Intel might officially scoff at the thought of OEMs shoving Core i7 processors and X58 chipets into full fledged desktop replacement notebooks, but that hasn't stopped a handful of system builders from doing so anyway. The latest to enter the 'mobile' Core i7 fray is CyberPower, which today introduced its Xtreme S1 notebook.
Available in a variety of configurations, the base model includes an Intel Core i7 920 (2.66GHz) processor, Intel's X58 chipset, 6GB of DDR3-1066 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M graphics with a 1GB frame buffer, 320GB hard drive sputtering along at 5400RPM (7200RPM and SSD options available), and 8X DVD burner all wrapped in a 17-inch package with a 1920x1200 resolution LCD display.
The Xtreme S1 is available now starting at $2,335 (Protip: Enter coupon code 'INSTANT' for 5 percent off).
Citing those ever-elusive "market sources," news and rumor site DigiTimes says 3D notebook displays are just around the corner. More specifically, Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) just finished developing an 18.4-inch 3D notebook display, which will ultimately end up in the hands of Hewlett Packard.
According to DigiTimes' sources, HP plans on releasing notebooks using the 3D panel sometime in the second half of 2009, perhaps as early as next month. In addition to 3D capabilities, the panels will also boast full HD resolution and a 120Hz frame rate.
The sources also added that CMO is churning out ultra-thin displays for use on 11.6-, 14-, and 15.6-inch CULV notebooks, though it's unclear whether these will also feature 3D capabilities.
Earlier this week Intel announced the additions of two dual-core CPUs to their CULV platform, which will target entry-level ultra-thin notebooks.
The announcement came in the form of the Celeron 740 and the SU2300. They will feature core clocks of 1.3GHz and 1.2GHz respectively, and both will feature an identical 1MB L2 cache, 10W TDP and an 800MHz FSB.
No official word yet on how much notebooks featuring these will cost or when they will arrive.
Nvidia this week released a new set of mobile GPU GeForce drivers, version 186.03 (WHQL certified). The new drivers support GeForce 8M, 9M, 100M, and 200M-series notebook graphics.
Several new features come with the GeForce 186.03 release, including full OpenGL 3.0 support, support for CUDA 2.2, and support of Ambient Occlusion, which Nvidia says "adds realism to scenes by reducing the intensity of ambient lights on surfaces blocked by surrounding objects." Lots of double-digit performance upgrades are included, too:
Up to 25 percent faster in The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena
Up to 22 percent faster in Crysys: Warhead with antialiasing enabled
Up to 11 percent faster in Fallout 3 with antialiasing enabled
Up to 14 percent faster in Far Cry 2
Up to 45 percent faster in Mirror's Edge with antialiasing enabled
Dell owners take note - before downloading the new drivers, Nvidia says anyone who owns a Dell Inspiron 1420, Dell XPS M1330, or Dell XPS M1530 should first install an SBIOS update, found here.
Acer is planning to launch a 15.6-inch notebook which will support full 3D at the end of October, according to Campell Kan, Acer’s Vice President of the Mobile Computing Business Unit.
The notebook, which has been developed with Wistron, will come with built-in software that can convert 2D movies to 3D, and will fully support 3D movies. Users will be required to wear stereoscopic glasses for the 3D to work, but Acer is working on a model that will remove the need for these.
Since the machine will come with Windows 7, Acer is holding off on their release and pricing information until Microsoft starts shipping the OS.
Amongst their many announcements this week at Computex, Acer also released information about a new, ultrathin laptop aimed at professionals.
The yet unnamed notebook will come with a 13.3-inch screen, up to 4GB of RAM, Intel’s GMA 4500MHD GPU with 64MB of memory (or an upgraded ATI Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB), a multitouch trackpad, 8+ hour battery life, WiFi, three USB ports, a built in mic, a headphone jack and Ethernet.
No word of price, but it’ll reportedly be available sometime next month.
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.