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Intel's Ultrabook quest is really just beginning, 40 touchscreen Win8-based Ultrabooks for 2013, SoC for PC coming in 2013, too
Intel's Ultrabook Symposium starts tomorrow in Taipei, but Netbook News have sat down with Navin Shenoy, Vice President of Intel Architecture Group and General Manager of Mobile Client Platform before the event starts, to talk about various topics before the event itself.
Shenoy has confirmed that there are 140 Ultrabook designs, with only 35 of these being seen by the public. As of next month, we should expect sub-$700 Ultrabooks, across the Ultrabook board, with more than one model. One of the biggest nuggets of information here is that there are set to be 40 Windows 8-based Ultrabooks with Touch launching in Q4 of this year.
This means before the end of this year, and the end of Mayan long-count calender (and all the doom associated with it), Intel are Microsoft (and various partners) are set to unleash 40 Ultrabooks with touch screens, which is exciting news. Intel's fourth-generation Core processor, Haswell, is destined for the 22nm process, and will be the first System-on-Chip (SoC) for PC. Shenoy pointed out that the idle power consumption of Haswell will be 20 times less than Ivy Bridge, this in itself is an amazing achievement. Haswell is also said to not just be an incremental step forward, but a giant leap in performance.
Even though Power Nap was one of the features Apple talked about post-release of their next-gen OS Mountain Lion, which was released two days ago now, it was missing from the release itself.
Apple today rolled out a new SMC update, which adds Power Nap to recent, compatible MacBooks. Power Nap enables a low-power state which provides just a very small amount of power to periodically download new e-mail, notifications, sync calendars, reminds, contacts and more.
If the MacBook is on AC power, the power state also allows the downloading and installing of security updates, backups, indexing and other battery-draining tasks, all while pretending its having a nap. During these tasks, a Power Nap-enabled MacBook will appear as though its just sitting there on standby, but between those updates and checks, the system will effectively be asleep.
MSI, a manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, has updated two laptops, the GT60 and GT70, with the NVIDIA GTX 680M, which just happens to be the fastest mobile GPU to date. The laptops also sport some other incredible specifications which turn these rigs into a powerhouse gaming rig.
The two rigs also include a Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor, Killer E2200 Game Network, Dynaudio Tech speakers with THX Surround Sound and SteelSeries Programmable Backlit Keyboard. "The addition of NVIDIA's latest GPU adds the extra power to boost the already acclaimed G Series over the top," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. "MSI is committed to the gaming community and we believe that exceptional gaming experience and performance start with outstanding components."
The flagship 17-inch model GT70 0NE-276US also comes with 16 GB of DDR3 at 1600 MHz, two 128 GB of SSD storage at RAID 0 with 750 GB of additional HDD storage, Blu-ray Burner, Gold Flashed Audio ports with Headset AMP, 3 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports to ensure maximum performance. Pricing on these machines are well over $1,000.
Earlier this year, Dell launched an experiment to see if they could build a compelling Linux laptop for software developers. It was called Project Sputnik, and infused an XPS 13 Ultrabook with Ubuntu 12.04.
The software environment is tailored for developers, where it features a bunch of useful tools and a framework for automating the installation of specific development stacks and cloud deployment tools. Dell also worked on hardware enablement, where they tweaked drivers which improved touchpad support, as well as adding support for toggling Wi-Fi from the keyboard.
Project Sputnik was a six-month pilot program, where Dell would evaluate the potential of turning the concept into a real product. This week, Dell announced that it will proceed with the project. Sputnik is destined to take-off later this year, and will be available to consumers in selected markets. Dell are also going to be using developer feedback into the product itself.
Dell marketing director Barton George said in a statement:
Since we announced project Sputnik a little over two months ago, we have continued to be amazed by the amount and quality of interest and input we have received. By listening to developers, Dell can provide them with solutions and products to help make them more productive and allow for greater innovation.
Our friends over at Netbook News have just received a shiny new Acer Aspire One 756 notebook, which is an 11.6-inch device powered by Intel's surprisingly quick Celeron 877 processor. Netbook News report that the Aspire One 756 actually scores significantly better performance than a netbook sporting an Intel Atom processor, with a Windows Experience Index score of 4.4!
They report that Windows 7 boots up in a snappy 25 seconds, and since it's priced at just $330 on Amazon, Netbook News call it "the new netbook". I concur, because at that price, for a faster machine, how can you complain?
They've also provided an unboxing video, which goes into much more nitty-gritty details, if that's what you're into. They go over the Aspire One 756 and compare it to some of the previous generation Acer netbooks.
The Retina display-powered MacBook Pro is out in 15-inch, but what of the smaller 13-inch model? Well, it appears that unverified benchmarks of an unreleased MacBook Pro model running an unreleased build of Mountain Lion ended up in the logs of benchmarking tool, Geekbench.
The new non-Retina 13-inch MBP has the model identifier "MacBookPro9,2", while the 5-inch non-Retina model is "MacBookPro9,1" and the corresponding Retina model is "MacBookPro10,1". Of course, the machine name for the MacBookPro10,2 could have been faked, but the information listed on the Geekbench result is pretty consistent with what would be expected from a new 13-inch MBP.
The unreleased machine is, according to the Geekbench results, running a 2.9GHz Intel Core i7-3520M, and runs Built 12A2056 of OS X Mountain Lion. We should hear more of a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro in the coming months once we get closer to its launch.
We reported on the Retina Display-powered MacBook Pros from Apple, where some have been experiencing screen ghosting issues, as well as the resolution of the screen itself not running at the advertised 2880x1800. But now Apple have published a FAQ on the matter, dealing with questions regarding the rMRP's.
Within the FAQ, Apple mentions a fix for some programs that aren't running in the high-resolution mode, tips for working with multiple displays, and they address concerns over Boot Camp and other multi-boot environments. It will be a while until more program support the 2880x1800 res, so until then there will be situations where some programs look weird, or have odd artifacts.
Apple's new Retina-powered MacBook Pros may be experiencing screen ghosting, according to some comments from Apple's community forums, YouTube, and long-time Mac pros (not the system, but users).
Lloyd Chambers, whose Mac Performance Guide website for pro photographers and "performance addicts" has shown a photo of the ghosting problem. Chambers wrote on his website:
A latest image 'burns in' to the desktop when a window is left on screen. This has now happened repeatedly. The problem occurs in as little as 20 minutes; close the window and the desktop is left with a latent image; a ghost image of whatever text or graphic was in the window left on screen.
Whereas, on Apple's support site, user "Aut0maticdan" writes:
Hey, those of you having this issue, I'd love to know what part of the screen your burn-in occurs.
I was messing with it last night and the mark goes from the bottom to about an inch above the bottom of the screen. Its about two inches wide above the F8, F9, F10 keys. ... I didn't notice it until I changed my desktop background to be a solid color, but its also noticeable in apps like Aperture.
Apple's latest MacBook Pro may feature that gorgeous 2880x1800 resolution with it being dubbed 'Retina display', but it seems that the notebook doesn't run that high resolution by default. The new Retina MacBook Pro (or rMBP) uses the screens extra pixels to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440x900 resolution.
The result of this? All windows and user interface elements all appear to have the same relative size as the rMBP's predecessor with the 15-inch 1440x900 display, but with 400-percent more detail. If owners of the new rMBP wish to use a high resolution, then you can go to System Preferences and select a different resolution, all the way up to 1920x1200.
Those who want even more screen real estate, ranging up to the eye-busting 2880x1800 will have to use a workaround that is, wait for it, not authorized by Apple. Macworld reports that in order to get to the 2880x1800 resolution, you'll need to use either a third-party app like the paid SwitchResX, or one of a number of free options suhc as Change Resolution.
Personally, I think Apple should note this to their users, as it is probably the selling point of the entire Retina-powered MacBook Pro.
If the latest refresh of Apple's MacBook Pro weren't tasty enough with their Retina display running 2880x1800, then the news of the notebook being capable of driving three external displays simultaneously should excite you.
Other World Computing posted the above picture on their blog showing off a Retina display-powered MBP hooked up to two iMacs, serving as Thunderbolt displays, with a third monitor plugged in through HDMI. This gives us four screens, with a total of 15,680,000 pixels.
OWC Mike seemed impressed with the results and performance of the MacBook Pro, saying:
Moving images and media didn't create any lag and we were able to play video on all four displays simultaneously.
Now that is impressive.