With CyberPower, Eurocom, and probably a few others already offering Core i7-based notebooks, you can now add gaming notebook manufacturer Rock to the growing list, who announced two new models, the Xtreme 790 and Xtreme 840. Keep in mind we're talking about shoving a desktop processor into a notebook chassis - Intel's Nehalem-based mobile Clarksfield is still a couple months away.
Interestingly, it's the smaller of the two -- the 17-inch Xtreme 790 -- that packs a Core i7 chip inside. The larger 18.4-inch Xtreme 840 gets its groove on with Intel's Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad CPUs.
Both models come configurable with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 280M graphics card with a 1GB frame buffer, Blu-ray drive, up to 6GB of DDR3-memory, and up to 1.5TB of storage. The Xtreme 840 can also be equipped with a second GeForct GTX 280M videocard for SLI gaming.
Other features include four USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, a 7-in-1 card reader, and Windows Vista Home Premium with a free upgrade to Windows 7.
Pricing starts at about $3,259 for the Xtreme 790 and $2,770 for the Xtreme 840.
You can already order Core i7-based notebooks from OEM outfilts like CyberPower and Eurocom, but doing so means settling for a desktop chip crammed into a laptop chassis, power management be damned. If you've been holding off for Intel to release mobile versions of the popular desktop chip, you might not have to wait much longer.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, Intel has updated its launch schedule for three laptop Clarksfield CPUs -- a trio of mobile chips built on the Nehalem architecture that will most likely carry the Core i7 brand -- for a late September or early October release.
The upcoming Clarksfield chips include the Core 2 Extreme XE (2GHz), Core 2 Quad P2 (1.73GHz), and Core 2 Quad P1 (1.6GHz).
In addition to the Clarksfield CPUs, Intel also plans to announce Celeron SU2300 and Celeron 743 processors for ultra-thin notebooks around the same time.
At $2,300, CyberPower’s Extreme M1 17-inch gaming notebook is the antithesis of the budget Gateway P-7811 FX we’ve been raving about for months. The most obvious extravagance you get for the higher price is dual-GPU graphics in the form of two ATI Radeon HD 3870 cards in CrossFireX. The Extreme M1’s 2.53GHz T9400 Core 2 Duo CPU is also 270MHz faster and features twice the cache as the Gateway’s proc, its 320GB hard drive is more than 50 percent bigger, and its optical drive supports Blu-ray playback.
The question is, how do these extras translate in performance? Compared with our zero-point notebook, the Extreme M1 excelled in all the benchmarks to varying degrees—not surprising, given the zero-point’s age. Against the Gateway P-7811 FX, there was a little more give and take. For example, in the ProShow Producer and MainConcept benchmarks, CyberPower’s rig had gains hovering around 10 percent, which is proportionate to the M1’s clock-speed advantage over the Gateway’s 2.26GHz CPU. But in our Photoshop benchmark, the Extreme M1 was actually around 7 percent slower than Gateway’s P-7811 FX.
Asus has fleshed out its notebook line with a number of new models with screen sizes ranging from 15.6 inches to 17.3 inches. The notebook maker didn't play favorites, either, as both AMD and Intel are represented in the new units.
At 17.3 inches, the K70AB-TY002C and TY001C are the biggest of the bunch, both of which sport AMD chips inside. The 2C uses an AMD Turion 64 X2 RM 74 (2.2GHz) processor, while the 1C steps to the plate with a Turion 64 X2 Ultra ZM-84 (2.3GHz). Different processors aside, both machines come with 4GB of DDR2 memory and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with a 512MB frame buffer.
Of the 15.6-inch models, the U50VG-XX060C comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 (2.1GHz), 4GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce G 105M graphics with a 512MB frame buffer, 250GB hard drive, HDMI port, and a 1.3MP webcam.
Another Intel machine, the F52Q-SX071E sports a dual-core T3200 processor (2GHz), 2GB of RAM, and the GL40 chipset. This one's aimed at business users.
Lastly, the K50AB (AMD Turion 6 4X2 Ultra ZM-84) and KB0IJ (Intel Pentium dual-core T4200) both come with 4GB of RAM, with the former sporting an ATI Mobile Radeon HD 4570 and the latter outfitted with Intel GMA X4500HD graphics with shared memory.
With their latest introduction to the Vaio line Sony is looking to bring their newest netbook, the Vaio W, to the states.
The 10.1-inch netbook will feature some pretty common specs: a 1.6GHz Atom CPU, 160GB HDD, 1GB RAM, Windows XP, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n, VGA out, two USB ports, Ethernet, a webcam, and MemoryStick/SD card readers. It’ll also come with a three-cell battery stock, and feature an 86 percent size keyboard.
It’s reported to cost about $500, and is set to release about mid-August. And best of all, it’ll come in three flavors: berry pink, sugar white and cocoa brown.
We've seen some cool looking Xbox mods, but Ben Heckendorn's portable Xbox 360 creation stands apart from them all, and his latest is the sexiest one yet.
Now in revision 5, Heckendorn again gutted the same Gateway 1775W laptop with a 17-inch 1280x720 screen as he done in the past, but this time has added a bevy of new features. His portable Xbox 360 now comes with a built-in Ethernet port, WiFi, a digital push-button volume control, flush-mounted DVD door and side panels, remote IR sensor, two USB ports, a bunch more air holes, and the latest Jasper motherboard.
If you like what you see (and we certainly do), Gizmodo has a heaping handful of other Heckendorn-mods worth checking out right here.
Dell's Vostro family just keeps growing, this time adding the Vostro 1220, a 12.1-inch ultraportable designed for business travelers more than anyone else.
"Today's globe-trotting entrepreneurs need a laptop that is power and lont-lasting," said Sam Burd, global vice president of Dell Small and Medium Business, in a statement. "That used to mean carrying around an ungainly device. The Vostro 1220 combines performance, built-in security, and long battery life."
A base package, starting at $799, includes an Intel Celeron 900 processor (2.2GHz, 1MB of L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 2GB of DDR2-800 memory, 160GB hard drive, integrated Intel GMA 4500M graphics, 8X DVD burner, and Windows Vista. Throw an extra Benjamin into the mix and you can upgrade to an Intel Core 2 Duo T6670 processor (2.1GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz bus), 3GB of DDR2-800 memory, and a 250GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM instead of 5400RPM. All in a lightweight 3.36-pound package.
We've long heard that good things come in small packages, and that appears to have been Cooler Master's inspiration for its SNA 95, a compact 95W power adapter for laptops. In fact, it's the "smallest 95W adapter in the world," Cooler Master claims, measuring just 2.9 x 0.7 x 5.7 inches.
The late Billy Mays (may he rest in peace) would have a field day with this one, as not only is the SNA 95 the tiniest 95W adapter you can get, but it also sports a few extras, like a USB charging port, cable management base, and nine power tips so you can use it with your iPod, smartphone, PDA, GPS, and other mobile gadgets. It also comes with a smart LED indicator.
So far, we've only spotted the SNA 95 at Sundial Micro for $70 (currently out of stock), but expect to see more retailers carrying the device in the coming weeks.
Acer, always looking to turn their laptop line into a laptop army, recently added the Aspire AS7735Z and the Aspire AS5536 (pictured) to their arsenal.
The AS7735Z will come with a 17.3-inch display, and feature Nvidia’s PowerSave functionality (allowing users to get prolonged battery life by activating variable graphic settings). Under the hood it’ll come with an Intel T4200 processor, a 250GB HDD, and an 8X DVD-super multi double-layer drive (sounds like a Japanese game show!).
The AS5536 will come with an Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor, 4GB of RAM, a 250GB HDD and a 15.6-inch screen. This machine is being marketed as a “mobile multimedia powerhouse,” and is reported to feature a Dolby Home Theater surround sound system, two built-in stereo speakers, an Acer Tuba CineBass booster and 5.1-channel audio output.
Both of these machines will come with high definition CineCrystal LED-backlit 16:9 displays, and the AS7735Z and AS5536 will cost $599.99 and $479.99 respectively. They’ll be available for those of us in the US at the end of June.
AMD isn't happy with the way some battery claims are made, saying the reliance on a test called MobileMark 2007 doesn't yield an accurate indicator of what to expect. The problem, says Patrick Moorhead, a vice president for marketing at AMD, is that the parameters for the test include dimming the screen the just 20 percent brightness, turning off WiFi, and making sure no music, video, games, or webpages are running. Not only is the test flawed, says Moorhead, but it also favors Intel.
"Intel is advantaged in this environment because they have optimized their architecture to have bettery battery life when the computer isn't doing anything," Moorhead said.
Intel shrugged off AMD's complaint, saying if the No. 2 chip maker is so passionate about the subject, it would "encourage them to bring any new proposals or edits to the nonprofit industry consortium called BAPCo."
But is AMD out of line? Not likely. In the June issue of Maximum PC, Editor-in-Chief Will Smith discussed the topic in his Ed Word titled "Notebook Battery Life is a Trap."
"You'd think testing battery life would be straightforward, but benchmark results rarely jibe with real-world results -- in part, because there are an infinite number of potential workloads (each tapping power differently), and battery life decays over time," Smith wrote.
AMD warns that either the industry starts better regulating itself, or there's a high possibility of a consumer filing a lawsuit or the FTC stepping in.