Netbooks are here to stay, but choosing the right one is more confusing than ever. Here are my top picks for ZDNet's 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.
Laptops & Desktops
John Morris and Sean Portnoy deliver straight talk about notebook and desktop computers.
Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.
<p>John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are disclaimed.</p>
A lot has changed since I last compiled this list a year ago. Here are my top desktop picks for the 2009 ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide.
The arrival of Windows 7 has unleashed a wave of new notebooks including more Core i7 models such as Lenovo's IdeaPad Y550P.
The touch interface has arrived on smartphones, thanks largely to the iPhone. But it hasn't found much mainstream success on the PC despite years of trying.
Ralph Lauren is on the receiving end of a blogosphere backlash today over an apparent Photoshop job gone awry. It turns out there is such a thing as too thin.
Since Intel unveiled its Core i7 quad-core mobile processors at IDF a couple weeks ago, several PC companies have announced mainstream and desktop replacement laptops using these Clarksfield chips. Many sites have reviewed the new platform--known as Calpella--in whitebox notebooks, but so far I haven't seen many reviews of real Core i7 laptops, partly because the industry is waiting on Windows 7.
Adobe and Nvidia announced that the next version of the Flash player will take advantage of Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) to improve online video. Adobe Flash Player 10.
Intel hasn't released its 32nm Westmere processors yet, but executives spent the first day of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) talking about technology even farther down road. In his keynote, executive VP Sean Maloney gave a glimpse of a desktop running Sandy Bridge, the new microarchitecture that comes after Westmere, also at 32nm (they'll talk more about that today).
Two stories about AMD jumped out at me this week. First, market researcher iSuppli reported that Intel had increased its share of the worldwide PC processor market, by revenues, to more than 80 percent--a level it hasn't reach in nearly four years.
Almost nine months to the day after Nvidia announced its Ion Platform, the first real netbook to make use of the technology has finally shipped. HP announced the Mini 311, an 11.
One way to wean customers off of cheap netbooks is to offer a better alternative. Many computer makers are now offering ULV-based laptops.
Just when I was starting to wonder what happened to all those ultra-low voltage (ULV) laptops, computer makers opened the flood gates. These laptops, which are thinner, lighter and less costly than mainstream notebooks, are now available in a range of display sizes, including some models with 11.
Nvidia's Ion platform may be off to a slow start, but that could change once Windows 7 arrives in late October. To date Ion has been used only in nettops--including two new ones from Asus and Lenovo--but the first netbooks should finally arrive around the time Microsoft releases its new operating system.
We've seen netbooks such as the Dell Mini Inspiron 12 (R.I.
Businesses may not be buying, but that hasn't stopped Dell from trying. The company is rolling out three new additions to its small business line, the 14.