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COMPUTEX Taipei 2011: ASUS are set to raise the bar with their Republic of Gamers line with a bunch of new products. Take a deep breath right about now... because you're going to need it! First up, we have the ASUS ROG G74Sx 3D Gaming notebook. This notebook is a high-performance notebook for gamers on the go, it features clean, angular lines that of which nothing less than a damn stealth fighter jet has, and the power to match thanks to Intel's amazing Sandy Bridge architecture.
NVIDIA fills out the graphics quota of the G74Sx notebook with a GTX 560M chip that will allow great frame rates at the native 1920x1080 Full HD resolution as well as NVIDIA 3D Vision which allows playback of 3D Bluray movies and 3D Vision-compatible games. ASUS have gone one-up on this notebook by using an innovative thermal design that features twin fans to draw cool air from the front of the case whilst two rear exhausts help by expelling warm out the rear.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 - Earlier on today we stopped by the GIGABYTE meeting rooms on the 36th floor of Taipei 101 where we spoke to Nick from the notebook department.
He gave us a quick rundown and hands-on with the upcoming M2432 that is due to go on sale later this summer. This is a 14-inch laptop running a Core i5 processor and it comes with all the goodies such as USB 3.0 and HDMI. It weighs in at 1.8kg and is rather thin, too.
Nothing against the notebook itself, but what really makes the package special is the included docking station that it comes with. Idea being, when you are on the road, you don't need intensive graphics so the onboard Intel HD graphics suffice and once you dock you are automatically switched over to the NVIDIA GT440 graphics. Mind you, the dock also includes HDMI and DVI output, six extra USB 2.0 ports and gigabit LAN.
Watch the video above for a good look at what is to come from the M2432 later on this year. No details on pricing at this stage of the game.
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011: NVIDIA have refreshed their notebook graphics by introducing the GeForce GTX560M. Dubbed as a no-compromise DX11 1080p gaming solution, could we finally be seeing the day where notebooks will be capable of 1080p gaming at decent frame rates? The GPU includes NVIDIA's staple high-end features such as DX11, PhysX tech, support for 3D Vision and SLI and of course Optimus technology on gaming notebooks from Toshiba and Alienware.
Most notebook manufacturers will pump the 560M now, including ASUS, Alienware, MSI and Toshiba. Be sure to check the link out as there's a competition running where you could win an ASUS G74sx GeForce GTX 560M-powered 3D gaming notebook!
Dell have finally released their aimed-at-the-Apple-MacBook-Pro notebook in the form of the Dell XPS 15z, a 15-inch, powerhouse of a system that looks virtually identical to the stylish-yet-expensive MacBook Pro. Dell's XPS 15z starts at a decent $999 and can be ordered today. The XPS 15z features both Core i5 and Core i7 options from the second-generation Core architecture, weighs in at 5.54 pounds and is under an inch thick.
Dell is making claims that it is the thinnest 15-inch PC on the market (key word there being PC). Display options come in the form of 1366x768 standard or the option of upgrading to a 1920x1080 screen. The XPS 15z can be optioned with 8GB of RAM and features the Intel HM67 chipset. Two GPUs are on the block here, the GeForce GT 525M with Optimus technology including 1GB of RAM. For those who want some oomph in gaming performance, the same GPU is offered but with 2GB of RAM.
Apple is set to inject their ultra-thin MacBook Air range with some Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt goodness come this June/July. The refreshed models will bring the Air range in line with the Sandy Bridge-refreshed MacBook Pro and iMac range that have just recently been updated. DigiTimes is citing industry sources saying that the supply chain makers for the new models remain the same.
Quanta Computer doing assembly work, Catcher Technology supplying casings and Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying the batteries. The refresh should cause quite the stir as it'll give Apple the much needed speed boost in their ultra-thin notebook line at the same time as winking toward competitors like Dell and Samsung who are tripping over themselves trying to compete.
In case you missed the Google I/O Livestream and the coverage by every online tech blog in the world, here's what Google posted on their blog yesterday, as well as some great video including a Chromebook promo and the Day 2 Keynote where they announced it:
A little less than two years ago we set out to make computers much better. Today, we're announcing the first Chromebooks from our partners, Samsung and Acer. These are not typical notebooks. With a Chromebook you won't wait minutes for your computer to boot and browser to start. You'll be reading your email in seconds. Thanks to automatic updates the software on your Chromebook will get faster over time. Your apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents will be accessible wherever you are and you won't need to worry about losing your computer or forgetting to back up files. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don't need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G, just like your phone, you'll have the web when you need it. Chromebooks have many layers of security built in so there is no anti-virus software to buy and maintain. Even more importantly, you won't spend hours fighting your computer to set it up and keep it up to date.
Google I/O 2011: Subscriptions for laptops, eh? Sounds like mobile phones but, for a laptop. This is a grand step for Google as they're now going to be snapping at the heels of the old-school big boys and the old hand shakes in dark alley companies such as IBM, Dell, etc. Chromebook is to not be mistaken as a Windows or OS X-based solution, Google is grabbing one hand on the internet and cloud-based solutions such as GMail, Docs, Calendar and with the other hand, firmly squeezing the notebook market and by the power of greyskull (or something like that) they've infused these two sections of the IT market and created Chromebook.
But, that's just the beginning, using a subscription-based model, Google can sell these Chromebook's on the cheap and get into the market faster than corporations, companies or schools dumping $1000 or $2000 per machine. How will the subscriptions work? Enterprise users will pay $28 per user, education users are $20 per user. Customers will enter a three-year contract if they want to take on that pricing model - three years sounds like a long time but for business and educational use, is there a need for more power over time?
Google I/O 2011: Google are set to announce a new Chrome laptop in a $20 a month "student package" which includes both hardware and online services. Google are striking while the iron is hot as it would go hand in hand with their Google Apps which is a Microsoft Office-like suite of products that is sold to businesses for $50 a year. Bundle this with a super-inexpensive Chrome laptop and market it like mobile phones are and it could be a money-making machine for Google.
Having students have access to laptops that are cheaper than buying a laptop for school is a big thing for Google. Right now even a cheap netbook is still a few hundred dollars, but even a part-time working student could very easily afford $20 a month for a Chrome-based laptop.
Deal of the Day: Toshiba 15.6" Satellite C650D-ST3NX2 Laptop with AMD E-240 Processor, 3GB Memory, 250GB HD, ATI Graphics, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Webcam, and More for $329!
Our Deal of the Day today is the Toshiba - 15.6" Satellite C650D-ST3NX2 Laptop with AMD E-240 Processor, 3GB Memory, 250GB HD, ATI Graphics, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Webcam, and More for $329!.
Offer: Use coupon code: COUPONST for an additional $30 off the already discounted price of the Toshiba Satellite C650D-ST3NX2 laptop ($120 instant discount), taking the price down to just $329! This 15.6" LED equipped laptop includes a 1.5Ghz AMD E-Series E240 processor, 3GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 6310 Graphics, 8x DVD+/-RW DL, 802.11b/g/n wireless, Webcam, 6-cell LiOh battery, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, and a 1 year warranty. Coupon code expires 5/9/11 or after a limited number of redemptions.
Finally! After what seems like a very long time of little press or word from Google as to when Chrome OS netbooks would start hitting the shelves, Engadget discovered, interestingly enough, a bug report for the Samsung version on the Chromium Google Group.
The bug report lists components and implementations like a 1.5GHz dual-core Atom N550, SanDisk SSD P4 (size TBA), and 2GB RAM, a Qualcomm Gobi 2000 3G card, Bluetooth, WiFi, webcam, and a Synaptics touchpad. (Code)Named "Alex", this Samsung notebook will most likely launch in the next couple months. Then again, Google I/O is in two weeks, so who would be that surprised if the official announcement came then?
Bug report, photo courtesy of Engadget