The upcoming release of Apple’s updated MacBook Air with the M2 chip has made some Windows laptop makers “worried” about a potential decline in sales of Intel-based laptops.
“The Wintel brand seller indicated that at $1,000 to $1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end laptops,” the report says, with “Wintel” referring to Intel-based Windows laptops. The report added that “Apple’s M2 SoC, camera and chassis improvements make the new MacBook Air’s slight price increase acceptable to consumers.”
Windows laptop makers are also concerned about weakening consumer sentiment driven by inflation and the economic downturn, the report said.
Prices for the new MacBook Air in the US start at $1,200, with the M2 SoC delivering up to 18% faster processor performance and up to 35% faster graphics performance than the previous model’s SoC M1. Apple says the new MacBook Air will be available in July, with an order date to be announced soon.
In 2020, Apple announced that the Mac line will be moving from Intel processors to in-house developed SoCs, with Apple promising industry-leading performance per watt. The transition is almost complete, and the only Intel-based Macs still on sale are the higher-end Mac mini and Mac Pro Tower configurations, which are both expected to be updated by Apple’s SpC later this year.
The $1,000 MacBook Air with the M1 chip outperformed the $3,000 Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro. Similarly, the M2 chip is faster than the 8-core Intel Xeon W processor in the base Mac Pro Tower model, which starts at $6,000.
Microsoft is preparing a lightweight version of Windows 12 for very cheap PCs and laptops
Microsoft is indeed working on a “web-centric” version of the next generation of the Windows operating system, commonly known as Windows 12. This was reported by the thematic resource WindowsLatest, citing several sources close to Microsoft and its industry partners.
The cloud or web-based version of Windows 12 is similar in operating principles to the already well-known ChromeOS operating system from Google, which is used mainly on school and student PCs and laptops that are characterized by accessibility.
As WindowsLatest notes, the cloud version of Windows 12 is not intended to replace the traditional proprietary OS on desktop computers and could be the “true” answer to Chrome OS. This is Microsoft’s attempt to create a more modern, modular and lightweight version of Windows for low-cost educational devices.
Microsoft is already building a development team for the next generation of Windows. This is confirmed by job listings appearing online. It also notes that the “next generation of Windows” will appear in 2024.
As WindowsLatest learned, the Microsoft Edge browser and a new artificial intelligence system will be the center of the first web version of Windows 12.
Nokia has returned to the smartphone market? The company has released the HHRA501x and IS540.1 devices, but it calls them industrial laptops
Nokia has, in a sense, returned to the smartphone market. New products called Nokia HHRA501x and Nokia IS540.1 were released by Finnish Nokia, and not by HBM Global. True, these are not exactly smartphones.
Nokia itself in a press release calls the devices industrial portable computers. The devices are designed for use in harsh industrial environments and are well protected – these are not everyday consumer solutions.
In addition to protection from water and dust (IP68) and compliance with the MIL-STD-810H standard, the new products offer touch-sensitive screens with gloves, slots for two SIM cards and eSIM support, replaceable batteries, EMBMS support, a 16-pin connector for connecting accessories and much more.
More familiar technical parameters are not indicated on the site, but third-party resources say that the Nokia IS540.1 has a six-inch screen, Qualcomm QCM6490 SoC, 8/128 GB of memory, a 48-megapixel camera and a 4400 mAh battery. All this runs on Android 12.
Microsoft’s CASO feature eliminates the need for iGPU and dGPU laptops to have a multiplexer to switch between graphics cores
Microsoft has expanded the DirectX CASO (Cross Adapter Scan-Out) feature, which eliminates the need for a multiplexer (MUX) on many laptops.
We are talking about a function that switches between the graphics core integrated into the processor and a discrete video card. Today, almost every laptop on the market equipped with a dGPU also has an iGPU, and in all such cases a multiplexer chip is needed, which is responsible for switching between graphics cores depending on the tasks. However, it is not available everywhere.
AMD has such a solution as part of its Smart Access Graphics technology, while Nvidia uses Optimus technology. The CASO function takes over this work.
Without the MUX switch, two copies of the rendered frame are created and sent. One goes from the dGPU to the shared resource, and the other from the shared resource to the iGPU, which outputs the image. In games, this solution leads to delays and reduced performance.
CASO allows you to get rid of the shared resource as an intermediate link, and at the same time the need for MUX switches. CASO requires just one copy of the rendered frame, which is sent directly to the display, resulting in improved performance, reduced display latency, and improved battery life. According to Microsoft itself, CASO is supported on a wide range of hardware and supports both DX11 and DX12 games. Internal tests showed an average performance increase of 16%, latency reduction of 27%, and Windows TDR reduction of 45%.
The new feature is already available in Windows 11. It was originally announced back in 2021, but now Microsoft has added support for DirectX 12 (previously there was only support for DX11).
Requirements include Windows 11 22000.1817 or later. AMD-based systems require a CPU no older than Ryzen 6000, Intel requires a GPU no older than Iris Xe, and Nvidia says GeForce GPUs currently support CASO starting with driver version r515_00.
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