HP Introduces AMD Fusion-Powered Pavilion dm1

HP has formally announced the 11.6-inch HP Pavilion dm1. It’s powered by AMD’s new Fusion line, with a dual-core E-350 APU (Accelerated Processing Unit), and will be a rival to the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e with a starting price of $449 US.

One advantage it has over the X120e – it’ll be shipping next week.

While it’s not referred to directly as a netbook (and neither was the ThinkPad X120e), it definitely falls into that price and size range.

Thanks to the APU, the CPU and graphics processor are integrated into one chip, with hardware support for DirectX 11 (DX11) graphics, which is a Big Deal for laptops/ultraportables in this range. AMD refers to the graphics as a Radeon HD 6310

This dm1 features a redesign over previous Pavilions, with a “Grid Imprint” finish on the lid, as well as a redesigned touchpad (or clickpad). It does feature the same CoolSense functionality present in larger HP laptops, and the APU is placed under the keyboard instead of the palm rest which will help keep things cooler for the user. It looks like it comes standard with a 6-cell battery that provides up to 9 hours of battery life if you are not using WiFi. There is an option for a Solid State Drive (SSD) which can increase the battery life even further.

Other options include GPS and 3G/4G mobile broadband.

HP Pavilion dm1 Specifications:
– 11.6-inch display
– 1366×768 display
– AMD Fusion E-350 CPU (dual core) running at 1.6GHz
– HDMI/VGA Ports (weird)
– Full-sized keyboard
– 2GB DDR3
– HDD options from 250GB up to 750GB or SSD
– Weighs 3.5 pounds

LAPTOP Magazine has a hands-on preview:
Continue reading

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Lenovo Announces 11.6-inch AMD Fusion Powered ThinkPad X120e

As well as 12.5-inch Intel Core-based ThinkPad Edge E220s announced by Lenovo today, they have also announced another ultraportable, this one falling into the netbook category with an 11.6-inch display. It’s the Lenovo ThinkPad X120e, the successor to the X100e. The netbook-sized ThinkPad is based on AMD’s Fusion line that was announced last fall.

While Lenovo does not refer to it as a netbook, with a price that starts at less than $400, the comparisons will be made.

Lenovo is also claiming that it’s the first commercial laptop that features the E-Series APU (Accelerated Processing Unit). The Fusion E-Series APU will definitely increase the performance available at this size and price point.


Lenovo ThinkPad X120e Specifications
– 11.6-inch display
– HDMI port
– Full-size keyboard
– More than 6 hours battery life
– Meets Energy Star 5.0 specifications
– 1″ Thick
– Weighs under three pounds

It will be available starting in February for under $400. Whether these will be single-core or dual-core models remains to be seen. It will also feature the Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows 7, similar to the larger 12.5-inch Edge ThinkPads.

Read: Lenovo Newsroom

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Lenovo Announces the 12.5-inch ThinkPad Edge E220s, 14-inch E420s

Today, Lenovo announced the first of their 2011 lineup of their ThinkPad Edge series. These include machines running Intel’s new Core processors which were formally known as “Sandy Bridge”, but are now carrying the Core moniker. They have also announced an AMD Fusion-based ThinkPad, the ThinkPad X120e.

While they are oriented towards the small-to-medium business market, there will be consumers who are interested, and they will give an idea of what we will see further down the line.

The new Edge models are the ThinkPad Edge 12.5-inch E220s and the 14-inch E420s. Given that this site is about small laptops, I’m going to ignore the 14-inch E420s, but it is fairly small for its size. The 14-inch machine starts at $749 while the 12.5-inch E220s starts at $899 and both will be available in April.

E220s Specifications:
– 12.5-inch display
– Less than one inch thick
– Less than 3.5 pounds
– Spill-resistant keyboard
– “hidden” slot-loading DVD player/burner.
– Optional mobile broadband/4G/WiMAX
– HDMI port

Lenovo mentions a “Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0” which allows the boot time for Windows 7 to speed up by up to 30% on certain models with Solid State Drives (SSD). Both laptops also have “enhanced” video conferencing which features a high definition webcam, high performance/stereo microphones, and “noise-cancelling keyboard software”.

Read: Lenovo Press Release

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Intel Reveals 2nd Generation of Core Processors (aka Sandy Bridge)

Earlier today, ahead of this week’s 2011 CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Intel revealed the second generation of its Core processors.

Prior to this, these processors/architecture had “Sandy Bridge” as their codename. They will now be known as Core processors, and will follow the Core i3, i5, and i7 naming scheme.

These new Core processors are built upon a brand new 32nm microarchitecture, and are much more energy efficient than previous Core processors, with large increases in battery life. They also utilize Intel’s Turbo Boost 2.0 for times when a little more processing power is required. Turbo Boost 2.0 will allow the CPUs to run faster than the normal clock speed, but have the capability to manage any thermal issues that may arise, avoiding overheating problems.

Intel is claiming anywhere from a 40-50% boost in speed when working with multimedia content creation and gaming than original Core processors.

Better graphics performance (including 3D) are a part of the package, and the graphics system has been completely overhauled, with the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) being built into the same processor as the main CPU. This is supposed to be a huge improvement in speed and allow for easier/better cooling, along with slimmer laptop and ultraportable designs.

As part of the rollout, Intel’s WiDi has been upgraded. WiDi = Wireless Display, and it allows laptops to wirelessly send video output to other devices, and now 1080p video is supported.

LAPTOP Magazine and others have started publishing some test results and comparisons, but at least with the LAPTOP Magazine test, they were using a very high-end processor – a 2.3GHz Core i7-2820QM. It’s a quad-core CPU with 8 threads, and with the Turbo Boost technology, it can do burst speeds of up to 3.40GHz.

On the ultraportable front, as far as netbooks and other smaller laptops, we are out of look for several months, as those CPUs might not be available until the second half of 2011. This is what we have to look forward to in regards to Low Voltage (LV) and Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) CPUs:
– i5-2537M, 17W TDP, 3MB L3 Cache,
– i7-2617M, 17W TDP, 4MB L3 Cache,
– i7-2657M, 17W TDP, 4MB L3 Cache,
– i7-2629M, 25W TDP, 4MB L3 Cache,
– i7-2649M, 25W TDP, 4MB L3 Cache,

All have 2 cores and 4 threads and all have Intel’s HD Graphics 3000

From what I’ve seen, I don’t think we’ll see any 13″ and smaller laptops powered by these new CPUs (non-LV/non-ULV) for a few months. It seems to be the quad-cores launching first, with 15″ and 17″ laptops/notebooks due to the cooling/size requirements.

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Netbook Pricing to Continue Dropping?

DigiTimes is reporting that due to a strong and continued demand for Tablet PCs and Tablets (notably Apple’s iPad), that name brand vendors/manufacturers in Taiwan are dropping prices on their netbooks.

Asustek is mentioned as dropping the price of new Intel Atom N450-based single-core Eee PCs to under $300 USD, and new Intel Atom N550-based dual-core Eee PCs to right around $400 USD. The article mentions that Asustek was playing up its specifications of its netbooks as well as new netbook designs to bring in consumers.

Other vendors mentioned are Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Micro-Star International (MSI). The article goes on to discuss that current demand for netbooks has dropped, with a potential impact of smartphones occurring as well. Their sources believe Asustek and Acer will continue to push netbooks while some vendors such as MSI may exit the netbook market.

My view is that there is a saturation of sorts – many people are on their second generation of netbooks, and those who have moved up to dual-core netbooks are definitely not going to have a need to upgrade anytime soon. I think a need for netbooks will continue to exist for the long term – many will not sacrifice a physical keyboard or a high-resolution screen. What I wonder is whether or not the netbooks and the ultraportables running faster CPUs (Intel’s Core Ultra Low Voltage as an example) will eventually merge. There might reach a point where the costs favor sticking a Core ULV CPU in netbook-style laptops rather than Intel continuing with the Atom line. Then again, the Atoms could find themselves in thin tablets running Windows 7.

Read: DigiTimes

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