MSI, well known for their graphics card and mainboards, are ready to unveil a new product, albeit a slightly recycled idea. Prepare yourselves for the Graphics Upgrade Solution, otherwise known as GUS. The external graphics card interface enables notebook users with weak graphics power to supercharge their capabilities by over 19 times.
The idea isn’t all that new however, as companies such as AMD and Asus XG Station already tried and failed at a similar attempt. Express Card interface is something that presents a problem in this kind of endeavour, but apparently MSI was able to use over 70 percent of the theoretical bandwidth by innovating the design with a shielded copper cable. MSI also plans to move it to the USB 3.0 interface in due time. GUS will most notably be used with mainstream graphics cards like the HD 5670, seeing as it would be unnecessary to use it on higher performance laptops. One particularly interesting feature of GUS is that it has multi-monitor support, enabling up to four simultaneous display outputs, including the notebook.
While this won’t be an incredibly significant boost for notebooks, it will be enable some gaming for certain notebook users. It remains to be seen if such a feature will find its way to netbooks soon.
Via Fudzilla, image via Fudzilla.
Steve Felice, the President of Dell’s consumer and small and mid-size business unit, recently said that, “There’s been some over-exuberance on this product (netbooks) in the marketplace. Some of our competitors have positioned [netbooks] as a replacement device and then you see feedback from customers that are disappointed when they gave up their notebook for a netbook and find that it’s not quite as fast or doesn’t have quite the same functionality.”
Unlike their competitors, Dell has not been a strong proponent of a netbook as a laptop replacement, and their foresight is right on target. According to shipment figures reported by IDC this past April, there has been waning enthusiasm for netbooks in favor of higher-performance laptops. Intel Atom‘s share of the market has fallen to 20 percent during the first quarter of 2010 from 24 percent during the previous quarter, despite the fact that the overall volume of processors shipped rose by 4.1 percent.
Stronger demand for laptop technology is a blessing for Dell. The company’s first quarter revenue in 2010 rose 21 percent to $14.9 billion and profits rose 52 percent to $441 million. Dell did especially well in emerging markets like China and Brazil, where revenue rose 90 and 81 percent, respectively. Felice says, “We are very pleased with the overall performance of Dell.”
AMD has been keeping Congo in the works for the release of Windows 7 as a competitor to Intel’s Atom, but it will soon be rearing its ultraportable head in the soon-to-be-released MSI Wind 12 U230. With a 12.1” monitor, it’s no netbook, but it packs a solid punch while staying under three pounds, though you may be able to clear three pounds if you order the six-cell-battery instead of the three.
It’s that exciting.
Specifically, the punch will contain up to 4 GB of RAM, up to 320 GB of hard drive space, and a 1366×768 screen resolution, along with the Congo platform, designed for multimedia usage and longer batter life, all in a package only 0.9-1.2” thick.
Watch out netbooks! Notebooks may have a plot to take over.
Acer is planning on releasing new ultrathin and ultraportable notebook computers, which will use computer chips that are more powerful than the Intel Atom and will sell for much less than other similar ultraportable computing devices, such as Dell’s Adamo or Apple’s Macbook Air.
Acer’s new netbooks will be based on Intel’s Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) platform and will sell for roughly $699-$800 each.
The shortage of 16:9 aspect ratio ultra thin LCD screens could pose a problem for Acer though. Until the supply of such panels increases (it is predicted to increase within the latter half of the second quarter of 2009), Acer will use panels of other sizes (14.1- and 15.6-inch) from AU Optronics.
In a recent conference call about Q4 2008, Intel confirmed its stances on netbooks and made some interesting hints about the future.
When asked about the reduction of their notebook sales, Intel was quick to assure listeners that very little of that was due to netbook cannibalization. According to them, the reduction had to do with transportation and shipping costs:
“Notebooks for the most part are assembled in China and Taiwan and then shipped, most recently, in the last six months or so, on boats. So the supply line actually lengthened as people fought to save money on shipping as the air transit prices went up with the gas going up. So, that all started to contract.”
They are giving their competitors some respect too. According to Intel, the “new players” will be delivering “all kinds of models” in the near future. They think netbooks are destined to stay big, at least for this year, pointing to a Japanese deal “where you get a netbook for ¥1 if you sign up to a wireless subscription.”
While this year was painful for the computers giant, Intel remains positive.
You can read some more highlights from their conference call here.
The MSI X320 might be a netbook or it might be a notebook, but whatever it is, it pulls off the look. We found a video over at CrunchGear showing the MSI X320 off, and we knew you’d be interested. With no further ado, here it is:
The netbook looks like it’s running Vista, but we don’t doubt an XP version is on the way as well.
It’s a sleek machine, there’s no doubt. The $699 price tag might make you cringe, but analysts are saying this has little in common with a netbook other than the Atom processor, so the price may be warranted. Personally, I wouldn’t drop 700 bucks on a notebook packing an Atom, but I’m reserving judgement until the full specs are released.
It has a 13.4-inch screen and should be out this April.
It’s certainly possible, and there are some out there who’d really like it to be so. But what will make that decision?
The question is really one of the fundamental desires of consumers. Do they want a fast, thin, expensive MacBook Air or a slower, thin, cheap Aspire One or Eee PC? A notebook or a netbook?
If people want portability and affordability, 2009 will bring big things to the netbook industry – and the netbook industry will bring some big things to 2009.
Should 3G broadband wireless become standard, the future of netbooks will look especially bright. 3G is a big deal these days, considering the massive successes of Apple’s iPhones, and netbooks with the feature have sold especially well.
The intrigue of netbooks comes from the fact that, up until their birth, consumers always payed more for portability. Smallness and thinness have become in vogue as the big clunky cell phones of the 80s gave way to Razrs, as room-sized computers shrank to fit in your backpack.
Netbooks are in the spirit of this trend. They are ultimately small, but thankfully, incredibly cheap. Consumers who don’t play videogames or edit film on their machines are starting to realize they just don’t need all that extra capability, and as 2009 rolls around, netbooks will be in their sights. They will decide the future of netbooks.