Brazos ultraportables come out swinging


— 4:56 PM on January 10, 2011

The launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors last week was a tough act to follow. Nevertheless, AMD managed to draw crowds at CES with its freshly released Brazos platform, which has materialized in some rather interesting little notebooks.

The most exciting of those is probably the HP Pavilion dm1, an 11.6" ultraportable with a $449.99 starting price tag, a 1.6GHz AMD E-350 (a.k.a. Zacate) accelerated processing unit, 3GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 320GB 7,200-RPM hard drive. The dm1 looks and feels very compact and slick, measuring only 0.8" at its thinnest point. HP is quoting some impressive run times with the standard six-cell battery, too: 9.5 hours in MobileMark with mechanical storage and 10.75 hours with a solid-state drive. We couldn't get a straight answer from HP about the battery's watt-hour rating, but we're told it's somewhere around 55-62 Wh.

Next up is the ThinkPad X120e, which looks and feels like an honest-to-goodness ultraportable ThinkPad—but will start "under $400" when it becomes available next month, according to Lenovo. The X120e has an 11.6" display, a thickness of 1", a weight of less than 3 lbs, and a battery-life rating of over six hours. I believe this one also features the E-350, AMD's fastest Zacate APU.

We also saw an interesting animal at AMD's Pepcom showcase: this 13-inch MSI X-Slim powered by AMD's lowest-end APU, the 1.2GHz single-core C-30. We weren't able to gather too many details, but it's definitely interesting to see such a low-power CPU (the C-30 has an 8W TDP) inside such a large laptop. I wouldn't be surprised if this puppy had fairly impressive battery life, although personally, I don't think I'd purchase a laptop with a single-core CPU.

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