10 Sandy Bridge Systems You Can Buy Right Now
Sandy Bridge Systems
On Feb. 1 Intel issued a recall of its Sandy Bridge integrated graphics processors due to a design error in its Cougar Point support chipset for the new platform. A week later, Intel and its manufacturer partners resumed shipments of corrected Sandy Bridge processors and in the weeks after new lower-end Sandy Bridge systems began to ship. Perhaps most notably, Apple’s entire Macbook line of PCs were refreshed earlier this month with Sandy Bridge instead of Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors, as well as Thunderbolt optical cable technology.
Some of the systems on this list including HP’s Pavilion dv6 and dv7 were affected by the initial recall, others have leveraged the Core i3 and Core i5 Sandy Bridge chips for lower-end systems. Some are more enterprise-oriented, such as Dell’s Vostro PC aimed at SMB customers, while others such as Lenovo target mobile workforce users. Together, the various Sandy Bridge-based systems currently on the market represents a significant slice of the overall PC market.
Dell Inspiron 14R
Dell has updated its entire Inspiron notebook line, which encompasses the 14R, 15R, and 17R, with Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, alongside discrete graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD, and high-definition Webcams.
The Inspiron 14R Dell runs on a Core i5 processor Sandy Bridge processor alongside an AMD Radeon HD 6470M or 6630M, while the 15R and 17R have an option for an Nvidia GeForce GT 525M.
Dell also added a lid design that users can swap at will with 25 others. The 14-inch Inspiron 14 includes a screen that resembles that of the previous 14-inch Inspiron model — same brightness levels and 1,366-by-768 resolution. Dell offers a 6-cell 48WH battery that Dell claims will drain in 7.5 hours and a 9-cell 90WH battery that will drain in 13 hours and elevate the back of the laptop by an inch.
The Inspiron 14R starts at $579.99.
Sony Vaio S
The Sony Vaio S, the latest in the Vaio family of notebooks, offers a 13.3-inch display with a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution screen, and a thin magnesium alloy profile under 1-inch wide, in either black or white. The Sony Vaio S runs on the Intel Sandy Bridge platform, up to the high-end Core I7 2620M processor. It support up to 250 GB of SSD storage, up to 750GB of HDD storage, and up to 8 GB of RAM.
Alongside the integrated Sandy Bridge platform, it offers the option of an AMD discrete graphics card, up to the high-end Radeon HD 6630M GPU with 1GB of RAM and optional Blu-Ray. It comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a back-lit keyboard.
The Sony Vaio S starts at $969.99.
Lenovo ThinkPad X220
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X220 laptop includes a convertible tablet model, but both form factors offer optional USB 3.0 port, a 45 percent larger trackpad, and a maximum 8GB DDR3 RAM.
The X220 offers a standard 12.5-inch LED back-lit display with 1366-by-768 pixel resolution, as well as the option of a Premium HD display that offers a wider viewing angle.
The standard X220 includes 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM upgradable to 8GB, as well as a DisplayPort, VGA, 54mm express card slot, SD card reader, and three USB 2.0 ports -- but no HDMI port. The X220 offers between 160 GB and 320 GB of hard drive storage as well as up to 160GB of SSD storage. It offers up to 24 hours of battery life with an extended battery and up to 15 hours with its standard 9-cell battery
The ThinkPad X220 laptop starts at $899.
MSI’s CR640 laptop comes with several new design features including a glossy screen, a textured touchpad, and extended battery life. The notebook weighs about 1.1 lb and runs on a 2.3 GHZ dual-core Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor.
The MSI CR640 features a 15.6 inch HD LED backlit display screen with 1366 x 768 pixel resolutions, as well as a 1.3 megapixel webcam and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity. It also comes with 1 Gigabit LAN, a 6-in-1 Card Reader, HDMI output, 4 USB 2.0 ports, a USB 3.0 and a VGA port.
MSI’s CR640 PC takes advantage of Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost technology alongside the integrated graphics capability, offering up to 2.9 GHz of boost frequency. It also includes 4GB of DDR3 SD RAM, and 500GB of storage on a hard drive that runs at 5400rpm.
The starting price for MSI’s CR640 is just under $1000.
Apple Macbook Pro
The updated Apple Macbook Pro replaced Intel’s Core 2 Duo with Core i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge integrated graphics processors, running alongside a dedicated GPU from rival AMD. The 13-inch model features a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core Sandy Bridge processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a 320-gigabyte hard drive.
The 17-inch version comes with a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core Sandy Bridge chip, four gigabytes of RAM, 750-gigabyte hard drive, and an AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics chip with one gigabyte of memory.
Apple also added a Thunderbolt port featuring two bi-directional channels to its MacBook Pro line. Thunderbolt is a new technology is based on Intel’s Light Peak optical cable technology that Apple developed jointly with Intel.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,199, the 15-inch model starts at $1,799, and the 17-inch model starts at $2,499.
HP Pavilion dv-series
HP’s Pavilion dv series notebooks incorporates design elements from HP’s Envy line, as well as HP’s CoolSense Technology, HP’s TrueVision HD webcam, built-in quad speakers and a USB 3.0 port. HP’s dv Pavilion series alsoinclude AMD’s Phenom II graphics processors and runs the gamut of notebook form factors from the 14-inch dv4 to the 17.3-inch dv7.
The Pavilion dv6 and dv7 feature 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch screens with diagonal HD BrightView displays and an optional integrated Blu-ray disc player. The high-end dv models offer additional storage, up to 1 terabyte (TB) for the Pavilion dv6 and up to 2 hard drive dual HDDs TB for the Pavilion dv7. Users also have the option of downloading Windows 7 drivers for each of the HP Pavilion notebooks: the dm4, dv5, dv6 and dv7 models.
HP’s Pavilion dv6 starts at $ 699.99, while HP’s Pavilion dv7 notebook starts at $ 849.99.
Asus’ new G73JW-XN1 notebook runs on Core i7 Intel Sandy Bridge processors as well as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 GPU with 1.5 GB of DDR5 memory to go with the 8 GB of built-in DDR3 memory built onto the system. It features a 17.3-inch Led-backlit 1,920x1,080 pixel resolution screen, a 500 GB hard drive running at 7200 rpm, and a Blu-ray player for viewing HD video content.
The Asus G73JW notebook weighs 3.85kg and measures 56.8mm thick, 310mm deep and 420mm wide. It comes with a DVD Super Multi optical drive, Bluetooth, VGA and HDMI ports, as well as Gigabit LAN and WLAN communication. It offers an integrated sound card and internal speakers, as well as an 8-in-1 card reader and a 2 megapixel webcam.
The ASUS G73JW-XN1 notebook starts at $1,999.
Packard Bell EasyNote NS
Packard Bell’s EasyNote NS notebook features a 14-inch display and the option of a DVD or Blu-ray drive for viewing digital content bolstered by Sandy Bridge. It also comes in a new design with a metallic finish and three color options: black, red, and white.
Packard Bell’s new laptop weighs approximately 5 lb and comes with a maximum 1366 x 768 pixel resolution on its display. The system runs on Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge chips with up to 4GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive.
Alongside the integrated graphics, the EasyNote notebook leverages a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 520 or GeForce GT 540 graphics card. It also comes with a 1.3 megapixel webcam, one USB 3.0 port, a multi-gesture touchpad, and up to 4 hours of operation of battery life.
Packard Bell’s EasyNote NS notebook starts at approximately $770
Dell Vostro 3000 series
Dell’s Vostro 3000 series SMB-oriented PCs include four models: a 13-inch 3350 version with a 4-cell battery, as well as 14-inch 3450, 15-inch 3550, and 17-inch 3750 each with 6-cell batteries. The Vostro 3000 PCs target smaller enterprises and include Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 Sandy Bridge processors.
Dell’s Vostro 3000 PCs feature a new back-lit chicklet-style keyboard, exterior aluminum finish, as well as pre-installed Skype and a customizable dashboard button for VOIP. It comes with DDR3, USB 3.0, and BT 3.0 technologies and 24-hour IT support from Dell ProSupport services. The new Vostro systems come in a choice of three different colors, switchable graphics, and an optional 8-cell or 9-cell offering about 12 hours of power.
Dell’s Vostro 3000 series notebook PCs start at $499-$599.
Lenovo IdeaPad Y460 and Y560
Lenovo’s Ideapad 460 features a 14-inch LED backlit display screen, 1.3 MP cameras Intel’s Core i5 Sandy Bridge processors.
Both IdeaPads weigh around 2.2 kg and comes with built-in USB 3.0, an SD card slot, an HDMI output, a multi-card reader and headphones. The Lenovo Y460 laptop also includes 4-GB of DRAM, with 320 GB and 500 GB hard drive on the Lenovo Y460 device, as well as a 6-cell battery with up to 5 hours of power.
Lenovo’s Y560 offers a 15.6-inch back-lit LED display, a 6-cell battery and a 1GB graphics card with a Blu Ray Disc drive. It includes an HDMI output, 8GB of DDR3 RAM and 750 GB of hard drive storage, as well as built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
The IdeaPad Y460 and 560 start at $850 and $1049, respectively.