Release roundup: Meaty laptops and new software

This week in our look at miscellaneous product releases, we have news from Dell, Eurocom, Nvidia, and Opera Software:

  • Dell re-imagines high-definition entertainment with new family of XPS laptops. The XPS line is reborn! 14", 15" and 17" models now listed on Dell’s website at starting prices of $899, $849, and $949, respectively. (No, you didn’t read that wrong—the XPS 15 is actually cheaper than the XPS 14. Go figure.) These systems all include Core i5 or i7 processors from Intel and Optimus-enabled GeForce 400M-series discrete graphics from Nvidia. Thanks to Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software, Dell says you can pipe stereoscopic 3D content from these puppies into your nearest 3D HDTV, as well.

  • Eurocom breaks 24GB memory barrier in its line of Panther super-notebooks. Unlike Dell, Eurocom isn’t talking about gaming and entertainment laptops here. Panther notebooks are aimed at "CAD/CAM designers, engineers, architects and designers who must frequently travel, yet need access to powerful computing." In any case, the Panther 2.0 and Panther D900F are now available with up to 24GB of RAM. Other options include six-core Core i7 or Xeon processors and GeForce GTX 480M or Quadro discrete graphics. Just keep that expense form handy, because prices start at $3,000 with much tamer specs than those.
  • Nvidia 3DTV Play software now available. We already talked about 3DTV Play when discussing the new Dells, but Nvidia actually announced this software earlier today. With 3DTV Play, Nvidia explains that "any compatible NVIDIA GeForce GPU-powered system can be connected to a HDMI 1.4 3D HDTV." The software is available free of charge on the aforementioned Dell XPS notebooks and home-theater machines from ASRock and Zotac, and it should be a free upgrade for "all 3D Vision PCs." Everyone else will have to wait until November and pay up. Check this page for more details.

  • Developers now able to author, upload and share extensions for Opera 11. Yes, Opera is still around, and new releases are still popping out at a decent pace. With the latest pre-release version of the browser, Opera Software has introduced support for extensions—you know, those add-ons everyone already enjoys in Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari. I suppose it can’t hurt to have another healthy contestant in the browser wars.

Those new Dell XPS laptops are pretty slick-looking, and at those prices, the hardware inside could be a lot worse. I wish Dell offered a 13.3" model, though.

Comments closed
    • Faiakes
    • 9 years ago

    What does have to do to get a 14″ laptop with a i5/7 UM CPU?

    For f*&$’s sake!

    • cynan
    • 9 years ago

    The 15″ XPS allows an upgrade to a 1080p display and 435m graphics (while the 14″ maxes out at 720p and 425m).

    Unfortunately, Dell makes you upgrade to an i7 processor (which adds minimum $150) if you select the 435m and claims an “incompatability” issue. Really? the 435m won’t work with core i5 processors? Yeah right. Since it’s the exact same chip with more memory and a higher clock… Nice one Dell.

    And yeah – what’s with Dell not offering any performance consumer notebooks in the 13.3 form factor? No Alienware, no XPS… At least there’s the vostro with its cutting edge SU3500 and Intel gphx

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    “Yes, Opera is still around”

    That hitting one of the best browsers pretty low.

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      Best is different than popular, and Opera still has rendering and javascript issues, so I would say your description is open to each user to decide for themselves.

      That being said, I have used it as main since v.6 or earlier, and Security was always it’s 1st focus.

    • Palek
    • 9 years ago

    I understand Opera’s decision to include support for add-ons – they need to keep up with the competition. I’m just wondering if there will be any add-ons that actually improve the already excellent browsing experience in a meaningful way without increasing bloat and slowing down Opera. Oh well, choice is a good thing!

      • Trymor
      • 9 years ago

      Unfortunately, for ‘Joe Blow’ some of the best features are not intuitive enough to be easily found. Opera has had ‘extensions’ for awhile, so it will be an interesting to see how everything is implemented from now on.

    • Majiir Paktu
    • 9 years ago

    Nvidia selling software now? What’s next, $5 driver updates?

    • ew
    • 9 years ago

    Note to laptop vendors: Please give me a 14″/15″ laptop that is lighter and doesn’t have an optical drive. (HP, what happened to the 15″ Envy???)

    • Skrying
    • 9 years ago

    Whoa… Dell took a major step backwards in the looks department. I would say the old XPS (M1330/M1530) look better. This is like a really bad mix of the XPS Studio, Adamo and Studio line ups. It literally appears they took design elements from each one of those lines and threw it together. Nothing is coherent about those designs..

    • chuckula
    • 9 years ago

    Eurocom Panther notebooks…. 60% of the time they work every time.

    • spengler
    • 9 years ago

    The 14″ and 15″ Dells and the D900F Eurocom all lack USB 3.0. Bummer.

    Is ASUS the only brand that includes USB 3.0 in 14″ models?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 9 years ago

      When chipsets have integrated USB 3.0 is when you’ll see it become common on laptops.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      Hunh? The ‘Tech Specs’ tab on the Dell product page for the XPS 15 lists

      “2 total USB 3.0
      1 USB 2.0 (eSATA/powershare combo)”

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    WRT the Dell laptops: the 14″ has a base weight of 5.33 lbs; the 15″ is 6.1 lbs. Seems a bit heavy for those sizes.

    The upgrade from the nVidia 420M to the 425M is $100.

    And the only available resolution is “720p” With HP going MIA with their “radiance” display on the Envy 14 (the major reason I was considering it in the first place) there really seems to be almost no option to get a machine with more vertical pixels without stepping up to some kind of 16″+ aircraft carrier.

    (On the plus side — and since this was the topic of the next bullet point — the switch to DDR3 means that you can get 8GB of RAM in those XPS machines… as long as you’re willing to pay for it.)

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Farewell to better screens. This is the second Core iX line of XPSs that omitted any options.

      • UltimateImperative
      • 9 years ago

      re: screen, if you try to configure the 15 inch model, you get the option of “1080p” for $140 or so.

      • dpaus
      • 9 years ago

      As UI points out, there is a ‘1080p’ option for the 15″ model. But, incredibly, NO-WHERE on the ‘Tech Specs’ page does it tell you the screen resolution. I couldn’t find it anywhere… They tell you what chipset it is, and they just won’t stop mentioning NVIDIA (boy, there must have been some deals cut on that…), but you’re simply not allowed to know the screen resolution. To me, that the second spec I check (after the CPU).

      On the plus side, there are two video outputs, and they are miniDisplayPort and HDMI. I’d have preferred miniDisplayPort and RGB (since that would have allowed me to drive one 30″ display and a 28″ 1920×1200 display), but I’m glad to see miniDisplayPort making it into the mix anyway.

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