Intel and Partner Readies Ultra-Thin Laptop

“Razor” Notebooks Coming Closer
Category: Mobile
by Anton Shilov
[ 05/24/2007 09:30 PM ]
Intel Corp., the main producer of microprocessors and supporting components for notebooks, has teamed up with Ziba Design firm to create code-named Metro laptop, which will be nearly as thin as Motorola Razr cell phone, but which will sport rather powerful functionality under the hood.
Nowadays it is hard to impress anyone with technology itself, as modern computers are so powerful that very few people require all their advantages, such as multi-core processors, ultra-powerful graphics cards and realistic sound. The vast majority of customers use their systems for rather simplistic tasks: Internet browsing, communications, office work and so on, which do not need exceptional performance. But those users, mostly located in North America, Japan or Western Europe, demand to have something, which is pleasant to see and feel, something that cheap notebooks hardly provide. As a result, exclusive and stylish computers have been slowly emerging on the market in the recent years.

The Metro notebook, which is, according to BusinessWeek, the world’s thinnest laptop, has been designed by Intel Corp. and Ziba Design, the second time when the world’s largest maker of x86 microprocessors teams up with a design firm to develop a personal computer (PC). This time, however, the machine may actually be produced by one of Intel’s partners.

Intel’s Metro notebook is 0.7” (1.778 centimeters) thick and has 2.25 pounds (1.02 kilograms) weight, the thickness very close to that of Motorola Razr and weight that barely exceeds that of a handbag. The laptop may be made of magnesium alloy and covered with leather. In addition, it features SideShow display on its front cover, something, which is currently offered only on select notebook models from Asustek Computer.

Sales of laptops priced at $2000 and above are rising 1.4% a year, compared with 73.5% compound annual growth rate for notebooks priced $500 to $999, according to researcher IDC. Therefore, it is crucial for chipmakers and notebook manufacturers to get into the market of high-end machines, as they not only carry good margins, but also popularize the brand-name.

NEC Versa L2100 Notebook

There's Always Room For Black

Wi-Fi switch, ECO Button, and Power button on the upper part of the unit.

Abundance of ports located on the side of the unit.

Microphone in, Headphone jack, and 4-in-1 card reader up front.

Many people tend to purchase products like LCD screens, PC casings, and other gadgets clad in the customary black hue. This color has come to epitomize sophistication, class, and elegance. The NEC Versa L2100 is one of these notebooks sporting black, but is that enough for it to join the high-end and stylish crowd?

NEC On My Mind

The most noticeable thing upon removing the notebook from its package is its textured, grey leather cover. It will not only protect the L2100 from accidental and unsightly scratches, but also conveys a professional look. Feeling around, we found an ExpressCard slot, FireWire (IEEE 1394) port, two USB 2.0 ports, modem and LAN port jacks, charging port, and VGA-Out port located on the left side of the notebook, while a Super Multi DVD optical writer (DL+/-R Double Layer) is located on the right side of the unit. Moreover, two additional USB ports as well as an S-Video output port can be found at the back of the unit. Finally, the speakers, microphone input, headphone-out, and a four-in-one card reader is conveniently located at the front of the notebook.A black interior with a well-spaced and well-labelled keyboard, touchpad, and a 14-inch widescreen will greet the user upon opening the Versa L2100. In addition, an integrated microphone, web camera, and a One Touch Teleconference Button that automatically launches Skype (the most popular Internet telephony application) are located at the top of the screen. Additionally, users can easily find the Wireless On/Off button, the Eco button, and the Power button on the upper right portion of the base. Judging by the location of all the various features, an apt word to describe the Versa L2100 is probably 'simplicity'.

No-Frills Computing

Processes like office applications will definitely run smoothly, thanks to its Intel Core Duo Processor T2350 clocked at 1.86GHz. What’s more, this notebook comes pre-installed either with Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium editions, allowing users to utilize features such as ReadyBoost or Sidebar, both of which are exclusively found in the new OS. Furthermore, with NEC's SSV display technology, users will be assured of a wider spreadsheet view, clearer text, vivid photos, and crisp DVD images. The NEC Versa L2100 lasted for 135 minutes during our DVD playback test and took almost the same time for it to attain a full charge. However, users may encounter difficulties using it for gaming, as its integrated Intel graphics only garnered a low score of 2893 in our 3DMark 2001 (1024 x 768) test. Not to mention, we also have found the speakers too soft even at the maximum volume setting, forcing us to plug in our headphones or external speakers when using this notebook for multimedia or gaming purposes.

Final Thoughts

While the NEC Versa L2100 is not meant for gamers, this 2.3kg notebook will certainly satisfy those who will utilize it for typical office processes and requirements. And with the latest Microsoft OS to boot, everything just seems to come together quite nicely. Simply put, the NEC Versa L2100 is a capable computing notebook that definitely exudes a professional façade and offers a fine balance of performance, features and looks for the business-computing crowd.

Product Specifications :

  • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor T2350 (1.86GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 533 Mhz FSB)
  • Display: 14.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels WXGA Super Shine View LCD
  • Memory: 512MB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Storage: 80GB 5400RPM
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
  • Optical Drive: Super Multi DVD DL+/-R (Double Layer)
  • Input/Output: 4 x USB 2.0, VGA and S-Video output, Microphone-in, 3.5mm audio jack, FireWire (IEEE 1394), Modem 56Kbps Fax/Data (V.92), Network Card 10/100 LAN, Atheros AR5006EG Wireless Network Connection (802.11b/g), 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD/ MMC/ MS/ MS Pro), integrated microphone, and 0.3MP web camera
  • OS: Choice of Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic or Home Premium
  • Dimensions: 244.7 mm X 336.9mm X 33.0 mm (Front)/ 37.1 mm (Rear)
  • Weight: 2.3kg

HP's Big Showstopper

17-inchers used to be showstoppers at almost every event and LAN party, but as performance requirements and expectations grew, these multimedia entertainment behemoths have grown to be generally well embraced by the mainstream crowd and are pretty common these days. Now, just when we thought that we have seen it all, the HP Pavilion dv9014tx notebook caught us by surprise with its bold and stunning looks.For all its years in the notebook market, HP has never emphasized so much on design aesthetics and this new move certainly marks a significant change in direction. Previously overshadowed by the alluring VAIOs from Sony, it seems that HP has now finally come to task with something that might actually tackle the CE giant in the design department. Armed to the teeth with its latest Pavilion notebooks that are blessed with looks, specifications and features, HP shows their hand with the Pavilion dv9014tx:

Who would have thought that a 17-inch notebook could actually be so sleek and sexy. Definitely one of the most attractive multimedia notebooks we have seen around.

Trekking around the exterior of the notebook, the side profiles harbor a wide variety of ports and expansion slots and is perhaps one of the more generous multimedia assortments we have seen: four USB 2.0 ports (two on each side), one 4-pin FireWire port, 15-pin D-SUB VGA, S-Video out, an Ethernet and modem jacks, a propriety expansion port (for HP's optional expansion base unit), an ExpressCard/54, a 5-in-1 Card reader and even one HDMI output port to ensure that it is well geared for next generation display sets. This isn't the first notebook with HDMI output that we have reviewed, and this certainly won't be the last too as the market plays catch-up with the new high-definition standards. However, unlike Sony's multimedia monster, the VAIO VGN-AR18GP, the dv9014tx doesn't sport a Blu-ray (or HD DVD) drive.

A very generous spread of multimedia ports that include a 5-in-1 Digital Media Card reader and even a HDMI port. The propriety jack beside analog VGA port interfaces with the massive HP xb3000 Notebook Expansion Base that is sold seperately.

Found just below the touch pad is an infrared port (for the bundled remote control), a microphone jack as well as two audio-out jacks (one of which doubles up as an S/PDIF output).

The usual audio options with a special touch - the secondary headphones jack also doubles up as a S/PDIF jack. An infrared port can also be spotted in the foreground for use with the provided multimedia remote control.

Notebook Terkecil di Dunia dari Dopod

Sering berpergian namun enggan membawa notebook yang berat? Tenang sekarang ada Dopod U1000 yang diklaim produsennya sebagai notebook terkecil dengan dukungan teknologi 3,5G.Produk yang baru diluncurkan hari ini (28/3) menggabungkan 2 perangkat TI yang paling banyak dipakai sekarang, yaitu ponsel dan notebook. Tidak cuma itu, Dopod juga membenamkan teknologi Global Positioning System (GPS) dari SiRFStar III dengan paket peta digital dari NusaMap --sebuah pengembang peta GPS lokal dengan cakupan Jawa-Bali-- untuk membantu penggunannya bernavigasi saat melakukan perjalanan luar kota.Ukuran fisiknya memang lebih besar (13x9,8cm) jika dibandingkan perangkat ponsel biasa. Maklumlah di depannya bercokol layar LCD 5" dengan reolusi VGA yang terang dan cukup nyaman dilihat.

Agar selalu terlindung saat tidak digunakan dibuat penutup khusus yang sekaligus bisa berfungsi sebagai keyboard dan kaki perangkat saat berdiri di meja. Jika membutuhkan kamera digital, pengguna Dopod U1000 bisa memanfaatkan kamera internalnya yang memiliki resolusi maksimal 3 megapiksel dan kemampuan fokus otomatis. Sebenarnya ada 2 kamera di perangkat ini yang berfungsi untuk menampilkan gambar pengguna ke lawan bicaranya saat melakukan panggilan video lewat jaringan 3G yang sudah mendukung teknologi Highspeed Data Packet Access (HSDPA). Yang unik dari Dopod U1000 ini adalah ketersediaan feature VueFlo yang merupakan sensor khusus untuk mendeteksi gerakan di perangkat. Feature ini sangat berguna saat Anda sedang mengakses internet menggunakan browser Opera dan enggan memegang stylus. Dengan memiringkan perangkat ke arah yang diinginkan, VueFlo akan memerintahkan Opera untuk menggeser (scroll) halaman Web sesuai sudut dan arah kemiringan.Di Indonesia Dopod U1000 dijual melalui reseller resmi Dopod dengan kisaran harga 13 juta dan tersedia mulai awal April 2007. (Brama)