NBC on site: Laptop highlights from the IFA 2010
on 09.07.2010, by Sebastian Jentsch
Laptop trends. The future trends are now becoming clear: 3D displays, tablet PCs, matt display panels and gaming laptops with ATI 5870 or Nvidias 4XX series hardware. Samsung is experimenting with its shark design, Medion is focusing on value for money gaming machines and Toshiba came with a tablet PC for 430 Euros.
Notebookcheck was at the IFA 2010 to examine the interesting new models being presented by Sony, Samsung, Packard Bell, Acer, Medion, MSI, Lenovo and Toshiba. In this article we take the opportunity to make a very brief summary of what, from our point of view, were the most imporant novelties presented by the manufacturers.
Toshiba: Android based tablet, Folio 100
Having brought us the dual 7" W100 Libretto during the middle of the year (two touchscreens with 1.024x768 each), the manufacturer is now presenting its first consumer tablet, the Folio 100. The technology and operating system are identical to that of the Cloud Companion AC100: Nvidia Tegra 2 and Android 2.2. This free smartphone OS is so diverse with respect to its applications, that one could imagine it being useful in any kind of situation. The 10.1" multi-touch display with its 1.024 x 600 pixels follows the netbook standard and is well suited for mobile web surfing. Thanks to its Tegra chipset, it can also play Flash based media that is too taxing for many Intel Atom netbooks.
As far as the connectivity is concerned you will receive Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and WLAN (802.11 b/g/n). A 3G broadband HSPA module is available in the upmarket version. The connections consist of a docking port, 1 x Mini-HDMI, 1 x USB 2.0, SD/MMC card reader and 3,5 mm audio jack. Weighing in at 760 grams, Toshiba claims that one can expect 7 hours of battery life (consisting of 65% surf the internet, 10% playing videos and 25% on stand-by; according to manufacturer).
The Folio 100 is an exciting product as it comes at a good price (from 430 Euros), it has a large display, an HD capable system (Tegra), and an HDMI port. The free Android OS will provide you with plenty of Apps. both now and in the future.
Specifications of the Toshiba Folio 100
- Nvidia Tegra 2
- 25,7 cm (10,1 Zoll)
- Multitouch Display, 1,024 x 600 Pixel
- Runs on Android 2.2
- Integrated Flash memory: 16 GB
- Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, WLAN (802.11 b/g/n), 3G
- HSPA broadband module (will be available shortly depending on configuration)
- DLNA compatible
- 1 x Mini-HDMI, 1 x USB 2.0, SDTM/MMC card reader, 3,5 mm audio jack
- Supports Adobe Flash 10.1
- Playback in full HD(1920x1080)
- Motion detector changes orientation of screen content
- Web camera with 1.3 MegaPixel
- Battery life: 7 hours
- Weight: 760 g
- Dimensions: 281 mm x 181 mm x 14 mm
- Software (extract): Opera Mobile, Toshiba Media Player, FBReader, Fring, Document to Go, Evernote
- 429 Euro (Folio 100 WIFI), from November 2010
- 529 Euro (Folio 100 3G), first quarter 2011
Toshiba: Satellite R630 - Luxury subnotebook for consumers
For those who are swooning over the Portégé R700 but can't afford the 1.599 Euro price tag, you might want to consider the Satellite R630 consumer model which looks and feels the same. At 1.4 kilograms it is just as light as its more expensive family member and also includes the optical drive. Cost: 999 Euro (Satellite R630-12G) or 1.149 Euro (Satellite R630-13J). The display is non-reflective. If you are now asking yourself why one would consider buying the expensive R700, then you are probably not looking for features like a docking port and HSDPA-Modem (3G) which are not included in the R630.
Specifications Satellite R630
- Intel Core i Prozessor i5-450M, 2.4 GHz
- 2,024 MB + 2,024 MB DDR3 RAM (1066 MHz)
- 500-GB- bzw. 320-GB hard drive with HDD 3D motion detector
- Display: 33.8 cm (13.3") TruBrite HD display with LED backlighting, 1,366 x 768 pixels (16:9), 200 cd/m2
- ODD: 9.5 mm DVD Super Slim Super Multi & DL
- Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, WLAN (802.11 b/g/n), Gigabit Ethernet LAN
- 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x eSATA /USB Combo Port with Sleep-and-Charge und Multi-Card Reader, VGA, HDMI
- VGA Webkamera
- Toshiba Resolution+, Toshiba Media Controller, Toshiba LifeSpace, Toshiba PC Health Monitor
- Dimensions: 316 mm x 227 mm x 20,4 mm / 26.4 mm
- Weight: from 1,4 kg
- Warranty: 2 years
- 999 Euro (Satellite R630-12G)
- 1.149 Euro (Satellite R630-13J)
Toshiba: Nvidia 3D now with upscaling and one less cable
The Satellite A665-11Z and Qosmio F60 models provide 3D images, movies and videos using active shutter glasses. In order to do this, the HD ready display (1,366 x 768 pixels, both models), refreshes at 120 Hz during which the Nvidia 3D-Vision-Technologie generates a second 3D image for each image presented on the screen. This image becomes visible to the human eye during the rapid closing cycle of the active shutters. The emitter for the shutter glasses is integrated into the frame of the display (formerly a USB solution).
For 1.549 Euro, the A665-11Z gaming version comes with a powerful Geforce GTS 350M as well as a i7-740QM processor (2.93-GHz-Turbo). The F60 is more of an entertainer than a gamer and has to settle for the Nvidia GT 330M. There is a choice of CPUs which includes the Core i7.
Both models are supplied with a 3D Toshiba Video Player, which converts 2D films and images to 3D. This is to compensate for the current lack of real 3D movies while also putting the old 2D movies in a different light. As one might expect, native 3D material can also be played using the Blu-ray 3D player which can then be presented on a 3D TV using HDMI.
Specifications Satellite A665 3D
- Intel Core i7 (Quad Core)
- RAM: up to 8 GB DDR3 (1066 MHz)
- 2.5" HDD up to 750 GB with 3D motion detector
- 39.6 cm (15.6") TruBrite HD 3D compatible display (120 Hz) LED
- Resolution 1,366 x 768 Pixel (16:9), 200 cd/m2
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 350M
- Blu-ray player with writing capability, plays Blu-ray 3D discs
- Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR,
- (802.11 b/g/n), Gigabit Ethernet LAN
- 1 x HDMI (3D-fähig), 3 x USB 2.0, 1x eSATA / USB Combo Port with Sleep-and-Charge, Multi-card Reader
- Supports NVIDIA 3DTV PLAY
- Toshiba Video Player 3D with application to convert 2D to 3D
- Integrated IR Emitter for use with the NVIDIA 3D Vision Active Shutter Glasses
- Dimensions: 380,5 mm x 254 mm x 28 mm (front) / 35,6 mm (rear)
- Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)
- ENERGY STAR 5.0
- Price: N/A
Specifications Qosmio F60 3D
- Intel Core i3, Core i5 / Core i7 (Quad Core)
- RAM: up to 8 GB DDR3 (1066 MHz)
- Up to 640 GB HDD with 3D motion detector
- 15.6" (39,6 cm) TruBrite Display with LED
- 16:9 Display and HD resolution (1366 x 768 Pixel)
- NVIDIA GeForce GT
- 330M with1GB VRAM
- Blu-ray Disc with writing capability, Blu-ray 3D disc or DVD-SuperMulti (DL)
- Integrated TV Tuner
- WLAN (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
- HDMI (3D compatible), HDMICEC
- Supports 3D video streaming to 3D compatible TVs
- Toshiba Video Player 3D with conversion from 2D to 3D and Resolution+
- Dimensions: 29,1 mm (front) and 34,8 mm (rear)
- Microsoft Windows 7
- Preis: N/A
Samsung: Galaxy Tab in 7-Zoll
The press conference room which was bursting at the seams, as well as the mass of people at the exposition stand, underlined the great interest the media has concerning Samsung's 7" tablet. At 799 Euro (RRP), the manufacturer places this 380 gram tablet in the upper price category. Your investment gives you Android 2.2 running on a 1.0 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. The tablet can also be used as a phone (Bluetooth headset, Version 3.0), and a 3G module with GPS comes as standard. The battery life is claimed to be around 7 hours.
Whether the Galaxy Tab stands a chance in this price category, and whether it can reduce Apple's current hold on the market, will depend on the Apps. and the mobile service providers (bundles and subsidies). Apple currently has the best Apps., but this could change quickly as more and more Android based phones and tablets enter the market (see Toshiba Folio 100).
Specifications Samsung Galaxy Tab
- Quad-Band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz), W-CDMA HSDPA/HSUPA, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS
- Processor 1 GHz Cortex A8
- Display 7“/ 17.8 cm touchscreen, TFT, 1,024x600 pixels
- Dimensions/weight 190 x 120 x 11,9 mm (WxLxH) / 380 g
- Li-Ion battery, 4,000 mAh up to 7 hours of video play time
- Memory 16/ 32 GB integrated, microSD slot (up to 32 GB)
- Camera 3.2 Megapixel camera, second camera for video phone
- Interfaces WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v3.0
- Additional functionality
- Android v 2.2, Android Market
- Readers Hub, Media Hub, Music Hub, Social Hub, Adobe Flash Player 10.1
- HD playback, ThinkFree Office, Swype Hybrid Widget
- Price: 799 Euro
Samsung: A "Great White" for trendsetters – SF/NF series
While all of our colleagues were throwing themselves at the Tablet-Mini, the Samsung laptops didn't seem to get much attention. It was still worth taking a look however as the manufacturer presented 6 new models in its line up, of which the esthetically daring SF series (Shark-Design), and the RF series (performance with powerful GPU), stood out the most.
The SF510 is a 15.6" laptop in a streamlined housing (13.3" version SF310). Samsung is indeed the first manufacturer that is willing to take on such a daring design, and stray from the norm in such a way. As far as performance is concerned it finds itself in the lower middle class with a Core i3 and Nvidia GT 310M. Samsung emphasizes the 7 hour battery life. The speed it has is noticeable however when one finds the OS up and running within seconds of initiating a Fast Start. In this instance, it does not start up from standby as one might expect, but from the "off" position.
Specifications Samsung SF510
- Intel Core i3 Prozessor 370M (2.4 GHz)
- Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium, 64Bit
- Memory 4 GB (DDR3 / 2 GB x 2)
- Display 39.62 cm (15.6") WSVGA (1,366 x 768), reflective
- Hard drive 500 GB (5400 rpm S-ATA)
- GPU NVIDIA GeForce 310M
- Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n
- LAN 10/100/1000 LAN
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 4-in-1 card reader(SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
- 3 x USB 2.0 (including USB with charging capability)
- 1 x Headphone socket
- 1 x Microphone socket
- 1 x Integrated microphone
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x HDMI-Port
- 1 x LAN Port
- Multimedia Webcam
- Battery 6 Lithium Ion cells with up to 7.5 hours run time
- Stereo loudspeakers (2 x 1.5 Watt)
- Dimensions (W/D/H) 381.3 * 257 * 27,4~33,0mm
- Weight 2.4 kg (incl. 6 cell battery)
- Warranty 2 years flexible service
- Price: 899 Euro RRP
The shark design follows through in netbooks NF110 and NF310 in which Samsung will only be using the Intel Atom N550 dual core processor. Depending on the model, prices of around 430 Euro will not be a rare occurrence.
Samsung: RF710 home entertainer featuring the powerful Nvidia GT 420M
For Samsung, the RF510 (15.6") and RF710 (17.3"), models represent the pinnacle of their laptop line up . They won't be replacing the R580 and R590 series which are already available. Instead, they will be playing at a higher level, both from a technical and qualitative point of view. With a choice of Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs (720QM), the barebone will be able to support the Nvidia GT 420M as its best performing GPU. Up until now, only Medion (P6627), had announced the use of this new Fermi GPU (middle class), in a laptop application. The Samsung RF710 will be equipped with 2 gigabytes of gDDR3 graphics memory.
With its two optional 500 gigabyte hard drives, the 17.3" RF710 can provide up to 1 terabyte of storage space. The reflective LED display cannot reach the highest possible level of resolution however, falling short at 1.600 x 900 pixels (HD+). A Blu-ray player is included though.
The RF models are meant to look classy both on the inside and outside in order to justify the 999 Euro price tag (Core i5, GT 330M configuration). The brushed stainless steel "look" (lid and touchpad), with a subtle hint of color is meant to give the RF710 a futuristic appearance.
Specifications Samsung RF710
- Intel Core i5 Prozessor 460M (2.53 GHz)
- Intel Core i7 processor 720QM (1.60 GHz)
- Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium, 64 bit
- Memory 4GB DDR3 / 6GB DDR3
- Display 43.94 cm (17.3-Zoll) LED backlight
- Hard drive 640 GB (5400 rpm S-ATA) / 1TB (2x500GB) (5400rpm S-ATA)
- GPU NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M (1GB gDDR3) or NVIDIA GeForce GT 420M (2GB gDDR3)
- Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n
- LAN 10/100/1000 Mbit/s
- Bluetooth 3.0
- 4-in-1 card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x USB 3.0 (incl. USB with charging functionality)
- 1 x Headphone socket
- 1 x Microphone socket
- 1 x Integrated microphone
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x LAN
- Multimedia Webcam
- Battery: 6 Lithium Ion cells with up to 4 hours of battery life
- Stereo loudspeakers (2 x 1,5 Watt)
- Dimensions (W/L/H) 415.8 * 276.1 * 32.3~37.9 mm
- Weight 2.9 kg
- Warranty of 2 years flexible service within Germany, 1 year international warranty
- Price: from 999 Euro (RRP, cheapest configuration RF710)
Packard Bell: HD 5850 gaming machine in arctic silver
The Acer subsidiary managed to surprise us with a large number of new laptops despite having a small stand at the event. In this article we will be focusing on the most interesting models. We had not expected to find a gaming GPU like the ATI HD 5850 in a Packard Bell laptop, but we did. The 17.3" EasyNote LX86 combines precisely this sought after DirectX-11 GPU with a Core i7-720QM processor. The model on display was even kitted out with 16 GB of RAM. There will apparently be an alternative version with an HD 5650 as well.
This esthetically, unassuming laptop (Aluminum lid, arctic silver), is equipped with a subwoofer, Blu-ray writer and the latest Bluetooth 3.0. In addition, the full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements is included as well. The EasyNote LX86 has prices starting at 999 Euro.
Specifications Packard Bell EasyNote LX86
- Processor: Intel Core i7-720QM
- 17.3" display
- GPU ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 / HD 5850 2GB VRAM
- RAM max. 16 GB DDR3
- Blu-ray player
- Hard drive: max. 2 x 750 GB
- 6 or 9 cell battery
- Price: from 999 Euro RRP
- Availability: from September 2010
Packard Bell: Butterfly S - Core i5 with aluminum "look"
The 13.3" Butterfly S has been overhauled resulting in a new look and Intel's new mobile processor working under the hood. In our case, it is the economical Core i5-520UM combined with the Nvidia 310M. What makes this 13.3" machine interesting, is its similarity with the Acer Timeline X (13" version). It has a similarly sleek design, as well as a brushed aluminum palmrest. Both the inside and outside have a classy look them. This is further supported by the buttonless touchpad made from a semi transparent glass laminate.
Specifications Butterfly S
- Processor: Intel Core i5-520UM, 1.06 – 1.86 GHz (Turbo-Boost)
- 13.3" LED display
- Nvidia GeForce 310M 512MB VRAM
- RAM 4 GB DDR3
- Hard drive: 250 GB
- Price: N/A
Acer: Aspire One D255 with Dual Core Atom
Everyone has been waiting longingly for the first 10" netbook with a Dual Core Atom N550 (2 x 1.5 GHz). Acer wants to be one of the first and shows off its D255 which will be available in diamond black, ruby red, sandstone brown and sea shell white. A Windows 7 Starter is included as standard, which now has 1 GB DDR3 RAM to work with thanks to a modified memory controller. With Hyper-Threading providing a virtual core for each physical one, the Aspire One D255 should be able to reach the performance of a slow Core 2 Duo CULV subnotebook. As a small bonus, there is an Android OS installed as well which can be booted at the touch of a button.
Specifications Aspire One D255
- Processor: up to Intel Atom N550 2 x 1.5 GHz
- Memory 1 GB DDR3
- 10.1" Display LED
- RAM 4 GB DDR3
- HD Webcam
- Hard drive: 250 GB
- Battery life: up to 8 hours
- Windows 7 Starter 32 Bit
- Price: N/A
Medion: X6811 gaming machine with Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M
Medion wants to make a name for itself with the mobile gaming crowd and releases its second value for money highlight of the year. The ERAZER X6811 is a powerful 15.6" laptop with two hard drive bays, a GeForce GTX 460M GPU and a Core i7-740QM processor. The prices begin at 1.049 Euro for the version without Full HD, but with a Core i5 CPU and 4 GB DDR3. For 150 Euros extra you can get the Intel Core i7-740QM processor and a Full HD display. Medion also offers a second hard drive with a hard drive caddy as an option.
The 1599 Euro configuration has its OS installed on a 160 GB Intel X25-M SATA solid state drive, with files being stored on the mechanical 640 GB drive. This should ensure that the installed OS and the games can get the fastest possible access the necessary files. Other than that, the configuration is the same, consisting of a 740QM processor and a Full HD panel.
The MSI uses the barebone of this 15.6" laptop for the GT660R and the GX660R. The colors, some estethic details and the function keys differ however. Medion does without a turbo button, as well as "cooler boost". Whether the ERAZER X6811 will be equipped with a RAID 0 controller, or whether this could be activated is unknown at this time.
Specifications Medion ERAZER X6811
- Intel Core i7-740QM, 6 MB, 1.73 GHz, Turbo-Boost
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M DirectX 11 GPU with 1.536 MB GDDR5
- Memory with digital HDMI audio and video-out
- 39.6 cm/15.6” widescreen LED backlight display with HD resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels
- High Definition Audio with 2 loudspeakers and 1 subwoofer
- 640 GB S-ATA hard drive/ 160 GB Intel X25-M SATA solid state drive
- 12 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- 8x Multi-Standard DVD-/CD- writer with DVD-RAM and dual layer support
- Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 n standard technology
- Integrated Bluetooth 2.1
- Netzwerk controller gigabit LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit/s)
- Integrated 3,0 MP webcam und microphone
- Multi-touchpad with intuitive intuitiven gestures for scrolling, zooming or rotating
- Multi card reader for SD, SDHC, MMC, MS & MS-PRO memory cards
- 9 cell Li-Ion high performance battery
- Keyboard optimized for with W-A-S-D keys emphasized using colors
- USB-3.0- and eSATA connectivity
- Dimensions mm / weight:
- approx. 395 (W) x 268 (L) x 56 (H) / approx. 3,5 kg incl. battery
- Further Intel Core i processors
- 39.6 cm/15.6“ widescreen LED backlight display with Full HD 1,920 x 1,080
- Blu-ray player/ 8x multi standard DVD-/CD- writer DVD-RAM / Dual-Layer
- Hybrid hard drive solution with solid state disk (SSD)
- Prices: 1,049 Euro, 1,199 Euro, 1,599 Euro
- Availability: from the end of October in the Medion shop (online)
Medion: 15.6", P6627 with Nvidia GeForce GT 420M
Samsung is not the only one going for the new generation of Nvidia products. Medion is as well. The Medion AKOYA P6627 has a GeForce GT 420M DirectX 11 GPU with Nvidia Optimus technology. Featuring USB 3.0, eSATA port, up to 640GB of storage space, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM and Blu-ray optical drive, this 15.6" laptop sits comfortably amongst others in the premium category.
Medion consdiders the P6627 to be a work horse and a mutimedia wizard. The HD resolution of 1,366 x 768 is pretty standard however, and there is no subwoofer either. The Medion AKOYA P6627 will be available in Germany, in 3 configurations, from October 2010. With this laptop, Medion provides an alternative for those who can live without a dedicated graphics card.
Specification MEDION AKOYA P6627
- Processor up to Intel Core i7-620M – 2,66 GHz, 4 MB
- GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GT 420M DirectX 11
- 1024 MB memory and digital HDMI audio-/video-out
- Intel HD graphics & NVIDIA Optimus
- 39.6 cm/15.6” widescreen LED backlight 1,366 x 768 pixel 16:9
- High Definition Audio with 2 loudspeakers - Dolby Advanced Audio
- Hard drive up to 640 GB S-ATA
- Memory up to 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Blu-ray player / 8x multi standard DVD-/CD- writer with DVD-RAM
- and dual layer support or 8x multi standard DVD-/CD-writer with DVD-RAM and dual layer
- Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 n bis zu 300 Mbit/s
- Network controller gigabit LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit/s)
- Intigrated 1.3 MP webcam and microphone
- Multi card reader for SD-, SDHC-, MMC-, MS- and MS-Pro
- USB 3.0 and eSATA connectivity
- Multimedia control
- Ergonomic keybaord
- Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit – (64 Bit Recovery DVD inlcuded)
- 6-Zellen Li-Ionen Akku
- Connectivity: USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 1x eSATA, 1x VGA, 1x HDMI out, 1x LAN (RJ45)
- Audio (these connections can be used depending on software configuration): 1x microphone, 1x line out inkl. S/PDIF
- Dimensions in mm (W x L x H): approx. 379 x 256 x 29.3-36.9
- Weight: approx. 2,650 g incl. battery
- Availability: from Oktober 2010 in the Medion shop
MSI: FR600 with 3D display
Even MSI could no longer delay the inevitable and has started to prepare themselves for 3D, all be it with the more economical and lower quality polarization technology as used by Acer in their Acer Aspire 5738DG (October 2009). This works by covering the 16.4" display with a special foil which makes a second, computer generated 3D image, visible on the screen. This technology was not very convincing on the Acer test unit we had at the time. It is highly dependent on the quality of the TFT panel (good viewing angles). In addition, the 3D image in games or 2D movies was generated by the GPU which had to sacrifice 50% of its performance in the process. In order to see the 3D effects the user must aslo wear a polarized pair of glasses (similar to sunglasses).
MSI did not say much concerning the possible specifications during the exposition (Core i3). Even though the manufacturer has chosen the FX600 as the barebone for this model (which we have already tested), to run with its FR600 3D, it would not wrong to assume that the overall configuration will not favor gaming activities. Our test unit was using a GeForce GT 325M and a Core i5-450M.
AMD: AMD line up of various brands
Besides showing its APU at the IFA (CPU & GPU combined), AMD also displayd a line up of laptops which either currently use AMD components or will use them in future. This did not only include relevant manufacturers such as Acer, but also Sony and Medion.
The Vaio EE2M1E has an Athlon II P320 2x 2.10 GHz (from 640 Euro), and the Lenovo Z565 does its processing with a Phenom II X4 N930 4x 2.00GHz with 4 cores (from 690 Euro). The HP Pavilion dv6-3050sg masters it tasks using a Phenom II X2 N620, which may only have two cores, but they run at 2x 2.80 GHz (from 690 Euro). And there is also the Acer Aspire 5551G which has a 3 core Phenom II X3 N830 3x 2.10GHz (from 635 Euro). Aldi laptops such as the Medion P6512 are placing their bets on the Athlon X2 P320 2x 2.1 GHz. This small but impressive selection seen on the AMD exposition stand, really showed that AMD based systems are once again available on the laptop market in wide variety of makes and models.