The Windows 7 budget laptop onslaught continues, this time courtesy of MSI, which has launched four new systems that all run Windows 7 Home Premium. One of them even includes a Blu-ray reader/DVD writer combo drive for under $700.
Laptops & Desktops
John Morris and Sean Portnoy deliver straight talk about notebook and desktop computers.
John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine.
Sean Portnoy is a former executive editor at Computer Shopper magazine and editor at CNET Networks.
Asus kicked off the netbook craze about 18 months ago with its original Eee PC, and now the line has graduated to Windows 7 and a multi-touch, swiveling screen that turns the T101MT into a tablet PC. The T91 was the first Eee PC that worked as a convertible tablet, but it had a smaller 8.
Nvidia's Ion graphics solution for netbooks provides the extra video power that's lacking from Intel's current Atom processor. It can handle Direct X graphics as well as 1080p "full" HD.
In the same week that it introduced its new switchable graphics mobile platform Optimus, Nvidia revealed that it's mulling an external graphics solution to boost the graphics capabilities of laptops. An Nvidia exec told X-bit Labs that it was a "big opportunity," but that the company hadn't decided if it would take the form of an adapter or a GPU docking station.
They get scorn for selling systems that costs thousands, but even in this "great recession" many boutique PC builders have done a lot better than you might expect. Digital Storm has one of the best reputations among this clique (which includes Falcon Northwest, Maingear, and several others), and with its new Black|Ops desktop series, it's promising extreme performance starting at a relatively modest price.
Other than iMacs, I'm not sure that all-in-one PC designs are actually big sellers. Nonetheless, companies like HP and Dell keep cranking them out.
The ever-busy Asus has recently been releasing gaming laptops in the sweet spot around $1,500you don't pay thousands extra for multiple graphics cards and/or Intel Core 2 Extreme processors, but you can still play Crysis, albeit with some settings turned down. The latest entry in the company's lineup is the G73JH-X1, now available for $1,549.
Along with Nvidia's announcement today that it's upgraded its Hybrid SLI switchable graphics mobile solution to the company's new Optimus technology, Asus has disclosed the first five laptops that will support the graphics platform, ranging from thin-and-lights to bigger, more multimedia-friendly machines.The UL50VF-A1 (pictured above) is the one that's making the rounds of reviewers, including PC Magazine and Laptop Magazine.
Remember Hybrid SLI? For those you don't, it was Nvidia's solution for an ever-vexing problem for laptop makers: How can you deliver the power of a discrete graphics card without sacrificing battery life?
Everyone seems to be getting into the tablet PC game, hoping to steal some mind (and wallet) share from Apple's iPad, and that includes Sony. According to reports from PC World and the Financial Times, Sony's CFO Nobuyuki Oneda recently stated that “Sony is very much interested in this segment of the market and we have [the] necessary technology.