Gigabyte will soon start shipping its Booktop M1305 ultraportable that was first shown back in June, and peering over the spec sheet, there doesn't appear to be much to get excited about. Not until you look closer, anyway.
The M1305 will come equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Pentium, or Celeron ULV processor. Pushing pixels on the 1366x768 display is Intel's 4500MHD integrated graphics. It will also come with 4GB of DDR3 memory, 320GB or 500GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.3MP webcam, slim-type DVD burner, fingerprint reader, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and Windows Home 7 Premium.
But where this ultraportable stands out from the crowd is with the included docking station. The docking station brings NVidia's GeForce GT220 graphics to the table, giving the M1305 a major boost over its integrated chipset, and includes a bunch of I/O ports. Sure, lugging around the docking station might defeat the purpose of an ultraportable, but leave the thing at home and unwind with a bit of gaming goodness after a busy day on the road.
The most capacious 1.8-inch hard drive on the planet now checks in at 320GB, says Toshiba, who just introduced a new line of tiny HDDs
Toshiba's targeting thin and light mobile PCs and portable external HDD contraptions with its new storage series, which also includes two other models sized at 160GB and 250GB. All three drives sport a perpendicular magnetic recording head, efficient power consumption, a high level of durability, and quiet seek operation, Toshiba says.
The new drives come equipped with a SATA interface and spin at 5400RPM. All three models also include a 16MB buffer. Combined with improvements to areal density, Toshiba claims you can expect data transfer rates to improve by 15 percent over previous drives.
Toshiba's tiny drives will start mass production in December. No word yet on price.
Acer's been talking up a storm about its future notebook plans and how it's going to take on the likes of Dell and HP, and it begins with the release of the Aspire AS8940G-6865 with an 18.4-inch display and Intel Core i7 720QM processor.
Driving the large screen display is an Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated memory. Other specs include 4GB of DDR3-1066 memory, a 500GB hard drive, 4X Blu-ray drive, multi-card reader, 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N WiFi, five USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and eSATA ports, and Windows Home Premium 64-bit.
"This new Aspire notebook offers multimedia enthusiasts the ultimate in mobile entertainment -- cinematic quality sound and visuals, an industry-leading feature-set, and the performance to handle demanding digital media," said Preeta Anil, Product Manager, Notebooks for Acer America. "The addition of Intel's new Core i7 processor further boosts the power and performance of the Aspire AS58940G for games, movies, videos, and more."
Acer says its new notebook will be available for purchase in time for the holiday season for $1,350. Not a bad price for the hardware.
Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports ECS is aggressively looking for notebook engineers to replace its depleted staff of mobile gurus. The company is reportedly looking to pluck talent for several second-tier notebook players, including First International Computer, Cleveo, Foxconn, and Compal.
The notebook market continues to sizzle and isn't showing any signs of slowing down. Unfortunately for ECS, some 80 technical specialists and executives from its notebook division have recently jumped ship, leaving in their wake an R&D gap. The exodus has also put some projects on hold.
Tapping into growing notebook sales would also help ECS rebound from what's so far been a disappointing fiscal year. In the first three quarters, ECS reported consolidated revenues of around $1.71 billion, which represents a drop of 18.32 percent on year.
Dell unveiled a new ruggedized convertible tablet called the Latitude XT2 XFR today. It measures in at 1.5 inches thick making it the thinnest rugged convertible laptop on the market.
It is a “work in the field” type laptop weighing 5.4 pounds using a 4-cell battery. It features a 12.1-inch LED backlit display with multi-touch and gesture controls, Core 2 Duo processor (SU9600), and can support up to 5GB of RAM. The Dell engineers weren’t just hoping this thing could handle a coffee spill or a three centimeter drop, it has been designed to meet MIL-810G standards and is expected to be certified soon.
What does that mean? Well, for one, it can operate in temperatures ranging from minus 10 up 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It also features a thermal management system designed to keep things cool but also eliminate dust and water from entering the device.
The new laptop starts at $3,599 and will be sold in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Lenovo continues to flesh out its line of Windows 7 powered PCs, this time by adding a handful of IdeaPad laptops and IdeaCentre desktops built around the newly released OS.
On the mobile front, Lenovo unveiled a trio of laptops -- IdeaPad Y550P, U150, and U550 -- with the Y550P probably being the most appealing to power users. Why? Because it's the only one of the bunch to use Intel's Core i7 platform. Like the Y550, the U550 also comes in a 15.6-inch form factor, but drops things down a notch with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. And the U150 is aimed at the ultra-portable crowd. As such, it measures just 13.5mm thick and weighs a little under 3 pounds.
None of the new desktops sports Intel's Nehalem architecture, but the Lenovo H230 does make a strong pitch to penny pinchers. Starting at $300, Lenovo says consumers will have a range of HDD and DDR3 configurations to choose from. Those looking for a bit more oomph can step up to the K300, which is built around Intel's Core 2 Quad platform and includes an option for RAID. Rounding out the desktop solutions is the B500 all-in-one, which is also built around Intel's Core 2 Quad line.
Already a major force in the mobile PC market, Asus said it expects to ship 16 million notebooks and netbooks combined in 2010. That would be four million more than it shipped in 2009, but there's plenty of room for growth, suggests company president and CEO Jerry Shen, who predicts that global notebook shipments will balloon from 140 million units in 2009 to 180-190 million units in 2010.
The lofty goal is part of Asus' bigger objective, which is to position itself firmly as one of the world's top-three notebook vendors by 2011. Towards that end, Asus has already shifted roughly 30 percent of its popular Eee PC netbooks to Windows 7, which Shen says will be the primary driving force for notebook growth.
While the Eee PC line is Asus' bread and butter, the company also expects its ultra-thin lineup to grow in popularity and account for 20 to 30 percent of all its notebook shipments in the first half of 2010.
Shen also talked about his company's plans for the fast-growing e-reader market. According to Shen, Asus will soon launch its 9-inch grayscale e-book reader, although at first the focus will be on cooperating with a Taiwan-based charity organization. A consumer version is expected to follow suit perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2010 and be built around the same 9-inch grayscale panel.
And what about 3D notebooks and dual-booting Android netbooks? These are both areas Shen said Asus is taking a conservative approach.
AMD recently announced a bunch of new processors, including its first triple-core Athlon II chip, and coming soon, the CPU maker will also release a tri-core part for notebooks, Fudzilla says.
Planned as part of the Danube platform, the upcoming Phenom II triple-core N820 mobile processor will essentially be a quad-core part with one of the cores disabled. It will carry a 35W TDP and come packed with 1.5MB of total cache split into 512KB per core. It will also boast DDR3-1333 support, an HT speed of 3.6GT/s, and AMD-V support.
It's not yet known how fast the part will come clocked, nor is there any word on a projected release date or price point. But if AMD plays its cards right, the mobile Phenom could prove awfully tempting for consumers who want to step up from a dual-core platform but lack the ducats to go quad. Or it could force Intel's hand at lowering the price of its mobile Core 2 Quad chips. Either way, notebook shoppers stand to win.
Acer president Scott Lin says his company has big plans for the tablet PC market, and today the company put on display its new Aspire 1420P tablet during a press event in China.
The sleek 11.6-inch tablet features a swiveling LED touchscreen with multitouch support, an Intel Celeron SU2300 processor (1.2GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 2GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 8GB), a 250GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/Draft-N, a multi-card reader, optional 3G support, and Windows 7.
According to the tablet's U.S. product page (yep, this one's headed for the States), the convertible display sports a built-in accelerometer that automatically rotates images so you can "use it as a photo frame, portable cinema, or the [as] the perfect presentation tool."
What the product page doesn't tell us is when the 1420P will be released and at what price
Jumping on the fast emerging 3D bandwagon, Acer today announced its new Aspire 5738DG notebook, the first from Acer to sport 3D viewing technology.
"This holiday season, we are seeing 3D content become more prevalent in popular films and games," said Ray Sawall, senior product manager for Acer America. "The new Acer Aspire 5738DG notebook enables consumers to enjoy exciting new 3D entertainment on a mobile PC that can also replicate a 3D experience from standard 2D content."
The new notebook achieves its 3D effect using TriDel 3D technology, which in addition to a 3D screen and special software, also means you'll need to don a pair of 3D polarizer glasses. When you do, you'll be able to filter 2D content into 3D, while also being able to toggle between the two types of displays with the click of the mouse, Acer says.
While the 3D capability steals the show, other specs include an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor (2.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR2-1066 memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512MB of dedicated video memory, a 320GB hard drive, multi-card reader, 8X DVD burner, four USB 2.0 ports, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Acer says the Aspire AS5738DG-6165 will be available later this week starting at $780.