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Computex Taipei 2013 - We sat in on Acer's Computex 2013 press event today, where we heard a bunch about the direction of the company. They talked about their well-received Aspire R7 device, which has a wicked hinge design and its keyboard pushed to the front of the device.
Acer's Iconia R7 is a 15.6-inch device with a Full HD (1920x1080) display, an Intel Core i5-3337U (still an Ivy Bridge processor) which is clocked at 1.8GHz, with a 24GB SSD for the OS side of things and taking care of your storage is a 500GB, but just 5,400RPM HDD. The hinge design is awesome, something we will take a closer look at in the coming days at Computex, that's for sure. The keyboard design being closer to your hands actually makes a touchscreen-capable machine worthwhile, something I've been wanting for a while now. Acer did some good work with the Aspire R7, that's for sure.
Razer took to the stage today in San Fransisco to unveil two new gaming systems, the first of which is their new Blade Pro. The Blade Pro is "designed for work and play" and Razer is placing a bit of emphasis on billing these machines for the working professional, specifically graphics designers and the like.
The Blade Pro weighs in at 6.5 pounds, which Razer claims makes it the most portable 17-inch gaming laptop in its class. It's powered by a still-unannounced 47W TDP Intel Haswell chip, which is the most powerful CPU ever fitted into a Razer system. It's 10 watts higher in TDP than the previous Razer Blade.
It's graphics are provided by NVIDIA's new GTX 765M GPU, which we covered earlier today. Between the GPU and CPU, the Blade Pro is packing quite a bit of power--and heat--into its chassis. The system comes with 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L RAM and a 128GB SSD, which can be upgraded to 256GB or 512GB. The Blade Pro goes on sale June 3 and starts at $2,299.
Also at today's event, Razer introduced a 14-inch Blade notebook. This features a 14-inch LED-backlit HD+ display and is also powered by Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU and NVIDIA's new GTX 765M. 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD complement the system just as they do in the big brother discussed above. It too, will be available for pre-order June 3.
If you're a student looking to score a deal on a MacBook Pro, Apple has just enticed their offering. They've discounted the student price on the entry-level MacBook Pro to just $999. This represents a $200 discount over the price that the general public pays, though deals of this level aren't unheard of for sales.
The upgraded MacBook Pro has also been discounted to $1,299, which also represents a $200 discount off of retail pricing. It's interesting to not that these deals have not been transitioned to the Retina models. The MacBook Pros are excellent laptops and these deals are available to those who quailify for Apple's special education pricing.
Acer announced today that they are updating their C7 Chromebook line with new models that feature SSD's to improve boot times and responsiveness. Best Buy is one of the first companies selling the new models and has the Acer C710-2833 available for just $199, an impressive price considering it features an SSD.
The specifications for the Acer C710-2833 include an 11.6-inch display and Intel Celeron Processor 847. This 1.1GHz processor is coupled with 2GB of RAM, a 16GB SSD, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI port, Intel HD graphics, and a 4-cell battery. One important aspect that appears to be missing is USB 3.0
With the small (16GB) SSD, storage space will be at a premium and users will likely make use of external drives. It would be ideal for these drives to be able to communicate with the system over USB as it provides much more bandwidth than USB 2.0. Still, I can't complain with a price tag of just $199.
I'm just a little bit giddy about this latest announcement from HP. The company as of late is producing more and more products with features that actually matter to consumers in attempts to return to their previous glory. HP has announced a new Envy TouchSmart 14 laptop with a 3,200x1,800 pixel display.
That resolution is packed into a 14-inch screen. The Retina MacBook Pro, for comparison, features a resolution of 2,880x1,800 in a 15-inch display. This means the new HP should pack more pixels into a smaller screen, providing an even higher pixel density. Wow. The Envy TouchSmart 14 notebook will be available sometime in June after Intel launches Haswell.
We aren't sure just how much the machine will set you back, but the version with a 1366x768 display cost just $699. I would venture to guess that the display will be a $150-200 upgrade. We'll have more when this notebook launches, hopefully with a review shortly after.
According to a new report from DisplayBank, who is a division of market research firm IHS, around 10% of all Windows 8-based notebooks sold in Q1 2013 have a touchscreen. Their report claims that 46 million notebooks shipped in the three-month period, with 4.57 million of those being touchscreen-capable notebooks.
This means that compared to the previous quarter, touchscreen-based notebook sales have surged 51.8%. While sales of notebooks are strong, how many of those 4.57 million consumers actually put their hand forward and touch their screen for day-to-day use?
Samsung to release new 'ultra resolution' display for laptops, could set new standard for screen quality
This week Samsung is set to launch a new "super-high resolution" display that just may set a new standard in laptop and notebook screen resolutions.
The new 13.3-inch display is said to pack an amazing 276 pixels per inch, setting the resolution to 3200x1800. With nearly six megapixels of resolution, this new display tops Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well as Google's Chromebook Pixel.
Samsung says that the new display will provide a power savings of 30 percent over existing displays, but has yet to announce what models and what manufacturers will be featuring the new display. I guess we'll just have to wait until the official announcement to find out more.
A leaked road map for Dell shows that the computer manufacturer will be releasing two new Latitude Ultrabooks based upon Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU. Both Ultrabooks will reportedly feature 12.5-inch displays and come as part of Dell's E700 Latitude series.
First up, Dell's E7240. This Ultrabook will be available with either a 1366x768 or 1920x1080 touchscreen display. Weighing in at 2.9 pounds, it's a bit heavier than some alternatives. It measures 12.2"x8.3"x0.79" and will feature a 3-cell battery. It will feature either an i3, i5, or i5 Intel Haswell processor, which are reportedly excellent for battery life.
The second is the Latitude E7440. It will also be available with either a 1366x768 or 1920x1080 display, with touch being optional. It comes in with a larger 14-inch display. The system measures 13.3"x9.1"x0.83" and weighs in at around 3.5 pounds. It will come with either a Core i3, i5, or i7 Haswell processor.
We expect to see both systems sometime this summer.
It seems like almost every day a new rumor regarding Apple surfaces. The latest rumor says that Apple will debut a refreshed MacBook Air at this year's WWDC taking place next month. A refreshed MacBook Air is expected to make use of Intel's new, low-power Haswell CPU's and possibly feature a Retina display.
One of the main reasons this rumor has popped up is that availability of the current 13-inch Air with a 1.8GHz processor and 256GB SSD is out of stock at many large retailers across the web. Amazon, B&H, MacConnection, and MacMall are all out of stock, while J&R is only offering the system in-store.
Supply constraints are often an early indicator that Apple is planning on releasing a refreshed model. In anticipation for the new model, production of the old model ramps down to clear existing inventory. WWDC takes place shortly after Intel debuts its new Haswell processors and would be an excellent time for the unveiling of a refreshed Air.
This is the year of the convertible notebooks. Originally seen at CES 2013 earlier this year, the Yoga 11S is an 11-inch convertible Ultrabook. The system can be used in four different positions, hence the name Yoga. You've probably seen the ad for its big brother at least once; I've seen it probably hundreds of times.
Lenovo is offering quite a bit of freedom in terms of customization, with Core i3, i5, and i7 processors to choose from, either a 128GB or 256GB SSD, and 1366x768 or 1600x900 resolution screens. At its most basic configuration, the Yoga 11S will set you back around $800.
The device will start shipping in "more than four weeks" time making me believe it will likely utilize Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU's. You will, however, be able to check one out in person at Best Buy come June 23. It's available for pre-order at Best Buy and Lenovo.