New Ultrabooks and Ultrathins

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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Toshiba Kirabook Touch. High-End Style and Power

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I haven’t had the chance to take a close look at the Toshiba Kirabook before so when I saw it on the Microsoft booth at CeBIT this week I took the chance to have a closer look. Wow, it’s a smart looking bit of kit.

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0.00008% Chance of False Authentication – Fujitsu PalmSecure

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Over at UMPCPortal last week I took a long look at Windows 8 security features. One of the weak-points in my opinion is authentication. It’s single-channel, requires no proof of ‘personal presence’ and it leaves the user to choose the level of security. Poor passwords are a killer and as a result I’ve been looking at alternative and two-stage solutions. PalmSecure is a palm-vein detection technology and it’s pretty much the best technology out there for laptops right now.


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Fujitsu T904 Overview and Digitizer Test. (Video)

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Fujitsu was the biggest promoters of Ultrabooks at CeBIT this year and although there were no new products announced they proved that there’s still development and marketing going on. The Fujitsu Lifebook T904 is one of the most desirable business-focused Ultrabooks out there and with its Wacom digitizer, removable battery, docking port and fantastic screen it has features that many of us would love to have on lower cost devices. I took a closer look at the T904 and focus on the digitizer that many of you have asked me about. In short I can tell you that it’s very responsive and would make an impressive tool for digital artists.

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Leather-Look Samsung ATIV Book 9 Style at CeBIT 2014 [Udate: Video]

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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.

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Dell XPS 11. More on that Keyboard (Video)

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Ben gave us a hands-on with the Dell XPS11 last week so I wanted to follow up with my own video hands-on from MWC. I took the opportunity to get up-close with the keyboard and test it. POV keyboard video coming up…

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Broadwell Ultrabooks in Q4 2014. Expect these Features.

Dell-XPS-13-2014We’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.

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Dell XPS 11 w/ 2k Display Hands-on—A Beautiful Ultrabook Foiled By Its Keyboard?

dell xps 11 hands on ces 2014 touch keyboard videoAt first glance, the Dell XPS 11 has it all. It’s sleek, convertible, and has a 2k screen! It’s one of the thinnest and, dare I say, sexiest, Ultrabooks ever released. But will a novel keyboard design be its Achilles’ heel?

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High-Power Android Desktop, Gaming is iConsole Focus

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“We want Android to be your primary OS”

iConsole demonstrated a very high quality game on an Ultrabook at MWC this week and it wasn’t what you might expect. As a partner of Intel they’ve been working with recent releases of Android 4.x for i86 and have put together a thought- provoking demo of high-power Android. You can see it in the video below.

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CES 2014 Recap: Hands-on with Asus Duet, Dell Venue 11, Sony Flip 11, and Panasonic AX3 Ultrabook

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Yes it’s a bit late, but we did get our hands on some exciting devices at last month’s CES 2014 in Las Vegas and have some video for you to see.

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Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook Battery Replacement

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Take a look at the back of most Ultrabooks and you’ll find nothing. By having sealed-in batteries the OEMS save money, weight and space. The owner, however, is left with the big unknown of battery lifetime and if you’ve ever owned a laptop you’ll know how totally useless they are when you have to drag the mains cable around with you everywhere. I recently had to order a new internal battery for a Samsung Series 5 NP530 that is under two years old and has zero battery capacity. On the other hand I’m typing this on a two-year old Ultrabook that still has 85% battery capacity. So how long will the average battery last?

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Sony Vaio Business Sold, Will Shrink Back into Japan under JIP

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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.

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Ultrabooks Near The Scott Expedition Finish Line

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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.

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Ultra-portables at 12%. What next?

image01.jpgABI reported last week that ultra-portable PCs accounted for 12% of all notebook shipments in 2013, way short of anything Intel wanted to achieve with the Ultrabook segment. It raises questions as we see marketing efforts for Ultrabooks fall. Is this leading-edge notebook segment ever going to be a big seller? If it has good profit margins does it need to be or are we underestimating the impact that the Ultrabook ‘project’ has had on the wider notebook market?

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WiGig Ramps up at Dell and Wilocity

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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.

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