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CNET are reporting that the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro displays have gone into production, with NPD DisplaySearch analyst, Richard Shim, telling the site "The supply chain indications are that it's for a MacBook Pro 13.3 -- not a MacBook Air".
Shim continues to reveal that the displays are being made by Samsung, LGD and Sharp. He also reveals that the launch supplies for the 13-inch model will be much better than the 15-inch model, which goes to show just how popular the 13-inch MBP really is. Shim continues "with the 15.4 it's production of a few hundred thousand units versus one or two million for the 13.3".
So, we're looking at a considerable jump in stock, and I think this model will be the one that really dukes it out with the Ultrabooks. It'll be interesting to see what resolution the 13.3-inch model ends up getting.
GIGABYTE are known for their motherboards and video cards here at TweakTown, receiving generally good reviews and awards for their range of products. It may come to you as a surprise that they have also been producing notebooks for the past five years. Today, GIGABYTE Australia announced their latest models in the Ultrabook and high performance gaming market space and I was there to cover it.
The P2542G 15.6" gaming laptop promises to 'unleash fury' on the latest PC games such as Battlefield 3 which was showcased at the media event. With a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M powering the punch, we saw the notebook running BF3 at an average of 38fps on the highest settings (Ultra settings/4xAA/1920x1080) and mirrored onto the 52" Sony TV at the same FHD resolution. "The notebook is only 2.6KG, so it's good for LAN parties." said Hanif Wong, Marketing Specialist for GIGABYTE Taiwan, "but it's not just a notebook for gaming, it's also a notebook for multimedia with its amazing audio."
GIGABYTE will only release the P2542G in a yellow colour only because they are targeting users who wants to stand out from the sea of black and beige notebooks, but a black colour is a possibility and will be considered if the demand is high explained Wong. The battery life of this machine is estimated to be about 3-5 hours depending on the workload. Unfortunately no gaming accessories will be bundled with the notebook when purchased...
ASUS have already pledged to Microsoft's Windows RT, but they've just been joined by Samsung, Dell and Lenovo. HP is still MIA when it comes to Windows RT-based devices. When Microsoft announced their Surface tablets, HP said they've start out by building Intel-based business notebooks only. They'd wait for input from their customers for the move to Windows RT.
HP feels that the already established x86 platform provides the best customer experience right now, and in the immediate future. Microsoft does fan the flames out that we won't be seeing only ARM-based tablets from these manufacturers, with some of them making full-sized notebooks, too.
Samsung's first dedicated gaming notebook has come and gone, and the refresh is just pulling up on the finishing line. Samsung's Series 7 Gamer notebook has been refreshed, with the company using their Samsung Tomorrow blog to tell the world.
The new build is called Series 7 Gamer Yellow 3D, and if the 'yellow' and '3D' weren't strong enough hints, we're looking at the GPU being upgraded, the screen is 3D-capable, and it comes in yellow. The GPU in question is AMD's Radeon HD 7870M, and the screen is a 14.3-inch SuperBright (400 nit) 3D LED display.
The refreshed Series 7 Gamer comes with an 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD for storage. Availability isn't known just yet, but those in Samsung's homeland can grab one of these bad boys for 2.99 million Won, which is around $2,643 US.
Apple have today expanded the available options for configuring a new Retina MacBook Pro. The company is now offering a heap of individual upgrade options on the base model that starts at $2199. Previously, if you wanted a base model rMBP, you were stuck with the 2.3GHz Core i7 model with 256GB of SSD storage, with the only configurable onboard option being a RAM upgrade from 8GB to 16GB for $200.
If you wanted a faster CPU, or more flash storage, you were required to jump to the high-end $2799 model, which sports a 2.6GHz Core i7 processor, and 512GB of storage. But now, Apple are offering a slew of upgrades to the processor, memory and storage options. Customers can now upgrade storage on the base $2199 model from the stock 256GB to 512GB for an additional $500, or 768GB for an additional, wait for it, $1000.
The CPU options can also get upped from the base 2.3GHz Core i7 to the 2.6GHz model for $100 extra, or for $350 extra you can get it ramped up to 2.7GHz. Memory options stay the same with an upgrade option to 16GB for the same $200. Apple still has a 1-2 week shipping estimate for the rMBP, as they try to keep up with demand. I really want one, but dumping down that much moola on a single product is hard.
Intel's Ultrabook quest is really just beginning, 40 touchscreen Win8-based Ultrabooks for 2013, SoC for PC coming in 2013, too
Intel's Ultrabook Symposium starts tomorrow in Taipei, but Netbook News have sat down with Navin Shenoy, Vice President of Intel Architecture Group and General Manager of Mobile Client Platform before the event starts, to talk about various topics before the event itself.
Shenoy has confirmed that there are 140 Ultrabook designs, with only 35 of these being seen by the public. As of next month, we should expect sub-$700 Ultrabooks, across the Ultrabook board, with more than one model. One of the biggest nuggets of information here is that there are set to be 40 Windows 8-based Ultrabooks with Touch launching in Q4 of this year.
This means before the end of this year, and the end of Mayan long-count calender (and all the doom associated with it), Intel are Microsoft (and various partners) are set to unleash 40 Ultrabooks with touch screens, which is exciting news. Intel's fourth-generation Core processor, Haswell, is destined for the 22nm process, and will be the first System-on-Chip (SoC) for PC. Shenoy pointed out that the idle power consumption of Haswell will be 20 times less than Ivy Bridge, this in itself is an amazing achievement. Haswell is also said to not just be an incremental step forward, but a giant leap in performance.
Even though Power Nap was one of the features Apple talked about post-release of their next-gen OS Mountain Lion, which was released two days ago now, it was missing from the release itself.
Apple today rolled out a new SMC update, which adds Power Nap to recent, compatible MacBooks. Power Nap enables a low-power state which provides just a very small amount of power to periodically download new e-mail, notifications, sync calendars, reminds, contacts and more.
If the MacBook is on AC power, the power state also allows the downloading and installing of security updates, backups, indexing and other battery-draining tasks, all while pretending its having a nap. During these tasks, a Power Nap-enabled MacBook will appear as though its just sitting there on standby, but between those updates and checks, the system will effectively be asleep.
MSI, a manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, has updated two laptops, the GT60 and GT70, with the NVIDIA GTX 680M, which just happens to be the fastest mobile GPU to date. The laptops also sport some other incredible specifications which turn these rigs into a powerhouse gaming rig.
The two rigs also include a Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor, Killer E2200 Game Network, Dynaudio Tech speakers with THX Surround Sound and SteelSeries Programmable Backlit Keyboard. "The addition of NVIDIA's latest GPU adds the extra power to boost the already acclaimed G Series over the top," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales for MSI US. "MSI is committed to the gaming community and we believe that exceptional gaming experience and performance start with outstanding components."
The flagship 17-inch model GT70 0NE-276US also comes with 16 GB of DDR3 at 1600 MHz, two 128 GB of SSD storage at RAID 0 with 750 GB of additional HDD storage, Blu-ray Burner, Gold Flashed Audio ports with Headset AMP, 3 USB 3.0 ports and 2 USB 2.0 ports to ensure maximum performance. Pricing on these machines are well over $1,000.
Earlier this year, Dell launched an experiment to see if they could build a compelling Linux laptop for software developers. It was called Project Sputnik, and infused an XPS 13 Ultrabook with Ubuntu 12.04.
The software environment is tailored for developers, where it features a bunch of useful tools and a framework for automating the installation of specific development stacks and cloud deployment tools. Dell also worked on hardware enablement, where they tweaked drivers which improved touchpad support, as well as adding support for toggling Wi-Fi from the keyboard.
Project Sputnik was a six-month pilot program, where Dell would evaluate the potential of turning the concept into a real product. This week, Dell announced that it will proceed with the project. Sputnik is destined to take-off later this year, and will be available to consumers in selected markets. Dell are also going to be using developer feedback into the product itself.
Dell marketing director Barton George said in a statement:
Since we announced project Sputnik a little over two months ago, we have continued to be amazed by the amount and quality of interest and input we have received. By listening to developers, Dell can provide them with solutions and products to help make them more productive and allow for greater innovation.
Our friends over at Netbook News have just received a shiny new Acer Aspire One 756 notebook, which is an 11.6-inch device powered by Intel's surprisingly quick Celeron 877 processor. Netbook News report that the Aspire One 756 actually scores significantly better performance than a netbook sporting an Intel Atom processor, with a Windows Experience Index score of 4.4!
They report that Windows 7 boots up in a snappy 25 seconds, and since it's priced at just $330 on Amazon, Netbook News call it "the new netbook". I concur, because at that price, for a faster machine, how can you complain?
They've also provided an unboxing video, which goes into much more nitty-gritty details, if that's what you're into. They go over the Aspire One 756 and compare it to some of the previous generation Acer netbooks.