3-2-1-BOOT! And the Winner Is?
CES is finally over. Products have been packed and shipped back. Our showcase venue has become a restaurant once again, and for the most part, we’ve gone back to our regular work. As the dust settles, many surely will look back on CES 2011 as a year of pad devices, 3D TVs/PCs and Internet TVs, however, these themes are familiar from 2010, just multiplied tenfold at this year’s show. We too showed pads, 3D PCs and Internet TV. But I like to think of CES 2011 as the year of the sub-10 second PC boot up.
We showcased six of our demonstration PCs booting in under 10 seconds in our Enhanced Experience 2.0 area. And we thought it might be fun to lay down a challenge…You’ll remember that we offered US $10,000 for anyone whose PC could beat ours. Perhaps unsurprisingly, nobody came close. Well, that’s not entirely true - step forward Xavier Lanier from Notebooks.com with his modified MacBook Air (he upped the processor to a 2.13GHz Intel® Core™2 Duo, and its loaded with a 256GB SSD, 4GB RAM and the latest Mac OS 10.6.6). This is the notebook that’s been touted by many as the fastest-booting on the market today.
Weighing in against our very own ThinkPad Edge E420s (announced at CES and available later in the year) – both PCs were kitted with an SSD drive. So, the $10,000 question: which would boot to desktop first? We found out live on stage in a somewhat nerve wracking showdown during our Enhanced Experience 2.0 party night. Queue dramatic music. Xavier stood poised with his finger above the start button of his MacBook Air. Danica Patrick (yes THE Danica Patrick of NASCAR and IndyCar fame) lined up against him, itching to get the ThinkPad Edge off the starting line. 3-2-1... BOOT! At first we though the ThinkPad may have been left on the starting line… all we could see was a blank screen as the MacBook appeared to steam out in front. But then suddenly, BOOM… the familiar site of the Windows 7 desktop and the ThinkPad snatched the title with about a second to spare. The total boot time? We don’t have a precise timing for this on-stage demo, but it was about eight seconds (we’ve clocked the laptop at sub seven seconds in the lab). Here's a video we took of the challenge.
Queue music “We are the Champions”!! Okay, so it was our own contest and not a scientific test, but then we’ve previously smacked the Air out of the park in our lab tests, and anyone with a production-level Air will know it takes more than 10 seconds to boot! So what happened to the US $10,000? We gave it to a good cause: Danica’s charity Make a Wish Foundation.