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.
Already announced in Europe last month, Archos is bringing its new Archos 9 PC Tablet to the U.S. market. The ultraportable tablet weighs less than 22.29 ounces and measures just 0.63-inches thick.
On the hardware front, the Archos 9 boasts a full touch-sensitive 9-inch screen, an Intel Atom Z515 processor (1.2GHz, 512KB cache, 400MHz frontside bus), 1GB of RAM, up to 120GB of storage, 1.3MP webcam, and an optical track-point mouse.
On the software side of things, the new tablet will come pre-loaded with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 OS. It will also include Microsoft Office and a host of other apps, such as "Web TV & Radio, video conference, antivirus, parental control, photos and movies edition applications, and more."
The Archos 9 PC Tablet will go on sale sometime this fall for an as yet undetermined price.
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.
Maingear makes its way into the ultraportable scene with the release of its new MX-L. Not the slimmest notebook around, the MX-L measures 1.3 to 1.44 inches high, 12.125 inches wide, and 9.125 inches deep, and weighs 4.4 pounds.
Underneath the hood, the 13.3-inch ultraportable comes standard with a 1280x800 LED backlit display, Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz) processor on the GM45 chipset, 2GB of DDR2-800 memory, Intel GMA X4500HD graphics, a 120GB Seagate Momentus 5400.4 hard drive, 8X DVD burner, WiFi, 1.3MP webcam, and Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. Upgrade options include ramping up to an Intel T9800 (2.93GHz), up to 8GB of RAM, a larger capacity hard drive or Intel's X25-M 80GB/160GB SSD, and a Blu-ray drive.
But perhaps the coolest feature of of the MX-L is that Maingear offers free laser etching with "whatever artwork you send us." We can think of a few wicked designs we wouldn't mind having etched on our notebook.
The MX-L is available now starting at $1,100, or nearly three times as much when fully decked out.