Google's somewhat overpriced Chromebook Pixel comes in two varieties: with or without LTE. The differences between the two models are small. The more expensive Pixel, which features LTE, comes with an LTE radio and 64GB of local storage. The cheaper variety is stuck on Wi-Fi and comes with just 32GB of local storage.
For $1,449 and a delay in shipping, users get access to Verizon's LTE network. Included in the price is 100MB of data per month for two years. The additional access comes at an additional price, which we've listed below:
- $9.99 - an unlimited day pass
- $20 - 1 GB good for one month
- $35 - 3 GB good for one month
- $50 - 5 GB good for one month
The unlimited $10 per day pass will likely be the best for users like myself. The only time I would need access and not have Wi-Fi would be at tradeshows or traveling to tradeshows. During those tradeshows, I'd likely be using lots of data and would easily blow through a 5GB cap.
If you're already a Verizon customer with a Share Everything plan, you can add the Pixel as an additional device for just $10 per month.
Our Tweakipedia section has a new post.
If you're running an older laptop that's starting to feel a bit long in the tooth, it may be time to consider doing some upgrades to extend the longevity of the system. Our own Chris Ramseyer, along with most tech gurus, will tell you that upgrading to an SSD is one of the best ways increase the performance of an aging system and breathe new life into it. Previously the process of upgrading a disk could be complicated, but there are now many tools and different ways of upgrading a system to take advantage of a fast new SSD.
In today's guide, we'll show you how to upgrade your aging laptop-or even a new one, as is the one we're using today-to a solid-state drive. We'll also cover upgrading RAM to get the most performance we can from easily upgraded components.
Lenovo have just unveiled their latest ThinkPad, the T431s. Lenovo's ThinkPad T431s is a 14-inch Ultrabook, sporting a 1600x900 matte display backed up by 250 nits of brightness. Inside, we have Intel HD graphics, a 720p front-facing camera, 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 12GB), a 47WHr sealed battery, an optional backlit keyboard, Bluetooth 4.0 and support for both Wi-Fi and WWAN connections.
Diving in deeper, we find Intel's Core i5-3337U processor clocked at 2.7GHz, with an upgrade to a Core i7 available. A full-sized Ethernet port is available, while VGA makes a weird appearance, too. A 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack is here, two USB 3.0 ports, a 4-in-1 SD card reader and a 320GB 5400RPM mechanical HDD resides inside for storage - with the option to upgrade to a super-fast SSD. It'll ship with your choice of Windows 7 or Windows 8.
No touchscreen is here yet, but Lenovo have said that future T431s models might feature touch panels. The trackpad has lose its physical buttons, with a custom-built alternative at play from Lenovo and Synaptics that reportedly took two years to work on. The T431s' trackpad supports some 20 different gestures. Lenovo's latest Ultrabook will start at $949 and will be in stores next month.
Acer has announced a new version of its C7 Chromebook that comes with more RAM and longer battery life. Of course, these upgrades come for a price. The original C7 retailed for $199 and came with around 4 hours of battery life and 2GB of RAM. The new C710-2055 model will set you back $280.
For the additional $81, customers will get around two extra hours of battery life. Along with the larger 6-cell battery, the RAM has been upped from 2GB to 4GB. This puts the Chromebook into the price range of cheaper Windows laptops and the iPad mini. It also makes the purchase less of an impulse purchase and one that actually requires a bit of thought.
Gregg Prendergast, vice president, U.S. Commercial Sales, Acer America:
Chromebooks are an ideal option for schools and districts that want to quickly implement a technology program that will significantly enhance student learning. The Acer C7 Chromebook delivers the advanced capabilities that will help students excel in all areas of their education. In addition, the Acer C7 Chromebook is incredibly affordable as a stand-alone product, and even more affordable when schools consider the reduced total cost of ownership thanks to its manageability and security features.
CeBIT 2013 - Johannes Knapp is on the ground for us at CeBIT 2013 in Germany and is back again with another hands-on video.
This time he spends some time to get acquainted with the new ASUS Pro BU400 14-inch non-glossy display laptop. This laptop confines to Intel Ultrabook guidelines and is designed for business users on the go.
It features an Intel Core i5 CPU at 1.5GHz along with an NVIDIA NVS 5200M GPU and the screen is capable of a 720p resolution. There is a good sized touchpad along with a fingerprint reader for added security. It also includes a bunch of I/O options including three USB 3.0 ports, ethernet, HDMI, SD card reader and VGA output.
One of the downsides is that the battery is built into the unit and cannot be replaced. The laptop was actually launched at IFA, but it's going on sale now.
CeBIT 2013 - Johannes Knapp is on the ground for us at the moment in Germany at CeBIT 2013.
One of the first new products he discovered at the show was Panasonic's 11.6-inch Toughbook CF-AX2 with a 1366x768 resolution and 10 finger capacitive multitouch screen. It's a business focused Ultrabook device with plenty of great featuring including a flip-over convertible style design that turns it into a tablet, which should work well considering it comes installed with Windows 8.
The device comes with a load of different I/O options (two USB 3.0, LAN, SD-XC, VGA and HDMI) that should work well for most business users and starts out with an Intel Core i5 CPU and goes up from there with various configuration options. Being a Toughbook, it's rather ruggedized weighing around 1.15kg and should be able to take a few drops here and there. Panasonic claims up to eight hours of battery life.
It's quite expensive starting at around $2000, but if it looks like the kind of "tough" device you need for your meeting and travel, it could be worth a look.
One of the latest devices to join the Ultrabook convertible category is the ASUS Transformer Book. This Windows 8 machine is part tablet, part notebook and costs a pretty penny. Official pricing hasn't been released by ASUS, but MacMall has put the machine up for pre-order for a small fortune of $1,479.99.
The 13.3-inch device is powered by a Core i7-3517U CPU and 4GB of RAM. The display checks in at 1920 x 1080 resolution and is powered by Intel's HD4000 graphics processor. Storage is provided by a 500GB HDD and a 128GB SSD, which is most likely used for booting and quick-on technology.
While that price comes with the keyboard, you'll probably want to wait to order the device until ASUS officially outs the pricing and it becomes available at more locations. It's very possible and likely that MacMall has the price artificially high to make some extra money off of the early adopters.
Google has proved that a leaked video was indeed accurate. The previously rumored Chromebook Pixel, a Chromebook developed by Google, has officially been announced by Google and will be available for pre-order in the Google Play Store soon. The device will start shipping in April, though the price presents quite a barrier to entry.
The Chromebook Pixel features a 12.85-inch touch-enabled Gorilla Glass display that outputs 2,560 x 1,700 pixels. This gives it a total of 4.3 million gorgeous pixels. It features 239 pixels per inch, which beats out the Retina Macbook, and is roughly double that of most Windows laptops.
The device will be powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and will come with Wi-Fi connectivity. An upgraded model will be available with Verizon LTE compatibility, though this will set you back an additional $150. The base price of the new device is $1,299 and the LTE model comes in at $1,449.
"This is for power users who live in the cloud," Senior Vice President of Chrome Sundar Pichai said.
Development of the laptop started two years ago and is developed by Google with the help of unnamed PC manufacturers.
Rumors are circling that Google is set to release a touchscreen version of its Chromebook at some point near the end of this year. We are hearing reports from the Wall Street Journal that Google is working with an unnamed hardware manufacturer to bring some touchscreen Chromebook goodness to market.
The WSJ is reporting that sources close to the matter say that as many as 100,000 Chromebook's were sold in the US during Q4 of 2012 alone, and that accounts for a significant improvement over previous sales figures.
Nothing is set in stone yet, but the final form for the new Chromebook Touch, could resemble the Chromebook Pixel which was leaked earlier this month. This means that the touchscreen Chromebook could have a 2560x1700 display built into an ultra slim frame, similar to that of the Macbook Air.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google has developed a touchscreen Chromebook that could go on sale as early as this year. Google is continuing to put pressure on rivals Microsoft and Apple with its competitively priced mobile devices and Chromebooks and a touchscreen version is the next logical step.
During the fourth quarter alone, Google is said to have sold around 100,000 Chromebooks. Combine that number with the fact that 25 percent of all Windows 8 laptops sold last month were touchscreen capable and you start to see why Google would be working on developing a touchscreen Chromebook.
Google is lucky in that they've had a fair bit of experience with touch interfaces. Thanks to the Android operating system, Google should be able to overlay a touch interface on the current Chrome OS. The report doesn't say who Google might be working with on this new project, but could this be something along the lines of the rumored Google Pixel?
One of the latest rumors out of the Apple rumor mill is that Apple is planning to release a MacBook Air that is equipped with a Retina display. The rumor says that Apple is planning on releasing this new MacBook Air sometime in the third quarter of this year. Previous rumors have said that the Air would get the Retina treatment in June.
Of course, if the Air gets a Retina display, it's going to need more horsepower to drive those pixels and a bigger battery to power the display. It's not clear if Apple will be able to pack all of the extras required into the Air's tiny chassis, though Apple has done other engineering marvels before.
EMSOne says that the update will be arriving in the coming months, so it may be worth holding off if you were thinking of getting a new MacBook Air.
Ex-console manufacturer Sega has teamed up with Japanese retailer Enterbrain to release some nostalgic Sega branded notebooks that will be sold for a limited time in Japan. The laptops feature removable lids that mimic classic Sega gaming consoles.
The lids showcase design elements as well as logos from Sega's popular Saturn, Dreamcast, Mega Drive, with a fourth sporting the Sega logo and a bright blue paint job. Before you get your hopes up, the laptops will not come loaded with classic Sega games, but will include exclusive wallpapers and custom sounds. The themed lids can also be purchased separately, so you can change out your retro experience at will.
The laptops come in four flavors of hardware specifications: Light, Standard, High-Spec and Premium. The Light version sports a 2.5GHz Intel Processor and 4GB of RAM, while the Premium version includes a 2.4GHz i7, 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA 650M. All four levels include Windows 8, 15.6" HD screen and USB 3.0.
Apple's flagship Retina MacBook Pro line of computers are getting a little bit more value for the money. The 15-inch version of the Retina MacBook Pro is receiving a 0.1GHz speed boost on its quad-core processor and is remaining at the same price of $2,199 for the intro version.
The 13-inch version is now $200 cheaper than before and will set you back $1,499 for the base model which includes 128GB of sold-state storage. If you need 256GB, it'll set you back that $1,699.
It's not immediately apparent what has sparked Apple to cut the price of the 13-inch model and boost the specifications of the 15-inch model. Perhaps it's the slumping Mac sales or perhaps its the stock price that has been getting hammered lately. Either way, you can't say no to more value for your dollar.
The ThinkPad Helix was said to be delayed until March or April according to a Facebook post by a company rep. The post added that an announcement would be made soon. Today, Lenovo has made that announcement, saying that the Helix will be coming in early March.
This delay isn't nearly as bad as it could have been. The device was originally slated to ship in late February, so an early March launch isn't too bad. The Helix is one of the new convertible Ultrabooks that seem to have become popular overnight. The screen of the Helix detaches from the keyboard base and can be used as a tablet.
The Helix offers performance components as options including a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. The starting price of this 11.6-inch touchscreen machine is $1,499.
A video was leaked today that seems to indicate that Google is working on a Chromebook completely in-house. The new Chromebook would best the other currently available systems in terms of resolution as the screen is reportedly a 2,560x1,700 touchscreen panel.
In the video seen here, you can see some fairly high production value meaning that it likely wasn't done by some amateur. The Chromebook in question is reportedly named "Pixel," though Developer Francois Beaufort says that it is called Google Link. He goes on to claim that it is being developed and tested at Google right now.
At the end of the video, it says that it was designed by Google, down to the last pixel. This lends credence to the notion that the device is being developed completely in-house. We'll have to wait to see if this thing is real, but I'd be inclined to say it is from the video. What are your thoughts on the device?
Sorry, folks. For those of you looking to pick up the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, you'll have to wait just a bit longer. The ThinkPad Helix is a convertable Ultrabook and won't see it's release until March or April. It was originally slated to be released in February, though that won't be happening.
According to a comment on Lenovo's Facebook page, "we received word that it will be delayed till March or April. More details will be announced soon."
The ThinkPad Helix is an 11.6-inch beast that features a Full HD 1080p screen covered by Gorilla Glass. Of course, it comes with an equally impressive price tag: $1,499. We'll get the details out to you as soon as Lenovo announces those "more details" that it promised in the Facebook comment.
HP has officially unveiled and launched the Chromebook Pavilion 14. Based upon Google's Chrome OS, this new Chromebook is built by the world's largest PC maker and shows that Chromebooks could be here to stay. The 14-inch laptop is priced at $329.99, the same as an iPad mini, and is above the pricing of other available Chromebooks.
So, what exactly do you get for that extra cash? Not much, actually. The screen is the largest of any of the available Chromebooks, but the Celeron processor is actually a step down from the Samsung Chromebook 550's Core processor. Other than that, most of the Chromebooks share similar components.
The Pavilion 14 comes with a 16GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, a 1366x768 screen, and a 4-cell battery, which is said to provide up to 4 hours and 15 minutes of battery life. It's not clear why someone would pick the Pavilion 14 over some of the other available Chromebooks. Other than brand and price, the devices are all very similar.
You can buy the new HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook on HP's website.
Mountain View-based everything giant Google announced on Friday that there are now 2000 schools using Chromebooks for Education all around the world. Rewinding three months there were only 1000 schools, which shows that the adoption rate over the last three months has been a very nice 100%.
Once the milestone was reached, Google showed off a list of schools that recently joined the Chromebook world:
Transylvania County Schools in rural North Carolina deploying 900 devices.
St.Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida going one-to-one with 2,200 devices.
Rocketship Education in the Bay Area of California using 1,100 Chromebooks.
It shouldn't be long before more and more schools take advantage of the Chromebooks, but this list would be a bit biased toward Google as those schools most likely ordered the most Chromebook's out of all of the additional 1000 schools from the past three months.
Anandtech is reporting that some Samsung laptops can be bricked by booting Linux via UEFI. UEFI is the successor to BIOS and Samsung's implementation on some laptops appears to cause the system to brick when trying to boot Linux. This problem likely stems from the systems not being fully tested and validated.
While only a small subset of users will likely be affected by this issue, it's important to pass along information that could keep you from bricking your laptop within seconds.
The problem appears to stem from compatibility issues in the kernel driver with Samsung laptops. The problem first popped up last year when a user tried booting Ubuntu 12.04 on a Samsung laptop. Samsung fixed the bricked system under warranty by replacing the motherboard, after which the user had the same problem again.
Ubuntu is working with Samsung to get these issues resolved, as they likely face every Linux distribution. Samsung is working on a firmware fix, while Ubuntu is putting protections in place to prevent damage from occurring to systems. If you're looking to install Linux on a Samsung laptop, I would hold off until a definite fix is provided.
We're seeing some leaked details of HP's first Chromebook become available, where we should see it as the HP Pavilion Chromebook. We'll be greeted with a 14-inch screen and a 1366x768 resolution, unfortunately.
Inside the Pavilion Chromebook, expect an Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD and a 37WHr battery that should provide around 4 hours and 15 minutes of use. Not too bad, but not the best specs either. We should expect HP's Pavilion Chromebook to become available on February 17 for $329.99.
It looks like Chromebooks are here to stay. Leading laptop manufacturer HP accidentally leaked information on their new 14-inch Chromebook Pavilion. The new Chromebook will see the light of day officially on February 17. Specifications are light, as are all Chromebooks, but the machine should prove formidable for most web tasks.
It will come sporting an Intel Celeron 847 CPU, which clocks in at a mere 1.1GHz. Graphics will be provided by an Intel HD GPU. RAM is a mere 2GB of DDR3, which could prove to be a problem if you surf the web like I do. It will store data locally on a 16GB SSD. The 14-inch screen will pump out a resolution of just 1366x768.
As far as connectivity, you'll get three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out, Ethernet, and an SD card reader. The battery is only 2.55Ah, which is slated to run for four hours and 15 minutes.