Technologizer posts about Notebooks

Chrome OS Notebooks: By Subscription?

By  |  Posted at 8:08 am on Thursday, April 21, 2011

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Cr-48 notebookNeowin reports an intriguing rumor: When the first batch of Google’s Chrome OS notebooks launch in June or July, customers will be able to lease them for $10 to $20 per month.

The Chrome OS subscription, as Neowin calls it, would entitle the user to free hardware upgrades, as well as replacement units if anything goes wrong. Full-priced laptops would also be available, and the Chrome OS notebooks would reportedly be distributed “in a fashion similar to the way Android is distributed,” which I assume means through wireless carriers and retail stores.

Neowin’s report is based on a single, unnamed source, and it’s wacky enough to consider with an ounce of skepticism. But it’s also rather plausible.

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New Toshibas: A More Powerful Portégé, Sleeker Full-Sized Laptops, and a Monitor to Go

By  |  Posted at 5:00 am on Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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Toshiba's Portégé R830

When people ask me for recommendations about highly portable Windows notebooks, I’m quick to mention Toshiba’s Portégé R700–a reasonably-priced three-pounder that has a 13.3″ screen and even manages to pack a DVD burner into its trim, good-looking case. Today, Toshiba is announcing the R700′s successor–as well as two larger notebooks and a unique portable display. The company recently gave me a preview of its new wares.

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MocoNews’s Tom Krazit says that recent developments at Acer and Google indicate that netbooks are down and out.

Posted by Harry at 8:56 am

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The Cost of Chrome OS: How About $250 or Less?

By  |  Posted at 10:16 am on Thursday, March 17, 2011

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When I wrote about Google’s experimental CR-48 Chrome OS notebook last December, I guessed that it might cost about $449 if it were a commercial product. That seemed high for a device that was entirely dedicated to accessing the Web (and nearly useless when you couldn’t get online). And a bunch of people told me my guestimate was too high.

Months later, nobody has announced any detail on the Chrome OS machines which will supposedly be shipping in just a few months. But there are rumors–courtesy of rumor kingpin Digitimes–that Asus has plans to release a netbook for $200-$250 in June. One that might conceivably run Chrome OS. (I say “might conceivably” because Digitimes’ sources say that Asus “should” use either Chrome OS or Android on the machine–which is a whole lot vaguer than saying that Asus will use either one of those operating systems.)

Could Asus sell a decent Chrome OS laptop with an 12.1″ screen and built-in wireless broadband for $250 or less? That sounds aggressive to me. But if they can manage it, the deal sounds a whole lot more appealing than the $449 Chromebook I envisioned. And if they can sell a clamshell device at that pricetag, couldn’t they whack off the keyboard, add an on-screen one, and have a plausible low-end tablet?

 

 

 



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Lenovo Launches Intel vPro ThinkPad Tablet PC and Ultraportable Models

By  |  Posted at 11:24 pm on Monday, March 7, 2011

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Lenovo has rolled out new ThinkPad Tablet PC and ultraportable laptop PC models based on Intel’s new second generation vPro Core processor, hot on the heels of Intel’s announcement on Monday of the speedier and more secure new chipset.

The new 12.5-inch X220T convertible tablet and X220 laptop will be available with second generation Intel Core and vPro Core chips. All i7 models will also offer USB 3.0 for faster data transfer, but the i5 and i3 models will be limited to USB 2.0, said Ross Compton, a Lenovo product manager, in an interview.

Aside from new processors, the new ThinkPads will also feature a revamped design revolving around changes to the display, touchpad, and latch.

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HP’s New Notebooks: Businesslike. But I Like Them Too

By  |  Posted at 11:06 pm on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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HP's new EliteBook p-Series

If you’re as old and wizened as I am, you remember the Irish Spring TV commercials based around the idea that it was a manly soap that was equally beloved by women:

Strangely enough, I thought about those ads when I learned about HP’s latest round of updates to its business notebooks, the EliteBook and ProBook series. HP says it designs these machines to serve the needs of businessfolk, not consumers: They’ve got relatively conservative designs rather than the splashy ones on HP’s consumer lines, aiming for timeless good looks rather than trendiness. The EliteBooks use materials such as aluminum and titanium alloys for strength, and have Duracase enclosures that meet military-grade specifications for sturdiness. The ProBooks have spill-resistant keyboards. There are USB 3.0 ports. You can get these systems in a variety of sizes with a range of Intel second-generation Core processors. One version, the EliteBook 8460p, offers an optional extended battery that claims up to 32 hours on a charge. Prices, which start at $579 for the most basic ProBook s-series, seem reasonable.

The EliteBooks are aimed at corporate types; the ProBooks skew more to medium-sized and small businesses. But they strike me as Irish Spring computers: They may be businesslike, but their feature sets and emphasis on substance over style makes them laptops with plenty of appeal for a certain discerning type of consumer (read: anyone with tastes similar to mine). They ship on March 15th; PCMag.com has more details and photos.

 



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Dell XPS Laptops Add Premium Audio, 3D Video, Sandy Bridge Processors

By  |  Posted at 12:23 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

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Dell's new XPS 15

Release dates for Dell’s refreshed XPS laptops have turned into a moving target, and all the specs haven’t been quite clear. Yet Dell on Tuesday suddenly announced immediate US availability for both the 15- and 17-inch models, along with a finalized feature set that now officially includes 3D video.

In a Dell press briefing session I attended during CES in January, Alison Gardner, a Dell product manager, sketched out new features for “AV enthusiasts”–such as JBL speakers and MAXXAudio 3–and for “immersive multimedia.”

Dell asked reporters to hold off on publishing stories about the new notebooks pending a formal announcement then slated for February 20. Yet Dell’s Lionel Menchaca detailed some preliminary specs–for the XPS 17 only–in a blog posted on Dell’s Web site, also during the week of CES.

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Last Gadget Standing: The Video

By  |  Posted at 10:34 pm on Friday, February 11, 2011

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If you weren’t at our Last Gadget Standing event at CES last month, here’s a chance to see the demo that won it all in the applause-o-meter audience voting: the company was Acer and its gadget was the Iconia two-screen laptop. The theme? Watch for yourself!

(The Acer folks shot this video record of their win.) Also seen in the clip: LGS creator Robin Raskin, celebrity cohosts Jon Hein and Gary Dell’Abate, Laptop Magazine’s Avram Piltch, and…me.



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Here’s a nice piece from Engadget’s Joanna Stern on a class of portable PC–roomier and more powerful than a netbook, but compact and minimalist compared to traditional notebooks–which she calls notbooks. I like ‘em myself–and despite the “not” in her nickname, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them become the dominant form of laptop over the next couple of years.

Posted by Harry at 10:14 am

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Netbooks: Not Dead Yet!

By  |  Posted at 3:46 pm on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

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Yesterday, a spate of stores reported that an Acer sales executive had predicted the slow death of netbooks as tablets take off. Some took the news as an opportunity to tap-dance on the netbook’s grave. But now Acer is saying that it was all a big misunderstanding.

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CES 2011: Toshiba’s Glasses-Free 3D

By  |  Posted at 10:56 pm on Tuesday, January 4, 2011

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When it comes to 3D, I’m pretty much a worst-case scenario. I bristle at the fact that I’m expected to wear ill-fitting glasses over my regular glasses. I’ve sampled multiple 3D technologies and found all of them wanting. It all seems like a lot of expense and effort for very little benefit.

But I am sort of intrigued by 3D that doesn’t require glasses. And at a pre-CES party tonight here in Las Vegas, Toshiba was showing a l56-inch flat-screen TV and a laptop which do 3D, no funny goggles required. The two devices use lenticular displays, just like the little picture of Pinocchio I owned when I was three. (Lenticular video screens are also nothing new, though all the ones I’ve seen until now have been blurry and unappealing.)

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CES 2011: Lenovo Intros Consumer Laptops and Desktops by the Dozen

By  |  Posted at 11:42 pm on Monday, January 3, 2011

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Desktop PCs are standing flat where they are, as some pundits see it, but Lenovo plans to give them a leg up on lots of levels in 2011.  Beyond literally dozens of new multimedia-intensive IdeaPad notebooks for consumers and ThinkPads for businesses, Lenovo’s product rollouts at CES 2011 will also include new IdeaCentre PCs that could help to reimagine the all-in-one category by adding fresh features for TV watching, gaming, and 3D entertainment.

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CES 2011: New ThinkPads for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

By  |  Posted at 9:49 pm on Sunday, January 2, 2011

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At CES in Las Vegas this week, Lenovo will try to up the ante on rivals like Acer, Dell and HP with a veritable full house of new PCs, including new ThinkPad Edge models for small- and medium-sized business users incorporating new rapid boot-up technology, videoconferencing, and “crossover” home entertainment.

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Dell’s super-thin Adamo may be the closest thing to a MacBook Air-like machine in the Windows world. And now it starts at $899, $100 less than the cheapest Air.

Posted by Harry at 5:10 am

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Acer’s Dual-Screen Notebook vs. Asus’s Potent Thin-and-Light: Which Do You Like?

By  |  Posted at 1:58 pm on Monday, December 20, 2010

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Now that we’ve identified our semi-finalists for the Last Gadget Standing event at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show, we’d like your input on some of the contenders. There aren’t any direct competitors among them–many of the products, in fact, are pretty darn unique.

We do, however, have two Windows portables. There’s Acer’s Iconia, which ditches a physical keyboard in favor of a second screen that can display information or serve as a ten-finger multitouch keyboard. And there’s Asus’s U36Jc, which looks far more conventional than the Iconia but packs components–an Intel i5 CPU and discrete Nvidia graphics–which you might not expect to find in a thin-and-light laptop with a 13″ display.

Two interesting-but-very-different machines. Your take, please:



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Deceptively Thin, Surprisingly Fast

By  |  Posted at 10:34 am on Sunday, December 19, 2010

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Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Asus U36Jc-A1

Price: $999

Top 25The computing world is awash in powerful laptops. There are also more and more thin-and-light notebooks with 13″ screens. But 13″ thin-and-lights that are truly powerful? They’re still a rare breed. That’s what makes the Asus U36Jc-A1 intriguing: It looks like a typical 13-incher that emphasizes portability over potency, but it packs a standard-voltage Intel Core i5 CPU and Nvidia G310M discrete graphics. It also has Nvidia’s Optimus technology, which lets the system switch between the G310M and integrated graphics on the fly for better battery life–Asus says it can run up to nine hours on a charge.

The U36Jc-A1 has an aluminum-magnesium alloy shell, is .76″ thick, and weighs 3.4 pounds. Asus says it’ll go on sale on January 17th.



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