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This Week In Video No. 7

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The netbook - a small, light, inexpensive laptop-on-a-diet - is now a year old; we first reviewed the Asus Eee PC 4G 701 back in October 2007. As with most things in life, familiarity breeds contempt and for many people the honeymoon is over - there are now dozens of models and specifications in various sizes from (almost) every major PC or notebook brand. As a result, it's becoming harder and harder to get excited about new models.

Having said that, the Asus Eee PC S101 was a good example of such a device as it turned the usual toy-like design principals most netbooks had adhered to on its head. And another one that really got us salivating was the first netbook to come from the doors of Dell, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9.

Why? Two reasons. Not only does the Mini 9 represent the first foray into this sector from one of the world's largest PC / notebook manufacturers but this is also the first netbook we have seen with inbuilt 3G mobile broadband - no dongle required!. Better still, Vodafone are offering it completely free - you just pay the monthly bill for the broadband contract. Now that's progress!

One of the most anticipated handsets of this year was the true follow up to HTC's disappointing first attempt at a competitor to the iPhone, the HTC Touch. The HTC Touch Diamond packs in an incredible amount of technology while remaining a rather attractive looking handset. Unfortunately, despite HTC's best efforts to mask the inadequacies of Windows Mobile with a finger-friendly skin, the Diamond just doesn't hold up to the competition.

Conversely, Google has almost nailed its mobile operating system, Android, at the first attempt. It's fast, easy to navigate using just a touch screen and a finger, and is very intuitive. Unfortunately, the first handset to play host to this new platform is the T-Mobile G1 and, although it's oddities are largely forgivable, it's high price is less so. Also, with Android still lacking an onscreen keyboard, you're almost certainly better off waiting for an update or for the second generation Android phones.

Finishing this week, James Morris showed us round the latest hard disk based HD camcorder from Canon the HG20. Despite its use of a proprietary hot-shoe and a slightly clunky manual focus mechanism, it still gets a recommendation from us due to its superb image quality. If you're in the market for a top-quality camcorder then this is definitely one to consider.

That's all the video this week. If you have any products you'd like to see us video review please post your suggestions using the Comments system below.

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