No one has seen much of the HP Slate until now. The ten seconds Steve Ballmer fumbled with it at CES 2010 don't really count as a debut, but someone at Conecti.ca has finally spent some real time with the device. Conecti.ca managed a quick hands-on and review. The verdict is a decidedly ambivalent one. Certainly not the response HP would have liked for their supposed iPad killer.
The HP Slate is a keyboardless touchscreen tablet with an 8.9-inch screen that rocks an Atom CPU. In every way that matters, it's a netbook without a keyboard. This is often cited as a strength, but the reviewers point out that it's also the Slate's biggest weakness. While it runs Flash and any Windows app you care to use, the touch interface on Windows 7 makes the device hard to use. HP has made a special finger-friendly graphical front-end, but much of the device's functionality is lost in it. The device also has a dock with HDMI, USB ports, and a kickstand.
It's unlikely this first salvo will sink the unicorn pad, and we're not sure it needs to be sunk. There's still a lot to learn about the new tablet market. Would you consider purchasing the HP Slate? If not, what would you need to see in a tablet to convince you?
A pair of Intel executives today outlined Intel's latest system-on-chip (SoC) products for embedded applications. The big news here is that an upcoming SoC product will be built around Intel's Atom architecture and, for the first time, let other companies create PCI Express compliant devices that connect directly to the chip, Intel said.
Code named Tunnel Creek, Intel envisions the upcoming SoC being used for in-vehicle infotainment and IP media phones. It's a highly integrated part that combines an Atom processor core, memory controller hub, and graphics and video engine all onto a single chip.
According to Intel, the GPU crams 50 percent more graphics performance than existing Menlow chipsets, and as a bonus, it's also smaller and cheaper to produce. Even still, things like hardware video encode acceleration and active noise cancellation DSP has been added in.
Look for Tunnel Creek to arrive by the end of the year.
Intel isn't exactly used to playing second fiddle to other chip makers, but in the smartphone market, ARM pretty much reigns supreme. That might be starting to change.
The Santa Clara chip maker today announced it has ported Google's Android mobile OS platform to run on its Atom processor series. Intel claims customers have been asking for this, and the company has plans to extend its Atom architecture beyond Android.
"Intel is enabling all OSes for Atom phones," said Renee James, general manger of Intel's software and services group.
The move will certainly have an interesting impact in the mobile world, as Intel would be going up against some capable ARM-based platforms, including Nvidia's Tegra chipset and Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor.
When Asus first showed off the Eee Keyboard , no one actually expected it to ship. It was more an exercise in engineering than a product people would buy. But after a number of delays, the Eee Keybaord is on its way to shipping later this month. Asus really promises to ship it this time, and we're willing to believe them for now.
The Eee Keybard is basically a netbook's chipset in a keyboard form factor. There is an integrated 5-inch 480x800 resolution capacitive touchscreen display in place of the number pad. It has an Atom N270 and runs Windows XP. Though, Asus has added a skin to XP making it more finger-friendly. Users will also find 1GB of RAM and the option for either 16 or 32GB SSDs. The real star here is the addition of Ultra-Wideband (UWB) for wireless audio and video. The Eee Keyboard will come with a small receiver to plug into a TV or monitor allowing the signal to be streamed from the safety of the couch.
In its original form, the Eee Keyboard didn't make much sense for anything. With the UWB technology, it has at least a shot at being a passable media center PC. The price is expected to be between $400 and $600. Anyone going to take one of these for a spin?
Just when you thought your netbook had the fastest Intel Atom chip on the planet, the Santa Clara chip maker announced faster parts are just around the corner.
In Q2, Intel will begin shipping the Atom N470, N475, and N455 netbook CPUs, the latter two of which will support DDR3 memory. Where that will come into play in terms of performance on a netbook remains to be seen, but the bigger upside is that the switch to DDR3 could pave the way to more cost-conscious memory upgrades.
Also coming in Q2 is the D525. This dual-core Atom chip will come clocked at 1.8GHz with a 13W TDP, the same power rating as the currently available D510, and will support both DDR2 and DDR3 memory. The D510 is DDR2 only.
More details may have leaked out regarding the upcoming HP Slate. Spanish site Clipset appears to have gotten pricing information from HP itself pointing to a €400 price. That converts to $546, but direct conversions rarely hold up. In fact, it is possible the HP Slate may come in under the price of the entry level iPad.
The HP Slate is expected to be and Atom-based device running Windows 7. As such, there will be Flash support, a memory card reader, a web cam, and USB connectivity. It is basically has all the things people wanted the iPad to have; we’ll have to see how successful that combination really is. The official launch should happen sometime in June, with retail availability by late summer in Europe. Hopefully that means an earlier launch in the US.
Intel's Atom platform isn't just for fun and play, at least not anymore. The No. 1 chip maker on Thursday launched its first Atom processor-based platform designed specifically for home networks and small office/home office (SOHO) storage devices.
"NAS systems have traditionally been found in businesses to manage, store and access data," said Seth Bobroff, general manager, Intel Data Center Group, Storage. "Today, households and small offices have an ever-increasing number of computers, laptops, netbooks and mobile phones that create and consume digital content. This advancement in mobility coupled with the explosive growth of data and media are creating the need for centralized, easy-to-use network storage solutions for the home and small office."
Available in both single core (D410) and dual-core (D510) flavors, Intel says you can expect up to a 50 percent power reduction compared to the company's previous generation Atom processors.
Other features of the new platform include six PCI Express lanes, 12 USB 2.0 ports, a port multiplier function, and eSATA ports.
We saw this one coming before the weekend, and just as we expected, Intel today officially took the wraps off of its new Atom N470 processor.
"This new, faster Atom processor for netbooks has integrated graphics built directly into the CPU to help enable improved performance and smaller, more energy-efficient designs or the popular netbook category," Intel said.
No big surprises here, at least not in terms of technical specs. The new single-core chip runs at 1.83GHz and features 512KB of L2 cache and DDR2-667 support. According to Intel, expect to see all the major OEMs introduces systems built around this new chip in the coming months.
What does come as a surprise, however, is that some netbook makers are already looking beyond the N470. According to Liliputing.com, some netbooks on display at CeBIT this week are equipped with eve newer Atom parts, including the N455 and N475. There aren't a whole lot of details on these higher-numbered chips, but from what we can tell, they look to add features like DDR3 support and Broadcom rather than faster clockspeeds.
It’s no secret that Intel’s Atom chips are a bit on the slow side. While we certainly like the battery efficiency, a bit more power would be great. It appears Intel is willing to appease us, and the announcement may come on Monday. Intel is expected to introduce the Pine Trail based Atom N470, which will be nearly the same as the N450, but clocked at 1.83GHz instead of 1.66GHz. We also heard a while back that the N470 netbooks would be allowed double the memory of the N450 units. We'll have to wait until Monday to see if that's still the case. It’s not a lot, but with Atom right at the edge of usability, every little bit helps.
Atom chips have been in high demand ever since netbooks took the PC market by storm. Atom offers lower power consumption than the previous low-power solution, the Core 2 ULV, but lags behind in processing power because of it. The N450 was released late last year, and quickly found its way into consumer products. Intel expects an equally speedy adoption of the N470. No word on if you will pay much of a premium for the new Pine Trail chip.
German website NetbookNews.de discovered something rather interesting about Lenovo's ThinkPad X100e. As it currently stands, the X100e sports an 11.6-inch screen with a 1366 x 768 display, AMD Neo MV-40 single-core CPU, and ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, but an overhaul might be in order.
NetbookNews.de stumbled upon the X100e's support page, which showed a different set of specs next to the above. The alternate specs included a 10.1-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 display and Intel Atom N450 processor. In other words, a smaller version built around Pine Trail.
Adding to the mystery, Lenovo has since revised the support page removing all traces of Pine Trail. Was it an honest-to-goodness mistake or a sneak peek of things to come?