Packard Bell release first AMD based netbook


You may recall last month we told you that Packard Bell is back. We told you all about some of their new range including the netbooks dot m and dot s.

Well now they’ve gone and announced another netbook, the strangely named dot m/a. The dot m/a is the first netbook to come with an AMD processor – the single-core 1.2GHz Athlon 64 L110. That’s all great. Except it’s not really a netbook. It’s a small, entry-level notebook.

The specs support my argument – the screen is 11.6-inch with a resolution of 1366×768. It’s got a graphics card – the ATI Radeon X1270 and it weighs 1.25kg. That’s a bit too hefty for a netbook in my opinion.

Packard Bell even state that they keyboard is “as large as a regular notebook”. Err, that’s because it is a regular notebook.

Ok, so we’ve established it’s not exactly a netbook but what has it got going for it? Well, for £349, it’s not a bad budget option if you’re after a fairly compact notebook.

It’s got a 160GB hard-drive with 1GB of RAM – both of which are expandable to double their current size. It has a multi-gesture touch pad including pinch and flick for you iPhone fans and it’s got a 5-in-1 memory card reader. Like other Packard Bell releases it comes complete with Adobe Photoshop elements pre-installed. Bluetooth and 3G can be added at an extra cost.

It’s pre-loaded with Vista so presumably it would qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 7, according to the statement released by Microsoft yesterday. It’s available in black or red and with a three or six-cell battery. The six-cell should give four hours of battery life.

It’s out next month – get one direct from Packard Bell. Just don’t expect to receive a netbook.

AMD launches 760G integrated graphics chipset


AMD, fighting a constant battle with Intel over the PC chip market, has announced that it’s releasing a new graphics chipset aimed at low-end PCs, called the 760G. It’ll be replacing the aging 740G chipset. The company is promising an energy efficient design and ‘smooth multitasking’, as well as a “compelling out-of-box visual experience for novice gamers playing some of today’s most popular games”.

It’s the word ‘novice’ that makes me laugh, because it seems to imply that anyone who’s played PC games before will fail to find a “compelling visual experience” using this chip. The 760G supports DirectX 10, and you’ll be able to upgrade easily to a full-on ATI graphics card with the Hybrid CrossFireX technology.

The 760G will begin showing up in motherboards from Asus, ECS, Gigabyte, Asrock, MSI, Foxconn and Biostar as of today, starting with the Asus M3A76-CM, and the Gigabyte GA-MA76GM-US2.

AMD 760G (via Fudzilla)

Related posts: AMD releases the ATI Radeon HD 4830 – mid-range performance at a mid-range price | AMD to split into two companies

Intel on Netbooks: "it's fine for an hour. It's not something you're going to use day in and day out."

A few weeks back, AMD slammed the netbook, with CEO Dirk Meyer saying “We’re ignoring the Netbook phenomenon–just thinking about PC form factors above that form factor.” Well, Intel has joined them in decrying netbooks as a fad. Sales and Marketing VP, Stu Pann, said:

“We view the Netbook as mostly incremental to our total available market. If you’ve ever used a Netbook and used a 10-inch screen size–it’s fine for an hour. It’s not something you’re going to use day in and day out.”

He’s right, but missing the broader picture. There’s a lot of people out there who don’t use a laptop day in and day out. They have a Desktop PC at work, a Desktop PC at home, and they want something to fill in the gaps in between – when travelling, for example. Netbooks are small, light, and cheap – a perfect fit for this niche.

Netbooks probably don’t deserve the level of rabid attention they currently get, but they’re not that bad. No need to throw the baby out with the bathwater…

Intel’s comments (via Cnet)

Related posts: Lenovo promises two new netbooks – S9e and S10e | More netbook competition on its way as Ubuntu embraces ARM processors