Archive for May, 2012
AnandTech has their hands on a second-gen Ultrabook reference design and they’ve subjected it to a number of tests. They paint a good picture of the changes you will see from first-generation Ultrabooks (Sandy Bridge) to second-gen Ultrabooks (Ivy Bridge). If you’re interested in reading about benchmarks, thermals, and CPU details, and gaming performance, step inside and have a look at what AnandTech has revealed to get a glimpse of what you can expect from the next generation of Ultrabooks.
In a typical ‘premium first’ move, Intel have announced 4 new 3rd generation Core processors aimed at Ultrabooks and other highly mobile PCs.
It’s easy to see which devices are going to be best for gaming and video work – the i5-3317U runs a slightly lower max GPU clock. All have a 17W nominal TDP although we already know that this TDP can be programmed up or down for design purposes.
The official list matches the one we published last week…
‘ASUS UX21 is First Ever Ultrabook’ was the title of the first post ever on Ultrabooknews and there’s an interesting story behind it. I was watching the keynote from the office (at some crazy morning hour) and as soon as Intel mentioned Ultrabooks, I registered Ultrabooknews.com. Within an hour I had a site up with the first post. Just hours later, the database was active. It’s hard to believe that it was 1 year ago. In 6 years of creating and running over 10 different blogs, Ultrabooknews.com is the fastest growing web site I’ve ever managed.
In the last month we’ve seen huge traction in the Ultrabook and our traffic has doubled. Yesterday was our biggest day ever and we’re expecting even more traffic today. What a great birthday present.
I’m seeing a lot of queries from creative types in forums and through our contact form. What exactly can the Ultrabook do? I downloaded Adobe Lightroom yesterday to start some testing on that for a forum, I’ve run up Traktor DJ, done a big bunch of video editing and posed the question, “What exactly could will.i.am do on his Ultrabooks?” If you’re into music creation though, Justin Lassen has some guidance for you. He’s a composer and ‘sound designer’ who’s officially blogging for Intel. He’s checked out a number of software packages and created some tracks – all with an Ultrabook.
Following up our story last night which looked at the similarity between the Gigabyte X11 and the Mouse Computers Luvbook X, the Gigabyte X11 has finally been revealed as an Ivy Bridge Ultrabook. At 973gm it beast the Luvbook X11 that we still think it is based on by just 5gm. There doesn’t seem to be uch in the way of specifications yet so we wonder if this information is leaked or from a press release.
The processor on the Gigabyte X11 will be revealed in run-up to Computex (3rd or 5th June we hear) but you can expect the Core i5-3317U to be in the line-up somewhere; it appears to be the mainstream choice when it comes to 2nd-Gen Ultrabooks.
A new Intel Ultrabook promo video has just gone up – a pre-cursor to the launch of the 2nd-generation of Ultrabooks at Computex in under a week.
Update: Intel has also posted a Sneak Peak article.
Leaked pictures of Gigabyte’s X11, the ‘Worlds lightest Ultrabook,’ show that it is in fact based on the same core design as Mouse Computers LuvBook X. Carbon Fiber is the key to the light weight here. On the top, the LuxBook X. On the bottom, the Gigabyte X11
We tipped the Gigabyte X11 as an OEM build and possibly the Mouse Computers Luvbook X11. It looks like we were right. Pocket Lint has a set of images but no confirmation on specs. Maybe the LuvBook X can help us.
We’ve known for some time that Lenovo was working on a refresh of the U300 and U400 Ultrabooks but there had been no official information regarding specifications or price. Official spec information from Lenovo is now available, and thanks to a Romanian reseller, we can get an idea of how much the the U310 and U410 will cost. A new gallery of photos reveals that the U310 and U410 share some stylish similarities to the MacBook Pro!
Appearing on Geizhals.at very briefly this week were the ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A and UX21A models. Although the resellers appear to have pulled their offerings, it’s left a trail of specs and prices behind.
Trigence Semiconductor has just received funding through the $300m Intel Capital Ultrabook fund for their DNote Audio technology. Dnote is a technology that drives analogue loudspeakers found in consumer electronics via digital signals to lower power requirements. Actually, looking at it, it seems that Trigence have developed a new speaker coil technology.
Trigence, a Japansese company, will take an undisclosed sum from Intel Capital to further develop DNote Audio.
Dell may be looking to reboot it’s screen-flipping netbook in Ultrabook form. The Inspiron Duo was a netbook offering from Dell which featured interesting convertible mechanics, wherein the screen flips around right inside of the bezel, allowing the device to function as a standard clamshell or tablet device. The netbook version of this didn’t sell very well, but the convertible concept might not have died with it. With Windows 8’s vastly improved touch functionality just around the corner, we’d love to see the XPS 12 from Dell.
The ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD looks nice, performs well, could be a casual gamer’s dream!
We’re surprised that so many 2nd-Generation ASUS Ultrabooks have found their way into the hands of reviewers. Considering the Ivy Bridge processors inside them are under NDA you would think that Intel could have kept a tighter control. Instead we’re getting reviews that don’t list CPU part numbers or CPU/GPU performance figures. There will be a huge number of updates on June 5th! Despite that, the UX32VD impresses and because the
GT640M GT620M GPU isn’t under NDA, you can see some impressive gaming results.
Continuing my Ultrabook game-testing, I wanted to highlight a game that’s free-to-play and worth a shot if you’re a fan of strategy-based games rather than twitch-based first-person shooters. The game in question is League of Legends  which is a standalone game based on the immensely popular Defense of the Ancients mod which ran within Warcraft III  and began its rise to fame in 2003. This is a multiplayer action-RPG which is highly strategic and can take some time to master. In my testing on the UX31 with Core i5 CPU, HD 3000 graphics, and 4GB of RAM, League of Legends runs flawlessly.
It feels like the Lenovo U300S is an Ultrabook that many many people had been waiting for. The first reviews were out in November last year but availability has been limited in the consumer channels, which is surprising because this isn’t a B2B product. In Europe today, just weeks before the 2nd-Generation Ultrabooks launch, there’s still a limited number of places where you can buy it, and still at original prices. Surprising, because this is a good Ultrabook. It’s not without a few issues but you’ll find out about them in our full review below.
Many Ultrabooks are shipping with solid state disks (SSD) which are faster and more durable than traditional hard drive disks (HDD). The trade off is that SSDs are more expensive per GB of storage, and thus most SSD equipped Ultrabooks are equipped with a relative small amount of storage. When you’ve only got 128GB or so of storage, every gigabyte counts. In this Ultrabook Quick Tip, I’ll show you how to reclaim several gigs of storage from an unlikely place… you’re Recycle Bin (applies to both SSDs and HDDs).