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It's holiday season once again and while everyone is dodging each other for that latest and greatest smartphone or tablet, Google would like to remind you that there are other options. Options such as their Chromebook, which they've now commenced a fresh push on, including an updated interface and some much more competitive, and festive pricing.
Google are slowly changing their Chrome OS to be more like a Windows laptop, or as user-friendly as an iPad. In May, Google introduced a file system and laptops with working SD card slots, which is a huge upgrade from the once only cloud-based launch. While Chrome OS and Chromebooks are still cloud-heavy, you can now side-load files and even download them to an easily accessible file area on the system.
There are going to be as many as 50 Intel Ultrabooks to be launched at CES in January next year. According to Shawn DuBravac, director of research for show organisers the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), he expects a truck load of ultrathin laptops to be unveiled in Las Vegas. DuBravac told journalists at a CES Unveiled even held in London:
We expect to see 30 to 50 new Ultrabooks launched at CES.
Up to this point, there has only been a few manufacturers who have announced Ultrabooks, as most of them are awaiting the 22nm refresh of Ivy Bridge before releasing their devices. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is set to give a keynote speech in Las Vegas, where Ivy Bridge is likely to be officially released alongside a large amount of new Ultrabooks.
DuBravac has said whilst Ultrabooks will have their time in the spotlight, its tablets that will be the showrunner. More than 100 new tablets were launched at 2011 CES, and the CEA is expecting a similar number of new releases next January.
This rumor has been around for a while, but there's some fresh news on it today. Upstream suppliers of Apple have reportedly started shipping a small volume of components for a 15-inch ultra-thin notebook model from Apple in November, and the device could be one of two things.
First, a MacBook Air, but 15-inch, or a thinner MacBook Pro. The new 15-inch ultra-thin MacBook is expected to arrive in Q2 of 2012 according to sources from the upstream supply chain. Mass shipments of the new 15-inch ultra-thin device are expected in March and could be catalogued in either the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro line.
This could be the competition to the Ultrabook line recently launched by companies such as ASUS and Acer. We'll have to wait and see.
LG has readied up its latest 13.3-inch ultra-thin laptop for the Korean market, the P330 under its Xnote line. The laptop weighs in at just 1.7Kg and is only 4.5mm thick. Due to the thin 8mm bezel on the 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display, the laptop ends up being right around the size of a typical 12-inch laptop.
Packed inside is a 2nd-gen Core processor with 4GB of RAM, while its storage setup includes both a HDD and SSD and graphics in the form of NVIDIA's GeForce GT 555M. Other features include 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Gigabit ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI output and a 6-cell battery.
The P330 works out to about $1,323 in base form, which can be pushed up to as much as $1,954 depending on your chosen configuration.
Toshiba's latest Ultrabook in its Z830 family has already been exposed in full and will soon be availabile exclusively from Best Buy at $899, managing to break the sub-$1,000 barrier by a good chunk while offering a really impressive, super lightweight package.
At the aforementioned price, the new Portege Z835 comes in a good chunk less than the comparably sized MacBook Air ($400 to be exact) and $300 less than the Zenbook UX31 and weighs less than 2.5 pounds.
Confirmed specs include a 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 processor, 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) display, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.
Ultrabooks are set to account for 43-percent of worldwide notebook shipments by 2015, just four short years away, despite the devices have only just started hitting the market. An Ultrabook is designed as being a notebook that is very light and thin, at under 0.8-inches.
Feature-wise, they sport more tablet-orientated hardware such as instant-on activation, always connected wireless links, SSDs and batteries capable of delivering more than eight hours usage from a single charge. IHS iSuppli research has led to these results and predictions for 2015, where they said in a press release:
Ultrabooks will represent 43 percent of global notebook PC shipments in 2015, up from 2 percent in 2011 and 13 percent in 2012. Following their first year of shipments in 2011, Ultrabook penetration of the notebook market will increase rapidly, rising to 28 percent in 2013 and to 38 percent in 2014.
If you're in the market for an Alienware M17x R3 or M18x, NVIDIA has an early Christmas present. The GeForce GTX 580M, one of the most powerful mobile GPUs on the market today, has received a drastic price cut at Alienware that makes it all that more justifiable to buy.
Before, the GTX 580M was a $300+ premium over the AMD Radeon HD 6990M in the M17x R3. The change in price also lines up with the M18x, where two of the GTX 580Ms in SLI is $150 more than a pair of 6990Ms in CrossFire. Performance-wise, they're pretty much equal, unless you wanted to enjoy something like PhysX for example.
But, the downfall of this price drop is that it seems to only effect Alienware-branded machines. Right now, if you're buying another brand, the HD 6990M-optioned laptops seem to be better priced, I guess we'll have to wait and see if NVIDIA drop the price of the 580Ms across the entire range, and not just exclusive to Alienware.
Apple rumors, everyone loves them. A few months ago, rumors circled that Apple were performing final tests on a 15-inch notebook that is said to be slimmer than the current 15-inch MacBook Pro offering, which could be thanks to its flash-based storage and sans optical drive.
Today we have a fresh rumor that Apple have finished development of an LCD test component for their new notebook. Right now, its unclear whether this new system will be part of the MacBook Air range, or Pro range or if the company has plans to extend the ultra-thin design right up to the 15- and 17-inch models.
Apple's MacBook Pro line hasn't seen a big redesign since they switched to the unibody design back in 2008. A redesign could really lift up the game on the MacBook Pro range, making it thinner, lighter whilst at the same time maintaining the performance that the Pro offers. Moving to flash memory needs to happen as the stock hard disk drives in MacBook Pro's are ridiculously slow [when compared to SSDs].
Deal of the Day: 14" Dell Inspiron 14R with 2nd Gen Intel Core i3, plus 10.1" HD Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet for $699.99 with FREE Shipping
Our Deal of the Day today is the Dell Home - 14" Dell Inspiron 14R with 2nd Gen Intel Core i3, 6GB Memory, 640GB HD, DVD Burner, Wireless-N, Bluetooth, HD Webcam, and More plus 10.1" HD Dell Inspiron Duo Convertible Tablet for $699.99 with FREE Shipping!.
Offer: Dell has a huge $638.99 instant discount on this bundle deal with a 2nd gen Inspiron 14R laptop plus an Inspiron Duo. $699.99 with FREE shipping ($1338.98 original price) buys you the following:
2nd Gen Inspiron 14R with 14" LED-backlit TFT, 2nd gen 2.1Ghz Intel Core i3-2310M, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, 640GB hard drive, 8x DVD+/-RW DL, Centrino Wireless-N 1030 w/Bluetooth 3.0, 1MP HD webcam, 6-cell LiOh battery, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, 15-month antivirus, and a 1 year warranty.
Inspiron Duo companion convertible tablet with 10.1" HD edge-to-edge capacitive multi-touch TFT, 1.5Ghz Intel Atom N550 dual-core, 2GB DDR3 SDRAM, 250GB hard drive, Wireless-N, 1.3MP webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium x64, and a 1 year warranty.
Expires 11/1/11 at 6PM CT.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro line up with slightly faster CPU offerings as well as upgraded GPUs. First up, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has received a 100MHz speed bump with the 2.4GHz Core i5 or 2.8GHz Core i7 whilst the bigger brother 15- and 17-inch notebooks get a 200MHz boost to 2.2GHz and 2.4GHz, respectively.
The lower-end 15-inch MBP has thrown the AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256MB and now has a quicker HD 6750M 512MB. The higher-end 15- and 17-inch models now have the HD 6770M 1GB. Apple has also tweaked the storage options on the 13-inch system, which now starts with a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive instead of the the smaller 320GB model, it can also be upgraded to 750GB.
All of the systems now ship with 4GB of DDR3 1333Mhz Ram, a backlit keyboard and multitouch trackpad, a Thunderbolt port, a Mini DisplayPort output and have an estimated seven-hour battery life. Price wise, we have the 13-inch starting at $1,199 going up to $1,499, the 15-inch model goes for $1,799 to $2,199 and the 17-inch MacBook Pro starts from $2,499.