New Ultrabooks and Ultrathins

Intel Core M Overview, benchmarks and product Previews.

Core M die

The Intel Core M processor, officially launched last week, offers Ultrabook performance in a processing unit that’s about half the size of the current CPUs found in Ultrabooks with a 6W TDP profile. What does that mean? I’ve seen it benchmarked to Ultrabook performance levels on an 680gram fanless tablet. It works!

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Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro Hands-On Video

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Here’s a really nice looking 2-in-1 Ultrbook that, unfortunately, weighs nearly 2KG when docked together. A 13.3-inch Full HD screen tablet running a Core CPU in under 1KG isn’t too bad though and there are options here for hard drives and additional batteries in the base unit. The design is good because it incorporates a rear extension that not only houses the ports but keeps the whole unit stable when the screen is tilted. The Full HD screen is really nice.

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ASUS Zenbook UX305 Core-M Ultrabook Hands-On

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At a press event in Berlin today ASUS launched a laptop based on Core M. The ASUS Zenbook UX305 is just 12.3 mm thick and weighs 1.2KG. There’s no price available yet but it’s clearly a Q4 product.

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ASUS Zenbook NX500 uber-Ultrabook gets early review.

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When ASUS launched the Zenbook NX500 at Computex earlier this year it had one of the most impressive specifications lists to date. An Intel Core  i7-4702HQ  with Turbo Boost Up to 3.2GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850 are the processors that power the 15.6-inch 4K IPS screen. There’s a huge 96Wh battery AC WiFi and a lot more. The price is high and the weight is over 2KG. Ultrabookreview have just published a full review and I spoke to the author, Andrei, about the unit…

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Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W is the latest Ultrabook-class 2-in-1

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There are three things I check when I quickly evaluate new 2-in-1 announcements. Price, performance (CPU, disk, screen) and weight. If the tablet is over 1KG a big buzzer goes off in my head. This 13-inch Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W however has got me inquisitive. 13.3-inches in 1.05KG (2.3 pounds) on an Ultrabook platform makes it quite interesting.

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NEC LaVie GZ with IGZO is the lightest Ultrabook yet.

As the Ultrabook design philosophy reaches more of the mainstream laptop market it is becoming more and more difficult to spot new advances in laptop design. NEC makes it easy for us though by launching the sub 800-gram (1.76 pound) LaVie GZ. Energy and space-saving IGZO screen and mainboard means less layers to the laptop cake. There’s a trade-off though.

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HP Pro X2 612 G1 offers Wacom on 12.5-inch FHD with Core

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As I continue my review of the HP Pro X2 410 G1 [first impressions] I’m acutely aware of what’s going on around it this week. The Surface Pro 3 and new products and announcements at Computex have us all thinking about larger-screen tablets and 2-in-1s. One competitor was from HP themselves as Microsoft held up the Pro X2 612 on stage at their keynote.  It offers a full HD screen, SSD and Wacom options that aren’t available with the X2 410. It also offers a range of CPUs that start with a Celeron (4th gen Core) and go up to Core i5.

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AMD reveals Kaveri mobile APU for ultrathins and high-performance laptops (Updating)

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In a press conference at Computex AMD have announced the Kaveri Mobile APU which is targeted at thin and high-performance laptops. It looks like this is a processor that could appear in Ultrabook devices.

We’re pulling in information from sources at Computex right now…

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Intel’s fanless mobile PC reference design is 7.2mm thin and uses Core M 14nm processor.

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Intel are currently presenting on stage at Computex. The press-release reveals what’s about to be demonstrated.

The world’s first 14nm fanless mobile PC reference design from Intel is a 12.5 inch screen that is 7.2mm thin with keyboard detached and weighs 670 grams. The innovative design is based on the first of Intel’s next-generation 14nm Broadwell processors, purpose-built for 2 in 1s and will be in market later this year. Called the Intel® Core™ M processor, it will deliver the most energy efficient Core processor in the company’s history.

So it looks like the days of the U-series processor are over. Perhaps the Y-series too. More importantly it looks like ASUS have used the Intel reference design in their Transformer Book Chi product. Both have a 12.5-inch screen. Both use the ‘next-generation’ Intel core. One is 7.3mm thick, the other is 7.2mm thick. OK, maybe the casing is different!

Update: The reference device is known as Llama Mountain.

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ASUS NX500 with Quad-Core i7, RAID, 4K. Full specs.

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We’ve never seen an Ultrabook with these specs before. The Asus NX500 Ultrabook was announced yesterday and it proves how far Ultrabook specification can be pushed. The NX500 is targeted squarely at creators and gamers and is one of the most impressive-looking Ultrabooks we’ve ever seen. No, this is not ultra-light, unless you want these specifications in a Windows laptop, and then it is!

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ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi is a Broadwell Teaser.

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Impressive. The Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 was shown briefly at the Computex show today and although Asus didn’t say it outright, the ‘next generation’ Core processor, slick design and lack of detail in the specifications availability and pricing leads us to conclude that it’s going to be a product built around the 5th-Generation core. It means we’ll probably see this on stage a few more times before we get to see it for sale.

The incredibly thin 7.3mm tablet design is just 14.3mm thick when snapped together with the keyboard. The weight should be just as groundbreaking. The design suggests that it’s fanless too.

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ASUS Transformer Book Flip

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The TP300, TP450, TP500 and TP550 Transformer Book Flips have just leaked ahead of an ASUS press conference. These Ultrabook-class 2-in-1s have a Yoga-style 360-degree fold-back screen and will come with 13-inch, 14-inch or 15-inch screens and offer Nvidia discreet GPUs and DVD options.

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Surface Pro 3. Engineering vs Demand vs Future

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It’s exactly 12-hours after the launch of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as I start to write this article. I’ve spent a number of hours hours researching and making notes on this unique product and have come to one main conclusion. Microsoft has a superbly engineered product in the Surface Pro 3 but it’s too early for mainstream 2-in-1 customers.

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HP Pavilion 11 X2 2-in-1 with Core i5 for $599 Hands-On.

Envy, Split, Pavilion. Unlike my fairly clear understanding of the Dell and Lenovo consumer/business product ranges my understanding of HP’s is spotty. Is it just me? When our reader Brad Heath sent me a link to his Pavilion 11 X2 video I was surprised to see a Core i5 version on display and a quick search reveals that it’s new on the market and being offered for just $599 in the USA. Like the Dell Venue 11 Pro series it could offer a perfect balance between laptop and tablet if your primary focus is on productivity. There’s a true SATA SSD, Core i5-4202Y (1.6Ghz + Turbo) and the total weight is under 1.5KG 3/5 pounds. Price: $599 at Microsoft.com which makes it extremely interesting.  [Full specs here.]

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AMI DuOS. A closer look at a new DIY Dual-OS solution

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Over at UMPCPortal last week I wrote some detail about the possibility of dual-OS systems in 2014. As 2-in-1 devices evolve they are leaving Windows 8 behind because the consumer-focused Windows applications store isn’t developing as fast as it needs to. This leaves an opportunity for Android on i86 as the primary OS or as a dual-OS solution. Samsung and ASUS have both been blocked by Google from doing this but American Megatrends (AMI) have come up with Duos which is an Android-on-Windows solution that any user could download and install.

I’ll be testing DuOS as a Beta tester soon and at CeBIT this week I had a chance to get a demo, ask questions and produce a video for you.

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