There is some major news for those of you waiting for Apple to bring its outdated MacBook Air into the present. The Cupertino-based company has performed another unimaginably improbable feat by updating the outdated ultrathin, while still failing at the herculean task of bringing it into the post Core 2 Duo era. But given Apple’s numerous “magical and groundbreaking” exploits, it shouldn’t be too difficult to cut it some slack, right?
The Air, which will now be available in 11.6-inch (new) and 13.3-inch screen sizes, is said to have become lighter, thinner and faster following the update. Apple has eschewed the hard drive in favor of solid-state storage, allowing the new Air models to have instant-on functionality and a longer battery life. As the flash storage is housed directly on the system board, as opposed to a solid-state drive enclosure, there is more room for the battery and other components.
The 11.6-inch model is priced $999 and features a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of memory, 64GB of storage. You can double the storage for a couple of Franklins. Its 13.3-inch cousin is priced $1,299 and features a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, and 128GB of flash storage (double the storage for three Benjamins).
First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January this year, Lenovo's IdeaPad U1 hybrid tablet laptop seems to be taking forever to show up in stores. The latest delay has pushed back the launch of the U1 to 2011. The Chinese PC maker attributes the delay to the U1 not being up to the company's standards. Chinese consumers will the be the first ones to lay their hands on the redesigned product when it makes its retail debut next year.
We don't know what the IdeaPad U1 would look like after Lenovo is done revising it as per the company's quality standards, but we do know what it was originally meant to be: an 11.6-inch laptop with a display that doubled up as a Snapdragon-powered tablet when detached from the mother unit.
Intel's ultra-low-powered CULV family of processors are becoming popular choices for many forthcoming ultrathin notebook computers in the $700-$900 range, like MSI's new X-Slim series we told you about in April.
However, you can also use CULV processors in standard-thickness notebook computers, and according to Digitimes, that's exactly what Hewlett-Packard plans to do. It will roll out ultra-thin models with CULV processors in the fourth quarter, but its first CULV-based products will use standard chassis and will thus be available earlier.
CULV processors are designed to fit between Intel's Atom and its faster Core 2 Duo processors in performance. Will the market put up with a full-sized notebook with a battery-sipping, but slower processor, or should prospective HP CULV buyers wait until late in the year for the new ultraslim chassis? Join us after the jump and sound off.
Most parts of the country aren't expected to see any more snowfall until next winter, but the relationship between Nvidia and Intel couldn't be any more chilly. At odds with each other over Nehalem licensing, netbook platforms, and other tech related spats, the two sides seem all to happy to take digs at one another when the opportunity arises. For Nvidia, that means calling to question Intel's claim that its Core i7 processor can improve game performance by up to 80 percent.
"I have a copy of Intel’s latest deck that they share with press and customers, and on there they have a slide that is called The Intel Core i7 920 Processor, where they claim that gaming performance goes up by 80 percent when you use a Core i7, said Tom Peterson, Nvidia's technical marketing director. "Now, I was impressed by that claim, and I was trying to figure out how they could possibly say such a thing, and it turns out that Intel is basing that claim on only 3DMark Vantage’s CPU test."
Peterson went on to point out that the synthetic benchmark's CPU test doesn't actually measure game performance, and to say otherwise would be disingenuous. To drive his point home, Peterson showed Nvidia's own benchmarks of a Core 2 Duo E8400 machine outfitted with a GeForce GTS 250 videocard. The PC averaged 41.6 FPS in Nvidia's testing, and only increased to 42.4 FPS after upgrading to a Core i7 965. But after upgrading to a pair of GeForce GTX 260 videocards, that number jumped to 59.4 FPS.
"In real gaming, there's no difference between a Core i7 and a Core 2 Duo," Peterson concluded.
Intel this week launched its new Xeon 5500 series, which were previously known as Nehalem-EP, along with a handful of new mobile Core 2 Duo chips built around the 45nm Penryn core. Following the release, Intel has posted an updated price list reflecting the new CPUs.
Pricing for the new Xeon chips range from $188 for the entry-level E5502 (1.86GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 80W) on up to $1,600 for the flagship W5580 (3.2GHz, 8MB L2 cache, 130W). A total of 12 new 45nm Xeons have been added in all, covering just about every price point.
On the mobile front, four new Core 2 mobile chips have been added, starting with the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 5.3W) for $262. Other chips include the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6GHz, 3MB, 10W) for $289, Core 2 Duo SL9600 (2.13GHz, 6MB, 17W) for $316, and Core 2 Duo SP9600 (2.53GHz, 6MB, 25W) for $316.
Intel plans to rollout a couple of new ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs by the end of next month, according to Taiwanese website DigiTimes. The processors are part of Intel’s CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) family of processors. The website’s informants identified the two processors as the Core 2 Duo SU9600 (1.6 GHz) and the Core 2 Solo SU3500 (1.4 GHz). The price of the SU9600 has been revealed to be $289 in thousand-unit tray quantities, and for the latter it is said to be $249. Also, Intel is reportedly planning to diversify its CULV processor range into three subclasses.
One day we'll look back at dual-core CPUs and wonder how it was we were ever able to get anything done with such primitive processors. Some users would contend we're already there, proclaiming it's quad-core or bust, but not everyone sees the value in more cores over faster clockspeeds. For those of you who fall into that category, start saving your pennies for Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo E8700 CPU.
At 3.5GHz, the E8700 will be Intel's highest clocked Core 2 Duo, with the 3.33GHz E8600 nipping at its heels. Like the E8600, the 45nm E8700 will run on a 1333MHz frontside bus and come with 6MB of L2 cache. The new chip is expected to carry a TDP of 65W.
No word yet on a release date or expected price point, though don't be surprised to find another round of Core 2 Duo price cuts when the E8700 makes its debut.
If you're tired of tiny form-factor HTPCs run by underwhelming processors, the newest version of the Epson Endeavor ST HTPC is a shot of adrenaline. As Nexus404 reports, the new ST120, which measures only 75x185x195 mm (or approximately 2.95x7.28x7.68 inches), features powerful processing and movie playback power:
Core 2 Duo processor running at speeds from 2.26-2.8GHz
GM45 Express chipset
1GB DDR2 RAM with upgrade options to 4GB
80GB to 250GB SATA hard disk
Blu-Ray or DVD drive
So, what's the catch? Catch us after the jump to find out.
Intel's long anticipated Centrino 2 platform (previously codenamed Montevina) makes its official debut this week, and a number of top-tier vendors will begin selling configurations to Centrino 2 specifications. Montevina chips are manufactured using high-k metal gate technology on a 45nm die, and Intel promises faster performance, improved mobility features, and support for high-definition graphics on the Centrino 2 platform.
Centrino 2 chips include Intel's second generation Core 2 Duo processors (Penryn) with speeds expected to range from 2.26GHz to 3.06GHz on a 1066MHz frontside bus. Sipping just 29W, the low power draw should result in both a cooler running chip and longer battery life.
The new platform moves away from the GM965 chipset and now uses Intel's Mobile 45 Express chipset. Other goodies include integrated GMA X4500 graphics, Intel's 5000 series wireless chip with support for WiFi and WiMax, flash memory caching (Intel Turbo Memory), and support for DDR3 memory, the first mobile platform ever to do so.
The release of Centrino 2 might also spark tantalizing price cuts as vendors look to clear out old inventory. Know of any good deals? Post them below!