Just this past week, Verizon confirmed that it will be selling an undisclosed netbook in its corporate stores starting in Q2 2009. Sure enough, one of our ninjas sent through an approved device list confirming that the netbook in question is indeed the HP Mini 1000. The Qualcomm GOBI-packing, EV-DO Rev. A netbook was approved by Verizon Wireless on March 24th. No release date or pricing are available just yet but we would not be surprised if it debuted carrying a $99 price tag — with a 2-year contract of course. Woo! Hit the jump for the obligatory blurrycam shot.
As you may recall, the Sony VAIO P is packaged with the Gobi chipset that is capable of both HSDPA and EV-DO. Unfortunately, Sony has chosen to block HSDPA access and has locked the pocketable notebook to connect only via a Verizon Wireless EV-DO connection. Humph. Thanks to a creative blogger by the name of tnkgrl, Sony’s restrictive plans are now thwarted and those without a VZW contract are back in business. Tnkgrl has successfully hacked the HSDPA on the VAIO P, allowing it to be utilized by those not afraid to void a warranty on a $900 machine. You will need a $1 SIM holder, skill at precision soldering, some knowledge of registry editing and system file manipulation along with a whole lot of chutzpah to crack open the case of an expensive mini-notebook. It is not for the faint of heart but if you can pull it off then your prize will be… Flaunting your quad-band GSM/GPRS/EGDE and tri-band UMTS/HSDPA enabled VAIO P. Who’s in?
Admittedly “letting the pioneers in the market make the mistakes”, Sony has yet to develop a laptop that fits the “netbook” criteria. The times may be a changin’ as a photo of a netbook sized Sony Vaio laptop have appeared on the FCC. The notebook, sporting the model numbers PCG-1P1L and PCG-1P2L, is guesstimated to be about 9.5 x 4.5 inches, placing it directly in between the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (9.13 x 6.7) and the HP Mini 1000 (10.3 x 6.56). The FCC documents also reveal test results for Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi and both EV-DO and HSPA data courtesy of Qualcomm’s Gobi chipset. Lastly, a close look at the FCC label indicates that these notebooks/netbooks will run some flavor of Windows. No specs on the processor or other internal components but the prospect of a future netbook-style Sony Vaio looks promising.
For those that are in a “rougher” industry than us, you might already be carrying a Panasonic Toughbook. If you are, you’ll know that the fully-ruggedized models are pretty huge. But if you don’t require maximum roughness, Panasonic has come to market with their lightest model yet, and we’re definitely intrigued. The new Toughbook F8 is the lightest 3G-ready notebook to hit the market, but that’s not the best part. The best part, if you’ve been keeping up with all things hip, is that the 3G option is actually Qualcomm’s Gobi chip. That makes it possible to practically use any carrier in the world. Got Verizon at home but frequently travel outside the country? You’re good to go. We’ve ever heard reports of people using both Verizon and AT&T domestically depending on where they are traveling. That’s pretty hot! Here are some of the specs from the new notebook:
- Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor SP9300, 2.26 GHz (6MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
- 1GB DDR2 SDRAM standard, expandable to 4GB
- 160GB HDD, shock-mounted
- Integrated DVD Multi Drive
- 14.1″ 1280 x 800 WXGA anti-glare TFT active matrix color LCD
- TPM Security Chip, v1.2
- Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
- Genuine Windows Vista™ Business (with XP downgrade option)
- Dimensions: 9.9″(L) x 12.8″(W) x 1.0″/1.9″ front/rear (H) (without protrusion)
- Weight: Approximately 3.7 lbs
- Battery life: Approximately 6 hours
- Wireless on-off switch (WWAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
- Bluetooth® v2.0 + EDR
- Optional integrated Gobi(TM) 3G global mobile Internet (EV-DO and HSPA)
Now if only their tablet was this small and light… we’d be all over that! You know, since we’re going to keep mocking our Dell Latitude XT for being a piece of crap. The Panasonic F8-series is set to hit in November for an estimated street price of $2,499.