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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.
It seems that Intel's private goals for their heavily-invested-in Ultrabooks have leaked out, where they hope to have between 20 and 30 million units sold before the end of 2012. The supposed internal roadmap details were passed onto DigiTimes, and those numbers are said to either double or triple in 2013.
By 2013, the supply chain would be truly ready for mainstream adoption, with reinforced plastic available to emulate to rigidity of metal without the higher cost. The next wave of Ultrabooks are nearly upon us as it is, with Ivy Bridge-based Ultrabooks nearly ready. Touchscreen-based Ultrabooks will arrive with Windows 8, which is when sales should begin their very large vertical climb in numbers.
Early sluggish adoption of Ultrabooks has been blamed on Windows PC builders not being used to developing with the higher-end components that Apple are used to. These include aluminum, solid-state drives, and low-voltage Core i5 and i7 chips. This should change as time goes on, and the higher adoption rates of not only Ultrabooks, but the components within them.
Windows 8-based Ultrabooks can't come soon enough!
Dell's upcoming Alienware M18X R2 gaming notebook is nearly upon us, and what a beast it is. First up the Alienware M18X R2 is an 18.4-inch beast of a notebook, with a Full HD (1920x1080) resolution LCD White-LED Glossy screen.
Filling this out are three CPU options, all Intel Ivy Bridge-based Core i7 models, with the i7-3610QM, i7-3720QM and i7-3820QM at 2.3GHz, 2.6GHz and 2.7GHz, respectively. Storage-wise, we have normal HDD options and SSD options, the HDD options come in either 500 or 750GB, both at 7200RPM. SSD-wise, we have three options, 256/512GB Samsung PM830, 32/64GB Samsung PM830 or 512GB Micron C400. The SSDs are all SATA 6Gbps standard.
RAM options are not too bad either, with 1600MHz on offer in 2, 4 and 8GB as well as 1866MHz for 2GB options. Let's get onto the juicy stuff, shall we? GPU options are quite kick arse, with 3 different options. Radeon HD 7970M in CrossFire, GeForce GTX 675M in SLI, or a GeForce GTX 660M (it's unknown if this will be a single-GPU or SLI offering).
AC Adapter will be either 240W or 330W. All I can say, is I want one. This would make a pretty killer notebook. The one thing I'm disappointed in is that they're still only sporting 1920x1080 displays. We really should see these being bumped up to 2560x1xx0 displays (1440 or 1600).
Microsoft has stepped up involvement in the design of upcoming touch-enabled Ultrabooks to ensure that the user experience with Windows 8 is top-notch. Currently, most laptop screen hinges allow the screen to move about when touched. This shaking is annoying and makes the screen harder to read. This problem plagues large-screen notebooks.
The reports surrounding Microsoft's involvement in designing Ultrabooks didn't specifically state what the company was asking manufacturers to do. It would be a pretty good guess that they are trying to beef up the hinges so that they hold the screen better and avoid the shaking that occurs with current models.
Both Intel and Microsoft are pushing for touch-enabled Ultrabooks as they feel that this is the way of the future. 30 percent of Ultrabooks available for purchase this holiday season are expected to be of the touch-enabled variety. These could be the classic clamshell type notebook, or one of the new sliding designs shown off at IDF Beijing.
Our Deal of the Day is HP Envy 17 Premium Laptop, Full HD display, $1049.99 shipped!
This week's coupon for the HP ENVY 17 may seem like the same discount, but it's actually better. With the minimum configuration, it comes out to be exactly the same discount. However, since it's a 30% off discount, any other upgrades you want to make will also be discounted by 30%. 2nd Gen Intel Core i5-2450M Processor at 2.5 GHz w/ Turbo up to 3.1 GHz. 1GB AMD Radeon HD 7690M GDDR5 Discrete Graphics [HDMI, DP] 17.3" Radiance Full HD Infinity LED-backlit Display (1920x1080) 6GB 1333MHz DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm) 750GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection.
FREE 2-year Norton Internet Security subscription (a $99 value). Pre-installed.8 Cell Lithium Ion Battery - Up to 5.25 hours of battery life. SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer SupportHP TrueVision HD Webcam. Intel 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth with Wireless Display Support. Full-size Radiance backlit keyboard. 2 year limited warranty includedGenuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit The 17.3" Full HD Radiance Display is gorgeous and 50% brighter plus 72% color gamut. You also get concealed speakers with audio-grade mesh and Beats volume control. Another nice touch is the full-size Radiance back-lit keyboard.