I'm just a little bit giddy about this latest announcement from HP. The company as of late is producing more and more products with features that actually matter to consumers in attempts to return to their previous glory. HP has announced a new Envy TouchSmart 14 laptop with a 3,200x1,800 pixel display.
That resolution is packed into a 14-inch screen. The Retina MacBook Pro, for comparison, features a resolution of 2,880x1,800 in a 15-inch display. This means the new HP should pack more pixels into a smaller screen, providing an even higher pixel density. Wow. The Envy TouchSmart 14 notebook will be available sometime in June after Intel launches Haswell.
We aren't sure just how much the machine will set you back, but the version with a 1366x768 display cost just $699. I would venture to guess that the display will be a $150-200 upgrade. We'll have more when this notebook launches, hopefully with a review shortly after.
According to a new report from DisplayBank, who is a division of market research firm IHS, around 10% of all Windows 8-based notebooks sold in Q1 2013 have a touchscreen. Their report claims that 46 million notebooks shipped in the three-month period, with 4.57 million of those being touchscreen-capable notebooks.
This means that compared to the previous quarter, touchscreen-based notebook sales have surged 51.8%. While sales of notebooks are strong, how many of those 4.57 million consumers actually put their hand forward and touch their screen for day-to-day use?
Samsung to release new 'ultra resolution' display for laptops, could set new standard for screen quality
This week Samsung is set to launch a new "super-high resolution" display that just may set a new standard in laptop and notebook screen resolutions.
The new 13.3-inch display is said to pack an amazing 276 pixels per inch, setting the resolution to 3200x1800. With nearly six megapixels of resolution, this new display tops Apple's MacBook Pro with Retina Display as well as Google's Chromebook Pixel.
Samsung says that the new display will provide a power savings of 30 percent over existing displays, but has yet to announce what models and what manufacturers will be featuring the new display. I guess we'll just have to wait until the official announcement to find out more.
A leaked road map for Dell shows that the computer manufacturer will be releasing two new Latitude Ultrabooks based upon Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU. Both Ultrabooks will reportedly feature 12.5-inch displays and come as part of Dell's E700 Latitude series.
First up, Dell's E7240. This Ultrabook will be available with either a 1366x768 or 1920x1080 touchscreen display. Weighing in at 2.9 pounds, it's a bit heavier than some alternatives. It measures 12.2"x8.3"x0.79" and will feature a 3-cell battery. It will feature either an i3, i5, or i5 Intel Haswell processor, which are reportedly excellent for battery life.
The second is the Latitude E7440. It will also be available with either a 1366x768 or 1920x1080 display, with touch being optional. It comes in with a larger 14-inch display. The system measures 13.3"x9.1"x0.83" and weighs in at around 3.5 pounds. It will come with either a Core i3, i5, or i7 Haswell processor.
We expect to see both systems sometime this summer.
It seems like almost every day a new rumor regarding Apple surfaces. The latest rumor says that Apple will debut a refreshed MacBook Air at this year's WWDC taking place next month. A refreshed MacBook Air is expected to make use of Intel's new, low-power Haswell CPU's and possibly feature a Retina display.
One of the main reasons this rumor has popped up is that availability of the current 13-inch Air with a 1.8GHz processor and 256GB SSD is out of stock at many large retailers across the web. Amazon, B&H, MacConnection, and MacMall are all out of stock, while J&R is only offering the system in-store.
Supply constraints are often an early indicator that Apple is planning on releasing a refreshed model. In anticipation for the new model, production of the old model ramps down to clear existing inventory. WWDC takes place shortly after Intel debuts its new Haswell processors and would be an excellent time for the unveiling of a refreshed Air.
This is the year of the convertible notebooks. Originally seen at CES 2013 earlier this year, the Yoga 11S is an 11-inch convertible Ultrabook. The system can be used in four different positions, hence the name Yoga. You've probably seen the ad for its big brother at least once; I've seen it probably hundreds of times.
Lenovo is offering quite a bit of freedom in terms of customization, with Core i3, i5, and i7 processors to choose from, either a 128GB or 256GB SSD, and 1366x768 or 1600x900 resolution screens. At its most basic configuration, the Yoga 11S will set you back around $800.
The device will start shipping in "more than four weeks" time making me believe it will likely utilize Intel's upcoming Haswell CPU's. You will, however, be able to check one out in person at Best Buy come June 23. It's available for pre-order at Best Buy and Lenovo.
This morning Sony unveiled a new line of VAIO Fit laptops that have a unique aluminum case design. The VAIO Fit will come in two variants; a 14-inch model will cover the low-end, while a 15-inch version will serve up the high-end.
The new Fit notebooks feature Sony's Extreme R imaging sensors that allow the built-in webcam to capture exceptional images even in very low light situations. The devices also support near field communication, which allows the laptops to wirelessly sync with other NFC compatible devices, such as smartphones.
The 15-inch Fit features a full HD 1920x1080 display, while the 14-inch model boasts a 1600x900 resolution. Both models have full sized backlit keyboards and both include Sony's ArtRage Studio, which is a touch oriented painting program. The Fit 14 and Fit 15 are available in black, silver and pink, and will retail for $649 and $699, respectively.
Johannes Knapp is back with his second video today from the Acer press conference in New York, this time we some hands-on time with the new Aspire P3.
The P3 is another unique device, as was the Aspire R7. The P3 is unique in that Acer call it an "Ultrabook", but it's really a tablet that comes with an interesting keyboard dock frame / holder. You just clip the P3 out of the dock, and then it comes a tablet.
Speaking of the specifications, it's a Windows 8 based system with an 11.6-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. It runs either an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor and includes microHDMI and USB 3.0 support.
This morning Acer officially unveiled four new product lines for the US market. A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a "revolutionary" new notebook that Acer teased in a Star Trek Into Darkness trailer mashup. This morning we got a full look at the device, and boy did it deliver.
The new Acer Aspire R7 is a very USS Enterprise-esque 15.6-inch notebook that features a full 1920x1080 touchscreen display. The unique repositionable design of the R7 revolutionizes the notebook computing experience by seamlessly merging the touch and typing experience into something that just feels natural. Customers who pre-order the Aspire R7 will receive a copy of the new Star Trek The Video Game for free.
"With the Aspire R7, Acer has redesigned the laptop with an approach that's based on how people interact with their notebooks and other devices," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president, product marketing, Acer America. "Its progressive design redefines the computing experience, so whether consumers are touching or typing, the R7 adapts to allow consumers to create, browse and share content in ways they never have before."
Johannes Knapp is over in New York for us at the moment covering an Acer press event, which introduced several new mobile products today.
He has first delivered us with a hands-on video of the Aspire R7 laptop. What's interesting about this laptop, and the first thing you'll no doubt notice, is that the keyboard and touchpad have been switched of their usual locations. That of course means the touch pad is on top and the keyboard is below. Acer has done this since the unit features a special hinge that allows you to position the screen at different angles and also flip it over to show your lunch date what's on your screen. You can set the screen down to act like a tablet, it's rather nifty indeed.
There are several different configurations of the R7 including one with an Intel Core i7-3537U CPU or Intel Core i5-3337U CPU. Storage options are aplenty including 500GB, 750GB or 1TB HDD or if you like speed, a 120GB or 256GB SSD. There is support for up to 12GB of DDR3 RAM and you can opt to add in an NVIDIA GeForce GT750M 2GB GPU over the standard embedded Intel HD 4000 graphics.
Google are looking to dig their heels into yet another market, according to a new report from DigiTimes, both Acer and ASUS are optimistic about the long-term prospects of Google's Chromebooks, and are now working on low-priced systems that will arrive in the second half of the year.
Acer will be aiming at students with a new 11.6-inch model to be released in July, as well as Chrome OS-powered systems to be expected from ASUS, HP, Samsung and Lenovo later in the year. We actually reported on vendors wanting to push Android-based products onto the market, so this might be it. Hold onto your seats folks, we're going to be experiencing a bumpy next couple of years for Windows.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst with KGI Securities, has a new report forecasting that the product highlight of Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will introduce refreshed MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models.
These refreshed products would see Intel's new Haswell chips inside, the chipmaker's fourth-generation Core processors. Kuo thinks that Apple will continue with non-Retina MacBook Pros, seeing strength in the 13-inch model, leading him to believe we'll see Apple continuing the production of non-Retina models. He says:
Contrary to our previous projection, we now think Apple will continue to make the MacBook Pro alongside the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro because the 13" MacBook Pro remains the most popular product in the MacBook line. Also, there is still demand in emerging markets, where Internet penetration isn't advanced, for optical disk drives.
The analyst believes that the updated non-Retina MacBook Pros could ship right after WWDC, but the new Retina-based MacBook Pro models would ship later down the line due to the more expensive, and harder to make Retina displays.
Last week I covered a story about Intel's CEO Paul Otellini predicting that Microsoft Surface tablets would soon see a price drop to $200. Now we are hearing a different story coming out of Intel, and the word is that it will be Android based notebooks that will sell at the $200 price point.
In an interview with CNET, Intel executive VP Dadi Perlmutter said that the $200 touchscreen devices will predominantly be Android based notebooks running on Intel's Atom mobile processors. While this news is still quite exciting, I still believe a $200 Microsoft Surface tablet would see massive sales. On the other hand, I will still be all in for a $200 Android based notebook.
When asked about Microsoft selling $200 tablets, Perlmutter had the following to say:
"We have a good technology that enables a very cost-effective price point. The price of Windows 8 laptops depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8. It may be a slightly higher price point."
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst for KGI Securities, Apple will start production on a Haswell-powered MacBook sometime in May in preparation for a late summer launch. A late summer launch flies in the face of what Tim Cook said during an investor call: "Our teams are hard at work on some amazing new hardware, software, and services that we can't wait to introduce in the fall and into 2014."
Kuo expects the MacBook line to feature a vastly updated design and only Retina displays. Intel is currently thought to be planning to release Haswell at Computex in the first part of June, so this timeline matches up with Intel's schedule, lending some credibility to this claim.
We don't doubt that Apple will make use of Intel's Haswell CPUs, it's just a matter of when exactly they make the switch and to what degree they update the MacBook line.
Apple's MacBook Pro is a delicious notebook, most people know that, but according to a new study from PC efficiency software vendor, Soluto, the MBP is the world's most reliable Windows PC.
Soluto used "data from its massive online database of PC crashes, hangs, and performance metrics to identify the 10 most reliable Windows PCs you can buy today". Their study found that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro with Boot Camp installed is "at the top of the list". Their study found a few other suitable candidates, the Dell Vostro 3560, the Dell XPS 13, Acer's Aspire E1-571, Acer's Aspire V3-771 and Apple's 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro.
When it is all swirled together, Apple computers make up 33% of the six most reliable Windows PCs in the world.
This morning Acer launched a new teaser video that featured glimpses of a new "revolutionary notebook" that appears to have some sort of uni-hinge design that allows the screen to flip over. The teaser is paired up with a Star Trek Into Darkness trailer, and quite well I might add.
The video concludes with a link to Acer's "Explore Beyond Limits" website which features two more Star Trek / Acer product integrated teaser videos as well as some high resolution desktop wallpapers. The new laptop looks interesting and you can expect full coverage on the device at Acer's launch event on Friday May 3rd.
Inhon, a Taiwanese manufacturer of notebooks, has just unveiled the Blade 13 Carbon ultrabook. While the news of another ultrabook may not sound exciting, the Blade Carbon is something to get excited about, as it claims the title of thinnest and lightest notebook in the world.
Weighing in at just 870 grams, the 10.7mm thick (thin?) Blade 13 Carbon is more than 400 grams lighter than Apple's MacBook Air, and more than 6mm thinner. Inhon ditched the aluminum unibody idea in favor of carbon fiber, which resulted in a much thinner profile and the record weight listing.
Inhon will release the Blade 13 Carbon in several different configurations including models with Intel Core i5 and i7 low-voltage chips, 1080p 13-inch display and a 128GB or 256GB SSD. RAM is said to be limited to just 4GB, though. The Blade 13 Carbon will begin shipping in June at a price point of $1350. Unfortunately those of us state side will not get the chance to pick one (as yet) up as Inhon has no US distributors that we could find.
We've already got the Retina MacBook Pro from Apple, featuring a 2560x1600 display, and Google's Chromebook Pixel with its 2560x1700 display - but both of those machines are built for Windows. Toshiba have just unveiled a new Ultrabook, that comes with Windows 8 - the Kirabook.
Toshiba's Kirabook comes with a 13.3-inch 2560x1440 display, giving us slightly less pixels than Apple and Google's offerings. Kirabook starts from $1599, which gives you an Intel third-generation Core i5 processor, 256GB of SSD, 8GB of RAM and a backlit keyboard. The $1999 model provides touchscreen capabilities, and a bump in processor to the Core i7. Toshiba's Kirabook is 0.7 inches thick, and weighs 2.6 pounds.
We should see pre-orders open up on May 3, with shipping beginning on May 12.
This morning Samsung announced the release of its much anticipated Series 9 Premium Ultrabook with full HD resolution. Featuring a 1920x1080 SuperBright display, the Series 9 laptop reproduce 16 million colors, giving users a photo and video experience like never before.
Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds and slimming down to half an inch thick, the Series 9 looks to be a formidable contender in the ultra-portable class of Ultrabooks. The weight saving and slim size are attributed to an all-aluminum uni-body design that rivals the MacBook Air in beauty.
The Series 9 not only looks good, but it packs a punch as well by sporting hardware such as an Intel Core i7 processor, 128GB SSD and an Intel Integrated HD 4000 graphics chipset. A battery life of 5.8 hours will get users through most domestic flights, as well as any situation where connectivity to the power grid is not feasible.
Retailing at $1399.99, the Series 9 Ultrabook is now available for purchase through major retailers.
At the Intel Solutions Summit (ISS) 2013 last week, Intel teased the world that we should expect new Ultrabooks in the near future based on their fourth-generation Core processors, otherwise known as Haswell.
Better yet, they'll start at just $599. The news came from Senior Vice President and GM of Intel's PC Client Group, Kirk Skaugen, who told an audience of top Intel parts that new Haswell-based Ultrabooks would not only arrive at cheaper price points, but with more compelling features. Skaugen said that early Ultrabooks were "just a retrofit of what was already on the market," but has promised that Haswell-based Ultrabooks will require touch-screen support and faster SSDs, high-resolution displays, voice and facial recognition technology and finally, "all-day" battery life.
Skaugen had some interesting things to say about Haswell and the future of Ultrabooks, where he said "we designed this chip from the ground up for the Ultrabook. You'll truly be able to leave your [Ultrabook] battery pack at home."
Samsung have just injected some more pixels into their latest Ultrabook, the Series 9 Premium Ultrabook. The 13.3-inch Series 9 notebook included a 1600x900-pixel display, but the new and improved NP900X3E-A03US sports a 1920x1080 display.
It doesn't come close to the Google Chromebook Pixel or Apple MacBook Pro Retina displays, but it does provide a generous 40% more pixels than their previous generation Ultrabook. The improved Series 9 Premium Ultrabook includes the usual LED-backlit display which uses Samsung's SuperBright technology, which the South Korean company touts a 50% brighter display than a standard laptop monitor.
Cranking along inside the NP900X3E-A03US, we have Intel's Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM (why not 8GB?), a 256GB SSD, and Windows 8 Pro. Weighing in at 2.56 pounds and is just 0.51 inches at its thinnest point. What will all of this set you back? $1899.99. Not too bad, but the price is definitely getting up there.