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CES 2012: Acer started their CES unveiling with quite the bang, showing off its second ultrabook, the Acer Aspire S5. The Aspire S5 is due for a Q2 arrival, is just 15mm thick and weighs under 1.35kg.
It sports an Onyx Black magnesium-aluminum alloy cover, a 13.3-inch LCD screen, chiclet keyboard, an Intel Core processor, a solid state drive, and a MagicFlip I/O port panel, which includes HDMI, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connectors. Thunderbolt, on an ultrabook? Very good news for 2012 products.
Acer also include their Green Instant On technology which provides super fast booting and resume, and the Always Connect solution which enables users to 'manage their multimedia and data on all their devices at anytime, anywhere'. At the moment, there's no details on Aspire S5's pricing.
A HP employee has sent The Verge a new video showing off a new ultra-think notebook from HP. The video has dramatic music that really, er, sets the mood for the launch of a new MacBook Air competitor.
Is it thinner than the MBA or the upcoming ultrabooks? There's nothing more than a 30-second tease, and then "Spectre" at the end. One thing is for certain, is if HP are showing off (well, at least have a video that an employee can "leak") then the Spectre must be close to release.
CES is next week, so we might actually see some Spectre action in Las Vegas. The Verge reports that it may be the 14-inch HP Envy 14 Spectre, which showed up at the FCC just two weeks ago. Only time will tell, and when that time comes, HP will either hit or miss.
Razer Blade gaming laptop delayed until January, offers free Razer Orochi Blade Edition mouse for the wait
For those of you wishing for one of Razer's Blade gaming laptops for Christmas, Santa will not be delivering it. Razer has delayed the laptop because of a delay in relation to Razer swapping out the mechanical 320GB hard drive with a 256GB solid-state drive.
In a note on Facebook to fans, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan announced that the company received an "overwhelming response from the press and gamers for the Razer Blade." Tan says that the delay is a result of an SSD shortage, and now will miss the Christmas ETA. The Blade will reportedly ship in mid to late January for North American customers.
Razer is making up for the delay by letting customers sign-up to be notified of when the Blade will ship, by offering a coupon for a free Razer Orochi Blade Edition gaming mouse. Now, this is how you keep your customers happy, by offering them a free mouse for just waiting another month.
This rumor has been heating up for a while now, but some news posted by DigiTimes this morning is reporting that the high-DPI panels will hit the MacBook Pro's, too.
They say that a "new MacBook Pro lineup" sporting 2880x1800 displays, which "sources in the upstream supply chain" should see the light of day in Q2 2012. That resolution is 400-percent more pixels than the current 13-inch MacBook Air displays, which have a resolution of just 1440x900.
Quadrupling the number of pixels is the same tactic Apple used when they put the "Retina" display into the iPhone 4 when compared to the 3GS.
If Apple do this, it might make me want to upgrade my 17-inch MacBook Pro, yes it has a nice IPS panel with a 1920x1200 resolution, but 2880x1800... oh my.
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.