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Following Sony's unveiling of their impressively compact VAIO P series note(net?)book last week, the folks at Akihabara News managed to get hold of one and take some very nicely presented pictures to help better see what makes its somewhat hefty price tag a bit more warranted.
It may not quite fit in a pocket as Sony so boldly claimed, but at a mere 636 grams with equally impressive dimensions, as well as the extensive feature-set, there's no doubt it's going to gain quite a big happy crowd of buyers.
You can view the rest of the pics here.
Sony has taken the wraps off its latest VAIO P series notebook today, or I should perhaps say netbook. Weighing in at a mere 636 grams, this is said to be the world's lightest 8-inch notebook released to date.
The ultra-wide LCD runs at a resolution of up to 1600x768 and the power behind it is based around Intel's Menlow platform in which Sony has opted for a slower 1.33GHz Atom to further assist in overall efficiency. They have, however chosen to equip the notebook with 2GB of RAM and the choice of a 60GB mechanical HDD or 128GB SSD.
Battery life is said to be in the ballpark of 4 hrs with the standard battery, whilst an option for a larger battery can keep it running for up to 8 hours. Other features of the VAIO P series include HSDPA, 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth connectivity options, Memory Stick Pro, MMC and SD card expansion slots, two USB 2.0 ports (one on each side), headphone jack, display and ethernet ports and webcam with mic.
Pricing for the P-series VAIOs begins at a hefty $899USD; you can read more details on it within the PR here folks.
LAS VEGAS (CES Booth #14200), Jan. 7, 2009 - Sony today took the wraps off the world's lightest 8-inch notebook- the new VAIO® P Series Lifestyle PC.
About the size of a business envelope and roughly as thin as a cell phone, the VAIO Lifestyle PC weighs just 1.4 pounds and is small enough to slip into a jacket pocket or handbag while integrating full-PC features.
The model incorporates a high-resolution, 1600 x 768, LED backlit 8-inch ultra-wide display (diagonal), making it easy to view everything from entire spreadsheets to full web pages- no side-to-side scrolling necessary. It also incorporates Sony's XBRITE-ECO LCD technology, producing images in brilliant detail for razor-sharp viewing on-the-go.
ASUS had today announced the first notebooks to make use of AMD's ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4600 series GPUs, also released today.
The two models include ASUS' N81Vp and N51Tp and along with leveraging the latest in GPU technology, they also include other advanced features in the way of efficiency with the use of the Super Hybrid Engine (SHE) being said to preserve battery life by up to 35% more than standard notebooks running identical specs. The built-in Express Gate operating system is also implemented along with ASUS' SmartLogon facial recognition system.
Briefing over the Mobility Radeon HD 4600 series GPUs, these are DX10.1 based which offer performance closely equivilent to HD 3850 desktop models. You can read full details about the new Mobility series of GPUs here.
ASUS official PR on the new N series notebooks can be found here.
ASUS is proud to announce the world's first notebooks equipped with the AMD ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4600 Series GPU-the ASUS N81Vp and N51Tp. These notebooks will leverage the new GPU technology to deliver astounding multimedia experiences for discerning consumers. Furthermore, each N Series notebook also comes with innovative technological developments such as the highly-efficient Super Hybrid Engine (SHE), the built-in Express Gate operating system and the SmartLogon facial recognition system.
Freescale has had an Epiphany. They have come to the sudden realization that a netbook is just that, a netbook. It is not meant to play HD content nor is it meant to run Crysis it is meant to perform the relatively simple and routine tasks of getting on the internet, checking e-mail and office productivity work.
Now we all know that netbooks are not meant to be powerhouses; that is not the revelation that Freescale has had. What they have found is that your average smart phone could double as a netbook in term of processing and GPU power.
This has lead them to consider making an ARM based netbook to challenge Intel dominance in this new market.
Read more here.
"People do prefer Windows and that environment," Burchers said. "I believe there will be good-better-best categories where for Intel and for Windows a user will pay a premium in price and in battery life. We want to replace the traditional Windows environment. There are iPhones; people don't ask, why can't it run the same [programs] on my iPhone? It's a different device from my computer."
At its heart, the i.MX51 is designed around a 1-GHz Cortex A8 core, ARM's most powerful, offering 1.8 times more performance per MHz than the ARM 11 core and roughly 3 times the processor performance of an iPhone, Burchers said. Because the Cortex is an integrated core, with its peripherals built into the chip, the company believes that between 6 to 8 millimeters can be shaved off of the thickness of a netbook, versus an Atom processor, he said.
A number of dedicated cores surround the main processor, allowing the processor to offload tasks that normally the core would have to process by brute force: a vector DSP unit runs MP3 playback, while OpenGL and Open VG cores process 3D and 2D graphics, respectively. Adobe recently said that it had ported its Flash technology to the OpenVG engine, meaning that the Cortex processor has dedicated hardware support for Flash-powered Web sites, which other architectures lack, he said.
MSI has officially released what is being claimed as the world's first hybrid storage netbook today; the U115 Hybrid. The way it works is there is both an SSD and a larger capacity HDD inside; the SSD (choice of 8 or 16GB) holds the operating system (Windows XP Home) and the 120 or 160GB hard disk can be used for regular content (music, documents, movies etc.). The netbook will power down the standard hard disk when not in use so as to prolong battery life.
Other features of the U115 include a 10" LCD with a resolution of up to 1024x600, 3 or 6 cell battery, WiFi and Ethernet connectivity, 4-in-1 card reader, optional Bluetooth and 1.3 or 2.0MP webcam, whilst keeping to a weight of no more than 1Kg with dimensions of 260x180x31.5mm
As far as the base platform goes, it's powered by Intel's 1.6GHz Z530 Atom processor on the Poulsbo US15W chipset.
The netbook is being expected to hit stores sometime in January. No mention of pricing yet. You can read more about the U115 and view its spec sheet within the official announcement here folks.
-Taipei-MSI today announces U115 Hybrid. The very first notebook computer in the world that is capable of operating both SSD and HDD hard drives simultaneously, combining all the features of SSD and HDD in the U115 Hybrid for your enjoyment.
With MSI Exclusive Hybrid Storage Technology, in the "ECO on" mode, the battery life of U115 Hybrid is super long *. This amazing battery life can escalate the mobility and the productiveness of the U115 Hybrid, which can also make your daily lives much more convenient.
Sony in New Zealand has just finished constructing a teaser site for an extra special VAIO series notebook they plan to release on January 9.
Sony are keeping it under tight wraps for the time being and we're not really sure what will set it apart from the rest of their VAIO range. However, Sony makes a very bold and somewhat intriguing claim on the site that it will change the way we look at laptops, forever. There's also a link running off the site that allows you to enter a draw to win one of these revolutionary new VAIOs.
Perhaps it's set to become the world's thinnest laptop or reaches a new milestone in battery life. But we can only speculate at this stage. We'll bring you more info as it comes to light folks.
You know the netbook was originally meant to be used as an ultra portable system that you could perform some basic tasks on. I can imagine developers thinking of a small 7-8" screen that had good enough graphics for document, presentation and internet browsing.
Now it seems that is not good enough for nVidia, they would like to enable high definition content on the netbook and push sizes up to 12" and beyond. This new push may soon leave Intel out as nVidia aims to push a replacement for the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 in the form of its 9400M.
Things could get ugly very soon according to Cnet
Read more here.
And here's where it gets nasty: chipsets. Apple serves as a perfect example of why it may get rough and tumble and what's at stake. In the newest MacBooks, Nvidia not only seized graphics turf from Intel but took the chipset socket too. Intel was relegated to supplying only the processor. That's analogous to Nvidia snagging a piece of prime Manhattan real estate right from under Intel's nose. While Intel holds onto Times Square, Nvidia walks off with Rockefeller Center.
To put it charitably, Intel doesn't like to lose socket space. But that is exactly what Nvidia is aiming for with Netbooks.
Will Nvidia be able to convince Netbook makers like Acer and Asus to make the switch in the face of Intel's very persuasive bundling offers? (The word "persuasive" and may not be strong enough.) These vendors may not be as open-minded as Apple, which has always prided itself on a feisty independence (i.e., no one takes center stage but Apple and no Intel stickers).
Australia's APC Magazine has just been given first rights to an exclusive look at Dell's all new Inspiron Mini 12 super-slim netbook and it looks to be a beautifully constructed piece of kit.
There's no shortage of photos and details which go over all aspects of the netbook from head to toe. Some of the main features include a 12" screen (which is the largest seen in any "netbook") capable of running a resolution of 1280x800. Given the larger than usual screen size, Dell do an exceptional job of keeping to an ultra slim and almost featherweight design. The profile tapers from 24mm down to 21mm and with the three cell battery installed it only weighs 1.24Kgs.
Storage options are limited to mechanical drives only; at this stage 60 and 80GB 1.8" 4200RPM Samsung Spinpoint series drives. There's also a host of connectivity options including two mini-card slots, 3G HSDPA support and standard GSM/EDGE, WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1.
looking at the heart of the netbook, we see that Dell opt for Intel's new Silverthorne-class Atom processor (shown at the left above) and SCH-US15W chipset (more commonly referred to as Poulsbo - shown on the right above).
Poulsbo is a ground-up design which combines the Northbridge memory controller and Southbridge IO controller, integrated 3D graphics (through the GMA500 graphics core) plus HD audio and HD video (all the way to 1080p decode we're told, although external resolution peaks at 1,366 x 768 or what the boffins now say is called 'HD Minus' in an effort to make it sound more respectable).
For a further detailed rundown of the Inspiron Mini 12, head over here.
The nettop/netbook market is a growing market. It brings inexpensive, highly portable desktops and laptops to the consumer with decent power for doing most office related tasks. The problem is that even though nettop and books are very portable and have good CPUs they are severly laking in graphical power. nVidia is working on the cure for that called the Ion plaform.
The Ion is a new platform that will bring high-end graphics to the netbook market (something that is currently lacking). Ion is a single chip 9400M attached to the Atom CPU. This will allow for greatly enhanced graphics for the netbook.
Of course you have to wonder if the netbook really needs this as they are really only intended for minor office work and internet usage on the go. Not for hardcore gaming or BluRay movies (the screens are simply too small).
Hexus has more here.
Intel's Atom has been a shot-in-the-arm for the mobile space because its introduction has allowed partners to bring extremely thin-and-light notebooks (ahem, netbooks) to market at low prices. These ultra-mobile laptops have caught the public's imagination but, now, we believe, users are clamouring for more performance. It seems that both AMD (with Yukon) and NVIDIA (with ION) are in agreement on this front.
NVIDIA's solution for a do-it-all netbook takes in GeForce 9400M and builds around it. We like the basic technology, but readers must be aware that the provision of extra power- much-needed in our opinion - will come at a greater financial and spatial cost. Expect these kind of netbooks to cost £350+ and ship with larger screens, optical drives, bigger batteries and, of course, heavier weights.
Building on the success of Atom, we further believe that a significant market opportunity exits for a ~1.5kg netbook that has graphical/multimedia grunt to burn, and ION seems like a good fit, on paper at least.
It is looking like Intel is acknowledging the lack of real graphics power behind the current chipsets for the Atom CPU.
According to Digitimes they have contacted nVidia to enable support for the atom on the MCP79. If this is true it will bring a more robust graphics solution to the netbook world.
Read more here.
Nvidia's MCP79 chipset will be the first to support Atom CPUs, however the support will only apply to nettops during the initial period.
Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology and Micro-Star International (MSI) have said they welcome the partnership between Nvidia and Intel and believe the cooperation would give them more pricing flexibility.