Introduction and Design
The last three years have been great for ultraportables and netbooks. Laptops with displays below fourteen inches in size have exploded in popularity thanks not only to Intel's Atom, but also a wide selection of Intel ultra-low voltage products. Many of the laptops that we've reviewed over the past year, such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 and the Alienware M11x, would have been impossible prior to the release of those processors.
Mainstream laptops have enjoyed less progress, however. The 15.6" laptop remains the most popular category with consumers, but while it has enjoyed a boost in performance with the release of the original Core i series processors, issues like battery life and graphics performance remained largely unaddressed. These mainstream laptops have continued to represent a major compromise, as they've been unable to provide great battery life but also (unless supplimented with a discrete GPU) lack the chops to play any but the most basic 3D games.
According to Intel, these flaws could soon be addressed. Intel's Sandy Bridge mobile processors are nothing short of the savior of mainstream laptops. These processors not only offer the typical improvements in speed but also drastically improved integrated graphics and provide much better battery life.
Or, at least, that's what Intel says. They've said such things in the past, however - Intel's IGPs have often promised more than they can deliver. But every piece of hardware deserves a fair shake, and now it's time for Intel's Sandy Bridge to step up to the plate, appearing today in the form of the ASUS K53E. Let's see what is under the hood.
Subject: Mobile | May 2, 2011 - 12:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: laptop, dual lcd, acer
The Acer Iconia 6120 is a little like a Nintendo DS, in that where you would expect input buttons you have another LCD. Powered by an Intel Core i5 480M, an HM55 with IntelHD graphics powering the two 14" 1366 x 768 displays. Benchmark Reviews demonstrates using it as both a dual display laptop and as a laptop screen and a touchscreen keyboard. Check it out.
"We've seen little innovation in laptop design in the last few years. Most companies seem to think that using a brushed aluminum finish or adding Intel's latest mobile CPU is all they need to do to freshen a product line. Still, Acer's not the first company to introduce a laptop with dual screens; the short-lived Toshiba Libretto W100 comes to mind, and gScreen Corporation's Spacebook has been touted since 2009, although it's still not available at the time of this writing. The Acer Iconia 6120, though, is a computer you can buy right now. Its dual screens offer new capabilities but come with some drawbacks as well. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at this unique laptop to see if it's worth your consideration."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Motorola Xoom Tablet @ Hardware Secrets
- iPad 2 Tablet @ Hardware Secrets
- iPhone App of the Week - iShopaholic @ t-break
- OtterBox and Incipio Cases For The Motorla Atrix 4G Smartphone Reviewed @ Legit Reviews
- It's unfinished, but we definitely want more: Ars reviews RIM's PlayBook
- BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet @ TechSpot
- Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HTC Thunderbolt Review: The First Verizon 4G LTE Smartphone @ AnandTech
- OtterBox Reflex Series Case for iPhone 4 @ OCIA
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ Tech ARP
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Preview: Both Tablet and Netbook @ InsideHW
- Verizon 4G LTE: Two Datacards and a WiFi Hotspot Massively Reviewed @ AnandTech
- Toshiba Satellite M645: The Steady March of Progress @ AnandTech
- HP TouchSmart 610 Review @ TechReviewSource
Introduction and Design
Tech journalists are finicky beasts. A few years ago we were washing netbooks in praise, declaring that they promised a new era of accessibility and portability for the PC. But now the tables have turned – tablets have usurped the throne of “cool new thing” and tech news is all too eager to declare the netbook little more than a passing trend, soon to be booted out of the market by glorious touchscreen slates.
The truth, however, is not as extreme has the headlines suggest. Netbooks are another boring reality that won’t be going anywhere soon, despite declarations of death and injury. But I can understand why they’ve lost the limelight. The improvements made to netbooks over the last three years have been incremental at best. While battery life has gradually grown, performance has barely moved. Intel, lacking competition from AMD, has had little reason to improve its Atom processors.
Now AMD has finally brought an Atom competitor to the market in the form of its Fusion APUs. We already reviewed one laptop powered by Fusion, the Toshiba Satellite C655. That laptop, however, was equipped with AMD’s single-core E-240. It provided performance roughly on par with a dual-core Atom system we tested in 2010, but ultimately fell a bit shot of our expectations.
Subject: Mobile | April 19, 2011 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: optimus, msi, laptop, core i3
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – April 18, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced that it has begun shipping its mainstream CX640 and CR640 notebooks to online retailers in North America. These two 15.6” notebook units combine the Intel Core i3-2310M Processor with the NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M with Optimus technology (the silver CX640-071US, MSRP $679.99) or the Intel HD 3000 Graphics (the black CR640-035US, MSRP $629.99) to deliver the power and performance you need for school or for work.
To address the needs of mainstream notebook users, MSI offers 4GB system memory and 500GB hard drives in both models. Additionally, the elegantly designed PCs include a number of features, including:
- Worry free one-touch back-up and restore with MSI’s Time Stamp technology. With just a touch of the Time Stamp button, your concerns about crashes, viruses, and data loss will become a thing of the past
- Butterfingers rejoice! MSI designers integrated extra hard drive protection by changing the position of the C Series hard drive to the middle of the chassis and surrounding it in a unique housing that helps protect your data from the occasional drop or shock.
- In a hurry? The MSI CR640 and CX640 Fast Boot technology helps the unit power up approximately two times faster than standard notebooks.
- Speed up your file transfers with USB 3.0. The new C Series laptops comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports that lets you transfer files up to ten times faster than USB 2.0
- Automatic backlight adjustment tailors screen brightness by considering the lighting in your current surroundings, which helps manage power consumption and battery life.
“We listen very carefully to our customers, and we know that anticipating and addressing their needs is critical to success in the PC industry,” noted Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. “The CX640 and CR640 models deliver the standard elements people look for in a PC– performance, price, features and design – however we also go a step further. These units incorporate features that respond to people’s real-life concerns: data backup, hard drive protection, etc. And we believe consumers will respond to this consideration.”