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Lenovo has the best Windows notebook on the market, where I totally fell in love with, and still gloss over, the Yoga 2 Pro. The company has just unveiled its successor, the Yoga 3 Pro, which improves on the small amount of things the Y2P had problems with.
The Yoga 3 Pro is 17% thinner, and 15% lighter than the Y2P, with Lenovo claiming that the change in results has it "weighing less than a bottle of water". We still have the 13.3-inch 3200x1800 QHD+ display, which was super crisp on the Y2P. Lenovo has spent time improving the already great hinge design, with the Y3P featuring a "watchband" hinge that Lenovo claims is "hand-assembled from more than 800 individual pieces of steel and aluminum".
Inside, we have Intel's Broadwell-based Core M-70 processor running the show, backed up with up to 8GB of RAM (still no 16GB, Lenovo?), and up to 512GB of SSD. The company has fixed the Wi-Fi issue on the Y3P, baking in a new 5GHz 802.11ac chip into the Yoga 3 Pro. Lenovo has also improved the software inside of the Y3P, with something it calls "Harmony" that automatically adjusts settings to optimize whatever software you're using. If you were to be reading an e-book for example, Lenovo's Harmony software will "change the brightness and color temperature according to the environment lighting". If you are watching a movie, Harmony will automatically adjust the audio settings to give you a better sense of immersion.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2014 - What's the use of an improved notebook GPU if it's going to suck down more battery life than ever? Oh wait, the Maxwell-based GTX 900M series doesn't use more power, it actually gives you longer battery life when you're not tethered to a power socket.
With NVIDIA's testing on an MSI GT72 notebook, powered by its new GeForce GTX 980M GPU running 1080p Ultra on the three games above (League of Legends, GRID 2 and Tomb Raider), the improvements are huge.
As you can see, we have a 30% boost for League of Legends, 29% boost for GRID 2, and a huge 55% boost in Tomb Raider on the GTX 980M.
Which gaming notebook should you buy? Here's a head start.
Boutique PC gaming company Digital Storm will embrace NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 900M, 970M and 980M video cards in its upcoming 15.6" and 17.3" gaming laptops. The 15.6" Equinox and Lance will be complemented by the 17.3" Behemoth and Krypton laptops, which will offer "beyond 1080p graphics" and extended battery life for gamers.
The Digital Storm gaming laptops using the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 900M, 970M and 980M GPUs will be available early next month. Pricing starts at $1,483, but gamers can customize each model based on budget and desired hardware capabilities.
NVIDIA's GeForce 900M series should prove to be popular among partner OEMs and customers, as mobile gaming is pushed even further.
Sitting here, I was watching an episode of Under the Dome when I had a random thought about my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, and when the Yoga 3 Pro was coming. I decided to Google it, and noticed that Lenovo had a listing on its website, going as far as listing the Yoga 3 Pro, but it hitting a 404 error.
This set me off on some digging, with some sources stating that the upcoming Yoga 3 Pro will feature Intel's new Core M processor, and most of the same specifications of the already impressive Y2P. We should see 8GB of RAM, varying SSD sizes, and the beautiful 13.3-inch 3200x1800 IPS display.
Samsung has withdrawn from the European laptop market, pulling its Ativ notebooks and Google Chrome-powered Chromebooks. Overall, the PC market has struggled as smartphones, tablets, and phablets take over - and the laptop market has also suffered. Sony spun off its VAIO laptop business to completely separate itself from the declining sector. For Samsung, the company continues to have great success utilizing Google Android on its smartphones and tablets, which is where future focus will remain high.
"We quickly adapt to market needs and demands," Samsung said in a statement. "In Europe, we will be discontinuing sales of laptops including Chromebooks for now. This is specific to the region - and is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets. We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustments to maintain our competitiveness in emerging PC categories."
Sony spun off its VAIO laptop business to completely separate itself from the declining sector.
According to a new report from Jack March, the upcoming 12-inch Retina MacBook Air will offer a slew of improvements. It seems like it's close to being reworked in every department, from its display, processor, speakers, charging technology, and more.
First off, the report states that the upcoming Retina MBA will offer a "noticeably thinner design", where it will be completely fanless. Fanless, you say? This is thanks to Apple adopting to Intel's new Core M processor, which offers performance improvements, as well as lowered thermals and power requirement. OEMs can bake these into their devices, offering up fanless tablets and laptops.
Next up, the source said that "the display bezels are noticeably thinner, quite similar to the current MacBook Pro Retina lineup" with next to no space between the keyboard and the edge of the upcoming 12-inch MBA. Additionally, the speaker has been moved above the keyboard, and is still "visible". The source continues with a juicy rumor, stating that Apple will get rid of the already impressive MagSafe connector, replacing it with a new charging technology that has never been used on any Mac to date. I'm hoping we see wireless charging, but I won't be holding my breath. Lastly, Apple will reportedly replace the standard USB ports on the new 2015 Retina MacBook Air with the new reversible USB Type C ports. The company should offer the new MBA in various color options, sometime in mid 2015.
Toshiba has announced its new Chromebook 2, which comes in two configurations. The first is an entry-level model with modest specifications, while the higher-end models amps it up a little, with both configurations featuring a 13.3-inch display.
The entry-level model features a 1366x768 resolution on its 13.3-inch panel, while the higher-end model features a Full HD IPS-based 1920x1080 resolution. The $249 model features 2GB of RAM and Intel's dual-core Celeron N2840 processor. The $329 model increases the specs to 4GB of RAM and a higher-clocked Celeron processor.
Both of the new Toshiba Chromebook 2 models will include Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a full-sized HDMI output, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, and an SD card reader. Toshiba will make the Chromebook 2 available as of October 5, with three colors available: Charcoal, Aqua, and Rose.
For those with fond memories of the Eee PC range, ASUS is bringing it back with the new EeeBook X205. The company unveiled the cheap new system at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany today.
The ASUS EeeBook X205 features an 11.6-inch 1366x768 display, and runs Windows 8.1, but the best bit here is the price: just $199. Inside of the EeeBook X205 we have the quad-core Intel Atom T3735 Bay Trailer processor, 2GB of RAM, a VGA webcam, a microSDXC slot, and a micro HDMI port. All of this comes in a light package, weighing a total of 980g (or 2.16lbs).
On the storage side of things, ASUS is offering either 32GB or 64GB of flash memoy, with some cloud storage options: 15GB of Microsoft OneDrive for life, as well as 100GB of OneDrive, and 500GB of ASUS WebStorage for two years. ASUS hasn't provided a date for the new X205, but we should expect it to drop before the end of the year.
ASUS has just unveiled its latest Ultrabook at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany: the ZenBook UX305. The ZenBook UX305 is similar to the already gorgeous UX301, but it now features a 13.3-inch 3200x1800 display, providing a pixel density of 276PPI.
The new ZenBook UX305 is only 12.3mm thick, making it one of the world's thinnest Ultrabooks to pack a 3200x1800 display. It weighs just 1.2kg (or 2.64lbs) compared to the already light Apple MacBook Air which weighs 1.35kg (or 2.97lbs). ASUS has crafted the ZenBook UX305 with its diamond cut highlights and signature spun-metal finish which comes in two varieties: "Obsidian Stone" or "Ceramic Alloy".
Inside, we don't know much, but Engadget is reporting that it has an Intel Core M processor, 10 hours of battery life, and a choice of 128GB or 256GB SSDs. We should hear more about this new ZenBook in the coming months.
The gaming laptop market has slowly been expanding, but the screen size on most portable gaming machines have been shrinking down to the 13- and 14-inch range. Not anymore, thanks to Lenovo's new Y70 Touch gaming laptop, which features a 17-inch touchscreen LCD.
The Lenovo Y70 Touch is fully touch-capable, compared to most of the gaming laptops on the market which are not. The Y70 Touch can be configured with a Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of mechanical HDD or 256GB of SSD. Lenovo pegs the battery life at around five hours, but I'm sure that is not while it's gaming.
Lenovo will be making its 17-inch touchscreen gaming laptop available next month with a starting price of $1,299.