It's hard to pass up a good deal, especially when it's on something that rarely ever gets put on sale. For instance, an Apple MacBook Air. Best Buy, as part of its Winter Doorbuster Days sale, has the Apple MacBook Air on sale for $200 off, which is quite the deal. This means the 11-inch Air with 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD is only $799.99.
The 13-inch MacBook Air with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD is $999.99. You can get the sale both online and in store, though the offer is only while supplies last. You can also pick up an OtterBox case for 30 percent off, or get a free $20 gift card with the purchase of a 16GB iPod nano.
The MacBook Airs are available on BestBuy's website.
The Ultrabook market continues to swell, especially now that Windows 8 is here. LG have unveiled a new Ultrabook, dubbed the LG U560. LG's U560 sports a 15.6-inch display and wait for it... an optical drive!
Yes! An optical drive in an Ultrabook - with it all being crammed into an Ultrabook that weighs in at 4.3 pounds and is just 0.82 inches thick. The 15.6-inch panel is of an IPS variety, an Intel Core i5 CPU cranks along inside, with discrete GPU, a normal HDD as well as an SSD. The U560 will launch in South Korea at first, but it should float across the pond eventually.
I was one of the lucky Australian's, and lucky overall, to get a Nexus 4 with the first stock that dropped, but now the super popular smartphone will reach Australian stores on February 1.
The 16GB version will set you back $499 which is much more than the $399 pricing on the Google Play Store ($349 for those in the US). You can get it slapped onto an Optus plan, which will drop the total price to around AUD$35 a month, which is not too bad at all.
When compared to unlocked competitors' phones, the Nexus 4 is still not priced too badly. The new iPhone 5 will still set you back hundreds more.
If you want one of Apple's shiny 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros but don't want to pay sticker price, you're now in luck. Apple has added refurbished models of the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro to its online refurb store. The best part about this is that the sticker price is 15 percent less than a new model.
Apple's refurbished products are basically new. They are packaged like retail products and come with the same one-year AppleCare warranty. It's interesting to note that the 13-inch version of the Retina MacBook Pro made it into the store quicker than the 15-inch version did. The 13-inch version came to the store just about two weeks after the 15-inch version did. However, it released months later in October.
Since its release the Chromebook has been a two-way street with only two companies choosing to build the Google OS devices. Lenovo has decided to join the ranks of Samsung and Acer and produce a Chromebook of its own.
Lenovo has announced that it is producing a Chromebook based on its X131e ThinkPad. It seems that the only hardware difference between the X131e and the X131e Chromebook is the lack of an AMD processor, and of course one runs Windows and the other Chrome OS.
Lenovo says that the X131e Chromebook is the perfect solution for K-12 schools because it is rugged, sports an 11.6-inch screen, and only runs light-weight web-only software and will not increase the schools IT department's overhead. The new Chromebook will only be available to institutional customers making volume bids, so don't count on owning one yourself at this stage.
We already have Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung, but it looks like another player is about to put boots on the ground in the war on Chromebooks. Lenovo are set to add their devices into the Chromebook fight.
The news comes from TheStreet, and would see Lenovo diving into the fight if they could get business-orientated users on board with the plan of offering up a cheap notebook solution. TheStreet thinks that Lenovo could start selling Chromebooks as early as mid-May, with pricing starting at just $299.
Lenovo would offer up a higher-end Chromebook, which would see pricing scale up to $499. We should expect screen sizes of 11.6-, 12.5-, 13- and 14-inch. With multiple models on offer, Lenovo would show confidence to the world that they're not just experimenting with Chromebook, but they're in it for the long haul.
CES 2013 - The Lenovo Thinkpad Helix comes with the keyboard you have come to expect on a Thinkpad product, along with a screen that is removable to become a tablet. The Helix features a Core i7 processor and full HD IPS screen, with RAM options up to 8GB and storage options up to a 256GB SSD.
The Helix, in tablet mode, just feels right in the hand. It's not too heavy and not too light. The keyboard dock features an extended battery to give the combined machine more battery life.
Lenovo also showed off the Thinkpad Carbon Touch, table-top PCs, and other devices, such as smartphones. You can expect to hear more about these later.
CES 2013 - I got a chance to go hands on with MSI's newly announced S20 slider and I'm pretty impressed. It's light, yet it is supposed to get at least 5 hours of battery life, all while featuring a full Intel Core experience. I do have one qualm with it though.
It features a keyboard when the screen is slid back. It's great and would be exactly what I'm looking for in a tablet. However, if you touch into a text box while the screen is slid back, meaning the keyboard is exposed and usable, the on-screen keyboard pops up. It's minor, but would definitely annoy me.
Otherwise, the thing is pretty awesome.
While Microsoft are having issues with sales numbers of Windows 8-based devices and Apple continue to push their awesome Retina-based MacBook's, it is the Linux-based Chromebook from Samsung and Google that is topping Amazon's charts.
Listed at just $249, with Amazon selling it for up to $317 - as demand is driving up the price and retailers are taking advantage of this. Even at $317, which is $68 more than its list price, it is still cheaper than all of the other 20 laptops in Amazon's top 20 laptop list. What makes the Chromebook such a huge seller?
After its price being the number one reason, secondly just about anyone can use it as a Chromebook is pretty much just a Chrome web browser-based notebook, and that is definitely not a bad thing. Linux is churning away underneath, but you don't see that on top of the OS. Most people turn away from a Chromebook because they think Google's many services are all online-only, but they're not.
HP's EliteBook Folio Ultrabook getting screen upgrade option in March, will offer 1600x900 resolution
The Windows 8-based HP EliteBook Folio looks great on paper, but really loses out on its screen res with just 1366x768. In this day and age - hey, we're in 2013 now - that resolution is just ridiculously low.
It seems as though HP has come to their senses in the new year after a few drinks, and are now set to offer a 1600x900 option to US and European customers starting in early March. There's no information on how much the screen res upgrade will cost, but it shouldn't be too much more than the offering price, maybe $100-$150 extra.
Samsung has gone ahead and detailed the update to the Series 7 Chronos and Ultra Windows 8 notebooks and they feature what you would expect: loads of memory, 1080p screens, and more. The Chronos is a 15.6-inch beast, packing an Intel Core i7 processor, the new AMD Radeon 8870M GPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and a terabyte of storage.
With all of those high specs, the system remains under 6 pounds and claims to feature 11 hours of battery life, an impressive achievement, if true. The Ultra is a 13.3-inch beast that comes with an i5 or i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of SSD storage. The battery life is quoted at 8 hours and it comes with optional 4G/LTE connectivity.
MSI announces Slider S20 Ultrabook convertible ahead of CES, we will be sure to check it out at the show
MSI has announced the new Slider S20 Ultrabook convertible notebook. For those who don't know, a convertible Ultrabook features some way of turning into a tablet, either by sliding, flipping, or spinning. Due to the name of this machine, you can take a pretty good guess about the method used by MSI to turn this notebook into a tablet.
"Many users prefer the mobility of a tablet, but still need the processing power of an actual laptop computer," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. "MSI's S20 Ultrabook Convertible solves that problem by combining the best of both worlds, giving users the choice of using it as a tablet or as a laptop."
The system will feature a full HD 1920x1080 10-point multitouch screen, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and an i5 processor, all while remaining under 2.2 pounds and less than 1 inch thick. It will come with wireless, Ethernet, 2USB 3.0 ports, BlueTooth, miniHDMI, and a 720P HD webcam.
You'll be able to pick the machine up in Q1 of 2013 for a suggested retail price of $1,199.99.
Samsung has released a new video which teases the update of the Series 7 Chronos line of laptops. Not much detail was given in the video, seen below, besides a RAMaccelerator, said to load apps 50 percent faster, a full HD display, JBL speakers, and the new Radeon HD 8870M GPU.
CES is just a week away and we're pretty confident this machine will be seen there. If it is, we'll grab all of the details.
DigiTimes, a source that is hit and miss when it comes to reports, is reporting that Apple is planning to refresh the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air line of systems in June and will keep the same design as they currently feature. They cite Taiwanese supply chain sources, who reportedly received requests for quotations.
The MacBook Air is said to be switching to a new CPU platform, which likely means Haswell. However, this doesn't jive with the information I've heard about Haswell's release. Haswell is said to be due out in the Q3 of 2013, which is after the reported June refresh. Due to that, I'd take this with a grain of sand, though Apple may hold off shipping the Air until Haswell debuts.
DigiTimes has been hit and miss in the past when it comes to MacBooks, previously predicting there would be a MacBook Air for $799 in Q3 2012. No such device materialized.
Ultrabooks have been here for a while, but they can be thinner, right? Well, NEC have added another member to their Lavie notebook family with a new premium system that is said to be the thinnest of its kind. At its slimmest point, NEC's new 15.6-inch Lavie X Ultrabook is only 0.5 inches thick, which is quite amazing.
In order to get it down to this super-thin design, NEC required ultra-thin internal components that measured less than 3.5mm thick, as well as a specially engineered keyboard that took 1mm off the design. There is, however, two fans that measure 5mm in thickness in the Lavie X. It doesn't weigh too much, either, at just 3.5lbs (1.59kg) - compared to the 13.3-inch Lavie Z which is 1.92lb (0.87kg).
At 1.59kg, you're receiving the 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen, 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, HDMI-out, an SD card reader and 2-megapixel webcam. NEC's Lavie X offers up to seven hours of run time and its battery can be rapidly recharged to about 80% of its total in just a single hour.
NEC's Lavie X Ultrabook should ship in Japan on December 27 for 175,000 yen, which works out to a little over $2000. A second model will be on offer which is slightly cheaper, but sports half the flash storage and will be 129,780 yen or $1541.
We all have lost an expensive device due to a fall onto a hard object. Amazon's Jeff Bezos is looking to change that with an idea he co-invented with Gregory Hart.
The device senses a fall, calculates the damage such a fall would create and decides whether or not to deploy an airbag to cushion the fall. All of this happens within a split second and has the potential to save your expensive toy.
The patent was awarded on December 11th 2012. In short the patent states that it is "a method for protecting a portable device that includes an airbag deployable from a side of the portable device…"
HP has unveiled the HP EliteBook Revolve today. The system is a convertible notebook meaning that the screen flips around to become a tablet. The name should give you a bit of a hint of how it does this, but if it doesn't, the picture below will certainly help.
It features an 11.6-inch screen that can spin around and cover the keyboard, enabling the laptop to become a tablet. Unfortunately, the screen only supports a resolution of 1366x768, but at 11.6 inches, it's not as bad as if it were on something a bit larger. The system is powered by either Windows 7 or Windows 8.
It features the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors, and anywhere from 4GB to 12GB of RAM. Aimed at the business and government sectors, the tablet comes with all of the usual accouterments that business and government laptops do. The system is expected to launch in March 2013, at which time pricing will be available.
Dell's once internal skunkworks project dubbed "Project Sputnik" eventually launched as the XPS 13 Developer Edition, but now the Ultrabook-based is now shipping with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build that comes pre-installed.
It also sports feature-complete drivers that make sure that the maximum peripheral compatibility is great out of the box. The XPS 13 also comes bundled with Project Sputnik's open source tools, such as Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher, that are included to help developers install and deploy their projects in a quick and timely manner.
Hardware wise, the new XPS 13 is quite powerful - sporting a choice of an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i5 or i7, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SATA III SSD. The Developer Edition of the XPS 13 costs $1549, which is $50 more than the Windows-based XPS 13.
At the moment, Google's Chromebooks are built by two manufacturers - Acer and Samsung. This is rumored to change, with Google looking to offer up their own-brand of Chromebook in early 2013. A report coming from the China Times has said that Google have talked to Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to look after the hardware.
Better yet - the Google-branded device would be a 12.85-inch kit with touch-based input - yes, touch-based input! I don't think many expected the next Chromebook to have touch-based capabilities, but if Google push this right and price it competitively, they could really take the market on with a new Chromebook.
If Google could price it super competitively, like they have with their Nexus 4, 7 and 10 devices, the new touch-based Chromebook could finally become a winner for Google.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has received an update. The new version of the Ultrabook that was originally launched in August of this year now comes with Windows 8. In order to make the most of the new operating system, Lenovo have fitted the slick Carbon Ultrabook with a multi-touch touch screen.
The system also received a screen-resolution that was marked as "HD+" which we believe will be 1600x900. No other details regarding system specifications were revealed, but it's unlikely that the specifications will be massively different from it's older sibling.
This means you can expect at least a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, GeForce graphics, and SSD/HDD storage options. The new X1 Carbon Ultrabook is set to launch in this coming December, just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. Too bad I won't be able to pick it up for a good deal on Black Friday.
Ask the Experts: What is the main purpose of the new Retina MacBook Pro, and can it handle this years games?
Our Ask the Experts section has a new question, with Sushant from Indonesia wanting to know the benefits of the Retina MacBook Pro, and whether it will play games released this year.
Q: What is the main purpose of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, can it handle 2012 games?
A: You can view the answer to Sushant's question right here.