×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ultra-Thin Laptops To Be Next Intel-AMD Battleground

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the can't-be-too-rich-either dept.

Intel 125

FinalAnkleHealer sends along an IBTimes article proposing that $500 ultra-thin laptops, capable of multitasking and editing multimedia content, could be the next market contested by Intel and AMD. "AMD partnered with Hewlett-Packard Co. in January to launch the Pavilion dv2. Intel launched its rival CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) chip this month and Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc were among those that demonstrated laptops based on the new technology at the Computex trade show in Taipei. ... With more people gravitating toward mobile and wireless technology, consumers want smaller laptops — and most of those people would prefer doing more than surfing the Web, which the no-frills netbooks now excel at. ... Acer, the first company to introduce a cheap Intel-powered CULV laptop, expects revenue from that segment to account for 15 percent of its total sales by the end of 2009. Asustek, which pioneered the netbook in 2007, plans to launch five consumer-priced ultra-thins this year."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

125 comments

Ultra-thin? (5, Interesting)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28419975)

Of all things about notebook (weight, performance, size) thickness is last I care about.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420159)

If I can fit it in my wallet (or even the inner anorak pocket), I'd care. But if it has 10+" screen, thickness is moot.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420191)

Then get a Lenovo W700ds ;)

Huge, powerful, and actually tries to have some battery life unlike the knockoffs.

Re:Ultra-thin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421657)

Then get a Lenovo W700ds ;)

Huge, powerful, and actually tries to have some battery life unlike the knockoffs.

Assuming IBM's network of support is good for this NOW Chinese computer company. Acer with Android OS for $200.00 is much better ...NO Microsoft hocus pocus OS. Windows7 takes "2" GB of ram to run properly

Re:Ultra-thin? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420243)

That's what my wife used to say, but then she got a big fat black Thinkpad.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421549)

but then she got a big fat black Thinkpad.

If you ever have to use it, I suggest spraying it down with Lysol.

I've met your wife.

I do not want a keyboard... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420363)

I would really love a portable computer with the size of the Kindle 2 and the screen covering the whole thing.

There are two main problems with notebook form factor right now, one is the screen and the other is the keyboard. The screen is something can't be dramatically modified. However, A lot of the time Keyboard is unnecessary, and when needed a good quality rollable keyboard could be plugged (as well as a mouse) via USB port.

That idea could be further extended by designing the screen in a kind of accordion, such that the borders of the screen rest on the top of the "center" when it is "folded" and when you want to use it you "pull" both screen borders to extend them (something like putting two PSP Go togheter, but instead of showing the control pad, it would expose the other segments of the screen, of course all the segments of the screen should end at the same level).

Re:I do not want a keyboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420649)

Touchscreen with roll-over rubber keyboard?

The problem is the "open like a book" style of device will not go anytime soon - the screen is fragile and needs a hard protection. Two screens with a hinge in the middle aren't all that good, not using the other part of the inside for -something- is a pure waste of space, and a full qwerty keyboard is always a boon to a mobile device the size that can fit one.

Re:I do not want a keyboard... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421575)

I would really love a portable computer with the size of the Kindle 2 and the screen covering the whole thing.

...that you can fold up!

Re:Ultra-thin? (3, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420389)

And one inch isn't that thin. My Tiger era MacBook is only very slightly more than an inch thick. I'm pretty certain it wasn't the thinest laptop available at the time, and the MacBook Air has been released since then.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420555)

1 inch thick at the $500ish price point, though, is a pretty favorable thickness/cost proposition. It's like netbooks. Tiny laptops are old news, in that anybody with a couple of thousand dollars to spare could have gotten their hands on a tiny Libretto or something; but cheap tiny laptops are another matter entirely. 1 inch thick laptops are also old news, in that the nicer gear from most outfits has been about that size for some years now. I, for one, however, welcome the death of the classic 2 inch thick, 15 inch low-res panel, fan howling monster as the standard $500 laptop.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421687)

1 inch thick at the $500ish price point, though, is a pretty favorable thickness/cost proposition

Even then it's not that great -- I've had PDAs that were half the cost and thickness of that! Or what about the Sharp Actius MM10 [wired.com]? It was half an inch thick six years ago! Yeah, it cost $1500 back then, but surely you could build the same thing today for $500.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420473)

Fine, so this is not for you. However, for a lot of business users, ability to slip in a briefcase designed for A4 paper is a big feature.

Re:Ultra-thin? (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420779)

I can't imagine the briefcase that can't hold a 'standard' laptop. I'm with OP - thickness is the least important dimension. I love my Eee PC but I have no idea how thick it is. Maybe I'm not stylish enough to appreciate this concept. To me "thin" just makes me think of bent laptops and cracked screens.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421061)

I've had plenty of bags in the past that couldn't easily take my laptop.

Having said that, I agree that bend/cracked laptop screens springs to mind, but only when we're talking about a $500 machine. You only have to pick up an adamo or MacBook Air to realise they're not going to bend or crack.

Re:Ultra-thin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420991)

Of all things about notebook (weight, performance, size) thickness is last I care about.

Error id10t: thickness is one dimension to size!

Re:Ultra-thin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28423665)

That's what she said.

Re:Ultra-thin? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28424385)

And you don't imagine thickness would in any way be related to size or weight? It's not like they're the same volume as any other laptop, just thinner and thus wider. :P

Besides, "ultra-thin" is just a marketing name for the sub-market.

"capable of multitasking" Really? (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28419977)

FinalAnkleHealer sends along an IBTimes article proposing that $500 ultra-thin laptops, capable of multitasking and editing multimedia content, could be the next market contested by Intel and AMD.

Good to know they are not running MSDOS, DRDOS, CP/M, RSTS, RT-11, Windows95 or MacOS9.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (4, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420229)

waitwaitwait.
Win95 had real, genuine multitasking. It was win3.11 that had the "task switching" tech where the foreground window was running.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421311)

It was Win 3.0 that limited the running process to the active window and interrupts. Win 3.11 did a cooperative task-switching using a message queue.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28423003)

What is this bullshit?

Windows 3.x had cooperative multitasking. As long as foreground apps played well (*1) you could have programs in the background trudging along just fine.

Windows 95 brought preemptive multitasking to the fray. Win16 programs were still cooperatively multitasked (*2), but 32-bit apps couldn't jam the computer if they wanted (well, at least not by not relinquishing control, of course there were other ways to crash the system).

Task switching has not been seen since approximately the Desqview (*3) times.

*1 (and they did more often than not - programs that "stole" the execution as it were would cause a multitude of other problems because the system was not able to process other stuff like printing, modem communications etc. and were thus shunned upon)
*2 (because they were programmed under that assumption - technically you could have preempted them too by launching a separate Win16 subsystem for each program but that would have been prohibitive in terms of resources - remember that Windows 95 had to run on 486/33 CPUs with 8 MB of RAM)
*3 (MS-DOS program that let you run multiple apps at the same time, but executing only one of them)

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423169)

As I understood it, Windows 95 had cooperative multitasking. In other words the currently running process had to handle an interrupt in order to allow the OS to switch tasks. The OS could not force a process to the background, and so it wasn't considered "true" multi-tasking by purists.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28423927)

Then you understood it wrong. Please look at wikipedia, or anything really, before spouting off your nonsense.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_95#Technical_improvements

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#28424787)

Win95 had "cooperative multitasking" between Win16 programs, and "preemptive multitasking" between Win32 programs.

However, on a single core/single CPU, I really wouldn't consider either timeslicing mechanism to be "true multitasking" since in reality you are still only running one process simultaneously.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (1)

Waccoon (1186667) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420547)

Hey, don't knock it. Some of the iPhone people need to be enlightened.

Re:"capable of multitasking" Really? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423717)

Mac OS 9 is certainly capable of multitasking (either cooperative or preemptive, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]) and can edit multimedia content just fine (what platform did you think iMovie [wikipedia.org] was designed for?). Of course, it only ran on PowerPC processors, so that might be an issue....

Slimness without performance? (4, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420019)

I hope they are promoting slimness with performance. I wonder why today's computing power with 1GHz machines and 1GB memories does not feel snappy at all.

I remember using computers years ago with Windows 95 that were quite fast on systems with 200MHz CPUs and 64Mb RAM modules.

I hope they will not forget performance...maybe the ARM systems will deliver on this.

Re:Slimness without performance? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420125)

I hope they are promoting slimness with performance.

Has the success of Apple and the iPhone taught you nothing? If it looks pretty, performance can remain an afterthought.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420137)

You wonder why?
Consider the possibility, that Vista [wikipedia.org] isn't the best Microsoft operating system to pick for a laptop.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420329)

900MHZ, 1GB, 16GB. I'm not even trying Vista. XP is far too slow to be usable (new www page takes >30s to open). Linux works acceptably but rather slow - 5s to open terminal, 20s to open Firefox, 5-10s page load (render) time... why?

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420561)

something is very wrong with your linux setup, on an identical machine I tend to find xterms are opened instantly, and firefox takes about five seconds.

Re:Slimness without performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421067)

gnome-terminal sometimes takes brief moment to load if it's not in the disk cache, but xterm doesn't fit very well into the visual style.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420733)

Linux works acceptably but rather slow [...] ... why?

It depends how you set up your linux environment. If you're using KDE4 with a million plasmoids and Compiz on max, then yes, it will be unacceptably slow. On the other hand, if you're using XFCE or fluxbox or some other "liteweight" DM, and a quick underlying OS, then it'll be zippy like no-one's business, even on a computer with a quarter of those specs. Hell, I've gotten Linux with a GUI (Puppy, to be specific) running fairly quickly on a AMD K6-era computer (enough for Grandma 6-pack if she doesn't mind the ugliness). Unlike XP/Vista (Mac is it's own thing because of the software/hardware integration), it's not reasonable to talk about Linux as a whole in terms of speed, because Linux occupies both extremes (CompizFusion+KDE4 on one end, no graphical interface whatsoever on the other).

Re:Slimness without performance? (3, Informative)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420759)

900MHZ, 1GB, 16GB

I think I know what your problem is: disk I/O. Why? Because between 2005 and 2007, my primary laptop was a second-hand purchased 600MHz P-III with 256Meg RAM and a 4GB harddisk. Got it for 100€ and I immediately added 256Meg to "speed it up". I installed Windows XP SP2 and it ran just fine (Okay, browsing back then was Firefox 1.5.x) One day, the 4Gig started to fill up (4Gig is fine for the OS + Applications, but once you start gathering a bit data....) and I thought "let's replace the disk". I bought the cheapest 2.5" harddisk I could find (which was a 80Gig disk, more than enough for my needs) and..... to my surprise the machine was suddenly feeling much faster. I wouldn't have ever guessed that the bottleneck at this state would be the disk I/O.

Now, with those specs, you might be talking about a Netbook. I also happen to have an Asus EEE PC 701 4G and with it's 670MHz (can't keep it on 900MHz, even on Debian), 2Gig RAM it does feel slow. Why? I highly suspect that those 4Gig SSD in there aren't all that hot. It runs Debian 5.0 with LXDE, but starting Iceweasel or Icedove takes forever. Once they're running, it's completely fine: they're in RAM and I've got plenty of that.

I don't expect XP to run better than Debian. The original Xandros was faster though. I don't really know what to do to optimize it.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421043)

For a long time I used to use a 500MHz, 128MB RAM, 8GB HDD computer (I had no source of income - I was 16-18). Here was my setup:

Debian Etch - I would use Lenny now
Fluxbox - any *box takes up ~0MB RAM (for all practical estimations, esp. with a gig of RAM) and are very snappy. I like flux- more than black- or open-.
Thunar file manager - the Xfce FM. Very quick and customisable. Not vomit-ugly like rox (IMO).
Xterm:
-> MOC for music
-> mutt for e-mail
-> finch for IM/IRC
-> vim (of course) for text editing
Links2 in graphical mode for the web when I could, firefox when I had to. ...so it's possible to get any POS computer doing anything you want pretty quickly

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421121)

...so it's possible to get any POS computer doing anything you want pretty quickly

sorry to reply to self, but in case anyone points out that this isn't true - I KNOW. But it was true in my case :-|

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423241)

but in case anyone points out that this isn't true - I KNOW.

Depends what you call POS, doesn't it? Let's define POS as computers you will find readily in the dumpster. I'm a computer dumpster diver and if the people at the recycling centre don't catch me, I take computers and try to refurbish them for the lesser lucky.

I've found a P-IV 1.9GHz/512Meg RAM (Rambus, so not very upgradable) with a dual-head graphics card. I've found several AMD XP 2400+ machines, usually with 256Meg DDR RAM, but find a few of these machine and you've got one capable machine and tons of spare parts. I recently refurbished such a machine, gave it 1GB RAM and it's now in use by the daughter of an acquaintance. She's even very proud of not running Windows, perhaps it is a good idea to indoctrinate 12 year olds *grin*.

Best thing I've found is a AMD64 3000+ (socket 939). Sure it also had only a meager 256Meg RAM, but that's hell of a machine to find in a dumpster.

To make a long story short: Usually I don't even bother taking P-III class machines anymore because there is way better stuff in the dumpsters and I don't have a massive amount of storage room.

A P-III with sufficient RAM (About 512Meg) running XP Home (dumpster diven machines often still have their license stickers! If they don't, I use Ubuntu) is a more than capable office/surfing machine.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421125)

900MHz what? Z80?

5 seconds to open terminal? Are you running your HD in basic ATA PIO mode?

Or maybe the 16GB SSD in your Celeron powered netbook is very slow ... what Linux distro are you using?

Ubuntu 8.10 on a VIA C7 at 1.2GHz (1GB RAM, 120GB HD) loads Gnome Terminal in a couple of seconds. That's a crappy CPU, slow HD. Firefox loads in a third of the time you're talking about.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423499)

Bloat is the reason.

Make sure you system is running only what is needed. Usually most of the new PC a preloaded with tons of bloatware running in the background.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#28424709)

I have to agree. I loaded the current build of Ubuntu netbook remix onto my gf's Acer netbook (SSD model) and it is annoyingly slow.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420697)

I guess it depends on how much you rose color the glasses. These days I might just happen to have a torrent running in the background downlading 2MB/sec using SSL encrypted connections with lots of random writes, and the machine is still very usable. Try that on a system with 200MHz CPUs and 64Mb RAM and you might as well go read a book, because it'll be completely useless.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420725)

It doesn't matter how fast the processor runs if the software is pissing cycles away with frivolities. And it doesn't matter how much memory the machine has if the OS is thrashing about trying to find space for another application kept open.

Re:Slimness without performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421491)

My Dell Mini 9 with Ubuntu feels plenty "snappy". In fact, most folks I show it to immediately remark "wow that thing is _fast_". They are blown away to learn it is under $300 USD.

To put it simply, the general population has no idea how much Windows causes computers to suck.

ARM and floating-point (1)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421721)

I hope they will not forget performance...maybe the ARM systems will deliver on this.

Perhaps someone can inform me on this topic, but I am under the impression that ARM is not going to offer this performance in situations where lots of floating-point ops are required.

Re:Slimness without performance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28422095)

I was very disappointed in the performance of an atom based netbook.

I wasn't demanding a whole lot from it, but all it had to beat was a 3 year old 1.6Ghz Pentium M Inspiron. And the atom based netbook was horrible. I have little idea who can use those things and not be frustrated.

Re:Slimness without performance? (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#28424355)

I wonder why today's computing power with 1GHz machines and 1GB memories does not feel snappy at all.

That's because back then you didn't have a Firewall, a fully featured browser like you have now, 3D desktops, Wifi, Bluetooth and onboard video and sound eating up your entire CPU, background services like-... Oh you get the point. Operating Systems were shitty compared to the features we have now, that's why, even if it's under the hood...

On a side note: KDE 4.x is faster than Vista, but the windowing system in Vista is faster than Kwin. Why is that? Yeah Vista is slow but the UI is smooth as hell... :/

Supporting linux (1)

pinkishpunk (1461107) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420035)

hope amd will be able to deliver better oss support for such an intergrated system, than via have been able to wirh the NC20 system, the drivers for X are flacky be it the openchrome ones or the closesource one. brough a Nc20 without really having checked how well it preformed under linux, a shame that such a nice little machine is being holded back by via inability to delived the needed infomation to make better drivers.

Re:Supporting linux (1)

GreenTech11 (1471589) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420271)

I hate to break this to you, but linux is not necessarily the best OSS, you may well have been better leaving it with the default operating system. even though it was probably Microsoft XP

OSS? (1)

jonlandrum (937349) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420629)

"OSS" stands for "Open Source Software", of which Linux is a fine example. "OS" is what you were probably looking for, which stands for "Operating System".

Ports (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420065)

Thickness will be limited by large ports such as VGA, USB annd ethernet, unless they make everything wireless.

Re:Ports (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420879)

There's quite a bit of room before we hit that barrier. Macbook Air is 20mm thick in its thickest place. RJ45, the thickest of the ones you listed is 8mm in the thickest place, meaning a well-engineered socket can be 1cm thick (and a better-engineered one will collapse to half that size when not used). Ethernet is dying in the laptop world too. VGA is dying, HDMI is 4.45mm tall. I think USB at is to stay the longest, with its 5mm plugs.

  Anyway, the first centimeter can be shedded with little/no obstacles from the socket side.

Re:Ports (1, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421803)

Video out (VGA or otherwise) is unnecessary in this class of machine -- but even if you did want it, you could use Mini DisplayPort. Ethernet is unnecessary. USB is necessary, but is also thin enough to fit -- and if it isn't, you could use Mini- or Micro-USB.

Just more battery life (4, Insightful)

Crookdotter (1297179) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420067)

If you can make a thin laptop, just add on a massive battery and make it as thick as a regular one. I don't care how thin it is, but a laptop that can survive normal use on battery for 8 hours would be an amazing thing.

Re:Just more battery life (4, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420181)

Seconded!
Only when you're truly going to innovate make it 24h!
My big-ass notebook has a battery that is around 5% of the total volume (rough calculation) and it manages 2.5 hours of normal work or 2 hours of more intense usage. When you have a battery that is 50% of the volume of the tiny netbook (and the chipset is much less power hungry than an ordinary notebook) you can easily make the battery life tenfold of what it is today.

Re:Just more battery life (3, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420249)

If you can make a thin laptop, just add on a massive battery and make it as thick as a regular one. I don't care how thin it is, but a laptop that can survive normal use on battery for 8 hours would be an amazing thing.

Depending on what you name "normal use", I think that Eee 1000HE may be enough for you. I have used my for a complete day without needing to plug it to the mains.

I have been using my Eee for a lot more than web-surfing. I can watch video, play games (http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=57479) and even composing/playing music (tuxguitar).

The *only* thing I may recommend is upgrading to 2GB RAM (from 1 GB RAM available out of the box), but so far, I haven't done this and is not a real problem.

Re:Just more battery life (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420305)

If you can make a thin laptop, just add on a massive battery and make it as thick as a regular one.

I'm with you in spirit but the giant battery would tack 10 pounds onto the weight. We need micro fusion generators that weigh just a few ounces.

Re:Just more battery life (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421523)

College students regularly carry 10lbs or more of books without question. A laptop with >24h battery life would be an ideal book replacement, so it would be worth the weight IMO.

Re:Just more battery life (2, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420599)

I've just pulled the NiMH battery pack out of an HP 6735 laptop; A long and thin job which slips into the back of the laptop, under the monitor hinges. It's around 12" long, 2" circumference (guestimate) and weighs around 350g.

If I were to put the entire base of the laptop full of those batteries, they alone would weigh 2.8kg. The laptop itself weighs, from the tried and tested "hold it up and think of a bag of sugar" method, 2kg without the battery.

I think your idea needs refining a little.

Re:Just more battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28423345)

eeePC 901?

No personal experience, but my 900, rated for 1,5h survives 2h of light/moderate usage. 901 rated for 7.5h may be what you need.

concentrate on NOT SUCK 1st, then go for THIN (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28420103)

seriously, laptops have so many problems, we don't need to add EDIBLE to the list

Offtopic : Slashdot is unvisitable. (0, Offtopic)

siyavash (677724) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420217)

Yeah yeah, totally offtopic but is it just me or is Slashdot becoming some sort of forever beta test like Google stuff? The site is slooooow like a glue and weird bugs all over the place. I'm using latest version of Opera.

"Consumers want smaller laptops" (3, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420277)

As a happy Acer Aspire One user (running Fedora 11), I'd appreciate a 10" (maybe 12", at a push) version for easier, mobile working, but it's clear that the netbook market was a double-edged sword for the manufacturers because the units were popular, but margins were crap.

I've slowly watched the decent netbook products migrate towards 12" screens at price points that make me think "I might as well get a low-end laptop for that" and although "ultra thin" would be nice, it's not top of my list. The 'regular' technology in the netbooks/slim laptops is 'fine for me'.

Fair enough, I am not 'everyone', but how many are willing to pay a premium for ultra-thin cases, batteries etc. when the kit on the market today isn't exactly hernia-inducing? This smells of a marketing angle designed to keep margins up. We're not all like Mac sheeple that will buy it simply because it's shiny and made by Apple/Acer/Asus etc.: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/apple_introduces_revolutionary [theonion.com]

Re:"Consumers want smaller laptops" - Dell mini 12 (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420645)

I just purchased a Dell Mini 12 with Ubuntu pre-installed. I love it, light (3 lbs), 5.5 - 6 hour battery life (48wh battery), and thin too. Great secondary Laptop for travel, working in bed. My other machine is a 17" Powerbook.

Re:"Consumers want smaller laptops" - Dell mini 12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421129)

Still with Broadcom wireless blob? Tanks, but I'll pass. There are already choices that do not tie me to a specific modified version of the kernel (and thus to a specific operating system if I'm not a tinkerer), I'll go with one of those.

Re:"Consumers want smaller laptops" - Dell mini 12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421301)

>My other machine is a 17" Powerbook.

I bet you also put a sticker with that slogan on the back of your Dell.

Re:"Consumers want smaller laptops" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421629)

I just sold my Acer Aspire One and got a HP/Compaq Mini. Same size, similar weight, same specs more or less. The only real difference is the added bluetooth, and a 10" screen instead of a 9". In fact, it's 10.1" instead of 8.9". What a difference that extra 1.2" make. I wouldnt go any bigger, but this screen at this price point (250 euros more or less) is the sweet spot for me. At least until we see 50 euro ARM netbooks.
I used to have a 12" HP, and although you wouldnt think it, and it only seemed a *wee bit* bigger, that extra wee bit made it too big to be easily carrieable without a big bag. The 10" screen fits in my 'man-bag' that I used to carry the acer in. No real appreciable difference in legibility or usability but a big difference in portability and price (the 12" was a 1000 euro super lightweight business notebook).

And, yeah, I know. I never thought I would be extolling the virtues of 10" over 9" either. I sound like my girlfriend ;-)

How about a cell-phone sized computer? (1, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420311)

Say, with a project-able display and project-to-any-surface keyboard?

Bonus if it weighed no more than today's smart phones and lasted all day between charges.

I know, I know, "dream on," at least for this decade.

Or, how about a computer-sized cell phone? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421905)

A 10" or 12" (4:3) touchscreen (or Wacom-style digitizer), less than 1/2" thick (preferably 1/4", like an iPod Nano), 12 hour battery life, slow processor (good enough for web surfing). It would be perfect!

Re:How about a cell-phone sized computer? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28422871)

I'm not sure about the project-able display (though wireless HDMI is available, you'd have issues with lugging the TV screen around with you), but a projectable keyboard [thinkgeek.com] is readily available. And it connects via bluetooth, so you can keep your cellphone-sized PC in your pocket.

I'd like to see this become a reality (displays projected onto spectacles for instance), but unfortunately software requires more processing power than you can shake a big stick at, so I don't expect it to happen anytime soon. It'd be a killer app if you could make it though, and would possibly destroy managed code and bloated OSs in no time if you did.

oh... hang on... you can have spectacles-projected displays [thinkgeek.com]!

Last years ultra-portable is this year's thin... (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420317)

This whole 'mobile-portable' computing movement is a ridiculous marketing blackhole, IMHO. My ultimate concern with any laptop I've owned over the last 10+ years has been weight, performance, battery life and usability. Like the majority, I could care less about how 'thin' my mobile computing device is, and without being contradicting with my concern about weight, not having a bit of depth to the device would make any type of the most basic computing skills (e.g. using the touchpad mouse or typing) on your lap, sitting in a chair or at a table kind of difficult without a bit of vertical depth to rest your hands on. Apple Airbook and it's PC competitors just never felt all that comfortable to be to begin with. I bought into the netbook hype and I really it's design purpose driven around portability. Not so sure I'll be doing this time around. What seems was "Ultra-small, portable netbooks for $199" last year, will be this years "Ultra-thin laptops for $500". This is almost like a hot super model debate.

Re:Last years ultra-portable is this year's thin.. (2, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420413)

If you want it lighter, but still have a decent sized keyboard and screen, then the only way to do that is to make it thinner.

fix landscape portrait sync problems (3, Insightful)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420355)

rather then worrying about thin, how about the hardware and software people get to gether and have a std for web pages, so we don't have these awful problems of landscape screens and portrait pages (even worse for most pdfs - people edit them in word for portrait display, which never happens on screen, can't adobe make a pdf that auto changes the format of the file to fit screen or print mode ?)

Re:fix landscape portrait sync problems (3, Funny)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420429)

how about the hardware and software people get to gether and have a std for web pages

It happened already. It's called MySpace and most pages indeed look like they had some STD.

Re:fix landscape portrait sync problems (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420435)

You use html if you want a document that adapts to different screen sizes. PDFs are supposed to look the same anywhere.

Some web designers do design their pages in ways that break this, but your complaint is with them, not the hardware and software people.

Re:fix landscape portrait sync problems (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420637)

Making text files simultaneuously "just work" for both landscape and portrait modes is an insurmountable task; mostly because there will always be something you can tweak about the final product, ultimately defeating the whole point of such software.

Take a simple flyer for example, the amount of vertical space allows for lots of neat, short snippets. A horizontal flyer ends up sub-par, because it looks both less businesslike and it can contain fewer sections of text. Short and sweet is the way to go for business products, and making it display on anything that is different from its form factor diminishes that effect.

Yes, I get irritated with endless scrolling, but there's nothing stopping me from going into two-page mode (which works out well for me, having a widescreen monitor and all) or from fitting the entire page to the screen. There's always options!

Hardware and software people get together when there's money involved. Otherwise, it's like trying to herd cows and chickens at the same time; everyone will want to go their own way (why not biometrics? why not biometrics support in HTML? why not tweak that biometrics hardware to be more accurate? you get the idea).

If you have 'awful problems' of landscape screens and portrait pages, try doing something about it. Change your monitor's orientation (if possible; i do so occasionally even on my laptop) or change the way the program displays those pages. If you can't read it in dual-page mode, try finding anti-aliasing viewing/editing software, so you can see the finer details. There's -always- something you can do; making it someone else's problem only works so far.

Re:fix landscape portrait sync problems (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420961)

Text files "just work" anywhere. I think what you mean is "word processor documents".

Battleground? I Doubt It (3, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420391)

As much as I love AMD, I would like to know what the submitter was thinking calling it a battleground. It's only a fair fight for AMD so long as Intel's not interested - AMD (and their manufacturing partner née subsidiary) can't match Intel's manufacturing abilities. AMD doesn't have an Ultra Low Voltage chip; Intel has a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo that runs at 10W [intel.com], meanwhile it's murky at best for AMD's competing chip line, the Neo. The only specs given out to the press for the new fual core version [notebookreview.com], which is 18W for the 1.6GHz version, with the chip still being built on the 65nm process which hobbles AMD from the start. Bear in mind that the Neo is Athlon 64 based, which means that it's not clock-for-clock competitive with the Core 2 Duo (you'd need a Phenom II-based core for that). In other words, the Intel chip eats less power and gets more performance at the same time.

So if Intel's serious about this, it's only a battle so long as they don't decide to crush AMD with products and pricing. Intel is light years ahead of AMD in the mobile space due to their process technology advantage. Even TFA points out that they expect 8 hours out of the Intel CPUs, but only 5 hours out of the AMD CPUs. It's entirely lop-sided in Intel's favor.

Now TFA does mention AMD will have Congo later this year, but even if that's 45nm (AMD has not commented on that matter), it's unlikely that they'd be able to meet Intel's power envelope. When you look at the desktop chips this stuff is derived from, the Phenom II takes more transistors and as a result power than the Core 2 Duo, and that's only to reach a clock-for-clock parity. Congo wouldn't change this.

Re:Battleground? I Doubt It (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420611)

Isn't this Transmeta territory? Transmeta was making ultra low power chips before it was the in thing to do. My question would be why weren't intel and AMD doing this 10 years ago?

http://www.transmeta.com/index2.html [transmeta.com]

Re:Battleground? I Doubt It (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421181)

Because people cared a lot more about speed then. That's a terrible way of putting it, as people still care plenty about speed, but more and more people actually have 'enough' speed these days, so other things are getting more attention.

Re:Battleground? I Doubt It (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28422923)

As much as I love AMD, I would like to know what the submitter was thinking calling it a battleground. It's only a fair fight for AMD so long as Intel's not interested - AMD (and their manufacturing partner née subsidiary) can't match Intel's manufacturing abilities. AMD doesn't have an Ultra Low Voltage chip; Intel has a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo that runs at 10W [intel.com], meanwhile it's murky at best for AMD's competing chip line, the Neo. The only specs given out to the press for the new fual core version [notebookreview.com], which is 18W for the 1.6GHz version, with the chip still being built on the 65nm process which hobbles AMD from the start. Bear in mind that the Neo is Athlon 64 based, which means that it's not clock-for-clock competitive with the Core 2 Duo (you'd need a Phenom II-based core for that). In other words, the Intel chip eats less power and gets more performance at the same time.

Mod parent troll. Do you work for intel or something? http://www.amd.com/us-en/ConnectivitySolutions/ProductInformation/0,,50_2330_9863_9864,00.html
There's a link for the AMD geode processor that pulls 1.1W.

So if Intel's serious about this, it's only a battle so long as they don't decide to crush AMD with products and pricing. Intel is light years ahead of AMD in the mobile space due to their process technology advantage. Even TFA points out that they expect 8 hours out of the Intel CPUs, but only 5 hours out of the AMD CPUs. It's entirely lop-sided in Intel's favor.

WTF? This argument only makes sense in the fantasy land where companies don't care about making money. Intel is doing everything they can in every space they compete in, including this one.

Now TFA does mention AMD will have Congo later this year, but even if that's 45nm (AMD has not commented on that matter), it's unlikely that they'd be able to meet Intel's power envelope. When you look at the desktop chips this stuff is derived from, the Phenom II takes more transistors and as a result power than the Core 2 Duo, and that's only to reach a clock-for-clock parity. Congo wouldn't change this.

Citation needed?

Re:Battleground? I Doubt It (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423125)

What surprises me here is the lack of mention of ARM.

An ultra-thin netbook type machine requires an ARM processor to have an half-way decent battery life (ultra-thin usually implies smaller batteries). A CPU that consumers 7W (such as the Atom) is using 6 Watts too many IMHO.

Um, snapdragon? (4, Interesting)

zefrer (729860) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420399)

I'm sure Intel would like all of that pie and unfortunately for us, they are willing to do anything to get it. Including strong arming Asus when they showed an Arm based chipset running on Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform (running Android no less). A quick intervention from Intel and Microsoft and Asus was saying that 'the project is on hold' while sharing a stage with a VP from each of Intel and Microsoft.. Story on slashdot a couple days back.

Oh and these arm based devices can run all-day(apparently), nevermind 8 hours.

http://gizmodo.com/5273723/asus-demos-snapdragon+based-eee-pc-with-android [gizmodo.com]

AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma sucks (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420421)

AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma sucks and amd has good on board video.

Re:AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma su (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420635)

Does AMD compete on audio too?

Ah, you've already covered that. Apologies.

Re:AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma su (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420823)

amd has good on board video

They do?

My ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 begs to differ.... That card sucks on both Windows and Linux. Yes, surely because it has no dedicated memory, but you did say "on board video" which pretty much never got memory of its own.

Re:AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma su (1)

StayFrosty (1521445) | more than 4 years ago | (#28422789)

The Radeon Xpress 1100 was made by ATI long before they were bought by AMD. As much as this card sucks, it's still performs better than an onboard Intel made at the same time. Neither chip has dedicated memory. The current generation of on-board AMD/ATi Chips will blow away the on-board Intel chips.

Re:AMD can win on video alone hear as intel gma su (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423037)

Well, yes, but people will remember the products they had before and frankly, I've never been a happy camper with ATI. I've seen high-end cards (when they were already bought by AMD) fail to deliver: flakey drivers under Windows, not working at all under Linux.

I just can be freaking glad that I didn't have an Intel chip in that machine, because I just can't imagine any worse performing card. Heck, the Intel graphics chip on my Asus EEE performs better! (Might have to do with the small resolution of the screen of course)

Also the HP Pavilion tx2500z a great little tablet (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28420525)

It uses an AMD Turion X2 35W TDP CPU, not quite CULV, but it's pretty much the best value tablet around, and nice and portable at 12.1", only complaint is the somewhat washed-out screen, but that's a given for tablets with both a touchscreen and active digitizer.

Anyway, if CULV is the new 'battleground', I think on one hand Intel would have an advantage because of their typically lower TDPs (thermal design power, heat that needs to be removed) for a given performance level, however on the other hand, AMD usually has the avantage of costing less coin for a given performance level (eg the tablet above would cost about 35~40% if it was on an Intel platform), so who knows really who's going to lead.

An inch? nowadays? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28421007)

I wasn't aware that an inch was currently considered "thin" by any stretch. Half an inch, and you're got your "thin". But then it's not "thin" we're using to describe this, but "ultra-thin"? I was hoping for a printed-PC, and they hand me a brick. Maybe it's nice, but if you want the label "ultra-thin", you've got to go at most a quarter of an inch, and even then this is slashdot, so I'd prefer some pie-in-the-sky never-gonna-see-the-light-of-day piece about a notebook that's no thicker than a credit-card.

Who will care? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28421231)

When you can get a smartbook that can do all this, runs 10 hours, and costs $100-$200?
(Remember the article here on /., about these [ARM + nVidia Tegra acceleration + Linux] devices coming out in autumn?)

Oops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28422311)

With more people gravitating toward mobile and wireless technology, consumers want cheaper large laptops...

There, fixed that for you.

Sounds like... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#28423163)

... someone trying to talk themselves into thinking that the market is different than it is.

ith more people gravitating toward mobile and wireless technology, consumers want smaller laptops â" and most of those people would prefer doing more than surfing the Web, which the no-frills netbooks now excel at. ...

Not really. Because when you're looking at smaller laptops, you are by necessity looking at smaller screens. Smaller screens - no matter how fast the processor behind them - are not going for doing involved tasks beyond writing documents (if the keyboard suits) and surfing the web. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish up some work over SSH on my Blackberry.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...