We take a close look at AMD‘s recently announced “Puma” notebook platform. Puma is a tightly-knit system for notebook suppliers comprising of the chipset, CPU, GPU and wireless chipset. Similar in some ways to their Spider desktop platform, Puma takes it to the next level by allowing for a hybrid integrated and discreet graphics solution. While Intel has something similar, AMD is apparently the first to offer a dynamically switchable system, allowing your notebook to automatically switch to integrated graphics when it detects you’ve gone on battery, or to allow you to switch manually. I asked if they plan on making it automatic, based on load, which they seemed to think was a pretty great idea and relatively easy to achieve as well. What’s more, despite the fact that the integrated and discreet GPUs are chips of differing abilities and specs, they’re still able to operate in Crossfire/hybrid mode, providing an extra boost in power and achieving some very impressive framerates.
AMD shows us their reference bench system and two other identically-configured systems, the only difference between them an Intel versus AMD integrated graphics chipset. (And CPU, naturally.) With a price difference of around $25 to AMD’s favor, the AMD integrated chip actually performs considerably better in their demo, grain of salt included. The reference system shows off their hybrid processing and lets us see what framerates we might be able to hit on an entry- to mid-level hybrid Puma system.
Puma also brings about something that’s been announced with Intel as well—the ability to deactivate CPU cores and speeds, instead of just stepping down speed. This, coupled with an intelligent HD decoder will bring about several hours of additional battery life.
In this episode, we open up the HP Pavilion HDX Dragon PC. This thing is a monster - a 20.1-inch notebook that specializes in home entertainment, sporting dual-lamp displays and weighing in at 15.5 pounds. Other stats of note on the HDX Dragon are the 64-bit Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB included memory (it supports up to 4GB), HP Imprint casing (looks very sleek), and fingerprint reader for security.
Since it’s a computer geared towards entertainment, the video card should also be mentioned. The HDX Dragon ships with a 512MB ATi Mobility Radeon HD2600 XT. That means that you get DirectX 10 support out of the box. Continuing on the whole entertainment meme, it also has a built-in HD DVD-ROM drive, allowing you to play back your HD DVD movies at 1080p.
Finally we have the connections, which are too many for us to go through - so we will let HP tell the story here:
The HDX comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports, an Express Card/54 slot (which also supports Express Card/34), an HDMI port, an S-Video, a VGA, an RJ-11, an RK-45, an IEEE 1394 FireWire, and a Consumer IR. A 5-in-1 digital media Card reader supports Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, and xD-Picture Cards. You get an eSATA port for high-speed data transfer to external storage devices up to six times faster than existing solutions, which is perfect for high-def video content recording. There’s an integrated 802.11a/g/b/pre-N plus Bluetooth for highest-speed wireless connections. And the adjustable webcam with integrated microphones lets you capture still photos and short videos and for live video chat.
So yeah - they packed a lot into this machine. Now hit the video to actually see how it all came together.
Let us know what you think, or what you want us to unbox next!
Read More | HP Pavilion HDX Dragon Product Page
Alright gang, this is our final video from the HP Your Life is the Show event that HP put on recently. In this episode, we chat with Jonathan Kaye about the collaboration between HP and MTV on their “Take Action…Make Art” competition. In essence, the contest is open to anyone who’d like to their their art transformed into the newest HP notebook design. Over at the official TAMA site, you can see all current entries, download design templates, upload your own creations, etc. It’s all fairly slick, plus the winner gets their design made and printed on 50,000 notebook computers. Plus they get one of their own. Not too shabby, right? Head on over to the site now to participate before things closes on October 17. Let us know what you think and definitely if you enter, and stay tuned for one more video more from the Your Life is the Show event.
A few days ago HP threw a big launch party in NYC celebrating the launch of a bunch of products. We are talking about new iPaq handhelds, consumer and business oriented notebook computers, and a bunch of other gadgets and software announcements. Over the next few days, we will be publishing a bunch of video content from the event, focusing on the products themselves. For now, enjoy this preview - a montage of the sights and sounds from the Your Life is the Show event.
UPDATES: Here are more videos from the event:
At Gnomedex 7.0, we caught up with Stacy Wolff of HP. This is the man in charge of designing all those shiny (literally) new laptops we have been seeing come out of Hewlett-Packard. We talk to Stacy about product design in a day and age where fashion can be just as important as function - after all, Apple has turned computers into accessories. Stacy shows us the thought process behind a couple of new consumer-level and professional-level HP notebooks in this video.
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