News Bits: New HP Notebooks, ATI X1800 is Here, IDF, New Toshiba M100

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New Core Duo HP Business Notebooks

HP has unveiled its latest business notebooks, featuring the new Intel Core Duo processor.

HP nx9420


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The nx9420 is HP’s flagship notebook, featuring a large 17″ widescreen display and powerful dedicated graphics. Compared to the previous nx9600, the new nx9420 is 35% thinner and 17% lighter. The battery life is four hours, which is excellent for a 17″ notebook. Specifications are as follows:

  • Intel Core Duo, T2300 to T2600
  • Broadcom or Intel WLAN cards, optional Bluetooth
  • 17″ displays, up to WSXGA+, matte and glossy
  • Up to 4GB of RAM
  • 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
  • Serial ATA HDD’s up to 100GB 7200RPM

It will be one very powerful notebook indeed, and notice the RAM capacity of up to 4GB. The nx9420 starts at $1,499, and will be available later this month worldwide.

HP 6300 Series


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The 6300 series is HP’s new thin-and-light notebook. It comes with several wireless options, integrated Bluetooth, and in addition, has a mobile broadband technology via Verizon Wireless’ Broadband Access. The 6300 can use the Ultra Capacity battery, which extends the notebook’s battery life by up to ten hours. The HP Compaq 6300 series is expected to start at $1,049, and will be available in early April worldwide.

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ATI Mobility Radeon TM X1800 at Last

ATI yesterday unveiled the new Mobility RadeonTM X1800 and X1800XT bound for notebook computers. Both are native PCI Express x16 chips, featuring the energy-saving PowerPlayTM 6.0 and ATI’s AVIVOTM video imaging technology.

The X1800 will be the lower-powered version of the two chips:

X1800

  • Core clockspeed: 450MHz
  • 12 Pixel Pipelines
X1800XT

  • Core Clockspeed: 550MHz
  • 16 Pixel Pipelines

Memory clockspeeds were not disclosed. ATI did say however, that the X1800 and X1800XT will be avaliable in machines from Alienware, Boxx, Eurocom, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Hypersonic, Rock, Savrow, and VoodooPC.

Availability wasn’t mentioned either, but Rock and Eurocom have already announced notebooks featuring the new GPU’s, with Rock’s PC shipping “Early April” – hint hint.

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Intel Developer Forum – Intel’s Future

Twice a year, the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is held, where software and hardware developers gather to discuss the latest technologies and future goals of Intel. The IDF this year was held in San Francisco.

In the keynote speech, the director of Intel’s Corporate Technology Group, Justin Rattner, said Intel’s primary focus for future designs will be power efficency. He said the new 65nm manufacturing process for CPU’s was working well, and talked about how RAM chips built on a 45nm process are going to become a reality.

To sum it all up, the new architectural improvements will give superior performance over the current Core Duo laptops, and yet still have the same battery life.  The move to dual-core processing was inevitable, said Rattner, although he admitted that it would take a while for software to adjust to the need for multi-threaded applications.

Intel’s Chief Technical Office, Gelsinger, took over the show, and talked about IP-based networking and its growing dominance over all other forms of communication (VoIP, etc.), as well as how storage requirements would need to grow to accomodate.  He went on further to discuss how Intel’s new VT Virtualization technology will be extended to the input-output systems of a computer (mouse, keyboard, USB . .), which means the CPU doesn’t have to use nearly as much power to emulate these devices. They plan to support this technology in 2007.

Statistics:

  • One dozen dual-core products are now in production, compared to five last year this time.
  • 85% of Intel’s server platforms will be dual core by the end of 2006.
  • Three systems from Dell running a four-core Cloverton processor were demonstrated running eight threads simultaneously.
  • Already, three quad-core processors are scheduled for release in 2007.

The demonstrations continued – a rep from Microsoft demonstrated the Pentium D processor vs. the upcoming “Conroe” desktop processor running the next version of Microsoft Excel 2007. With a large amount of multithreaded added, the Conroe is three hundred percent faster than the D. Both Conroe and Avril (dual core and related chips) will be optimized for Windows Vista. Conroe and Woodcrest are due to ship in the second half of 2006.

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Intel Predicts it will Trump AMD chips

. . or so says Intel’s Pat Gelsinger, the Senior VP. He believes that Intel’s next generation technology will catch up to AMD on both the price and performance point of view.

Gelsinger said that Intel platforms demonstrated running a 1333MHz Front-Side-Bus will deliver significantly more performance at a cheaper price. He also stated that Intel has ramped the dual-core technology aggressively, and will be able to produce them at more attractive prices.

What do I think? Intel, you’re going the wrong way. The FSB technology is outdated. AMD is already far ahead with its HyperTransport technology, which is much faster and efficient than a FSB. Once you start adding four cores to a chip, the FSB is going to start to degrade performance. Intel says it will talk about its “InterConnect Technology” at the next IDF in the fall, but we’ll see.

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Toshiba Announces M100 Core Duo Notebooks

The Satellite M100 has been available for purchase for about 2-weeks now, but Toshiba just got around to “announcing it.”  Kudos to Toshiba PR for being behind their product shipping logistics.  Anyway, here are the specs on the new M100 and some links to pricing:

  • 14.1-inch WXGA diagonal display with optional TruBrite(TM)
    technology.
  • Choice of CD-RW/DVD-ROM or DVD SuperMulti Double Layer drive
    that reads and writes in up to 11 formats that can nearly double a
    recordable DVD’s storage capacity in either DVD+R or DVD-R double layer
    formats
  • 40GB to120GB 5400 rpm hard drive(4) storage for faster access
    to stored files
  • 256MB to 2048MB memory
  • Express Media Player that lets users instantly access DVDs or
    CDs with the push of a button without having to boot the Microsoft
    Windows operating system

Go to ToshibaDirect.com to configure and purchase the M100-ST5111

Microsoft claims OpenOffice is lagging

Microsoft is trying new tactics in its battle against OpenOffice. OpenOffice has such a small market share that it is surprising to hear a Microsoft Exec even mention it. And even more surprising, they used very little of the inflammatory rhetoric that any given software producer could be expected to say about its rival. A manager in Microsoft’s Information Worker Group, Alan Yates, was interviewed by iTWire. He pointed out significant differences between it and Microsoft’s own.

Quote:

“It really depends upon what job you’re trying to do. Certainly, if you’re just trying to write a few notes or something, Open Office is just fine. The truth is though that Open Office.org is really designed to solve the problems that Microsoft focused on 10 years ago when the model was an individual user working at their individual PC,” says Yates. “The world and Microsoft software has grown way beyond that to make it very easy to do what used to be very hard things. Most documents today are not done by one individual. They’re done by multiple people working on a project at once. Essentially, Open Office is fine if you have very limited needs because it was really designed around what Microsoft Office products were designed around 10 years ago.”

Now of course OpenOffice.org is capable of more than just “a few notes”, but Yates did in fact make a reasonable assessment.

Microsoft does indeed have some concern over OpenOffice.org’s slowly growing market share and viability, apparently significant enough for them to mention it.

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Intel Tracks Journalists at Shows

INTEL likes to know what the journalists it brings out to its 6-monthly shindig are doing. Poor PR people can often be seen chivvying tired old hacks into the maximum number of roundtables, sessions, tracks and keynotes possible in order to earn the most Intel Brownie Points possible.

Sounds quite amusing to me. Yes, this year, Intel is fitting all its journalists (not confirmed yet) with RFID tags, which allows for data to be collected wirelessly without the carrier doing anything.

The journalists can’t remove the tag, either – it says the all-important word “Press” on the front of it, which allows them to get into otherwise off-limits events. And, the fact that they can’t remove it also means they can’t bunk off for cigarettes aka meet with AyEmDee instead of listening to Intel’s latest talks – well, they could, but they would lose a lot of brownie points.

Read the Rest here . . .


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