More laptops with Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics announced at Computex

Summary:Nvidia's Optimus technology, which allows a laptop to switch between integrated graphics and its discrete card depending on what type of application is running, was launched several months ago, but was only introduced for a handful of systems (mostly from Asus) since then. This week's Computex show has changed that, as more than a dozen notebooks using Optimus have been announced here.

Nvidia's Optimus technology, which allows a laptop to switch between integrated graphics and its discrete card depending on what type of application is running, was launched several months ago, but was only introduced for a handful of systems (mostly from Asus) since then. This week's Computex show has changed that, as more than a dozen notebooks using Optimus have been announced here.

Most of these are using Nvidia's GeForce 300-series mobile cards, and come in a variety of sizes. For example, the Asus U35 is a 13.3-inch model with a GeForce 310M, while the MSI CX720 offers the same card in a 17.3-inch package. Lenovo is also joining the party with the Y460, a 14-inch laptop with a GeForce 330M GPU. Two more netbooks were announced that support Optimus, both from Asus and using the Ion graphics chip: the 12-inch EeePC 1215PN and the 10 inch EeePC 1015PN.

Perhaps most intriguing, however, are the two notebooks (the Asus N73 and MSI FX700) that will be using "an unidentified next-generation GeForce GPU." Engadget speculates that the mystery card is none other than the GTX 460M, which is on the road map but hasn't been officially introduced yet. If so, that would bring Optimus to a whole other level, using one of the latest Fermi cards that would presumably provide better gaming performance while still preserving battery life by switching to integrated graphics for less-demanding tasks.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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