Maingear 11.6-inch Pulse 11 notebook now on sale

Several weeks ago, we reported that Maingear was going to launch a 11.6 inch notebook, the Pulse. It was the PC maker's way to fill in the gap for a small laptop but with higher end hardware specs that was left open when Alienware decided to discontinue the M11x. Now that Maingear notebook has officially launched, along with a slight name change to the Pulse 11.

The Pulse 11 has a speedy NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics card inside with 2 GB of GDDR3 video memory. It can have either the i5 or i7 versions of Intel's third generation Core (Ivy Bridge) processors, up to a Core i7 3612QM.

There's also support for up to 16 GB of RAM and storage options that include up to a 480 GB SSD or a 750 GB 7200rpm SATA hybrid hard drive. Unlike the Alienware M11x, the Pulse 11 has a removable battery, just in case you want to pack an extra one for long trips; there's no word on how much the Pulse 11 weighs.

Pricing for the Maingear Pulse 11 starts at $999, although obviously if you want some of the higher end components inside the price will be much higher. It also comes with lifetime labor and phone support and Maingear's promise of "no bloatware" installed.

Source: Maingear | Image via Maingear

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Finally some decent specs for a laptop. Why do I get the feeling $999 won't get you anywhere near what's been talked about...

My guess is an Intel 4000. Certainly not bad, just not good if you want to run anything new. Sidenote: There's nothing old that the Macbook Air will run, since there's no rosetta anymore.


The Laughing Man said,
Much better bang for the buck, I was considering a Macbook Air (when they are announced) but I have huge doubts on the graphics card in it.

Sadly for a company and product line that people associate with graphics and geared for graphic designers, Apple products have had low end GPUs for the last 20 years.

Back in the early 90s when Windows users were moving to accelerated 2D and products like the 8514, Macs were painfully drawing images on the screen, and in graphic design, wireframe mode in products like illustrator were because of Macs.

In the 00s with OS X, Apple focused heavily on CPU performance, and at best put in a mid range video card a full generation behind the mid to high range cards in PC and laptops at the time.

When they moved to Intel it got worse as they shoved traditional GPU operations through SSE2/SSE3 on the Intel CPUs, leaving high end graphical software starving for GPU performance.

This continues to this day, and if you want a high speed GPU, Apple's BEST offerings on the low to mid range in the PC world.

I look forward to the day when Apple/Mac being equated to good or fast graphics is finally exposed for the sad and inaccurate myth it has been for a long time.

(Even today, only Windows 7 can output higher than 32bpp color, and only Windows 7 can preemptively multi-task GPU threads for GP-GPU and 3D rendering seamlessly.)

Which is sad watching a new Mac Pro come to a halt trying to use GP-GPU and watching the GPU get bogged down to where the system isn't even responsive, or walk into a production shop with new 36 or 40bit displays, and hook a Windows laptop up to it so they can see the full color range.