COMPUTEX - Asus, MSI laptops double as HD players

Two Taiwanese laptop PC makers are marketing laptop PCs so users can use them as high definition media players in either the Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD flavors.

Two Taiwanese companies are making laptop PCs users can hook up to their high definition (HD) TVs to make more use of the laptops' internal high definition optical drives, either Blu-ray Disc or HD DVD.

Micro-Star International Co. (MSI) is displaying several laptops with HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) outputs at the Computex Taipei 2007 trade show. This way, the laptop doubles as an HD DVD or Blu-ray Disc player on the family HD TV.

Most of the MSI laptops, including the PR210, RR210, GX610, GX710 and ER710 models at MSI's Computex booth have Turion 64x2 dual core processors from Advanced Micro Devicesand ATI graphics chips. The GX710 and ER710 are higher end laptops with 17-inch display screens. Most of the other laptops have 15.4-inch screens. The company showed two laptops, the GX600 and GX700, with Intel Centrino Duo processors and Nvidia graphics chips.

The company is still testing HD optical drives, and will let users choose what kind of drive they want in their device, an MSI marketing manager said.

Asustek Computer Inc. is also showing off several laptops with HDMI outputs. It is only using Intel and Nvidia chips in its laptops, and two of them are already on sale in the U.S., at Best Buy Co. The ASUS G1S comes with a 15.4-inch screen, an Intel Centrino Duo processor and Nvidia graphics chips, while the ASUS GS2 comes with the same chips and a 17-inch screen. They retail for US$2,000 or less, depending on specifications, an Asustek official said.

The company's Lamborghini VX2 notebook PC, developed in conjunction with Automobili Lamborghini also has an HDMI output.

Most of Taiwan's other major PC makers, including Foxconn Technology Co. and Giga-Byte Technology Co. did not show laptops with HDMI slots. Foxconn said it will have one out by the end of July.

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Dan Nystedt

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