One item not often found on compact notebooks is an integrated DVD drive, so you can bet Gateway's going to trumpet this stand-out feature in its new EC14D ultraportable notebook.
"Customers understand how convenient it is to have a notebook PC that is portable enough to take nearly anywhere to stay connected and have fun -- and the new EC14 brings a new element of entertainment to customers with the ability to watch DVD movies, play games on CD and DVD, and more," said John Nguyen, product marketing manager for Acer America. "The integrated DVD drive in such a compact device will be a huge benefit for customers who want the flexibility to enjoy and share different movies, music, photos, and more stored on a DVD or CD."
In addition to the 8X Super Multi dual-layer DVD drive, the 11.6-inch EC14 will come in a variety of configurations. One such configuration (EC14D07u) will include an Intel Pentium ULV SU4100 processor, Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics, 4GB of DDR2-667 memory (upgradeable to 8GB), a 320GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM, multi-card reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, multi-gesture touchpad, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Gateway says you can expect to the see the EC14xxx later this month with a starting price of $630.
Are netbooks evolving into ultrathin form factors right before our very eyes? It's too early to tell, but clearly there's a market for super thin notebooks, or so it would seem, given the attention manufacturers are putting into the segment. The latest is LG, whose ultrathin XNote LGX30 now appears in the FCC's database.
Not to be confused with the Ion-based X30, the XNote LGX30 is an 11.6-inch netbook sporting a 1366 x 768 resolution. It comes with an Intel Atom processor inside (no mention of which one), along with a solid state drive, Intel GMA 500 graphics, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a built-in webcam. Windows 7 ties it all together, and though you can't see it very well from the pictures, the LGX30 does have a trackpad, which boasts support for multitouch gestures.
A 3-cell battery rounds out the package, bringing the total weight to just 1.74 pounds. No mention on when it will be released, but don't be surprised to see this one turn up at CES next month.
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.
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.
Gigabyte will soon start shipping its Booktop M1305 ultraportable that was first shown back in June, and peering over the spec sheet, there doesn't appear to be much to get excited about. Not until you look closer, anyway.
The M1305 will come equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo, Pentium, or Celeron ULV processor. Pushing pixels on the 1366x768 display is Intel's 4500MHD integrated graphics. It will also come with 4GB of DDR3 memory, 320GB or 500GB hard drive, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, a 1.3MP webcam, slim-type DVD burner, fingerprint reader, two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and Windows Home 7 Premium.
But where this ultraportable stands out from the crowd is with the included docking station. The docking station brings NVidia's GeForce GT220 graphics to the table, giving the M1305 a major boost over its integrated chipset, and includes a bunch of I/O ports. Sure, lugging around the docking station might defeat the purpose of an ultraportable, but leave the thing at home and unwind with a bit of gaming goodness after a busy day on the road.
Dell has announced the second laptop under its Adamo by Dell brand, which was introduced in March this year. Its latest ultraportable, the Adamo XPS, is slimmer than its predecessor. It will not only replace its elder sibling as the world’s thinnest notebook but also become the cheapest Adamo variant when it debuts with its $1800 price tag. The Adamo XPS is 9.9mm thick and features a 13.4-inch high-definition display, Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4 Ghz) ultra-low voltage processor, 4GB memory, and a full-size keyboard.
No Adamo announcement can be complete without pitting the upcoming Dell ultraportable against Apple’s MacBook Air, a rival that also serves as a yardstick. Both our contestants weigh just over 3 lbs. While the Adamo XPS is thinner of the two and features 4GB memory compared to the Air’s 2GB, Apple’s ultraportable boasts more power and a longer battery life. Dell plans to have the Adamo XPS ready for action in time for the holidays.
Sony on Wednesday announced its new VAIO X ultraportable laptop during the IFA 2009 expo in Berlin, Germany. The 11.2-inch ultrathin lappy bests Apple's MacBook Air in portability by measuring just 0.55-inches thick compared to the MacBook's 0.76-inch frame.
Official specs are still being finalized, though the one being shown off at the expo boasted an Intel Atom processor. Sony says its ultrathin will come with built-in 3G wireless and a new all-day battery that "will set the new standard for stamina," which supports the notion that the final version will come with an Atom chip inside.
Other details are few and far between. It has a carbon fiber chassis and weighs about 1.5 pounds, but other than that, there isn't much else to go on, including price and availability.
Three months after it arrived, Dell Adamo has received a price cut. A price cut for the Adamo became inevitable once Apple slashed the price of its svelte MacBook Air -perceived to be Adamo’s archrival - in June. Prices of all Adamo ultraportables have been lowered.
The basic Dell Adamo is now available for $1500 as opposed to its original price of $1999. This places it on level ground with the entry-level MacBook Air in terms of price. The basic version has a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. But at the other end of the spectrum, the top-end Adamo variant still remains pricier than its MacBook Air counterpart. The new price of the top-end Adamo is $2,230. It features a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, a 128GB SSD, and 4GB RAM.