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Competition: Win a Cool Bananas Neoprene Netbook Sleeve

November 23, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Cool Bananas Neoprene Netbook SleeveWe have another competition for you, courtesy of those nice people at Gearzap. This time round, we have a funky Cool Bananas Neoprene Netbook Sleeve up for grabs. The sleeve is manufactured from shock resistant neoprene that should help protecting against dirt & scratches. It also has reversible colours, which means you can use it in red or black, depending on your mood!

As before, to enter the competition all you have to do is leave a comment below. We will pick a winner randomly when the competition closes at midnight (GMT) on Monday 30th November. Good luck!

Rules: 1) Please leave a valid email address as we will be using this to contact you, 2) once contacted, if we do not hear from you within 24 hours we will draw another winner, 3) only one entry per household (remember we can see your IP address), 4) this competition is open to our readers worldwide.

Update: The lucky winner is Granville Giblert!

NbC: Universal 7″ to 13″ Netbook Car Mount Review

October 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Universal Netbook Car MountThe netbook form-factor has taken off for a number of reasons, this includes its value price offering, long battery life and compact chassis. For these reasons, many people take their netbooks on the move when a laptop just wouldn’t be practical. Whilst this most often means carrying a netbook in a rucksack, the use in cars is set to become more prevalent going forward.

Whilst some may question the need for netbooks in cars, it can be handy for business people looking to respond to emails and one can also use them as a portable media player. Also, whilst GPS in netbooks is still few and far between, the emergence of smartbooks next year will see GPS functionality as standard in these devices. Ultimate-Netbook is looking to tap into this market by selling one of the few netbook car mounts on the market. Read more

Competition: Win a XS Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle

October 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

XS Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle Those of you without Bluetooth access on your netbooks will be interested in today’s competition. We have up for grabs one XS Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle courtesy from the guys at Gearzap. The dongle is marketed as one of the smallest in the world and we couldn’t complain with that assessment after reviewing one ourselves.

To enter the competition all you have to do is leave a comment below. We will pick a winner randomly when the competition closes at midnight (GMT) on Friday 23rd October. Good luck!

A couple of points to note: 1) please leave a valid email address as we will be using this to contact you, 2) once contacted, if we do not hear from you within 24 hours we will draw another winner, 3) only one entry per household (remember we can see your IP address), 4) this competition is open to our readers worldwide.

Update: Thanks all for entering the competition. We can announce that the lucky winner is… Susan Nisar! Many congrats!

Update 2: As we didn’t hear from Susan, we had to pick another winner. Congrats to Jemma Peyton!

NbC: XS Micro Bluetooth USB Dongle Review

October 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm

XS Micro Bluetooth USB DongleBluetooth is one of those features that does not appear in every netbook. You will find it in mid-range to high-range netbooks, but it’s not often you’ll see Bluetooth in the lower-end netbooks. Bluetooth in netbooks is useful for a number of reasons, whether that be file transfer, music streaming or even cell phone tethering.

Using a USB Bluetooth dongle is one of the ways of getting Bluetooth onto your netbook and it’s a relatively inexpensive option. Gearzap, a specialist retailer of netbook and laptop accessories, kindly sent over the XS Micro Bluetooth USB dongle for review. This particular dongle is the smallest in the world according to its manufacturers and costs £8.95. GearZap applies a small delivery charge on top of this depending on whether shipping is to the UK or mainland Europe. Read more

NbC: Microsoft Mobile Mouse 4000 Review

October 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

Microsoft Mobile Mouse 4000 Whilst touchpads do an acceptable job of navigating around a netbook/laptop, there’s no substitute for a mouse for pinpoint accuracy. There are a number of good mice to cater for those on the move, however there are not too many that use new mouse technology such as Microsoft BlueTrack or Logitech’s Darkfield laser tracking tech.

These new technologies have been developed to allow you to use on the mouse on pretty much any surface, whether that be an airport bench to your living-room carpet. This is quite an attractive feature for portable mice as you no longer need to carry a mouse mat with you whilst travelling. Even in limited spaces, your lap could work with these new mice. We give you an overview of one of the latest portable mice using Microsoft Bluetrack called the Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000. Read more

NbC: Pakuma eco2bag Netbook Sleeve Review

September 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Pakuma eco2bag Netbook SleeveHere at NbC, we try and do what little things we can to stay environmentally friendly. A number of companies out there realise that there are people like us whom they can target environmentally conscious products to. One such company is Pakuma that manufacturers eco-friendly netbook/laptop sleeves and bags.

GearZap, a specialist retailer of netbook and laptop accessories, were kind enough to send over the Pakuma eco2bag Cocoon Netbook Sleeve for us to review. The sleeve fits netbooks with display sizes of 10-inches and is available in two colours (black/green & black/red jasper). The Pakuma eco2bag costs £13.95 (the red jasper sleeve costs £14.95). GearZap applies a small delivery charge on top of this depending on whether shipping is to the UK or mainland Europe. Read more

NbC: Samsung N510 netbook unboxed

September 28, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Samsung N510 netbook unboxedThe Samsung N510 is one of the first Nvidia ION-powered netbooks on the market. It has just seen its retail release in the UK, where it is selling for around the £400 mark. Whilst it is towards the top-end of netbook price-points, it is worth remembering that the Samsung N120 cost around £370 on launch. Not too bad considering that the Samsung N510 offers an 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display, ION chipset and 7-hour battery.

The much-anticipated Samsung N510 has landed at NbC HQ and we’ve promptly done an unboxing to show you what to expect inside the box. We would like to clarify that we have the UK SKU and it seems that Samsung has been kind to us. The UK model has a 1.66GHz N280 Atom processor and 5900mAh battery. This is an improvement over the mainland European version that is sold with the 1.6GHz N270 Atom and lower capacity 5200mAh battery. Read more

NbC: UltimateAddons Netbook Messenger Bag Review

September 14, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Ultimateaddons Netbook Messenger BagWe’ve already looked at a few netbook cases here at Netbook Choice, but we were given the opportunity to review our first netbook shoulder bag thanks to the guys at Ultimate-Netbook. They sent over the UltimateAddons netbook messenger bag that should fit netbooks with display sizes ranging from 8.9-inches to 10.2-inches. Ultimate-Netbook is a specialist retailer of netbook accessories, including bags and cases.

The UltimateAddons bags are designed in-house, which means a high level of quality assurance. The company is confident enough in their range to offer a 30-day money back guarantee as well as providing a 12-month warranty. The UltimateAddons netbook messenger bag comes in two colours, black (which we tested) and khaki green. Ultimate-Netbook ships these bags worldwide at a cost of £19.99 + p&p. Read on to find out whether it is worth the money. Read more

Opinion: Why the Nokia Booklet 3G is a disappointment

September 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Nokia Booklet 3GNokia unveiled all of the details of its first entry into the netbook segment this morning. The Booklet 3G is a premium netbook and the company clearly believes that it justifies this tag for a number of reasons. Without question, it is one of the most attractive netbooks on the market today. It is just 20mm thick and comes in an aluminium chassis that leads to comparisons with the Apple Macbook. It is also one of the few netbooks to include 3G connectivity, a crucial aspect since it is likely to be sold on contract via wireless carriers as well as on a standalone basis through retail.

Looking through the initial impressions of bloggers out at Nokia World, it also seems that the keyboard is a delight to use. The touchpad is also large and has well-spaced buttons. The HD (1280 x 720) screen sits flush with the chassis, which gives it a classy look. We are also glad that Nokia has chosen to include a removable 16-cell (3,840mAh) battery in the Booklet 3G and looking at the remaining specs it certainly seems to be well featured (Wi-Fi draft-n, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI, 1.3MP webcam). Nokia also claims that you’ll get a 12-hour battery life, which is superb. You even get an accelerometer, although I’m not sure what use this has in a non-tablet device? However, despite all of these positives, there are a number of issues that we feel lead to a disappointing package overall. Read more

NbC Announcement: A new era

September 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm

thumbnail1Netbook Choice has been around for exactly six months today and we’re using the opportunity to announce some changes to the site. The main change, and one that might disappoint some of our readers, is that we will be substantially reducing the number of news articles that we publish.

Over the last six months we have strived to bring you the latest news on a daily basis, however we have begun to question the value of this going forward. There are already some very good tech sites & blogs that provide excellent coverage of netbook news on a daily basis. As even some of the biggest tech sites cover the most mundane netbook news, often it feels that we can add little value to what’s already out there. Read more

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: 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: 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

Nvidia Chief confirms ION price: 3x more expensive than Atom

July 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Nvidia CEOThere has been much speculation as to how much Nvidia’s ION platform costs netbook manufacturers. Now Nvidia’s Chief Executive, Jen-Hsun Huang, has unveiled the price via an interview with the French La Tribune newspaper. It appears that the ION platform (GeForce 9400M GPU + Atom CPU) is approximately three times more expensive when compared to Intel’s own platform.

“[The price of Nvidia Ion chip] is between $30 and $35. This is significant, but it is [needed] to have a good high definition video on the screen,” said Jen-Hsun Huang. Intel recently confirmed that it was charging more for the Atom processor than it does when combined with the Intel chipset. Read more

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