Netbooks

Paul Taylor

In Personal Technology in the Business Life section of the FT this week, we look at the Lenovo ThinkPad x100e and its rivals:

“The Lenovo ThinkPad x100e looks like a netbook, weighs about the same as a netbook and at $450 (£423 in the UK) is priced (almost) like a netbook. However, in terms of performance, its speed, screen resolution and keyboard outperform netbooks. This may be why the manufacturer classifies it as a laptop, albeit a small one.” 

Chris Nuttall

With a never-ending need for better battery life and performance from netbooks and eReaders, there was welcome news this week from chipmakers Intel, Nvidia and Freescale on more efficient processors.

Intel released a faster version of its latest “Pine Trail”-codenamed Atom processor, lifting it to a 1.83Ghz clock speed from 1.66Ghz. Nvidia said its new ION separate graphics processor would give a 10x graphics performance improvement over Pine Trail netbooks that just use integrated graphics.Freescale promised faster page turns , higher resolution and longer battery life on eReaders from its new chip. 

Chris Nuttall

The2010 Consumer Electronics Show , which closed in Las Vegas on Sunday, was arguably the best in years in featuring products ready for primetime rather than the vapourware often on display.

Sony impressed with its 3D-readiness, there were plenty of appealing eReaders and smartphones on show, while new netbooks, smartbooks and tablets galore are on their way to the PC market.

Our round-up of the best of CES is after the jump with links to the announcements, our coverage and reviews from other tech sites. 

Chris Nuttall

Touch is becoming a common feature on netbooks, with HP launching its first touch-enabled netbook  a day after Lenovo announced its own entry  at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The HP Mini 5102 has a capacitive touchscreen option , like the iPhone’s, but it may be a little used feature at first , with few applications able to take advantage of the display’s capabilities. 

Chris Nuttall

Lenovo has officially unveiled the most impressive entrant to date in the nascent smartbook category .

The Lenovo Skylight is a small clamshell device with a 10.1-inch high-resolution screen, flash storage, 1.3 megapixel camera and an integrated 3G modem. In a brief hands-on with the device, I was impressed with the design and build quality. 

Chris Nuttall

Consumer demand for portable PCs that can turn on as a fast as a phone is likely to be satisfied by the netbook and smartbook categories in 2010 , but Dell is looking out for small and medium businesses who still prefer notebooks.

Its latest Latitude models targetting this market – the E4200 and E4300 – haveLatitude ON technology,  which was first introduced in September on the higher end Latitude Z  aimed at the enterprise.  

Paul Taylor

Laptops, particularly stylish “thin-and-light” machines, such as Dell’s Adamo ($, )*, Apple’s ultra-thin MacBook Air ($, ), and Acer’s Aspire Timeline ($$$, ), which has excellent battery life, are objects of desire and even envy among early adopters and the digerati.

Alternatively, consider a Lenovo ThinkPad X300 ($$, ), which is plain-looking but has a great keyboard and screen, or Toshiba’s Portégé R600 ($$, ), elegant and very thin. Ap­ple’s 13in MacBook Pro ($$, ) is good if you prefer OS X.