New Ultrabook brings Haswell, extended battery life, cosmetic redesign
Acer has established itself as a player in the ultrabook market. Acer's S7 line has been refreshed, and has added energy-sipping Haswell processors alongside some other improvements. We reviewed the 2012 version of this laptop earlier this year, and found it to be finely finished, but with some caveats, which prevented us from recommending it without reservation. While we're still running tests and using the machine day-to-day prior to our final review, this first look at the new S7 -- which can now actually call itself an ultrabook without running afoul of Intel's definitions -- will give you our initial impressions of the machine.
New lines have multitouch displays, Intel and AMD processor options
Toshiba has unveiled some new additions to its catalog of notebooks. The 14-inch Satellite E45t Ultrabook and 15.6-inch Satellite E55t and E55Dt models from the Satellite E series are mid-ranged systems that introduce 10-point multitouch support, with the Intel-based versions offer Dragon Assistant voice control and Intel Wireless Display, and the AMD models using a quad-core A6 APU with Radeon graphics.
Ultrabook, All-In-One offer full HD 1080p displays, 4th generation Intel Core i7
Lenovo has revealed a new notebook and all-in-one computers running on Haswell processors. The ThinkPad T440s Ultrabook offers a full HD 1080p IPS display and a 21mm-thick (0.8-inches) body, while the ThinkCentre M93z AIO uses a 23-inch full HD 1080p LED display with anti-glare and an option for 10-point multitouch.
Haswell, OS X Mavericks efficiencies expected to further boost share
Market analyst NPD says that a single model of thin-and-light ultrabook -- Apple's MacBook Air -- owns over half of the market for such devices, leaving all the other manufacturers of endlessly MacBook-esque portables with 44 percent share, at least in the US. NPD analyst Stephen Baker says that the MacBook Air by itself is responsible for 56 percent of all US ultrabook sales, and that is based on figures prior to the recent release of the much-improved 2013 model, which the company thinks will only increase Apple's share.
Acer reveals Aspire S7 redesign, intros S3, both with Haswell onboard
Acer has debuted its first ultrabooks powered by Intel’s fourth-generation Core series processors. The Taiwanese notebook maker has also taken the opportunity to redesign the Aspire S7 based on user feedback, while also using its new styling cues in the new Aspire S3. Both notebooks also share Acer’s dual-torque hinge that allows users to open the lid to 180-degrees for sharing content, but eliminating wobble at the same time.
Ultrabook to reach Best Buy on June 23rd, starts from $800
Lenovo has started shipping the IdeaPad Yoga 11S in the United States. The convertible ultrabook is a smaller version of the IdeaPad Yoga 13, opting for an 11.6-inch, 1366x768 touchscreen display instead of the 13-inch version of its larger stablemate, and provides full Windows 8 instead of the Windows RT installed on the Yoga 11.
Appears to be 13-inch version of Sony Vaio Duo 11 Ultrabook
A video clip on YouTube claimed to be leaked from training videos for the Dixons Store Group in the UK appears to show an unannounced larger version of the Sony Vaio Duo 11. Using the same "Surf Slider" hinge found on the 11-inch version, the mystery Ultrabook is shown in the clip to have a 13-inch Full HD Triluminos touchscreen that lines up with the top of the keyboard when propped up.
Double screened ultrabook allows for sharing, tablet use
Asus is shipping a larger version of its dual-screen ultrabook. Following on from the 11.6-inch Taichi 21, the Taichi 31 has two 13.3-inch Full HD touchscreens with optional stylus input, with one on either side of the lid, allowing its to be used as a tablet when closed or as a standard notebook with an extra external display for presentations or for multiple users.
Acer brings quality worksmanship, design to its line of Ultrabooks
Ultrabooks abound. Just about every major manufacturer makes them, and too many look like the MacBook Air. The 2011 Intel spec for ultrabooks is very detailed, and gives guidelines for performance, enhancements, and even battery life. As defined by Intel, ultrabooks are designed for reduced bulk without a corresponding hit on performance and battery life. Nearly all of them are "inspired" by Apple's ultralight notebook, and feature solid-state drives and specific engineering to keep the laptop strong and durable. Does the new 11.6-inch Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook live up to the lofty goals set forth by Intel? Check out Electronista's review to find out.
Lenovo reveals ThinkPad T431 for business users with 26 enhancements
Lenovo has added the ThinkPad T431 to its lineup touting 26 major revisions over the model that it replaces. In developing the T431, Lenovo researchers observed ThinkPad and other users over a nine-month period in order to shape the design of the new model. The aim, according to Lenovo, was to create a notebook that would have maxium appeal for business users in a ‘bring your own notebook’ office place.
Sony VAIO Ultrabook, now $670
Today's deal of the day from TigerDirect.com is on the 13.3-inch Sony VAIO Ultrabook which carries a list price of $920, but has been cut by $250 to $670 with free US shipping. That is $100 less than the lowest price we have seen offered anywhere else. The Sony VAIO Ultrabook features a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 500GB combo drive with 24GB SSD. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Sony.
New ultrabook line boasts full-HD display, i5 processor
It turns out that we're not quite in the "post-PC" world just yet. While the cheap, poorly-performing netbook trend has died -- some would say thankfully -- the burgeoning market in the industry besides tablets is ultrabooks. As defined by Intel, ultrabooks are designed for reduced bulk without a corresponding hit on performance and battery life. Nearly all of them are "inspired" by the MacBook Air, and feature solid-state drives and specific engineering to keep the laptop strong and durable. Does the new 11.6-inch Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook live up to the lofty goals set forth by Intel?
LG takes on MacBook Pro Retina with U560 15.6-inch ultrabook
LG has introduced the U560 15.6-inch Windows 8 ultrabook. The device centers on 1080p IPS display for wide viewing angles and better color accuracy. It appears to be positioned as a Windows alternative to the 15.4-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display, coming in slightly lighter than the 4.46 pounds MacBook.
VAIO T lineup to evolve this spring
Earlier this week Sony announced the evolution of its VAIO T lineup with the addition of an updated 14-inch model and a brand new 15-inch model. Sony was stringent in providing any actually specs or pricing for the new models and have only given "spring 2013" as a vague release date. However, both the T14 and T15 were present on the show floor so Electronista stopped by the booth to take a look.
Mobile, low-power processors focus of Intel event
Intel has demonstrated its fourth generation of Core processors at the company's CES press event. The demonstration also gave the chip maker a chance to demonstrate a new quad-core 22nm Atom System-on-Chip processor it calls "Bay Trail," as well as low-powered versions of existing architectures and processors aimed towards developing nations.
Samsung adds new Series 7 Ultra, revises Series 7 Chronos
Samsung has revealed its new Series 7 Ultra ahead of its official unveiling at CES 2013. The latest Ultrabook from Samsung utilizes aluminum throughout its construction and is being positioned by the Korean company as an ultraportable with multimedia prowess. Underscoring this, the Series 7 Ultra centers on a 13-inch 1080p PLS 10-point multi-touch display with a 1920x1080 resolution and 350nits of brightness.
Lenovo Windows 8 tablet comes with AT&T connectivity
A new Windows 8 tablet from Lenovo might be making its way to North American shores, as the ThinkPad Helix convertible tablet has shown up in documents from the FCC. The ThinkPad Helix is an 11.6-inch tablet that plugs into a keyboard dock to enable easy switching between tablet use and Ultrabook function. The version spotted most recently will be compatible with AT&T's LTE bands, meaning the device may appear in a subsidized or carrier-exclusive model when it debuts.
Range includes pair of Windows 8 hybrid tablet-notebooks
LG has revealed its lineup of PCs it will put on display at CES next month, all of which have Windows 8 pre-installed and take advantage of LG's IPS display technology. The collection includes a pair of hybrid notebook-tablets, an ultrabook with an eight-second booting time, and an all-in-one desktop computer with a touchscreen display.
Notebook has bigger screen, maintains half-inch thickness
NEC is preparing to release a notebook that updates its thin line of ultrabooks in Japan with a new size of display, among other upgrades. The LaVie X has a 15.6-inch full HD IPS display, bigger than the LaVie Z's 13.3-inch display shown back in May, while keeping a slender profile that measures 12.8mm (half an inch) thick at its thinnest point.
Delays push shipments to December, possibly 2013
Asus is putting off US shipments of its dual-screen ultrabook-slate hybrid until December. The Taichi ultrabook, with its main selling point of a screen on both sides of the notebook's lid, was debuted at Computex in June and expected to be shipped in November, but delays have pushed the release date further back in the calendar, and possibly into 2013.
Lenovo, Samsung take next two spots
ABI Research released its newest Ultrabook Competitive Assessment today, with Apple snagging the top spot in ABI's assessment, well ahead of Lenovo and Samsung, which placed second and third respectively. The Assessment gauges innovation and implementation in the ultraportable segment, and Apple scored an 84.7 out of a possible 100 by ABI's measure. Lenovo and Samsung had respective scores of 77.5 and 74.4.
Touch screens, eye tracking included in new offerings
Fujitsu has listed a number of devices for the Windows 8 launch. A water-resistant tablet, a tablet that transforms into a notebook, two standard notebooks and a touch-screen PC join the already-announced Floral Kiss Ultrabook line for the October 26th Microsoft operating system launch in Japan.
Notebook planned by female Fujitsu employees
Fujitsu is launching a range of female-oriented Ultrabooks in Japan. Called Floral Kiss, the range hopes to "bring elegance to PCs", and was planned and developed primarily by female Fujitsu employees. The Windows 8 notebooks will be made available in three colors: Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown.
New ultrabooks feature sensors in backlit keyboard
Today, Acer unveiled what it dubs "the world's thinnest touch ultrabooks," the Aspire S7 series. The two new ultrabooks feature high-definition touchscreens, and the 13.3-inch model features a design allowing its screen to be laid back flat for sharing and collaboration. Depending on the model, the new series weighs as little as 2.29 pounds and can be as thin as 0.47 inches. Both models of the Aspire S7 series will ship running Windows 8.
Manufacturers said to have difficulty attracting interest
IHS iSuppli has revised down its prediction for ultrabook shipments for this year, and the analyst firm now believes PC manufacturers will ship 53 percent fewer units than it had previously estimated. ZDnet cites a new report from IHS that saw the firm's previous estimate reduced from 22 million ultrabooks shipped for 2012 to just 10.3 million. The revised estimate is said to be due in part to the continuing popularity of smartphones and tablets.
Thin ultrabook sports optical drive, Ivy Bridge
Acer has announced the newest Ultrabook off of its production lines, the Timeline Ultra M5 series. The 0.81-inch aluminum alloy laptop comes with an optical drive, a choice of Intel Core-series processors, in a 14- or 15.6-inch display form factor.
S3 also refreshed with faster processor, new case finish
Computer and electronics manufacturer Acer has announced the availability of the Aspire S5 ultrabook in the US. It measures 0.44 inches at its thinnest point, 0.59 inches at its thickest, and weighs 2.65 lbs. The new line has been bolstered with the Ivy Bridge line of Intel processors. In addition, the Aspire S3 has been refreshed with a faster processor and a champagne case finish as well.
Toshiba intros first notebook with 21:9 display
Toshiba has taken the covers off its latest ultrabook, the U840W. The notebook distinguishes itself with a super widescreen 14.4-inch display that uses a unique 21:9 (7:3) ratio with a 1792x768 resolution. Toshiba says that the ratio matches the anamorphic image format used in many widescreen films meaning that it can display these without any black bars above or below the images.
US and UK will see IdeaPad U310 and U410 later in June
Lenovo has announced that its IdeaPad U310 and U410 ultrabooks are now shipping in most markets. The previously announced notebooks are available in a range of configurations, including a choice of Core i7 Ivy Bridge processors that take advantage of Lenovo's RapidBoot technology and Ultra Smart social network updates in sleep mode.
Sony's first ultrabook due in June from $770
The Sony Vaio T13, is set to arrive in North America this month starting from $770. Although Sony claims that its Vaio Z series has ‘long exceeded ultrabook specifications,’ the T13 is the first Sony notebook to officially carry the ultrabook tag. Despite suggestions that they T13 would arrive with older 2nd-generation Core series processors, Sony has confirmed that they will instead be packing Intel’s latest 3rd-generation Core series ‘Ivy Bridge’ chips.
Intel partners with DeviceScape for built-in free Wi-Fi
Intel has completed a deal with DeviceScape to use its connection management technology, a partnership that will see future Intel Ultrabooks and tablets with access to a global Wi-Fi network. According to GigaOm, Intel's partners will have the option to ship their Intel-based computers with a public wireless connection already active.
Spectre XT, Envy Sleekbooks and Ultrabooks, Elitebook Folio added
At a HP press event in Shanghai, four new models of laptops were demonstrated today. With "performance, responsiveness and a secure computing experience in a thin, elegant form factor" according to HP Vice President and General Manager Kirk Skaugen, the new additions to the product line are the HP Envy Spectre XT, Envy Sleekbooks, HP Envy Ultrabooks, and the EliteBook Folio 9470m.
Sony releases T-series ultrabook range
Sony has officially released the ultrabook concepts that it first revealed at CES 2012 in January as a prototypes. Now known as the Sony Vaio T11 and T13, the 11-inch and 13-inch (1366x768) ultrabooks will initially arrive powered by Intel’s 2nd-gen Core processors as Intel’s ultra-low voltage 3rd-gen Ivy Bridge processors are not scheduled to arrive until later in the spring. Both models arrive with in a slim magnesium and aluminum chassis with the option of a hybrid 320GB hard drive/32GB SSD combination or full SSD.
Acer sees slight bounce back in Q1 2012
Acer in discussing its latest results at an investor's conference was hopeful that this was a sign of a widescale resurgence in PCs for the industry. Its climb from 10.1 percent share in the fall to 10.9 percent this winter was a sign the company's "competitiveness is coming back," according to chairman JT Wang, and that Acer would climb back to third place while Dell sank. Demand for the spring would be typical in light of world economic troubles, but it would grow in earnest in 2012 and expand to more than 10 percent in 2013.
HP Envy 4, Envy 6 internal documents leaked
Leaked HP internal documents show that HP is prepping the release of two new ultrabooks that are set to join its HP Envy 14 Spectre, although likely at the lower end of the price range. The HP Envy 6 (15.6-inch) ultrabook has had its key specifications spilled in the leak, while the details of smaller Envy 4 (14-inch) ultrabook can only currently be speculated at.
Apple CEO slams Windows 8 ultrabook idea
Apple CEO Tim Cook during his company's fiscal Q2 results call slammed the idea of merging touchscreens and ultrabooks. When asked by Sanford Bernstein's Toni Sacconaghi why Apple wouldn't merge the iPad and MacBook Air like Intel and Microsoft wanted Windows 8 and ultrabooks to unite, he described it as a matter of inherent tradeoffs. Trying to appeal to everyone ended up pleasing no one, Cook said, saying that just having the option of converging doesn't mean it should be forced.
AMD Radeon HD 7000M official
AMD offered its answer to NVIDIA on Tuesday through the Radeon HD 7000M. The 7700M, 7800M, and 7900M are the first parts to use Enduro, a live graphics switching technology like NVIDIA's Optimus. The implementation can flip between the Radeon and integrated graphics without having to reload or specify apps, and unlike NVIDIA's approach, can work with both AMD processors as well as Intel's.
Intel's private goals for ultrabooks maybe leaked
Intel has set ambitious targets for the number of ultrabooks it hopes will sell this year, part suppliers understood late Wednesday. Supposed internal roadmap details passed on to Digitimes had between 20 million to 30 million ultrabooks shipping in 2012. That number would double or triple in 2013, according to the claims, as the supply chain would be truly ready for mainstream adoption, such as reinforced plastic to emulate the rigidity of metal without some of the cost.
Cove Point ultrabook reference design shown off
Intel is refining its ultrabooks, having shown off a new reference design at the IDF 2012 show in Beijing last week. Building upon its 13.3-inch touchscreen ultrabook, the so-called Cove Point also doubles as a tablet. The demo unit sported a 12.5-inch touchscreen, two USB 3.0 ports, and an HDMI output.
Intel predicts flood of cheap ultrabooks
Intel PC Client general manager Kirk Skaugen used a keynote at the Beijing edition of the Intel Developer Forum to predict a heavy saturation of the ultrabook market. He saw ultrabook prices reaching down to $699 by the back-to-school period at the end of the summer, or down from the $899 and up more common today. About 75 models were in development for all of 2012, including some touchscreen models mostly intended for Windows 8.
Tweaks address early glitches
Dell has released several updated drivers for its XPS 13 ultrabook, addressing hardware issues that have affected the new device. A touchpad driver is designed for improved multi-touch functionality, including scrolling performance and palm recognition to avoid accidental input.
IDC hopeful Windows 8, ultrabooks will save PCs
IDC painted an optimistic picture of traditional PCs in a Tuesday long-term estimate of their shipments. Researchers expected PC shipments to grow just five percent year-on-year in 2012, but pinned most of this sluggishness on the first half, as the iPad and other tablets were a "powerful distraction," IDC VP Bob O'Donnell said. However, a mix of the Windows 8 launch and ultrabooks was assumed to be creating "excitement" that would see a bounce back.
ASUS UX32A and UX32Vd to aim for budget ultrabooks
ASUS' ultrabook refreshes could include some of the first truly discounted, mainstream ultrabooks. New leaks stemming from the same source for The Verge had two 13.3-inch models, the UX32A and UX32Vd, coming in at under $800. Both would still get Intel's low voltage Ivy Bridge Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, but only sometime after they shipped; initial batches would use the outgoing Sandy Bridge generation, insiders said.
ASUS UX21A and UX31A to be drop-in upgrades
(Update: speed changes) ASUS' rumored major ultrabook upgrades were given their first real details through leaks on Monday. The Zenbook UX21A and UX31A models identified by The Verge would be direct replacements for the existing 11.6- and 13.3-inch UX21 and UX31, respectively, but with an option for a 1080p, IPS-based display on either model. Their conventional 1366x768 (UX21) and 1600x900 (UX31) displays would still come standard.
Gartner expects no bounce back from Windows 8
PC sales won't significantly bounce back in 2012, Gartner estimated on Thursday. Analysts saw shipments growing just 4.4 percent this year over last, to 368 million units, as PC builders played "catch-up" to tablets and other mobile hardware in interesting features. Research lead Ranjit Atwal didn't share the optimism of Intel or Microsoft and saw neither MacBook Air-inspired ultrabooks nor Windows 8 as automatic foils to the iPad and the collective Android tablet space.
Intel shows how touch ultrabook can work
Intel has been giving hands-on demonstrations at CeBIT of a concept ultrabook with a touch display. At 13.3 inches, it would have one of the largest capacitive touch displays yet. The Verge in its time with the ultraportable got to use an example of Zinio's magazine reader app, which was a "delight" to use with multi-touch input.
Taiwanese OEMs eye sub-ultrabook segment
Following news that Acer is selling its Aspire S3 ultrabook at a strictly break-even price of $799, a new report suggests that second-tier Taiwanese manufacturers are planning on releasing ultrabook-like notebooks as cheap as $600. The Taiwanese vendors plan on releasing ultra-slim notebooks that look like ultrabooks, but are made of plastic. For notebooks to be able to carry the official Intel Ultrabook tag, they must be made of aluminum and other premium components including SSDs.
Acer reveals Windows ultrabook costs not working
Acer's Christoph Pohlmann in remarks Tuesday at CeBIT revealed that the company was selling ultrabooks at extremely thin margins. The base version of the Aspire S3 was being sold at a stricty break-even price at $799, he mentioned to The Verge. It was only viable at all as higher-end models had enough of a premium to make a small profit.
Ultrabook available with standard or ULV chipsets
Gigabyte has introduced several new notebooks, including two 14-inch ultrabooks and a 15.6-inch gaming notebook. The ultrabooks include two variants, the U2442N with standard-voltage Core i5 or i7 processors, and the U2442V with ultra-low voltage Core i5 and i7 chips for improved battery life.
14-inch Lifebook ultrabook sports magnesium body
Fujitsu took the opportunity at the CeBIT show to introduce its ultrabook under the working name Lifebook Premium. Images, specs, and a video come courtesy of NotebookItalia, with the 14-inch notebook sporting a 'frameless' design and the ability to open 180 degrees. The notebook is just 16mm (0.63 inches) thick and weighs 1.5kg (3.3lbs).