Column: CeBIT Hannover - Day 3
Wine, women and song
The third day also brought numerous interesting impressions with it – it goes without saying that these were solely technical, naturally. Especially the new netbook, or respectively mini-notebook, from Acer (we'll wait for the match between David and Goliath or rather Intel vs. Psion…), the Aspire One D150 provided for a flurry of flashbulbs beside MSI's new X340 ultra-slim notebook.
Yesterday MSI had a get-together at its stand at the end of the day. High-ranking representatives from various manufactures met each other here as well as the "Crème de la Crème" of the international media-scene to debate on the current situation of the IT branch and to discuss the future strategies and complicated technical problems. Cocktails and exclusive bread rolls were served.
In the name of all guests, we would like to articulate a special thanks to the team from overclockers.at for the first class service, who had a heart for even the holders of the blue "Blogger-Cards" in opposition to some bad-tempered waiters.
MSI doesn't only try to score in a culinary way. The manufactures also had something very interesting up their sleeve. MSI presented its new "Design Star" in the range of the ultra-slim notebooks with the X340 and the X320.
The design reminds very strongly of the already long available Macbook Air, who recognized the trend almost a year ago and maybe even initialized it. The MSI counterpart can keep up quite nicely with the aluminum-dandy from Apple, whereas it looks a bit different when it comes to the feel of the notebook.
In this regard the device absolutely can't hold a candle to the Californian archetype.
Be that as it may, the configuration of the X340 sounds very promising: Intel SU3500 CPU, Intel GS45 chip-set, integrated GMA 4500M HD graphic and a 16:9 1366x768 pixels display. The X320 shows the same case, but with Intel netbook technologies: Intel Atom Z530 CPU, US15W chip set and GMA 500 graphic.
We think that especially one thing will be crucial for the success of the notebook – the price. The starting price of the Macbook Air of around 1500.00 Euros has to be underbid considerably in order to justify the mentioned differences of quality. According to first rumors, the X320 will be available for about 699.00 Euros.
The first appointment of the day lead us to the Intel Extreme-Masters hall. Extreme was in particular the soundscape in the mentioned hall in which countless computers were put up and where dozens of clans battled in the different games. Very present: The classic "Counterstrike" in various modifications.
The German notebook retailer Schenker Notebooks also presented a thematically fitting selection of its high performance gaming notebooks. We met old acquaintances like the XMG5 or also the XMG7, which we have already partially tested. Our interest was directed somewhat offside of the high performance bolides to a compact 15 inch notebook, the MG6, equipped with an ATI HD4650 graphic, though. Positioned at a price of about 1000.00 Euros, the device might be of interest for hobby gamers with a limited budget.
The on-site benchmark tests certify the notebook a very acceptable gaming suitability. With a result of 6668 points in the 3D Mark 2006 benchmark test the laptop reached a respectable result, which rows the HD4650 graphic card from ATI in on the level of a Geforce 9700M GT. The notebook delivered a good performance with an average of 47 fps at a native resolution of 1366x786 pixel and medium details in the practical test with "Burnout Paradise".
The test sample on display was equipped with the P9600 CPU, an already efficient CPU. In the highest configuration it can go one better with the T9800 CPU from Intel with 2.9 GHz. A solid component part remains to be the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 512MB with GDDR3 RAM, which can be handled amongst gamers as an insider's tip because of it exceptional money for value ratio.
On our way to the Asus press conference we became direct witnesses of the terrible effects of the financial crisis on the IT and telecommunication branch. In front of the "T-Mobile" hall we were confronted with a downright horrific sight:
It's all very well to laugh for Acer in these hard times, which tried to convince the attendant press with numerous positive statistics of the successful course of the Taiwanese computer manufacturer. The future main point of the worldwide second notebook retailer also solidified itself quickly: Smartphones. Acer wants to try to break into this new market with a whole range of completely new models.
The displayed new Aspire One D150 was also of immense interest out of our point of view. It will relieve the very successful Aspire One A110 netbook with its 10.1 inch screen and will be righteous to the current trend of a bigger display and user-friendly input devices. Here are the first pictures of the mini-notebook. We will present an extensive review of the D150 shortly.
We would like to close the third exposition day with a very ingenious quotation:
"Who loves not wine, women and song, Remains a fool his whole life long" (Luther) – Well then, Cheers!