Posts Tagged ‘Laptop’
Google just launched the latest iteration of its Chrome OS-based laptop here in San Francisco — the $249 (or £229, for those in the UK) 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook. It’s ARM-based (fanless), 0.8-inches thick, weighs only 2.43 pounds, runs 6.5+ hours on battery, boots in under 10 seconds and supports 1080p video playback. Pre-orders start today at Amazon and PC World, and the laptop includes Google Now integration using Google Drive as a transport and comes with 100GB of free storage for two years. It will be available for sale on the Play Store and featured prominently at retailers like Best Buy, and naturally, we’re expecting this one to make a bigger splash than prior models based on the bargain bin price alone.
Under the hood, there’s a dual-core A15-based Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (5250) SoC, 2GB RAM, 16GB of built-in flash storage, WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth, all of which should act to give this Chromebook a lot more oomph compared to slower, earlier models. Other specs include a 1366 x 768 native screen resolution, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 socket, combo headphone / mic jack, an SD card slot and a “full-size Chrome keyboard.” Hit up the links below for the nitty-gritty, or hop on past the break for a promo vid.
We can’t say that there’s a huge cross-section of buyers who want a gaming laptop but refuse to touch Intel components. Whatever the size, MSI likely has that group sewn up with the official unveiling of the GX60 following a stealth appearance at Computex. The 15.6-inch portable is built as showcase for AMD’s latest mobile technology: it revolves around a 2.3GHz, quad-core A10-4600M processor using the Piledriver architecture as well as a Radeon HD 7970M to feed its 1080p screen at full speed. Thankfully, the PC is more than just a marketing vehicle and carries some of the gamer-tuned parts that we’ve seen in other MSI rigs, such as dual SSDs in a RAID stripe, a low-lag Killer networking chipset and a heavy-duty SteelSeries keyboard. Buying a GX60 may prove to be the real obstacle — in keeping with most MSI introductions, there’s no mention of a price or ship date, and none of the usual suspects have it in stock as of this writing.
SOURCE via MSI
Those 7mm-thick hard drives you’ve seen in some Ultrabooks are already looking a tad on the chunky side. Western Digital has started producing sample versions of a hybrid hard drive (you’re not yet looking at it here) that measures just 5mm (0.2in) tall, even as it crams in both flash and a 500GB main disk. If you think the slimmer drive is just the ticket for a best-of-all-worlds laptop that’s both fast and capacious, you’re not alone: Acer and ASUS have mentioned their collaboration in the same breath, which may be a strong clue as to where future Aspires and Zenbooks are going. The remaining question is when they arrive.
While most of its energy is focused on the XO-4 Touch, the One Laptop Per Child project is swinging into full gear for software, too. The project team has just posted an OS 12.1.0 update that sweetens the Sugar for at least present-day XO units. As of this latest revamp, text-to-speech is woven into the interface and vocalizes any selectable text — a big help for students that are more comfortable speaking their language than reading it. USB video output has been given its own lift through support for more ubiquitous DisplayLink adapters. If you’re looking for the majority of changes, however, they’re under-the-hood tweaks to bring the OLPC architecture up to snuff. Upgrades to GTK3+ and GNOME 3.4 help, but we’re primarily noticing a shift from Mozilla’s web engine to WebKit for browsing: although the OLPC crew may have been forced to swap code because of Mozilla’s policies on third-party apps, it’s promising a much faster and more Sugar-tinged web experience as part of the switch. While they’re not the same as getting an XO-3 tablet, the upgrades found at the source link are big enough that classrooms (and the occasional individual) will be glad they held on to that early XO model.
SOURCE via Laptop.org
The 17-inch behemoths that call themselves gaming notebooks are traditionally quite large, trading extreme performance for substantial bulk. These machines routinely flirt with double digit weigh-ins, and flaunt meaty 1.5-plus inch bezels. They represent a unwieldy reality in portable power that most gamers have learned to expect. Not Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan, however — he’s still chasing the dream: thin, powerful and sleek. Tan caught up with us this week to brief us on the next generation Razer Blade, a rig that still boldly claims to be the “world’s first true gaming laptop.”
Razer’s first laptop hit shelves earlier this year, packing a 2.8GHz Core i7-2650M CPU and a GeForce GT 555M GPU into a svelte 0.8-inch aluminum shell. Tan explained that the rig’s attractive hull hadn’t changed much, but its internals sure have. “The Blade was our first laptop, and we’ve taken feedback really seriously since then,” the CEO told us. “We’ve been listing to gamers and made a chart of all the pros to keep, and all the cons to address. Every single one of them.” That chart eventually mapped out the refreshed rig’s internals, which include an unannounced Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M graphics, 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive and 64GB of fast-booting solid state storage. All this comes in the same aluminum shell as the first Blade, of course, sporting a 17.3-inch high definition display and the firm’s exclusive multitouch LCD Switchblade interface. Tan says the new build addresses some of our own complaints too, noting that the sticky hinge that plagued our review unit has been tweaked to bend to a lighter touch. The machine’s internal speakers have been upgraded as well, and are said to be 250% louder with no distortion.
The new Blade’s sharpened specs will come with a price cut, ringing in at a penny under $2,500 — and gamers who picked up its predecessor (which will be getting its own price cut, to $2,299), we were told, can snag one for $500 less. Pre-orders are slated to start on September 2nd, and should ship within 30 days. The new laptop is being unveiled for the first time at PAX Prime this weekend.
There’s a special moment in every operating system’s life when it loses its innocent .0 status and grows up. It’s OS X Mountain Lion’s turn to mature, as Apple has just pushed out the 10.8.1 update for early adopters. Most of the fixes are for issues that plague specific use cases, such as audio output from a Thunderbolt Display or crashes in Migration Assistant. There are a few remedies that a wider audience might appreciate — a fix for iMessages that don’t send and an improvement to Exchange compatibility in Mail, for example. We don’t yet know of any surprises lurking underneath, but it can’t hurt to have a smoother-running Mac while we investigate.
SOURCE via Apple
Motorola filed its most recent ITC complaint against Apple so late into last week that the court system couldn’t immediately provide more details; we’re only just seeing documents now that the weekend is over. As it stands, the case involves seven patents that mostly touch on staple technologies of the modern mobile world, such as syncing messages between devices and bookmarking media playback on one device to resume on another. Does that last technique sound familiar? You might recall it being a cornerstone of the movie and podcast support that Apple has implemented since 2005. Despite reaching that far back into history, Motorola is just as eager to modernize the targeted hardware list to keep its complaints relevant — the current iPad, the iPhone 4S and other devices are at risk of a trade ban, posing more of a threat to Apple’s bottom line than the dust-covered (and near-finished) initial legal challenge from October 2010. Before coming to any conclusions, though, remember that the newer complaint isn’t likely to have any speedy resolution of its own. Past ITC cases have usually taken a year and a half to complete, which could leave most or all of today’s technology as another distant memory.
SOURCE via Groklaw.net
Aw, wouldn’t you look at the cute little… wait. Right, there’s a Chrome OS update. At its heart, the upgrade to Google’s cloud-based platform introduces a streamlined app list that both occupies less space and carries an internet-wide search box. It’s also possible to save files directly to Google Drive, and audio can now play through either HDMI or USB. Don’t lie to yourself, however: the real reason you’ll rush to update your Chromebook today is newly added support for custom wallpapers, which guarantees all-day, everyday viewing of your most favorite dog in the whole wide world. Or at least, a nice change of pace from Google’s run-of-the-mill backdrops. Isn’t it so sweet?
SOURCE via Chrome
We often assume that Ultrabooks scarcely have any room to budge on the inside, and that’s usually true. An iFixit teardown of ASUS’ Zenbook Prime has proven that there’s always an exception to the rule. Looking at a UX32VD with the same base layout as the UX31 we reviewed, the repair outlet finds that the upgraded Zenbook has both embedded and removable RAM: provided owners are still willing to perform some surgery, they can upgrade past the 4GB of included memory on their own terms. The repair team is a bit dismayed that there’s a 5,400RPM hard drive spinning near the mini SSD — how very 2011 — but notes that it’s equally swappable by those who want something faster. Whatever you think of the fully pieced-together ASUS PC, it’s apparent there’s a reward for those willing to take it apart.
SOURCE via iFixit
While we’ve been fans of the MacBook Pro with Retina display, iFixit hasn’t been so keen — a company based around DIY repairs isn’t fond of a system where most components are glued or soldered into place. That hasn’t stopped the team from developing a repair manual for those who want to give maintenance a try. A total of 16 guides show us how to disassemble or remove those parts that stand a realistic chance of leaving the system unscathed. While that does include some key components, iFixit continues to fly some caution flags: getting to one part often requires taking apart others, and removing the battery carries the very real possibility of permanent damage. If you’d still prefer to upgrade the SSD yourself (when an option) than pay Apple more for a custom order, there’s now a helping hand for your thriftiness.
SOURCE via iFixit