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Google and Samsung sitting in a tree, C-H-R-O-M-I-N-G. Yeah, you get the point. Samsung have released two new Chrome OS-based products today, the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and the Series 3 Chromebox. What makes these products stand out from the crowd? The cloud-based OS UI has been updated, and now sports multitouch trackpad support.
Coinciding with the new OS update, are Samsung's two products. The updates OS now sports an app-focused user interface that lets you select which programs you use the most, for easier access. Google Drive is now the data storage system, and deeper integration should come through in the coming weeks.
A revamped media player peeks its head up, too, as well as a brand new photo editor and uploader, as well as remote desktop support for both Windows and Mac. What hardware is inside the new system? According to The Verge's review on the units, the Chromebook sports a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Celeron 867 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 12.1-inch screen, 1200x800 resolution, multitouch trackpad, Wi-Fi and 3G, two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader and more than eight hours of battery life.
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It's looking like we will soon need to change this category to "Laptops & Ultrabooks" as more and more manufacturers are dropping Netbooks from the US market. Toshiba has confirmed that they will soon be joining the ranks of Dell and Lenovo who have also pulled out of the US Netbook market. It looks like tablets and Ultrabooks have killed the Netbook star.
Part of the reason for the change is that Netbooks have very little profit margin. So not only were sales slipping, but Toshiba wasn't making very much on the few sales that remained. Instead, Toshiba has decided to focus more on their Portege Ultrabook line and Excite tablet line. Looking at the money reasoning, you can see why. An Ultrabook sells for $800 or more which allows quite a bit more profit margin.
Another reason to focus on tablets is the upcoming Windows 8 which is designed with tablets in mind. Additionally, users like the higher performance capabilities of an Ultrabook as more and more users need to do more with their computers. It's pretty hard to play any sort of game or type any long message on a Netbook. If you still want one, HP, Acer, and ASUS are still offering them in the US. They will range from $200-$500.
Deal of the Day: 15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R laptop, Core i5, 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD for $554.99 with FREE Shipping!
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We were just invited to a pre-Computex press conference in Taipei by GIGABYTE Notebook whom on May 31st are launching a new laptop called the X11 Notebook.
As you can see from the slightly censored invite above, GIGABYTE is claiming that it is the lightest notebook on earth.
"In the universe, there are no everlasting stars.
In life, there are no eternal truths.
In GIGABYTE, innovation never stops.
Thus, we have discovered the 6th element.
Now we'd like to proudly present to you the lightest Notebook on earth!"
So, this might tend to suggest that GIGABYTE has discovered some form of new super lightweight material from another planet (okay sorry, I saw The Avengers for the first time today) and designed their upcoming X11 laptop with it. In any case, we'll find out for sure on May 31st, as TweakTown will be in attendance at the launch event in Taipei.
AMD CEO, Rory Read, has been quoted with quite a powerful quote: that there's enough processing power on every laptop on the planet today. He's specifically referring to what he calls the conclusion of the era between AMD and Intel to develop increasingly faster processors.
AMD spokesperson, Mike Silverman told the San Jose Mercury News that AMD needed to let go of the old AMD versus Intel mindset, as technology moves forward this strategy will no longer be the key focus. AMD CEO Rory Read also talked to Bloomberg Businessweek, where he said that computing is increasingly moving into the cloud where data centers are able to process computations much faster than a single computer, tablet or smartphone can.
Personally, I thought we were over this? I think the whole AMD versus Intel thing ended when we moved into multiple cores? Intel, in my opinion, is so far out in front right now, that CPU power just doesn't have the same effect it did years ago. You can upgrade from a Core i3, to a Core i5 and if you're not utilizing all of that power - is there a difference? If you're using your PC for Facebook and e-mail and move from a dual-core AMD to a quad-core AMD, do you notice the difference?
In order to further user's gaming experiences, Alienware will be the first to feature Qualcomm Atheros' new Killer Wireless-N 1202 chipset. The new wireless chip "is designed to provide improved performance and advanced control by automatically classifying and prioritizing gaming, video and audio network data to provide a superior, uninterrupted online entertainment experience."
"Alienware continues to be the leader in performance laptops and we appreciate that its customers are used to getting the best gaming experience possible," said Mike Cubbage, director of business development, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "The Killer Wireless-N 1202 will continue the tradition of delivering a superior gaming and real-time communication experience for Alienware laptop users by providing the best in online application performance, intelligence and control to ensure that critical online applications get the bandwidth and priority they need, when they need it."
"Gamers everywhere depend on Alienware to deliver superior experiences that help them achieve that 'epic win'," said Frank Azor, general manager at Alienware. "Integrating the Killer Wireless N-1202 technology-another first from Alienware-allows gamers to experience exceptional online gaming."
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We know the new Apple MacBook Pro's are coming, we know that they will sport high-resolution "Retina", or "HiDPI" displays, and should be unveiled at next month's Worldwide Developers Conference. CNET are reporting that these new high-res panels are available available in the supply chain and that they carry a premium of up to $100 over their non-Retina counterparts.
The next question is, will Apple pass this cost onto you, and I, the customer, or would they absorb the costs themselves? Considering they're rolling around in seemingly unlimited money from their uber profits, as well as cutting the optical drive out of the new MBP's, I would expect nothing else but Apple to absorb the costs. Passing them onto the customer would just seem, cheap.
DisplaySearch Senior Analyst, Richard Shim, says that the 15.4-inch Retina MBP display would rock on with a resolution of 2880x1800, which would give a density of 220 pixels per inch (ppi), and costs approximately $160. This is a $92 increase over Apple's estimated cost of $68 for the current display in the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display of 2560x1600 costs $134, a $65 premium over the current model's display.
Sony's business-suited notebooks, VAIO S and VAIO Z, have received Intel's latest and greatest Ivy Bridge CPUs. Sony have also outed two new VAIO E models, VAIO E Series 15 and 17 join the 14P as part of Sony's entertainment line, but unlike the smaller 14P, they won't be receiving Intel's Ivy Bridge processors.
The VAIO S will arrive in 13.5- and 15.5-inch display options, sporting backlight keyboards and either an aluminum, magnesium or carbon fiber frame, depending on the model. The 15.5-inch model will be on of the 1080p IPS-based displays, but what the smaller display is made from is still shrouded in mystery.
VAIO S 13 buyers will have a few choices to make, between Core i5 and i7 processors, while the larger display system will come with an Intel Core i7-3612QM, 8GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GT640 LE GPU as well as integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. The 15 will sport a 1TB HDD, whilst both systems will have the option of a solid-state drive. Both systems are expected to weigh in at less than 4.4 pounds.
The VAIO Z should feature the same CPU and RAM as the S model, but with a 256GB SSD powering the storage side of things, instead of the mechanically-driven 1TB option. Other configurations will include built-in 3G/4G LTE radios, while an optional media pack will provide an optical drive, and Radeon HD 7670M graphics. These systems will get on the scales at less than 2.6 pounds, with a thickness of less than 0.7-inches.