Introduction and Design
Tablets may be the darling of the tech industry, but they’ve also received their fair share of criticism as well. One of the most consistent barbs throw towards them is the tablet’s inability to serve as a competent platform for content creature. While it’s technically possible to write a document or edit an image on a tablet, it’s certainly not enjoyable.
Part of the problem is the lack of a keyboard and mouse. Touchscreens are beautiful and intuitive, but they’re not precise. While third-party cases and docks have tried to solve this issue, they’re often both clunky and expensive.
It’s little surprise that a tablet designed specifically to work in conjunction with a keyboard dock has hit the market, but it is surprising that the first such device comes from ASUS, a company with relatively little experience building mobile products. The Eee Pad Transformer is already the second-best selling tablet on the market (after the iPad, of course) and reports indicate sales are constrained by supply rather than demand. What is it that has made the Transformer a quick success?
Hot on the heels of the Toshiba and Lenovo ultrabook announcements comes a new ultrabook from Acer. Engadget recently got their hands on the new Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) technology showcase in Berlin. The 13.3” computer carries some impressive specifications, including a 7 hour long battery life, metal chassis, and the latest Intel processors.
To be more specific, the Acer computer is a 13.3” ultrabook composed of a magnesium alloy chassis measuring 13mm thick. Inside the metal frame lies an ultra low voltage Core i3, i5, or i7 Sandy Bridge processor, DDR3 RAM, and an interesting storage solution made of a 20GB SSD and 320GB mechanical hard drive combination. Acer is promising a 7 hour battery life, and a 1.5 second resume from sleep time. Further, the ultrabook features a glossy 1366 x 768 resolution display, and a chicklet keyboard whose keys Engadget notes feels like plastic.
While their is no word on US pricing, Acer has released the European starting price at €799. Compromises have been made to reach the price point (mainly in the keyboard); however, if the specifications and design hold up it looks to be a solid competitor in the ultrabook market. More photos as well as a video tour of the ultrabook can be found here.
Subject: Mobile | September 2, 2011 - 01:08 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: z830, ultrabook, toshiba, sandy bridge, portege, Intel
There has been quite the buzz over ultrabooks for the past few weeks, and it seems as though Toshiba is ready to grab their slice of the news pie (actually, can we have cake?) with the announcement of their Portege Z830 series of, you guessed it, ultrabooks.
Powered by Intel Sandy Bridge processors, the ultra (slim) book is housed in a magnesium alloy chassis measuring 15.9mm (0.63 inches) thick. Slated to be 20% lighter and 40% thinner than their previous ultraportable Portege R830 series, the company has reinforced the chassis with a honeycomb ribbing (I’m sure Josh is making a joke out of that right now) and some new internal shock dampening structures. The company stated that the Z830 would weigh less than 2.5 lbs, though the number may vary depending on the specific configuration. Because the notebook is so thin, they needed to go metal for the chassis to prevent serious warping and bending of the computer (and is coincidentally one of the items that caused manufacturers to complain about the sub-$1,000 requirement). Other chassis features include a full size LED backlit and spill resistant keyboard.
Other hardware details about the computer are scarce in that Toshiba has not released much. The ultrabook will contain a 128 GB solid state drive and DDR3 memory. From photos of the ultrabook, the computer supports (likely Gigabit) Ethernet, USB, and HDMI ports. Stereo speakers by Waves Audio, Toshiba’s High Speed Start and USB Sleep and Charge technologies are also featured.
The Protege Z830 ultrabook series will be available in November 2011, and will carry a MSRP of less than $1,000 USD. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more ultrabook coverage.
Subject: Mobile | August 25, 2011 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: msi, x-slim x460, ultraportable, 14
The 14" MSI X-Slim X460 Ultraportable laptop hides a little more power than the Ultraportable portion of its name implies. The 2GHz Core i7-2630QM adds some serious processing power and also provides the graphics, making the machine good for video but not so good for gaming. While TechSpot is unsure if the model they reviewed may be different from retail models, they saw 4GB of DDR-1333 and the storage was handled by a 500GB 7200RPM Western Digital Scorpio Black in their review sample. Battery eater showed a range of battery life, from 63 minutes when fully stressed by gaming to 5hr 41min under the reader benchmark. If you are looking for a laptop in the range of $1100 that is worth what you pay for, this laptop bears further investigation.
"MSI recently expanded its ultraportable offerings with the addition of two last generation X-Slim notebooks. Although they're designed to be lightweight and compact, the X460 notebooks also strive to be powerful, courtesy of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The flagship model comes with Intel's Core i7-2630QM, packing the quad-core chip while boasting an 8-hour battery life.
There's also the X460DX, which can come configured with Core i3 or i5 processors and the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU. Both the X460 and X460DX share the same dimensions using a 14" LED backlit screen. While ultraportable laptops generally carry a 12 to 13" display, MSI says the X460 strikes a fine balance between mobility and performance.
With enough power to put the average desktop PC to shame, the MSI X460 flagship model costs roughly $1,100. Even so, that price tag makes the X460 one of the cheapest second-gen Core i7 notebooks money can buy."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- ASUS G74SX-A1 Gaming Notebook Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Tweaks To Extend The Battery Life Of Intel Linux Notebooks @ Phoronix
- Dell Vostro V131 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Elitebook 2560p Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP EliteBook 8760w: Color, So Dreamy @ AnandTech
- MYTHLOGIC Pollux 1400: Clevo's W150HR Tested @ AnandTech
- How to speed up an aging MacBook with a solid state drive @ Ars Technica
- Cooler Master Notepal U Stand Review @ Neoseeker
- Cooler Master Notepal U Stand Review @ OCC
- Logisys iStand S3 Tablet Stand Review @ TechwareLabs
- Cooler Master NotePal U-Stand Aluminum Laptop Cooling Stand Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Cooler Master Notepal U Stand Review - A Laptop Cooler Living Up To Its Name @ The SSD Review
- Cooler Master NotePal U Stand Review @ ThinkComputers
- Cooler Master NotePal U-Stand Laptop Cooler @ Pro-Clockers
- BlackBerry Torch 9860 Review @ t-break
- HP TouchSmart 610 Review @ t-break
- iPhone 4 App of the Week: Phoenix HD @ t-break
Subject: Mobile | August 18, 2011 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: acer, aspire 5750, 15.6 inch
The 15.6", 1366x768 Acer Aspire 5750 has a 640 GB, 5400 RPM HDD, a DVD multiburner, 3GB of unbalanced DDR3-1333 (one DIMM is 2GB and one is 1GB) and a choice of a mobile i3, i5 or i7 CPU which also provides the graphics. The laptop wights in at 5.7lbs, certainly not the lightest 15.6" laptop out there, even with a battery only rated for 210 minutes of run time. It does only cost $500 which will make it attractive to people needing a bit more power than something like Acer's hromebook provides. Check out the rest of the information at Hardware Secrets if you are in the market for something similar.
"Let's take a look at the Acer Aspire 5750 laptop, which has a 15.6-inch screen and can come with the Core i3-2310M, Core i5-2410M, or Core i7-2630QM CPU. It has 2 GB to 6 GB of RAM, a hard disk from 320 GB to 640 GB, and one USB 3.0 port. The model we analyzed was the 5750-6606, with a Core i3-2310 CPU, 3 GB RAM and a 640 GB hard disk. Check it out!"
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Alienware M18x Review @ TechReviewSource
- Toshiba Qosmio X775: Toshiba's Gamer Grows Up @ AnandTech
- Asus U31SD-A1 Review @ TechReviewSource
- ASUS U46S Notebook Review @ t-break
- Llano in the Wild: Toshiba's Satellite L775D-S7206 @ AnandTech
- Hornettek Solid iPad 2 Case Review @ ThinkComputers
- OtterBox Reflex Case for iPhone 4 Review @ Legit Reviews
- HTC EVO 3D vs. Motorola Photon 4G: Choosing the Best Sprint Phone @ AnandTech
- HTC Evo 3D @ The Inquirer
- HTC releases its bootloader unlocker @ The Inquirer
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G @ AnandTech
- T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide @ AnandTech
Today MSI introduced three new 14" 1366 x 768 notebooks, the X460DX-008US, X460DX-006US and the X460-004US. All but the X460DX-008US sport 6GB of DDR3, with the aforementioned limited to 4GB, the two DX models have a 500GB drive for storage while the non-DX has 750GB. All three have THX TruStudio Pro Technology for sound, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and extended battery life that MSI claims will provide all-day computing. Check out the rest of the specs, including processor below, and click over to MSI if you are interested in purchasing one.
Introduction and Design
We have our heads in the clouds. Once a dream, cloud computing is now common and used to support everything from file sharing to email. Here at PC Perspective, for example, we often make use of Dropbox. Storing certain files “in the cloud” is much easier than directly emailing them to and fro.
Google is one of the cloud’s most ardent supporters. The Internet seems to be Google’s answer to everything from emails to file sharing to document editing. All these tasks can be accomplished online through a browser with a Google utility.
When Google announced that it was going to develop an entire OS based off its Chrome web browser there was much shock, speculation and excitement. In hindsight, however, this development was probably inevitable given the company’s love of everything online. Now, Google Chrome OS is a retail product. Let’s find out if a cloud OS can compete with more traditional options.
It seems as though T-Mobile users’ streak of bad luck just keeps on coming. According to AllThingsD, the US cellular provider is changing its lowest tier 200MB data plan’s overage policy from throttling to overage charges. Specifically, once users exceed their allotted data, they will be charged $0.10 per megabyte, which is the bad news. The slightly better (but still not quite good) news is that the overage charges will be capped at a maximum of $30.
T-Mobile stated that it will begin notifying customers once they reach 90% of the 200MB data allotment, or 180MB, in addition to giving customers the ability to move to a higher tier data plan with a larger data allotment.
The changes in their data plan from customers being throttled to a lower data speed after going over their data allotment to being charged overage fees will happen tonight at midnight, so (new) customers who wish to become grandfathered into the plan should sign up quickly.
What are your thoughts on carrier data caps? Do you believe overage charges are the answer? Share your opinions in the comments below!
Subject: Displays, Mobile | August 12, 2011 - 04:51 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: solar cell, mobile, lcd, display
According to Ars Technica, researchers at UCLA announced on Tuesday a new LCD screen containing photovoltaic cells that promises to reduce back-light energy waste and improve battery life on mobile devices.
My N900 eats up battery with an hour of Angry Birds, but can go for two days with the display off. Where's my happy medium?
The researchers have placed what they are calling polarizing organic photovoltaics inside the LCDs in such a way that light that is normally filtered out and blocked in areas to create the displayed images can now be (mostly) recovered. While the process does not result in 100% reclamation of energy due to energy loss during the conversion process(es) and heat given off by the back-light, in a mobile device any amount of energy that can be recovered is desirable. Ars Technica states that up to 90% of a battery’s power is used to power the back-light of the display. Further, of that percentage, up to 75% is lost to the polarizing layers. By infusing the polarizing layer with photovoltaic cells and reclaiming as much of the otherwise wasted light as possible, battery life could be dramatically extended.
Mobile devices are getting beefier multi-core processors and graphics chips, numerous wireless radio connections (4G, WiFi, Bluetooth), and large power hungry displays; however, battery technology advancements have been rather stagnant and flat. As a result of this, having to make processors, displays, and other components as efficient as possible to make up the difference of battery technology not keeping up with other advancements, interesting tweaks like the photovoltaic infused displays become that much more important.
Whether this particular technology will catch on and work as well as they claim remains to be seen; however it is nonetheless an interesting experiment. More data on the researchers’ project will be published in the Advanced Materials journal in September 2011. What are your thoughts on the idea?
Subject: Mobile | August 11, 2011 - 01:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, Qosmio, desktop replacement
The new Qosmio model is a serious laptop and a contender for anyone looking for a desktop replacement. With a Core-i7-2635QM, 8GB of DDR3, a 1.5GB GTX 560M and two HDD, a 750GB 7,200 RPM for your OS and programs and a secondary 500GB 5,400 RPM for long term storage. It also has a 1080p 17.3" 3D-ready LCD so you can watch your 3D Blu-ray copy of Avatar on the go. You'll probably want to watch it while plugged into a wall wart, Tech Review Source found the battery pegged out at around the 2 hour mark.
“The Toshiba Qosmio X775-3DV78 is a 17-inch laptop that has a 1080p full HD 3D display, a second-generation Intel quad-core CPU and 8GB of RAM. Along with USB 3.0, dual-hard drives and a Blu-ray player, users will find this laptop's performance to be very appealing.”
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Envy 14 (Summer 2011) Review @ TechReviewSource
- MSi GT680 Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide Rev. 11.6 @ TechARP
- Airport Extreme (5th Gen) and Time Capsule (4th Gen) Review - Faster WiFi @ AnandTech
- Case Mate TUT Case for iPhone 4 Review @ Tech-Reviews
- ASUS Transformer Tablet Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Anker 1900 mAh Li-ion Battery for HTC Sensation @ reviewstash
- HTC Flyer Tablet Review @ t-break
- Bringing my dead iPhone 2G back to life @ t-break
- Samsung TouchWiz UX Review: Honeycomb Gets Skinned @ AnandTech