What's less than 1 inch thick, weighs a hair over 3 pounds, and costs 99,000 yen (that's about $1,100 in U.S. currency)? Award yourself 100 geek points if you answered Asus' upcoming UM30 notebook.
According to reports, Asus will launch the 0.77-inch, 3.1-pound notebook tomorrow in Japan. It will come equipped with a 13.3-inch TFT color, LED backlit LCD panel with a 1366x468 screen resolution. Inside will sit an Intel Core Duo SU 9400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz, up to 3GB of DDR2 RAM, and a 320GB hard drive.
Akihabara News says it will also support SD, SDHC, MiniSD, and MMC cards. And of course the entire thing will be driven by Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium in 64-bit form.
No word yet on when Asus plans to ship this literal lightweight stateside.
It doesn't matter how good you've been all year, Santa won't be placing an Atom N450-based netbook under the Christmas tree this year. But on the bright side, you may not have to wait long. According to reports, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and MSI, all of which originally planned on launching Atom N450-based netbooks this month, will release the units on January 11, 2010.
The decision to hold off until then complies with their agreement with Intel to only launch the products after January 10. There will be three versions of Atom N450-based netbooks using different OSes, the most popular (and expensive) expected to be Windows 7 Starter. The other two include Moblin Linux and Windows XP Home.
If you’re bored to tears with all the features high end motherboards tend to have, Asus is aiming this product at you. The new Asus ROG Maximus III Extreme has a trick new to motherboards. You can tweak the settings via a Bluetooth enabled cell phone. So if your CPU is feeling a little tired, why not overclock it via your wireless handset?
The current incarnation of the Republic of Gamers series allows users to connect another computer via USB to adjust settings on the fly. The Bluetooth can also be used for other purposes. “RC Bluetooth is also capable of performing standard Bluetooth functions, such as stereo music playback, Skype messaging, Internet access via a Bluetooth phone, and mobile phone or PDA synchronization,” said the Asus press release.
The Maximus III also packs all the features you’d expect plus a little more. It will rock USB 3.0 and SATA 6G. Users will also find 5 PCIe 8x connections. Curiously, this particular board will be socket LGA 1156 instead of the higher end LGA 1366.
Let's set the record straight. A 12.1-inch portable PC lands in netbook territory, even if it does toe the line between netbook and laptop. Going any bigger lands in that debatable gray area, so long as it still sports an Intel Atom processor or comparatively low power chip (VIA Nano, for example).
Asus' new Eee PC 1201HA doesn't have to worry about that, and the 12-1 inch netbook is now available for U.S. consumption. Essentially a larger version of the Eee PC 1101HA, the new model comes with a 12.1-inch 1366x768 display, an Intel Atom Z520 processor (1.33GHz), Intel GMA 500 graphics, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, and Windows XP (no love for Windows 7 here).
The 1201HA also comes with a 6-cell battery, which Asus claims is good enough to power the netbook for 5.5 to 7 hours before needing a lifeline to the nearest wall socket.
As the netbook explosion has proven, consumers are willing to pay for portability, and while that also includes ultra-thins, Asus has been focusing most of its attention elsewhere. According to Tony Chen, Asus' VP, ultra-thins will only account for 10 percent of the company's total notebook sales by the end of 2009.
That doesn't mean Asus has no intention of embracing slim notebooks. As Intel tweaks its ultra-thin platform and consumers continue to warm to the market segment, Chen said he expects a much larger proportion in 2010.
Chen was also quick to point out that Asus has adopted a handful of exclusive technologies in its UL series ultra-thin laptops, including its Turbo33 technology for improved stability and better performance.
Still, Asus, along with MSI, Acer, and Lenovo, all expected ultra-thins to account for around 20-30 percent of notebook shipments in 2009, and all have adjusted their outlook to around the 10 percent mark.
In motherboards—as in life—it’s the little things that bring the greatest pleasure.
Take the new Core i5/i7 LGA1156 board, the Asus P7P55D Deluxe. Enthusiasts are used to the flashy heatsinks and tons of ports and slots, but small touches like Asus’s innovative RAM slots will make you take notice. Instead of using the typical latch connectors that can snag the GPU, Asus has designed a system that requires only one side of the RAM to be latched in.
But adding unexpected conveniences is Asus’s M.O. of late. The board also features snag-free I/O shields, a quick-connect for front-panel connectors, and ExpressGate—the somewhat handy pre-OS boot environment. Besides adding such extras, Asus said it spent an inordinate amount of time making sure the board overclocks like a champ. There are multiple ways to overclock: using the Turbo V function, AI Suite, and the OC Tuner in the BIOS. If that’s not enough, the company even includes three ominous switches to let you override BIOS limits on RAM, memory controller, and CPU voltage. Even more interesting is the Turbo V remote. This wired remote lets you power up or down and select from three overclocking profiles or crank up the Bclock in real time.
Asus said it was switching to Nvidia's Ion platform for future netbooks, and making good on that promise, the Eee PC maker on Thursday announced the Eee PC 1201N Multimedia Netbook.
Up until now, a multimedia netbook could be considered an oxymoron, if not a cruel joke, but that certainly isn't the case here. Pushing the boundaries between a netbook and notebook, the 1201N sports a 12.1-inch LED display and comes built around Nvidia's pixel-pushing Ion platform. That's great for graphics, but it doesn't stop there. Instead of the ubiquitous Atom N270 processor found in most netbooks, Asus equipped the 1201N with Intel's Atom 330 dual-core processor.
On the storage front, the new netbook comes with a 250GB hard drive and 500GB of online Asus WebStorage. The online storage space is provided for free for the first year, and after that, you'll have to pony up for a subscription plan.
Other specs include 2GB of DDR2 memory, Wi-Fi, three USB2.0 ports, a 6-cell battery good for up to 5 hours of run time, and Windows 7.
Asus is about to make a big change to their Eee PC line of products. The netbook pioneer has announced that all their future Eee PCs will come equipped with Nvidia ION instead of the slower Intel solution most netbooks and nettops use now. Nvidia claims that ION is ten times faster than Intel’s integrated solution.
ION is famous for being capable of outputting 1080p video without using much power. The ION platform is also able to run Aero cleanly on Windows 7. “These PCs will run circles around most Atom-based systems, so they are an excellent solution,” said Industry analyst Jon Peddie. With the upcoming Flash 10.1 supporting video acceleration, you can expect smooth flash video at long last.
Set-up in a tower profile, the TS Mini is chocked-full of back-up goodies any home owner might need (and perhaps a few more). It is powered by an Intel Atom N280 processor running at 1.66 Ghz. Can handle up to 2Gb of DDR2 800 memory. Has 2 3.5-inch drive bays, and comes configured with 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB of hard drive storage. Gigabyte ethernet, naturally. Six USB 2.0 ports. Two eSATA ports. And a bag of screws.
The TS Mini is capable of handling back-up chores for ten computers. It also can serve as a streaming media platform, sending content to multiple attached devices, including receiver boxes and game consoles.
Pre-orders are being taken, with prices starting at $349. And, like early Model T Fords, you can have any color you want so long as it is black.
If there’s one thing that might take your mind off your financial woes, it’s some good old-fashioned fragging. And Asus is happy to oblige by offering the most affordable full-fledged gaming notebook that we’ve ever tested. The G51Vx-RX05, sold exclusively through Best Buy, costs less than a grand—OK, at $999, that’s a technicality, but still, this 15-inch notebook is cheap. It’s half the cost of the 15-inch iBuypower M865TU gaming rig we reviewed in November.
Of course, Asus had to cut some corners to get there. The notebook’s Core 2 Duo P7350 CPU, for example, boasts a mere 2GHz clock speed—that’s 33 percent slower than the iBuypower’s proc. And true to form, the G51Vx-RX05 performed about 30 percent slower than the iBuypower (our new zero-point rig) in our Premiere, Photoshop, ProShow, and MainConcept benchmarks.
A Power Control Panel option in the G51Vx-RX05 lets you overclock the CPU by up to 150MHz. That’s a 7.5 percent boost, which amounted to around five percent of additional performance in our CPU-centric benchmarks: Using the so-called “Extreme turbo” mode, we shaved 11 seconds off our original Photoshop time and a minute off of Premiere Pro. That doesn’t do much to bridge the gap between the G51Vx-RX05 and its higher-clocked competition, but it does add some value to the package.