Saturday, May 26, 2007

Santa Rosa!

A whole range of new notebooks are expected in the coming weeks. Intel just launched it's Santa Rosa platform not long ago and the different brands are releasing their notebooks now. The first affordable Santa Rosa notebook to hit the market is probably this Samsung R70. Here's a review.

At around 660 quid, the R70 is fairly impressive. It sports the new T7100 Core 2 Duo, which is part of the new Santa Rosa line. This line of processors have advanced clocking features, which allow them to squeeze out more power on standby. They also feature an internal over-clocking capability that will over-clock a single core and shutdown the other one. This will be useful for intensive single threaded applications.

Instead of using the integrated X3100 graphics from Intel, it features a new NV 8400M discrete graphics chip. This is a DX10 compatible graphics chip, which means that it will have fairly decent graphics performance. Plus, the graphics chip uses a dedicated 128Mb memory, without having to share any memory with the main processor.

It comes with a 15.4" screen, 1Gb RAM, 120Gb harddisk, DVD-RW drive and A/B/G wireless. Other interesting built-ins are a proper 6-in-1 card reader, camera and HDMI port! The HDMI port allows the notebook to directly connect to HDTV screens to output 1080p hi-def videos. On top of all this, the case has a smooth piano black external finish with anti-bacterial coating on the inside. Sweet!

I've taken a quick look at the new Santa Rosa Dells as well. Even with the NNA Premier discount that I have, the notebooks don't come close to this one on price. They certainly can't compete on features either. However, things may change. Now that Samsung has set a price benchmark for the new platform, others will probably follow sooner or later. This is quite possibly my new benchmark for a sub 700 quid machine.

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