Yesterday I reported on breaking news that Google and HP ordered the immediate suspension and shipping of all Chromebook 11 models in the US. The news was first broke by The Verge who received a tip from an insider at Best Buy, which ordered all of its stores to cease all Chromebook 11 sales and shipments immediately.
Today we are learning just what caused the Chromebook 11 sales to stop so abruptly. Yesterday Google and HP made a joint decision to pull the $279 Chromebook from retail shelves after it began receiving reports of the devices charging brick overheating. Google and HP have launched an investigation into the issue and are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to identify the best way to correct the faulty chargers. Google and HP will issue a statement and contact customers when a solution is found.
HP and Google's new Chromebook 11 was promised to be this holiday seasons biggest notebook seller, but things are not looking to good for the $279 Chrome OS laptop. Today The Verge received a tip from a Best Buy insider who says that Best Buy corporate offices have sent urgent memos to store managers to stop selling the Chromebook 11.
"Stores should stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 effective immediately," reads an internal memo to Best Buy managers. "Partner with Sales Support to pull the product off the sales floor to a secure location in the warehouse." Since the memo went out, Best Buy has removed the Chromebook 11 from its website. Amazon, HP, and Google have also all listed the device as being out of stock on their websites as well.
At the moment it is unclear as to why sales and shipments of the devices have been suspended, and other than speculation about lower than expected stock levels, no other explanation has been poised by analyst. Amazon does list the item as being unavailable because "customers have told us there may be something wrong with our inventory of the item, the way we are shipping it, or the way it's described here." I have reached out to Google, HP, and Best Buy for comments and will report back when they reply.
Today at its big unveiling event, Apple debuted its updated models of the famed MacBook Pro laptop line. The biggest change is that now all MacBook Pro models will feature "Retina-quality" displays and that the aluminum uni-body devices now feature Intel's Haswell Processors.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is powered by an Intel Haswell i5 processor that is clocked in at 2.4GHz and houses 4GB of RAM to keep everything nice and speedy. A 128GB PCIe-based SSD is present as well alongside 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Thunderbolt technology. The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at under 3.5-pounds and is less than 3/4 of an inch thick. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will lighten consumer wallets by $1,299.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro gets a refresh as well and now runs a 2.0GHz i7 Intel Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Both feature Intel's integrated Iris Pro GPU, but an upgrade to an NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M GPU is available, which also bumps the processor up to 2.3GHz 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. The 15-inch MacBook pro starts at just $1999 with the upgraded model running $2,599.
Ultra-portable and convertible laptops have never been hotter than they are right now, and ASUS has just added fuel to the fire buy launching its new Transformer Book T100. The new convertible features a detachable 10.1-inch tablet running full Windows 8.1. Weighing in at less than 2-pounds the screen detaches to reveal a tablet weighing just 550g.
The new Transformer Book T100 is powered by an Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor and features 2GB of RAM to keep everything fluid and smooth. 32GB of storage is standard with 64GB being optionally available. The 10.1-inch screen boast a resolution of 1366x768 and is built on IPS technology to provide a very wide 178-degree viewing angle.
The T100 also features USB 3.0, 802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Transformer Book is also bundled with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 with full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. No pricing or availability were giving at the time of this writing.
Today Lenovo announced the all new IdeaPad A10, the companies first ultra-portable, dual-mode laptop to run Android 4.2. The A10 holds to its description of being ultra-portable too, the laptop weighs in at less than 2.5-pounds and measures just 17.3mm thick. Lenovo says that the new A10 was designed with users on the go in mind and that its new dual-mode feature will greatly enhance the user experience.
"With the recent explosive growth in Android-based, smart connected devices, customers are relying more on Android apps for both work and play. Why should they be required to switch and duplicate to use their laptop? Lenovo's A10 brings ultra-portability and dual-mode benefits to Android users at a reasonable price," said Bai Peng, vice president and general manager, notebook business unit, Lenovo Business Group. "Thin and light, with multiple modes and user-inspired innovations for an outstanding user experience ? the A10 is uniquely Lenovo."
The laptop features a 10.1-inch 1366x768 resolution display which can be flipped 300 degrees to enter "stand mode" allowing for a comfortable viewing angle when watching video content. The A10 is powered by an RK3188, a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor which gives the device the power it needs to function as a productivity device as well as an entertainment hub.
Today Apple issued a recall on all MacBook Air models sold between June 2012 and June 2013 that have a 64GB or 128GB SSD inside. These smaller SSDs were manufactured by Toshiba and have a defect from the factory that could cause users to lose all of their data. MackBook Air's with 256GB SSDs are not affected as their SSD was manufactured by Samsung.
Apple has determined that certain 64GB and 128GB flash storage drives used in the previous generation of MacBook Air systems may fail. These systems were sold between June 2012 through June 2013. To see if your drive may be affected, go to the Mac App Store, click on Updates and choose the MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1. The firmware update will test your drive to see if it is affected.
Fujitsu has just unveiled its latest notebook, the Lifebook U904, which features a 14-inch IGZO panel and a super-high resolution of 3200x1800. There are two models, one with a glossy panel and touch input, and the second is an anti-glare panel without touch capabilities.
The Lifebook U904 is powered by Intel's Haswell range of processors with Intel HD Graphics 4400 powering the graphics side of things. We have it weighing in at 3.06 lbs and a thickness of 0.61 inches. Fujitsu claims that its Lifebook U904 is the "world's thinnest 14-inch ultrabook." There's a choice of an SSHD or SSD for storage, USB 3.0 and HDMI connectivity are featured, as well as optional LTE wireless which is a nice touch.
You can grab the Lifebook U904 from Fujitsu's online store starting from $1,999 which comes with a glossy touchscreen and 320GB SSHD. Windows 8.1 is featured, so you shouldn't expect to receive the Lifebook U904 until after October 17.
Yesterday I posted a rumor that HP was developing an 11-inch Chromebook and could release it very soon. As it turns out, that launch came much earlier than anyone expected. This morning Google and HP teamed up in New York City to launch the new Chromebook 11, a low-cost laptop that runs Google's Chrome OS.
The Google Chromebook 11 features a 1366x768-pixel, 11-inch IPS display that features a 176 degree viewing angle, while managing to shine 50-percent brighter. Processing is handled by a Samsung Exynos 5250 CPU and 2GB of RAM is present to keep things running nice and smooth. The Chromebook handled connectivity through dual Micro USB 2.0 ports and a wireless 802.11 N connection, use a Micro USB cable to charge their smartphones.
The Chromebook 11 weighs in at just 2.3-pounds and measures in at 0.7-inches thick. This lightweight design is accomplished thanks to a plastic exterior shell which surrounds a magnesium frame that provides strength and rigidity. The Chromebook 11 retails for $279, and is available to order from Google Play, Best Buy, Amazon, and direct from HP today.
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.'
Today, CyberPower PC announced the debut of the ZeusBook Ultimate Series, a new laptop that is said to be the world's slimmest 17-inch gaming notebook. CyberPower says that the ZeusBook Ultimate measures in at under an inch thick and weighs less than six pounds total, which makes it not only slimmer, but also much lighter than similarly powered gaming notebooks on the market.
Offered in two different models, the ZeusBook Ultimate series features the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M graphics card and Intel's i7-4700HQ Haswell CPU clocked at 2.4GHz. 8GB of RAM is present alongside a 17.3-inch 1920x1080 LED display. CyberPower has really stepped up the network connectivity by installing an E200 KILLER NIC and a Wireless N 1202 Wi-Fi adapter, which will ensure fast and reliable connectivity during gaming and general use.
The ZeusBook Ultimate comes with Windows 8 64-bit pre-installed and has the ability to connect with three external monitors for a truly immersive HD gaming experience. The laptop is capable of supporting Super HD resolutions up to 3840x2160, which is four-times the resolution of a standard Full HD display. CyberPower has also managed to pack in some very impressive audio hardware into the ZeusBook Ultimate with the inclusion of HD Surround Sound speakers and a built-in subwoofer.
IFA 2013 - Johannes Knapp, our man on the ground at this year's IFA conference, has taken a hands-on look at Toshiba's new Satellite W30T convertible Ultrabook.
The Satellite W30T is a 13.3-inch Ultrabook, which converts into a 13.3-inch tablet in the same way that ASUS' Transformer Pad range of slates does, but Toshiba has opted for Windows 8 in this case. It can detach from its keyboard dock, turning into a 13.3-inch tablet running a 1366x768 HD IPS display. It's also based on Intel's fourth-generation Haswell range of processors, too.
We have HDD choices of a 500GB mechanical drive, or an SSD option. As for graphics we have Intel's HD Graphics 4200 Series, and the usual connectivity through Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, WiDi and HDMI. Ports on the side are plentiful with microHDMI, microUSB, microSD (for both expandable storage and as an SD card reader) and a USB 3.0 port on the keyboard dock.
IFA 2013 - Our man Johannes Knapp is on the ground at IFA 2013, a tradeshow currently taking place in Berlin, Germany. He got his hands on Sony's new VAIO Fit 13A, a 13.3-inch notebook that packs a punch. You can see his hands on video below:
The specifications for the 13A vary depending on the model. The one he got his hands on features a 13.3-inch Full HD display with touch capability. The 13A is one of the new convertible notebooks, meaning that the system can be switched into a tablet. It features USB 3.0, HDMI, and a card reader. Powering the system is a capable Intel Core i7-4500U and 8GB of RAM.