PC manufacturers announced machines that are cooler, smaller and
faster Sunday in advance of Computex. The new machines feature Intel’s
speedier fourth-generation Core processors, code-named Haswell, which Intel announced Saturday.
Asus, Cyberpower and MicroCenter announced all-in-ones, gaming
laptops and desktops running Haswell, while major PC makers like Dell,
Acer and others expected to follow with more Haswell announcements in
the coming days. Many new PCs will be on display at the Computex trade
show in Taipei, which opens Tuesday.
The announcements came on the heals of Intel announcing its first
fourth-generation quad-core Core i7 and i5 chips based on Haswell. Intel
is expected to announce more Haswell processors at Computex.
Haswell chips provide better speed and power efficiency over the
third-generation Core chips code-named Ivy Bridge, which shipped last
year, said Kelt Reeves, CEO of PC maker Falcon Northwest.
“Haswell adds about the same 10 to 15 percent performance boost that
Ivy Bridge took over Sandy Bridge, with yet another big reduction in
power and heat generated. It’s obviously a huge step for laptops where
performance-per-watt is paramount,” Reeves said.
The Haswell improvements may matter more on laptops where battery
life is important. The desktop benefits are less obvious but no less
important, Reeves said.
“If you’re like most of the PC-buying public that hasn’t purchased a
desktop in three or more years, they’re in for a really surprising leap
in what Intel has done with the PC platform in these past couple
generations,” Reeves said.
Desktops with Haswell and more power-efficient graphics processors
are smaller, cooler and quieter than previous models. Large capacity
solid-state storage is also much more affordable, which will help make
desktops faster and cooler, Reeves said.
“The result is a PC that is hugely advanced over what most people are
running at home. And it doesn’t just mean the traditional ‘beige box’
PC they’re used to is better, this new efficiency is resulting in new
form factors,” Reeves said.
One such form factor is the Falcon Northwest’s Tiki microtower, which
the company will ultimately upgrade to Haswell. The company, which
makes PCs for enthusiasts, will also upgrade its other desktops and
laptop models to Haswell.
Combined with graphics cards, gaming desktops with Haswell processors
will be able to handle the most demanding games, Intel officials said
Asus announced two all-in-one PCs with 23-inch and 27-inch displays,
respectively. The 27-inch ET2702 touch all-in-one displays images at a
2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and has USB and HDMI ports, with a
Thunderbolt port as an option. The 23-inch ET2311 touch display has a
resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and is intended to be a desktop
Asus also introduced two desktops — G10 & M51 — that will have
optional Nvidia or Advanced Micro Devices graphics processors. Prices
and availability information were not provided.
Cyberpower announced the US$1,579 FangBook EVO HX7-200 laptop, which focuses more on performance than battery life.
The laptop is geared for gaming with a 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel
screen, a quad-core 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor and a Nvidia
GeForce GTX 780M graphics card.
U.S.-based Micro Center announced the PowerSpec G411 desktop for
gamers starting at $1,399. The desktop comes with the new Intel Core
i7-4770K unlocked processor, which will allow enthusiasts to crank up
performance of the PC. The desktop also has the Nvidia GTX660Ti graphics
card. The desktop is available Sunday.
Razer has also announced the thin-and-light
Razer Blade gaming laptop, which has a 14.1-inch screen that can
display images at 1600 by 900 pixels. The Blade is 16.76 millimeters
thick, has 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX765M graphics card. The price
will depend on configuration
and the laptop will be available Monday.
Micro Express also announced the $1,599 MicroFlex 47B desktop.