The Evangelist

Worldwide Technology News

I haven't had a lot of time to update the blog lately, so I figure I'll start things back out with a bang.

You may have already noticed that you can now rate my posts on the blog. You can select your rating of 1-5 stars right below the title of every post. This is an easy way for you to tell me what content you enjoy, which in turn will allow me to give you more of what you like best.

The comments feature has been completely redone. All previous comments will remain in their current format. All new comments, however, will not. To post a comment, you can simply click on the title of the post to go to the page for that post. Once there, you can scroll down to find the new comments system from JS-Kit. You can now post as an anonymous guest or use a JS-Kit profile, Haloscan profile, OpenID, or even connect with a Facebook or Yahoo account. Obviously, The Evangelist never sees any of your data. There are a number of additional features available as well, such as rich text formatting and post ratings.

I will probably be looking for someone else with some experience with hardware to write for the blog. I am simply only one person, and I can only do so much. The Evangelist is here to produce informative and useful content for its readers, as it always has been. As of the time of this post, I have not 'monetized' the blog at all. Whoever would be willing to take this post would clearly be a volunteer. If you are interested, please say so in the comments for this post.

More recently, The Evangelist's theme was changed to "Worldwide Technology News." It would seem to me that the blog has met that definition. Since the revamp, visitors from 30 different countries have visited us. The top five based on percentage of readership since then have been the United States with 36%, the United Kingdom with 8%, the Philippines with 7%, India with 6%, and Germany with 5%. You can see the full stats here.

To wrap things up, I hope you enjoy the new features, and continue to come back to The Evangelist for your technology news.

Earth Hour 2009 is from 8:30-9:30 P.M. on today, March 28, 2009 at your local time.

In honor of this event, my next articles will be about conserving power while getting the most out of your electronics.

For more information and to participate in this event, please visit

You have probably heard of digital photo frames before. They have caught on to a reasonable extent, offering the ability to view digital photos without having to print them out, have prints made, or view them on a computer. Essentially, the frames can replace a traditional photograph, and display multiple photos in a slideshow to top it off. Different frames have widely varying features, of course.

The key feature of the new AgfaPhoto frame is its display. The AF5105MS with a 10-inch display and the AF5135MS with a 13-inch display both feature a 1280x800 screen resolution, making for a clearer image. They also feature a speaker, something that has become standard on more recent models. The integrated card reader accepts secure digital (SD), secure digital high capacity (SDHC), compact flash, MS, and multimedia card (MMC) formats. In addition, the frames come with 256MB of flash storage, which allows for some storage without the need for external storage.

The frame will be available in a choice of either white or black, and will there will be a number of customizable options available for purchase from the manufacturer.

A 6-Cell battery is now available on the HP Official Store for the HP Mini 1000 and Compaq Mini 700 series of netbooks.

The batteries that come standard with the netbook are 3-cell. This, of course, allows HP to design an overall smaller netbook that weighs and costs less, which is one thing that their netbook does have over many competing products. The downside to this, of course, is that you get less battery life on a charge.

I'm sure that many will road warriors will appreciate this product. You can grab it from the store for $95.99. If you are in the market for a new one, you might be happy to hear that when customizing your netbook you can get the 6-cell batter for just $40.00, or get one 3-cell and one 6-cell for $119.00, making for a great option for those who will need both portability and long run-time.

The War Is On

If you have been following this blog or technology news in general, you probably remember reading that AMD was not planning on competing with Intel's Atom because they perceived the market to be very small. Even whilst this statement was being made, Intel was making a killing off of all of the netbooks being sold with Intel Atom processors.

It came as no surprise, then, when AMD decided that they wanted a slice of the pie (as mentioned in Meet The Atom's Competition). AMD had said that their new processor, now known as the Athlon Neo (formerly known by its codename Huron), would target the market for portables primarily between netbooks and laptops. This seemed a tad odd, considering the fact that most people who are in the market for a netbook only want a small secondary machine that does the basics and surfs the internet, and all for a fairly low price. They can't to do as much as notebooks, but they aren't meant to; it seems as if AMD is missing this. The Neo is meant to have more power, but this will only result in a larger end product, which basically contradicts the original idea behind the netbook in the first place. Sure, they probably have a niche market in those who want a decent amount of power in a smaller package at a reasonable price. But this market is small; for those who really need power in an ultraportable package there are products like the Macbook Air, although the Air has a far more considerable price tag.

The first 'notebook' to contain the Neo will be the HP Pavilion dv2, which will feature a 12.1" screen, hard drive capacity of up to 500GB, up to 4GB of RAM, the option of ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 discrete graphics (which makes it seem similar to the Atom-equipped Asus N10 with the GeForce 9300M Graphics Processing Unit), an expresscard slot, and an optional external Blu-Ray drive with an Athlon Neo MV-40 processor at the heart of the operation. The projected base price is $699, and it is due to be released this April. The Neo MV-40 is, unlike the Atom (which is currently based on a 45nm process), based on a 65nm process, which is no different than AMD's current processors, so these processors will run hotter than the Atom and draw more power, resulting in lower battery life (due to the 34W thermal envelope). It is single-core, has a clock of 1.60GHz, 512KB of L2 cache, and 64-bit support (which the Atom does not have). The laptop will also use the AMD Yukon platform. As far as size, the notebook will weigh just 3.8 pounds for a standard configuration and be only .93 inches thick. While this means that the Pavilion dv2 will be very small for a standard laptop, it is by no means as portable as the typical netbook.

AMD has revealed that they have plans to release dual-core Neo processors as part of their future Congo platform. It is clear from benchmarks that AMD's Athlon Neo is more powerful than the single-core Intel Atom in most cases and the dual-core Atom in some cases. When a dual-core Neo chip comes out it will probably beat out the Atom as well.

What will be really interesting to see is whether or not Intel takes this threat seriously. An article over at Cnet suggests that they may be cooking up a response to the Neo for the same target market based on the Core architecture. If they are, these processors would have less power than ULV Core 2 Duo processors which are used in expensive ultraportables and the Intel Atom, which is exactly the same market that the Neo is targeting. At any rate, I am sure that Intel will not stand still.

There is one final thing to consider when it comes to the Athlon Neo. Current economic conditions may actually help with Neo become sucessful. When it comes time for people to but a new notebook, current economic conditions will likely dictate that they purchase on a budget. At the same time, these people will be looking not for a netbook but for a regular laptop that can run all of their programs (and perhaps some games). This is where the Neo can possibly thrive. A number of factors will have to be met in order for this to happen, however. First, the manufacturers will have to be willing to take a risk in manufacturing these notebooks. Second, they stores will have to be willing to take a risk in carrying them. Then, finally, you have all of the factors that will contribute to people actually buying them, such as marketing materials and the attitude of those who work at the stores that sell the notebooks toward notebooks based on Neo processors.

At any rate, even if AMD and Intel aren't competing in the exact same market, they are competing in two close degrees of a larger market. If AMD hits the right spot in the market and the conditions are right, they could be quite sucessful with the Neo. On the other hand, if they are unlucky, their ranges of different products aimed at this small market will only serve to confuse and frustrate consumers. I really do want to see AMD succeed. They just have to be very careful, because every time they do come up with a sucessful product, Intel is a step behind with its massive Research and Development machine. And if one thing is for certain, it's that AMD has far more to loose than Intel.