neutrino. This is supposed to be available in two versions, a basic one that the user will populate with RAM, drive, etc. and a fully tricked out model. This is getting closer to shipping, with a target of mid-April for $269 (without operating system, RAM or hard drive). [7689]
  • 2009-Mar-24: Samsung's new N120 netbook is attempting to make a netbook as large as a laptop. The end result seems to be you get something the size of a small laptop (one with about a 12 inch screen) that only contains a 10 inch screen (with a large display bezel) and perhaps a longer battery life (due to the lower power components typically used in netbooks). [7778]
  • 2009-Mar-23: The Samsung N110 is the successor to the NC10. [7765]
  • 2009-Mar-23: In Mar'09 news of an 11.6-inch version of the Acer Aspire One was released. Netbooks are climbing into the laptop domain. [7763]
  • 2009-Mar-18: Fujitsu's FLEPia is an e-book with a full colour display. At about $1000 it is a lot more than the grey-scale competition. [7737]
  • 2009-Mar-16: MSI is adding the Wind U110 and U115 to its netbook product family. The U115 has been found to have up to 15 hours of battery life. MSI is claiming a 9-hour battery life for the Wind U110. [7279]
  • 2009-Mar-16: It looks like Lenovo might be about to copy Sony's VIAO P design. More pictures of this Pocket Yoga have leaked, apparently it is a 2 year old design concept. [7716]
  • 2009-Mar-13: The 12.1 inch tablet convertable Lenovo ThinkPad X61 would make a nice webpad, and in Feb'09 it went on sale for $649 making it pretty competitive with regular small laptops. [7723]
  • 2009-Mar-06: NVidia has built a set of single-chip computer system devices it calls the Tegra processors, these are based on an ARM processor core integrated with all necessary additional support circuits. One logical application of these would be to the netbook market allowing the production of lower cost, smaller and most significantly, low power consumption devices. [7692] [1]
  • 2009-Mar-05: Samsung's Q1 series gets a new model for 2009, the Q1EX which has a 4.5 hour battery life and will sell for $775. [7688]
  • 2009-Feb-26: Gigabyte will be launching a new set of netbooks in early 2009, these are the M1022, S1024 and T1028. Of these the S1024 ThinNote looks pretty thin. [7648]
  • 2009-Feb-24: Netbooks could be starting to worry Microsoft (well just a little bit). [7639]
  • 2009-Feb-24: Slashdot discusses which distro is a good choice for an Eee PC. Some of the suggestions include: [7637] [1]
  • 2009-Feb-23: The Nintendo DSi might make a good webpad. [7625]
  • 2009-Feb-17: ARM is thinking about the netbook market with their A9 processor which is a multi-core version of the Cortex A8. [7602]
  • 2009-Feb-15: Could a dual-screen (no-keyboard) "laptop" design be the ultimate webpad? [7593]
  • 2009-Feb-13: The ASUS Eee PC 1000HE will have a 9.5 hour battery life. At last, a netpad that will last a day! A review roundup is here. [7517]
  • 2009-Feb-13: Dell is entering the mini-notebook market with their mini-Inspiron competition is sure to get fierce now. It also makes an appearance here. Some more details about this laptop are here, sounds like it will be shipping in time for school to start in the fall of 2008. Engadget has a bunch of info on this, including that Dell intends to price the entry level version (which has an 8.9 inch display) at only $299 - this should put a stop to the price increases that ASUS has been pushing and should require that the Eee 700's price be lowered substantially (or else just dropped from the market). In early 2009 the Mini-9 price dropped as low as $249. [6254]
  • 2009-Feb-12: The Archos 10 netbook gets reviewed and fails to measure up to the competition. [7561]
  • 2009-Feb-03: Look for a new round of netbooks to appear in early 2009, based on a new Intel chip set these will have faster graphics and processors and consume less power, plus their smaller motherboards will leave more room for larger battery packs. So here's hoping the entry level versions of these will be looking at a 6-8 hour run time. The first of these is expected to be the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE. [7525]
  • 2009-Jan-29: Rob Galbraith takes a critical look at the display quality of a number of laptops and finds he does not like what glossy displays are doing. However he does quite like the Dell mini-9 and found it to have one of the best performing displays and the gloss was only minimally troubling. [7500] [1]
  • 2009-Jan-28: Plastic Logic is finally getting ready to launch an e-book reader based on its flexible E Ink device. But don't hold your breath, this has just reached the "first half of 2009" stage. This has now slipped into 2010. [6814]
  • 2009-Jan-21: Engadget compares the VAIO P to the 7 and 10 inch Eee PC models. It looks like SONY might have created a winner here (except for the price); hopefully, some of the competition wakes up and builds something similar in size for (way) less. More coverage on the VAIO P and a hands on. Engadget has a [7416]
  • 2009-Jan-21: In Aug'08 Intel started showing the third generation of its Classmate PC. This can be used tablet-style and has a nice resistive touch screen system. An unofficial review of the prototype that Intel was showing at IDF in Aug'08 is here. This made an appearance at CES-09, here is a hands-on video. The CTL 2go Convertible is a version of this design, priced around $499. [6718]
  • 2009-Jan-10: The LG X120 is another 10-inch netbook, this has an instant-on "LG Smart On" OS mode. [7422]
  • 2009-Jan-09: Google's Android has been coaxed into running on the HP Mini-Note 2133 and on an Eee PC. [7417]
  • 2009-Jan-09: Mio has shown a compact netbook that runs Windows Mobile, this replaces the trackpad with a trackball for a more compact design. [7415]
  • 2008-Dec-25: The Alpha 400 from Bestlink is targeting the low end of the mini-laptop market segment with a price of $250. But to meet that price you must drop the CPU to a 400MHz unit, drop the RAM to only 128MB and the flash RAM to 1 or 2GB and add on WiFi support externally, so it really does not seem such a good deal when compared to the ASUS Eee 2G Surf model which sells for $299 and has 512MB ram, a faster processor, 2G of flash and built in WiFi. Engadget's Switched On column takes a look at this unit. The main problem seems to be that the 400MHz processor is just too slow. [6209]
  • 2008-Dec-19: The eSlick eBook from Foxit, is about the size of a medium paperback, 0.4 inches thick, has a 6-inch 800x600 display and an MP3 player built in for about $250. This runs an embedded Linux OS, so will it get hacked and enhanced? [7367]
  • 2008-Dec-08: Progress is being made on porting Google's Android to the Nokia N810. [7307]
  • 2008-Dec-04: At last, a UMPC called LLUON Mobbit that may sell for less than $500. [7299]
  • 2008-Nov-19: The Dynamic ECD display from Funai is expected to start shipping in 2009 and will use about 1% of the power of conventional LCD displays. This is based on colour changing dyes and functions without backlight (and is easy to view in daylight). They are also talking about it costing about 1/3rd of what an LCD costs. Should be great for netbooks and perhaps will cause a shake up in the e-book reader market too. [7235]
  • 2008-Nov-16: ARM and Canonical will be bringing the full Ubuntu Desktop to ARM-based devices, this could mean that in 2009 a new wave of ARM powered netbooks starts to appear. This would mean longer battery life and a new threat to Microsoft. [7223]
  • 2008-Nov-09: Netbooks have hurt Windows profits, Microsoft is finding it hard to monopolize the low-end market because the cost of their Windows license is a significant part of the overall machine cost. This is something that anyone who has tried to build a low-cost "appliance" type machine (like a NAS device) based on Windows knows quite well. Typically you can buy all the new hardware you need for a few hundred dollars, and then the $140 or so for an XP license is close to half the cost of the hardware making you think strongly about using Linux instead. It looks like the netbook manufacturers are getting their XP licenses for something like $50, which means that on a $250 machine Microsoft is still 20% of the total, leaving little room for profit. The sudden development of the netbook market has taken Microsoft by surprise, its increasing size and popularity due to the typically lower price point is seen as threatening to erode the sales of traditional laptops and desktop systems and thus reduce Microsoft's profits. What Microsoft is not considering is that many of these netbook sales are going to people who are adding a second or third computing device, and who are only doing so because of the tempting price, so it is likely this new market is not eroding the traditional markets to the degree that Microsoft fears. In fact, if Microsoft were to extend its reduced price XP license some more it might find XP showing up in other low-cost devices like NAS boxes and set-top media players where Linux (thankfully) has a near total monopoly. [7175]
  • 2008-Oct-30: The Aigo P8860 MID is a small x86 based webpad. [7122]
  • 2008-Oct-29: HP is getting ready to sell their next netbook, the 10-inch Mini 1000. This is now available for about $399 (including XP) and has a 10.2 inch 1024x600 display (a smaller 8.9 inch display is also available for less). Here is a hands on look and a round up of a number of reviews. [7101]
  • 2008-Oct-29: Samsung intends to enter the netbook market with an 8.9 inch model. There might also be a 10-inch model. The Samsung NC10 gets reviewed here and is showing a battery life in the range of 5 to 7 hours, which if confirmed would be the best of all the netbooks. [6818]
  • 2008-Oct-20: One user's first impressions of the Eee PC 901. [7056]
  • 2008-Oct-20: The Pandora could be a mini-webpad, this is offered as an alternative to the iKIT from IMOVO, which gets discussed here and here. [7054]
  • 2008-Oct-19: Thinking of using a small PMP as a webpad? Here's a comparison of the Archos 5, iPhone 3G and the Nokia N810. It is possible that the slower load times for the Nokia 810 were due to it being run in "power saver mode", but the 810 does have the slowest processor of the three (400MHz versus 600MHz) so that's going to count against it too. [7052]
  • 2008-Oct-17: While not a portable webpad the Eee Top from ASUS is an all-in-one machine that has a touch screen display, so it might work well as an advanced photo frame or a PC for showing video or recipes in the kitchen. [7039]
  • 2008-Oct-16: Dell is getting ready to push the netbook into laptop sized territory with their Mini 12. Still, a 12 inch screen in a laptop that only weighs 2.73 pounds is going to attract some interest. [7032]
  • 2008-Oct-07: Intel has modified an Eee PC to boot a new Linux variant in only 5 seconds. These changes will be going back into the general Linux pool, so expect to see this sort of capability start showing up in other netbooks. [6991]
  • 2008-Oct-04: The MSI Wind U90X, which is a MSI Wind with a smaller 9-inch display gets reviewed here, they didn't like the included operating system and the rather short (less than 2 hours) battery life. [6984]
  • 2008-Oct-03: Dell has let loose its Mini 9 (also discussed here on Slashdot), with pricing that start at $349 and climbs to about $499. Time for most of the recent netbooks to get repriced (though the Acer Aspire One and MSI Wind are pretty competitive with this). Engadget has a collection of early reviews of the Mini 9. The Dell service manual for the Mini-9 has been posted online, let the modding being. An unboxing of it here includes some good comparisons with other laptop and small devices to give you a feel of its size. Engadget asks its readers how they would change the Mini 9. The Mini 9 has been hacked to run Apple's OS X, so if you want a mini Mac notebook this might be a route to take. [6795]
  • 2008-Sep-29: OS X has been installed on the MSI Wind, making it the smallest Mac laptop. [6944]
  • 2008-Sep-29: TrustedReviews thinks about what the ultimate netbook should be, Slashdot discusses it further here. [6943]
  • 2008-Sep-24: Sylvania is rebranding a Cloudbook and targeting a price of $299 for an 8.9 inch (1024x600) screen driven by a 1.6GHz Atom processor. Here is a little more information on the G Netbook Meso 8.9-inch model. Here is another short review. It looks like Sylvania's g netbook MAGNI (which is a 10-inch model) will be a rebranded MSI Wind. [6616]
  • 2008-Sep-21: The Linux-based Porient H12 UMPC might make for a very small webpad. This uses a 4.8 inch, 800x480 display. [6893]
  • 2008-Sep-18: The Toshiba NB105 adds another netbook to the crowd. This might actually be the NB100. [6841]
  • 2008-Sep-16: The Kaliho KU860 is a UMPC convertible between laptop and tablet formats, it will probably made available under other brand names. [6866]
  • 2008-Sep-12: The Joybook Lite U101 is a netbook from BenQ, this is a 10 inch unit and a 8.9 inch unit is also planed. Let the price avalanche begin! [6843]
  • 2008-Sep-12: The EasyPC E760 attempts to sell a 480x272 display plus keyboard running Windows CE for $89, if this is real, how much are they paying for the WinCE license? [6842]
  • 2008-Sep-11: Plastic Logic is building an e-book reader based on a plastic display system. They have selected an 8.5x11 screen size to match standard North American paper and appear to be targeting business users (which probably means their device will initially be quite expensive). Still, it looks quite nice. [6827]
  • 2008-Sep-09: Perhaps Dell's recent entry into the netbook market has caused a drop in ASUS's Eee sales already, as by Sept. 8th ASUS had repriced two machines already, the Eee PC 901 dropped to $500 and for some reason the 6-cell Eee PC 1000H dropped to $449. I rather bet the original 7-inch devices will be hitting $199 for Christmas. [6817]
  • 2008-Sep-08: The ASUS N10 is another 10 inch screen netbook, this looks like it is using a larger case so may have a better keyboard. ASUS is pricing this at $849, so it looks like they are trying to reverse the downwards trend on netbook pricing by raising prices... guess that will leave lots of room for Dell to introduce a 10" netbook. [6737]
  • 2008-Sep-06: Engadget asks its readers how they would change the Acer Aspire One. [6809]
  • 2008-Sep-05: The HiVision miniNote is a $99 mini-laptop that runs Linux on a MIPS processor. There is a video review of one here. Slashdot discusses this here. It looks pretty much like a $100 version of the original $299 ASUS Eee. [6806]
  • 2008-Sep-03: Commodore has shown some prototypes of new portable devices at IFA in Sept'08. Including two that are Pocket PC designs that include keypads, so might actually make for good, small, webpad devices. [6789]
  • 2008-Aug-31: The Toshiba Multi Tool contains two 3.5 inch LCDs, one of which can be configured as the keyboard. They have also show their SD Photo Editor which is a 5-inch display based unit designed to do on-the-go photo editing. Both are supposed to cost around $300. [6772]
  • 2008-Aug-31: The MSI Wind U90 will be the the 8.9 inch display version of the MSI Wind. This is to ship in Europe around the beginning of Oct'08 for about 339 Euros. [6770]
  • 2008-Aug-29: The Amilo Mini from Fujitsu Siemens, is another mininote device, this is supposed to be in the $475 - $634 range. Engadget poked one in the flesh and found it to be too weakly built. Here are the specs on this unit. [6587]
  • 2008-Aug-27: Engadget asks the question: what is the best portable internet device? [6747]
  • 2008-Aug-26: The Tee PC from Albatron is a mini-tablet PC powered by a 400MHz ARM processor running WinCE 6.0 and hosting a 7-inch 800x480 touchscreen. [6738]
  • 2008-Aug-22: ACER is expected to enter the ultra portable laptop arena to compete with the ASUS Eee in the second quarter 2008. At CeBIT in Mar'08 they claimed to be on target for a Q2/Q3 release, though that's pretty vague sounding! ACER is claiming that its first 8.9 inch laptop will be priced in the $350-400 range, making it up to $150 less than the $500 ASUS is intending to charge. More information on this is leaking out. Pictures of the Aspire One appeared at the end of May-08. Engadget got their hands on one of these at Computex in June'08, talk is US$399 pricing and available in Sept'08. Acer has provided official specifications for this. Acer talks a bit about the role Linux is going to play in this market place and mentions a $379 version of the Aspire. The Tech Digest got their mitts on one. Laptop Mag reviews the Acer Aspire One. The Aspire One gets hacked to add an internal Bluetooth adapter. In late Aug'08 Acer announced price cuts to the Aspire One making it the lowest priced of the 9 inch display models (and even reduced the price of the model with the extended battery. [4710]
  • 2008-Aug-21: The Fujutsu U2010 (also known as the U820) should be able to get 5 hours run time from its standard battery and 11 hours from its extended battery. [6714]
  • 2008-Aug-19: Windows may be falling behind the curve on supporting new technologies, the adoption of a fast booting small Linux system (that ASUS first implemented in some of their motherboard BIOSes) has started to go mainstream with Dell's "Latitude On" system. Dell has taken this a step forward and included a special low power ARM processor that runs the laptop in this mode to greatly extend battery life. [6708]
  • 2008-Aug-15: Would Sony's rumored mylo 2 make a good web pad? Engadget got a hands-on with this at CES 2008, and here is the official feature list. This is now on sale. Sony now is providing some additional widgets for the Mylo 2 and developers should soon be able to make additional ones. Sony has even decided to change the name of this, now they are calling it the mylo Internet Device [4471]
  • 2008-Aug-12: The Gigabyte M912 could add some new features to the low cost mini-laptop market with its twist and flip touch sensitive display. Here's a hands-on from Engadget, this also looks at the 7-inch M724 version (which is supposed to be only available to the education market). The M912 is expected to cost $656 while the M724 is to be $556 - which is probably a factor of 3 less than anything else that's ever had "tablet" in its name. In July'08 this got unboxed, so its shipping somewhere. It gets reviewed here and is priced at $699. [6265]
  • 2008-Aug-08: The ECS GIL10IL is an 11-inch sub notebook (additional pictures) that might compete against the Eee, but because the specs are somewhat higher I'd expect a higher price too. This update says it will come in 8.2 or 10.2 inch versions. This got a hands-on review at Computex in June'08. This is now expected to be available in Sept'08 and starting at $399. Here is a brief look at one. [5233]
  • 2008-Jul-29: ASUS is planning up to 23 more versions of the Eee PC, possibly with two new form factors. [6601]
  • 2008-Jul-28: If it ever ships at the promised price of $99 the JL1000 mini laptop from J-PRO (discussed here on Engadget) might actually prove to be a popular webpad device. There is some talk that Linux might be possible on it too. Heck, at that price it's competitive with many digital photo frames... This Slashdot article discusses some similar products. [6593]
  • 2008-Jul-26: Engadget asks its readers how they would change the MSI Wind. [6588]
  • 2008-Jul-23: LG wants MSI to build their X110 netbook, and wants to sell it in the $625-790 range. With prices like that LG better include a docking refrigerator. [6570]
  • 2008-Jul-22: Now TechCrunch wants to create an open source web tablet, they are hoping to hit $200. [6560]
  • 2008-Jul-20: The ASUS Eee PC 1000H gets torn down by TweakTown with discussion on Engadget here. It is also getting a $100 price drop to $549 only a week after becoming available in the US. [6407]
  • 2008-Jul-20: The SC3 from Kohjinsha is a tablet convertible UMPC. [6555]
  • 2008-Jul-20: The Gdium is another webbook soon to enter the 10-inch screen battle. Slashdot discusses it as its running Linux Mandriva. [6554]
  • 2008-Jul-15: Don't buy a mininote until later this summer, it looks like Dell is going to try for the $299 price point on its Dell E laptop. If they do this they will be forcing ASUS to slash their recent prices in half and will cause MSI to drop their Wind price by 25%. [6525]
  • 2008-Jul-13: Fujitsu is going to get into the netbook game, this has taken them a long time, especially considering some of their other small laptops. [6516]
  • 2008-Jul-11: Elonex has released a second mini-note, their One T netbook will be about $255 and has a 7-inch 800x480 display and a 400MHz processor. [6506]
  • 2008-Jul-07: The Wind and Aspire get ripped apart. [6486]
  • 2008-Jul-04: The MSI Wind is another competitor to the ASUS Eee - this will have a 10 inch display at 1024x768 resolution and sell in the UKP299 to UKP699 range. Now MSI is talking about June'08 for first shipment of the 8.9 and 10 inch Wind devices, for prices in the range of $470-1099. MSI has posted its official specifications for the Wind, the 8.9 and 10 inch displays will be 1024x600 and be LED-backlit, so battery life may be better than a similar sized Eee. Engadget reports that this is to be $610 for a 10-inch screen, 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB RAM and XP. MSI has finally announced that the price for the 10 inch version will be $399 (with Linux) and $549 (with Windows XP). At $399 it really under cuts the 9-inch Eee and provides more features than the 7 inch Eee (which is also about $399) so ASUS will have to rethink their pricing a bit - isn't competition great! A Chilean gets to review an early version of the Wind and quite likes it. The UK site Mobile Computer reviews the Wind and Slashdot discusses it here. CNET takes a hands-on look here with followup on Engadget here. Another pre-release preview here. LaptopMag reviews the MSI Wind, and likes it. More reviews of the Wind and questions about why the Advent 4211 (which is the same machine under a different label) is less expensive. [5242]
  • 2008-Jul-03: ASUS is planning to release at least three more Eee PC 900 series models. [6473]
  • 2008-Jul-03: Mobile Computer has a video tour of the MSI Wind and compares it to the Acer Aspire One and ASUS Eee PC 901. [6465]
  • 2008-Jun-27: The CloudBook (made by FIC branded as Everex) has made it to Japan. Curious thing is that with exactly the same model number as the US version it now has touchscreen, 802.11a and Bluetooth. And has increased in price to $600 (though that might just be for the Japanese market). Whether this will ever show up in the first world has become doubtful as Everex has been acquired by NewMarket. [5295]
  • 2008-Jun-23: A short look at the good and the bad sides of that ASUS 900 Eee. [6412]
  • 2008-Jun-17: The Eee 901 gets dismantled, in case you're curious. [6364]
  • 2008-Jun-16: 3K Computer's RazorBook was the Longitude 400, it is supposed to compete in the 7-inch Eee market segment, but currently appears to have a slower CPU and less RAM than its competition at the same price. Well maybe that will give it better battery life? A brief initial look is here, thee unit currently is pretty limited in expansion, just 3 USB ports and no VGA or DVI ports (and no WiFi on the review unit, though there might be on the final units). [6149]
  • 2008-Jun-15: The Eee 901 gets reviewed by TrustedReviews. [6350]
  • 2008-Jun-13: The ASUS Eee 901 will be based on the Atom processor, some initial pictures here. This is going to be available 3-June-08 for $650 and will include built-in Bluetooth. For me the Bluetooth is not an essential, but there are some nice wireless headphones that use it, so if it supports the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) it would be a nice feature. ASUS released some pricing and specification of these in June'08 along with the 1000 series, look for the 901 to be $550 and the 1000 to be $650. The official pricing for this is now US$599 (a bunch of reviews are here too), though I would expect this to drop quickly as soon as the competing MSI Wind and ACER Aspire One reach the market as these are claiming $499 and $399 prices which makes ASUS's price hard to justify. [6168]
  • 2008-Jun-10: Mark Shuttleworth discusses the Ubuntu tabbed desktop interface that a number of the new mini-notes are running. [6311]
  • 2008-Jun-09: AMD has entered the mini-notebook arena, their design saves space by not using a trackpad, rather some sort of optical touch sensor is used. This [6303]
  • 2008-Jun-04: The E-Lead Noahpad is taking some innovative steps (but probably not popular) in the keyboard and mouse controller design area. They have combined the two functions by enlarging the touchpad and then placing "keys" on it. It looks like the surface of the touchpad is still smooth, so this could be a problem for touch typing. They have also revived the idea of a larger virtual display (1024x768) that the user pans the physical display (800x480) across. Since the act of panning has always been problematic they have set up a second touch pad (which has the left half of the keyboard on it) which is dedicated to moving the display. I'm still thinking a better solution would have been to have installed a 10 inch (1024x768) display instead of the little 7 inch display. It looks like the Noahpad might be getting revised, it was shown at Computex in June'08 with a somewhat larger keyboard. [5029]
  • 2008-Jun-02: Via has issued a new reference design for mini-notebooks called the OpenBook, this design looks very similar to the Eee machines and replaces Via's previous NanoBook design attempt (which the Eee's crushed). Engadget has a hands-on here. Sony may be making one of these. [6233]
  • 2008-Jun-01: The $200 laptop returns, this time from Elonex in England. This is thought to be the Chinese "Simple PC". Just for fun it moves all the heavy electronics and batteries from under the keyboard to behind the display, which makes it look rather unbalanced. The Register has a press release and says it should ship June'08, they also say it's going to be based on a 300MHz processor with 128MB of RAM (so should be slower than the Eee) and only has a 1GB SSD and has a removable keyboard. Pretty much the same info from The Inquirer. Here is a video of it in action - this shows the removable keyboard function, by removing the keyboard you turn the device into a webpad tablet (though not touch screen) which you control using a couple of mouse buttons and a thumb stick that are built into the back of the screen unit. This tablet conversion idea looks like it might work. In the video you can also see that the "unbalanced" nature of the device (when in keyboard attached mode) is addressed by a little pop-out stand behind the display. Now lets hope they make a version with a larger display and a faster CPU and more RAM... ITWire looks at this here and Slashdot discusses here. [5115]
  • 2008-Jun-01: The ASUS Eee 900 is being delivered with the lower capacity 4400mAh battery in the UK. This may also be the case in Canada. A UK review of the Eee 900 mentions this. Now ASUS is offering an upgrade to the larger battery in the UK for £10 and also a BIOS update that should add some run time to the current systems. [6224]
  • 2008-May-29: ASUS is gearing up for war against its challengers like MSI's Wind. Now it looks like the ASUS 10 inch laptop (Eee PC 1001) could become real. While ASUS will be launching this at Computex in early June, it sounds like they do not plan to ship it until Nov-08, which means that MSI's Wind will have that section of the market to itself for a long time. [6246]
  • 2008-May-27: More internal details of the MSI Wind laptops and desktops. Apparently the Atom chipset will be enough to do 720P video but not 1080P - it was using 50% CPU to push out 720P. One nice thing about the Wind desktop board is that it is cooled by a passive heatsink - no more CPU/Chipset fan noise (though there may still need to be a case fan)! [6237] [1]
  • 2008-May-23: The Inventec V10 is a 10 inch display laptop that claims to be about $230 in China. [6216]
  • 2008-May-21: The gdium EM-PC mini-laptop from Emtec is set to compete with the ASUS Eee 900, but with a price closer to $400. [6208]
  • 2008-May-20: The Iriver D5 multimedia e-dictionary is a very compact clam shell type device with a small keyboard. It could perhaps function as a PDA, MP3 player and e-book reader but it does not seem to have any WiFi capability. [6193]
  • 2008-May-16: The OLPC will be getting a Windows XP version. [6174]
  • 2008-May-16: The ASUS Eee has some subtle differences in the keyboards between the white and black models - the black keyboards are reported to have more travel. [6173]
  • 2008-May-14: The Astak Mentor e-book reader series has a 5-inch model that will sell for under $200. Will that be enough to wake up the sleeping e-book market? [6163]
  • 2008-May-10: Microsoft is starting to wake up to the threat that Linux poses in the new developing low cost PC and laptop market. They are now looking at a program (discussed here on Slashdot) that would sell XP Home licenses at $26 (emerging markets) or $32 (for developed markets) a copy. With the caveat that the machines it is sold for cannot have more than a 10-inch display, 1GB RAM, 80GB disk and 1GHz processor (though there will be some exceptions on the processor speed). Also these machines cannot have a touch screen - they can't seriously think that the vastly over priced UMPC and Tablet PC concepts are still viable, can they? One question about this is: will these limits be enforced after the machine is sold, or can the user toss the 80GB drive and install something larger, or go into the BIOS and set the processor to a fake overclock speed? [6132] [1]
  • 2008-May-09: More pricing information on the HP 2133 Windows XP configurations. [6080]
  • 2008-May-09: Slashdot asks its readers if they have changed their opinions about eBook readers. [6077]
  • 2008-May-07: Switched On talks about the opportunity Linux has due to the growing market for low cost ultra-portable laptops started by the ASUS Eee. [6065] [1]
  • 2008-May-07: The Yinlips Micro PC YDP-G77 is another Eee competitor. [6064]
  • 2008-May-07: The ASUS Eee 900 is now available for pre-order in the US with delivery set to start on May 12. Apparently Costco will be carrying it. [6063]
  • 2008-May-06: It has been obvious to geeks and some Wall Street types that the mini-notebook format popularized by the ASUS Eee is becoming significant in the world PC market, and now others are taking note. The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at this in the light of a potential billion customers (discussed here on Slashdot). [6050]
  • 2008-Apr-30: The Aris Kira 740 is another ASUS Eee clone, this one has a bit bigger case. [6002]
  • 2008-Apr-30: The i-station UDC from Digital Cube is another Korea-only cross between an electronic dictionary and a PMP, but this one gets pretty close to a webpad, including a 4.3 inch display and 30GB drive. [6001]
  • 2008-Apr-25: A summary review of all the current and announced low-cost ultra portable laptops. [5957]
  • 2008-Apr-23: The Akoya Mini from Medion is another potential competitor to the ASUS Eee 900. [5954]
  • 2008-Apr-23: The launch of the ASUS 9-inch Eee 900 starts now (in Hong Kong and the UK). Looks like being about $500 for both the Linux and Win XP versions, but you get 8GB more SSD in the Linux version for the same price. The US release of this is to be on May 12th for $549. There are reports that the first batch of Eee 900 machines to be sold in hong Kong have included a 4400mHh battery pack rather than the 5800mAh unit that was in the reviewers' units. ASUS is going to be replacing the 4400mHh batteries with 5800mAh units. [5821]
  • 2008-Apr-21: ASUS has revealed there will be an Intel Atom processor version of the Eee PC that will launch in the summer of 2008 (it is expected this will improve battery life) and that there will be a 10-inch screen size later this year. [5941]
  • 2008-Apr-21: The ASUS Eee PC 900 gets dissected. [5940]
  • 2008-Apr-18: Rumors are circulating that the next step in the ASUS Eee dance will be taken in June'08 with the introduction of an Intel Atom-based Eee. This would improve performance while also increasing battery life, both of which are weak spots for the current 7 and 9 inch Eees. [5846]
  • 2008-Apr-16: The HP 2133 Mini-Note will be getting a Windows XP option. [5825]
  • 2008-Apr-16: The first reviews of the ASUS Eee PC 900, a collection can be found here on Engadget and more discussion here on Slashdot. [5824]
  • 2008-Apr-15: The Indian company HCL is going to make a Windows XP based small laptop similar to the ASUS Eee, and are targeting $429 for it. One nice feature is that it will have a screen that converts to tablet mode. [5812]
  • 2008-Apr-15: It appears that Microsoft will actually be making a special build of Windows XP for the ASUS Eee laptop. [5811] [1]
  • 2008-Apr-14: The Datacask from Fukato looks like an attempt to compete with the original Eee, but at a higher price. Why bother? [5791]
  • 2008-Apr-10: At about $1500 the Kohjinsha SR8KPO6S is a UMPC mini-laptop with a 7 inch display and a built in DVD burner - which makes it pretty unique for this form factor. Still a $1000 premium for the DVD drive is pretty steep, so this is hardly a threat to the ASUS Eee. [5760]
  • 2008-Apr-09: In What's the perfect balance for a budget laptop the Slashdot community discusses the small, portable, laptop market. [5757]
  • 2008-Apr-09: Dell may be entering the 9 inch laptop market. With HP (Compaq) already there and Dell entering the waters in June (along with several other smaller fish) ASUS is going to either have to innovate or reduce prices to keep its market. [5749]
  • 2008-Apr-08: Google's Android has been made to run on the Nokia N810 web tablet. [5747]
  • 2008-Apr-08: Rumors of the HP UMPC 2133 look pretty good, it is roughtly the same size as the ASUS Eee but it corrects the greatest problem with the Eee, the screen size. The HP has an 8.9 inch display running at 1366x766 resolution. Unknown price and availability at this point, but maybe this will stir ASUS into bringing out a 9 or 10 inch version of the Eee at a reasonable price. According to Engadget this is to go on sale 7-Apr-08 for prices from $549 to $749. The lowest price model comes with Linux, while for $600 and up versions of Vista are included. This might put some more downwards pressure on the new ASUS Eee 9 inch model's price. The Mini-Note has now been released, the HP press release is here and Engadget has a collection of reviews here. Discussed here on Slashdot. [5119]
  • 2008-Apr-08: The ASUS 8.9 inch Eee may not wait for the Intel Atom to ship. [5737]
  • 2008-Apr-07: The 7-inch ASUS Eee is now available at Best Buy with Windows XP pre-installed for $399. Given this, shouldn't the Linux versions take a drop in price? [5616]
  • 2008-Apr-07: A European answer to the Eee? Van Der Led is going to produce the Jisus laptop for about €299 which will incude an 8.9 inch display (though only 800x480 resolution). [5615]
  • 2008-Apr-03: Microsoft is now going to keep supplying Windows XP (sounds like the Home version) until at least 2010 for devices like the ASUS Eee. [5540] [1]
  • 2008-Apr-03: The ASUS R50 UMPC is a 5.6 inch handheld device, that's supposed to sell for something over $500 starting in June'08. [5382]
  • 2008-Apr-03: CTL's 2go PC is an implementation of the Intel Classmate PC, this will be available through Amazon and priced in the $300-500 range. There is a review of it here. CTL also makes the IL1PC which is a direct competitor to the ASUS 7-inch Eee, discussed here on Engadget. [5488]
  • 2008-Apr-02: Everex is expected to release an Eee competitor with a 9-inch display in June'08 - which hopefully will cause ASUS to do something similar. In March'08 at CITA more specifications for this were released it looks like this will keep the pressure on the ASUS Eee line. They are calling this version the Cloudbook MAX, here are some hands on photos. [4718]
  • 2008-Apr-01: Nokia has let slip that a new version of their N810 is just around the corner (which would explain the recent price drop of the current N810) and this will include WiMax. The N810 WiMAX Edition gets official. [5349]
  • 2008-Apr-01: The Cybook Gen3 (by Bookeen) is a nice looking ebook reader. It gets reviewed here (with some discussion of the e-paper technology used in these devices) with more discussion on Engadget here. [2260]
  • 2008-Mar-31: HotHardware takes a look at the Windows XP equipped version of the ASUS Eee PC which starts shipping about April 9th. Discussed here on Slashdot. [5359]
  • 2008-Mar-26: The ASUS 9 inch Eee makes an appearance on the FCC website. [5334]
  • 2008-Mar-26: The ASUS 8.9 inch Eee PC will include a touchscreen system. [5333]
  • 2008-Mar-25: There has been some talk that Intel might enter the Eee competition with something called the Netbook, here are some possible pictures of this. And some more views of it, where it's being called the Eco PC. It has appeared in Malaysia where it will be called the SmartBook and is made by FTEC and there is about a $40 difference in price between the 7 and 9 inch screens. It is also going to be made by CTL and will be called the 2go PC. [5302]
  • 2008-Mar-14: The FRLN from Frontier is a 12.1 inch ultra portable laptop that weighs in at 2.7 pounds (only about half a pound more than an Eee). At $1260 it's a lot more than an Eee, but that's also a lot less than other similar laptops. One flaw is that it's using an 800MHz A110 processor, so it will not be super fast - however this probably helps reduce its power requirements, and so probably helps keep its battery weight down. [5267]
  • 2008-Mar-12: CNet compares the Eee to its new competitors. Now if Dell were to downsize their Vostro 1400 a bit, say drop the optical drive and give it a 12" screen, and cut the weight a pound or two, then the Eee (and the others) would be in serious trouble. [5260]
  • 2008-Mar-11: the EB-100 and EB-300 from Netronix (who also manufacture e-ink displays) are a 6-inch and a 10-inch pair of new e-books. [5251]
  • 2008-Mar-10: There will be a 9 inch version of the ASUS Eee PC, full details are to be release 5-Mar-08. This new screen will have a 1024x600 resolution which will make using the Eee a bit easier. It looks like there will be a Windows XP version of the 9-inch Eee, perhaps because Vista would be too slow. More details on this from the ASUS CEO, it will have an SSD drive (rather than straight flash) and be using the newer Intel Atom chip set, priced at US$499 at launch (in May). [5213]
  • 2008-Mar-04: While not really a webpad size device, the VA1500V laptop from Everex is the same price as an ASUS Eee and brings you a 15 inch screen at the cost of about 3 pounds more weight. Clearly the $399 price point is becoming significant. [5218]
  • 2008-Mar-01: The Eee PC 4G-X has launched in Japan, this is a version preloaded with Windows XP, it should be available in the USA soon. [5194]
  • 2008-Feb-27: Hacking the Everex CloudBook has started, the first steps are to dissect and inspect one. [5174] [1]
  • 2008-Feb-26: One Eee user has hacked it by upgrading the processor to a Pentium-M. [5170] [1]
  • 2008-Feb-24: The haptic input device, this is a "braille-like" touch pad that is located on the back of a hand-held device (like a PDA). You can then use it to operate the device one-handed by touching this pad with a finger from the hand that is holding it. A rather interesting idea, I've always found the few direct access buttons that Palm devices have to be a quick way of doing a few things, and by virtue of them being near the edge of the device they can be used one-handed (though it is a bit awkward). The Sony Clie Palm devices had a scroll wheel and a button that were situated on the side at the top left allowing one to control some functions with the thumb if you were holding it in the left hand. This worked quite well, except support for the scroll wheel was rather limited. I would think that a row of small buttons down one side would also work well. [5150] [1]
  • 2008-Feb-13: The Nokia 810, the successor to the N800, is now official. The biggest visible change is that it has a slider-style keyboard. And more news about this, including a price of $479, so this will be a tough sell against the ASUS Eee at $399. The Nokia site's page on the 810. This article has a good set of photos which even comapare the N810 to the iPhone, the N810 almost looks like a slightly larger version of the iPhone and does not seem to be that much thicker. Discussed here on Slashdot. Here are some first impressions of the N810 and some information on the micro USB plug it has. [3455]
  • 2008-Feb-09: The DreamBook is another hopeful contender to the ASUS Eee, but it looks like it has the same limitations and is bigger and costs more. [5071]
  • 2008-Feb-09: Congratulations ASUS, you know you've made the big time when hackers have found a vulnerability in your product, in this case the Eee. [5070]
  • 2008-Feb-06: Some videos of the new Garmin nuvifone in action, including one showing the email and web browsers. [5053]
  • 2008-Feb-06: The ultimate, monster, super-sized webpad, or just a hoax? I'm guessing a hoax. [5052]
  • 2008-Jan-31: The nuvifone from Garmin combines GPS navigator, phone, PMP, web browser, WiFi and BlueTooth into one sleek touch screen controlled device. Start saving now for a Q3 2008 release. Since it does WiFi one would presume that when a WiFi link is available you can browse the web through it. Does this have any PDA functionality? If it did then it might be a reason for Palm owners to switch. Is the platform open enough to allow 3rd party developers to write applications for it? [5024]
  • 2008-Jan-29: MSI is getting set to enter the Eee PC market, probably in Q3 2008. [5012]
  • 2008-Jan-21: Here is an Eee PC that has been extensively hacked to include GPS, Bluetooth, 802.11n, an FM transmitter, modem and SDHC card reading. [4971] [1]
  • 2008-Jan-18: More rumors about the next generation of ASUS Eee PCs. [4958]
  • 2008-Jan-18: The LifeBook P1620 from Fujitsu would make a great web pad, pity about the price though. [4957]
  • 2008-Jan-17: GigaByte is planning to enter the low cost computer market as well - and since they are talking about 7 and 9 inch displays its likely they want some of the Eee action too. [4755]
  • 2008-Jan-14: How to load Ubuntu Linux onto an OLPC. [4673] [1]
  • 2008-Jan-13: Is iriver working on an e-book device? Or are they just floating some product ideas to try to gage market response? [4666]
  • 2008-Jan-12: In the photos that follow this Engadget CES'08 article there are some interesting things, this item appears to be the swappable GSM radio module (which looks like you put your GSM SIM card into it and then put the module into whatever device you want to activate with GSM). An e-book reader, and another view. And another of these unobtainable Korean more than a dictionary devices that might function as a small webpad (it may be something like this model: MD8500). Some sort of net TV viewer with WiFi support. The company doing this is apparently GroupSense. [4660] [1] [2]
  • 2008-Jan-11: In The Paradox of Choice there is a good discussion of Microsoft's project to "port XP to the OLPC", and how the OLPC team is supporting them with documentation. There is also some information about Debian being capable of running on the OLPC. [4650]
  • 2008-Jan-11: In the first picture of this IRiver tease-fest series there is a rather nice looking micro laptop or webpad type device. The other pages have a number of interesting looking devices, probably made from unobtanium. This video clip demonstrates what one of these devices is all about, basically a small stereo/media player integrated with web phone and browser along with remote webpad-style display and control of media and a little keyboard that is concealed in a WiFi phone - but not until 2009. [4644] [1]
  • 2008-Jan-10: The LimePC series from THTF of lightweight portable computers, these are Linux based, so might be quite low cost if they make it to market. [4634]
  • 2008-Jan-10: An Amiga laptop at last! The Amiga Forever emulator) people have hacked an OLPC to run the Amiga OS, which is great as the Amiga software always made good use of display real estate. [4633]
  • 2008-Jan-10: ASUS's A501 looks like it will be a PDA-style UMPC (perhaps targeting the Nokia N800 series?). Engadget got their hands on one running Windows Vista at CES'08. [4147]
  • 2008-Jan-09: An ASUS Eee PC has been seen running the SplashTop instant-on Linux in BIOS (which ASUS provides with some of its motherboards). [4627]
  • 2008-Jan-09: The PackardBell EasyNote XS makes an appearance at CES'08. From the pictures it appears to have an external DVI port. This appears to be the same as the Cloudbook from Everex, which will be available from Walmart in the US starting 25-Jan-08. Looks like ASUS will need to do some revising of the Eee to stay ahead of the game, while not feature for feature identical they do target the same price point with some significant feature differences which is likely to split the market that ASUS has to itself at the moment. [4612]
  • 2008-Jan-09: Some pictures of the 8 inch Eee PC have emerged, looks like it will still have the same pixel size as the original 7 inch display though. Let's hope the 8.9 inch display increases the resolution. [4621]
  • 2008-Jan-09: An HSDPA equipped UMPC prototype from LG, this has a 4.8 inch display and runs Vista. [4620]
  • 2008-Jan-08: The Noahpad from E-Lead Electronic is another very small laptop, similar to the ASUS Eee - it is supposed to be shown at CES in Jan'08. It did get shown and it has a rather unique approach to the small keyboard problem. [4544]
  • 2008-Jan-08: At CES'08 a version of the Eee PC with WiMax was demoed as part of Sprint's XOHM network presentation. As well ASUS mentioned that there would be 8 and 8.9 inch versions of the Eee in the second quarter of 2008. [4610]
  • 2008-Jan-08: Wibrain announces its B1 UMPC, this is a smaller device that uses a split thumb-board type approach (like the PepperPad) to the keyboard. It also adds a touch sensitive pointing pad to the right side for mouse control. Currently the price on this makes it one of the most attractive UMPCs, at about $700. It get's unboxed here so you can get a better idea of it - I think the ASUS Eee PC is a better way to go. Here is a hands-on report from CES'08. [1610]
  • 2008-Jan-07: Fujitsu's LifeBook U1010, built with a 5.6 inch 1024x600 display and an 800MHz processor looks like it might make for a nice, compact, mobile unit. A video review can be found here. The U810 model looks like it might be rather nice and is priced at $1000. Some pictures of the U810 by Engadget taken at CES'08. [2150]
  • 2008-Jan-04: Camera Labs takes a look at the ASUS Eee PC and finds that it could be a good choice for a photographer to use (in conjunction with an external hard drive) to work on and backup photos in the field. [4575] [1]
  • 2007-Dec-28: More Eee hacking, this time to add a 3G HSDPA interface inside it. [4529]
  • 2007-Dec-28: Some Kindle easter eggs may make the Kindle a lot more appealing. The Google Maps page looks pretty nice. [4528]
  • 2007-Dec-23: The ASUS Eee shipped 350k units in its first quarter. [4514]
  • 2007-Dec-20: Some thoughts on how the Asus Eee is changing the laptop market at 20000 units per month. Its rather ironic how close to this success Palm came with their abandoned Foleo, if they had dropped the emphasis on it being tied to a mobile phone and had priced it around the $400 mark they would have been a viable competitor to the Eee - especially with the larger screen (which is still the Eee's main weakness). [4475]
  • 2007-Dec-20: The Asus Eee PC model 2G Surf is now available (and there are some case colour choices). [4474]
  • 2007-Dec-18: The iTablet T221 UMPC from Amtek looks like a nice 12 inch unit, but the price is currently unknown. [4463]
  • 2007-Dec-14: How to stuff Windows Vista onto the ASUS Eee PC. Yikes, I can sort of understand putting Windows XP onto one of these, but Vista is way overkill. [4429]
  • 2007-Dec-13: If only this iriver D27 e-dictionary was a full computer, it would make a great pocketable laptop replacement. [4423]
  • 2007-Dec-13: A version of Ubuntu has been squeezed onto the ASUS Eee PC. [4422]
  • 2007-Dec-10: The Everex Cloudbook could give the ASUS Eee some competition in early 2008. Which would be a good thing if it encourages ASUS to release a 10 inch Eee. [4403]
  • 2007-Dec-10: ASUS says not to worry too much about breaking the "warranty void if sticker removed" seals that are plastered over the back of your Eee - unless you're opening it to solder something in place. [4401]
  • 2007-Dec-02: The ASUS Eee PC 8GB Flash/1GB RAM version is expected to go on sale for $499 in mid-Dec'07. [4382]
  • 2007-Nov-28: Some Linux users are complaining that the ASUS Eee PC violates the GPL by not including the required source code. Of course the GPL just calls for that source code to be made available somehow, so presumably ASUS will at some point make it available on their web site. It looks like ASUS has addressed this issue and is saying it was a mistake. [4188]
  • 2007-Nov-28: Compal is going to enter the UMPC (MID) market in 2008. Looks like the ASUS Eee has attracted some attention from competitors. [4203]
  • 2007-Nov-27: Amazon's Kindle e-book reader will also provide the ability to access the web through EVDO-like wireless connectivity. This may start a shift in the design of other e-book readers towards something that can act more like a web pad. From the official release presentation Engadget has more information on the Kindle, here, here and here. Some more reviews have appeared and are discussed here on Slashdot. [4171]
  • 2007-Nov-25: An unboxing and initial review of the new Nokia N810. This has a photo that shows the N810 as a little bit smaller than the N800 and about 1/4 to 1/3 the size of an ASUS Eee PC, so obviously if you want to put your mobile device in your pocket you'll go the Nokia route over the ASUS. [4189]
  • 2007-Nov-19: The Gigabyte M704 UMPC will have a slide out keyboard (rather like the Nokia N810). [4172]
  • 2007-Nov-16: ASUS is denying plans for a 10 inch Eee PC "...at the moment". I guess that will change when Everex brings out their first 9 inch model. [4163]
  • 2007-Nov-16: Everex's CE260 and CE261 ultra-portables my provide ASUS's Eee some competition in early 2008. They are also planning models with larger 9 and 11 inch displays. [4162]
  • 2007-Nov-15: It is possible to run the Mac Leopard OS on an ASUS Eee PC. [4159]
  • 2007-Nov-15: ASUS confirms that the 8G version of the Eee PC will have a 10 inch screen, to be shipped in 2008. Turns out the 10 inch model had been shown at Computex, and AKIHABARANEWS.com took pictures, though it also has a slightly larger case which is contrary to current statements from ASUS. [4151]
  • 2007-Nov-14: Apparently the N810 firmware can be installed on the N800 Nokia units. [4152]
  • 2007-Nov-14: Samsung is updating its Q1 UMPC to the Ultra Premium edition. [4146]
  • 2007-Nov-09: Engadget asks: How would you change Asus' Eee PC? [4061]
  • 2007-Nov-09: ASUS is thinking of introducing a desktop version of the Eee PC in 2008. [4060]
  • 2007-Nov-08: The ASUS 2G Surf Eee PC is due to be available in Jan'08 for $299. [4052]
  • 2007-Nov-07: The ASUS Eee PC is going to be available in black as well, in case you don't want to be pestered by MacFanBoys. [4041]
  • 2007-Nov-05: The ASUS Eee PC gets unboxed, for those who really want to know what's in the package. [4024]
  • 2007-Nov-04: Even Forbes is taking note of the ASUS Eee PC, this includes mention of the user upgradeable flash memory storage system (probably by using the mini PCI card slot inside the machine). [3959]
  • 2007-Nov-04: BestBuy will be getting the Eee next week. If you're in Alberta you can get one from MemoryExpress in Calgary right now, I saw one in their store on 3-Nov-07 and its pretty nice. The keyboard is small, but most people should be able to still touch type (but with more errors than on a full sized keyboard). The main thing is that its a light and very portable general purpose computer, so I think it has some significant advantages compared to a high end PDA or something like the Nokia N810. [3926]
  • 2007-Nov-02: The ASUS Eee PC gets dissected. [3912]
  • 2007-Nov-01: The Asus Eee PC 701 gets reviewed by Laptop Mag, discussed here on Engadget. There's at least one 701 in the UK getting passed around the reviewers and its being received favorably. CNet's Rory Reid got his hands on it and quite liked it, a Slashdot discussion of this review revealed that ZDNet was to have reviewed the machine after CNet, but that CNet had messed it up by trying (and failing) to install XP on it. However, Rupert Goodwins the the ZDNet reviewer then fixed the problem by installing the new Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon release on it. Since the standard Ubuntu installed with only minor issues I'm guessing that this little laptop might receive a lot of attention from the Linux community which should be a good thing for it. There is also an unofficial Eee PC forum at www.eeeuser.com along with lots more news and some unofficial specs (like the VGA port supports up to 1600x1280). NewEgg appears to be the first to claim to have stock of these in the USA. Engadget has a round up of the latest post-release reviews. This review from Notebook Review is especially noteworthy has it includes instructions on dissecting your new laptop and also on upgrading the RAM to a maximum of 2GB. [3513]
  • 2007-Oct-24: The Pepper Pad 2 looks promising at US$800 (pre-order pricing) its the only thing I have seen that has an 800x600 display, WiFi, 256M RAM, hard disk, a reasonable means of user input... In fact the only two things that I have noticed as being weak are the USB connector is only v1.1 and the media slot does not do Compact Flash (although I presume one could hook up a compact flash reader to the USB port if needed). It also does not have VGA output, but it does have composite video out. This made an appearance at the DEMOmobile 2004 show in Sept'04 and gets discussed here on Slashdot. In Aug'05 it is starting to get some coverage and appears to be shipping at last, see pepper.com. In June'06 the PepperPad 3 was announced. In Oct'06 the PepperPad 3 is due to ship. Here is a pretty positive review of the PepperPad3. Engadget reports that the Pepper Computer company is struggling. [1514]
  • 2007-Oct-19: The Nseries WOM World has a good collection of Nokia N810 information. [3472]
  • 2007-Oct-17: The ASUS Eee gets official USA pricing, from $299 to $399. What's the bet, given that the fully equipped item is only $100 more than the entry level, that the $399 unit outsells the smaller units by a long way? [3454]
  • 2007-Oct-16: ASUS has finally announced the specifications of the first Eee PC models to be shipped. The prices appear to be $245, $304, $335, $420 according to this site. [3450]
  • 2007-Oct-15: Could this be the next generation of the Nokia N800? A press release has let it slip that the next Nokia will be the N810 and is to be shown in public on Oct 23/07, there also has been a recent drop in price on the N800 and remaining stock of the older N770 was blown out in Aug'07 by various vendors. [1608]
  • 2007-Oct-12: The ASUS Eee PC is due to be shipped in October'07; BestBuy and Newegg are expected to be carrying it. ASUS stated that they have received contract orders for over 1 million units already. [3102]
  • 2007-Oct-10: The Samsung SPH-9200 UMPC (the cute flip and fold split keyboard design) is getting closer, its manual has been leaked. [3051]
  • 2007-Oct-06: This all-in-one PC from XtremeNotebooks would make the world's largest webpad. Well, it would be really too large to be comfortable, especially the 22 inch model, though the 19 inch model might just work - if they made a 10 - 12 inch model that would be great. The little prop-stand that allows it to be placed on a counter top easily might make for a nice recipe display device for a kitchen (though an e-book would really be better). [2618]
  • 2007-Oct-05: Here's a review of the XO Laptop (from the OLPC people). [2538]
  • 2007-Sep-30: The Asus Eee PC has been spotted in pre-order mode again. [2378]
  • 2007-Sep-28: ASUS is updating their UMPC offering again, this time the R2E will get a better processor, more disk and RAM and an HSDPA connection. [2259]
  • 2007-Sep-26: The Asus Eee PC 701 gets its first review a translation is here. [2250]
  • 2007-Sep-22: The Asus R3 UMPC is getting closer to market. [2241]
  • 2007-Sep-19: A new round of potential webpads are being shown by Intel, now they are calling them MIDs for Mobile Internet Devices - looks like they might finally be getting it. Here is a closer look at the MID from BenQ. [2152]
  • 2007-Sep-01: The CE260 and CE261 from FIC have appeared on the FCC web site which means that they should become available in North America. [1613]
  • Antelope Technologies are building a palm type device, or maybe its a small foot print laptop, or perhaps a web pad type device. [5861]
  • The Simputer project, the goal being to build a low-cost handheld unit for the rest of the world [5860]
  • The Samsung SPH-P9200 is a little portable computer that folds up from three sections. [1612]
  • Aug'07, Samsung has added three new models to the Q1 lineup, still expensive though [1611]
  • July'07 Tatung launces the 10.4 inch WebPad TX-3000 in Thailand. [1609]
  • The PocketSurfer 2 from DataWind is a compact mobile web surfing device, sounds like it uses a GSM data hookup. This started shipping in Europe in Oct'08. The UbiSurfer and PocketSurfer3 are coming to the US in Oct'09, hopefully with a nice data plan like the Europeans get. [1607]
  • These Ricavision Slideshow PDAs could stir things up at the low end of the market, especially if they really do get sold for $150. [1606]
  • The Archos 605 WiFi unit might make for a good webpad, along with PMP, its got an 800x480 display with WiFi. [1605]
  • Kohjinsha's K600 would be a nice unit, this is also going to get an SSD drive. [1604]
  • In June'07 Asus announced the Eee PC 701 which is a compact mini-laptop (more full-featured than the Palm Foleo) and claimed to be targeting an entry level price of $200! Wow! There is a Wikipedia article here. Even if these really cost $400 by the time you've added a few options they will sell like hot cakes. From the comments in this article it appears the screen might be quite low resolution (and certainly is smaller than the available case size suggests), still this might only be the case for the lowest price version. Later comments on this indicate that there may be two screen sizes offered (for the same case) a smaller 7 inch and a 10 inch size. It gets another look at here on Notebook Review, since this is a full (but very small) notebook with 8GB (or 16GB in a more expensive model) of flash drive, and a bigger screen and a keyboard for less than the Nokia N800 it will be giving the Nokia a stiff battle. HotHardware looks at it here. Discussed here on Slashdot. [1603]
  • In June'07 Via introduced a new reference design for ultraportable laptop computers. Looks like it is targeted at the same price point as the Palm Foleo but with more functions. FIC (known as Everex in the USA and Packard Bell in Europe) will be making these, expected to ship in Aug'07. Here is what the FIC CE261 UMPC looks like, and some preliminary specs. iDOT is planning to make two NanoBook type notepads. [1602]
  • The Fujitsu FMV-U8240 UMPC, quite portable, a cross between a notebook and a UMPC, though still quite pricey. [1601]
  • At the end of May'07 Palm announced their new Foleo Mobile Companion, which has a 10 inch display, 1024x600 pixels, real keyboard, weighs 2.5 pounds and will run for 5 hours doing WiFi. Engadget has coverage, including some hands on. Slashdot discusses this here. In Aug'07 Palm announced that this would be powered by Wind River Systems Linux. Some additional specifications were released in early Aug'07. [1599]
  • A comparison of the OLPC and the Classmate PC [1598]
  • July'07, the OLPC may be sold to first world customers in time for Christmas 2007. Production has commenced on the OLPC. [1597]
  • On 20-May-07 the OLPC project got coverage on the US TV news journal show "60 Minutes", while a lot of the focus was on the strife between OLPC and Intel, Nicholas Negroponte was asked when Americans would be able to buy these for their children, to which he replied that, this was planned for but you would have to buy two: one for your child and one for a third world child. Here's the quote from the show: "If you’re wondering if the One Laptop will be available in the U.S., right now Negroponte’s in talks with some states and school districts. He says it will be sold commercially in the future, but you’ll have to buy two: one for your child and one for a child in a poor country." [1596]
  • A very good write up about the OLPC project. The OLPC people really need to find a way to sell these to people in developed nations as well, charging substantially more per laptop, to raise funds to use in subsidising sales into the poorer countries. Also, putting more of these in the hands of people in developed nations is going to result in more software being written for them, which will help in the long term success. [1595]
  • The JanLin iBook eReader is a Linux based e-ink device with WiFi, perphaps thins might also function as a webpad? [1594]
  • The Q1 Ultra is Samsung's second generation UMPC to be released in May'07. Another unit targeting the $799 price point. This gets a video review from Walter Mossberg, which concludes that it is a significant improvement over the first version of the Q1 to the point of actually being useful for a limited audience (which would include webpad type usage) now. [1593]
  • It looks like Windows will not officially be available for OLPC [1592]
  • The Cathena CX UMPC from Data Evolution is step up like a laptop with a swivel screen and at $799 is at the more reasonably priced end of the UMPC market. [1591]
  • The Clearview XL43 UMPC might be a reasonable web pad [1590]
  • The P70WN and P50WN from Fujitsu mike make good web pads if their price is right, these are lightweight (2.2 pounds) and have 8.9 inch 1280x768 displays. [1589]
  • The Classmate PC might make a usable web pad, according to Engadget Asustek will be building these in mid-2007 at prices between $199 and $549. More news on this, Asus is now looking at a range of $249-$549. In Mar'08 the Classmate PC started appearing for sale in the Philippines under the name Neo Explore X1 for about $400. Intel is officially planning to sell the Classmate in North America and Europe, they are still talking about sub-$300 pricing. Intel is launching a second generation of the Classmate. [1588]
  • In April'07 Intel started showing UMPCs based on Linux to try to get some interest in the consumer section of the marketplace. Might be a good way of shaving a $100 or so off the retail price. [1587]
  • The Cowon Q5 PMP (with an 800x480 display) might make for a limited web pad as well as a media player. [1586]
  • The Sony VAIO G1 with a 12.1 inch display and weighing only 1.89 pounds now has an SSD drive which bumps its run time up to 12.5 hours - that would make a nice web pad! [1585]
  • Quanta is planning to produce a model of the OLPC for developed countries to target the $200 price point. Such a beastie might make for a good webpad. In late Apr'07 there was talk that the OLPC might also be sold to schools in the USA. [1584]
  • In Mar'07 the OQO Model 02 started shipping [1583]
  • The HTC Shift is a UMPC with a keyboard [1582]
  • The HTC Advantage is a very compact (5.4 inch screen) device, and will be available in the US [1581]
  • The Asus T83 is a UMPC with a keyboard and swivel screen [1580]
  • The Nurian Z1 might actually be a useful web pad [1579]
  • The Archos 705 might work as a webpad, we'll see in June'07. The Archos 704-WiFi actually shipped in Mar'07 and it looks like it might make a useful webpad, there is an unboxing here and Engadget coverage here. An additional review of it is here. [1578]
  • The HTC Athena might make a good webpad [1577]
  • The STAReBOOK is reviewed here, according to this article it is Linux based so maybe someone will start hacking it to provide an alternative firmware with more Geek-appeal? [1576]
  • The US700W and the larger US701 and US702 look like they might make good UMPC type webpads [1575]
  • The Loox from Fujitsu would make a nice web pad with a 10 inch display and weighing only 2.6 pounds. [1574]
  • Photos of all the UMPC units that were at CES in Jan 2007 [1573]
  • EdgeTech has a mobile internet palmtop that looks like a large PDA or small electronic dictionary that they call "The Edge" [1572]
  • iRiver has shown (Jan'07) their E-BOOk reader, which has a nice dual screen setup [1571]
  • The PC-68001 from Malata is a low cost laptop (in the US$300 range) that runs Linux from a flash drive and has an 800x480 pixel display. [1570]
  • A portable electronic dictionary that runs WinCE and has WiFi capabilities and a browser and a keyboard... neat, but only available in Korea. [1569]
  • Intel is going to try to make an inexpensive flash-drive based laptop, for use in education primarily, but maybe one of these might work well as a webpad? [1568]
  • another approach to the web pad niche would be a wireless tablet client, such as Viewsonic's V212, but still, at $1500 that's really about three times as much as it should be. [1567]
  • In Nov'06 Fujitsu launched its Stylistic ST5100 Tablet PC units, nice [1566]
  • A first cross-over device, the Archos 604 WiFi brings web browsing to a portable media player. Naturally keyboarding is going to be a problem here, but it's an interesting change of territory, it would be nice to see this sort of thing happen with a portable DVD player device, given the larger screen size those tend to have. [1565]
  • The Sony VAIO VGN-TXN15P gets reviewed [1564]
  • The Fujitsu T4125 and P1610 would be nice. The P1610 gets reviewed here. [1563]
  • The SPH-P9000 from Samsung might make for a very portable web device with a reasonable sized folding keyboard, it is due to appear in Dec'06. [1562]
  • The Kohjinsha SA1F00 looks like it could make a nice web pad and at a more reasonable price, it gets reviewed here. Here is an english review. Engadget gets their hands on it at CES in Jan'07. [1561]
  • At 1.98 pounds and with a 6 hour battery life Sony's Vaio G might make a very nice web pad type laptop. If only it was 1/2 the price. [1560]
  • LG's C1 XNote looks like it might make a nice webpad [1559]
  • Fujitsu is developing a colour e-ink system [1558]
  • Panasonic may release an ebook reader with a colour display called the Words Gear. Here's a more detailed look. In late Nov'06 this was given an official launch date of 20-Dec (in Japan) and a price of only $355 which makes it quite interesting. [1557]
  • The Raon Digital Vega, a viable UMPC [1556]
  • The S-XGen flip-and-fold UMPC will have a reasonable sized keyboard, possibly available in 2007. In early Jan'07 it appears to have shipped. Engadget gets their hands on it at CES, [1555]
  • Sony's PRS-500 e-book reader is starting (Sept'06) to appear in reviewer's hands. Engadget got a hands on look. Here are a few more reviews of it. [1554]
  • Amazon is preparing to release an e-book reader of their own to go along with a new store called "Kindle" on Amazon. [1553]
  • The HiPAD II is a nice looking 10.4 inch unit [1552]
  • The UX180P from Sony includes a keyboard, but is even more expensive than the regular UMPCs. Reviewed by MobileTechReview and discussed here on Slashdot. [1551]
  • The C1 is UMPC-like, but with a higher spec. [1550]
  • The WiBro from SODIFF, is a UMPC-like device with a keyboard. [1549]
  • Averatec, makes some small (10 and 12in display) notebooks that might be good web pads. The AV2260-EK1 gets reviewed here. [1548]
  • The Samsung Q35 is a 12.1 in laptop with a 1.9kg weight. [1547]
  • The NEC Versa L1100 13.1 inch screen ultra-portable laptops weigh in at 2kg (4.4 lbs) so a lighter than the MacBook (5.2 lbs). [1546]
  • The Dialogue Flybook has an interesting screen mounting designed to make it easier to view the screen in a typical airline's scum class seating, especially useful when the person in front of you reclienes its seat for the whole flight. This sort of arrangement might make for a bit more comfortable web surfing when reclined on the couch. The V33i version of this is reviewed here. [1545]
  • Initial reviews of the UMPCs are not good. [1544]
  • The TabletKiosk V7110 UMPC has arrived in the US for $900 [1543]
  • Citizen has produced an LCD that retains the image even when power is turned off, this could be useful in eBook type applications. [1542]
  • The Averatec AHI UMPC (might be available in fall 2006) adds a built-in keyboard to the UMPC form factor, so it might work well. In June'06 some more information about this appeared. The keyboard is going to be compact, but should be adequate for filling in web forms and sending short emails. [1541]
  • Fujitsu's Loox P70S and T70S look like they might do a good job. [1540]
  • the FlyBook v23i, is a very small and pricey laptop [1539]
  • The iLiad eBook reader from iRex, looks pretty nice except for an insane 650euro price. This is supposed to ship in Europe in June'06. This gets a review from ars technica. A new version of this < ahref="http://www.engadget.com/2008/05/07/irex-launches-new-iliad-book-edition-e-book-reader/">was launched in May'08, still very expensive though at $770. [1538]
  • Perhaps this W10 unit from iRiver? [1537]
  • How about this wrist-mounted unit [1536]
  • The Samsung Q30 laptop, which uses a solid-state disk drive, actually looks like a good fit (though the price is probably high), and weighs about 822g. [1535]
  • In Mar'06 many rumors of the "Origami" device from Microsoft started to circulate. This appears to overlap with Intel's UMPC prototype. Intel is talking about the first production versions of this in 2006 costing about $1000 (with 3 hour battery life) and in 2007 delivering a version in the $500 range with all-day (probably 8 hour) battery life. A version of this from Samsung is to be shown in March at CeBIT. [1534]
  • NEC introduces the first full laptop with no hard drive, instead it packs 3GB of flash RAM. This results in a reduction in weight and power, plus should also make the unit more durable. Now we just need a good web pad built along the same lines. [1533]
  • The Ruby, an Intel reference design prototype, is a compact PC the size of an over-sized PDA. If its ever produced it might make a good web pad. [1532]
  • The Nokia 770 has been released in Europe and is due for a North America release on 10 Nov 2005. This has a 4.1" 800x480 display and WiFi and Bluetooth for networking. It is reviewed here. Expected price is under US$500. Some pictures comparing the Nokia 770 to other small devices. This is due to be released in North America on Nov 17th, for US$359. A review of the 770 by Ars Technica, discussed on Slashdot. In early Jan'06 Nokia announced (discussed here on Slashdot) there was a 2 week waiting period to get a 770. It gets reviewed here on InfoWorld. Some more info on the USB port here, it appears to be client-mode but can be tricked into being host mode. Here's a review of it by Mark Davis. In late Oct'06 information about a successor device started to appear, such as this from the FCC site. Here are some photos of the new Nokia 870, the successor to the 770. In Jan'07 the Nokia N800 started appearing on store shelves, it looks like it might be replacing the N770. The N800 gets discussed on Slashdot. A round up of various N800 reviews. The N800 is reviewed on the CoolTechZone.com with discussion on Slashdot. The N800 may get a WiMAX version in 2008. [1531]
  • E-Ink gets closer, this time showing a 10.1" (tablet sized) display [1530]
  • Jinke's Hanlin eBook [1529]
  • The AMD Geode based internet appliance [1528]
  • A 733MHz Celeron powered tablet from Tatung [1527]
  • The Fujitsu Lifebook P1500 can now be obtained with the Windows XP Tablet Edition. [1526]
  • Motion Computing's LE1600 tablet has a 12" screen, very nice, but at around $2000 its too expensive for a home webpad [1525]
  • The Unication Linux-based Magpie PDA [1524]
  • Sharp's, Linux-based, SL-C3100 might almost do the trick [1523]
  • While not a full webpad, for $99 the Zipit instant messanger appliance includes WiFi and can have its applications replaced [1522]
  • The Sony Librie, not really a full webpad as its just an ebook reader, has been patched to have an english OS. This unit, if one was to add a WiFi interface and a browser might make for a very good webpad, even if only grey scale. In Dec'05 Sony started talking about releasing a version of this for the US market. Some other competing models are mentioned in this artical. More details on the Sony Reader. This gets discussed on Slashdot. And on Wired. Pricing is now expected to be in the US$350 range. [1521]
  • Electrovaya has the Scribbler SC-3000 Tablet PC, discussed here. [1520]
  • The HTC Universal is a Windows Mobile based cell phone that's rather large and includes a keyboard and VGA screen and WiFi support, it might even make a small web-pad. [1519]
  • Another nice looking unit from Motion Computing, the LS800, capable but still too much for casual browsing on the couch or at the breakfast table. [1518]
  • Maybe something like the Giga-Vue Pro could be transformed into a web pad? Although with only a 320x200 display this model would not be good enough. [1517]
  • Could a Windows CE based laptop be the way to go? [1516]
  • The Crestron TPMC-10 might be usable as a webpad [1515]
  • The new (Sept 2004) Creative PortableMediaCenter nearly reaches the spec for a web pad, it doesn't look like it has WiFi at this time. It gets reviewed by Engadget. [1513]
  • Maybe this Sharp Muramasa Mebius CV50 sub-notebook would do the trick, but at $2000 its rather expensive. [1512]
  • Finally, some tablet PCs that are appearing at a more reasonable price. This one from Averatec is to be available through Costco and Staples. [1511]
  • The Fujitsu v70 Wi-Fi PDA might actually be acceptable for a small web pad, it has a 640x480 display. [1510]
  • The Sony Viao U50 and U70 come close to what's needed, but at what a price! Here's a review. [1509]
  • Sony will be launching this E-ink based book reader, with a display that's only black and white but at about a 4x5 or maybe 5x7inches size and 170DPI resolution it would make for a great web pad if they added a wi-fi connection and made the display either grey scale or colour. Sounds like some other companies will be entering this market soon as well. The E-Ink people are the technology holders. [1508]
  • The MM20 laptop from Sharp is a lightweight laptop that would be a good webpad. [1507]
  • The FlipStart from Vulcan is a mini-PC that is setup to be "always-on" like a PDA, at only 450g and with a 1024x600 display this could be a nice web pad. [1506]
  • A good discussion on Slashdot on why the time to buy a Tablet PC has not yet arrived. [1505]
  • 16-Feb-04, here is a good table that compares the features of the various Tablet PC options [1504]
  • 13-Jan-04, here is a palm-top type machine from OQO, with an 800x480 display, 256MB RAM, 20GB disk and a 1GHz Transmeta processor. In Sept'05 they started shipping the OQO+ which raises it to 512MB and adds USB2.0 [1503]
  • 2-Dec-03, here is a twist-and-flip laptop that's running Linux that would make a reasonable webpad for US$999 [1502]
  • 2-Nov-03, maybe we should look to Citizen to make a real web pad, they just need to make a larger, colour version of this mini-PDA they are demoing. [1501]
  • 22-Jul-03 Slashdot talks about the new Sony Vaio PCG-TR1A sub-notebook which might make a pretty good webpad, but a few too many bells and whistles make it a bit too expensive. [1500]
  • Vulcan has sort of announced (its not clear at this time if they are ever going to actually sell this unit, as it is described as a concept) a mini-PC. Essentially its a very reduced size laptop design that's not much bigger than a pocket-PC unit, yet it has a an 800x480 display, 20GB of disk, 256MB RAM, WiFi, USB2.0 ... Still this is just about the thing to push me over the edge of the purchase decision cliff, but the suggested price of US$1999 is a bit steep - but its comparable to the true pad-PCs (which are quite over priced in my opinion). [1499]
  • A new tablet PC from StepUp Computing that can run Linux at a more realistic price point [1498]
  • Electrovaya may be bringing out an XP based tablet PC with 16 hours of run time [1497]
  • The OQO unit, which is sort of a large palm top, but with all the power of a full laptop. In June 2004 this has started to be demoed, here is a review. Oct'04 brings the release of the OQO, Engadget has compiled a number of reviews. It gets reviewed here too. [1496]
  • The Victor MP-XP7210 from JVC is a sub-kilogram sub-notebook that might make for a good web pad [1495]
  • Another tablet PC from Motion computing. Here is their product. [1494]
  • The Tablet PC from VIA [1493]
  • The Sony PCG-U1 is a micro laptop that is getting into the webpad size range. [1492]
  • The Airpanel 100 from ViewSonic [1491]
  • Paceblade make their Pacebook which can be used as a laptop or pad, this has been reviewed by AnandTech [1490]
  • The Clio is a WinCE powered device, which even includes a compact keyboard, but the display is only 640x480. [1489]
  • This Philips unit is a detachable monitor that uses 802.11 to transfer the data between it and your conventional PC, so while not a true web pad it could provide the equivalent functionality in a home or small office environment. [1488]
  • The Tiqit Handheld PC sounds like it might be pretty good (10-Mar-02) [1487]
  • review article from LinuxDevices.com that lists webpads based on Linux [1486]
  • NEC has this CW56 unit [1485]
  • Gateway may have this touchpad unit [1484]
  • SonicBlue has the Progear unit [1483]
  • FIC has shown the Aqua 3400 unit, it is the subject of a Slashdot article, and is reviewed here now. AnandTech reviews the FIC SlateVision tablet PC. As of July-03 the SlateVision is available for sale at Computer Geeks. [1482]
  • Sewoo I&T has shown some transmeta powered units [1481]

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