Normally, a new notebook release isn't all that exciting. When something stands out, such as having obscene hardware, or in the case of the Panasonic “Let's Note” CF-Y7, claiming to have nearly an eight hour life, it makes me take notice. Based on the brand spanking new Santa Rosa chipset, Panasonic's CF-Y7 has a “modest” display at 14.1”, a Core 2 Duo 7300, 1GB of RAM, A/B/G/N wireless, 80GB HDD, Gigabit ethernet and a card reader. Nothing to be impressed by – until they claim it has a battery life of 7.5 hours when running Vista Business. Could that be real? Don't expect to find out anytime soon – the unit is only available in Japan for now, starting on May 18th. It's possible they may bring it over to other shores in the future.
If you happen to be able to read Japanese you can take a look at the original press release. No other source I've seen has commentary from Panasonic about releasing it into other markets, though clearly the demand for a day-long laptop has been large for quite a while. Could Santa Rosa be the platform to do it? We'll find out soon as more Santa Rosa notebooks hit the shelves.