Intel has let the world know it plans to roll out its new Sandy Bridge processors at CES in January, but that doesn't mean that sleuths can't unearth details online weeks before the official announcement. So far, three laptops using the new CPUs have been located on the Internet, each sporting the quad-core Core i7-2630QM processor running at 2GHz.
So it appears that performance/gaming laptops are the first to benefit from the new platform, which is based on a 32nm manufacturing process. HP is sprucing up its 17.3-inch dv7 portable, while Gateway and Lenovo (the Y560P) have 15.6-inch systems coming. The latter pair are already listed on etailer sites, though as "special order" or "back ordered." It's doubtful these models will be ready to ship before CES, when Intel could unveil a full lineup of Sandy Bridge systems.
One other noteworthy spec for the HP and Lenovo laptops: They both include AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6570 graphics cards, which are part of AMD's new 6000M series. They come with 1GB of dedicated graphics memory and support DirectX 11 as well as AMD's HD3D technology. So while the new Sandy Bridge quad-core will help extend Intel's dominance at the upper end of the laptop performance charts, AMD can take a tiny bit of solace in the fact that at least its latest graphics card is being included in these new notebooks.