Size matters not: KDE Slimbooks measure 0.70 inches with sixth-gen Intel CPUs

kde slimbook skylake neon plasma ubuntu
The international free software community KDE announced the launch of a KDE-branded laptop on Thursday called the KDE Slimbook. Built for KDE fans across the globe, the new Slimbook promises a highly stable computing experience given that KDE developers are using an identical hardware and software configuration when testing their apps. That means apps and hardware issues are resolved before a new version of KDE’s software is distributed to end users.

The new Slimbook is based on the KDE Neon platform and the Plasma Desktop interface. Neon is a software repository based on Ubuntu LTS (which is based on Linux) that provides rapid updates of Qt and KDE software while the rest of the Ubuntu-based components installed on the notebook are updated at a normal pace. KDE Plasma is the visual desktop environment built to enhance the Linux computing experience.

“Spanish laptop retailer Slimbook approached KDE with the idea to offer KDE-branded laptops that come pre-installed with Plasma and KDE Applications,” said KDE’s Thomas Pfeiffer in an update. “We were excited about the idea, and put our designers and developers to the task of creating a branding for such a device and making sure that KDE neon runs without any hardware-related issues on it.”

There are two versions of the KDE Slimbook: one with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor and one with an Intel Core i7-6500U, both of which are sixth-generation Skylake chips. Here is a brief rundown of each:

Core i5-6200U Core i7-6500U
Release date: Q3 of 2015 Q3 of 2015
Cores: 2 2
Threads: 4 4
Base speed: 2.30GHz 2.50GHz
Boost speed: 2.80GHz 3.10GHz
Cache: 3MB 4MB
Maximum power draw: 15 watts 15 watts
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 520
Graphics speed (base): 300MHz 300MHz
Graphics speed (max): 1,000MHz 1,050MHz

Outside the two processor differences, the KDE Slimbooks are identical in their hardware specifications and options. Here they are:

Screen size: 13.3 inches
Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
System memory: 4GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
8GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
16GB DDR3 @ 1,600MHz
Storage (Samsung or Crucial): 120GB mSATA SSD
Connectivity: Wireless N
Wireless AC
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: 2x USB 3.0
1x Ethernet
1x Mini HDMI1x SD card reader
Keyboard: LED-backlit
Webcam: Yes
Battery: 6,800mAh
Size: 13 x 8.66 x 0.70 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Outer material: Aluminum
Color: Silver

According to the specs, the operating system is marked as KDE Neon “for now.” Pfeiffer said that the KDE community is open other to distributions that can be pre-installed with Plasma, offering customers a choice of multiple operating systems. He also pointed out that the KDE Slimbook was created for those who love KDE software, and was not built primarily for those who are active contributors in the KDE community.

“We were not content with the quality of laptops available on the market,” explains KDE. “The majority shipped with proprietary and locked-in software solutions, filled with not-uninstallable bloat where the user was left at the mercy of whatever the company selling them a laptop saw fit for them to work with. As creators and makers we knew what it meant to be locked into a set of solutions defined by others.”

To purchase the KDE Slimbook, head here. The Intel Core i5 version has a starting price of $779 and the Core i7 model has a starting price of $908. Customers can only configure the amount of system memory, the amount of storage, the wireless connectivity component, and the keyboard layout.


Leaked AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile benchmarks look fit for thin, low-power laptops

AMD is poised to give Intel a run for its money in the ultra-low-power processor space for laptops. Leaked benchmarks for the Ryzen 3000 APU series show the AMD processor besting Intel's Core i7 Y series in multicore performance.

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen is back with new design, internals and S Pen

Samsung's new Notebook 9 Pen looks to be an ideal Windows 2-in-1 for creators. New features include a modern design, an updated S Pen in the box, and the latest eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor.

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.