Both Asus and Acer didn't get the memo that users want to pay less, not more, for netbook PCs. It's not that they're planning to jack up the prices willy nilly, but both companies are going to launch "luxurious" netbooks in time for the holiday shopping season.
More specifically, Asus is prepping its 12.1-inch Lamborghini netbook, the Eee PC VX6, which will sport an Intel dual-core Atom processor and Nvidia Ion 2 graphics.
Acer, meanwhile, is putting the final touches on its 11.6-inch Ferrari model, which will come outfitted with an AMD Fusion processor (Ontario) under the hood, as well as a Ferrari smartphone (Liquid E Ferrari).
The Eee PC VX6 will ship in September or October for $700, while Acer's Ferrari will debut sometime in the fourth quarter for an as-yet undetermined price.
It’s been interesting watching the evolution of Nvidia’s Fermi graphics. We’ve seen a range of cards, all built using variations of the original chip—a 3 billion transistor monster that runs hot and consumes power like a vampire sucking blood from a hapless victim.
Now Nvidia is shipping a new Fermi, previously code-named GF104. Aimed at the hearts and minds of mainstream PC gamers, the GTX 460 is a new chip, ringing in at just under 2 billion transistors and substantially more power-efficient. Two versions of the chip are available, a low-end and a high-end version.
The big question mark surrounding tablets is whether or not this emerging market will eat into netbook sales, or if the two segments can co-exist. If Asus' recent netbook performance is any indication, we may have our answer.
Asus only managed to sell 1.5 million netbooks in the second quarter, a drop of 100,000 units over the first quarter and short of the company's expectations. As a result, Asus president and CEO Jerry Shen recently told investors that Asus had to downward adjust its target shipments for the third quarter, which he blames on competition from Apple's iPad.
It's been somewhat of a rough year all around for Asus. Along with disappointing netbook sales, decreased shipments of motherboards and traditional notebooks have taken a toll on the company's financial performance, which declined during the second quarter.
What's interesting about this is that the tablet game is largely a one-man show, but will soon become crowded as 2010 comes to a close. Is this the beginning of a trend?
Asus has gone and shipped off its new Eee PC 1015PN netbook to Europe, the company's first to be built around Nvidia's Ion 2 platform.
Ion 2 gives the 1015PN some pixel pushing punch by way of a GeForce GT218 GPU, and to keep the 6-cell battery from prematurely crapping out when all you're trying to do is surf the Web, the 1015PN also comes with Nvidia's Optimus graphics switching technology.
Other spec include an Intel Atom N475 processor clocked at 1.83GHz, 1GB of DDR3 memory, a 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 Starter.
Most European vendors have the 1015PN listed at around $500.
It's not uncommon for PC makers to dabble in both the low- and high-end markets, and every spot in between, but should Asus target the budget crowd, channel vendors believe the company could risk its reputation and damage its brand image, Digitimes reports.
So what's the big fuss? Those who feel this way point to the recent launch of an Asus-branded all-in-one PC selling for about $375 in Taiwan, the lowest price for such a machine so far. Up to this point, channel vendors say Asus has pushed its products as boutique items, not blue light specials.
Naturally, Asus doesn't see it the same way and said that the low-cost all-in-one is simply to fill market demand. But there's yet another explanation floating around, with some analysts saying Asus could be saddled with surplus components and is trying to make the best of a bad situation by moving lower cost products.
Fleshing out its gaming laptop line, system vendor AVADirect this week added a pair of new mobile 3D setups, the Clevo W860CU 3D and Asus G51JX-3D.
The Clevo W860CU 3D sports a 15.6-inch HD display powered by Nvidia's GeForce GTX 286M graphics. Processor options include chips from Intel's mobile Core i5 and i7 lines, with a bunch of other configuration options, including a whole bunch of SSD and HDD choices, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, custom paint, and other odds and ends.
Like Clevo's 3D laptop, the Asus G51JX-3D comes with a 15.6-inch HD display, but pairs the panel with Nvidia's GeForce GTS 360M graphics chip. Otherwise, it boasts similar configuration options across the board.
Both laptops come with a pair of Nvidia 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses with pricing starting at around $1,620 (Asus) and $1,850 (Clevo).
After a rough start to the summer, motherboard manufacturers are seeing sales pick up this this month and have turned optimistic about the third-quarter. Shipments are on pace to grow 20 percent on month in July, and if things continue this way, shipments will grow 15-20 percent sequentially for the quarter.
This is a far different picture than the gloom and doom scenario top-tier motherboard makers were painting just a short time ago. But as demand has started to pick up in Europe and China, so has their confidence that they'll be able to move more boards than previously thought.
So far this year, Asus has shipped roughly 10.3 million of its own-branded boards, followed by Gigabyte with 8.4 million units. ECS shipped the third most boards with 4.4 million units, followed by MSI and ASRock (a subsidiary of Asus) at 3.8 million and 3.9 million units, respectively.
ASUS introduced the Eee Pad tablet at Computex 2010 in May. The Taiwanese vendor announced a couple of variants: the Windows 7-based Eee Pad EP121 and the Windows Embedded Compact 7-based Eee Pad EP101TC. While its decision to enter the tablet market may have not been much of a surprise, the choice of operating systems was. ASUS had gone against the grain and put all its eggs in the Windows basket.
But announcing a tablet based on the ARM-compatible Windows Embedded Compact 7 platform and launching it are two very different things. According to German site Netbook News, ASUS has decided to replace Windows Embedded with Android as the operating system for its 10-inch EP101TC tablet, which will be powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 2 SoC (System-on-Chip). There has been no official confirmation yet.
Before you scream, “Who in their right mind would pay $500 for a 23-inch twisted-nematic panel?!” know that this is a 120Hz monitor, and that Asus is putting Nvidia’s 3D Vision kit—a $200 product—inside the box. If you’re excited about 3D gaming and Blu-ray 3D movies (and have the appropriate videocard, playback software, and games), $500 is a compelling value. Oh, and the monitor’s pretty good, too.
Let’s discuss the aspects that temper our enthusiasm first, because this monitor isn’t for folks with critical applications such as photo and video editing. In fact, some of you probably stopped reading at “twisted-nematic.” Asus hasn’t magically avoided all the problems we associate with TN panels—e.g., limited color gamut, backlight leakage, inability to distinguish between the lightest shades of gray and full-on white—but it has done a great job mitigating those problems.
It's hot, it's loud, but for those unwilling to sacrifice performance at any cost the Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 is the card to beat. Naturally however if one GTX 480 is great, two is even better right? That's what we thought when we came across leaked photos of the new ASUS Mars 2 featuring a pair of GeForce GTX 480 chips on a single card.
In terms of power consumption the images we came across revealed three 8-pin power connectors, and outputs for a single DVI, HDMI, and what looks like a display port. Fitting both of these massive chips onto a single PCB is a stunning accomplishment, but we can't wait to get a glimpse of the cooling solution if and when this thing ever comes to market. If it can successfully manage and channel that much heat, it will be nothing short of an engineering masterpiece.
Depending on the price, this could really put a dent in the market share for the new "Ares" 5970. Let's just say if you have $1,000+ in your upcoming GPU budget, you might want to hold off just a little bit longer to see how this story shakes out.
The current lineup of budget cards from both companies has never been better, but for those looking to indulge, it's about time we had a few worthwhile options.