The followup to Intel's wildly successful Sandy Bridge series of Core processors, Ivy Bridge, won't be reaching the market any time soon. In fact, it looks like the chip maker won't be releasing its latest work into the wild until June, a full two months after Intel's originally promised April release date.
But what kind of computing goodness are you missing out on thanks to the delay? How about a notebook that's part tablet, part Ultrabook and a super-powered gaming rig that could have Alienware's best machines running away with their tails between their legs? And those are just the start. So read on to see the six Ivy Bridge-powered notebooks that you'll be pining for, for months to come.
Lenovo's Ultrabook/ tablet chimera, the IdeaPad Yoga packs the power of a notebook and the versatility of a tablet into a beautiful machine that would make Frankenstein himself swoon. Powered by Intel's third-generation processor, the Yoga can be used like a standard notebook, but flip its screen over and it becomes a super-charged tablet. In addition to its flashy processor, the 13.3-inch Yoga comes with 256GB of storage space, and 8GB of RAM and will come loaded with Windows 8. Yoga mats not included.
Acer's first Ultrabook effort, the Aspire S3, was panned for its molasses-level speed and short battery life. But Acer is looking to correct those issues with its Ivy Bridge-powered Aspire S5. So far, the only info Acer has offered up about the 13-inch notebook is that it will come packed with a full-fledged SSD. Acer also noted that the S5 will have a "long" battery life, though no numbers were given, and be shock resistant. The company is keeping mum on pricing and availability information, but we'll keep you updated when we find out more.
Lenovo's super lightweight ThinkPad T430u will not only be the first ThinkPad Ultrabook, but the first ThinkPad to sport an Ivy Bridge-based CPU as well. The T430u's most interesting feature is its removable bottom panel that gives users access to the notebook's RAM and hard drive or SSD for easy upgrades.
And for discerning keyboard enthusiasts out there, the 14-inch 3.9-pound T430u will come with the same luxurious keys found on the ThinkPad X1. With a starting price of $849, the ThinkPad T430u looks like a steal for business users in need of powerful and classy notebook. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a bit longer to get your hands on one of these bad boys. Originally scheduled for release in Q3 of 2012, the delay in Ivy Bridge chips could push that back to Q4.
Not all Ivy Bridge-powered notebooks are Ultrabooks. Say hello to the Samsung Series 7 Gamer. This 17-inch slice of insanity is finally getting a shot at U.S. gamers after spending time as a European exclusive, and it's bulking up for the trip. Unlike the European edition of the Series 7 Gamer, the U.S. version will come strapped with an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge edition processor, a 2TB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 675 processor. Expected to cost just under $2,000, Samsung originally reported that the Series 7 Gamer would ship in early April. But with Intel delaying Ivy Bridge shipments, that date could slip a few months.
ASUS is further expanding its U-series of Ultrabooks with its Ivy Bridge-powered U47. According to Softpedia, the 14-inch U47 will be available with either a Core i3 or Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, integrated Intel graphics or a next-generation Nvidia chip and a range of hard drive options. Word on pricing and availability for the U47 is scarce, but we'll keep you informed as we find out more in the coming months.
Lenovo will be updating their line of gaming notebooks, the IdeaPad Y Series, with Ivy Bridge processors. The 14-inch IdeaPad Y480 will feature Nvidia's new Kepler-based GeForce GT 650M or 660M graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, Dolby Home Theater v4 surround sound on JBL speakers, a Blu-Ray optical drive and a hard drive as large as 1TB -- definitely a killer rig. Although no official price has been announced, expect the IdeaPad Y480 to cost upward of $1,000.
ASUS's first Ivy Bridge-powered notebook will be the N56V, a sleek silver and black laptop that we used to test the performance of Intel's new processor. The N56V sports a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-3720QM processor and 8GB of RAM. To top it off, the notebook also has an Nvidia GeForce GT630M GPU, which uses that company’s new Kepler architecture. (We tested Kepler in March, on an Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3.) All told, the system will cost around $1,149.
With the X875, Toshiba decided to tone down the look of its Qosmio gaming notebooks, opting for a "Black Widow" aesthetic. The Qosmio X875 will be powered by a third-generation Intel Core processor, and up to 32GB of RAM–the notebook has 4 memory slots. Plus, the Qosmio will use Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPU, which is based on the graphics-maker’s new Kepler architecture, and has 3GB of GDDR5 memory. Two hard drive bays mean that consumers will be able to pack up to 2TB of storage in the Qosmio for all those games and movies. You’ll be able to configure the Qosmio with either a 1600 x 900 TruBrite display, or a 1080p 3D-ready screen. The notebook will have quad harmon/kardon speakers, SRS Premium Sound, and a Blu-ray player. The Qosmio X857 will be available in the third quarter of 2012, and start at $1,299.
Notebooks in the Satellite P Series of Toshiba's new line of back-to-school notebooks will reportedly feature Ivy Bridge processors. A Best Buy exclusive, the Satellite P Series will sport an etched aluminum skin, an integrated trackpad, and a backlit keyboard. The Harmon/Kardon speakers are chambered, so they should be able to provide a little more resonance than ordinary notebook speakers. The P Series will also be offered in 14, 15, and 17-inch sizes, and will have Nvidia GPUs as an option. Prices will start at $799 for the P845 and P855, and the P875 will cost $849. All will be on sale exclusively at Best Buy stores and on the company’s web site on June 24.
Alienware joins the long list of manufacturers making the switch to Ivy Bridge, as they've announced that they'll be adding the processors to the M14x R2, M17x R4 and M18x R2. The 14-inch M14x can fit up to a 2.7-GHz Core i7-3820QM CPU -- add in up to 16GB of RAM, a 750GB hard drive, 2GB Nvidia GPU and 1600 x 900 HD display, and you've got the most powerful 14-inch gaming notebook on the market.