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Currently, the cheapest MacBook air sells for $999. However, if the folks at DigiTimes are correct, then we could be seeing a $799 MacBook Air as soon as the third quarter. Of course, the report cites the usual "sources from the upstream supply chain" so I would treat this rumor with a dose of skepticism until more is known.
The more aggressively priced MacBook Air could put the squeeze on Ultrabooks. This is especially true if Intel is unable to bring prices down to the $699 average selling price like they would like to. Sources are saying that Ultrabooks may not really take off until Windows 8 launches later this year.
Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook sales, however, are painting a slightly better picture for Ultrabooks. Sales on their machine are way past expectations. This could mean that the market is ready to take off, or Dell could have just created a great product. Another rumor is that Apple could introduce a hybrid laptop with the power of the MacBook Pro and portability of the Air. This is according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
The first pictures of Acer's upcoming Aspire E1-421 has floated onto the surface of the Internet thanks to the keen eye of a shopper in Asia. What makes the Aspire E1-421 newsworthy? Well, it runs AMD's E1-1200APU "Brazos 2.0".
Yep! It's a dual-core APU that clocks in at 1.4GHz, and includes Radeon HD 7310 graphics. Filling out the specs we have 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 320GB of storage, a DVD SuperMulti drive, 14-inch screen with a 1366x768 resolution, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 6-cell battery and the GPU uses 256MB of the RAM to drive the machine.
Samsung have done the world some good, pre-announcing their Series 9 Ultrabook. The model in question is the Samsung NP900X4C, which will be the company's first 15-inch model in the Series 9 family of notebooks.
Ivy Bridge processors destined for Ultrabooks aren't supposed to be available for another month, but this hasn't stopped Samsung's UK-based branch from teasing us with their Series 9 line of notebooks sporting the 22nm-based processor. The NP900X4C sports a mid-range Core i5-3317U running at 1.7GHz with a top turbo speed of 2.6GHz.
Filling the Ultrabook out is the HM75 chipset, 8GB (!) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory, a 128GB SSD drive, the 15-inch aforementioned screen with a resolution of 1600x900 and a panel with 400nits brightness. Graphics power will be driven with Intel's HD 4000 IGP, which isn't gaming-worthy, but its better than previous offerings. The NP900X4C also comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with WiDi support, Bluetooth 4.0, a microHDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, combo headphone/mic jack, an SD/MMC slot and a 1.3-megapixel webcam.
Images have leaked out onto the Internet of Lenovo's Ivy Bridge-powered Ultrabook thanks to Swiss retailer ThinkpadCenter.ch. They've posted a photo and some information on specs for Lenovo's upcoming Ultrabook, and tablet.
The new Lenovo products should arrive within the next eight weeks or so. The leaked image teases the Lenovo ThinkPad X230, which is an Ultrabook which keeps Lenovo's ThinkPad aesthetic, sporting a chiclet-style AccuTyre keyboard.
The site also shows off some information on the ThinkPad X230t, which is the tablet version of the product, but there's no pictures available for that model. The laptop and tablets will sport 12.5-inch screens with a 1366x768 resolution display. Storage options include 320GB and 500GB traditional HDDs, as well as a 180GB SSD option.
Ultrabooks are here, but they haven't really been huge sellers yet. No sales records are being set, there aren't any 8-hour lineups outside of retailers, but Dell are actually doing surprisingly well with their XPS 13 Ultrabook. Sales have been higher than the company's initial projections, with Dell saying that demand has been around three times what they expected for the Ultrabook. Vice president of Dell's Consumer and SMB product group, Sam Burd, says:
We can't build enough of them at the moment. A little bit less than 3X the expected demand.
Dell haven't provided specific numbers, but this is great news for Ultrabook makers as a whole. Price was meant to be the main selling point of Ultrabooks, where they were meant to be priced at around $600 but the original units that arrived on the market were much more than this.
It's surprising, because Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook starts at $999, with most of the sales are coming from large corporate accounts according to Burd. Ultrabooks are set to get a surge once Ivy Bridge processors are baked into them. With another surge when Windows 8 arrives. This is just the start, and this is why I believe Intel has invested so much into them.
Samsung have just unveiled their Series 7 Gamer notebook, and whilst you might think "Samsung... Gaming notebook... really?", you might want to think twice! It is definitely specced very nicely, and it looks awesome, too.
Let's talk some specs, the Series 7 Gamer notebook sports a 17.3-inch next-generation Full HD LCD with Samsung's SuperBright technology which gives a 400-nit screen, which is up to 50-percent brighter than traditional PCs. An Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPU fills out the CPU duties, it supports up to 16GB of RAM, up to a 1.5TB HDD, and comes with an NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 675M GPU for your gaming needs.
Filling out the specs, we have Dolby Home Theater v4 speakers, Windows 7 Home Premium, a 2.0-megapixel webcam, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and it weighs in at 13.34lb, as well as a battery life of around 3.7 hours. Price? Just $1899.99.
Ivy Bridge is spreading its 22nm tentacles across products everywhere it can, with Acer's Aspire line of notebooks the latest to receive the Ivy Bridge upgrade. In just 48 hours Acer will release the new Aspire line in Japan.
It will sport a 2.1GHz Corei 7 processor, up to 8GB of RAM and includes a 750GB HDD. It comes standard with Windows 7 Home Premium, a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display with a resolution of 1366x768, a 1.3-megapixel web cam, Bluetooth 4.0, Dolby Home Theater v4 surround speakers and should sport a 4.5-hour battery life (or so).
Acer hasn't release any details on whether we should expect release outside of Japan, such as the US, but the Aspire V3-571-H78F should hit Japanese markets for around $1,111.
Samsung has just announced what they're dubbing the world's thinnest optical drive, which is only 14mm high. Samsung's SE-218BB is 18-percent thinner and 8-percent lighter than traditional DVDRW drives and was built specifically with Ultrabooks in mind. Ultrabooks ship without an optical drive, if you didn't already know.
Samsung's super-thin SE-218BB connects with a single USB port which does both drive communication and power between the two devices using Samsung's Smart Technology. The drive isn't just Windows-exclusive, it works on Mac, too. But, support doesn't end there, it also can be paired up with Android 3.1 Honeycomb or later tablets to watch DVDs on the go.
How does the SE-218BB fare with speeds? Well, we're looking at 24X CD-ROM, 24X CD-RW, 8X DVD±R recording, 5X DVD-RAM recording, 6X DVD+R Dual Layer recording, 6X DVD-R Dual Layer recording, 8X DVD+RW recording and 6X DVD-RW recording. Samsung has gone one step further by highlighting they've made the drive in an eco-friendly manner as it uses lead-free soldering that removes harmful materials.
Samsung's SE218BB is on sale now for $59.99.
HP China has already thrown up the 14-inch Pavilion dm4-3110tx Beats Edition laptop on its website. The laptop sports Intel's Ivy Bridge processor, in particular, the quad-core 2.1GHz Core i7-3612QM.
On top of the Ivy Bridge processor, we have an LED-backlit 1366x768 HD BrightView display, 4GB of RAM, 750GB HDD, DVDRW and filling it out on the graphics side of things, an AMD Radeon HD 7570M 1GB discrete graphics card.
The dm4-3110tx fills the rest of its specs with a chiclet keyboard with a sexy red backlight, a 720p webcam, memory card reader, fingerprint reader, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, Beats audio, and a 6-cell battery. How much will this all set you back? Just 6,799 yuan, or roughly $1,078.
Apple is all about a sleek product and slim product line-up and as such analysts are predicting that Apple will kill off the 17-inch MacBook Pro when they do their next refresh. The next refresh of MacBooks is predicted to combine the slim and portable profile of the MacBook Air with some additional performance and storage like people expect from the MacBook Pro.
This prediction is just one in a set of general predictions as to Apple's strategy for the upcoming year. While the 17-inch laptop does have a loyal following of users, its sales have slumped as of recent partly due to the push for Intel's Ultrabook form factor. Not a word has been heard from Apple yet, so keep the flowers to yourself for a little bit longer.