Packard Bell held its annual 'Christmas in July' event yesterday, which was more appropriate than usual given the revolting weather. Alongside the plentiful cocktails, pool tables and arcade games, PB found time to show off a few new laptops, including the EasyNote XS, MB, SB and SJ.
The most intriguing of the bunch was the unnamed 'white laptop' (pictured). We know absolutely nothing about it other than it looks pretty sexy, but we'll update you the minute we know more.
What we can tell you about is the EasyNote XS, Packard Bell's first 7-inch laptop. Imagine a full-on laptop that's been put through the hot wash one too many times. The keys are wee, the screen's shrunken, but it has a relatively impressive specification nonetheless. It's available in mainland Europe right now, and fingers crossed should arrive in the UK soon. Read more about it by clicking the 'Next Photo' link below.
The EasyNote MB, meanwhile, is a mid-range 15.4-inch laptop with the very latest Intel Santa Rosa goodies for just £499. It's designed to be a great all-rounder thanks to its Nvidia GeForce 8400M G graphics card with 128MB or 256MB of video memory and optional Intel Turbo Memory.
The EasyNote SB is the Media Center darling of the bunch. It has a 17-inch screen, slightly faster graphics than the MB (GeForce 8600M GS), and twin hard drives for up to 320GB of storage space. Prices start from £699.
Finally, Packard Bell proudly showed off the EasyNote SJ Orion A, which is designed for gamers. It too has a 17-inch screen, runs an AMD Sempron or Turion X2 processor, and has a hi-spec GeForce 7100M graphics card. You also get HDMI video output and a webcam.
Click through for more pictures and opinion of the range, or check back in due course for full reviews of all this and more. Merry, er... Christmas. -Rory Reid
Update: Read our full.
Here we see the rather bizarre-looking EasyNnote XS, which we believe stands for Extra Small. It's a 7-inch laptop in the same mould as the oft-maligned (by us) Toshiba Libretto.
The low-resolution (800x480 pixels) and tiny keyboard has us short-sighted, fat-fingered journalists a tad worried, but the promised 4-hour battery life could go a long way to compensate.
Packard Bell says it'll use a VIA C7-M CPU running at 1GHz, up to 1GB of RAM and a 40GB hard drive. You'll also get Wi-Fi, a four-in-one card reader, two USB ports and DVI output. Sadly there's no optical drive. Packard Bell is hoping to bring it to the UK sometime soon, but if you can't wait, you can always pop over to mainland Europe where it's on sale now for around €600 (£400).
If 7 inches just won't do, cast your eye to the EasyNote MB. It's a fairly stylish Media Center machine with a choice of Core 2 Duo CPUs and memory, along with the new Intel Turbo Memory (codenamed Robson). This is designed to improve application response times and boot speeds, and to make you sound cool in front of your mates.
The machine comes with DVI and HDMI outputs, a memory card reader, optional Bluetooth and an Nvidia GeForce 8400M G graphics card. We'll let you know the price as soon as we can.
The next step up is the EasyNote SB, which is designed to make the most of Windows Media Center. Like most of its ilk, it ships with a 17-inch widescreen, at the top of which is a 1.3-megapixel Webcam. We know it'll use an Intel Core 2 Duo of some variety, but PB couldn't confirm the exact models at the time of writing.
What we can confirm is that it'll ship in two versions, one with an Nvidia GeForce 8600M GS graphics card with 256MB of dedicated video memory (Minos GP) and the other with 512MB (Minos GP2). You get twin hard drives for 320GB of storage, DVI, HDMI, Bluetooth, and importantly an optional TV tuner card. It'll set you back upwards of £699.
Last but not least, here's the EasyNote SJ. This gaming bad boy comes in two versions, the SJ81 and the SJ51. The former has a GeForce 8600M Gs graphics card with 256MB of video memory, twin hard drives (up to 320GB total), HDMI and a VGA webcam.
The SJ51 is otherwise pretty similar, but has an optional webcam and uses a faster GeForce 7100M graphics card. Pricing and availability is to be confirmed. Watch this space.