This year’s Consumer Electronics Show is upon us! Join us as we continue our coverage of the latest in PC-related consumer tech with, of course, a focus on notebooks.
Check out our CES 2019 Day One highlights!
AMD Announces New Mobile Processors
AMD announced three new series of mobile processors. The headliner is the Ryzen 3000 series, targeted at ultra-thin and gaming notebooks. It also announced the Athlon 300 series for mainstream notebooks, and low-powered AMD A-series processors for Chromebooks.
The new Ryzen 3000 series mobile processors are built on a 12nm process. Here’s a table showing the various models:
The Ryzen 7 chips are the high-end models with up to a quad-core/eight-thread design in a 35-watt package. Note the higher GPU core count on the Ryzen 7 models versus the Ryzen 5 chips. It’ll be exciting to see how the 15-watt model stack against Intel’s Core i-series “U” processors, which occupy the same thermal bracket. AMD already claims its chips share a performance advantage over Intel’s offerings.
The low-power AMD A-series processors were also announced:
The 6-watt package design means devices built around these processors could be fanless.
Alienware Area-51m Boasts Desktop CPU
Alienware’s latest and greatest gaming notebook is a true monster in every way. The new Area-51m features a socketed Intel processor up to the flagship Intel Core i9-9900K 8-core/16-thread chip that Intel claims is the world’s best gaming CPU. In addition to a replaceable processor, the Area-51m also features a replaceable graphics card, although it’s unclear whether it’s an Nvidia MXM-standard module or not.
Premium features include a magnesium alloy design, customizable RGB LED lighting (AlienFX), a claimed virtually silent cooling system, a narrow-bezel display, and light or dark color choices.
It’s not available yet, but this might be the most exciting gaming notebook I’ve seen in a long time. Desktop power!
Convertible Gaming with the Acer Predator Triton 900
In an unusual design move, Acer has rolled out a convertible gaming notebook. The Predator Triton 900 features a 17.3-inch 4K display that can fold around and turn the device into a large tablet. Its specifications include an Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics. Together they ought to have no trouble powering the latest games at a 4K resolution.
Acer also announced the 15-inch Predator Triton 500 gaming notebook. It measures just 0.7 inches thin and features an all-metal design. Its 4.6-pound weight and rated 8-hour battery life means it’s deigned for travel. For gaming prowess, it has a 144Hz screen, up to an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphics.
The Predator Triton 900 will be available in March 2019 for $3,999 (that’s the starting price, mind you). Meanwhile, the Predator Triton 500 will be available in February for an easier-to-swallow starting price of $1,799.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro Focuses on Portability
Clad in a metal exterior with diamond-cut edges, the new Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is all about premium portability. Featuring a 13.3-inch screen, the Notebook 9 Pro weighs just 2.84 pounds and measures a scant 0.55 inches thin. It delivers up to 14 hours of battery life thanks to its large 55 watt-hour fast-charge battery. Its 2-in-1 design means it can transform into a tablet. An active pen (stylus) is included.
- 13.3-inch display with 350 nits of brightness
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor
- Intel UHD 620 graphics card
- 8GB LPDDR3 (soldered) memory
- 256GB PCI Express storage
- 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Fingerprint reader included
- Dimensions (WDH): 12.1 x 8.1 x 0.55 inches
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro will be available in Q1 2019, but Samsung didn’t release the price. I’d expect to see it around the $1,500 mark.
Nvidia Begins G-Sync Monitor Validation
Nvidia G-sync, a technology that synchronizes the refresh rate of your display to match the frames-per-second (fps) output of your graphics card, isn’t new. In fact, it’s been helping gamers smooth out their gaming experience for several years. What is new is Nvidia’s announcement that have tested several hundred monitors for G-Sync compatibility. Even if a monitor doesn’t pass G-Sync certification, Nvidia still may certify the monitor as supporting basic variable refresh rate (VRR). This is a very pro-consumer move from Nvidia. Look for the updated graphics card drivers for your GeForce GTX 10 or RTX 20 series graphics cards starting January 15.
HP Refreshes Omen 15 Gaming Notebook
HP’s Omen 15 gaming laptop has been revamped with an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 20-class graphics. The 144Hz refresh rate of its 15.6-inch IPS panel is impressive, as most notebook displays are just 60Hz.
The announced Omen 15-dc1030nr model has the following specifications:
- 15.6-inch IPS display (1080p)
- Intel Core i7-8750H six-core processor
- 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
- 128GB SSD + 1TB hard drive storage combo
- Dimensions (WDH): 14.17 x 10.35 x 1.02 inches
- Weight: 5.31 pounds
- 4-cell 70Wh battery
HP didn’t announce pricing, but the refreshed Omen 15 should be available in Q1 2019.