Alienware’s M11x gaming laptop launched to mostly favorable reviews in 2010 (we gave it a stellar 9/10) and even managed to amass a small, cult-like following before it got phased out in 2012. Since then the company has ignored entreaties for the 11-inch notebook’s revival, sticking with larger notebooks instead. That does not mean there is no room for a smaller and lighter laptop in Alienware’s portfolio.
Intel on Sunday updated its official price list with four new ultra-low voltage (ULV) chips, three of which are second-generation Core i parts, while the fourth is a Celeron. These power-efficient chips have a TDP of 17W, making them ideal for ultrathin laptops - or “ultrabooks” as Intel now likes to call them. Hit the jump for more.
Intel is kicking off the summer with a trio of ultra low voltage (ULV) Core i5 and Core i7 processors designed to beat the heat by sipping just 17W. These include the Core i7 2677M, Core i7 2637M, and Core i5 2557M, all three of which are dual-core processors slated to ship by the end of June. Specs and pricing information after the break.
In the midst of bombarding the market with a bazillion solid state drive models, OCZ has gone back to its roots and introduced a handful of desktop memory kits.
Taking aim at gamers with a green eye, the new kits consist of Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) and Extreme-Low Voltage (ELV) grade DDR3 that OCZ promises has the chops to fit in with an enthusiast oriented build.
"We are pleased to announce a complete range of low-voltage memory offerings designed for the latest crop of energy efficient platforms," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management. "In the past, lower voltage meant lower performance, but now with our extreme-low voltage optimized memory, consumers don't have to sacrifice high performance to also achieve energy savings."
OCZ's Platinum ELV line sips just 1.35 volts and come in 4GB and 6GB kits, while the company's new Reaper HPC and Gold ULV memory operate at 1.5 volts and are offered in up to 12GB capacity kits. Both the ELV and ULV kits are available in triple-channel and dual-channel form in DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1333 trim.
Most Maximum PC readers have a hard time using netbooks. We understand they serve a certain market, but when your used to getting more CPU cycles out of your over clock than an Atom can even produce, you tend to favor a more powerful mobile experience. If you fall into this category, you'll be relieved to know more ULV processors are on the way to fill out the slightly bigger than a netbook category, and the new Intel parts will fall under the Core i3 & i5 banners.
Details are still a bit sketchy, but according to an Intel road map that was webcast late last week, it appears as though notebooks featuring the new parts could start shipping by Q2 2010, and will likely range between $400-$800. Performance is expected to fall into the "slightly more powerful than a netbook" but "slightly less powerful than a full featured notebook" range. This category is typically a bit more profitable than netbooks, so we expect Intel to put forward a fairly competitive offering. The new chips will be made using the latest 32-nanometer process, and will offer power savings far beyond previous ultra portable offerings.
Market research firm iSuppli said in a statement on Thursday that they expect the ultrathin category to grow to 14.5 million units in 2010, a 93 percent increase from 2009. If you're on the market for a thin and light laptop that isn't running an Atom processor, you might want to hold out just a bit longer.
Apparently, the Dell Adamo XPS is so thin that people are having considerable trouble sighting it on the company's site. Tech site Electronista was the first to report the ultrathin laptop's vanishing act. Although its product page on Dell's site remains intact, it is no longer available for purchase there. All attempts to purchase the Adamo XPS are met with an error: “the e-value code you entered is either incorrect, not eligible on the Dell Home & Home Office website, or has expired.” It is difficult to conceive a reasonable explaination for its disappearance at this stage. Looks like we will have to wait for the official word on the matter.
The Intel Core 2 ULV processors have seen widespread usage in the “thin and light” category, but their days may be numbered. According to an unconfirmed report, Intel will be releasing a faster low voltage dual core version of the Core i7 this summer. This makes it clear that Intel is continuing to move past Core 2, even at the low end. The model number of the new CPU is expected to be 660UM, and it should run at 1.33GHz.
This chip will replace the 1.2 GHz 640UM. Both chips support 800MHz DDR3 memory, and consume only 18W of total power. This is largely thanks to the integrated graphics which are capable of stepping down to a 166MHz clock speed when not needed. The chip will still have hyperthreading allowing it to run up to four processes. No exact release date is known.
For as long as netbooks have existed, people have been buying more and more of them. More than 33.3 million netbooks will have shipped by year’s end, amounting to a 103 percent increase over last year. Revenue will be up about 72 percent indicating some price cuts. But according to DisplaySearch, as laptops with ultra low voltage (ULV) CPUs become cheaper, netbook sales will slow considerably.
They project netbook shipments to only grow by about 20 percent next year. Still, the situation can’t be bad when 20 percent growth is a big drop. As ULV laptops creep below $500, consumers will begin purchasing them in larger numbers. ULV computers have similarly good battery life, but better performance than netbooks running Atom chips.
The report also suggests that the uptick in ULV sales will likely mean manufacturers will take a revenue hit of only 1% or so. While netbooks will remain big sellers, they probably won’t have another year like 2009.