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NbC: Toshiba Mini NB200 netbook unboxed

August 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Toshiba NB200 UnboxedThe Toshiba Mini NB200 netbook is widely regarded as one of the better netbooks on the market today. The NB200 is Toshiba’s 10-inch follow up to its 8.9-inch NB100. The same netbook has been released with slightly different names in Japan (Dynabook UX) and the US (Mini NB205).

We managed to get hold of the NB200 to find out whether it really stands up to the hype. The particular model we have is the NB200-10Z, which is the high end SKU. This model comes with a 1.66GHz N280 Atom CPU, chiclet keyboard and a battery that is rated to last for around 9 hours. It also comes with a love-it-or-hate-it satin brown lid that we quite like, the matte finish means little risk of fingerprint marks.

One of the first things you notice when you lay eyes on the NB200 for the first time is that it is one of the more stylish offerings in the netbook space. It has a silver chiclet keyboard and slender chassis, it also feels very solidly built. We’re disappointed that Toshiba didn’t use a matte display, but we’ll see just how much this hinders use under extensive testing. A full review of the NB200 will follow, but in the meantime check out our unboxing video and photo gallery after the break. As always, if you have any questions please let us know in the comments below. Read more

NbC: ZeroShock III Netbook Case Review

August 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

ZeroShock III Netbook Case Following on from our last netbook case review of the Cool Bananas ‘Bullet Proof’ case, Gearzap kindly sent over another protective netbook case for us to evaluate. Gearzap is a specialist retailer of netbook and laptop accessories. They have an extensive catalogue of products and deliver across Europe.

This time they sent over the ZeroShock III case. It is a very popular case in Japan and is said to be extremely shock resistant (hence the name!) Once again, our case impressively arrived in just a couple of days. The case is advertised to fit netbooks with display sizes ranging from 8.9 to 10.2-inches. The ZeroShock III is available in three different colours (Black, White & Orange) and costs £13.95. GearZap apply a small delivery charge on top of this depending on whether shipping is to the UK or mainland Europe. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC 1005HA Seashell (N270) Review

August 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

Asus Eee PC 1005HA Seashell THUMBNAILThe Asus Eee PC 1005HA Seashell can be thought of as the spiritual successor to the company’s best-selling Eee PC 1000HE. It is thinner, lighter and sports a nicer design, whilst not compromising on the specifications and battery life. The 1005HA is a worthy update to the 1000HE and in our view, the biggest hurdle Asus’ marketing team will face is communicating the significant differences between the N270 and N280 Atom versions of the Eee PC 10005HA.

We reviewed the N270 Atom model and found it to be a very competent netbook, offering good build quality, a comfortable keyboard and a crisp matte display. However, battery life wasn’t stellar when compared to the standard set by the most recent models and the 1005HA also had heat issues. At its price point though, it offers great value for money compared to its peers. Read on for our thorough review, including some comprehensive performance and battery tests. Read more

NbC: MSI Wind U115 Hybrid Review

July 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

 MSI Wind U115 Hybrid THUMBNAILThe MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook is perhaps the most fully featured netbook on the market today. It’s driven by the powerful Poulsbo Intel chipset and an energy-efficient Z520 Atom processor. The biggest talking point surrounding the U115 Hybrid, however, is its dual hard-disk drive and solid-state storage. A combination of the above factors leads to the longest battery times we’ve seen in a netbook thus far.

All of this comes at a premium though. At around £450 the U115 Hybrid is significantly more expensive than its 10-inch peers. Despite the technology involved, this price may have been easier to swallow had the design moved on since the original Wind U100. However, if you have the spare cash and are not dictated by the fashionista, then the U115 Hybrid definitely deserves your consideration. Read on for our thorough review, including some comprehensive performance and battery tests. Read more

NbC: Cool Bananas Hard Cover Netbook Case Review

July 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Cool Bananas ThumbnailNetbooks are designed with portability in mind. A growing market of netbook sleeves, cases and bags are now becoming available to protect your netbook when on-the-road. Whilst sleeves do a good job of keeping the dust out and protecting against scratches, they won’t save your netbook if dropped. However, we do have one case here that should do a good job of protecting your beloved netbook against bumps and knocks.

The Cool Bananas Hard Cover netbook case was kindly sent over by GearZap, who are a specialist retailer of netbook and laptop accessories. They have an extensive catalogue of products and deliver across Europe. Our case impressively arrived in just one day. This particular case should fit any netbook between 8.9-inches to 10.2-inches. The Cool Bananas Hard Cover Netbook Case is available in five different colours (Black, Navy Blue, Brown, Red and Pink) and costs £21.95. GearZap apply a small delivery charge on top of this depending on whether shipping is to the UK or mainland Europe. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC 1005HA Seashell netbook unboxed

July 8, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Asus Eee PC 1005HA ThumbnailThe Asus Eee PC 1005HA was officially announced for the UK today and Asus were kind enough to send over the netbook for testing. The Eee PC 1005HA looks very similar to the first 1008HA Seashell model, but is slightly thicker and heavier due it having a removable battery (the 1008HA has a sealed battery). You also don’t get the flaps over the port doors that you get in the slimmer 1008HA. The 1005HA also has a full-sized VGA port.

As we reported earlier, there are two (quite different) UK SKUs for the Eee PC 1005HA. The model that we were sent is the Eee PC 1005HA-WHI064X. This particular version is the white 1005HA powered by a 1.6GHz N270 Atom CPU. Compared to the more expensive N280 Atom model, this model has a lower capacity 6-cell battery, no Bluetooth, no netbook sleeve, a matte screen (N280 SKU has a glossy screen) and a 0.3MP webcam (N280 SKU has a 1.3MP webcam). Read more

NbC: Ruby Red Eee PC Seashell hands-on + other colours announced

July 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Asus Eee PC 1005HA in BlueIt was going to happen at some point or the other, Asus has announced various colours for its Seashell range of Eee PC netbooks. Along with the standard black and white colours, the Eee PC 1008HA will also appear in Blue, Pink, Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue. The last two colours will come with an iridescent finish. The Eee PC 1005HA netbook will get just two new colours, Pink and Blue.

We went hands-on with a Ruby Red 1008HA Seashell last week and it looked very nice in the flesh. It also seemed less fingerprint prone to compared to the black version. From what we were told, these versions will come with no extra premium and the specifications will remain the same. You can check out to see how the Ruby Red Seashell looks in the pictures below. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC 1101HA video hands-on

June 26, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Asus Eee PC 1101HAAt yesterday’s Asus press event, we also managed to spend some time with the company’s first 11.6-inch Eee PC. The Eee PC 1101HA is certainly a very attractive device. I had always imagined that the move to a larger display size would mean a bulkier and compromised netbook. However, that wasn’t the case, the 1101HA felt only marginally bigger than current 10-inch netbooks.

In fact playing around with the model left me convinced that this particular size could become a sweet-spot for netbook manufacturers. You get a full-sized keyboard and high resolution display in a package that is not that much bigger than current 10-inchers. The keyboard came with flat keys and felt very responsive with the right amount of feedback. I was disappointed that it only had a small right shift key, especially considering the amount of space available. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC T91 tablet netbook video hands-on

June 26, 2009 at 11:45 am

Asus Eee PC T91 hands-onThe Asus Eee PC T91 is certainly one of the most eagerly awaited netbooks on the horizon. We managed to get hands-on with the 8.9-inch convertible tablet at a press event yesterday held at Lamborghini London. Overall our experience of the unit was a positive one, although we do have some reservations about the interface.

What strikes you when you first catch eyes on the T91 is just how small it is. The model doesn’t have the curves that you see on the Seashell Eee PC range, the T91’s design is more ‘boxy’, but that doesn’t detract from the styling. We found the T91 to be very solidly built, with the hinge mechanism feeling quite sturdy, something that’s crucial for such a device. We noticed no creaking when pressing on the case and, despite its size; I felt that I could comfortably put the T91 into a bag without worrying about its fragility. Read more

NbC: MSI Wind U115 Hybrid netbook unboxed

June 13, 2009 at 11:35 pm

MSI Wind U115 unboxedMSI were kind enough to send over the much-talked-about Wind U115 netbook. This 10-inch netbook differs from almost every other netbook out there by including two hard-drives within its chassis. In the particular model we have you’ll find an 8GB SSD and 160GB HDD. We understand that other SKUs were planned with different hard-drive capacities, but I’m not sure how that’s changed with Microsoft now ‘banning’ hybrid netbooks.

Given how much tech MSI has managed to squeeze into the case, I’ve very impressed to see that the weight is no heavier than the Samsung N120 at around 1.3kg, including a 6-cell battery. This particular model isn’t really aimed at the fashionista, you won’t find any dynamic angles, striking curves or chrome effects on the U115. However, it does have a printed design on the glossy lid and it comes with a matte display which always earns a tick in our books.

The keyboard looks a little small, but that’s bound to be the impression when you’ve just spent a lot of time with the Samsung N120, which has a 97-percent sized keyboard. The touchpad also looks small and the single rocker bar sits a bit too flush with the palm rest, which means I often have to look to see where the left mouse button is. The Wind U115 is all about battery life though and we’re very much looking forward to seeing how it fares against the competition. We should have a review up in a couple of weeks, in the meantime check out our unboxing pictures below. Read more

NbC: CoverBee Netbook Sleeve Impressions

May 20, 2009 at 4:52 pm

CoverBee Netbook SleeveCoverBee, who specialise in creating luxurious laptop/netbooks sleeves, kindly sent us a sample recently to see what we thought. The company is based in Holland and ship their sleeves worldwide. Impressively, it only took four days to reach the UK. Currently they only offer sleeves in two sizes, 15.4” for laptops and as well as 9-inch sleeves for netbooks. Given the popularity of 10-inch netbooks though, I asked the company about plans to cater for this segment and they said it will depend on the demand.

If you have a gander on their website at their collection, you can tell that these aren’t your typical sleeves. They have some trendy designs made from high–quality materials, but they don’t cost the Earth either, at €19.99 with free worldwide shipping. Read more

NbC: Samsung N120 Review

May 18, 2009 at 9:32 am

Samsung N120In our view, two of the most important considerations when buying a netbook are the keyboard and battery life. Samsung has ticked both of these boxes with the N120; it provides one of the least compromised experiences yet found in a 10-inch netbook. The wonderful full-sized keyboard offers good tactile feedback and keys that are located in the right places. Accommodating this keyboard leads to a big (ugly) bezel around the screen, but Samsung has made the most of this by placing speakers on either side of the screen. The sound quality is some of the best seen, although that does not mean it is the loudest.

Many netbook manufacturers are now looking at battery life to provide the ‘all day computing’ experience that many consumers crave. The Samsung N120 delivers on this front and should easily last 7 -8 hours whilst web browsing or using Office. On our tests, it didn’t last quite as long as the Asus Eee PC 1000HE, but there wasn’t much in it. However, how does the Samsung N120 fare as an overall package? Read on for our detailed review where we run some comprehensive performance and battery tests as well as address some issues that are worth pointing out to potential buyers. Read more

NbC: Samsung N120 netbook unboxed

May 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Samsung N120 NetbookThe Samsung N120 netbook dropped through our letterbox this morning and we thought we’d share our unboxing of Samsung’s latest netbook addition. We have a white N120 to put through its paces and initial impressions are certainly favourable.

As a quick recap, the Samsung N120 is one of the first netbooks to feature a full sized keyboard into a 10-inch netbook. Whilst this means you have a thick bezel around the screen, it doesn’t look too bad in the flesh. The speakers mounted either side of the screen go some way to making it less of an issue. Initial impressions on the keyboard itself are positive, it feels natural to type on and all of the buttons are in the right places. It’s not a chiclet keyboard, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less comfortable to type on.

I also like the matte effect on the chassis, it means the lid is not prone to fingerprints like some netbook models are. The other big selling point for the N120 is the 2.1 speaker system, we haven’t had a chance to test this yet, as the N120 is being charged as we speak. We will come back with a full review once we’ve put the Samsung N120 through some extensive testing. As always, if there are any questions you’d like answered, feel free to ask away in the comments section and we’ll do our best to answer them. Click through for the unboxing photos. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC 1000HE Review

April 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Asus Eee PC 1000HELet’s cut to the chase, the Asus Eee PC 1000HE is one of the best netbooks that money can buy today. The 1000HE improves on its predecessor, the 1000H, in several ways. It comes with a chiclet style keyboard, enhanced battery life as well as a faster processor. The sheer number of features that the 1000HE offers at a very competitive price point is what sets it apart. This combined with a superb battery life makes it well worth your consideration.

However, it is not all roses. Whilst as an overall package, we feel that the 1000HE is one of the better netbooks on the market, it is by no means perfect. There are a number of issues we have with the 1000HE, however most are minor niggles and do not detract from our overall positive impressions. Read on for our full, detailed review including some comprehensive performance and battery tests. Read more

NbC: Asus Eee PC 1000HE Unboxing

April 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Asus Eee PC 1000HEAsus kindly sent us an Eee PC 1000HE to put through its paces. We are hoping to have a full review up in a week or so, but in the meantime we thought we’d share our unboxing of the 1000HE.

We were sent a white model and it certainly looks attractive with its glossy white lid. The 1000HE is almost identical to the 1000H but has a faster CPU (1.66GHz N280 Atom versus the 1.6GHz N270 Atom in the 1000H), a chiclet keyboard and better battery life (9.5 hrs versus 7 hours for the 1000H).

We’ll be doing the full range of battery, HDD and CPU tests that you would expect over the next few days. If there are any questions you’d like answered, feel free to ask away in the comments section and we’ll do our best to answer them. Click through for a full gallery of photos. Read more

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