Subject: Storage | April 10, 2019 - 03:48 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: storage, ssd, QLC, Optane Memory, Optane H10, Optane, NVMe, notebook, laptop, Intel
Intel has shared information about Optane memory H10, a new product that combines Optane memory with Intel QLC NAND on the same M.2 device. Not offered as a standalone product (at least not yet), Intel is partnering with OEMs (including Dell, HP, and ASUS) to include this new storage in upcoming consumer devices, with the first systems available at Best Buy in Q2 of this year.
This will not be a desktop option at first, as Intel mentions only "thin and light notebooks and certain space-constrained desktop form factors – such as all-in-one PCs and mini PCs" in their press release. So what makes up this new storage product? Intel provided some key specifications outlined below:
|Intel Optane Memory H10 with Solid State Storage - Key Specs|
|Type||Intel Optane Technology & Intel QLC 3D NAND Technology
Intel controller and firmware
|Interface||PCIe 3.0 x4 with NVMe
M.2 2280 Single Sided (2280-S3-M)
|Capacities||16GB Intel Optane Memory + 256GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 512GB Storage
32GB Intel Optane Memory + 1TB Storage
|Power||Deep Sleep/L1.2: <15 mW (combined)|
|Operating Temperature||0-70° C|
|Endurance||Up to 300 TBW (over warranty)|
"The combination of high-speed acceleration and large SSD storage capacity on a single drive will benefit everyday computer users, whether they use their systems to create, game or work. Compared to a standalone TLC 3D NAND SSD system, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid-state storage enables both faster access to frequently used applications and files and better responsiveness with background activity."
"8th Generation Intel Core U-series mobile platforms featuring Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will be arriving through major OEMs starting this quarter. With these platforms, everyday users will be able to:
- Launch documents up to 2 times faster while multitasking.
- Launch games 60% faster while multitasking.
- Open media files up to 90% faster while multitasking."
"SSDs with Intel Optane memory are the fastest compared to NAND SSDs in the majority of common client use cases. Intel-based platforms with Intel Optane memory adapt to everyday computing activities to optimize the performance for the user’s most common tasks and frequently used applications. With offerings of up to 1TB of total storage, Intel Optane memory H10 with solid state storage will have the capacity users need for their apps and files today — and well into the future."
Some very Malventano-like benchmark examples were also provided in the press deck, emphasizing that real-world system performance primarily hits low queue depths:
You can read the entire press release from Intel at the source link.
Subject: Processors | April 8, 2019 - 10:28 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Vega, ryzen, processors, mobile, laptop, integrated graphics, iGPU, cpu, amd
AMD has announced new 2nd-gen Ryzen PRO 3000-series mobile processors and a new Athlon PRO model, all of which feature RX Vega graphics and range up to a 4 core/8-thread offering with the Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U. These new mobile parts are based on the existing 12nm Zen+ architecture, not the upcoming 7nm Zen 2, and each part carries a 15W TDP.
|Product Model||Cores/Threads||TDP||Base/Boost Frequency||Radeon Graphics||GPU Cores||Max GPU Frequency||L2+L3 Cache|
|AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 3700U||4C/8T||15W||2.3/4.0 GHz||Vega||10||1400 MHz||6MB|
|AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 3500U||4C/8T||15W||2.1/3.7 GHz||Vega||8||1200 MHz||6MB|
|AMD Ryzen 3 PRO 3300U||4C/4T||15W||2.1/3.5 GHz||Vega||6||1200 MHz||6MB|
|AMD Athlon PRO 300U||2C/4T||15W||2.4/3.3 GHz||Vega||3||1000 MHz||5MB|
"Built on 12nm manufacturing technology, the new AMD Ryzen PRO 3000 Series mobile processors deliver best-in-class performance and increase productivity by offering up to 16% more multi-threading processor performance than competition.
Specifically, the new AMD Ryzen PRO mobile processors deliver:
- up to 12 hours of general office use or up to 10 hours of video playback,
- up to 14% faster content creation and accelerated everyday office applications with integrated Radeon Vega graphics, from 3D modeling to video editing,
- powerful security features on all Ryzen PRO processors with AMD’s security co-processor built into the silicon,
- and 18-month of image stability, 24-month of processor availability, commercial grade quality, enterprise-class manageability, and 36-month limited warranty to system manufacturers.
AMD is also offering “Zen”-based Athlon PRO mobile processors, bringing a greater choice of mobile computing experiences across the full budget spectrum."
Performance - particularly when GPU acceleration from the integrated Vega graphics is factored in - can be very impressive compared to Intel mobile offerings, with AMD providing these slides to show also the gains over their previous mobile parts:
AMD also lets us know that "premium designs" are coming soon from HP and Lenovo featuring these new CPUs, and considering the dominance of Intel in the high-end notebook market that will be welcome news to AMD fans. No specifics on the upcoming premium laptop models beyond the tease of "coming soon" were provided.
Subject: Displays | January 23, 2019 - 12:19 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: UHD, Samsung, oled, notebook, mass production, laptop, displays, 4k, 15.6 inch
Samsung Display has announced development of a 15.6-inch 3840 x 2160 OLED display panel which they are calling "the world’s first UHD display for the notebook/laptop market". And mass production of the panel will begin in mid-February, "initially for use in premium notebooks produced by leading manufacturers".
"The new OLED panel, as unveiled by Samsung Display, is equipped with a wide range of cutting-edge functionality including a contrast ratio of exceptional quality, as well as extreme color accuracy, full HDR compatibility, a very wide color gamut, and remarkable outdoor visibility, all of which are considered essential specifications for tomorrow’s premium notebooks.
The new panel features a brightness level ranging from 0.0005 to 600 nits, and a dynamic contrast ratio of 120,000:1. Compared to LCDs, black color appears 200 times darker and whites twice as bright, maximizing the benefits of HDR to deliver the utmost in high-resolution video and images.
The new display provides a spectrum of 3.4 million colors (double that of similarly sized LCD panels), which allows for truly life-like images, with colors meeting the DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives)-P3 standard, the specification best suited for video streaming. The 15.6-inch UHD panel is designed to keep the complete DCI-P3 color gamut fully intact while emitting significantly less blue wavelengths that can potentially be harmful to the eye, making images easier to view even after prolonged use."
Based on the mention of "a dynamic contrast ratio of 120,000:1" I have to wonder if this panel will function differently from OLED screens which as emissive displays have a black level of zero, and thus offer virtually infinite contrast (though "dynamic contrast" is an effect in the control panel of LG OLEDs, for instance). For a practical implementation of a technology that has been criticized in use as a computer monitor it will be interesting to see what - if any - concessions have been made to adapt OLED for use with laptops beyond what we initially saw from Lenovo with the X1 Yoga's OLED option.
For more about this new panel you can read the full press release available here.
Subject: Systems | January 9, 2019 - 02:51 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: ryzen, RX 560X, radeon, notebook, mobile, laptop, gaming, asus, amd
ASUS had a pair of AMD-powered gaming laptops to announce at CES 2019, with the TUF Gaming FX505 and FX705DY, both of which feature the latest Ryzen 3000-series mobile CPUs as well as discrete Radeon RX 560X graphics.
“Experience smoother, more immersive gameplay with the new ASUS TUF Gaming FX505 AMD Edition. Featuring a cutting-edge IPS-level NanoEdge display with AMD® FreeSync™ technology and a refresh rate up to 120Hz, and armed with the latest AMD Ryzen™ processor and discrete Radeon™ graphics, it delivers high-performance gaming at an affordable price. It’s also tested and certified to military-grade MIL-STD-810G standards, so you’re guaranteed toughness and durability that’s second to none.”
The CPU powering these systems is the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H, a 4-core/8-thread CPU with clock speeds ranging from 2.1 GHz up to 3.7 GHz and a 35W TDP.
"AMD’s Ryzen processors have taken desktops by storm, and TUF Gaming laptops lead the deployment of the newest version. Otherwise known as Picasso, this 2nd Gen Ryzen Mobile APU is built with industry-leading 12nm technology. The Ryzen 5 3550H chip powering FX505DY and FX705DY boasts four cores and eight threads that deliver capable performance for popular games and everyday work. Multithreaded performance is particularly strong, yet the processor fits into a 35W power envelope that doesn’t compromise battery life.
Vega-based integrated graphics allow the APU to power the laptop all on its own, which helps conserve power and extend battery life to over seven hours of 1080p video playback on FX705DY and nearly six hours on FX505DY. Discrete GPUs are where it’s at for proper gaming so when it’s time to play, AMD Switchable Graphics tech automatically activates the laptop’s discrete Radeon RX 560X. The GPU pumps out smooth frame rates in mainstays like Fortnite and Overwatch, as well as esports classics like League of Legends and Dota 2."
Both models have NanoEdge displays with thin bezels and wide viewing angles and variable refresh rates, and while the larger FX705DY provides a FreeSync range of 40-60Hz, the FX505DY offers 48-120Hz capability.
Specifications from ASUS for the TUF Gaming FX505DY and FX705DY include:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
- 15.6" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display up to 120Hz
- 17.3" FHD NanoEdge wide-view display
- Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X
- Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4 2400MHz
- Storage: Up to 512GB PCIe SSD
- Up to 1TB FireCuda SSHD
- Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WLAN, Bluetooth 4.2
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen1
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x HDMI 2.0
- 1x RJ-45 jack
- 1x 3.5mm headphone and mic combo jack
- 1x Kensington lock
- Keyboard and touchpad : 1.8mm key travel
- Customizable RGB or red backlighting
- Audio: DTS Headphone: X
- Battery: 48Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX505DY), 64Wh Lithium-polymer battery (FX705DY)
- OS: Windows 10
- Weight: 4.85 lbs (FX505DY), 5.73 lbs (FX705DY)
Official pricing was not revealed in the press release, but we should be able to expect some fairly agressive sub-$1000 pricing with these at the base configuration level.
Aggressively Pursuing New Markets
ARM has had a pretty fascinating history, but for most of its time on this Earth it has not been a very public facing company. After the release of the iPhone and ARM’s dominance in the mobile market, they decided to push their PR efforts up a few notches. Now we finally were able to see some of the inner workings of a company that was once a little known low power CPU designer that licensed cores out to third parties.
The company was not always as aggressive as what we are seeing now. The mobile space for a long time was dominated by multiple architectures that all have eventually faded away. ARM held steady with design improvements and good customer relations that ensured that they would continue into the future. After the release of the original iPhone, the world changed. Happily for us, ARM changed as well. In previous years ARM would announce products, but they would be at least three years away and few people took notice of what they were up to. I originally started paying attention to ARM as I thought that their cores might have the ability to power mobile gaming and perhaps be integrated into future consoles so that there would be a unified architecture that these providers could lean upon. This was back when the 3DS and PSP were still selling millions of units.
This of course never came to pass as I had expected it to, but at least ARM did make it into the Nintendo Switch. ARM worked hard to quickly put faster, more efficient parts out the door. They also went on a buying spree and acquired several graphics startups that would eventually contribute to the now quite formidable Mali GPU family of products. Today we have an extensive lineup of parts that can be bundled into a tremendous amount of configurations. ARM has a virtual monopoly in the cellphone market because they have been willing to work with anyone who wants to license their designs, technologies, and architectures. This is actually a relatively healthy “monopoly” because the partners do the work to mix and match features to provide unique products to the marketplace. Architectural licensees like Apple, Qualcomm, and Samsung all differentiate their products as well and provide direct competition to the ARM designed cores that are licensed to other players.
Today we are seeing a new direction from ARM that has never been officially explored. We have been given a roadmap of the next two generations of products from the company that are intended to compete in not only the cellphone market, but also in the laptop market. ARM has thrown down the gauntlet and their sights are set on Intel and AMD. Not only is ARM showing us the codenames for these products, but also the relative performance.
Subject: Mobile | April 27, 2018 - 02:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: x-rite, laptop, i7-8750h, gigabyte, coffee lake h, aero 15Xv8, 144hz, 1070 Max-Q
Gigabyte's Aero 15X is a working laptop, it may have a GTX 1070 Max-Q powering its 144Hz panel, but it does not offer G-SYNC. Instead it has X-Rite Pantone certification, perfect for professional work. The 15.6" laptop is 18.9mm thick and weighs in at 4.4lbs, with a fair amount of that being the 94Wh battery. TechSpot was somewhat disappointed to discover the 16GB of DDR4-2666 is on a single DIMM, and suggest picking up another immediately to enjoy the benefits of dual channel memory. If you are looking for a laptop you can design graphics and video on, with enough power for occasional gaming then check out the Aero 15X.
"Today we're taking a closer look at the Gigabyte Aero 15X, launched alongside Intel's new H-series Coffee Lake processors which brought up to 6 cores and 12 threads to the laptop form factor. Gigabyte is key to stress this isn't just a gaming laptop, but a machine designed for productivity, and that shows with features like an X-Rite certified display."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
More Mobile Articles
- MSI GT75 TITAN 8RG-201 Gaming Laptop @ Kitguru
- MSI GS65 Stealth Thin Review: MSI's Best Laptop Design Yet @ TechSpot
- MSI GE73 Raider RGB 8RF @ Kitguru
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ Review: Iterative Upgrade, Exynos Fail @ TechSpot
Subject: Mobile | February 25, 2018 - 10:49 AM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: thin and light, notebook, mx150, MWC 2018, MWC, MateBook X Pro, matebook, laptop, Huawei
Huawei has introduced their new MateBook with the X Pro, an ultra slim design which features a nearly bezel-less 13.9-inch display that boasts a 91% screen-to-body ratio. More than just display, which is a 3:2 ratio 3K LTPS panel, the MateBook X Pro offers a choice between 8th-gen Intel Core i5 and Core i7 mobile processors, and the option of a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU.
"Huawei has applied many of its innovative smartphone technologies to the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro to create effortless and intuitive user experiences. Pioneered by Huawei for the HUAWEI MateBook Series, the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro features the super-fast power button 2.0 which enables login in just 7.8 seconds from power off, and 6.6 seconds from hibernation. In addition, the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro features the world’s first recessed camera which discreetly sits on the keyboard – to activate it, all users need to do is press it and it will pop up, ensuring privacy when it’s not being used. This contributes greatly to the perfect experience of FullView Display."
While the look and especially name of the MateBook X Pro evokes memories of similar products from Cupertino, this seems to be more of a Surface Book competitor, down to the multi-touch 3:2 aspect, 3000x2000 display. A couple of the unique features are the combination power button/fingerprint reader, and a camera that is hidden among the function keys and pops up during use. Audio is also premium for a slim notebook with a four-speaker Dolby Atmos system.
A unique recessed camera design that pops up when needed
- FullView Display
- Size: 13.9 inches
- Resolution: 3000 x 2000
- Type: LTPS
- Screen-to-body ratio: 91%
- Aspect ratio: 3:2
- Viewing angle: 178 degrees
- Color: sRGB 100% color gamut
- Contrast: 1500:1
- Maximum brightness: 450 nits
- Touchscreen: 10-point, anti-fingerprint
- Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U / i5-8250U
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2GB GDDR5 / Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Memory 8GB / 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz
- Hard Drive: 256GB / 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD
- Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5 GHz 2x2 MIMO
- Bluetooth: BT 4.1 (compatible with 3.0 and 2.1+EDR)
- Camera: Front 1MP
- Audio Configuration: Quad digital microphones and Quad speakers
- Battery Material: Lithium polymer 57.4Wh (Typical Capacity)
- Local video playback: 12 hours (testing conducted by Huawei in a laboratory environment)
- Buttons and Ports
- One touch power button
- 3.5mm stereo headset jack
- USB-C x2 (both allow data transfer, charging and connection with MateDock 2 and one supports Thunderbolt 3)
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 304mm x 217mm x 14.6mm Weight: approximately 1.33kg
- Colors: Mystic Silver and Space Gray
The one touch power button with integrated fingerprint reader
The MateBook X Pro will be available this spring with pricing starting at €1499, or approximately $1850.
Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2018 - 01:00 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: Vega M, rx vega m, laptop, kaby lake-g, dell xps 15 2-in-1, dell, convertible, CES 2018, CES
Following up on its updates to the XPS 13 last week, Dell today is unveiling a new 15-inch model of its XPS 2-in-1 lineup. The XPS 15 2-in-1, as it's officially named, is powered by the new Kaby Lake-G platform, which pairs an 8th Gen Intel Core processor with AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics.
The 15.6-inch touchscreen display is available in both 1080p and 4K resolutions with up to 400-nits brightness and 100 percent Adobe RGB coverage. The display also supports Dell's new Active Pen, an optional $99 accessory which offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity with tilt support and palm rejection technology.
Despite its powerful Intel and AMD Radeon components, Dell claims that the XPS 15 2-in-1's 75Whr battery is good for up to 15 hours of battery life.
Check out the complete specs:
|Processor Options||Intel Core i7-8705G
Intel Core i5-8305G
|Memory||8GB DDR4 2400MHz
16GB DDR4 2400MHz
|Graphics||Integrated Radeon RX Vega M
|Display||15.6-inch 3200x1800 (100% Adobe RGB)
15.6-inch 1920x1080 (100% sRGB)
Capacitive touchscreen with active pen support
|Storage||128GB SATA SSD
256GB PCIe SSD
512GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
Up to 15 hours
|I/O||2 x Thunderbolt 3
2 x USB 3.1 Type-C
microSD Card Reader
3.5mm audio in/out
|Connectivity||Killer 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
|Dimensions||354 x 235 x 16mm|
|Weight||Starting at 4.3lbs|
Complete pricing information for all configurations is not yet available, but Dell states that the new XPS 15 2-in-1 will start at $1299.99 and will be available for purchase sometime this spring.
Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 08:00 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: WOA, windows on arm, snapdragon 835, snapdragon, qualcomm, Lenovo, laptop, convertible, CES 2017, arm, 2-in-1
Lenovo today unveiled the Miix 630, a 12-inch Windows 10 S device powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor. With the Miix 630, Lenovo joins HP, ASUS, and other manufacturers in the new Windows on ARM product category of ultraportable, always connected PCs and tablets.
The Miix 630 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with integrated Adreno 540 graphics. It features a 12.3-inch 1920x1280 touchscreen display which, when paired with the included Lenovo pen, offers up to 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity for drawing and writing. Other features include a 5MP front facing infrared camera with Windows Hello support, 13MP rear camera, detachable backlit keyboard with touchpad, and integrated LTE for the "always on" feature that distinguishes these devices from those with traditional mobile connectivity options.
Despite its "always on" capabilities, the Miix 630 joins other Windows on ARM devices in touting lengthy battery life, with negligible battery draw while in standby mode and actual usage time of 20 hours for tasks such as continuous video playback.
The Miix 630's complete specs:
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Speakers||2 x 1 watt|
|Memory||4GB / 8GB|
|Storage||64GB / 128GB / 256GB|
WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280)
Corning Glass Screen
|Ports||1 x USB Type-C
1 x 3.5mm Audio In/Out
1 x SD Card
1 x Nano SIM Card
|Connectivity||2x2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac
|Dimensions||(D) 210mm x (W) 293mm x (H) 15.6mm|
|Weight||2.93 lbs (1.33 kg)|
Complete pricing for the higher-end configurations is not yet available, but Lenovo states that the Miix 630's base configuration will start at $799. It's expected to launch in the second quarter of this year.
Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 08:00 PM | Jim Tanous
Tagged: ThinkPad X1 Yoga, ThinkPad X1 Tablet, ThinkPad X1 Carbon, Thinkpad, Lenovo, laptop, CES 2018, CES
After updating other members of its ThinkPad line last week, Lenovo today is turning its attention to its flagship ThinkPad X1 series, introducing a number of performance and design updates to the X1 Carbon, X1 Yoga, and X1 Tablet.
ThinkPad X1 Tablet
The new ThinkPad X1 Tablet sees a change in form factor, moving from a 12-inch "2K" display (2160x1440) to a 13-inch "3K" display (3000x2000), as well as processing power with the switch to 8th generation Intel Core processors. The new display is also HDR compatible for vivid content consumption and creation.
The complete specs:
|Processor||Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7|
|OS||Up to Windows 10 Pro|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Memory||Up to 16GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD|
|Battery||Up to 9.5 hours|
|Display||13-inch 3000x2000 IPS
Corning Gorilla Glass
|Weight||1.9lbs tablet only
2.79lbs with keyboard
|Dimensions||304 x 226 x 8.9mm|
|I/O||2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x microSD Card Reader
1 x 3.5mm audio in/out
1 x Nano SIM
|Connectivity||Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
The new third generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet starts at $1599 and will be available starting in March.
ThinkPad X1 Carbon & Yoga
Like the X1 Tablet, the third generation X1 Yoga and sixth generation X1 Carbon also receive upgraded displays. Featuring a peak brightness of 500 nits, both displays are the first to be compatible with Dolby Vision HDR. On the audio side, new 360-degree Far-Field Communication microphones support Wake-on-Voice functionality and, when it launches as part of a free update later this year, integrated hands-free Amazon Alexa support.
|Category||X1 Carbon 6th Gen||X1 Yoga 3rd Gen|
|Processor||Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7||Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7|
|OS||Up to Windows 10 Pro||Up to Windows 10 Pro|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Memory||Up to 16GB LPDDR3||Up to 16GB LPDDR3|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD|
|Battery||Up to 15 hours||Up to 15 hours|
|Display||14-inch 2560x1440 IPS
Dolby Vision HDR
|14-inch 2560x1440 IPS
Dolby Vision HDR
|Weight||Starting at 2.49lbs||Starting at 3.08lbs|
|Dimensions||304 x 226 x 8.9mm||333 x 229 x 17.05mm|
|I/O||2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x 3.5mm audio in/out
1 x microSD Card
1 x HDMI
1 x Lenovo Docking Connector
|2 x USB 3.0 Type-A
2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x 3.5mm audio in/out
1 x microSD Card
1 x HDMI
1 x Gigabit Ethernet
|Connectivity||Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Optional Integrated LTE
|Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
The 6th gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon starts at $1709 while the 3rd gen ThinkPad X1 Yoga starts at $1889. Both will be available later this month.