Saturday 5 may 6 05 /05 /May 11:38

With Intel green-lighting its Ivy Bridge processors last month, the laptop upgrade cycle has started again. In the next few months, we’ll be seeing many refreshed models that feature these new chips. Along the way, you can also expect PC vendors to update their products with the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics processors. It may even be the norm to find 8GB of RAM on these laptops, with perhaps an SSD or two.

 

If you’re not sure what Ivy Bridge means to you, here’s our primer. You can easily identify these third-generation Core-i processors as their model names are in the form: “3xxx”. Basically, you can expect better performance and Acer as07a41 laptop battery life from these new processors, though the quad-core models that are launching initially probably won’t be as power efficient as the dual-core versions slated for June.

Here’s a list of Ivy Bridge-equipped laptops that are already in the market, or if not, are coming your way soon.

Acer

The company has two new Ivy Bridge laptops in its V3 series, a 14- and a 15.6-inch model. Both sport similar specifications–a 2.3GHz Core i7 quad-core chip, Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics and a 750GB HDD–and differ only in screen size. Intended for the mainstream market, these notebooks are affordably priced for the segment, with the 14-inch version going for S$1,198.

The Acer V3

Asus

Asus has at least nine upcoming laptops that we know of, most of which are refreshed versions of current models. Starting with its Republic of Gamers series, there are two new gaming notebooks with an Intel Core i7, the 17.3-inch G75VW and the 15.6-inch G55VW. The higher-end G75VW has a full-HD display powered by a GeForce GTX 670M along with 16GB of RAM and a Blu-ray drive while the G55VW uses a less powerful GeForce GTX 660M graphics chip.

Next, there’s a trio of multimedia-oriented N-series laptops that come in 14-, 15.6- and 17.3-inch form factors and feature the company’s SonicMaster audio solution. The 17.3-inch N76VZ comes with an external subwoofer similar to the N45SF we reviewed last year, along with a full-HD display and an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M. The N56VZ only gets a 1,366 x 768-pixel screen, though the graphics chip is identical. Finally, the 14-inch N46VZ has the least powerful GPU with a GeForce GT 635M. All three laptops have an Intel Core i7-3610QM (2.3GHz) processor inside.

 

Then there’s a pair of mainstream laptops, the Asus K45VM (14-inch) and K55VM (15.6-inch). Although both of these notebooks are also using a Core i7-3610QM processor, they come with 1,366 x 768-pixel displays and GeForce GT 630M graphics.

 

Finally, there are the Ultrabooks–a refreshed Ivy Bridge-equipped UX31A and a lower-end UX32 series that consist of two models.

 

Unfortunately, we don’t have prices and specific availability for these laptops. You can expect them sometime in May or June.

Dell

Dell announced that it was updating its Alienware gaming notebooks with Ivy Bridge, which you can read about here. Engadget also pointed out that the Inspiron 15R, too, has apparently gotten the Ivy Bridge treatment. All these laptops appear to be shipping, so if you want the latest tech now, they are a good start.

The Alienware M14x

HP

We reviewed the Ivy Bridge-equipped HP Pavilion dv6 last month. In fact, it was the first Ivy Bridge laptop we tested, which according to HP, is now available at authorized retail outlets in Singapore. The best part about this laptop is the option for a matte full-HD display that is, in our opinion, an upgrade that’s worth the estimated extra US$150.

Lenovo

The company recently launched three Ivy Bridge-powered computers, including the IdeaPad Y480 and the ThinkPad Edge E430. The IdeaPad is targeted at consumers who need the performance of a discrete graphics chip such as the GeForce GT 640M while the ThinkPad is obviously meant for business users, though there’s an option for a less powerful GeForce GT 630M. Both laptops are expected to be available this month in Singapore.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Y480

Other PC vendors

Besides the manufacturers highlighted above, you can bet that other vendors are also gearing up to launch their Ivy Bridge laptops. We have heard that the Ivy Bridge version of Samsung’s Series 7 Gamer is now available in the US. Updated 4 May: Samsung has informed us that it’s looking at Q3 2012 to refresh the Series 7 Gamer with Ivy Bridge processors.


Fujitsu is another vendor that has yet to announce its Ivy Bridge lineup, though what we have glimpsed suggests that it’s a matter of time. Toshiba revealed a number of new laptops in the US last month and we expect to hear more about them this week.

 

Among the major laptop manufacturers, Apple and Sony have been tight-lipped about their Ivy Bridge plans. However, Apple has already set aside June 11 to 15 for its annual WWDC developer conference, which could also see the launch of new Ivy Bridge-powered MacBooks.

By Ivy Bridge-powered laptops - Posted in: Tech Info
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