Back in October 2008 Apple introduced the buttonless trackpad with their newest generation of MacBooks. Now, at long last, Synaptics is posed to bring them to smaller PC notebooks and netbooks.
At Computex Synaptics is currently demonstrating their implementation of the new trackpad, which they’re calling the ClickPad. Currently supported gestures include two-finger scrolling, two-finger PinchZoom, two-finger pivot rotate, three-finger flick, and three-finger press gestures (and, if you were worried about this type of thing – you can right-click by tapping down on the ClickPad with two fingers, as opposed to one).
This technology will be available to OEMs in Q3 of 2009.
We don't expect to see any more Blue Man Group commercials, but making a comeback is the near-dead Pentium brand name. This time around, Intel plans to use the Pentium nomenclature for its ultra-thin notebooks, which will help separate the higher powered portables from netbooks.
The fear has always been that the highly popular netbook segment would ultimately cut into sales of higher priced notebooks. By bringing back the Pentium name, Intel will attempt to protect the sales of netbooks -- and it's Atom line -- while at the same time push customers into pricier notebooks with higher profit margins.
"We think that the ultra-thin laptos augurs in an era where more and more people will be taking their laptop out on the go without compromising performance," said Uday Marty, director of product marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group.
Meanwhile, AMD has kept the Athlon brand going with the recent announcement of Athlon II. However, unlike Intel, AMD has thus far avoided using the netbook term altogether.
And so it begins. AVADirect announced the upcoming availability of its Clevo D900F laptop, and what makes this special is it's the first one to incorporate Intel's Core i7 processor, company claims.
"By using a desktop Core i7 processor, the notebook is able to enjoy all the benefits that accompany this hardware platform," AVADirect said in a statement. "Some of the benefits include triple-channel memory, a first ever in a notebook design."
Everything about the Clevo D900F screams desktop replacement, and does so in a big way. The tri-channel memory (up to 12GB of it) comes clocked at 1333MHz "with 1600MHz on the horizon." And if a Core i7 wasn't enough, AVADirect also crams Nvidia's GTX 280M graphics into the mix.
So what does Intel think about a Core i7-based notebook?
"While Intel does not encourage manufacturers to use desktop processors for notebook designs, manufacturers are going to use our processor in many different and innovative ways," an Intel spokesperson said.
You an pre-order the Clevo D900F now starting at $2,500. Shipping will begin next month.
Just recently MSI introduced two more additions to their army of laptops with the GT729 and EX723.
The GT729 has been aimed towards gamers, packing a Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of RAM, a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850, WiFi, a 17-inch LCD, 2 megapixel webcam, optional Bluetooth, HDMI and VGA outputs, three USB ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, audio in/out ports, an ExpressCard slot, up to 500GB of HDD space, a Blue-ray drive and your choice of a 6 or 9-cell battery.
The EX723 is working its way towards the multimedia types, packing nearly the same stats as the GT729 with a few exceptions, including the GPU, which will be a GeForce G110M. It’ll also have a storage cap of 320GB and a 1440x900 17-inch LCD.
PC makers have been decrying the impact of low margin netbooks on their bottom line for over a year now, but Intel is trying to calm their fears by making new predictions for the future of mobile computing. Numbers posted at the end of March peg netbook sales at around 16 per cent of all portable computer purchases, but Intel claims the steadily decreasing cost of ultra-thin laptops will help to keep that number from growing. The ultra-thin category is traditionally dominated by new ultra low voltage CPU’s, which offer better performance than both Celeron, and Atom processors, with an increasingly more reasonable price premium. According to Intel’s marketing chief, Sean Maloney, "Atom is eating into Celeron. And we're quite fine with this".
Maloney predicts that ultra-thin laptops will start offering stiff competition for high end netbooks priced above $400, primarily because the price difference has shrunk in some cases to as little as a $200. Intel’s internal projections released during the May 12th presentation shows sales increasing exponentially near the end of the year, and clearly, this is where they expect to see the bulk of their growth in the portable PC market.
Intel predicts that future growth markets for netbooks will be children and cellphone providers who bundle 3G service with the computer to further subsidize the price to consumers. Do you think people only buy netbooks because they are cheap? Or are some people just looking for a good ultra-portable?
Alienware is set to debut it’s new “allpowerful” gaming notebook at E3 next week, but conveniently enough, the detailed specs have been broken early by Gizmodo and I forced myself to read this twice just to make sure I wasn’t mistakenly looking at a desktop. The m17x crams in two 1GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 280m graphics cards, along with the new Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad.
It can also optionally be configured with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333, a 1TB hard drive (or optional 512GB SSD), as well as blue ray. Another amazing feature is the crystal clear 1920x1200 17” display, a resolution that is still somewhat rare in the notebook category. Additionally, since we all know this type of graphics horsepower can be somewhat power hungry, if your looking to do non-gaming tasks, it also has a build in Nvidia 9400M to help with battery life if all you need is aero glass. As for input/outputs, it comes with an impressive load out of options which includes 4USB, eSATA, as well as Display Port & HDMI.
The pricing is expected to start at around $1,800, but don’t expect to get all the features listed above at that price point.
Intel's ultra-low-powered CULV family of processors are becoming popular choices for many forthcoming ultrathin notebook computers in the $700-$900 range, like MSI's new X-Slim series we told you about in April.
However, you can also use CULV processors in standard-thickness notebook computers, and according to Digitimes, that's exactly what Hewlett-Packard plans to do. It will roll out ultra-thin models with CULV processors in the fourth quarter, but its first CULV-based products will use standard chassis and will thus be available earlier.
CULV processors are designed to fit between Intel's Atom and its faster Core 2 Duo processors in performance. Will the market put up with a full-sized notebook with a battery-sipping, but slower processor, or should prospective HP CULV buyers wait until late in the year for the new ultraslim chassis? Join us after the jump and sound off.
We don't know if this will become a trend, but accident-prone gamers have little to fear with iBuyPower's new Battalion 101 CZ-10 gaming laptop. The release kicks off the company's new accidental damage protection plan, which comes standard on the Battalion and has gamers' backs in the event of spills or drops.
"We felt it was time to refresh our mainstream gaming notebook line," said Darren Su, VP of iBuyPower. "We are excited by the features and exceptional coverage we are able to offer with the CZ-10 Premium at a very competitive price."
Less exciting is the 15.6-inch Battalion's mishmash of both high and lower end components. Starting from the top and working our way down, the 101 CZ-10 comes equipped with Intel's Core 2 Duo Mobile T9550 processor (2.266GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR3-1066 RAM, AMD's ATI Radeon HD 4650 graphics, 8X DVD burner, and a 500GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM.
Other features include four USB 2.0 slots, HDMI, 3-in-1 media card reader, finger print scanner, and 6-cell battery.
The Battalion is available now starting at $1,235.
Earlier this week Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd. announced a new battery that they claim has the world’s highest power density.
The new lithium-ion battery has 4,500W/kg power density, a number that clocks in at about 1.7 times the output of their current batteries. The increase in power allows for smaller size, and is thanks to a new manganese cathode and a unique battery structure. The structure employs thinner electrodes, a new power collection method, and more effective configurations.
Hitachi plans to make this technology available for notebooks and cell phones once the automotive industries have had a chance with it, but there’s no official word as to when we could see this technology implemented on a grand scale.
Just this quarter Acer beat out Dell for second place among laptop shipments worldwide thanks to the gigantic influence of netbooks on the PC market.
In the first quarter of this year HP continued to hold the number one spot with their market share growing to 24.1 percent (more than 7.3 million units shipped). But, the number two spot, which was previously held by Dell, was handed over to Acer thanks to their 18.8 percent market share. Much of this is comprised of netbook shipments, a market that Acer has 30.5 percent of.
31.6 percent of Acer’s shipments were netbooks, while others such as HP, Dell, Toshiba and Lenovo shipped out less than 10 percent of their volume as netbooks.