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DigiTimes, a source that is hit and miss when it comes to reports, is reporting that Apple is planning to refresh the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air line of systems in June and will keep the same design as they currently feature. They cite Taiwanese supply chain sources, who reportedly received requests for quotations.
The MacBook Air is said to be switching to a new CPU platform, which likely means Haswell. However, this doesn't jive with the information I've heard about Haswell's release. Haswell is said to be due out in the Q3 of 2013, which is after the reported June refresh. Due to that, I'd take this with a grain of sand, though Apple may hold off shipping the Air until Haswell debuts.
DigiTimes has been hit and miss in the past when it comes to MacBooks, previously predicting there would be a MacBook Air for $799 in Q3 2012. No such device materialized.
Ultrabooks have been here for a while, but they can be thinner, right? Well, NEC have added another member to their Lavie notebook family with a new premium system that is said to be the thinnest of its kind. At its slimmest point, NEC's new 15.6-inch Lavie X Ultrabook is only 0.5 inches thick, which is quite amazing.
In order to get it down to this super-thin design, NEC required ultra-thin internal components that measured less than 3.5mm thick, as well as a specially engineered keyboard that took 1mm off the design. There is, however, two fans that measure 5mm in thickness in the Lavie X. It doesn't weigh too much, either, at just 3.5lbs (1.59kg) - compared to the 13.3-inch Lavie Z which is 1.92lb (0.87kg).
At 1.59kg, you're receiving the 15.6-inch 1080p IPS screen, 1.9GHz Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, HDMI-out, an SD card reader and 2-megapixel webcam. NEC's Lavie X offers up to seven hours of run time and its battery can be rapidly recharged to about 80% of its total in just a single hour.
NEC's Lavie X Ultrabook should ship in Japan on December 27 for 175,000 yen, which works out to a little over $2000. A second model will be on offer which is slightly cheaper, but sports half the flash storage and will be 129,780 yen or $1541.
We all have lost an expensive device due to a fall onto a hard object. Amazon's Jeff Bezos is looking to change that with an idea he co-invented with Gregory Hart.
The device senses a fall, calculates the damage such a fall would create and decides whether or not to deploy an airbag to cushion the fall. All of this happens within a split second and has the potential to save your expensive toy.
The patent was awarded on December 11th 2012. In short the patent states that it is "a method for protecting a portable device that includes an airbag deployable from a side of the portable device "
HP has unveiled the HP EliteBook Revolve today. The system is a convertible notebook meaning that the screen flips around to become a tablet. The name should give you a bit of a hint of how it does this, but if it doesn't, the picture below will certainly help.
It features an 11.6-inch screen that can spin around and cover the keyboard, enabling the laptop to become a tablet. Unfortunately, the screen only supports a resolution of 1366x768, but at 11.6 inches, it's not as bad as if it were on something a bit larger. The system is powered by either Windows 7 or Windows 8.
It features the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors, and anywhere from 4GB to 12GB of RAM. Aimed at the business and government sectors, the tablet comes with all of the usual accouterments that business and government laptops do. The system is expected to launch in March 2013, at which time pricing will be available.
Dell's once internal skunkworks project dubbed "Project Sputnik" eventually launched as the XPS 13 Developer Edition, but now the Ultrabook-based is now shipping with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build that comes pre-installed.
It also sports feature-complete drivers that make sure that the maximum peripheral compatibility is great out of the box. The XPS 13 also comes bundled with Project Sputnik's open source tools, such as Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher, that are included to help developers install and deploy their projects in a quick and timely manner.
Hardware wise, the new XPS 13 is quite powerful - sporting a choice of an Ivy Bridge-based Intel Core i5 or i7, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SATA III SSD. The Developer Edition of the XPS 13 costs $1549, which is $50 more than the Windows-based XPS 13.
At the moment, Google's Chromebooks are built by two manufacturers - Acer and Samsung. This is rumored to change, with Google looking to offer up their own-brand of Chromebook in early 2013. A report coming from the China Times has said that Google have talked to Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to look after the hardware.
Better yet - the Google-branded device would be a 12.85-inch kit with touch-based input - yes, touch-based input! I don't think many expected the next Chromebook to have touch-based capabilities, but if Google push this right and price it competitively, they could really take the market on with a new Chromebook.
If Google could price it super competitively, like they have with their Nexus 4, 7 and 10 devices, the new touch-based Chromebook could finally become a winner for Google.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon has received an update. The new version of the Ultrabook that was originally launched in August of this year now comes with Windows 8. In order to make the most of the new operating system, Lenovo have fitted the slick Carbon Ultrabook with a multi-touch touch screen.
The system also received a screen-resolution that was marked as "HD+" which we believe will be 1600x900. No other details regarding system specifications were revealed, but it's unlikely that the specifications will be massively different from it's older sibling.
This means you can expect at least a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, GeForce graphics, and SSD/HDD storage options. The new X1 Carbon Ultrabook is set to launch in this coming December, just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. Too bad I won't be able to pick it up for a good deal on Black Friday.
Google and Samsung's $249 Chromebook did well. It sold out of the Play Store quite quickly, so what better way to follow it up than by releasing a cheaper version? Well, that's just what Google has done with the Acer C7 Chromebook that was announced today. Google has said it will go on sale Tuesday for a mere $199.
For that $199, you'll get the option to buy it on either Google Play or Best Buy's website, an 11.6-inch screen capable of 1366 x 768, 100GB of free Google Drive storage, a 320GB internal drive, and 3.5 hours of battery life. The specifications certainly aren't amazing, but the price doesn't allow for them to be.
Now the question remains: will this even cheaper Chromebook see as good as or better success than the Samsung Chromebook that Google released last month? I guess we'll have to wait until later this week to find out.
It looks like Linus Torvalds and I have something in common, we both want to see higher resolution notebook displays. Torvalds has used his Google+ account to post about the subject, asking "can we please just make that [the 2560x1600-pixel] the new standard laptop resolution? Even at 11"? Please."
The problem is, as he says, is that we're seeing so many 1366x768 displays in this Full HD world of displays, and it really is just crap. He does state that "soon even the cellphones will start laughing at the ridiculously bad laptop displays".
I fully, 100% agree with Torvalds, and I think every sector needs a reality check. TVs should have jumped from 1080p ages ago, and so should PC screens. I had 1920x1200 displays when the first Dell FP2405W came out and that cost me $1500+, I upgraded to the HP LP3065 monitor as soon as it came out because I wanted the 2560x1600 res it offered. Now we're going backward with 90% or more of displays only offering 1920x1080.
ASUS Australia invited Aussie journalists to see and *touch* the new range of Windows 8 notebooks & tablets.
Vivian Hung, Regional head of ASUS Australia described the notion of "design thinking" for the new family of devices. Hung introduced the new VivoTab family, which was the "first ASUS Windows 8 tablet" before introducing Anson Zhang, the product manager for tablets in Australia.
Zhang provided some numbers from Telsyte Research about the forecast of tablets in Australia, "11 million Australians will have tablets by the year 2016" he informed the crowd shortly after asking how many people had tablets (about 90% of the attendees raised their hands). In other words, about one in every two people in Australia will have a tablet in 2-3 years; this isn't really surprising due to the influx of affordable tablet devices coming out.
Zhang introduced three new Windows 8 tablets from ASUS: VivoTab, VivoTab RT and VivoTab Smart.
The VivoTab (this is a unit & also the family name) is a 11.6" device preloaded with the full version of Windows 8 and is powered by an Intel Z2760 processor (Turbo boost up to 1.8Ghz). The 10" VivoTab RT as its name suggests, will have Windows RT preloaded (the only one from ASUS). Zhang spoke about its hardware specifications: 8.3mm thin, 525g light and will be utilizing the Tegra3 SoC from NVIDIA (ARM!).