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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.