It's a rare occasion that we see a high profile new laptop release on a Sunday, but you won't hear any complaining from me. The new HP Envy 14 has officially gone up for sale as of today, and it strikes an interesting balance between style and performance. The all-aluminum chassis design clearly stole a few styling cues from the Macbook Pro family, but HP has added enough additional details to make it stand out from the crowd.
The base model carries a starting price of $1,099.99 and comes loaded with a Core i3-370M, 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB HDD. Given that the machine also includes HDMI, mini-Display Port, and Gigabit Ethernet as standard options, it appears to be a halfway decent price/performance proposition.
Those in search of a bit more horsepower can step all the way up to a Core i7-840Q with 8GB of DDR3, but don't be surprised when the final tab shatters the $2,000 barrier. We can't give this one our official seal of approval until we get it in for testing, but if it's anything like the last Envy we reviewed, we are in for a treat.
Panasonic today released what it claims is the "most powerful fully-rugged mobile computer" on the planet, the Panasonic Toughbook 31.
"The Toughbook 31 combines the best of three worlds – mobility, performance and ruggedness," said Erik Reid, mobile client marketing director, Intel Corporation. "This is achieved by combining the high performance of the Intel® Core™ i5 and i3 Processor technology with the ruggedness of the Panasonic design which enables users to perform compute intensive applications in almost any kind of conditions."
The Toughbook sports a 13.1-inch screen rated at 1,100 nits. Processor choices include an Intel Core i3 350M (2.26GHz), Core i5 520M (2.4GHz), or Core i5 540M (2.5GHz). Other specs include 2GB of DDR3 1066 memory (expandable to 8GB), up to a 250GB hard drive, HM55, QM57, or Radeon HD 5650+QM57 video controller, Wi-Fi, HDMI, four USB 2.0 ports, webcam, and other odds and ends. But the Toughbook's real claim to fame is its rugged design. Panasonic says the new model is certified to MIL-STD-810G and beyond, giving it protection from drops of up to six feet, as well as protection against water and dust.
Panasonic's Toughbook 31 is available now starting at $3,800.
Even as early as this morning, industry sources were quoting March 22 as the release date for Acer's revamped Timeline notebooks. Coming in ahead of schedule, however, Acer today officially unveiled its Aspire TimelineX 1830T thin and light laptop, as well as a handful of other models.
Built around Intel's Calpella platform, the TimelineX 1830T sports an 11.6-inch display and weighs 3 pounds. Acer didn't get too specific with the processor, saying only that it feature an Intel Core 2 Solo chip, but reports suggest it will come outfitted with Intel's Core i5 520UM CPU clocked at 1.06GHz.
Other accouterments include Wi-Fi, a pair of memory card slots, HDMI port, optical audio, three USB 2.0 ports, Bluetooth 2.1, and up to 8-hours of run time on the 9-cell battery (a step up from the 6-cell battery found on previous Timeline models).
Other specs are so far unknown, including RAM and hard drive capacity. So too is the price.
Targeting the value segment, MSI this week announced four new additions to its C-series (Classic series) notebook line. The new models consist of the 16-inch CR600 and 15.6-inch CR620-030, CR620-033, and CR620-031.
All three 620-based models are built around Intel's Arrandale platform and tout either a Core i3 or i5 processor. Each one also comes equipped with 4GB of DDR3 memory, and either a 320GB or 500GB hard drive. Those who opt for the CR620-033 will also get a Blu-ray DVD combo drive.
The CR600 comes with Nvidia's GeForce 8200M graphics, and like the rest, it also boasts 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, HDMI out, 1.3MP webcam, a raised chiclet keyboard, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
All models are available now at Newegg with pricing starting at $530.
Intel's Core i3 family looks a little thin at the moment, but come Q2, the No. 1 chip maker will add a third member, the Core i3 550, news and rumor site Fudzilla reports.
As it currently stands, the Core i3 530 cruises along at 2.93GHz, while the 540 breaks the 3GHz barrier with a 3.06GHz clockspeed. The Core i3 550 will kick things up a notch to 3.2GHz, leaving everything else the same. That means 4MB of cache, DDR3 1333 memory support, a 73W TDP, two cores with four threads, and no Turbo overclocking. In other words, it will be the same chip as the Core i5 650, just without Turbo.
Fudzilla says the Wolfdale-based Core i3 550 might end up pushing the E7600 from the marketplace, though the majority of the Wolfdale Core 2 Duo product line will remain available as lower end options throughout most of 2010.
No word yet on price, though we suspect it will check in somewhere around the $170 mark.
Huron River, which, like Calpella, will support Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, and will be based on the 32nm Sandy Bridge architecture. It will be made up of dual-and quad-core processors supporting Intel’s Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading. It will have faster integrated graphics and support for 1600MHz DDR3 memory.
Huron River options look to include a WiMAX chipset, Wireless Display support, and Bluetooth.
CES is just a few short days away, and in keeping with tradition, the rumor mill has been working overtime to try and leak announcements in advance of the massive event. In the laptop space Intel has been making our job easy since new Arrandale based Core i3 machines have been popping up for sale around the web, and the good news here is that they are much cheaper than we would have expected based on it being a new architecture. Canadian based retailer Future Shop is offering a Core i3 based Gateway machine for less than $700 USD, or for just $70 more, you can opt for the Toshiba Satellite with a slightly larger display.
Core i3 is the new budget platform from Intel offering most of the advantages of the Core i5 and i7 parts, with the key exception being a lack of Turbo-Boost. The Core i3's will also only come in a dual-core design, and will have slightly smaller caches than there more expensive brethren. Arrandale specific benefits include Intel's fastest integrated graphics solution which is now built directly onto the CPU, and Hyper-Threading support which will make a huge difference for applications that are heavily multi-threaded. The new 32-nanometer design also promises to be much more power efficient, always a plus where you're talking about laptops.
Let's just say now is a great time to be on the market for a new laptop, but I'd still hold out until CES if I were you.
Intel continues to keep quiet about its upcoming budget Core i3 chip that everyone knows is coming, but that's okay, because we don't need an official statement from Santa Clara to tell you more about this part.
The chip is already available for preorder at Canadian retailer A-Power. According to A-Power's listing, the dual-core Core i3 530 will come clocked at 2.93GHz.. It will also sport 512KB of L2 cache and 4MB of L3 cache, and comes priced at around $150 in U.S. currency.
Intel's upcoming 32nm Core i3 is part of the chip maker's Westmere architecture. The company has previously said that Westmere chips should deliver performance and power benefits that trump the company's current 45nm lineup.
We imagine it won't be long before Intel officially introduces its 32nm Core i3 lineup.
I have a confession to make; I get a kick out of leaked Intel roadmaps. They almost always tend to be revealed mere days after I purchase a new CPU and are pretty effective at taking all the joy out of my new purchase. Of course, in the world of technology my fancy tends to be fickle, and a bit of CPU lust never hurt anyone.
The latest Intel roadmap doesn’t contain too many surprises but it does show that the transition to 32nm is well underway. The few standouts are a new sub-brand called Core i5 “S” that drops the chip down from 95w to 82w, and a Core i3 that strips away the turbo mode to bring down the cost. Intel’s movement at the low end of the market clearly shows their commitment to taking on AMD in the budget realm and it will be interesting to see benchmark comparisons on these new parts.
As for the high end, the new Core i9 “Gulftown” 6-core chip appears to be currently on schedule for a Q2 release next year. This gives us about 6 more months to enjoy our measly old quad cores. Click the jump to check out the detailed roadmap, or hit up PC Watch Japan for all the gory details in “loosely” translated Google English.
How much are you willing to pay to upgrade to Windows 7? Microsoft thinks they know the answer. This week, the gang discusses the Windows 7 pricing announcement, comparing it to previous Windows launches and even the pricing of the other computing OS. Gordon clarifies Intel's new Core i3/i5/i7 branding structure, and Will gives his thoughts on the surprise acquisition of id Software by Zenimax. We also answer a few listener questions, and share the results of our Bing experiment. On top of that, Gordon delivers his weekly rant.
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