Much has been made over Intel's Atom processor, the 45nm wonder-chip finding its way into more netbooks than production can seemingly keep up with. But lest the world forget, VIA also has a low power chip of its own, one the company claims delivers "truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment, and connectivity applications."
VIA's 65nm Nano processor saw an official launch a full two months ago, but it's Intel's Atom that keeps getting the attention. Is it justified? A pair of review sites looked to answer that question by pitting an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz) against a VIA Nano L2100 (1.8GHz), and both sites came to the same conclusion: VIA's Nano is the faster processor.
Clocked 12.5 percent faster the Atom chip, it should come as no surprise to see the Nano L2100 churn out better performance numbers, but it's the margin of victory that might turn a few heads. In some cases, the Nano chip outpaced the Atom by a margin of 15 to 20 percent, showing it deserves more attention than just as an also-ran.
Of course, it's all for naught if VIA can't win the one contest that matters most: Vendor support.
An "abnormal failure rate" among Nvidia's 8M series GPUs hasn't stopped the graphics chip maker from moving forward; the Santa Clara company expanded its lineup last week with the GeForce 9800M and 9700M parts for notebooks. If you've been waiting for these parts to reach the market place, you can now whip out the credit card and place your order.
Best Buy already stocks Toshiba's sexy Qosmio X305-Q701, which comes equipped with Nvidia's 9700M GTS GPU sporting 512MB GDDR3 memory. According to DigiTimes, over 20 other notebook vendors are expected to soon follow suit, including other top tier vendors. Gaming notebooks have also been announced from the likes of Sager, CyberSystem, Infinity, Pioneer Computers Australia, and other regional PC companies.
If Toshiba's Qusmio isn't your style, look forward to a flurry of other 9M based notebooks to make their debut as Intel's Centrino 2 platform emerges full force.
Intel's Centrino 2 platform hasn't even gotten its feet wet in the PC pool yet, and if a new rumor turns out to be true, Montevina won't be making waves in the new MacBooks expected to arrive within the next two months. If it happens, the change would mark the first time Apple turned its nose at Centrino in its MacBook line since 2006.
According to AppleInsider, not only might the new MacBooks abandon the Montevina chipset, but the new chipset may have nothing to do with Intel at all. Instead, the rumor suggests Apple might be busy designing the new chipset entirely in-house just as it did with its PowerPC-based Macs.
If not in-house and if not Intel, that only leaves a few other third party chipset manufacturers, such as Nvidia, AMD, or VIA. For all its recent problems in the mobile market, Nvidia might be considered a long shot at first glance, but recent reports suggest Nvidia might be willing to ditch its alliance with VIA in order to build a chipset for Intel's Atom processor. Could this be the opportunity Nvidia has been gunning for?
I’m stuck with a Dell laptop that now fails to boot after just two weeks of normal use. I can accept the fact that I will probably fight with Dell technical support for six months before they do anything to help. What I can’t accept is that I can’t figure out what is wrong with this box.
Quite simply, using the laptop for an extended period results in incredibly slow performance, which leads to a lockup or blue screen, which leads to Windows no longer booting on the next cold restart. The ensuing error messages are varied and too numerous to list. After a clean install of Windows, every single diagnostic from the Dell CD comes back perfect. Memtest86 returns no errors.
I’ve swapped out hard drives and CD drives. But after two weeks, the result is exactly the same: no boot. I’ve tried other “unsupported operating systems” (read: Ubuntu), but they crash and burn just the same. If a Dell technician tells me to reinstall XP Home one more time, I may go postal!
Asus' Eee PC is quickly becoming the iPod of the ultraportable market, and if the latest rumor turns out to be true, it will even have an assortment of accessories to go along with the low power notebook. According to German site Eee PC News, Asus will soon add an attractive looking external hard drive that connects via USB. But that's not all. The site also shows photos of an external optical drive and a 3G connection card called the T500, which also looks to fit into a USB port.
If true, add the peripherals to the growing list of Eee branded products. And if not, props to a damn convincing Photoshop job.
With Intel's quad-core mobile chip soon coming to a laptop near you, some are wondering if a four-core chip might be overkill for a mobile platform. The answer is a resounding 'No' and anyone who thinks otherwise automatically loses 100x4 points of geek cred.
Okay, that might be a bit harsh, particularly since there are compelling reasons to support such blasphemous thoughts. While it's difficult to fathom ever having too much computing power, even desktop owners are still waiting for that killer app that will make everyone ditch their dual-core processor in favor of a quad. Moving to a mobile platform, wasted horsepower becomes even more of an issue as OEMs try to deal with heat dissipation, battery life, and the grand-daddy of them all, cost.
Nevertheless, there will be a market for four-core chips. Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest, says quad-core mobile chips are "definitely not" overkill, noting that the boutique OEM has been "putting quad-processors in (laptops) for a long time."
Details about some of Intel's upcoming quad-core mobile chips - like the Core 2 Extreme X9100 - are floating around the web, but others have yet to go public. Citing un-named sources, Cnet claims system vendors may start disclosing more details as soon as August 11. Will anyone care, or is dual-core still good enough for a laptop?
With the ripe combination of portability and power, today’s notebooks are becoming increasingly popular and replacing desktops as primary computers. And one notebook accessory that many consumers seem to be keeping their eye on is notebook stands. These angled risers that sit on your desk provide ergonomic and organizational solutions to transform a notebook into a makeshift desktop station. But which stand is right for you? Looking for a stand with passive or fan cooling? Or is a stand with comfortable ergonomics and stylish aesthetics more important? What if you want one with a little bit of everything? With these various factors in mind, we tested 11 different notebook stands to see if they’re any better than just putting a notebook on top of a few stacked phonebooks (which in many cases, they weren’t).
It seems like every company is jumping onto the recent Netbook craze, but will it turn out to be a passing fad? No one knows for sure, and it's because of this uncertainty that AMD will sit this round out.
"We are not saying it's not an important segment and we're not saying it's not a growing segment. What we are asying is that we are a smaller company and we have to focus on what we do well at this point. We are watching that segment rather than playing in it, but as it matures we'll see where it goes," said Nigel Dessau, AMD's chief marketing officer.
Dessau's comments fall in line with AMD's recent commitment to refocusing its business strategies, but could the company be preparing to strike? Hit the jump to learn more.
Never mind choosing between a PC or a console, Dell says why not get both? And to show you its okay to treat yourself to a gaming extravaganza, Dell is tossing in a Xbox 360 Elite console with both its $3,000 XPS M1730 laptop and $2,000 XPS 630 desktop.
Exactly what prompted the as-yet unannounced promotion remains a mystery, and after initial reports indicated the bundle only applied to the M1730 notebook, John Blain, gaming liasion for Dell, clarified in a blog that the company is also running the same deal with its 630 desktop. "As one commenter to this article mentioned (Brian), you can never have enough Xbox 360s. I would wholeheartedly agree," wrote Blain.
This isn't the first bit of news involving Microsoft's gaming console, and the company just last week announced a partnership with Netflix that would bring the online video rental's streaming service to Xbox 360 consoles this fall. In addition, Microsoft was busy showing off a redesigned 3D Dashboard at this year's E3, also slated for a fall release.
Dell too has been busy shaking things up with its recently introduced Studio notebook line, and the company will pilot a PC repair program in select Wal-Mart stores in the Dallas area.
PC enthusiasts have reason to grin these days, because never has the market been as price friendly as it is right now. Just a shade over $100 suddenly gets you an overclockable Core 2 Duo, and it's not just Intel slashing prices either. Videocards have dropped in price so fast that at least two suppliers (XFX and Evga) are giving early adopters cash back. Prefer an ultraportable over a desktop? No problem, Asus has your back.
There was no announcement, but Engadget reports the Eee PC 1000H can now be had for $100 less than just one week ago. And they're right. A quick jaunt to Newegg verifies the price drop, though it's currently out of stock until Friday. Could this be a sign that the ultraportable market is heating up for a price war?