A six pack of summer laptop suggestions

Subject: Mobile | July 29, 2011 - 11:40 AM |
Tagged: roundup

TechSpot sorted the mobile market into six seperate segments and then made suggestions as to what products are currently the best of their kind.  Each segment has several different models from which you can choose from as the mobile market is full of very close competitors and one person may favour a feature more than others.  From the gamer who is likely to be looking at Alienware to Brazos and Atom powered netbooks, the entire gamut is covered.  Even if only have $500 to spend, you are likely to find at least one model to tempt you.


"After an initial hiccup at the beginning of the year which resulted in launch delays across the board, it's back to business as usual for Intel with another successful notebook platform powered by their second-generation Core processors. AMD responded to the threat with their first Fusion chips aimed at mainstream notebooks, the A-Series, but so far they've failed to make major inroads into the market the way they did at the entry level with the E- and C-Series APUs.

To help ease the hassle of going through countless notebook models getting released week in and week out, we've compiled a list of our favorite notebooks available right now and grouped them into six different categories: ultraportables, business & general purpose laptops, desktop replacements, gaming notebooks, budget laptops, and netbooks."

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Source: TechSpot

Sony: Lighthearted and Colorful Ads for Tablets

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 28, 2011 - 02:12 AM |
Tagged: sony, S2, S1

So part one and part two of Sony’s “Two Will” campaign went off to advertise the upcoming launch of the S1 and S2 Honeycomb tablets over the last couple months with promise of three more on the way. Recently Sony made good on that promise and posted the third last “Two Will” video to Youtube and this one was substantially different from the ones before it. Titled “Filled with fun”, this one has much less of a dark and bleak atmosphere trading the harsh shadowing with light and color.

I don't think it's legal to romance a tablet; well, maybe in Japan.

While rails still play an important role, there is much less emphasis on impressing you with perfectly timed plungers pressing the touchscreen as it zips past. Instead, “Filled with fun” passed by various stations which symbolize the various roles of the tablet: music, movie consumption, literature consumption, and games. There is also a strong emphasis on portability and love in the themes of each of their videos.

Why do you think Sony keeps referencing love in these videos? What is the significance of the couch just before the domino “to be continued”? (Registration not required to comment.)

Source: Sony

Just how much fun is the Eee Pad Transformer

Subject: Mobile | July 26, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: asus, eee pad transform

The Tech Report has had a while to form an impression of the utility of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the tablet and smartbook hybrid device that was first shown at CES.  More than just a quick review of the capabilities, this article covers a month of actual usage.  The keypad dock, which is how the tablet transforms into a smartbook was perhaps the only letdown for The Tech Report, the quality was a little lower than on an nondetachable netbook.  The screen on the other hand was a big factor in the positive feelings that this review shares, being able to play 720p HD video without scaling is a big thing.  Read on, and start thinking of saving up the $400-$500 you need to pick one up.


"Asus' Eee Pad Transformer may cost $100 less than the competition, but you wouldn't know it from using the thing. I've spent more than a month with one, and there's much to like about this tablet/smartbook hybrid."

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Phone in your overclocking, MSI Afterburner App for Android

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | July 25, 2011 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: msi, Android

Are you a hardcore PC user who likes to tweak your computer? Naturally there is an app for you. MSI has launched an application for the Android Marketplace this morning to allow users wishing to monitor and overclock their computers the ability to use their Android-powered smartphone or tablet for that purpose through their wireless network. This version allows you to monitor temperature, voltage, fan speed and adjust clock rates, voltages, and fan speeds.


Let's hope Angry Birds doesn't see this: Some systems' power consumptions are pigs!

MSI Afterburner APP has relatively modest requirements: a tablet or smartphone device running Android 1.6 or higher, a system running Windows XP or later with a discrete graphics card, access to a network with wireless access for the Android device to link into, and Afterburner 2.1.0 or later installed on the PC. Setting up your PC is relatively simple once you have Afterburner installed as you just need to run, not even install, an application “Remote Server” that you can download from the MSI website linked to from the Android Marketplace link. While this application is too new to be rated, it is free and thus there is little reason to not simply try it out yourself.

The Toshiba Thrive might be a little overweight but you won't have to buy it accessories

Subject: Mobile | July 20, 2011 - 05:19 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, thrive, tablet, Android

The basic stats of the Toshiba Thrive don't make it stand out, a 1GHz Tegra 2, 1GB of RAM, 8, 16 or 32MB internal storage and a 10.1" screen at 1280 x 800 pixels.  What does make this Honeycomb 3.1 device stand out is its support for peripherals, a full-sized HDMI port, 2 USB ports, one standard and one micro and a full-sized SD card slot.  That means this slightly weighty tablet doesn't need adaptors for your peripherals which might mean less total weight for you to carry around.  Even better, Ars Technica had absolutely no problems using the ports, it truly was plug'n'play.


"When Toshiba asked if we'd like to review its Android tablet, called the Thrive, we were initially a bit skeptical of the Honeycomb 3.1 device. There are so many other Android tablets on the market, so why choose this one? Especially when it's heavy?

When you're fighting the iPad on one hand and multiple Android competitors on the other, you have to stand out. Toshiba chose to fight a battle of connectivity and convenience with the Thrive, and it added full-sized HDMI, USB, and SD ports. If those things matter to you, the Thrive succeeds admirably."

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Source: Ars Technica

Lenovo Announces Three Tablets, Brings Android to ThinkPad

Subject: Mobile | July 20, 2011 - 08:05 AM |
Tagged: windows 7 tablet, thinkpad tablet, Lenovo, ideapad p1, ideapad k1, Android


Lenovo hinted at new tablets at CES 2011, but provided little information on new models after that preview. Now, Lenovo has finally removed the veil from its line-up, which includes not one but three different products. The most surprising is undoubtedly the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, a 10.1” device running Android 3.1. 

Get all the details in the full reveal!!!

Source: Lenovo

Sony: Back on track with their tablet ad campaign

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 15, 2011 - 11:39 PM |
Tagged: sony, S2, S1

It was just under a month ago when we reported on Sony’s “Two Will” campaign to promote their pair of upcoming Android Honeycomb tablets. The first video was part of a promised five-part series which started with a Rube Goldberg-esque machine casting shadows which either spell stuff or look like they are part of a city for Echochrome 2 people. It was unclear whether the next videos would have entirely different themes or if they would continue down that aesthetic. Now that the second video is released it appears like rails are here to stay.


Barely hanging on the tail of a big cat. Nice metaphor -- but not iOS’ naming scheme.

(nor flattering for an ad)

This time around, Sony opens with a colorful fountain, a typing plunger device, and a jingle that is so familiar I have been racking my brain over it for hours trying to figure out where I heard it before expecting it to be some grand clue. There seems to be a lot of hidden metaphor in this ad campaign, much like what was seen in the Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates ads that were pulled because they were panned by critics who could not see where they were headed thus making us all unsure of where they were actually headed because the rest is left unaired. Hopefully Sony will make it through all five of their episodes and we can find out exactly what Sony is trying to make us think about.

What do you think? Best ad ever or has Sony lost their marbles? See more metaphors?

Comment within.

Source: Sony

Toshiba Satellite p755, at least the 3D isn't proprietary

Subject: Mobile | July 14, 2011 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, 3d display, 15.6 inch, sandybridge

It's yet another 3D laptop, as the only thing geekier that walking around staring at a notebook is to do so wearing big green NVIDIA glasses.  The arguments for and against 3D vision aside, this 15.6" 1366x768 TFT LED is powered by a 2.3GHz Core i5 with 6GB DDR3, a Geforce GT540M with 1GB dedicated VRAM and a Blue-ray drive.  Those features, especially the Blue-ray and 3D display help push the price over the $1000 mark.   The Inquirer had fun reviewing this laptop, but were not impressed with the low brightness in 3D mode and were very disappointed with the battery life.


"THE SATELLITE P755 is one of Toshiba's top of the range laptops. It aims to offer the full entertainment and multimedia package with Nvidia's active shutter 3D technology built in.

The laptop is good looking with its silvery grey textured finish. We think it looks stylish without going over the top and the design should appeal to a range of tastes."

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Source: The Inquirer

AMD Radeon HD 6990M Comes Screaming to Gaming Laptops

Subject: Mobile | July 11, 2011 - 11:49 PM |
Tagged: mobile radeon, hd 6990m, amd radeon, amd


Few competitors love to one-up each other more than AMD and NVIDIA, and in that spirit the red team has today announced the release of its new Radeon HD 6990M just two weeks after NVIDIA claimed the limelight with its GTX 570M and 580M.

No, this isn’t a dual-GPU solution like the desktop version. Despite the name, the HD 6990M is not based off the Cayman architecture used in the HD 6990 but instead on Barts XT. According to AMD, the decision to use Barts XT rather than Cayman was based on power efficiency. Cramming Cayman into a notebook chassis, even one with an 18” display, wasn’t a viable option. Still, AMD claims that this new mobile GPU will be the world’s quickest, beating even NVIDIA’s new GTX 580M. 

The HD 6990M will be shipping with impressive specifications including a whopping 1120 Stream Processors with a clock speed of 715 MHz, bringing the compute power to 1.6 TFlops. This is paired to 2GB of GDDR5 memory at 900 MHz, making for memory bandwidth of over 115 GB/sec.


Data supplied by AMD.

UPDATE (7/12/11 @ 10:00am): AMD contacted us to let me know the benchmark results we posted with this news release needed to be changed.  The NEW results from the presentation show the difference between the Radeon HD 6970M and the Radeon HD 6990M to be much less AND the difference between the HD 6990 and NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 580M to be MUCH smaller.  I have asked AMD for an explanation here and we'll see what we get later today.

The company’s press material shows the HD 6990M defeating the already available HD 6970M by approximately 25% in a number of games. If the part performs as promised, it should indeed be a difficult for NVIDIA to defeat – but we’ll have to wait for a review before making a judgment.


Data supplied by AMD.

Besides its blazing fast performance, the new GPU will offer the typical suite of AMD features including full support for DirectX 11, Eyefinity, Crossfire, HD3D, and driver-based power management features like PowerExpress and Vari-Bright.

Several laptops have been announced as available with the including the Clevo P170HM, P150HM and X7200, the Alienware M18x, and unspecified laptops from Eurocom. The HD 6990M should be available for order on the M18x as of today.

Source: AMD

3D is here to stay; thankfully it is improving. Toshiba's new glasses free 3D Qosmio F750 laptop

Subject: Mobile | July 11, 2011 - 12:12 PM |
Tagged: 3d, no glasses, toshiba

Toshiba's new Qosmio F750 uses it's built in webcam to track your face, which means you do not have to remain stationary in the '3D sweet spot' in order to see 3D images, nor do you need to wear special glasses.  Unfortunately that also means that only one person can see the effect, trying to share the 15.6" screen with someone else will not work very well.  Inside the laptop is a 2.0 GHz Core i7 CPU with an NVIDIA GT 540M with up to 2GB DDR3, 6GB of system RAM, and a 640GB hard drive.  Check out the text and video preview over at The Inquirer.


"JAPANESE ELECTRONICS GIANT Toshiba invited The INQUIRER to a sneak preview of its Qosmio F75D glasses free 3D laptop in London yesterday.

The Qosmio F750 3D doesn't look all that different from the others in the range. It does have a stylish look, if a little chunky at the same time. The casing is bright red and the palm rests have a cool carbon fibre look."

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Source: The Inquirer

Nook who’s on top now: Color e-Reader surpasses Kindle

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 11, 2011 - 03:53 AM |
Tagged: nook color, kindle

Amazon did not create the eBook reader market but they created the vastly most popular product in the category, the Kindle. Amazon gained such a popular status over main competitor, Sony, due to their content and the ubiquity of their service across multiple platforms adjacent to the Kindle device itself. Rumors flew for quite some time now, and from various sources, that Amazon would be jumping into the Android tablet space to likely complement their Kindle line. In a humorously ironic twist, an eBook reader based on an Android tablet just unseated the Kindle as the most popular e-reader.


A little hot under the collardron?

Barnes and Nobel entered the eBook reader market in late 2009 fighting an uphill battle against Amazon and a juvenile pun on their name (hehehe, “Nook eBook”). A year later they launched the Nook Color, an Android 2.1 tablet locked into a certain subset of applications available either pre-loaded or their application store. This tablet brainwashed to be an eBook reader overtook Kindle recently, finally shushing naysayers to Barnes and Nobel's entry to the tablet market. Heh – “Nook eBook”. It will be interesting to see how Amazon’s business will evolve in the coming year or two as a result of competitive pressures and an evolving marketplace.

Source: VentureBeat

MSI Launches Two New X-Slim Series Models With WIDI

Subject: Mobile | July 9, 2011 - 10:30 AM |
Tagged: notebook, msi, gaming

MSI has announced two notebook computers with optional Intel Core i7 quad core processors and supporting a slew of fast data transfer standards including Intel’s Wireless Display technology, HDMI, Bluetooth 3.0, and USB 3.0. The Intel Wireless Display technology is capable of transmitting 1080p in addition to 5.1 audio to HDTVs without wires, and is available on both new models. The X460 and X460DX chassis is constructed of a metal alloy with feather patterns and an aluminum palm rest as well as room for a second internal hard drive. The models comes equipped with batteries that MSI claims are capable of up to 8 hours of power.  Both models also come equipped with either Windows 7 Home or Windows 7 Professional.


Dubbed the X460 and X460DX, the X-Slim series of notebook computers has received a fresh update. The X460 weighs in at 1.98 kg (~4.36 lbs), is less than 1” thick and bears a 14” form factor. MSI claims the notebook is the lightest Core i7 quad core packing computer currently out. Further the X460 is able to use Intel’s second gen “Sandy Bridge” Core i7 2630QM or the Core i5 2410M processors. The X460 sticks with the Intel processor graphics (HD 3000). The X460DX on the other hand comes with an Intel Core i5 2410M processor and a discrete NVIDIA GT540M with MSI’s GPU Boost graphics switching technology. To be more specific, the new models come with the following specifications.

  X460 X460DX

Core i7 2630QM

Core i5 2410M

Core i5 2410M
GPU Intel HD Graphics 3000

HD Graphics 3000


RAM DDR3 up to 8GB DDR3 up to 8GB


750GB/640GB/500GB 750GB/640GB/500GB
Display 14" HD LED Backlit (1366 x 768) 14" HD LED Backlit (1366 x 768)
I/O and Ports


1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 2x USB 3.0x, 1x USB 2.0, card reader, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, BT 3.0+HS, 1x Gigabit LAN, Webcam, WIDI, DVD RW


1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 2x USB 3.0x,1x USB 2.0, card reader, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, BT 3.0+HS, 1x Gigabit LAN, Webcam, WIDI, DVD RW

Dimensions 23.91 (W) x 33.9 (D) x 2.23 (H) cm 23.91 (W) x 33.9 (D) x 2.23 (H) cm
Weight 1.98 kg with 6 cell battery 2.00 kg with 6 cell battery


No word yet on prices or availability; however, the brushed aluminum look never seems to get old and the specifications seem decent. What are your thoughts on the new models?

Source: MSI

MSI Launches New WindPad 110W Tablet Computer

Subject: Mobile | July 8, 2011 - 11:51 AM |
Tagged: msi, WindPad, AMD Z-01, tablet

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – July 07, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the WindPad 110W. MSI worked closely with Microsoft and AMD (NYSE: AMD) to create a tablet that combines powerful processing and Microsoft Windows® 7 operating system designed for professionals, including business travelers, healthcare and education professionals.


"Bringing Windows 7 and AMD's newest generation processor together is a significant step forward for MSI's tablet line," noted Andy Tung, vice president of North American sales for MSI. "Our business customers want portability and multimedia entertainment on the go, and the new hardware and latest software gives us the ability to deliver that experience in a tablet form factor."

The MSI WindPad 110W combines security features with easy navigation tools to make using the tablet while away from a desk easy and secure.

"Microsoft is pleased to work with MSI to help bring their portable Windows-based tablet to market," said Nick Parker, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing in the OEM Division at Microsoft Corp. "Windows 7 is a great choice for commercial customers looking for a device that enables the productivity, mobility and security their businesses need to succeed."

The tablet also packs the new AMD Z-01 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), offering powerful processing and display performance with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 32 GB solid state drive, 1280x800 screen resolution, a USB port and mini-HDMI port included.

"The MSI WindPad 110W tablet featuring the AMD Z-Series APU with unmatched AMD Radeon™ graphics is an exciting new product and a perfect fit for end users that want DirectX® 11 capability and vivid HD media experiences," said John Byrne, corporate vice president and general manager for Americas Mega Region, AMD. "In addition to its integration with operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7, the AMD 2011 HD Tablet Platform enables enterprise-level security and offers support for HTML 5 and external monitors, enabling crisp graphics for enhanced productivity, streaming video, gaming and other multimedia."

The MSI WindPad 110W highlights and features include:

  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM): With the TPM, files and data are automatically encrypted for maximum security using the BitLocker functionality in Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate to provide encryption for the tablet and any removable HDD.
  • Easy Face Software: MSI's Easy Face software allows you to log in without typing a password. Instead, show your face to the tablet's webcam, and you will automatically be logged in to the system. The software employs your unique facial features to remember your passwords, so you don't have to.
  • Multi-control Navigation: The Smart Tracker provides smooth operation, so that you can grip both sides of the tablet and use small finger movements for navigation, an additional navigation control to using the touch screen. The SAS Hotkey performs the traditional role of the "Ctrl+Alt+Del" combination whenever needed.
  • Smart O-Easy Application: The user-friendly application delivers full-control panel at your fingertips and allows you to manage and find the functions or programs that are most often used, including volume, webcam, wireless, mute, standby mode and screen brightness.

The new WindPad110W has an MSRP of $599.99. It is available for presale at Newegg.com and Amazon.com.
For detailed specification and purchasing options, please visit http://www.msimobile.com.

Source: MSI

Gateway Introduces Updated ID and NV Series Notebooks

Subject: Mobile | July 8, 2011 - 03:15 AM |
Tagged: sandy bridge, notebook, mobile, gateway, AMD A series

Gateway recently unveiled two new updated notebooks from their ID and NV series. Featuring HDMI, USB 3.0, LED backlit displays, and powered by Intel Sandy Bridge (2nd generation Core) processors, the ID47 and NV57 (and NV55) notebooks bring a welcome refresh to their lineup. The updated notebooks further feature 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a 1.3MP webcam, and battery lives of 8 hours for the ID series and 4 hours for the NV notebooks.

An interesting addition to the traditional laptop layout of speakers, keyboard, and touchpad is a number of hot keys that launch social widgets to access the various social networks including Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr. Users are then able to post updates and upload images and videos in addition to viewing the social network’s feeds.


The ID47 notebook with brushed metal design

The Gateway ID47 is a traditional 13” chassis that holds a 14” LED backlit HD display with full edge to edge glass. The chassis itself comes into two designs, either an “Infinity Blue” or a “Brushed Platinum” look that Gateway claims resembles tranquil water and an industrial look respectively. Regardless of which design one chooses, the top right of the aluminum notebook lid features a stainless steel laser-engraved logo.

Further, a revamped keyboard, 20% larger trackpad, integrated DVD drive, and a mesh speaker bar. The notebook’s full dimensions are 12.97 (width) x 8.95 (depth) x .85 to 1.13 (height) inches. Gateway claims that the notebook is comfortable to carry and easily portable.

In Canada, certain ID series notebook models will be available with a 15.6 in HD widescreen LED backlit displays, and will be further powered by NVIDIA GeForce GT graphics and will use NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics technology.

On the other hand, the NV series is a 15.6” form factor, and has a 15.6” HD LED backlit display. The new notebooks also come in two design flavors, including a geometric pattern or a digital wave pattern on the matte chassis lid. The chassis further features a chiclet keyboard and geometric or digital wave pattern on the palm rest. The NV series is then further broken up, into the NV57 and NV55 series. The NV57 notebooks are powered by Intel Sandy Bridge processors and Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 128 MB of dedicated system memory for the processor-integrated GPU. In contrast, the NV55 laptops are powered by AMD A series processors.

The ID and NV series are available for purchase now at retailers around the US and Canada with a MSRP starting at $699.99 US and $799.00 CAD for the ID series and $529.99 US and $499.00 CAD. On the bundled software side of things, the notebooks come with Windows 7 Home Premium, a backup program called MyBackup, in addition to “useful extras including Nook for PC, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Reader, WildTangent Demo Games, Skype, Norton Online Backup, and Microsoft® Office 2010 (preloaded for online purchase).”

Source: Gateway

VIA Technologies To Sell Of Its Stake in S3 Graphics

Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Mobile | July 6, 2011 - 04:09 PM |
Tagged: WTI, VIA, S3 Graphics, htc

Low power x86 processor maker VIA Technologies today announced that it is selling off the entirety of its stake in S3 Graphics to popular phone manufacturer HTC. Having acquired S3 Graphics in 2001, the company planned to integrate graphics capabilities into its processors and chipsets. In 2005 S3 graphics became under capitalized and VIA brought in WTI a private investment company to fun operations and R&D initiatives. Cher Wang, the chairman of VIA is a “significant shareholder.”


Under the agreement, all of VIA’s shares in S3 Graphics are worth $300 million. VIA will receive $147 million while WTI will receive $153 million. Of the $147 million, VIA will recognize a capital gain of $37 million and a paid-in-capital of $115 million.


The Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA, Tzu-mu Lin, stated that “The Transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets.” The transaction is subject to approvals from the board directors of VIA, WTI, and HTC and is expected to close before the end of the year.

HTC seems to be interested in acquiring graphics IP, which begs the question whether the phone manufacturer is planning to design its own ARM S3 graphics chips for its future phones.  What do you think of the deal?

Source: VIA

Maingear's Titan 17 is one hefty desktop replacement

Subject: Mobile | July 4, 2011 - 01:06 PM |
Tagged: maingear, desktop replacement, 17.3

The stats read like a high end desktop, from the hexa-core i7-990X to the GTX485M's in SLI which support the 1080p display, though the weight of 12.1lbs is a little lighter than most desktops.  TechSpot had a chance to review this $5,400 laptop and they had quite a bit of fun doing it.  As you can see from the image below, this notebook produces a lot of heat and you'd be foolish to place it on your lap but perhaps it would be handy for reheating a snack.  When they tested the power the notebook pulled 85 watts at idle, 336W under load, making the 8 cell battery more of a UPS than anything.  Check out the full review to see the long list of peripherals and some incredible gaming performance.


"Today we will be looking at the notebook equivalent of the above mentioned Shift desktop system, known as the Titan 17. Our evaluation system consists of an Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor, a hexa-core desktop CPU operating at 3.46 GHz. Other notable hardware includes a 17.3” LED-backlit display running at 1920 x 1080, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M graphics cards, 6GB of Kingston DDR3-1333 memory, a 120GB Intel 510 solid state drive, a 750GB Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drive, a Blu-ray optical drive, Bigfoot Killer Wireless-N Ultimate network adapter and integrated Bluetooth technology, all running under Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit."

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Source: TechSpot

Intel is attempting to revive their CULV with the Ultrabook

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 4, 2011 - 12:02 PM |
Tagged: Intel, culv, ultrabook, Ivy Bridge, sandy bridge, ultramobile

You can't really blame the failure of Intel's CULV form factor on just the name, though it is very awkward, since at the same time Intel was trying for that type of ultraportable we saw netbooks catch on.  The netbook was easier to market than the CULV which was being trumped by the Macbook Air on one side and the surprising popularity of netbooks in general.  Sure the Atom powered midgets couldn't do much, but they were just so cute.

We heard of the new Intel Ultrabooks at CES 2011 during Intel's keynote speech, and Ryan saw an example of one, the ASUS UX21 which sports a nice brushed aluminium shell.  It was powered by a Sandy Bridge Core i7 and was 1.7cm at its widest and weighed only 1.1kg fully loaded, sported SATA 6Gb/s and can boot in 5 seconds with ASUS' Instant On feature.  It should be available by September of this year and in theory will be a sub-$1000 Ultrabook.

DigiTimes today reported on Intel's plans for the release of their first Ultrabook and the future models, which they hope will together net Intel about 40% market share by the end of 2012.  The strategy sounds familiar, those who remember what they did with the chipset for their Atom processor.  DigiTimes reports that Intel is planning on "providing a significant budget to support its partners launching Ultrabooks".  Now that is not very specific as to the support that Intel will be offering, but with Llano's decent performance and incredible price, it will be had for 1st tier vendors to be attracted to selling Ultrabooks that are faster but cost three times as much.  Hence Intel's announcement about support for any vendors willing to build and sell their new form factor.


"Intel has recently started planning a new marketing strategy for its Ultrabook concept and has invested heavily into the related budget and resources hoping to attract first-tier notebook vendors into developing Ultrabooks, according to sources from downstream notebook players.

Due to the failure of Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage-based (CULV-based) ultra-thin notebooks in 2009, while the notebook market has been severely impacted by tablet PCs, most notebook vendors are taking a conservative attitude toward Intel's Ultrabook concept and Intel is hoping its heavy investment will be able to attract these vendors to launch Ultrabook products, the sources noted.

Intel announced its Ultrabook concept in June with a goal of having 40% of the global consumers notebooks using its Ultrabook concept at the end of 2012. Asustek is already set to launch its first Ultrabook concept-based notebook, UX21, in September."

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Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes

AVADirect Now Offering NVIDIA GTX 580M Graphics In Clevo Notebooks

Subject: Mobile | June 29, 2011 - 09:53 AM |
Tagged: notebook, gtx 580m, gaming, AVADirect

Hot on the trail of NVIDIA's latest 580M mobile graphics release, AVADirect has just announced that it will be incorporating the new graphics chip into their gaming focused Clevo notebook lineup. The 15.6" P150HM, 17.3" P170HM and 17.3" X7200 gaming notebooks will be the first to receive the upgrade, and will be made configurable with the new mobile graphics chip today. Further, the new notebooks with the GTX 580M will be shipping out to customers according to their advertised time frame starting today.


Because the GTX 580M uses the same MXM module as the preceeding 400M graphics cards, laptops with the older chip will be able to be upgraded to the GTX 580M easily, according to AVADirect who further stated that the chip uses less power and has a smaller footprint than the 485M.

In addition to recieving the updated graphics card, the three Clevo gaming notebooks all feature HDMI, USB 3.0, SATA III 6 Gbps, Intel Sandy Bridge processors, DDR3 SODIMMS at 1600 MHz, and the option of a SSD (Solid State Drive).  The three notebooks further feature a Full HD 1080P 16:9 display, that the GTX 580M should easily power with cranked up visuals on today's latest games.

Source: AVADirect

NVIDIA Releases GeForce GTX 580M and 570M, Brings Optimus to Hardcore Gaming Laptops

Subject: Mobile | June 28, 2011 - 08:47 AM |
Tagged: nvidia mobile, nvidia, mobile graphics, gtx 580m, gtx 560m

The green team today announced the GTX 580M and GTX 570M, the newest high-end GPUs for gaming laptops. These parts succeed the GTX 485M and GTX 470M, respectively. According to NVIDIA, the GTX 580M will be the quickest mobile graphics solution on the market, while the GTX 570M will be 20% faster than the 470M it replaces.


Gaming performance samples show a substantial improvement over the previous generation. According to the press material, a single GTX 580M is capable of outputting over 30 frames per second at 1920x1080 at high detail in various games including Crysis 2, DIRT3, and Civilization V. These high marks are only further improved when the two GPUs are placed into SLI. In Crysis 2, for example, this configuration achieves over 70 FPS with detail set to Extreme Quality.


Both the GTX 580M and 570M will support all of the company’s typical hardware features including PhysX, Nvidia 3D Vision, 3DTV Play, SLI, CUDA and OpenCL. In addition to this, these new mobile solutions will offer support of Optimus.

This is the first time that Optimus support has been offered in high-end mobile GPUs, and it could provide the green team with a significant advantage. In past reviews of Optimus enabled laptops, such as the ASUS N53, we’ve found that the feature made it possible to offer battery life on par with laptops that don’t have a discrete GPU. Optimus in the 580M and 570M will likely replicate this, making it possible for gamers to enjoy extreme gaming performance while plugged in and reasonable battery life while on the go.


NVIDIA also continues to push its NVIDIA Verde driver program. For those who missed the initial announcement, Verde can be summed up as a monthly driver release program. The goal is to consistently improve performance and stability, giving owners of Nvidia GPUs a better long-term experience. Driver updates have proven to increase performance in the past, sometimes significantly, so these monthly updates are welcome.

The initial wave of 580M mobile graphics will be found in three laptops: the Alienware M18x, the Clevo P170HM3, and the Clevo P270WM. It’s reasonable to expect that both Clevo models will be picked up by various companies, such as Origin and Maingear, and released with some modifications under those brands. MSI will be the only company launching a 570M equipped laptop, in this case the MSI GT780R. Pricing has yet to be announced.


With the release of these new parts, NVIDIA has converted nearly all of its current components to the 5xx series brand. Only the “mainstream” GeForce 315M and 410M remain outside the fold.

UPDATE: Need some more proof of the power of the GTX 580M?  Here it is seen running the brand-new DX11 variant of Crysis 2:

Source: Nvidia

Acer's new Honeycomb driven Iconia Tab A500 tablet

Subject: Mobile | June 27, 2011 - 06:51 PM |
Tagged: tablet, honeycomb, Android, acer

As the table in AnandTech's review demonstrates, the interior of most tablets is dominated by a 1 Ghz ARM Cortex A9 with Tegra 2 doing the heavily graphical lifting.  This puts the onus for standing out among the crowd on the look of the tablet and the compatible peripherals as well as the pice.   Acer's design was not particularly well received at AnandTech, with several seams reducing their enjoyment of the tablet.  On the plus side is the peripheral support, with HDMI and both a microSD card reader and a miniUSB port you will have no problems interfacing with your other gadgets.  With a cost just under $400 AnandTech does like the tablet but they can't help but point out that with quad core ICS/Android 4.0 and Kal-El just around the corner you might want to wait for the next generation.


"Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages). The hardware similarities makes things like design and price that much more important, and the latter is where Acer seemed to have an edge."

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Source: AnandTech