Intel has been on a roll over the last couple of years with a series of great innovations being introduced with their new products that is setting the benchmark for speed, low temperatures and reliability. Now the company is set to unveil a new chip that will offer unprecedented battery life. [Read more…]
Apple may have the edge when it comes to ultrathin laptops with their MacBook Airs, but I do not expect the status quo to remain for very long. Samsung already has its Series 9 laptops competing with the MacBook Airs – at least in concept, if not yet in sales and demand.
Now Hewlett Packard is going on the offensive as well with its Ultrabook laptops, which are supposed to come out soon. How soon exactly remains a question.
So what in the world is an ultrabook? To be honest, as much as I love gadgets – laptops included, of course – all these terms are starting to get on my nerves. Can you just imagine the average person without much tech knowledge wanting to buy a laptop? Netbook, notebook, Ultrabook, Elitebook, etc. – that list could go on and give someone a headache!
Anyhow, having had that mini-rant, I’ll go ahead and define Ultrabook. I like how CNET simplifies matters: “What is an Ultrabook? In a word, thin.” ((Source))
So basically, the MacBook Airs and whatever other laptops with similar form factors are considered Ultrabooks. Another way to look at it – laptop with features similar to tablets and with a design that is thin and light. We can all blame Intel for this term, as the company is the driving force behind its use. It has even issued guidelines regarding the use of the term and the general specs for this class of laptops.
Going back to HP’s Ultrabook…while there seems to be concrete evidence that the company will be launching at least two Ultrabooks, there isn’t much information to be found right now. All we know are the details for Ultrabooks in general – a maximum thickness of 20 millimeters (0.8 inches); a solid state drive; efficient power consumption; and hopefully, a reasonable price. Although what is reasonable will vary from one person to the next, Intel’s guidelines for this class of laptops states that the price should be less than $1,000. That is definitely a plus for Ultrabooks.
Oh, and there is a little bit more information about HP’s Ultrabooks – they are probably going to use Intel’s Core i7-2677M (1.8GHz) and i7-2637M (1.7GHz) dual-core CPUs. ((DigiTimes)) No surprise there.
What do you think about the Ultrabook concept?
So, here we are, excited as we can be for the much-anticipated USB 3.0. I mean, who wouldn’t be? USB 2.0 has been around for a few years already and even if it hasn’t overstayed its welcome (yet), we’re dealing with increasingly-larger files to transfer and bigger transfer speeds would actually be great. But despite our anticipation of USB 3.0, it looks like it’s not going to stay as long as its predecessor had.
You guys can blame Light Peak.
What is Light Peak anyway? It is Intel’s code-name for a new high-speed optical cable technology designed to connect electronic devices to each other in a peripheral bus. It has the capability to deliver high bandwidth, starting at 10 Gbps, with the potential ability to scale to 100 Gbps. It is intended as a single universal replacement for current buses such as SCSI, SATA, USB, FireWire, and HDMI. In comparison to these buses, Light Peak is much faster, longer ranged, smaller, and more flexible in terms of protocol support.
Let me repeat: 10 Gbps. Minimum. It can reach up to 100 Gbps. And the best part? It’s compatible with USB devices.
Intel’s upcoming Light Peak standard could take over from USB 3.0, company senior fellow Kevin Kahn said today at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. The 10Gbps peripheral standard was technically built to link up other standards but was seen by Kahn as possibly replacing 5Gbps USB 3.0 altogether in the next few years. He went so far as to treat Light Peak as a finality that may replace any other standard in the future.
“We view this as a logical future successor to USB 3.0,” Kahn told those gathered at the event. “In some sense[s] we’d… like to build the last cable you’ll ever need.”
The Intel fellow also made clear the release plans and noted that Light Peak would only become available to component makers in late 2010. Actual shipping PCs should be ready earlier in 2011.
What do you think?
Well, this was unexpected. Nokia and Intel, the companies behind the Maemo Linux-based OS for Nokia Internet Tablets like the Nokia N900, and the Moblin Linux interface for netbooks, have announced that they’re merging the two projects to form one operating system designed for netbooks, tablets, mobile devices, in-vehicle entertainment systems, and internet-connected televisions.
The new OS will be called MeeGo. While nobody has any idea how the new OS will look like or how it is going to run, they have announced that the first version of MeeGo will be available by the end of March. The Nokia N900 will be compatible with MeeGo. Applications from the Intel AppUp Center and Nokia Ovi Store should be able to run on the platform. The Linux Foundation will be hosting the project. [Read more…]
We’ll be seeing Intel’s new Atom line, the Pine Trail-M, sometime next year (I hope it comes out Q1), and already the netbook world is abuzz about what it means.
Fudzilla reports that the new netbook platform will consume less energy – about 20% to be exact – than the current Atom iteration. Maximum PC says that Pine Trail-M is smaller and cheaper to produce. The Pine Trail-M is actually 64% smaller than the current Atom! And I thought the Atom is already one of the smallest processors out there. Imagine that.
But for all the hype that it created, what does the Pine Trail-M really mean for us netbook owners?
Lower power consumption doesn’t necessarily mean a noticeable change in battery life.
Remember, the processor is but one component in your netbook. Just because its power consumption has been reduced by 20% doesn’t mean that your battery life will increase by 20%. The other components of your netbook – the hard drive, the monitor, and others -will still consume power the same way they’ve done before.
A cheaper processor probably won’t mean cheaper netbooks.
I know, I know. I’m disappointed too. I want my netbooks cheap. And powerful. But we all can’t have our cake and eat it too, right? I’m guessing that by the time the Pine Trail-M comes out, netbook manufacturers will take advantage of the new processor’s cheaper price point and smaller space to add more components and features into their netbooks. I won’t claim to know what exactly are they cooking up, but let’s imagine netbooks with better, discrete, video cards. Heh, I’d even want a netbook that’ll put a Macbook Air to shame, but that would be kind of pushing it.
But what do you guys think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.