Trio of New Laptops for 2011: Stylish To Powerful With Nothing In Between

 22 Apr 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+
 omar@myddnetwork.com

I’ve never been one to put style over function—especially when it comes to computers. I want a machine that will do what I ask it to without hesitation and don’t really care what it looks like. However, for some PC manufacturers it seems that style is the deciding factor. Up for review today we have three new laptops set to hit the market in 2011 that try (and sometimes fail) to balance form with function. Up first is the Acer Aspire One 722.

Acer Aspire One 722

I have an older Acer Aspire One and love it for the portability but rue the small screen and tiny keyboard (I have big fingers) but there’s something to be said for a PC with the size of a trade paperback. However, not everybody has always been so enamored of Acer’s little machines. They’re cheap, moderately functionally, but exceptionally boring to look at.

New Laptops for 2011

Acer is hoping to change the Aspire One’s image with the new 722 model. While inside the PC still sports mediocre hardware (an AMD 1GHz processor, Radeon HD 6250 graphic setup, and no optical drive) the outside will no doubt be more pleasing to some. Acer has given this little beauty a molded plastic case rather than the standard plain coating. The case is designed with concentric cirles (as if to suggest a water drop in a still pond) radiating from the center of the “O” in the word “One.”

It’s not exactly earth-shattering, and definitely not worth any more money, but at least the company is trying to give consumers something that looks a little less bargain basement.

One noted improvement in this 11 inch netbook is the increased pixel count. The screen is capable of 1366 X 768 resolutions so you won’t have to squint quite so hard. Acer also threw in another speaker (for a total of two) and a bigger battery good for roughly seven hours.

There’s no word on official pricing or a release date but with the spec’s as set in stone as they are, I would guess it won’t be long before we see this model on store shelves.

ASUS U43SD Bamboo

A lot was said about ASUS giving their line of laptops optional bamboo cases—or rather bamboo plating which is added to the outside of the case. Bamboo is a “green” material that’s easily renewable (it is a type of grass after all) and the sleek sophisticated look that it lent the computer’s hardware could not be denied.

ASUS U43SD Bamboo

But all that was a few years ago now and in order to keep up the bamboo plating needed a little something extra under the hood. That’s why ASUS is releasing a new version (the U43SD). It’s a 14 inch laptop that will now house an Intel Sandy Bridge processor inside its green casing. Users can choose between the Core i3 or Core i5 models and get NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 520M graphics card to boot.

Available hard drive options include a 5,400 RPM model and a 7,200 RPM model (sorry no solid state drive with this refresh). ASUS will even give you a choice between batteries (6 or 8 cells).

Other than the marked upgrades and an inch added to the screen, the U43SD is pretty much more of the same.

ASUS is being tight-lipped about pricing as yet but the first bamboo models were a bit overpriced for the hardware so there’s no reason to think that these updated models won’t be as well.

For more info, visit the official ASUS website.

Toshiba Qosmio T851M

The Toshiba Qosmio T851 has a lot more to offer than just an intriguing name. This 15.6 inch laptop can simultaneously let users view 2D and glasses-free 3D images on the screen. This is done through some digital wizardry using the web camera to track your eye position and a dedicated SpursEngine image processor to send different images to each of your eyes.

Toshiba Qosmio T851M

Borrowing a technique from Microsoft’s Kinect, the laptop uses Face3D software to create a model of the user’s face, recognizing them when they’re planted in front of the monitor, and automatically adjusts depth.

All of this wizardry needs some serious hardware to run it and the Qosmio is no slouch when it comes to internals. The PC is rocking a Core i5-2410M processor and NVIDIA’s GT540M chipset to make this graphic’s heavy presentation run as smoothly as possible. Top it off with up to 8GB of RAM and you shouldn’t have much trouble running anything you want on this beast.

Just for giggles you’ll also get a BDXL capable Blu-ray drive.

Look for this Toshiba to hit shelves this July (in Japan anyway with a worldwide release sometime after that).

If you can read Japanese, hit up the official Toshiba Website for more details.






Disclaimer - Category: Asus, Computer, Laptop