Archive for category News
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.
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.
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 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.
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…
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.
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!
Impressive. TheChi 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.
The TP300, TP450, TP500 and TP550Flips 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.
We hit the German trains in about an hour and head in the direction of Hannover and CeBIT 2014 where we’re expecting to have more business-focused PC experience compared to last weeks consumer-focused MWC. First out of the gate is this Samsung ATIV Book 9 Style that Mobilegeeks has the scoop on.
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 comes with a full-HD screen, 128GB SSD and is available in black or white. Unfortunately there’s only a 4GB version available and no pricing has been given. Full specs. below.
We’re in a good place with Ultrabooks right now. Haswell gave us the battery life we were waiting for and prices have come down. Effectively the Ultrabook project is over but the brand, and the soul of the Ultrabook continues. A Dell XPS13 has been leaked for Q3 and it’s highly likely we’ll see a launch at Computex in June but don’t expect any large-scale products or refreshes until Q4. While some may say that’s a slip, it was much the same with the last generation.
With Broadwell we can expect another tick (or was it a tock?) in the Intel strategy of improving processor architecture and then improving the manufacturing process. This time round we’re moving to a 14nm process which, like the move from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, gave us power efficiencies. We also got a refreshed GPU in that round too so maybe we’ll see some ‘Iris’ action on Ultrabooks later this year.
It’s sad news today as we hear of Sony’s intention to sell their PC business. The VAIO brand will go to Japan Industrial Partners, be re-evaluated and reduced to Japanese marketing operations only. The chances of us ever buying a VAIO laptop or Ultrabook outside Japan now look very slim indeed.
Remember back to IFA last September and my interview with Ben Saunders of the Scott Expedition? They’ve been walking for 102 days now and in 2 days they will have completed the 1800 miles that Sir Robert Falcon Scott failed to complete in 1912. This is an amazing accomplishment, not only for the two expedition members on the journey but for two Sony Vaio Pro Ultrabooks, solar panels, Li-Ion battery packs and a satellite internet link that has provided, for the first time, amazing photos, blogs and videos during such an expedition.
Join me in counting-down the hours, the last 85 kilometers to the finish line and an amazing job well done.
Live tracking is available via Google Earth and the KML link on http://scottexpedition.com/tracking
We’ll be setting up an interview with Ben as soon as we can in order to get the detail on the solar-powered Ultrabooks.
WiGig is a technology that has the potential to change the way you use computers and having tracked it since 2012 I’m hoping it’s close to maturity. With Wilocity announcing that they’ve shipped 1 million WiGig chips it’s a good sign that we’re nearing the point where the technology will start appearing on customers wish-lists.