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We still don't know what Apple is planning on unveiling at the upcoming October 23 press event. What we do know is that there have been a lot of rumors that it will include a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, iPad mini, and an updated Mac mini. There's also been talks of an updated iMac coming out at the event.
Pricing for the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display has also been something to leak out and is being reported to start at a base price of $1699. Rumors place Apple releasing a higher-end version, as well, which will run customers an extra $200-$300. It's a bit expected that the spinning drive in the regular 13-inch MacBook Pro will be ditched for a 128GB+ SSD.
Similar supply constraints, as what happened with the 15-inch model, are expected to occur and the device is expected to go on sale shortly after launch. Display resolution is expected to be 2560x1600, quite the respectable resolution considering the screen is only 13-inches big. We'll be sure to let you know exactly what happens on Tuesday.
Google have just launched their latest Chrome OS-based notebook, which is a Samsung made 11.6-inch Chromebook. The new Chromebook is an ARM-based, 0.8-inch thick, 2.43 pound portable machine with 6.5+ hours of battery, boots in under 10 seconds and supports 1080p video playback - not bad for just $249.
Pre-orders are open right now through Amazon and PC World, with the $249 including Google Now integration through Google Drive and includes 100GB of free storage for two years. The Play Store will also feature this new Chromebook, as well as retailers like Best Buy.
Inside the new Samsung Chromebook, we find a dual-core A15-based Samsung Exynos Dual (5250) SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash-based storage, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, an 11.6-inch 1366x768-pixel display, one USB3.0 port, one USB2.0 port, combo headphone/mic jack, an SD card slot and a "full-size Chrome keyboard".
Everyday seems to involve some form of device maker announcing new Windows 8-based devices, and it is all becoming a bit exciting. Today we have industry heavyweight Toshiba chiming in with their announcement of Windows 8 PCs.
This includes the Satellite S, P and L laptops, the U series of Ultrabooks, the Qosmio X875 for gamers, and for the desktop side of things we have the LX815 and LX825 all-in-ones. Toshiba will ship online pre-orders on October 26th.
Retail stores will also be ready to sell Toshiba's Windows 8 PCs on October 26, too, if you don't want to place an order online.
It looks like Apple are going to use their iPad mini event on October 23 to unveil a new member of the MacBook Pro family. We've alreayd got the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which will be joined by a 13-inch model.
This is according to a report by 9to5Mac who cites a "consistently reliable source at a high-profile U.S. retailer." The new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro would be thinner and lighter, like its bigger brother and will come in two configurations.
These two configurations will consist of two processor and storage options, and should be made available for purchase shortly after they're introduced on October 23. The new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will be priced higher than the non-Retina model, which was to be expected, but as for exact pricing that is unknown at the moment.
ASUS have one of the most interesting Windows 8-based devices coming out this year, with their Taichi 21 dual-screen notebook. The ASUS Taichi 21 sports two 11.6-inch screens, both featuring 1920x1080-pixel IPS displays.
The first screen is where a notebook screen normally resides, in front of you, the user. The second one is on the rear of the screen, so when the lid on the notebook is closed it turns into an 11.6-inch touchscreen-capable Windows 8 tablet. It truly is a wonderful design. Both screens are IPS-based, meaning we'll see gorgeous color and viewing angles backed up by the Full HD 1080p resolution on each display.
Taichi 21's backside monitor supports 10-finger touch with an included stylus that offers 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. ASUS' Taichi 21 doesn't pack on the pounds, even though it packs dual screens where it measures in at just 0.7-inch thick, and 2.75lb with the included 6-cell battery.
There are two configurations ASUS are putting up on offer for the Taichi 21, the first of which is the Taichi21-HD51 which sports a Core i5-3317U processor clocked at 1.7GHz with 2.6GHz at Turbo peak, Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, 128GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM which brings us to a total of $1300.
Ultrabooks were meant to be the next big thing, but I really think they were released too early and should've waited for Windows 8. But, the number of Ultrabooks to be shipped by the end of the year is now said to be estimated at just half as previous estimates.
IHS iSuppli's latest report, just 10.3 million Ultrabooks will be shipped by the end of 2012, compared to the previous estimate of 22 million. The report states that "nebulous marketing and unappealing price" are the two biggest factors behind slumping Ultrabook sales. iSuppli specifically points out Intel's constantly changing definition of what is, and what is not an Ultrabook as a perfect example of poor marketing.
As for price, IHS iSuppli says that Ultrabooks are too expensive at the $1,000 price point, and will only see surging numbers if they drop $200-$300 from this price. I think we're going to see a surge when Windows 8 comes out, and instead of just thinner notebooks (because that's mainly what an Ultrabook is), we'll see tablet hybrids, touch-screen Ultrabooks, higher-res displays, and more.
Maingear has just unleashed their Nomad 17 customizable gaming notebook, which offers a choice of six sleek "custom automotice paint jobs", a Full HD 1080p matte display, multi-touch trackpad with gesture support, and dual speakers with a built-in subwoofer.
Getting to the good stuff, we'll find a third-generationg Intel Core i7 processor running at up to 3.8GHz, options for NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 675M or 680M, Blu-ray drive, up to two 512GB SSDs or dual 750GB 7200RPM drives, and up to 32GB of RAM.
Connectivity isn't left out either, with HDMI, DVI-I, Firewire, Ethernet, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. Maingear's Nomad 17 starts at $1,700 on the base configuration and will begin shipping on October 14.
Acer's Cromia Chromebook is looking to go second-generation, with sources telling DigiTimes that we should expect the new Chromebook line to hit next month to combat Microsoft's Surface tablets. Acer's new Chromebooks will start shipping just as the company phases out their line of netbooks.
Acer hopes to ship 200,000 or so of their 11.6-inch Chromebooks per month once they launch, with reports saying that the units are already in production. Acer's Cromia notebook reportedly only shipped 5,000 units in the five months after its launch, which is quite disastrous in the grand scheme of things.
We could definitely see Acer trying harder this time around, as the company has not been happy with Windows RT in the past, with Acer CEO J.T. Wang saying last month that the company was "waiting for the signal of the consumers' enthusiasm" with regard to Windows 8.
As an avid ultraportable laptop user, I've often wished that I had a way to upgrade my laptop's performance when I was sitting at home at my desk, or in the hotel at one of the many trade shows. Unfortunately, there doesn't currently exist a solution to my problem. But that could all soon change, if Lucid's technology catches on.
Lucid has demoed a technology that utilizes Intel's stupid-fast Thunderbolt port, which is capable of 20Gbps theoretical throughput. The Thunderport connects a laptop, or any Thunderbolt-enabled PC, to an external enclosure that houses a desktop graphics card and its accompanying power supply.
To upgrade your laptop capabilities, just plug the device in. The screen currently flashes black and then the GPU is recognized by Windows. This allowed an Ivy Bridge bridge system, which managed 28 FPS in 3DMark06 on HD4000 graphics, to achieve 89 FPS. The system theoretically can even handle Crossfire and SLI setups.
Lucid doesn't have a hard release date for this technology as it is still in development. However, if and when it comes, it will be something that gamers around the world should come to love. Think about it, if your graphics capabilities start falling behind, all you have to do is drop in a new card!
Intel are really pushing the Ultrabooks all over the world, but we haven't seen anything yet. We're beginning to hear about their 2013 models, which will include some pretty strict specs according to reports from TechEYE.net.
The site has seen some documents, where they cite that there will be some "serious difference in price and performance between the standard products and the top samples". Standard models will have a baseline Bill of Materials that most not exceed $699.
These machines at $699 BoM must contain all-day battery life at nine hours, voice command, HD video chat with a 720p resolution camera, wireless display, robust Wi-Fi, bundled anti-virus protection in the consumer model, and a multi touchpad. Minimum capacity of 16GB NAND for While Using functions, with a storage product capable of scoring more than 16,000 in PCMark Vantage's HDD Sub Score, and capable of receiving more than 80MB/sec on the same benchmark's video editing score.