MacBooks based on Intel's new Core i5 processors are expected to appear in the not-too-distant future. Here's some guesswork--updating a previous post--based on my discussions with Intel at the Consumer Electronics Show last week just after the chipmaker announced the new mobile chips.
Simply put, Arrandale is a Core i3 or i5 (update: or Core i7) central processing unit (CPU) package that includes graphics silicon. Until Arrandale, Intel graphics was in a separate package--referred to as the chipset. Making it part of the CPU results in lower power consumption and, consequently, better battery life. Arrandale's graphics also offers a step up in performance over the prior-generation Core 2 integrated graphics.
I should add that any laptop with a new Core i series processor is going to be faster than a laptop with the previous-generation Core 2 chip.
Turbo Boost: Why faster? For one, with the mobile Core i5 Intel's Turbo Boost is now available to mainstream laptops. This feature automatically overclocks a 2.26GHz Intel Core i5-430M processor, for example, to 2.53GHz on the fly as required by the application. (This is not possible with the Core i3 chip, however.)
One possibility is Apple getting an i5 (and/or i7, i3) made to order, as it did with the specially-packaged Core 2 Duo processor in the original MacBook Air. Or Apple could simply bypass Intel's integrated graphics by attaching an ATI or Nvidia graphics processor. The latter will likely happen in some form. Silicon Valley rival Hewlett-Packard is doing this already. Last week, HP updated its Envy 15 with the Core i5-540M Processor (2.53 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache) and Core i5-520M Processor (2.40 GHz, 3 MB L3 cache) and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5830 graphics chip from Advanced Micro Devices.
Our Weekly Utilities Update report is a list of all the updates for many Mac utilities that have been released in the past week. While utilities can be any tool that helps you perform a routine task (including image manipulation and synchronization), our main focus in this column is to bring you those that help in troubleshooting Mac hardware and software problems.… Read more
Everyone knows that when it comes to image editing Adobe Photoshop is the prime-time player, but not everyone has $700 lying around. Fortunately there are several image editors available with all the features you need, but without the prohibitive price tag. GraphicConverter has been a favorite of ours for a long time, with amazing file-conversion capabilities (true to its name), and also a useful selection of editing tools to make it just right for most digital camera hobbyists. The latest update adds a laundry list of features and fixes.
While Sony's Y series of 13-inch laptops may seem fairly pedestrian, the company's other new thin-and-light is something else entirely. Sony says that by, "melding cutting-edge technologies such as a Blu-ray disc optical drive, HDMI output and a hybrid graphics system into highly-mobile PCs," it has come up with a 13-inch laptop worth a whopping $1,830 -- outmatching even the very pricey HP Envy 13.
The Vaio Z weighs just over 3 pounds, and some configurations include a similar high-end "100 percent color saturation" display as found in the Vaio X. Also available … Read more
Hardly a day goes by that we don't recommend a 13-inch laptop to someone for their specific computing needs. After all, it's the only size that we find big enough for all-day use, but small enough to carry around several times a week (but every day would be pushing it).
While Apple's MacBook may be the archetype 13-inch laptop, almost every other PC maker has one or more models, and many of the current ones use Intel's latest ULV processors (non-ULV options are also available) to keep the systems thin, light, and energy efficient (even if … Read more