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Samsung have just injected some more pixels into their latest Ultrabook, the Series 9 Premium Ultrabook. The 13.3-inch Series 9 notebook included a 1600x900-pixel display, but the new and improved NP900X3E-A03US sports a 1920x1080 display.
It doesn't come close to the Google Chromebook Pixel or Apple MacBook Pro Retina displays, but it does provide a generous 40% more pixels than their previous generation Ultrabook. The improved Series 9 Premium Ultrabook includes the usual LED-backlit display which uses Samsung's SuperBright technology, which the South Korean company touts a 50% brighter display than a standard laptop monitor.
Cranking along inside the NP900X3E-A03US, we have Intel's Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM (why not 8GB?), a 256GB SSD, and Windows 8 Pro. Weighing in at 2.56 pounds and is just 0.51 inches at its thinnest point. What will all of this set you back? $1899.99. Not too bad, but the price is definitely getting up there.
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.
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?