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Intel Portables Hardware

Retailer Planning Laptops With Intel Core i7 Chips 142

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-say-luggable dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian PC retailer Eurocom is planning to ship a 12-pound laptop with Intel's Core i7 chip, which might go down well with deep-pocketed geeks. The Core i7 was designed with desktop computers and servers in mind; later members of the Nehalem chip family are planned to address portables. The 17" notebook's price, not yet announced, will certainly be in excess of $5,000."
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Retailer Planning Laptops With Intel Core i7 Chips

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  • by ushering05401 (1086795) on Monday February 02, 2009 @02:57AM (#26691195) Journal

    Whatever happened to the 'desktop replacement' designation for mobile but not lightweight platforms?

    This reminds me of the first laptop I ever owned:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_SX-64 [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tubal-Cain (1289912) *
      Wikipedia says:

      The Commodore SX-64, also known as the Executive 64, or VIP-64...

      Funny, the name implies it was for business use and yet the picture shows it with a pair of joysticks...

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by laejoh (648921)

        Did you read the wikipedia entry? It brings back the spirit of the C64:

        (This was, however, often easily overcome by the user simply entering the appropriate BASIC POKE commands to change screen colors and keystroke to change the cursor color to mimic the C64's default colors prior to loading of the program.)

      • by Jurily (900488)

        Funny, the name implies it was for business use and yet the picture shows it with a pair of joysticks...

        Well, without a mouse, you need two hands to edit documents. (Btw I loved that joystick. Now get off my lawn.)

    • by obarthelemy (160321) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:58AM (#26691523)

      Reasons for needing such a powerful but heavy and battery-challenged "laptop".

      Taking your apps+docs (let alone taking you OS) with you on an HD/USB key doesn't really work for most OSes and Apps. Especially if you need specialty apps, like video/CAD... or whetever really NEEDS an i7.

      Being certain you'll have an up-to spec PC wherever youre going, without being dependant on someone to book it + set it up for you.

      Gaming in small appartments (I assume the vid card is nice, too).

      Of course, being able to maybe use the laptop a little while NOT connected to the mains is.. a nice bonus.

      I've been reading forever that Intel+AMD are including "laptop" power-management features in their "desktop" parts. Maybe with heavy underclocking one can actually watch a full DVD on a single charge ?

      • by Carbon016 (1129067) on Monday February 02, 2009 @05:42AM (#26692009)
        There's a spec for that. It's called "micro-ATX".
      • I'd be skeptical with regards to building an i7 laptop. Even the 920 is rated at 130watts; add an x58 and decent gpu to go along with it and you'll easily be up to 250-300 watts. Triple-channel memory (although not a requirement for i7 systems) requires more circuits, and there's a reason why the early x58-based boards were actually eATX.

        It may be possible to squeeze that much power and bus width into a 17" notebook, but you'd sacrifice much-needed power management.
        A 19-21" form factor wouldn't be nearly

    • by Guy Harris (3803)

      Whatever happened to the 'desktop replacement' designation for mobile but not lightweight platforms?

      It got trademarked by, err, umm, Eurocom [eurocom.com]. (Apparently without registration, however.)

    • For 5 grand and at 12#, it needs to come with a hover device to make it follow along behind me.

      2 cents,

      QueenB.

  • A laptop... (Score:5, Funny)

    by 2Bits (167227) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:01AM (#26691207)
    ... that's not supposed to be put on your lap, unless you are sure you don't want to have offspring. Given that this is designed for the /. kind of geek, the question of offspring is probably not too much of a problem anyway :)
  • Just plain silly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:16AM (#26691299)

    The problem with this design is that the i7 chips put out 130 watts TDP. Even if this laptop has a battery, it's going to last less than an hour.

    I should I know. I have a toshiba laptop that has a desktop P4 in it. 1 hour.

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:19AM (#26691321) Homepage Journal

      The laptop is 12 pounds: two pounds for the laptop, ten pounds for the batteries.

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:47AM (#26691467)

      At my company *everyone* has a laptop. The battery just needs to last long enough that I can make it to the meeting rooms and back. 'Mobile' computers have more use than just using them away from power for long periods of time. You can sit at another desk, on a whim go out on location with all your files, etc.

      I'd love something like this for Matlab processing.

      And weight isn't an issue because we all have laptop bags or backpacks. A 20 lb laptop would still be lighter than the books I carried in college.

      • by AuMatar (183847)

        Weight might be an issue to you, it is to me. Wearing a backpack is a pain in the ass and it hurts my back after a while. I actually don't take my work laptop anywhere ever, including meetings, because it's a pain in the ass to carry around. The only laptop I'll ever actually move around with is my personal EEE, due to the fact its only 2 pounds and can be carried without a special case.

      • Re:Just plain silly (Score:5, Interesting)

        by cerberusss (660701) on Monday February 02, 2009 @05:44AM (#26692019) Homepage Journal

        And weight isn't an issue because we all have laptop bags or backpacks

        It happens to me that I'm walking around for 30-60 minutes on the airport with a laptop bag hanging on one shoulder and rolling luggage on the other hand.

        I'll tell you I'm pretty glad if I get to sit down and let the laptop slide off the shoulder.

        • by Chirs (87576)

          Have you ever considered figuring out a way to put the laptop bag on the rolling luggage?

        • by pimpimpim (811140)
          My number one reason to choose a real netbook. 2 pounds is the maximum weight. I can put it on a small bag and don't even notice I'm carrying it around. Every now and then I have the thinkpad from work, it's like a punishment to carry it, even just small distances + you need an additional bag that you can forget or have stolen.
      • I think part of the problem is that people have a given size of computer in their mind when they hear "laptop" when really it covers a fairly wide range. What this might be called is a "desktop replacement." These are used when you want the power of a desktop, but you need some portability. You aren't looking to cart it everywhere with you, you just need to move it around from desk to desk. For example maybe for security reasons all you work needs to remain on one computer. So your desktop at work is actual

      • If you need the computational horsepower and portability, why not have a desktop and VNC into it through your laptop?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by D Ninja (825055)

        A 20 lb laptop would still be lighter than the cases of beer I carried in college.

        Fixed that for you.

      • I'm assuming you've never heard of having a desktop setup lab for every CS room and the Math labs that needed them with Active Directory or other LDAP network login system?
      • by Bobartig (61456)

        carry books? I never did that in college, and all of my books weighed like .8 lbs or less, and I didn't have any reasons to carry them around.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)

      The problem with this design is that the i7 chips put out 130 watts TDP. Even if this laptop has a battery, it's going to last less than an hour.

      Depending on who you are, that might not matter. Believe it or not, but there's a market for "portable" in the "movable" sense meaning that you unhook it at one location and plug it in at another location. The alternative isn't a laptop, it's a box, monitor, keyboard and so on. Having it all rolled up into one box is a lot easier than the alternative, and the ability to open the lid and check something or bring it to a meeting for half an hour's demo without plugging in is just bonus. My dream work laptop h

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by DiLLeMaN (324946)

        My dream work laptop has a quad core cpu, min. 4GB ram, min. >200GB SSD and hardware support for virtualization and virtualized IO. I don't even care if it has a working battery or not, in fact my last one I used for a long time even though the battery was bad and would last seconds.

        That's not a laptop, that's an all-in-one. Apple calls them iMacs, and I believe HP Gateway have knock-offs of it.

        • by jsoderba (105512) on Monday February 02, 2009 @05:12AM (#26691885)

          An all-in-one doesn't fold up in a handy package that protects the screen and input devices, nor does it include a keyboard and pointing device. Desktop replacements do have legitimate uses.

          • by DiLLeMaN (324946)

            Point taken. Then again, when you're lugging stuff this big around, you might as well carry along the mouse and keyboard, really. That doesn't solve the screen protection, but I'm sure some company has some nifty carrying bag -- actually, I do remember seeing a thing like that once. Wrapped around the screen, had handles, and a pocket for your mouse and keyboard.

            But you're right in the sense that that's not half as easy as just closing the machine and picking it up (even if you have to pick it up with a for

            • by Kjella (173770)

              But you're right in the sense that that's not half as easy as just closing the machine and picking it up (even if you have to pick it up with a forklift).

              Time to hit the gym, man. Anything under 50 pounds shouldn't be an issue to lift and carry around in a backpack, if that's what was required. Granted, I'm glad I don't need to but 12 pounds is probably a lot less than you'd carry if you were backpacking across the countryside.

        • iMacs *are* laptops. They have laptop specs and performance.

          Frankly, it continues to amaze me that Apple is able to maintain four separate, remarkably similar laptop lines, one of which has no screen and zero mid-range desktop lines.

          • Well, they can't really be placed on someone's lap (except laying down, I guess), and their battery life is very unimpressive, so I think they're somewhat underspec'd to be classified as laptops...
    • TDP has very little to do with how much power the chip actually uses, even at peak load. But I can't imagine this thing having decent battery life - any battery would be more of a built-in UPS than anything else. I suppose there is a market for machines that are "portable" enough to be lugged from one wall socket to another elsewhere, but keeping up with the upgrade cycle would get incredibly expensive.
    • by mikael (484)

      Some people are happy with a computer that is light enough that they can carry it into car, taxi or onto public transport in a single bag, while still having enough hardware performance to run the most demanding applications such as CAD/CAM, visualization, animation and games. The only major limitation is the space requirements for hand luggage on airlines.

      If you are going to buy a PC in that class, they you are going to want something that is maxed out in every capability (CPU memory + cores, GPU memory +

    • The i7 isn't the half of it. The linked stats suggest that it'll be endowed with the mobile version of a GeForce 280. That'll probably take >150W at load.

      This is a 'laptop' designed to be used in the set of all areas with a table to put it on that are within 10' of a power outlet.

  • 5 grand?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:17AM (#26691303) Homepage

    What I'd like to know is how on earth they can justify charging 5 grand for a laptop that has nothing special about it except being absurdly heavy and featuring an i7.

    For that size and weight, you could just throw a desktop motherboard in some plastic, tape a screen and battery on, then ship it out! This machine might justify the price if it clocked in at under 5 pounds.

  • by bazald (886779) <bazald@zeniDEBIANpex.com minus distro> on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:43AM (#26691451) Homepage

    ...on the expected hardware specifications, see Notebook Review: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=348239 [notebookreview.com]

  • I had an Toshiba P-10 a few years ago. It had an Intel P4 3.2ghz socket 478 desktop chip in it. It was a beast.

    I miss having a laptop though, as I don't have much time at home.

    This 12pound monster is a little bit overkill unless it has 6gb ddr3 a pair of 500gb or 1tb drives in RAID and a SLI or crossfire-x solution in it.

    Then it would almost be worth it if you just had to spend 5k on a laptop.

  • by VincenzoRomano (881055) on Monday February 02, 2009 @03:59AM (#26691525) Homepage Journal
    All that power will prove being useless because of constraints on the PC architecture.
    Because of I/O bottlenecks, on a gaming laptop with 64-bit dual core system and 2+ GB RAM, burning a DVD while copying a file from disk to disk (SATA) will kill the system to low responsiveness.
    In theory the CPU is powerful enough to juggle the I/O requests (SATA, nvidia, keyboard and mouse) with the actual computing things in a manner that the user won't experience low responsiveness a-la pre-1990.
    In the practice all that power is weasted, unless you run tasks with low I/O needs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by arogier (1250960)
      Damn there goes my hopes of using atom scale holograms anytime soon for storage. At least with my limited PC architecture. Guess my computer's going to be stuck folding proteins for quite a while.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by XDirtypunkX (1290358)

      The PC architecture? Your laptop motherboard chipset with a cheap integrated SATA controller maybe. Nothing about the PC architecture limits you from designing a laptop with a PCIe 8x connected dedicated SATA/SAS controller.

      Of course, if it's all from the same hard drive and you're using rotating media, it's the media that is fault not the PC bus architecture responsible for your slow down. The PC architecture is approaching 30 years of scalability.

    • by rzei (622725)

      Could someone clarify the parent's post up a bit or was it simply a troll? What would be a better architecture to handle all those IO reqs?

      • by Tycho (11893)

        Perhaps I/O would be better, if the average PC had not started to use PCI Express? Throughput is nice, but so is low latency, as well as DMA operations for PCIe switches. I suppose lower latency in parallel PCI-X DDR 533 is why one would find PCI-X slots like those in use with IBM POWER6 systems. PCIe seems to me at least to have been forced down the throats of PC users regardless of its level of appropriateness, which we can than Intel and Rambus for. Many of the patents for PCIe signaling are held by

  • by Shag (3737) on Monday February 02, 2009 @04:35AM (#26691707) Homepage

    ...enough so to afford a Sherpa to carry the thing?

  • Looking at the model and at the type number (D900F) I'm gonna guess this is another Clevo, branded as something Canadian. It's probably gonna be okay, as long as you don't want it on your lap and don't want to use it without a wall socket. Then again, who'd want that for a laptop anyway?
  • Perhaps a bit off topic, but why is a Canadian retailer named Eurocom? Some identity crisis going on here? Of course, planning on sticking an i7 in a laptop does seem to indicate some mental instability...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    and no space station either. Reminds me of that thing Porsche built in WWII: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_VIII_Maus

  • 12 pounds (Score:3, Funny)

    by nmg196 (184961) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:28AM (#26692799)

    12 pounds is quite cheap for a laptop of this spec. But I expect once it reaches the UK, it'll be more like 24 pounds. :)

    • by mbone (558574)

      I had the same reaction. I bet people would make it through the snow for a 12 pound laptop. Heck, they probably would for a 50 pound laptop.

  • by jrumney (197329) on Monday February 02, 2009 @08:36AM (#26692839) Homepage

    ...is planning to ship a 12-pound laptop with Intel's Core i7 chip...The 17" notebook's price, not yet announced, will certainly be in excess of $5,000.

    I know the dollar has taken a hammering lately, but its not really that bad yet is it?

    • Yes I know you were making a quaint pun at anachronistic units but c'mon, it's the 21st century.

      Isn't it time the Brits adopted the euro [wikipedia.org] ?
      And the Yanks SI [wikipedia.org] ?

      In any case, that's approx 3923 euro for 5.4kg worth of laptop.

      • by mbone (558574)

        No, it's approximately 4000 euros for a 5 kg laptop.

        (If you are going to adopt, go whole hog.)

      • by Guspaz (556486)

        I know it's hard to keep things straight, but Canadians are neither Brits, nor Yanks. That, and we've already adopted SI.

        • I know it's hard to keep things straight, but Canadians are neither Brits, nor Yanks.

          Yes, I'm fully aware of Canada's existence as an independent nation.

          That, and we've already adopted SI.

          Canada? Again no surprise. I was assuming the article summary was assuming a US audience - the original article lists both units. According to wikipedia, the USA is one of 3 backward states not to have adopted SI as their primary or sole system of measurement.

          Down here we never refer to pounds except in old cookbooks

      • SI is the official system of weights an measures in the US. We even have our own kilogram which is periodically calibrated against the one in France.

        But regardless, harassers will still be bitching even if we switch our street signs and whatnot over to SI labels. It'll be the e9/e12 billions rant, instead. And after that, something else.

        • Sorry, if I struck a raw nerve. Anyhow, Wikipedia would beg to differ:

          Three nations have not officially adopted the International System of Units as their primary or sole system of measurement: Liberia, Myanmar and the United States.

  • Has some of the same specs as the renowned "Lappy 486"; Battery Life: Half of ten minutes.

  • It didn't seem like there was anything that exceptional in there (in terms of something never-been-done-in-a-laptop-before, aside from the i7 CPU). We've seen two hard drives in a laptop before. We've seen tons of RAM and high-end video. We've seen 12 cell batteries.

    Does this system have 2-3 pounds of special cooling hardware?
    • by Molochi (555357)

      Eurocom has been offering different "workstation class" notebooks for several years. They frequently try to be first to market in things like SLI Cards, Quadro hardware, the biggest LCD, RAID, or Core2Quad in a "notebook". This time they're first with i7. I doubt I'll ever get one, but I can see the market for this stuff.

  • Isn't $5000 a bit speculative, or are they using Canadian Dollars (which is about $1000 less than USD right now)?

    Looking at component pricing and comparing to what's out there like the Asus M70VM-B1, which is about $1550 for 500GB less disk, the P8400 CPU is just slightly cheaper than the low end i7 (+800 for high end), a slightly slower GPU with 512k less RAM (my guess is this uses the 9800M GTX MXM platform - let's say +$200), 4GB more of DDR3 instead of DDR2 (about $250), no blu ray player (-?). By my e

    • by Molochi (555357)

      These monster notebooks in specialty configs that can't be purchased from larger OEMs often cost in excess of 5 grand. I think they had a Core2Quad with a Quadro card and RAID running 8grand in 2007.

      They don't make a lot of sense unless your time is really valuable.

  • I had a Eurocom machine as a hand-me-down from an Executive that left the company. It certainly was a rock star for performance at the time, and yes, it was heavy and the battery life was terrible. The real issue for me was the fan noise. It sounded like a 747 when it cranked up.

    I believe someone in our Engineering group has it sitting in a data center as a test machine since you can't hear it.

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.

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