Toshiba Satellite E105 Is a Big Fan of the MacBook Pro

October 1, 2008

Toshiba’s Satellite E105 is almost run-of-the-mill as far as new notebooks go—Centrino 2, latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors, 4GB of RAM, integrated graphics (boo), HDMI out—but a couple of things make it stand out. What instantly struck me is that the silhouette—which you can see more of below—is obviously inspired by the MacBook Pro.

And if the resemblance doesn’t smack you in these pictures, it definitely does in person. Toshiba’s even reps confessed to it (to the extent that PR people admit anything). So yeah, it’s a sharply designed, if vaguely familiar-looking, notebook, with the lid and black stripe slathered across the middle just enough to make it Toshiba’s own.

The other thing of note is the size—14 inches in widescreen, which isn’t so common right now. But it will be, says Toshiba, because LCD panel makers are pushing it as one of the new standards. It’s actually a pretty solid one too, since it gives you a good balance of actual portability and screen bigness, and five pounds isn’t too much to carry. Lastly, it comes with Vista Home 64-bit, so it looks like the 64-bit push from consumer computer makers is finally here.

Satellite E105 Detailed Product Specification1
Model Name: E105-S1402 Part Number: PSE10U-002003 UPC: 883974146161
Operating System C1 2
•Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (SP1, 64-bit version)
Processor and Chipset3
Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology featuring:
• Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor P8400
• 2.26GHz, 3MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB
•Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset
•Intel® Wi-Fi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n)4
Memory5
•Configured with 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 SDRAM (both memory slots
may be occupied). Maximum capacity 4096MB
Storage Drive6
 320GB (5400 RPM); Serial ATA hard disk drive
Fixed Optical Disk Drive7
•DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflash™ drive supporting
11 formats
o Maximum speed and compatibility: CD-ROM (24x), CD-R (24x),
CD-RW (16x), DVD-ROM (8x), DVD-R (Single Layer, (8x)),
DVD-R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD-RW (6x), DVD+R (Single
Layer, (8x)), DVD+R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD+RW (8x), DVDRAM
(5x)
o Supports Labelflash™ media to burn high quality labels directly
on the disk.
Display8
•4.1” diagonal widescreen TruBrite® TFT LCD display at 1280×800
native resolution (WXGA)
o Native support for 720p content
Graphics9
•Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD with 128MB-
1342MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
Sound
•Built-in stereo speakers
•Built-in microphone
Input Devices
•85 key backlit US keyboard
•TouchPad™ pointing device
•TouchPad™ Enable/Disable
•Control Buttons:
o Mute button
o CD/DVD control buttons (Volume up/down, Play/Pause, Stop,
Previous Track, Next Track)
Communications
•Webcam and microphone built into LCD bezel
•FM Tuner with antenna
•10/100/1000 Ethernet
•Integrated Wi-Fi® compliant wireless:10
o Intel® Wi-Fi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n)11
•Bluetooth® version 2.1 plus Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
Expandability
•2 main memory slots. Both slots may be occupied.
•5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter
o Secure Digital, Memory Stick™, Memory Stick PRO™,
MultiMedia Card, xD Picture Card [shared slots]
002003 UPC: 883974146161
Operating System C1 2
•Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (SP1, 64-bit version)
Processor and Chipset3
Intel® Centrino® 2 Processor Technology featuring:
•Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor P8400
o 2.26GHz, 3MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB
•Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset
•Intel® Wi-Fi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n)4
Memory5
•Configured with 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 SDRAM (both memory slots
may be occupied). Maximum capacity 4096MB
Storage Drive6
•320GB (5400 RPM); Serial ATA hard disk drive
Fixed Optical Disk Drive7
 DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflash™ drive supporting
11 formats
o Maximum speed and compatibility: CD-ROM (24x), CD-R (24x),
CD-RW (16x), DVD-ROM (8x), DVD-R (Single Layer, (8x)),
DVD-R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD-RW (6x), DVD+R (Single
Layer, (8x)), DVD+R (Double Layer, (4x)), DVD+RW (8x), DVDRAM
(5x)
o Supports Labelflash™ media to burn high quality labels directly
on the disk.
Display8
•14.1” diagonal widescreen TruBrite® TFT LCD display at 1280×800
native resolution (WXGA)
o Native support for 720p content
Graphics9
• Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD with 128MB-
1342MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory
Sound
• Built-in stereo speakers
•Built-in microphone
Input Devices
•85 key backlit US keyboard
•TouchPad™ pointing device
•TouchPad™ Enable/Disable
•Control Buttons:
o Mute button
o CD/DVD control buttons (Volume up/down, Play/Pause, Stop,
Previous Track, Next Track)
Communications
•Webcam and microphone built into LCD bezel
•FM Tuner with antenna
•10/100/1000 Ethernet
•Integrated Wi-Fi® compliant wireless:10
o Intel® Wi-Fi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n)11
•Bluetooth® version 2.1 plus Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
Expandability
•2 main memory slots. Both slots may be occupied.
•5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter
o Secure Digital, Memory Stick™, Memory Stick PRO™,
MultiMedia Card, xD Picture Card [shared slots]
Ports
•Video
o REGZA LINK™ (HDMI-CEC)
o 1080p support
•Audio
o S/P DIF output port (shared with headphone port)
o Microphone input port
o Headphone output port
•Data
o USB v2.0 – 3 ports with USB Sleep and Charge12
o 2 x USB v2.0
o 1 x eSATA/USB combo port
o RJ-45 LAN port
•Security
o Fingerprint reader
Physical Description
•Fusion™ Finish – Copper Brown color
•Dimensions (WxDxH Front/H Rear): 13.4” x 9.69” x 1.20” /1.24” without
feet
•Weight: Starting at 4.99 lbs depending upon configuration13
Power
•75W (19V 3.95A) 100-240V/50-60Hz AC Adapter.
o Dimensions (WxDxH): 5.00” x 2.01” x 1.20”
o Weight: starting at 0.77 lbs
Battery14
•5000mAh (8 cell) Lithium Ion battery pack

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Is that really a Toshiba Satellite?

October 1, 2008

Every once in a while, a technology company will develop a product outside of its traditional product line, just to meet consumer demands. (For an example, see Intel’s Dual-Core Pentium chip.)

So it is with the new Toshiba Satellite E105, which, at least appearance-wise, sticks out among Satellites. The laptop’s light color and flat edges make it look like an NR or CR series Sony Vaio. And its backlit keyboard certainly calls to mind the MacBook Pro. But Toshiba has added a few elements–such as a two-year warranty and 5.5-hour battery life–to make the Satellite E105 stand apart from the pack.

The laptop features a 14.1-inch WXGA display, which nicely balances usability and portability. (In fact, the Satellite E105’s weight starts at just 5 pounds.) Inside the case you’ll find the latest Centrino 2 components, including a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, Intel GMA 4500M HD integrated graphics, and Intel’s 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi. In a nice touch, Toshiba equips the Satellite E105 with 4GB of RAM and 64-bit Windows Vista to take advantage of it. There are also some welcome high-end connections, including S/PDIF, HDMI, and eSATA, and all the USB ports incorporate Toshiba’s Sleep and Charge feature.

With pricing around $1,250, the Satellite E105 is aggressively aimed at home users who want a solid all-around laptop with plenty of battery life and a lengthy warranty. Expect to see it go on sale later this month.


Working with offline web applications on netbooks

September 27, 2008

Compact, inexpensive netbooks like the ASUS Eee PC 701 are getting cheaper and more powerful. Why not consider using them for mobile fieldwork applications, like surveys and order entry?

I used the Eee PC 701 and I find it much easier to work with than a PDA. Although the netbook is a little less portable than a PDA, the netbook has a large screen suitable for filling in complex forms, and a decent-size keyboard for entering data. I highly recommend connecting a USB mouse to the netbook if you plan to work for long periods.

However developing mobile enterprise applications for the netbook can be challenging because
— Netbooks run on a variety of operating systems, from Linux (various flavours) to Windows XP/Vista.
— Netbooks have slower CPUs (e.g. Intel Celeron) and limited RAM (e.g. 512MB) so Java applications may not run properly. Netbooks are good for running web browsers and hardly anything else.
— The application should be capable of operating offline without a network connection. It should sync the offline data to a server when the netbook is connected to the network.

One possible solution is to use Google Gears to build a web application that can be used offline. Using the Dojo Toolkit enables the offline web application to sync the offline data to the server as soon as the netbook is connected to the network. I did a simple trial:
(1) I built a simple order entry application that allows you to create and edit orders. The application uses Google Gears and Dojo to operate offline and sync online automatically. I copied the HTML and JavaScript codes from here.
(2) I bought the Eee PC 701 from a shopping mall for S$400 (US$281).
(3) I launched the Firefox web browser preinstalled on the Linux-based netbook, installed the Google Gears extension (http://gears.google.com), and accessed my order entry application.
(4) Voila! I was able to create and edit orders offline, and changes were automatically synchronised to the server as soon as I connected to the Internet. I was even able to start the application when the netbook disconnected from the Internet, thanks to the offline web caching capability in Google Gears. The application performed well without any disruptive lags.

So now we have a way to build mobile fieldwork applications that can be used on virtually all netbooks. There are additional issues like security and reliability to be considered, but the netbook appears to have great potential to replace the PDA for data-intensive mobile enterprise applications.


Mini-Notebooks Compete on Size, Speed and Price

September 27, 2008


When Intel announced the availability of its low-power chip, the Atom, at Computex in Taiwan this week, it signaled that the age of the cheap mini-notebook had finally arrived.

Not bad for a product category that no one cared about six months ago.

Since its October 2007 introduction, Asus’ small, low-cost Eee PC has become a sleeper success, selling more than a million units, according to its manufacturer. That success has prompted other manufacturers to announce their own mini-notebooks, including such mainstream PC manufacturers as HP, Dell and Acer. Intel also has proposed a standard for low-cost ultralights that it is calling “netbooks.”

This sudden success is a bit of a surprise, given that computer companies have been trying to create a market for ultraportable notebooks for more than a decade. None of those attempts, however technically inspired, ever took off. They were either too compromised by crummy keyboards, substandard displays, anemic performance or all three. And to top it off, manufacturers expected consumers to pay a premium for these tiny but crummy pieces of technology. Earlier ultraportables like the OQO Model 02 and Sony Vaio UMPC cost $2,000 and up.

Today’s mini-notebooks, by contrast, are finding success because they’re so inexpensive, hovering around $500 and in some cases much less.

But which ones offer the best value? We decided to find out, by tabulating the price and key features of the mini-notebooks that are currently available (or which will soon be available). We added the hard drive-based MacBook Air, even though it’s not a cheap mini-notebook, because its light weight and slim profile put it close to the category in spirit, if not in its particulars.


Netbooks Win Top Selling Spots on Amazon

September 27, 2008

Netbooks have successfully infiltrated the notebook market, beating the popular MacBook to the top of Amazon’s best-selling laptop list.

Acer, ASUS and MSI netbooks currently top the list. All three netbooks are powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor; Acer claims the #1 spot with its 8.9-inch Aspire One netbook running for $400.

According to a Cult of Mac story, Apple may be losing ground to netbooks because of “poor economic conditions.”

“We believe this to be the effects of a more price-conscious consumer and global slowdown,” said Vijay Rakesh, a ThinkEquity analyst, in the story.

Manufacturers are well aware of growing consumer interest in inexpensive mini notebooks. Just recently, Toshiba, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens and Samsung unveiled their first netbooks.


15.4-inch MacBooks will be available this May?

September 26, 2008

Apple plan to introduce their new 15.4-inch MacBook in the second quarter of 2007. As Apple drives a lot of rumors about their new products and also some delay news however Apple is now serious about their new 15.4-inch MacBook that will fill their 13.3-inch MacBook and the 15.4 and 17-inch MacBook Pro. Apple believes that 15.4-inch MacBook will boost their shipment growth by heaps. Quanta will manufactured this new 15.4-inch MacBook along with Foxconn however according to the latest report the manufacturing contract between Apple and Foxconn is unsuccessful.


No news about the prices however it will be likely around US$1,999 to US$2,799. But guys, this is just a rumor. You will have to wait for this May to look whether it’s real or not.