Archive for December, 2011
The Samsung NP530 is the new 1.4KG Series 5 Ultrabook you saw launched in South Korea a short while back. We’ve now confirmed It’s coming to other countries soon as we’ve just spotted pre-order for it in Germany. The specifications and price are looking very competitive.
If you’ve been looking at getting the best specifications into your Ultrabook choice you are likely to have the Toshiba Z830 at the top of your list. With a backlit keyboard, SSD, Intel WiFi module with Wi-Di and My-Wifi support, full size set of ports including VGA, HDMI and SDXC, all in the lightest weight possible, the Toshiba Z830 with Core i5 promises a lot. But that’s just specifications and real-world is sometimes very different. Fortunately the Z830 delivers, although it has one possible showstopper hidden away beyond the specs and a few little niggles that might put you off. You can read about them in the full Toshiba Z830 review below. Thanks to Toshiba Europe for sending the Z830-10J over for review.
If you want a laugh at a spin on some good news this morning, read the story that Apples share of the Ultrabook market will fall. When you own nearly 100% of the market and you get your first competitors, the only way to go is down. the good news is that sales numbers, the important figures, will rise.
There’s no sign of the Folio hitting European shores any time soon but I see that it’s available in Taiwan and China [Link including images, specs, prices in Chinese] already and orders for the base (Core i5) version at the HP.com site will ship out before the end of the month. With a spec list that closely matches the Toshiba Z830, a competitive price of $899 and a 59Wh battery that should, assuming it’s well-designed, give you about 8 hours of web-working time and 6 hours of average battery life, the HP Folio has to be near the top of your list. Unless you’re concerned about weight and style that is…
It’s not going to be possible to get a full review of the ASUS UX31 together as unfortunately I’ll be returning it tomorrow to exchange it for a Toshiba Z830 and settling on that for my work at CES, Mobile World Congress and probably CeBIT in March. It has been a tough decision but it’s time to bite the bullet and get to work. Before I do thought, let me tell you what I have learnt about the UX31 in the last 4 days.
From the day that the Acer Aspire S3 was launched everyone knew that it would be coming in as a ‘value’ option in the Ultrabook field. We’ve tested it extensively over the last week and can say that it’s not only a ‘value’ option offering Core i5 performance where others in the price category are only offering capped Core i3, but it’s also an honest Ultrabook too. It doesn’t show-off, doesn’t have any outstanding features but it does everything well. From screen to keyboard to performance and battery life it works well as an all-round 1.3KG 13” Ultrabook. Read on for our full review of the Acer Aspire S3 320GB HDD, Core i5 Ultrabook. (Model MS2346 with Finnish keyboard layout being tested here.)
Keyboards. What a nightmare to review! Everyone has different fingers and a different typing style but is generally unable to test multiple keyboards before they make a purchase. When you’re investing $1000 in a laptop, you want to know you’re getting a good one!
I’ve just spent about 4 hours finishing up the full review of the Acer Aspire S3 (an honest and good-value Ultrabook, full review going up as the next post) and I took the unique chance to write different sections of the review with three different Ultrabooks.
The live videos are available below.
There’s an hour of videos here but they are split into, hopefuly, bite-sized secitions. As usual, the quality isn’t high becuase they are recorded from the live stream but there’s a ton of information in there.
Update: Session is over. Videos of the session are available here.
Link to Live Video and Chat: Ultrabooknews.com/live
Tonight: Acer S3 (Core i5), Asus UX31 (Core i7), Toshiba Z830 (Core i7)
Join for Chat, Video and some fun. Bring your favourite tipple because it’s the last live session of the year.
Start: 2100 CET (Berlin – Your Timezone listed here) Duration: 2.5hrs. Agenda below.
Brad Linder of Liliputing has an article up today about the lack of Dell Netbooks on the US site. After a follow-up by Joanna Stern of The Verge, Dell has now confirmed it is dropping netbooks and, apparently, any development of notebooks on the Cedar Trail platform. The focus in 2011, according to the Dell spokesperson, is ‘Thin and Light.’
I have two thoughts. Number 1 is that the Cedar Trail platform doesn’t exactly equate to netbooks and I think there’s space for 11.6” ultralights on that platform. They would offer reasonable CPU power and with an SSD and a redesign have every chance of riding on the coat-tails of Ultrabooks to offer a very cheap and stylish thin and light solution.
The second thought, of course, is when are the Dell Ultrabooks coming?
I read two European reviews of the ASUS UX31 yesterday and both of them said that the keyboard was fine. It confused me because I’ve read some bad feedback about the keyboard and my own testing of the UX21 resulted in disappointment in the keyboard department so I decided to venture out today to find a UX31 and test it myself. I found one at Saturn, a large electronics store here in Germany, who are offering the Core i7 / 128GB version for €1099. Sure enough, the keyboard wasn’t bad at all. The keys still have that slightly wobbly feeling that the UX21 had but here I am typing away now on the UX31 with far fewer problems than I did on the UX21. It’s not perfect (the space bar is catching me out at the moment) but I’m giving it a chance. In fact, I’ve bought it and have a few days in which to test it out. If I’m not happy, I can return it.
The Toshiba Satellite Z830 (Z830-10J, Core i5) is here and the waiting is finally over. This is one of the most popular of the Ultrabooks out there right now due to its feature set, weight and, in the USA, an interesting price on the Core i3 version. I’ve unboxed it on video for you below but wanted to also give you a heads-up on the Live Review that will be run tomorrow, Friday the 16th at 2100 CET (Berlin, Your local time is listed here.) You can drop into the live review, watch the video, chat with people in the chat room and also ask me questions on the Z830 and Ultrabooks in general.
Some Toshiba Z830 first impressions and an unboxing video below.
It looks like Intel got themselves a nice little mod done on the Acer S3 and having seen it, we think there’s going to be more of this going on next year. Personalisation was always an important aspect for car manufacturers, why not with Ultrabooks? The casing paint-job is based on a CPU design and there’s an interesting I keyktop too.
The modded Acer S3 appeared at a mini review by Design Milk and you can check out their thoughts on the Acer S3 here.
We’ll have a full review of the Acer S3 up tomorrow. It’s been better than expected and has turned out to be an honest Ultrabook with no showstoppers. Meanwhile, this article is being typed on a Toshiba Z830 and although its packed with specs, there’s an issue with fan noise that means we’re likely to switch to the S3 for the next article! Join us on Friday 16th at 2100 CET for a live review of the Toshiba Z830.
One of the first reviews of the HP Folio, the 13-1008TU (aka the HP DM3) with Core i5, is in and it’s looking good. Fast disk, good keyboard, long battery life and a good suite of ports.
At 1.5KG the HP Folio is a little on the portly side but it looks like that weight includes some good battery capacity. The review at PCWorld Australia gives it 4 out of 5 stars and although it’s not an in-depth review, it’s one of the first indicators that the HP Folio could have some success in the market.
Let the Gaming begin! Using the Ultrabook branding, Samsung have officially announced two interesting Ultrabooks that extend the category in a number of directions. The Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks will offer a larger screen option, terabyte storage and AMD HD7550M discreet graphics in some models.
Samsung Series 5 Ultrabooks launched in homeland, South Korea today.
The press release introduces two models…