Ultrabook shipments below 50K to test field
The first batch of ultrabooks attempting to take on the MacBook Air might be produced with intentionally low production numbers to test the market, notebook industry insiders purported late Monday. Systems like the Acer Aspire S3, Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, and Toshiba Portege Z830 may all ship in early production runs under 50,000. The move Digitimes understood would be for "testing the water" to see if a market exists for non-Mac versions of the ultraportables.
We review the 11-inch MacBook Air
When questioned about netbooks, Apple's chief operating officer Tim Cook said the company had "a couple of interesting ideas" about tackling a segment that has focused on bargains over speed. We've now seen what was meant by the plurality in that statement: after the iPad, we now have the 11-inch MacBook Air, the smallest Mac ever. But is this Air providing a better direction, or is it simply the closest Apple will ever get to a netbook or a CULV notebook? Our MacBook Air review finds out.
11.6-inch MacBook Air may be cheap but use Core 2
Apple's 11.6-inch MacBook Air has already received a follow-up rumor that suggests the update may have only a modest update to the processor but compensate in nearly every other area. It would still use a Core 2 Duo, possibly like the S series in the existing Air, but would upgrade to the GeForce 320M (MCP89) for a boost to graphics. The lone source talking to CNET, however, mentioned that the price would be "significantly lower" than the $1,499 asking amount of the outgoing 13-inch system.
AMD Zacate chip debuts at IFA
AMD in the wrap-up of the IFA show detailed a new processor based on its Fusion hybrid CPU and graphics combos that would be targeted at a larger class of system than the netbook-oriented Ontario. Zacate will consume twice as much energy at 18W, likely due to a higher clock speed, but will be fast enough to drive ultraportable and budget notebooks as well as all-in-one and small desktops. It will have twin cores based on the Bobcat architecture and should be paired with graphics in the chip that can support DirectX 11 (OpenGL 4) 3D effects, hardware 1080p decoding and OpenCL.
ViewSonic's CULV desktop gets our review
We've witnessed desktops shrinking from the size of an entire room to just incidental additions to the back of a display. ViewSonic's PC Mini line is emblematic of that shift, and our VOT125 review unit measures about the size of a decent deli sandwich and seemingly almost as light. The VOT125 may be the holy grail of tiny computers in terms of size, but we'll find out in a full test if this nettop can deliver a suitable experience along with its tiny packaging.
Sony VAIO Y tested
Sony for a long while was the king of ultraportable notebooks, but the advent of Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors seemingly knocked it off the throne: a thin, low-power notebook no longer demanded a premium price. With the VAIO Y, Sony is hoping to regain that crown, and we'll find out in a full review how close it gets to that mark.
Apple may go to 11in screen, CULV for MacBook Air
Apple is planning a major overhaul of the MacBook Air that could see it competing with budget ultraportable notebooks, a rumor floated by Digitimes Research analyst Mingchi Kuo claims. The system would shrink to an 11.6-inch display and would use ultra-low voltage Core iX processors. In spite of the smaller screen, it would be thinner as well as lighter; the design would be advanced enough that lessons learned from its creation would be rolled into other Macs.
Pentium and dual Atom to replace Celeron
Intel could put an end to the notebook Celeron line entirely by next year, notebook suppliers said on Friday. The chip producer is reportedly ramping down production to where it would drop the mobile Celeron entirely in 2011. It would leave just the dual-core Atom and Pentium to occupy the space, and by its exit, would avoid competing for attention.
Atom N550 outruns CULV, Atom D510 in benchmarks
At Computex, the first netbook with the new dual-core Intel Atom N550 was shown off and proved to be much faster than anticipated. The ASUS Eee PC 1015PN at the show also sported the next-generation NVIDIA Ion GPU and played a 1080p HD movie without hiccups. While the movie was playing, the system showed the processor resources were only at 20 percent of use.
ASUS Eee Pad EP121 and EP101TC launched
ASUS kicked off Computex with the Eee Pad, its first true tablet. The design is closer to a touch-only notebook and theoretically promises a more advanced experience than the iPad it's targeted against: the 12-inch EP121 runs a full Windows 7 OS and uses a CULV Core 2 Duo processor that can provide an Apple-like 10 hours of battery life. Its multi-touch screen can recognize handwriting, a webcam and USB are built-in, and a keyboard dock turns it into a true computer when at home.
Lenovo gets thinner and Phenom II-based IdeaPads
Lenovo became the latest to overhaul its notebook line tonight with two major additions to its IdeaPads. Of the two, the Z series is entirely new and hits at the mainstream, scaling through all of Intel's new Core i3/i5/i7 range and also adding the new mobile Phenom II chip seen first in HP's new Pavilions. They use the new chiclet keys that showed first in newer ThinkPads and a slightly more upscale look as well as the option of Blu-ray.
Sony may have new VAIO P, TZ or X sequel
Sony today teased a new "VAIO New Ultra Mobile" on its Japanese pages. The company provided no clues as to what the new system would entail, including whether it's a sequel to a conventional ultraportable like the VAIO TZ or else a netbook-class device like the VAIO P or VAIO X. Customers are being encouraged to register in advance.
Study shows netbooks, Atom dropping off
Interest in netbooks has slowed dramatically in the first few months of 2010, according to new data from IDC. The number of the mini netbooks shipping grew less than 20 percent in the first quarter of the year and was accompanied by a steep drop in interest for the Atom processors that power them. Intel's shipments of Atoms dropped from just over 24 percent of all notebook processors to 20 percent; the revenue from the chips dropped 19 percent at the same time.
Intel next-gen CULV to use 32nm tech,
Intel has revealed some information about its second-generation Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) platform. Called Intel Celeron U3400, the dual-core, Arrandale 32nm-based chip will be rated at 1.06GHz and have an 18W Thermal Design Power. The CPU is will be meant for notebooks, and thus share basic design elements with the chipmaker's Calpella platform.
Intel to delay next CULV chips due to poor demand
Intel, urged by Acer's halt of production of its ultra-thin notebooks, has delayed launching new ultra-thin notebook processors until the summer, according to unnamed industry sources speaking in a Friday DigiTimes report. Acer will instead focus on building Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 TimelineX ultraportables. Intel may delay the CULV processors even further depending on market demand come summertime, the same sources added.
Acer to release Timeline notebook with Core i5
Acer may soon bring out an expected version of its 11.6-inch Timeline notebook with Intel's Core i5 CPU. Called the the 1830T, it retains a screen resolution of 1366x768, the full size keyboard and very similar weight. It is slightly thinner than the CULV-powered models, and gets a new color. Design details are only slightly changed. The processor is the dual-core i5-520UM, which has a 1.06GHz clock speed that can be bumped up to 1.86GHz during some conditions thanks to Intel's Turbo Boost technology.
Acer would one-up Apple with glass, touch
Acer is designing an exotic notebook that would let it claim the ultra-thin crown through new technology, a rumor from within the notebook industry claims. The system's display would use a new toughened Corning glass that would serve as the entire lid; Acer would just print a color on the back. The display would not only be thinner as a result but would be entirely frameless and potentially less expensive.
Notebooks push 8 hour battery life
Acer at CeBIT unveiled a wide range of new computers including desktop systems, notebooks, and a netbook. The Aspire One 752 netbook integrates an Intel CULV processor and GS45 chipset, rather than the Atom component utilized in the current 751 model. HD video playback and 3D content are handled by Intel's 4500MHD integrated graphics.
Dell's CULV Latitude starts at low price
As it promised last month, Dell today started taking orders for the Latitude 13. The 0.65-inch thick CULV system is now known to be an inexpensive buy and at $559 starts out with a 1.3GHz Celeron M, Ubuntu Linux, 1GB of RAM and 802.11g Wi-Fi. Every version comes with a six-cell battery, although Dell hasn't said how long the battery should last.
Acer to bring out Calpella Slim notebooks
Acer is planning on releasing ultra-thin notebooks powered by Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 chips this spring. Less than an inch thick at some points, the notebooks will have 13-, 14- and 15-inch screens and be manufactured by Wistron and Quanta Computer. According to sources in the industry, once these models are released, Acer will drop prices of its current ultra-thin notebooks to further differentiate the two lines, with the new notebooks becoming the flagship.
Namesake laptop will be shown at CeBit in March
German computer maker Smartbook AG will introduce a new thin-and-light computer at the upcoming CeBit show in March. Despite its name, the Smartbook Logo unusually has nothing to do with the emerging "smartbook" category. It will instead edge toward full-featured notebook models with a 11.6-inch, 1366x768 display, an Intel CULV processor, 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. It will also have an HDMI output and run Windows 7 Home Premium. Smartbook AG's PC is still light at just under 3 pounds.
ViewSonic ViewBook Pro VNB131 official
ViewSonic today began shipping the ViewBook Pro VNB131, its first CULV-based ultraportable. The 13-inch system shown at CES is targeted at the high-end of the new category and comes in an aluminum body with a multi-touch trackpad. In a rarity, it carries a built-in DVD burner and 8 hours of battery life despite weighing 3.6 pounds and measuring about 1 inch thick.
LG launches two ultraportables in Korea
LG on Monday formally rolled out two ultralight XNOTE PCs in its home country of Korea. Topping these, the T280 is one of LG's first CULV-based notebooks and fits either a 1.3GHz Pentium dual-core or Core 2 Duo underneath a 11.6-inch display. LG doesn't supply battery life claims to match the low-voltage processors, but it does promise a relatively light 3.06-pound weight and a 1.2-inch or thinner profile.
Enterprise features distinguish Latitude 13
Dell has announced the Latitude 13, a thin-and-light notebook with a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display and all the enterprise features in its Latitude line. Although it shares the same 0.65in-thick aluminum case as the Vostro 13, the Latitude 13 will include a wider range of Intel's CULV processors, and other enterprise IT features designed to appeal to larger companies. Among these are a preinstalled Cytrix client, automated system image distribution for software updates, and recovery services favored by corporate IT departments.
PC builders pushing back against netbooks
Netbooks are about to face stiff resistance from many of the companies that touted them just last year, Avian Securities said in a research note on Tuesday. Analysts at the firm still expect netbook sales to rise, from 37 million in 2009 to 47 million this year, but that notebooks will leap from 140 million to 180 million in the same span. The fourfold larger growth would come from PC builders trying to drive customers to more expensive regular notebooks after frustration at the low profit margins of netbooks.
HP EliteBook 2740p could ship in spring
HP may finally have an update for its older EliteBook tablet in store, as an inadvertent post by Michigan's Mercy High School has potentially spoiled the PC builder's plans. The unisex school is planning a computer bundle that will give students an EliteBook 2740p tablet despite knowing the system won't ship until spring. Other than confirming that it will remain a pro notebook, the EliteBook doesn't get additional hardware details.
VAIO Y light, reasonably fast, but not premium
Sony's only completely unique notebook launched at CES was the VAIO Y, and accordingly we took time at CES to both get added details as well as to try it ourselves. It's the Japanese giant's first system using Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors and is designed to be reasonably light (4 pounds) and thin (1.2 inches) while still including a 13.3-inch screen and a long-lived battery at a reasonable price. At the show, we checked to see if this mix is likely to bear fruit.
Gateway EC14D and EC58 arrive for CES
Gateway's presence at CES is being marked by the launch of two new EC notebooks running Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) platform. The EC14D is Gateway's first CULV system to include its own DVD burner. While slightly thicker at one end as well as heavier (3.55lbs. versus 3.08), the drive is seen as an ideal option for college students or travelers that may either need or want to watch DVD movies or burn a disc of their own.
ASUS UL30Vt-A1 gets bigger battery, now on Amazon
A new Intel CULV-powered notebook from ASUS, the UL30Vt-A1, can now be pre-ordered on Amazon. The 13.3-inch differs from previously revealed versions of the UL30Vt in that it comes in silver and has a larger-capacity 8-cell, 5,600mAh battery. It gets the same 1.3GHz Intel dual-core CPU and can be optioned with up to 4GB of RAM. Graphics are handled by NVIDIA's 512MB GeForce G 210M and Intel's own integrated GMA 4500.
Sony VAIO Y, new CW F S and Z show early
At least some of Sony's notebook plans for CES have been spoiled in advance today courtesy of a slew of retail listings online. Of the mix, the VAIO Y11 is the only completely new design but is Sony's first notebook using Intel's CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors. The 13.3-inch portable uses a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo and promises to be relatively fast and thin in the category, partly by omitting an optical drive.
Sony TT ultraportable returns in Japan
Despite shutting down its traditional ultraportable line worldwide in favor of netbooks like the VAIO P, W and X, Sony today quietly resurrected the VAIO TT in its home country. The new model reflects the modern reality and uses significantly less expensive Intel CULV-based processors across most of the line. Customers can go to as basic a chip as the 1.2GHz Celeron as well as 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo models.
Acer TravelMate Timeline series kicks off
Acer chose a last-minute introduction for its first ever pro-focused CULV notebooks and today launched the 8371, 8471 and 8571 all emphasize relatively high speed and battery life with Core 2 Duos and as much as 8 hours of battery life even as they measure just over 1.1 inches thick. Acer also claims a relatively light weight of 3.5 pounds even for the largest systems.
NVIDIA Ion 2 due February or March
NVIDIA on Wednesday confirmed the development of a sequel to its Ion chipset but set expectations for its release. Calling it only the "next-generation Ion," representatives explained during a conference call that the hardware is in progress but won't be formally unveiled at CES next month. While some partners will likely show systems based on the new chipset at the Las Vegas expo, a formal unveiling isn't slated until sometime later in the first quarter of the year.
X-Slim X350 uses magnesium, special etching
MSI began the week by moving the X-Slim line up in build quality, not just performance. The X350 still uses Intel's CULV-based Core 2 Duo processors but has both a magnesium shell as well as a laser-etched pattern and a 'chiclet' keyboard. It remains just under an inch thick, weighs 3.3 pounds and can run for as long as 9 hours on battery.
Acer adds Dell, Intel, HP hurting the market
Ultra-thin notebooks are the future but are being hampered by Dell, HP and even Intel itself, Acer chairman JT Wang said on Wednesday. He fully expects these systems, combined with longer battery life, to become a major trend but believes Dell and HP have 'spoiled' the segment by dropping the prices of regular notebooks to $399, discouraging shoppers from picking up the more portable systems. They also do little to promote the slimmer notebooks themselves.
Dell Vostro V13 uses CULV, Linux option
Dell has followed up on its tease from last evening by formally launching the Vostro V13. As hinted, the 13-inch aluminum system is as thick as an Adamo (0.65in) but lighter (3.5 pounds) and should cost much less through its use of Intel's CULV platform: it runs on a 10W Celeron, Core 2 Solo or Core 2 Duo that should give it long battery life, although Dell hasn't given an estimate for its useful uptime.
Dell Vostro V13 thinner than Air, 33% price
Dell tonight provided an early look at a potentially major addition to its Vostro work PCs. The V13 is meant as a budget alternative to an Adamo and measures just as thin at 0.65 inches, but actually weighs less at 3.5 pounds. Room is still available for one each of eSATA, Ethernet, USB and a card reader, though video output is VGA-only instead of the more luxurious system's DisplayPort.
ASUS UL30Vt mixes CULV, GeForce G 210M
ASUS has quietly staked out a claim to the fastest CULV-based ultraportable by adding the UL30Vt to its stable. The system takes the familiar 13.3-inch display and 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo of the original version but adds a GeForce G 210M. The gesture lets the under 1-inch thick PC handle HD video and some modern 3D but includes a switchable graphics system that optionally reverts to the more miserly Intel GMA 4500 graphics when the system is running on battery power.
AMD plans unified CPU/GPU by 2011
AMD in its annual analyst event provided details of some of its future processors and platforms. The highlight for the semiconductor firm is "Bulldozer," a major revision for both desktops and notebooks that should be much more efficient at multithreaded codethan existing designs. It will be particularly optimized for pairing with graphics chipsets and will be supplemented by "Bobcat," a variant of Bulldozer tailored to ultraportables.
Lenovo ThinkPad X100e may reach CES
Lenovo's rumored ThinkPad netbook will launch at the start of the next year, a leak today says. It's now purportedly named the ThinkPad X100e and may ship on January 5th, just ahead of CES. System specs are only guessed at but may not necessarily cling to the Atoms found in the IdeaPads; instead, it's speculated that Lenovo may use either Intel's CULV processors or an AMD Athlon Neo.
Lenovo ThinkPad netbook spotted
An image of what is believed to be an upcoming Lenovo ThinkPad netbook, the x200e, has surfaced online. While the company has only said it's considering the concept, the leak suggests the computer is real and appears to have a cosmetically different form factor and that it may still use Windows XP.
Intel Pine Trail to double RAM, drop prices
Some of Intel's Pine Trail Atoms will finally escape Intel's 1GB RAM cap for netbooks even as they drop prices, a series of leaks have indicated in the past day. While the chip maker will still officially limit certain Atoms to 1GB of memory, the 1.83GHz Atom N470 will reportedly allow running 2GB of RAM. The limit should provide a large jump in performance for small systems, particularly those with more demanding operating systems like Windows 7.
Lenovo upgrades Idea PCs for Windows 7
Lenovo today sparked life in its IdeaCentre desktops and IdeaPad notebooks by refreshing them for Windows 7 and adding a few completely new models. The IdeaCentre B500 is one of the few all-in-one PCs built for gamers and high-end media use with both a Core 2 Quad, unnamed but dedicated graphics and a built-in JBL speaker system. It also brings a 23-inch 1080p display, 1TB of disk space and a motion remote for an unspecified price.
Lenovo shipping 11.6-inch IdeaPad U150 in Japan
Lenovo has officially launched a new 11.6-inch IdeaPad notebook in Japan, the U150. The portable is one of Lenovo's first CULV systems and runs a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 2GB of RAM. Making the CPU upgrade gives it a faster GMA 4500 graphics core that can better handle the 1366x768 native output. A 250GB hard drive is standard fare, and the IdeaPad is one of Lenovo's first with Windows 7 to come stock.
Dell bring Inspiron 13z to Australia, Japan
Dell has brought its Inspiron 13z notebook to Australia and Japan, both with Windows 7. While basic specs differ slightly between the two offerings, buyers still get a 13.3-inch, 1366x768 resolution, LED-backlit screen and a choice of Intel's CULV processors.
ViewSonic intros Viewbook CULV notebook range
ViewSonic has recently unveiled some of its first portables above the netbook class in its Viewbook series. The 12.1-inch VB120, 13.3-inch VB130 and 14-inch VB140 Pro are all powered by Intel's CULV chips, with the VB120 getting a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM. It also has a 250GB hard drive preloaded with Windows 7.
Acer AS1410 brings CULV to Aspire line
Acer on Tuesday chose to grow its use of Intel's CULV processors beyond the Timeline series and in one of its first Aspire updates. The Aspire 1410 is one of the least expensive CULV systems of any kind and will reach $400 thanks to its use of a 1.2GHz, single-core Celeron. Picking the processor still gives the 11.6-inch system six hours of battery life, a one-inch thick chassis and a weight just under 3.1 pounds.
Gateway EC notebooks reach US with Win 7
Gateway today entered the market for Intel CULV portables in earnest by launching its EC series in the US. Previously seen in Canada, the line is a rebadge and re-spec of Acer's Timeline and is highlighted by the EC14. The 11.6-inch system weighs just under 3.8 pounds and uses either single-core Celeron, dual-core Celeron or dual-core Pentium CULV chips to outrun netbooks while still getting as much as eight hours of battery life.
Fujitsu LifeBook P3010, P3110 ready
Fujitsu has opted for an unusual end-of-week introduction for a pair of new notebooks in its LifeBook mix. The P3010 and P3110 are the company's first netbook/notebook crossovers and have 11.6-inch screens as well as a long 6.7-hour battery life that can be pushed to 7.2 with an eco mode toggle. They also borrow a technique from Apple that will share a DVD drive on the local network to read or burn discs instead of having to use a physically attached USB optical drive.
ASUS prices, dates UL notebooks for the UK
ASUS has recently announced pricing and a release date for its previously announced UnLimited (UL) series of notebooks for the UK. Two of the three models will ship to the country's retail electronics stores on October 22nd. This includes the 13.3-inch UL30 and
two variations of the 15.6-inch UL50, the UL50AG and UL50VG. There is no word on the 14-inch UL80, however. All three use Intel's CULV processors and some are claimed to provide up to 12 hours of battery life.