Laptops / Tablets News (-2)
Posted: November 26, 2013 01:23PM
Author: Tobias Thydal
Chromebooks seem to be the new craze in the laptop world. They are some of the bestselling laptops on Amazon, and they make plenty of headlines. Now Acer is ready to differentiate itself from the rest of the Chromebook makers. The company is introducing the first Chromebook with a touchscreen, and this is done without sending the price through the roof. The C720P, as it is called, will have an MSRP of "only" $300.
Now you may ask yourself the question whether a touchscreen is even necessary, since it is not really that prominent in the rest of the laptop market. But according to Arif Maskatia, CTO for Acer, "[the] new touchscreen C720P gives customers an intuitive way to browse sites online, enjoy apps, and do more with the Chromebook". So maybe this is the OS touchscreens have been waiting for.
Other than that, the laptop is not anything special. It has a 11.6 inch display with a 1366x768 resolution, an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 2 GB of DDR 3 RAM, and a 32 GB SSD. Other features include Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, a webcam, and an HDMI output. The battery is said to last up to 7.5 hours, which is decent, although not fantastic. The decent battery life might have been a trade off in order to keep the Chromebook light and thin. It weighs a little less than 3 pounds and is a mere 0.78 inches thick.
It will be sold at Amazon, Best Buy, and in Acer's online store starting early December.
Posted: September 25, 2013 12:39PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The Bliss 9 Pro+ is the latest tablet PC from Spire and is built on the Android OS. Android 4.2, commonly known as Jelly Bean, is loaded on the nine inch tablet that is powered by a dual core ARM Cortex A7 1.2Ghz CPU. Two cameras are included in the tablet, a front facing 0.3 MP and a rear facing 2.0 MP. The nine inch screen features scratch-free glass and boasts a resolution of 1024x600. A built-in Micro SD card reader rounds out the feature set. The Bliss 9 Pro+ are available now, with a European release planned for the end of next month.
Source: Press Release
Posted: September 24, 2013 11:30PM
Most product reveals get a big press conference, with flashy lights and music blaring, and it's usually a big spectacle. Amazon, however, decided to do something completely different for its third generation Kindle Fire tablets, as CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Kindle Fire HDX in one of the company's conference rooms. These new Kindle Fires are pretty special though, as the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models sport massive screen resolutions and pixel densities. The Kindle Fire HDX 7" has a 1920x1200 screen with a 323ppi, and the 8.9" model features a 2560x1600 screen with a 339ppi. Both of those are far above the previous Kindle Fire HDs and even the Apple iPad 3, and a far cry from the rumors. Amazon also has a new dynamic contrast feature that adjusts the contrast rather than brightness to give a better view when out in the sun; it's still not as perfect as an eInk screen, which is where Amazon's regular Kindle e-readers come into play.
The specifications of the new Kindle Fire HDX are impressive once you look past the screen, as each feature a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM. Storage capacities range from 16GB to 64GB for both screen sizes. Outside the HDX has a more angular look than past models, with the speakers now up top to prevent any muffling while held. The left side of the tablet has a volume rocker, while the right has the power button. Curiously there's just a micro-USB port, but don't fret, as there's a pretty sweet way to send your content to a TV. The 7" HDX features a front-facing camera, while the 8.9" adds an eight-megapixel camera to the rear that's capable of 1080p video. Amazon promises 11 hours of battery life with standard usage, but 17 hours when the HDX is put into reading mode.
The operating system is still Android-based (Jelly Bean, if you're curious), but Amazon is referring to it as Fire OS. We're on version 3.0 right now, and its codename is Mojito; a bit more adult beverage-themed than Google's candy obsession. There's still a river of apps, games, music, movies, and, of course, books and magazines, but users can switch it to a more smartphone-esque grid if they choose. Mojito is standard on the HDX and new HD, and it could even roll out to older Kindle Fires at some point.
One of the most impressive new features of Fire OS is "Mayday," which is live tech support to walk you through any issues you may run into on your HDX. The tech support rep (yes, it's an actual person) can see your display, but not you, and walk you through the steps with arrows and circles. Or you can just have the rep fix the issue for you themselves, if you prefer. Screen-sharing can easily be disabled if you have to enter a password, so you don't have to worry about that. According to Bezos, the Mayday feature will work any day of the year and at any hour, since there's always a tech support (or few hundred) handy. Wait time is expected to be 15 seconds or less, but Christmas morning should be the first real test.
Alright, so because the HDX just has a micro-USB port and that may not exactly be ideal for displaying video, Amazon lets the Kindle Fire HDX function as a Second Screen device. Smart TVs, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox 360 and One, and other devices can stream content from the cloud, with the HDX serving as the controller. It means you can be watching a movie, and if that actor/actress is familiar but you can't place them, pull up IMDb and do a search. Or you can play trivia along with the movie, access interactive content, or buy items on Amazon.
Both the 7" and 8.9" models of the Kindle Fire HDX are available to pre-order. The 7" model arrives on October 18 for $229, while the 8.9" a bit later on November 7 for $379 (both prices are for the 16GB special offers model). Bump the price up by $100 for either model to add 4G LTE through either Verizon or AT&T. If all you're looking for is the Kindle Fire HD, well Amazon is giving it a body similar to the HDX while keeping the internals the same. Oh, and it's priced at $139 (8GB special offers model) with a ship date of October 2, although you can pre-order it now.
Posted: September 23, 2013 12:09PM
Near the beginning of last month, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed work was being done on a next-generation Microsoft Surface tablet. Nothing further was said at the time, but I guess Jen-Hsun's comments were true, since Microsoft has just unveiled the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets. Both tablets keep the same form factor as the first ones, just with plenty of internal upgrades (plus a two-stage kickstand on both). The Surface 2 uses an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, bumps the screen resolution from 1366x768 to 1920x1080, and has a bare metal back to set it apart from the Pro. It also has 25% more battery life than the older model and includes a USB 3.0 port. Windows RT 8.1 is running the show on it, and you'll notice it lost the "RT" from the Surface name.
As for the Surface Pro 2, it's running an Intel Core i5 1.6GHz Haswell processor, the same 10.6" 1920x1080 display as before (just with more improved color accuracy), and Windows Pro 8.1. Battery life on it has been improved by 75%, so that should make it more of an all-day tablet. Storage options are 64, 128, 256, and 512GB, with the two smaller options packing 4GB of RAM and the two larger at 8GB.
Microsoft is tweaking the covers as well, with the Touch Cover 2 featuring higher sensitivity and gesture support, and the Type Cover 2 gets backlit keys. There's some new accessories too, like the Power Cover that includes a battery pack to improve battery life by 2.5 times over the original. The Surface Music Kit is a touch cover that forgoes a keyboard for a mixing deck. All the buttons on it are pressure sensitive, so the harder you press, the louder the music. Microsoft is also introducing a docking station that features three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, and an Ethernet port, plus the ability to output to TVs and monitors with 3840x2160 resolutions. However, the docking station is only for Surface Pro and Pro 2 tablets.
The Surface 2 starts at $449, with 32 and 64GB options available. The Surface Pro 2 begins at $899 for the 64GB model, with higher storage options at more expensive prices. Pre-orders for both tablets go live tomorrow, September 24, with an October 22 launch date for each.
Posted: September 18, 2013 03:20PM
Last month there were rumors about an NVIDIA Tegra Tab, a 7" tablet from the company, and now it looks like those were mostly true. NVIDIA recently unveiled the Tegra Note, which is designed by NVIDIA but brought to stores by its various partners. In North America, EVGA and PNY are among the partners listed; EVGA, ZOTAC, and Oysters in Europe; ZOTAC, Colorful, and Shenzhen Homecare Technology in Asia; and XOLO in India. It means the individual markets can have tablets tailored to them, though what exactly that entails isn't exactly known yet.
What we do know about the Tegra Note is mighty impressive, as it's a 7", Android tablet with a Tegra 4 processor at its core, plus 16GB of built-in storage that can be expanded with a microSD card. Audio is handled by front-facing speakers and NVIDIA PureAudio technology to deliver some of the best sound found on a tablet. The 7" touchscreen is an IPS panel with a 1280x800 resolution, and if that isn't big enough for you then just use the micro HDMI port to connect it to your TV for some big screen action. NVIDIA is including a stylus with both Brush and Chisel tips for writing and painting, with DirectStylus technology for a more responsive experience. There are also some included apps for easy note taking.
A five megapixel camera on the rear and a VGA camera on the front sound fairly normal, but the Tegra Note's camera is really something else. NVIDIA's Tegra 4 helps deliver the processing power to the camera, while Chimera computational photography architecture brings some new features to the mix. There's also SmugMug's Camera Awesome app (one of iOS' best camera apps) with exclusive Tegra 4 features, like "tap-to-track" and 100fps video recording for slow-mo playback. If you want some gaming, well there's NVIDIA TegraZone to take full advantage of that Tegra 4 processor. Battery life on the Tegra Note is promised at 10 hours for video playback.
There are going to be various accessories for the Tegra Note, like a slide cover to protect the screen as well as doubling as a stand, and a DirectStylus Pro Pack with even more tips for different writing styles. Plus the Tegra Note's Bluetooth capabilities open up the potential for an assortment of game controllers and other devices to be used with the tablet.
The NVIDIA Tegra Note will be launching worldwide, through the partners mentioned earlier, over the next months. Retail pricing on it is an affordable $199.
Posted: September 10, 2013 01:35PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The ZeusBook Ultimate series from CyberPower is the latest in a long line of gaming laptops, and is one that claims to be the lightest and thinnest 17" gaming laptop available. The ZeusBook tips the scale at just under six pounds and is less than an inch thick. Powered by an Intel Core i7-4700HQ processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX765M GPU, the ZeusBook doesn't sacrifice any gaming power to achieve such a small profile. CyberPower uses dual fan cooling that can increase airflow when the heat gets to be too much. The 17" screen displays at full HD resolution, and this can be enhanced by connecting to up to three external monitors for resolution up to 3840x2160. The ZeusBook will be available in two models, the Ultimate 100 and Ultimate 200, and will have a base MSRP of $1429.
Source: Press Release
Posted: August 13, 2013 12:08PM
Author: Tobias Thydal
If you prefer a gaming machine that you can take with you almost anywhere without having an aching back afterwards, then CyberPowerPC might have what you are looking for. The Zeus Hercules is, according to CyberPowerPC, 12 percent lighter and 18 percent thinner than other slim gaming notebooks. The laptop weighs only slightly more than four pounds and measures 13.38 inches wide by 9.96 inches deep by 0.81 inches tall.
The cheapest configuration features a 14 inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The laptop will use an Intel Core i7 4750HQ, 4 GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, a 1 TB hard drive (5400 RPM), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, an HDMI output, GbE LAN, one USB 2.0 port, and two USB 3.0 ports. For graphics, the laptop will use Intel's Iris Pro Graphics 5200, which, according to Intel, should offer up to twice the 3D performance of today's fastest mobile Intel HD Graphics solutions. What makes this laptop stand out besides its small size is the fact that you cannot upgrade to a discrete GPU, but the iGPU should be sufficient, if you ask Intel and CyberPowerPC, and it might contribute to the reduced size. The price starts at $1,039.
Posted: August 9, 2013 04:54PM
Within the past 24 hours there has been some pretty interesting news from NVIDIA. First came a hint of a next-gen Microsoft Surface tablet, and now comes this bit about NVIDIA's own tablet. Photos of a device called a Tegra Tab have recently appeared, and it seems to be a 7" tablet in the same vein as Google's new Nexus 7. The Tegra Tab has a slot for a stylus, a micro USB port, and a micro HDMI port (the Nexus 7 just has micro USB), but the rear looks to be a combination of the old and new Nexus 7s with the texture of the old and the horizontal orientation and camera placement of the new. Other than that, everything else is speculative. The new Nexus 7 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor while the old ran an NVIDIA Tegra 3, so perhaps this is a way for NVIDIA to show off what the Tegra 4 is like in its own tablet. We already have the SHIELD, and maybe a Tegra Tab is next on the list (especially since a trademark filing has appeared).
Remember, take all of this with a grain of salt until something official comes along, if ever.
Source: The Verge
Posted: August 8, 2013 11:21PM
Last year, Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablet, with the Surface RT running Windows RT and the Surface Pro on Windows 8. Both tablets offer a wealth of features and really demonstrate how well Windows 8 can work with a touch interface. However, like any good piece of hardware, as time passes things tend to fall behind in terms of performance. There's always a faster CPU or GPU just over the horizon, and it seems the Surface tablet will be benefiting from new technology before long. In a recent interview, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang confirmed his company is involved with Microsoft on a next-generation Surface tablet.
Huang spoke of a reason the Surface RT tablet hasn't quite taken off like Microsoft predicted, and that's because it didn't include Outlook. He had the following to say: "It is the killer app for Windows. Now we're going to bring it with the second-generation Surface. We're working really hard on it, and we hope that it's going to be a big success."
NVIDIA's Tegra 3 powers the Surface RT, and since it's ARM-based that means no x86 apps, like Outlook. However, from the sound of things NVIDIA is fixing that. Does this mean an x86 version of Tegra or just that NVIDIA is working with Microsoft to bring x86 apps over to ARM? Microsoft declined to comment about Huang's statements, as did NVIDIA, so it looks like we'll be left wondering a while longer.
Posted: August 5, 2013 02:02PM
Author: Nick Harezga
The GS70 is the latest laptop offering from MSI and is extremely portable for gaming on the go. Targeted at gamers, this 17" laptop is thin and lightweight, weighing 5.7 pounds at just 1 inch thick. The GS70 doesn't sacrifice power for portability, packing desktop power into its small form factor. Powered by fourth generation Intel i7 processors, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU, 16GB of DDR3, and a combination of solid state and mechanical drives. The display has a native resolution of 1920x1080 and also has the option to connect to an external display through HDMI with resolutions up to 4K. VP of Sales Andy Tung said, "The GS70 has the capability to crush the most demanding games and the featherlike portability for on-the-go multi-tasking or gaming. We understand the needs of our audience and are committed to delivering solutions that exceed even the highest expectations." The GS70 is now available in two different configurations with a starting price of $1,799.99.
Source: Max Borges Agency
Posted: August 4, 2013 10:42AM
Author: Nick Harezga
The Fang Taipan M2 is the latest gaming laptop from CyberPower and it boasts a number of customization options. Built on the Intel Core i7 series of processors, this laptop packs all of the power of a desktop system in a portable package. Users will be able to choose from NVIDIA or AMD GPUs with the option of SLI or CrossFire. Up to 32GB of DDR3 memory from the Kingston HyperX and Corsair Vengeance lines can be installed. A 17.3" LED screen displays everything at 1920x1080, allowing users to see all of the details in the game they are playing. Storage options include solid state drives and mechanical drives to give a balance between speed and capacity. The base system starts at an MSRP of $1869.
Source: Press Release
Posted: July 31, 2013 09:43AM
A couple of years ago, Amazon decided to enter the tablet space with the Kindle Fire. It featured a 7" LCD touchscreen, a heavily skinned version of Android, and a $199 price that made it an absolute steal when compared to Apple's iPad. Then came last year when Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire HD, which came in both a 7" and 8.9" version. Both pack a TI OMAP 4470 processor, a front-facing HD camera, and a 1280x800 resolution on the 7" and a 1920x1200 resolution on the 8.9". The prices for both remain a steal, as the 7" is $199 and the 8.9" is $269 (a $30 drop since introduction). However, those are last year's models, and it appears Amazon is going all out on the upcoming generation.
Rumored specifications have appeared for the next generation Kindle Fire HD tablets, and if true are very impressive. The 7" tablet gets a resolution bump all the way to 1920x1200 and a new exterior design, while the 8.9" increases the resolution to 2560x1600 and a new exterior, too. Each tablet is expected to run a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) SoC (which features four Krait 400 CPUs and an Adreno 330 GPU), 2GB of RAM, front-facing camera, WiFi, optional cellular coverage, and either 16, 32, or 64GB of storage. The 8.9" also adds an eight-megapixel rear camera, making it even more of a tablet. Android 4.2.2 is powering the show, with heavy customizations, and performance all around has been improved up to three times over the current Kindle Fire HD tablets, at least according to benchmarks of the test units.
Each tablet has been made lighter and more comfortable than past models, with a more angular approach to the exterior design. Button placement has also been redone, so the power and volume buttons are now on the back and positioned so they won't be accidentally pressed when laying the Fire HD down. The bezel of the 7" model is said to be about half an inch and the 8.9" at three-quarters of an inch, so each one should look even larger. A fall launch is expected once again, and do keep in mind that all of this is just rumor for now. Hopefully Amazon will officially announce the next generation Kindle Fire HDs soon, and when that happens you can hear about it at OCC.