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This week in laptops

News and reviews related to laptops for the week of March 10.

We're a little more than 48 hours out from that great holiday whose sacred rites (for me, at least) include tucking into a Dublin Coddle and washing it down with a perfect pint of Guinness. (For strict Catholics, the holiday comes even sooner.) So that you can head out for your preholiday warm-up drinking, here's a summary of this week's laptop-related news. Just remember: Friends don't let friends drink green beer.


Speaking of green, Asus has greened its laptop cases by offering an eco-chic bamboo finish. Also, the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool released a list of laptops it deemed "environmentally friendly." (Granola geeks should also check out our section on Green Tech.)

In other news, Acer advanced its plans for world domination with the announcement of two multimedia-oriented laptops in the brand-new Gemstone Blue series. Aside from their crazy media control console, the laptops' key advancement is their 16- and 18-inch displays, which should be better for viewing HD content.

Product announcements for the week included a refresh of Gateway's mainstream M-series systems. The march of the Penryns continued with updates to Dell and HP laptops. MSI announced a potential Eee PC-killer that will feature either an 8- or 10-inch display. (Speaking of the little guy, Asus expects two-thirds of the Eee PCs shipped this year to be running Windows. So much for the notion that the laptop would help drive the adoption of Linux.)

In reviews this week, we offered up two painstakingly researched and thoroughly well written laptop reviews that just happen to lend themselves to one-word summaries. The Fujitsu LifeBook E8410? Overpriced. The Axiotron Modbook? Novelty. (You're welcome.)

In the rumor mill: new processors for Intel's Core 2 platform will reportedly be released in two waves, with mainstream chips arriving in June and low-voltage versions rolling out in September. September is also the rumored launch date for the first quad-core mobile processor, the 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9300.

Also worth reading: our Laptop Border Guide, which helps you prepare for the possibility of customs agents searching or seizing your laptop.

Finally, the MacBook Air is so thin and light that a Newsweek columnist suspects his missing review unit got thrown out with a pile of newspapers. CNET's Ina Fried knows the feeling.

Have a great weekend, and remember to celebrate responsibly!