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ASUS are reportedly working on a new ultrabook style laptop where they are said to be baking in a swivel design display that transforms the device into a tablet. Since Windows 8 is much more tablet-friendly, this move would actually be quite the bold move by ASUS. DigiTimes says the device will be unveiled at 2012 Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, and might hit retail shelves in time for the launch of Windows 8 next September.
ASUS have been here before, with their Eee PC T91 netbook (as pictured above) in 2009. The device did not sell that well, but with tablets being more popular than ever, and Windows 8 having the OS build a tablet UI directly into the OS itself, it could really work.
There has, to this day, not been a device that could do both. Apple have the iPad and their MacBook range, but nothing that can do both. I personally own a 2011 17-inch MacBook Pro and I've wished for a long time now that I could disconnect my 17-inch display and use it like a big iPad. If ASUS can pull this off, I can tell you now, I'll be all over that in a heartbeat. I can see it now, it'll be called Asus Ultrabot or similar, in line with their "Transformer" line of products. You heard it here first, folks! I call Ultrabot from here on out.
Razer's gaming-themed and feature-packed gaming laptop, Blade, is said to hit shelves and customers hands before Christmas. Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan also explains what has changed since the "world's first true gaming laptop" was unveiled in August, and talks about the Army origins of the laptop's sleek and sexy design.
Something I did not know, is that Tan served in the Army, and is quoted:
When I served in the army, I was sent for survival training in the dense jungles of the tropics. We carried only the most essential gear and one key item in my kit was my KA-BAR combat knife. It was simple, minimalist and utilitarian - and we used it for everything from hunting, to preparing food, cutting rope and building floats. Every night after setting up camp, I would spend my time sharpening it during watch. It was one of the finest knives I've ever used - clean, cold. supremely balanced and lethally sharp.
Two new HP Envy notebooks have just turned up on HP's website, Envy 15-3000 Notebook PC series. There are two separate models, the first one: 15-3000tx while the second one is donned 15-3021tx.
The 15-3005tx is specced well, powered by an Intel Core i7-2670QM at 2.2GHz, 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, 1TB HDD, DVDRW, but most surprisingly, an "ATI" Radeon HD 7670M with 1GB of DDR5 memory, a 15.6-inch LED 1920x1080 resolution screen, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and lastly, the usual 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and features a Matte Black and Silver finish.
The 15-3021tx on the other hand, is identical in most specs, except the screen and HDD. The 15-3021tx has the same 15.6-inch screen size, but lower resolution at just 1366x768, and only a 750GB HDD for storing your important data.
Both notebooks include HP's TrueVision HD Webcam, Beats Audio Quad speakers, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort and VGA outputs, as well as a card reader.
ASUS' Eee Pad debuted in 2009 and virtually created a new market: netbooks. They were popular from grand parents, to travellers, to modders. Worldwide, they enjoyed success and to this day, still enjoy that success. But, today's market is a different beast with smartphones and tablets carving out most of the mobile market and ASUS are seeing this as a huge change going into 2012.
ASUS expects to ship 4.8 million netbooks by the end of this year, whilst they only have expectations to ship just 1.8 million tablets. ASUS see these roles reversing come 2012, with tablet shipments eclipsing netbook shipments.
Acer expects its ultrabook pricing to dip below US$1,000 that they're current sitting at, to between $799-$899 in the second quarter of next year. This is a decline of 20-percent and is set to drop even further in 2013.
Acer expects that 2013 will see a drop to an amazing US$499 according to Acer president Jim Wong. At the moment, Acer ships 100,000 ultrabooks per month and expects to reach their goal of shipping 250,000-300,000 units by the end of the year.
The Thailand floods to affect everyone, Acer included. Wong expects Acer to only experience a supply gap of between 10 to 15-percent in Q4 2011, far less than the overall supply gap of 30 to 35-percent estimated by hard drive manufacturers. Wong also expects Acer to be breaking even in the fourth quarter, and also expects to have Acer to return to its prior position as second-largest notebook ranking in 2012, with its performance in the China market.
This rumor has made the rounds before, but now we have some more information on what Apple plan on doing with their new MacBook Air line. It looks like they'll want to be competing directly with the ultrabooks that are set to start taking over the world in 2012.
The new Air range will come in 11.6-, 13.3- and 15-inch sizes and is set to compete directly with PC-based ultrabooks, according to information by gathered DigiTimes from upstream supply sources. DigiTimes' sources state that upstream players have already started early production runs of the new MacBook Air models and that the 15-inch model in particular will combat the ultrabooks.
Netbooks started out as this massive craze, where every man and his dog not only wanted one, but somehow, required one. But, the netbook light that once shone so bright is now a fading star thanks to the ever-increasing speed and power of smartphones and the entry of tablets.
Samsung know this and look to be ditching the netbooks and concentrating on more expensive ultraportable laptops and ultrabooks instead, if we believe an e-mail sent to trading partners is to be believed. The e-mail is quoted by French site Blogeee and reads:
Following the introduction of our new strategy in 2012, we will discontinue our 10.1-inch (netbook) product range in Q1 2012, in favor of ultraportables (11.6 and 12 inches) and ultrabooks to be launched in 2012.
Acer and ASUS are working with panel manufacturers AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux separately to develop a new generation of full HD notebook panels with resolutions of 1928x1080, according to industry insiders. This is contributed by the fact that Apple are pushing for their next-generation iPads to sport 2048x1536-capable displays in early 2012.
Acer and ASUS want to push the next release of Ultrabooks in Q1 2012 at the earliest, to feature 1080p displays. At the moment, ASUS' 11.6-inch UX21 Zenbook models sport a resolution of 1366x768, with upgrades of resolution to 1600x900 for its 13.3-inch UX31 models. Acer's 13.3-inch Aspire S3 also includes a 1366x768 display.
Both ASUS and Acer are expecting to deliver between 400,000 and 500,000 Ultrabooks before the end of this year. Upgrading them to 1080p panels should help them compete against Apple's MacBook Air, a lot.
AMD is reportedly set to unleash their first Radeon HD 7000M series GPUs for notebooks on December 9th. There are said to be at least 16 models to be announced, all based on two silicons: "Thames" and "Seymour", and are being carved out of toggling various components within those GPUs.
AMD will launch models across the Radeon HD 7400M series, 7500M series, and 7600M series. Thames and Seymour are brand new chips that are built on the 28nm silicon fabrication process, which will allow AMD more TDP headroom where they can ramp up the clock speeds.
At the moment, there's no details on things like stream processor, ROP, and TMU counts, but ComputerBase.de have compiled a list which shows GPU and memory clock speeds, memory interface widths, and memory type. The table also makes a mention of higher-end GPU models with names of "Chelsea", "Heathrow", and "Wimbeldon".
Apple switched from NVIDIA to AMD for their current 2011 MacBook's, but it is rumored they'll be switching back to the green team for the 2012 MacBook's claims sources for SemiAccurate. In the last few years Apple have relied on a mix of AMD and integrated Intel graphics in their systems.
Apple are reportedly switching back to NVIDIA after a failed attempt on the most recent MacBook Air with an AMD Llano processor, which gave issues because of AMD's supply capacity. Apple is said to make the change next spring with Macs based on Intel's Ivy Bridge platform.
Of course, we take it with a pinch of salt, but then again, we know Apple like to change things up sometimes. If Apple is peeved with AMD, their only alternative for serious GPU power is NVIDIA. Next year should prove interesting times for Apple. Next-gen iPads, a switch back to NVIDIA for GPUs, iPhone 5, and we'll see how Tim Cook as CEO goes over a longer period.