Perhaps somebody at VIA forgot to send FIC the OpenBook memo, but the company has just unveiled a new budget ultraportable seemingly based on the previous-gen NanoBook reference design. The notebook is unusual because FIC intend both VIA and Intel powered versions: the CE2A1 will run VIA’s C7 processor while the CW0A1 is based on Intel’s Atom. Both will have an 8.9-inch screen, 160GB hard-drive and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
As VIA’s energy-efficient mobile processor range gets faster, the chips become more suited to applications other than basic ultraportable notebooks. That’s why the company has developed a new Mini-ITX 2.0 standard, an updated version of the 17cm square motherboard which has proved so popular with case modders and small-form-factor HTPCs. Mini-ITX 2.0 specifies a CPU such as VIA’s own Nano, a 16-lane PCI Express slot for high-definition video support, and a minimum of 2GB DDR2 RAM.
Not much detail as yet on this one, but ostensibly it appears to be a prototype or reference design for a UMPC with a 3D screen. The display panel itself apparently can be used without needing special glasses, and is the collaborative product of Masterimage and KDC, of whom Telson are an affiliate. As for the device itself, it’s based on a 1.2GHz VIA C7-M processor and running Windows XP on 512MB of RAM.
While at one point it looked like Sony could be the first to sign up for VIA’s OpenBook budget ultraportable reference design and its Nano processor, all is quiet from the Japanese giant; instead, TongFang has the first official use of the Nano CPU we’ve seen. Their Imini S1 Mini-Note couples the 1.2GHz processor with the VIA VX700 chipset, together with 512MB of RAM and an 80GB traditional hard-drive. What’s strange is that they didn’t use the newer VX800 chipset, as found in the OpenBook.
Rumors are flourishing that Sony are the first name connected with VIA’s OpenBook ultraportable reference design, which the chip company unveiled last week. The leak came from the WiMAX Expo currently being held at Taipei, with manufacturer Quanta Computer showing an OpenBook-based notebook which turned out to list Sony as its manufacturer.
“A check of the laptop’s properties confirmed the laptop is based on a 1.6GHz C7-M processor from Via and listed Sony as the manufacturer. When the existence of Sony’s name on the machine was pointed out to a Quanta executive manning the booth, he quickly closed the properties window and declined to explain why Sony was listed as the manufacturer” Sumner Lemon, PC World
The major news this week came out of Google’s IO Conference, with the Android team unveiling the latest build of the mobile platform and a slick touchscreen handset to demonstrate it on. We usually leave cellphone news to our sister sites PHONE Magazine and SlashPhone, but the Android handset – complete with compass-navigated Street View and slick animations – was too good to miss. Considering the feedback over at Android Community, Google look like they’ve recaptured any momentum lost since MWC in February.
VIA has announced their latest mobile processor, the Nano, based on the company’s Isaiah Architecture and promising up to four times the performance of the existing VIA C7 CPU while remaining within the same power range. Two versions will be made: the L-series for mainstream desktop and mobile PC systems, and the U-series that provides ultra-low voltage performance for small-form-factor desktop and ultra mobile devices. Both are pin-to-pin compatible with the C7, meaning hardware upgrades should be relatively straightforward (for manufacturers, at least).
VIA has unveiled its latest ultraportable notebook reference design, the OpenBook mini-note, intended to promote its C7-M ULV based Ultra Mobile Platform. Combining the low-voltage and economical processor with the company’s own VX800 digital media IGP chipset, the OpenBook has an 8.9-inch screen and a choice of WiMAX, HSDPA and EV-DO/W-CDMA modules for mobile connectivity. The OpenBook also has dual 2-megapixel webcams (internal and on the outer lid) together with up to 2GB of RAM, which should cater reasonably for the choice of Vista Basic, XP or various Linux flavors.
VIA has dropped its already-compact Pico-ITX boards into a hot wash and come up with the PX5000EG, measuring in at just 3.9 x 2.8-inches. The small size is due to VIA dropping the processor speed down to just 500MHz (compared to the existing 1GHz PX1000G) and thus being able to leave off any active cooling. It’ll still support up to 1GB of RAM, though, and has hardware MPEG-2/-4 and WMV9 hardware decoding acceleration.
According to a Chinese-language paper, Commercial Times, there are sources that say that MSI will be launching its Wind notebook in 8.9 and/or 10 inch sizes priced between $470 and $1099. I don’t know what kind of budget PC they are marketing that is going to cap out at a little over a thousand dollars though.
NVIDIA is fighting with everyone in the business, first it was their long time feud with competitor ATI, and then AMD bought them and inherited that beef, now NVIDIA is fighting with Intel claiming they can easily out-perform Intel’s Celeron-based 945 IGP/ICH4 setup. They are also claiming that their system will be the most affordable Vista Premium Certified system available at under $45.