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Aspire One, MSI Wind, and more: The week in laptops

Computex 2008 brought and avalanche of little laptops from Asus, Acer, Qualcomm, Everex, and MSI. Also, WiMax, new GPUs from ATI and Nvidia, and more!


Sigh. We were growing weary of all this little-laptop news as early as March. Little did we know that the Eee PC, Classmate PC, and HTC Shift were only the tip of the iceberg. This week's headlines were dominated by news from the show floor at Computex 2008 in Taipei.

Asus introducedits 8.9-inch Eee PC 901 and 10-inch Eee PC 1000. Acer launched its low-cost mini-laptop, the Aspire One; our awesome colleagues at CNET UK paid the little guy a visit and shared a series of Aspire One photos. The $399 MSI Wind got a platform (Intel Atom) and a ship date (June 16).

First International Computer, parent company to U.S.-based Everex, announced a new mini-notebook that can be ordered with either an Intel Atom or a Via C7-M processor. And Qualcomm introduced a 3G Linux mini-laptop. Even Sony is rumored to be eyeing the little-laptop space: apparently the company is planning to build a model based on Via's OpenBook Mini-Note reference design.

If the thought of reading all those posts is too overwhelming, take a look at our photos of Intel's Atom chips and several Netbook models that were on display at Computex.

What's going inside of all those tiny cases? Well, Intel's pushing out Atom CPUs to meet the new and growing demand, prompting AMD to point out that there are already a raft of Netbook-like products in the market using AMD chips. Also, WiMax is coming to at least one small fry: rumors of a WiMax-equipped Eee PC were confirmed when Asus officially shared its WiMax plans.

The sudden onslaught of low-priced mini-notebooks has at least one blogger wondering why ultraportable laptops have traditionally been so expensive.

In (ahem) bigger news, AMD/ATI showed off the new Mobility Radeon HD 3800 laptop graphics, while competitor Nvidia broke out its mobile GeForce 9M Series GPUs. Intel showed off an Asus laptop built on its delayed Centrino 2 platform. Asus, for its part, unveiled the G70 gaming laptop and showcased a prototype laptop with a swiveling projector where the Webcam would have been.

Also worth reading: we may soon be seeing laptops with 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch displays; PC Magazine debates the merits of low-cost laptops; we drooled over some ultra-luxury laptops from Singulum; and we found a way to make our MacBook Air a little uglier (thank goodness).

Finally, the MacBook Air is proving to be a foodie's dream computer: Rahul Sood, now the chief technology officer of HP's Global Gaming Business, celebrated his birthday by cutting a cake--using a MacBook Air as a knife.