The 1982 Lockheed Sea Shadow may be rusting away in Suisun Bay, but its Commie-spooking contours haven’t been forgotten. They apparently inspired the design of the Asus G74SX-A1, which just won a HotHardware recommendation for its cheese-eschewing looks as well as its performance, efficient cooling and realistic $1749 price tag. For once, the Core i7-2360QM CPU coupled with a GeForce GTX 560M and generous 12GB dollop of DDR-1333 RAM actually conspired to surpass the manufacturer’s 3DMark benchmark claims. It wasn’t flawless though: overall computing performance was middling compared to rivals; the speakers were shoddy when it came to producing music rather than explosions; and the 17.3-inch Full HD display was slightly wasted on some games that only ran smoothly with high quality settings at 1280×720. Still, all this naval talkmakes us fancy some Silent Hunter 4 — and that should play just fine. Check out source link lurking below for the full review.
Meanwhile, Toshiba streamlined its consumer laptops for those non-gamers in the back-to-school crowd, axing the A and M lines, and leaving just the P series, for “premium.” It’ll include 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch models, all decked out in a textured, two-tone Fuxion X2 finish and featuring USB sleep-and-charge ports, HDMI-out, Harman Kardon speakers, and that same MaxxAudio 3 utility. Depending on the configuration, you can also score NVIDIA GeForce GT540M graphics, Intel Wireless Display, a 4G radio, a Blu-ray drive, and a 3D screen (only on the 15-incher). On the inside, you’ve got your choice of Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs or a spankin’ new A6-3400M accelerated processing unit from AMD. Look for the 14-inch P745 with a starting price of $699, and 15-inch P755 and the 17-inch P775 for $629 and up.
And, rounding out its portfolio, Toshiba refreshed its budget Satellite L700 series with Core 2011 processors and new AMD A4 and A6 APUs, while the entry-level Satellite C800 gets AMD Fusion C-50 and E-350 APU options. None of these laptops go on sale until later this month, so for now you can content yourself with those up-close-and-personal hands-on shots below.
Toshiba Qosmio X770
If you’ve enjoyed NVIDIA’s fine tradition of merely bumping along its GPUs time and again and affixing a new badge, you’ll like the GeForce GTX 560M — it’s much like last year’s GTX 460M, but with more bang for the buck than ever. ASUS, MSI, Alienware, Toshiba and Clevo have all committed to new notebooks bearing the graphics processor in light of the potent performance NVIDIA claims it will bring: Namely, those same 192 CUDA cores (now clocked at 1550MHz) and up to 3GB of GDDR5 memory (now clocked at 1250MHz, with a 192-bit bus) should enable the latest games to run at playable framerates on a 1080p screen with maximum detail — save antialiasing. Of course, that assumes you’ve also got a recent quad-core Sandy Bridge processor and gobs upon gobs of RAM, but NVIDIA also says that with the built-in Optimus switchable graphics, those same potent laptops should be able to manage five hours of battery life while idling.
If you’re looking for some inexpensive discrete graphics, however, NVIDIA’s also got a refresh there, as the new GeForce GT 520MX bumps up all the clock speeds of the GT 520M. When can you expect a mobile GPU to knock the GTX 485M off its silicon throne, though? Glad you asked: a chart shows a “Next-gen GTX” coming late this year. Meanwhile, see what NVIDIA says the GTX 560M’s capable of in the gallery below and a video after the break.