HP 550 Notebook
HP without fanfare today introduced the 550, the newest generation of its entry-level pro notebooks. The refresh is based on Intel's earlier Santa Rosa platform but skews performance higher than often expected in the class, with a 1.73GHz Celeron dual-core available as an option and unusual 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo chips sitting at the top end. A 1.73GHz single-core Celeron is still an option for low-demand users.
MacBook Pro video glitches
Owners of Santa Rosa-based MacBook Pros are suffering from video failures, reports claim. Victims say that the problem arises after waking or rebooting a Pro, at which point the computer may suddenly stop displaying video, whether on its native LCD or an attached monitor. Debugging is said to have revealed that the issue is with misidentified graphics chipsets -- rather than acknowledging their dedicated GeForce 8600M GT cards, Pros may be treating them as integrated X3100 chipsets.
iMac CPU Origins
The 3.06GHz processor and fellow chips in Apple's new iMacs are part of a special run of Intel's existing technology rather than an early introduction of Centrino 2 technology, Intel has confirmed with Electronista. Although the processors match the same core clock rates and 1,066MHz system bus speeds as those for the upcoming platform, the processors are now known to be unlisted speed grades that include special support for the faster bus speeds (up from 800MHz).
Deals on 2G Nano, MBP
Apple has second-generation iPod Nanos and several versions of the Santa Rosa-powered MacBook Pros on clearance in the online store. The silver 2GB iPod nano can store upwards of 500 songs, and is capable of displaying pictures, but not video content, as is the case with the third generation Nano. The iPod nanos come with Apple earphones and a USB dock cable, and are currently available from the online store for $100.
Intel Phasing Out Old Core
Intel is planning to ramp down production of its now-old Core 2 processors quickly to make room for Centrino 2, notebook manufacturers say. Rather than gradually shut down production of the old chips, the semiconductor firm intends to make the new, faster platform the dominant platform virtually on launch. While its current platform (nicknamed Santa Rosa) is expected to make up about 60 percent of all notebook platform sales for the first quarter of the year, that number will plunge to about 35 percent during the spring as Centrino 2 and its accompanying processors reach the market.
SFF Intel CPU Launch Leak
Details have surfaced about the final specs and pricing of Intel's first small form factor Montevina platform processors for notebooks that point to the first likely upgrade for the MacBook Air as well as for future ultraportables, say notebook builders. The slip confirms earlier claims and points to two low voltage processors that are now known to be the most likely candidates for the upgrade. The 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo SL9300 and the 1.86GHz SL9400 will be close in clock speed to the existing 1.6GHz and 1.8GHz processors but should still boost performance while reducing the power draw.