The trend: Slim, light laptops that can play back high-definition video—and edit it—30 percent faster than before.
Video is becoming harder to manage. The popularity of Blu-ray discs, 3-D video, and high-def camcorders and cellphones means PC users need portable power. So Intel and AMD are cramming graphics processors into the space that normally houses only the CPU. Each 1.5-inch chip can hold nearly a billion transistors, which move and render video data quickly, while a dedicated area handles more demanding tasks, such as editing high-def footage.
Without a graphics processor hogging space and battery power, low-cost laptops, netbooks, all-in-one desktops and even tablets can process high-def video and 3-D while still clocking up to 10 hours of battery life.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.