Ultra-thin notebooks tend to be sleek, sexy, and expensive. By our count, that's two out three desirable qualities, which leaves the door wide open for an OEM to ship an ultra-thin that doesn't put the hurt on the wallet. Would you have guessed Dell would be the one to step through?
Dell, the same OEM responsible for the $1,500+ Adamo, is making headlines once again for an ultra-thin notebook, only this time the price will be in reach of the mainstream audience. Enter the Vostro V13, a 3.5-pound ultraportable measuring a scant 0.65-inches thick, the same as the Adamo. But at only $449, the Vostro V13 is the third of the price of the least expensive Adamo.
It gets even better. At $450, you're probably expecting an Intel Atom processor inside, but that isn't the case. Geared towards business travelers, the 13.3-inch V13 will sport an ultra-low voltage (ULV) Core 2 processor along with 4GB of DDR3 memory. Details remain sparse, but according to reports, it will also ship with Bluetooth and 802.11g/n support, as well as an integrated webcam and microphone.
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.
Who would have thought Acer would emerge as a front runner to release the first desktop replacement built around AMD's Evergreen graphics? Whether or not Acer will beat Alienware, Asus, and everyone else to the punch remains to be seen, but according to Fudzilla, the company is readying a monster notebook.
"Monster" in this case can refer to the size. At 18.4 inches, Acer's upcoming laptop probably won't spend much time on your lap. It could also refer to the Core i7-720QM processor stuffed inside, which races along at 1.6GHz. There's hardly an area that isn't beastly, including the 8GB of DDR3 memory, not one but two 640GB hard drives, and even a Blu-ray drive. And of course AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 5850 will bring DriectX 11 graphics to the table, along with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.
Other features of the lamely named Aspire 8942G-728G1280TWN (seriously?) include four USB 2.0 slots, 801.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, a 5-in-1 card reader, 8-cell battery, and other odds and ends.
No word yet on price or availability, but if we were to guess, we'd say "soon" and "expensive."
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just your Dell laptop? Many are complaining it's the latter, with what looks to be hundreds of owners of E6400 and E6500 series Dell notebooks complaining of performance issues, including throttling down by as much as 95 percent under normal operating conditions, Engadget reports.
The problem appears to be due to an oversensitive BIOS prone to dialing down clockspeeds and bringing notebooks to a near screeching halt at the first sign of heat. It's something that's been brought to Dell's attention long ago, but according to Engadget, the OEM has been censoring some posts on its forums rather than fixing the issue.
One user who went by the name Tinkerdude (and is now banned) even went to far as creating a 59-page PDF describing the problem in all its gory detail.
Further reading (be patient - links have been slashdotted):
Here's an ad campaign we're willing to be you've never seen before. In an effort to prove just how tough their laptops are, Lenovo has outfitted buses and tram shuttles throughout Germany with the company's Thinkpad notebooks installed as seats.
That's right, Lenovo is daring Germans to plant their hind quarters on an open Thinkpad as prospective buyers are shuttled to Lenovo Roadshows all across the country.
A couple of questions immediately come to mind. Can this kind of seating really be good for sperm counts? And what happens if you have a bad case of gas? In that case, it sucks to be the next guy who's more interested in surfing the web than sitting on a laptop that's seen more ass than Paris Hilton.
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.
Is your ultraportable overheating while surfing the web? As odd as it sounds, the culprit could be Firefox rather than a hardware issue. No, really, check out what one of Mozilla's support pages has to say on the matter.
"At times, Firefox may require significant CPU resources in order to download, process, and display web content," Mozilla states in a document titled "Firefox consumes a lot of CPU resources."
As CNet notes, this is a real problem that users are reporting, such as this Dell Mini9 owner. So what's the solution? Short of switching to a different browser, Mozilla recommends downloading and installing the latest version of the Flash plugin, which might help with Flash heavy sites like YouTube, and installing Flashblock, which allows end-users to selectively enable and disable Flash content.
Depending on when and where the high CPU usage kicks in, Mozilla also recommends updating the Adobe Reader plugin, configuring Firefox to open PDF documents outside of Firefox, and installing NoScript.
Have you noticed any unusual CPU activitiy or overheating woes while running Firefox? Hit the jump and let us know.
For those who have expressed the need to streak a glossy, high resolution, 17-inch display with your greasy fingers, Dell has just made your dream come true. Today, Dell announced a multitouch display version of its Studio 17 laptop.
According to Anne C at the Direct2Dell community blog, the Studio 17 will come equipped with a suite of touch software applications. You’ll be able to finger your way through photo editing, music playlists, manage video playback, and paint. Naturally, you’ll need forearms like Popeye the Sailor to reach across the keyboard for any length of time, but that’s a small price to pay for way-cool technology.
The Studio 17 has a number of processor options for you: starring from the Pentium Dual Core T4300, running at 2.1Ghz, all the way up to the Core i7-720QM quad core, running at 1.6Ghz. You also can pile in up to 4Gb of DDR memory, a 640Gb SATA 5400 RPM hard drive, an ATI Mobility RAdeon HD 4650 with 1Gb of video memory, and a 17.3-inch high definition (900p) LED display. There’s also an option for a blu-ray player, if you are so inclined.
Multitouch, unfortunately, will be paired with the Core i7 processor only. Anne C says the multitouch system will be available in a few weeks. And the starting price will be $899.
The list of 3D Vision-compatible games is growing continuously. It currently boasts over 400 titles, including Resident Evil 5, Borderlands, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Star Trek D-A-C. All 3D Vision-capable notebooks will ship with 3D Vision active-shutter glasses.
“NVIDIA and ASUS have a passion for gaming and cutting-edge technology, and this is another example of how great companies working together can deliver awesome new platforms to our combined customers,” said Asustek’s PC Wang. The G51J 3D will hit the market next month.
Citing anonymous sources from notebook heavyweights, news and rumor site DigiTimes says we can expect Intel to launch four 32nm dual-core Arrandale CPUs (Calpella platform) by the second week of January 2010. These will include the Core i5 520M and 430M, and Core i3 350M and 330M.
Details weren't available on all four chips, but it looks like the Core i5 430M will come clocked at 2.26GHz and include Intel's Turbot Boost Technology, which could bump the clockspeed up to 2.53GHz for a single core. The Core i3 350M will also boast a 2.26GHz clockspeed, but no Turbo Boost.
The Core i5 will feature a graphics clock running at 500MHz and up to 766MHz with Turbo Boost, whereas the Core i3 will also run at 500MHz, but top out at 667MHz. All four chips will support DDR3 memory, come equipped with 3MB of L3 cache, and come rated with a TDP of 35W.