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Inhon, a Taiwanese manufacturer of notebooks, has just unveiled the Blade 13 Carbon ultrabook. While the news of another ultrabook may not sound exciting, the Blade Carbon is something to get excited about, as it claims the title of thinnest and lightest notebook in the world.
Weighing in at just 870 grams, the 10.7mm thick (thin?) Blade 13 Carbon is more than 400 grams lighter than Apple's MacBook Air, and more than 6mm thinner. Inhon ditched the aluminum unibody idea in favor of carbon fiber, which resulted in a much thinner profile and the record weight listing.
Inhon will release the Blade 13 Carbon in several different configurations including models with Intel Core i5 and i7 low-voltage chips, 1080p 13-inch display and a 128GB or 256GB SSD. RAM is said to be limited to just 4GB, though. The Blade 13 Carbon will begin shipping in June at a price point of $1350. Unfortunately those of us state side will not get the chance to pick one (as yet) up as Inhon has no US distributors that we could find.
We've already got the Retina MacBook Pro from Apple, featuring a 2560x1600 display, and Google's Chromebook Pixel with its 2560x1700 display - but both of those machines are built for Windows. Toshiba have just unveiled a new Ultrabook, that comes with Windows 8 - the Kirabook.
Toshiba's Kirabook comes with a 13.3-inch 2560x1440 display, giving us slightly less pixels than Apple and Google's offerings. Kirabook starts from $1599, which gives you an Intel third-generation Core i5 processor, 256GB of SSD, 8GB of RAM and a backlit keyboard. The $1999 model provides touchscreen capabilities, and a bump in processor to the Core i7. Toshiba's Kirabook is 0.7 inches thick, and weighs 2.6 pounds.
We should see pre-orders open up on May 3, with shipping beginning on May 12.
This morning Samsung announced the release of its much anticipated Series 9 Premium Ultrabook with full HD resolution. Featuring a 1920x1080 SuperBright display, the Series 9 laptop reproduce 16 million colors, giving users a photo and video experience like never before.
Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds and slimming down to half an inch thick, the Series 9 looks to be a formidable contender in the ultra-portable class of Ultrabooks. The weight saving and slim size are attributed to an all-aluminum uni-body design that rivals the MacBook Air in beauty.
The Series 9 not only looks good, but it packs a punch as well by sporting hardware such as an Intel Core i7 processor, 128GB SSD and an Intel Integrated HD 4000 graphics chipset. A battery life of 5.8 hours will get users through most domestic flights, as well as any situation where connectivity to the power grid is not feasible.
Retailing at $1399.99, the Series 9 Ultrabook is now available for purchase through major retailers.
At the Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) 2013 last week, Intel teased the world that we should expect new Ultrabooks in the near future based on their fourth-generation Core processors, otherwise known as Haswell.
Better yet, they'll start at just $599. The news came from Senior Vice President and GM of Intel's PC Client Group, Kirk Skaugen, who told an audience of top Intel parts that new Haswell-based Ultrabooks would not only arrive at cheaper price points, but with more compelling features. Skaugen said that early Ultrabooks were "just a retrofit of what was already on the market," but has promised that Haswell-based Ultrabooks will require touch-screen support and faster SSDs, high-resolution displays, voice and facial recognition technology and finally, "all-day" battery life.
Skaugen had some interesting things to say about Haswell and the future of Ultrabooks, where he said "we designed this chip from the ground up for the Ultrabook. You'll truly be able to leave your [Ultrabook] battery pack at home."
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.