Small laptops aren't necessarily getting any smaller, but they are getting more powerful. Here's a quick look at the power-efficient engines purring inside the latest laptops from Hewlett-Packard.
The newest welterweight laptops from HP, introduced on Wednesday, offer more than flashy new skins. Inside is Intel's newest chip technology that offers more performance without a significant hit to battery life.
First up is the 3-pound Mini 210. This Netbook offers, for the first time, a dual-core Atom processor, a break from a long line of single-core-only Atom Netbook processors. Dual-core processors are better at handling multiple data streams than single-core processors and thus boost performance significantly for certain applications.
Despite having two cores, Intel's 1.5GHz Atom N550 has a thermal envelope of only 8.5 watts, only two more watts than its single-core N455 cousin. And this thermal envelope is even more impressive when you consider the fact that it also includes the 200MHz graphics chip, which is built onto the same piece of silicon as the main processor.
HP claims up to 10.75 hours of battery life with a six-cell battery. That said, even if HP is overstating battery life, anything within the ball park of eight to ten hours is decent for a Windows dual-core laptop.
The HP Mini 210 is available in the United States with a starting price of $329.
Pavilion dm3 squeezes Intel's higher-performance mobile processors into a slim form factor
The just-announced HP Pavilion dm3 laptop boasts an Intel Core i series chip matched with a new design that keeps the laptop cooler.… Read more
Market-leading PC maker Hewlett-Packard has been making headlines this summer, but not necessarily for its hardware. That's about to change with this collection of new laptop hardware and related accessories, ranging from 10-inch Netbooks to massive 17-inch desktop replacements that play 3D content.
Mini 210 and Mini 5103 NetbooksThe Netbook scene hasn't seen a lot of upgraded hardware since the start of the 2010, but new Intel dual-core Atom N550 processors are a potential bright spot (we've already seen Netbooks such as the Asus Eee PC 1215N with the current D525 dual-core version). The Atom N550 will be available on the new HP Mini 210 as an upgrade option. Otherwise, the new HP Mini 210 remains similar to what we've seen previously.
Starting at $329, the 10-inch-screened Mini 210 comes in Atom N455, N475 or N550 versions, with optional HD-resolution screens, Broadcom Crystal HD Enhanced Video Accelerators, and GPS. New colors include charcoal, crimson red, lavender frost, luminous rose, and ocean drive. The new HP Mini 210s are immediately.
The higher-end HP Mini 5103 is the successor to the 5102, and shares its ProBook-like looks (both are technically part of HP's business laptop line, but still very popular with consumers). An Intel Atom N550 dual-core processor is the default, along with support for faster DDR3 RAM and 7,200 rpm hard drives.
A spill resistant, more durable keyboard, Espresso-color metal chassis, and optional Gobi broadband and GPS round out the features on this slightly more upscale 10.1-inch Netbook, which also starts a bit higher at $399. The Mini 5103 is available starting September 17.… Read more
There have been a slew of network high-def digital media players on the market lately, and soon there are going to be even more.
Netgear announced Tuesday two new HD media players: the NeoTV 350 HD and the NeoTV 550 Ultimate. Similar to the Seagate GoFlex TV or the WD TV Live Plus, the NeoTV players are designed to play back digital content stored on USB external hard drives, network storage devices, or the Internet.
According to Netgear, the new players support both DLNA and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) streaming standards, video resolution up to 1080p with Dolby Digital, … Read more
Hewlett-Packard will refresh its Netbook lineup next month with new Atom chips that bring dual-core technology to these mini laptops for the first time.
Documentation on HP's U.S. Web site (PDF) indicates that the HP Mini 5103 will use the new chip. Under "Product Description," the just-announced Intel Atom dual-core N550 1.5GHz processor appears as one of three processor options in HP's support documentation.
Preliminary benchmarks of the Atom N550 are encouraging, indicating, in some cases, better performance than not only a single-core Atom but a dual-core desktop-class Atom processor, according to Web site … Read more
Intel announced on Monday the first dual-core Atom processor targeted specifically at Netbooks, finally putting the same number of processing cores inside these tiny laptops as found on larger mainstream laptops.
Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and LG all announced new dual-core Netbooks Monday. Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, MSI, Samsung, and Toshiba, among others, are planning similar announcements in the coming weeks and months, according to Intel.
This is a big step for the Netbook market. Since their inception back in spring 2008, Netbooks have been powered by single-core processors. This allowed Netbook suppliers to design 10-inch-class laptops that were relatively power efficient and inexpensive, typically costing about $350.
The widely reported downside has been lackluster performance, since all processing must be funneled through one core. The Atom performance gap with mainstream Core 2 Duo and Core i laptop processors is also due to design differences. (Mainstream laptop processors have a different architecture, delivering higher-level performance.) But the fact that the Atom for Netbooks has always been single core has exacerbated the performance gap.
Intel has other reasons for moving to dual core. Low-power dual-core processors from rival Advanced Micro Devices are already appearing in Netbook-class laptops. The Hewlett-Packard Pavilion dm1z, an 11.6-inch Netbook, uses an AMD Turion II Neo dual-core K625 processor (1.5GHz) and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4225 graphics processor, offering potentially stiff competition for single-core Atom Netbooks.
The new dual-core Intel N550 Atom runs at 1.5GHz and supports DDR3 memory, another performance benefit.
Despite the expected crush of updated models, the Netbook now has a new nemesis: the iPad. "The death of the Netbook has been greatly exaggerated," said Bob O'Donnell, an analyst at IDC, referring to the rise of the Apple iPad and its impact on Netbook sales. Though O'Donnell doesn't discount the iPad effect, Netbooks are principally for consumers who want to use Windows on a small device--virtually impossible on an iPad--and they're less expensive than an iPad, to boot. … Read more