As if Asus hadn’t been revealing enough in their notebook line lately, they’re adding one more to the pile with their fancy new U/UX series laptops.
The ultra-thin series of notebooks will feature light-up chicklet keys (with auto-adjusting backlights, a 15.6-inch glossy LCD and a touchpad that uses fading lights to follow the movement of your fingers. Powering it all will be a Core 2 Duo processor, Nvidia’s GeForce G105M GPU, up to 500GB of storage, and Altec Lansing speakers with SRS true surround sound.
These are expected for Q2 of this year, but no word yet on pricing for the U or the UX.
Earlier this week Dell introduced a special edition of their 15.4-inch Studio notebook, aptly named the Studio 15 Special Edition. This dolled up version of the regular laptop will feature a backlit keyboard, as well as a “Black Vapor” external color scheme.
When the limited edition machine goes on sale there will be three different versions available, depending on what level of hardware one orders. They’ll all sport a dual core 2.0GHz Intel CPU and integrated 4500MHD graphics processing to power the 1440x900 screen (a notable upgrade from the standard 1280x800).
As far as pricing goes, the Special Edition Studio 15 will start at $799 and cost as much as $949. The regular edition will remain at the low end of the spectrum, starting at only $599.
ATI today announced a pair of mobility chips -- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and HD 4830 -- built off of AMD's new 40nm manufacturing process, purportedly making them the first-ever 40nm notebook GPUs.
Both the HD 4860 and HD 4830 come with 640 stream processor, 826 million transistors, support for DirectX 10.1, dual integrated DisplayPort, HDMI with 7.1 surround sound, and are CrossFireX ready. The 128-bit HD 4860 boasts a 650MHz core clockspeed and GDDR5 memory clocked at up to 4Gbps. The HD 4830 (also 128-bit), meanwhile, ships with a core clockspeed ranging from 450MHz to 600MHz, and GDDR3 clocked between 800MHz to 900MHz.
"It's not just 40nm process technology that makes these chips so potent, they are based on the same award-winning TeraScale engine of our ATI Radeon™ HD 4800 desktop series," Rick Bergmen, senior VP and GM for AMD's graphics products group, wrote in a blog post. "Combining this gaming power with our ATI Avivo™ HD technology and Unified Video Decoder will keep all your HD content humming along at full 1080p resolution with bright colors and seamless playback on your HD display. We've also packed in our power-saving technologies like ATI PowerPlayTM, ATI PowerXpressTM, and ATI Switchable Graphics™ technologies so that you can keep gaming, watching and surfing a little longer."
Bergmen went on to say that 40nm desktop parts are "coming soon," with at least one site having already posted benchmarks of what's believed will be ATI's first 40nm-based desktop graphics release.
As for the 40nm Mobility parts, Asus is scheduled to ship laptops using the new processors in the second half of 2009.
Update 3/4/09 AMD has has posted more pictures of its new Mobility chips, along with a video showing the Mobility Radeon HD 4860 running a on a desktop system uing the MXM modules (no notebooks are currently shipping with the part).
If going strictly by the spec sheet, Eurocom's Phantom i7 notebook would nail every boutique OEM right between the eyes. This is the most decked out notebook we've ever seen, and also one you're likely never to see unless Eurocom decides to position the Phantom beyond workstation and server markets.
We're talking either a Core i7 965 Extreme or a not-yet-announced Core i7-based Xeon X5580 (3.2GHz) processor, up to 12GB of triple-channel memory at debut and twice that much later in the year, up to FOUR hard drives in a RAID 0, 1, or 5 array, and either an Nvidia GeForce Go GTX 280M 1GB or Quadro FX3700M discrete graphics to push pixels on the 17-inch, 1600 x 1050 LCD display.
It all adds up to a 12-pound monster with a maximum power consumption rated at about 220 watts. Eurocom spokesman Matt Bialic says the Phantom i7 will last about 60 minutes before needing to recharge the battery.
Look for the Phantom i7 to ship by the end of March starting at $3,000. A fully configured Phantom will cost more than $5,000.
At CeBIT Asus showed off a new concept for a laptop that gets rid of the keyboard in favor of a second screen. The two screens are both touch, and when coupled with software allows for virtual interface devices (such as resizable keyboards and trackpads) to be implemented.
Sadly, this dual panel laptop is currently the product of a corporate-sponsored entry to a design competition, so it is entirely possible that it will never hit the market. Though, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it will.
Talk about a true desktop replacement - Asus' new W90 laptop packs enough hardware inside to leave most mainstream desktop PCs in the dust. It's also one of Asus' first notebooks to boast an 18.4-inch LCD display, and at that size, it better (and it does) support full HD with a 1920x1200 resolution.
The W90 comes with a speedy Intel Core 2 Duo T9600 processor (2.8GHz, 6MB cache, 1066MHz frontside bus) on the Intel X38 chipset, complimented with 6GB of DDR2-memory, a 320GB hard drive, and DVD burner. But it's the graphics that really makes the W90 a desktop replacement for gamers. The 11.46-pound lappy owes some of its bulk to a dual-GPU ATI 4870 X2 videocard with 1GB of video memory - sweet!
As is expected, the W90 doesn't come cheap, and is available now for $2,200 through Newegg.com. That also includes a backpack, mouse, and 12-cell battery.
"We don't have to look even for five years from now to see that what we know as a mobile phone and what we know as a PC are in many ways converging," Kallasvuo said. Nokia is widely expected to enter the netbook segment, if it does actually foray into the PC market.
High prices have traditionally relegated gaming laptops, which often qualify as desktop replacements, to niche markets served by boutique vendors, but we're starting to see more manufacturers step up to the plate with affordable models. Gateway kicked off the recent trend with its P-7811FX and others -- take Acer, for example -- have followed suit.
In an apparent attempt to undercut the competition, HP has updated its Pavilion dv7t gaming laptop with new parts and a new lower price tag. The OEM decided to stretch the screen real estate from 17 inches to 17.3 inches (1,600 x 900 resolution), and the Nvidia graphics have been traded in for a pair of ATI parts, the 512MB Mobility Radeon HD 4530 and 1GB HD 4650.
It all adds up (or down) to a new starting price of $800, which is a good chunk lower than its previous starting point of $1,230. However, that includes an AMD Turion X2 processor. A baseline Intel setup starts at $850, which includes a similarly weaksauce T4200 processor. Upgrades are available, and if you can toss $1,125 more into the mix and you can bump the CPU to Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9000.
Joseph Kohl, a 75-year-old Floridian, proved to be more than a match for a much younger thief. With his life’s very first laptop at stake, Kohl decided to give chase to the 29-year-old thief. Kohl was joined by an off-duty cop - who fortuitously happened to be at the scene - in the pursuit.
Kohl was waiting for his wife outside a Best Buy store after having bought a laptop and a printer, but Samuel Dallas Jarvis showed up instead. Jarvis then proceeded to grab Kohl’s laptop and set out on a run. But, apparently, his pickup was not anything to write home about as he could not really bolt out of the blocks as he would have liked; his elderly victim had to merely run about 8 feet to nab the crook.
When the off-duty cop showed up, it was game, set, match, and laptop to Jarvis. “I have no idea what computers are about, but I didn’t want him taking my first one,” Kohl said after the incident.
According to Lenovo, eight new ThinkPad laptop models meet military specs for semi-rugged computing. These include the ThinkPad X200, X301, X200s, X200 Tablet, T400, T500, R400, and SL300 laptops.
"ThinkPad is well known for quality, reliability and innovative security technologies for business computing," said Tom Ribble, executive director, Worldwide ThinkPad Product Marketing, Lenovo. "The truth is we've always built tough laptops that can weather extreme conditions from hiking the rainforests of the Amazon to flying in space. You don't need a PC that looks like a tank to excel in harsh environments, and unlike many of our competitors, we don't put an extra charge on toughness."
Though not billed as a 'ruggedized' laptop, Lenovo claims its military-grade models can withstand a barrage of brutal testing environments. Lenovo subjected its new ThinkPads to various harsh elements, such as low pressure operation at 15,000 feet, cycling 95 percent humidity through the environment, baking the laptops up to 140 degrees, testing at minus 4 degrees, fluctuations between extreme hot and cold, and subjecting the units to blasts of dust for an extended amount of time.
Given all that the ThinkPads withstood, we're not sure when an Accident Protection plan would come in handy, but Lenovo offers it nonetheless.
Lenovo says the ThinkPad T400 laptop with high brightness screen (680-nit) is available now through Lenovo business partners with pricing starting at $1,350.