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Apple is losing its war in multiple fronts at the moment, all while money is filling its coffers. It looks like MacBook shipments will decrease this year, even with the company increasing its orders to the upstream supply chain for new MacBook models.
The news comes from DigiTimes' sources in the upstream supply chain who also said that their shipments for the new MacBook devices have been increasing since June, with volumes in Q3 increasing by 10-20%. This growth is expected to continue going into this month. But, Apple is seeing issues with its shipment numbers in relation to a suspension of component shipments for a three-month period in the first half of the year, which will hurt overall MacBook shipments across 2013.
Last year, Apple shipped 13.03 million MacBooks, but only 5.3 million units were shipped in the first half of this year. This means that Apple needs to ship over 7.73 million units in the last six months of this year to just be equal to 2012's performance. I think this comes down to Apple not giving the world anything exciting in its Mac line, if it pushed touchscreen models into the mix, we might see a turn around.
HP's Chromebook offerings have been limited to 14-inch models but if a recent leak is correct, a new 11-inch model may be on the way . Recently spotted in the PC Builders Energy Star qualification list, the new HP Chromebook 11 would feature an 11.6 inch display. The leak has been confirmed by a tipster sending in an unreleased Best Buy ad for the new device.
The device would weigh in at just 2.42-pounds while measuring in at just 0.7-inches thick, and battery life is said to be around 6.5-hours. HP has teamed up with Beats Audio to produce an immersive sound experience on the device as well, and a HP TrueVision HD Webcam is also listed.
As with all Chromebooks, Google is tossing in 100GB of free Google Drive space for 2 years. Unfortunately no pricing or availability information was provided with the leaks, and HP is remaining silent. Judging by recent Chromebook pricing, I expect the new HP Chromebook 11 to retail for around $199 with a 3G or LTE model being priced in the $299 range.
MSI has just unveiled its GP Series of notebooks, which all feature SteelSeries keyboards to our surprise. There are three different models within the GP Series, the GP70 and two GP60 models.
The GP70 features a 17.3-inch 1600x900 display, an Intel Core i5-4200M "Haswell" processor, 1TB HDD, a 6-cell 90W battery, and an MSRP of $949.99. The GP60 2OD-072US sports an Intel Core i7-4700MQ "Haswell" processor, 15.6-inch 1920x1080-pixel display, 750GB 7200RPM HDD, 6-cell 120W battery and a $1,049.99 price tag.
The final notebook in the new GP Series from MSI is the GP60 2OD-052US which features an Intel Core i5-4200M "Haswell" processor, 15.6-inch 1366x768 display, 750GB HDD, 6-cell 90W battery and an MSRP of $899.99. All three GP Series of notebooks feature Windows 7 Home Premium, 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0, an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 1.4 output, 720p-capable webcam and of course, the SteelSeries keyboard.
Earlier tonight, HP unveiled its Spectre 13 Ultrabook, which featured an option 2560x1440 display and a wide touchpad. Now we have the company unveiling a premium 17-inch notebook, that features Leap Motion technology inside.
The HP Envy17 Leap Motion Special Edition features Intel's fourth-generation Core processors, otherwise known as Haswell, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB 5,400RPM mechanical HDD with pricing starting at $1,049.99. HP allow you to upgrade the Envy17 Leap Motion Special Edition with a second HDD, where we would suggest putting in an SSD, and discrete NVIDIA graphics.
There's an option of a "17.3-inch diagonal optional full HD display" which means the stock machine won't feature a high-res display unfortunately. The selling point here is the Leap Motion controller, which is capable of tracking all 10 of your fingers in an area of eight cubic feet, as well as detecting movements as small as just 0.01mm.
Today, HP released one of its finest notebooks to date. The Spectre 13 Ultrabook features a machined aluminum unibody chassis that is aimed at taking on Apple's MacBook Air. Even the hinges that attach the body to the aluminum lid are made out of metal.
Featuring a standard edge-to-edge full 1080p touchscreen, the device already edges out Samsung's Series 9 Ultrabooks in terms of display quality. For those who wish for an even better HD experience, the device can be ordered with a 2560x1440 QHD display with HP promising nine hours of battery life thanks to the Intel Haswell processor inside.
Weighing in at just 3.3 pounds and boasting a respectable 13.4mm overall thickness, the Spectre 13 ships with a 120GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and DisplayPort technology. Additionally, the Ultrabook features an ultra-wide touchpad that enables control of special features within Windows 8. The new Ultrabook will retail starting at $999 and will be available later this year.
Today, GIGABYTE launched what it is calling the lightest gaming laptop in the world. The new 14-inch P34G Ultrablade is extremely thin at just 21mm thick and weighs an unbelievably light 1.6kg. GIGABYTE has designed the new notebook around an ultra-smooth sandblasted aluminum matte finish that lends an air of elegance and sophistication.
The new P34G Ultrablade features a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M graphics card. Everything is remarkably cool and stable thanks to GIGABYTE's unique Supra-Cool cooling system that is comprised of a combination of dual heat pipes and dual fans that are efficient at removing heat from both the CPU and GPU.
GIGABYTE says that the P34G supports up to a 256GB mSATA SSD in addition to a large 1TB HDD for unprecedented fast storage without sacrificing capacity. A full 1080p display panel is featured, which provides excellent viewing even at angles of 170 degrees. Finally, the P34G Ultrablade features an automatic light sensing backlit keyboard that illuminates the keys when powered on in a dimly lit room.
IDF 2013 - During today's Keynote speech, Intel invited ASUS up on stage to show off one of its new Bay Trail-powered 2-in-1 Ultrabooks. Intel believes that 2-in-1 systems are the way of the future and has conducted research that seems to show the market is heading in that direction. Details on the new system are slim, but you can get an early look at an upcoming ASUS 2-in-1 system.
IFA 2013 - Earlier today HP released the Chromebook 14, an Intel Haswell-based Chromebook that will be available in three distinctively vibrant colors. The new Chromebook 14 will feature a 14-inch screen, 16GB of built in storage and will include 2 years of free 100GB Google Drive cloud storage.
Connectivity includes an HDMI port, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port. 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi is included and HP will toss 200MB of free T-Mobile Data per month for 2 years. HP says that we will see the new Chromebook 14 hit store shelves this holiday season and it will retail for just $299.99. For a basic internet surfing, email checking, photo browsing device, it is hard to beat the $300 price tag, but at the same time, there are Android tablets with much more internal storage for the same pricing point.
IDF 2013 - Today Acer announced that it will be previewing its first Chromebook that features an Intel processor based on the Haswell microarchitecture platform at the 2013 Intel Developer Forum. Acer says that this third-generation Chromebook is the result from close collaboration between Acer, Intel and Google, and combines the best technology with exciting new innovation to usher in a new era for the Chromebook market.
"The value proposition of the Acer Chromebook line resonates with consumers, education and a growing number of businesses, as more work is done by teams that collaborate, create and connect using a wide and varied range of apps for learning, research, fun and work," said Arif Maskatia, chief technology officer, Acer America. "The new Acer Chromebook will inspire greater innovation for developers and in turn, for our customers in numerous markets."
"The latest Chromebooks with Intel processors based on the Haswell micro-architecture enable sleek new designs with amazing battery life and improved performance," said Navin Shenoy, Vice President, PC Client Group, General Manager, Mobile Client Platform Division, Intel.
With Chromebook's getting more powerful while remaining energy efficient with every new generation, they are becoming very attractive to users who need a light, portable solution for an on-the-go lifestyle. Personally I am considering picking up one myself to use at conferences, and as a photography companion on photo shoots.
The Intel Developer Forum kicks off later today, where we should expect some Haswell-powered Chromebooks unveiled. Intel's general manager of software and devices, Doug Fisher, will reportedly unveil the new Chromebooks during his keynote.
PCWorld also notes that there should be a Google exec that will join him to discuss the optimization of Android and Chrome for Intel processors. We should expect new OEMs to make the Haswell-powered Chromebooks, as well as the usual Google, HP, Lenovo, Acer and Samsung. Chromebooks could become a big item in the future considering they start at $199.
I'm hoping we see a new high-end Chromebook unveiled, that will include a powerful Haswell processor and the gorgeous high-resolution display. Right now, the 12.85-inch 2560x1700-pixel display on the Chromebook Pixel is hard to beat, but let's hope Google unveil something bigger and better. I wouldn't mind a Chromebook that could run Windows too, that would scream 'shut up and take my money.'