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CES 2016 - ASUS continues to push its ROG lineup with a new dock that lets laptops harness the raw power of desktop video cards.
ASUS today revealed its new ROG XG Station 2, an external docking station that allows laptops to tap the performance gains from desktop GPU's. ASUS describes the station as "a custom interface that lets notebooks harness the power of desktop video cards to significantly boost gaming performance," and is a continuation of the company's original docking stand unveiled back in 2008.
The XG Station 2 is tailor-made for ASUS-branded laptops and video cards, and there's no official word if other GPU's or notebooks will be compatible. Apart from the massive graphical boosts from desktop GPUs, the docking station can also charge the laptop and is purportedly very easy to hook up. Pricing and availability are unknown at this time.
Documents and marketing materials from South Korea have revealed Samsung's upcoming line of ultrabooks, each of which should please anyone who appreciates a compact computer.
The NT900X line is, as expected, powered by Intel Skylake CPUs and Windows 10, and offers 13.3'' and 15'' models. The former pack 30 Whr batteries and micro HDMI ports; the latter pack 39 Whr batteries and full HDMI ports in addition to mini Ethernet ports. Six of the seven models features a 1920x1080 display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SDXC card reader.
Thanks to new technology that was announced recently in a press release, users are now able to convert their 15.6-inch standard-screen laptops into interactive touch devices. This new technology is called AirBar and it has been developed by a company named Neodone Inc, a Swedish company specialising in Optical Interactive Sensing Technology.
Connecting to a consumer laptop through a single USB port, this sensor beams an invisible light in order to pick up touchscreen presses and gestures. This completely plug and play product is being released firstly for 15.6-inch laptops and comes priced at only $49.
More information on this product can be found on the official website or by watching the video above. Functioning with both Windows and Chrome operating systems, the AirBar will be shown off to the public during CES 2016 in January, taking place in Las Vegas.
Expecting to see an overall shipment number of 8 million units before the end of 2015, ABI Research has given Google the tick of approval, naming the Chromebook series as the best-selling laptops of 2015.
ABI Research's Research Director, Jeff Orr, says that "Industry professionals can expect the notebook PC market, including Chromebooks, laptops and ultraportable PCs, to remain roughly flat year-on-year in 2015, with flat to slightly positive growth projected through 2020." While this marks concern for manufacturers are overall PC sales aren't progressing all too smoothly as of late, Orr added, "Specifically, data suggests a 2016 sales surge in both Chromebooks and ultraportable PCs as consumers continue to adopt Chromebooks into classroom settings and 2-in-1 ultraportable PCs maintain their trend status as the future of portable computing."
While the total number of shipments in 2015 for notebooks is said to be around 163 million, this marks a 14 percent decline when compared with 2014, said to be partly due to losses posted by Acer, ASUS and Lenovo, in a report by ZDNet.
Described by ZDNet as "the world's largest independent, nonprofit, consumer product testing organization," Consumer Reports is a fully independent testing community free of advertising and endorsement.
In a recently run survey, this community posted findings that will likely annoy most anti-Apple fans, showcasing report on thousands of laptops over three years of ownership. Ranking in the top spot with only a 10 percent breakdown rate was the tech giant Apple, followed by 16 percent for Samsung. Bringing up the rear were systems ranking in at between 18 to 19 percent breakage rates, with these companies being Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP, Dell and ASUS.
In addition, these findings also pointed out that Windows machines are used, on average, for 20 hours a week compared to Apple's 23, but these Windows products are breaking down more often. This report doesn't showcase or pinpoint that Apple products are far superior in every shape or form, it simply notes that within this community of 58,000 people, Apple products seem to break down less over long periods of time.
According to the latest rumors, Apple is preparing two new MacBook Air models for 2016, something we should see unveiled at their WWDC 2016 event in June. The actual launch of the new MBA models will be in Q3 2016.
The thinner MacBook Air models would arrive in 13- and 15-inch, but the 11-inch model is still up in the air. The new models will be thinner thanks to "fully redesigned" internal components, with Apple working with its suppliers to develop these new, thinner components. Apple expanded its MacBook Air range earlier this year with the new MacBook, which featured a 12-inch Retina display and used Intel's new ultra low voltage chips for its fanless design.
Acer is launching its Predator 15 and Predator 17 gaming notebooks today.
All models include an Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz CPU, a GeForce GTX 980M, and support for 4K and G-Sync. The key difference between the 15 and 17 is the display: a 15.6'' for the former, and a 17.3'' IPS for the latter. Then there are variations between each on RAM and storage.
Eurocom are known for producing laptops with crazy specifications and price tags to match, but if you get in quick you might be able to score yourself one for below the market price.
As part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, Eurocom are offering up its Sky X9 'Desktop Laptop' with a $500 discount. The headline of a recently issued press release shows exactly why a computing enthusiast might drool over this model, with it offering a dekstop Intel Skylake CPU, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 desktop GPU and a smooth 64GB of DDR4 memory.
The Skylake desktop CPU on offer is none other than the Core i7 6700K and it comes paired with two 1Gb LAN ports, a 4K UHD display, USB 3.1, HDMI 2.0 and support for over 5TB of storage, including facilities for RAID, M.2 SSDs, HDDs and normal SSDs alike.
Known for making amazingly fast and sturdy gaming or industrial laptops, Eurocom has pushed live a press release announcing its new Shark 5 "entry level" Skylake-based ultra-portable laptop.
While this system is branded as entry level, the Shark 5 is packed with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, an Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor and up to 32GB of RAM. The whole package is attached to a 15.6" 1080p screen and comes wrapped up in a 1.1-inch thick body. Other options include space for three physical storage drives with up to 4.512 TB of storage, 1GbE LAN, a 62WH battery for 280 minutes of use, an optical drive and a total weight of 2.5kg.
If you're interested in getting one of these beastly entry level systems for yourself, check out the official Eurocom website here.
If you're looking to pick up a portable computing device, it seems that waiting for the Black Friday sales is the best way to go. Costco has charged out of the gates with both fists swinging, announcing specials such as a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 10 bundle for a crazy $300 off.
Featuring 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Pro, a protective cover, Surface pen, 2160 x 1440 resolution and one year of Office 365 Personal included, this Intel Core i7-powered surface dwarfs the $100 saving on ASUS' TP500 Flip 15.6" Touchscreen laptop.
However, if you are looking for something with a little more storage space, this ASUS system comes in at just under $400 and features a 500GB hard drive paired with a slower Intel Core i3 processor.