Tag Archives: laptop

Razer Blade vies to be “the world’s first true gaming laptop”

Razer, the maker of high performance gaming products, has announced the Razer Blade–what they’re calling “the world’s first true gaming laptop.” So what makes this laptop stand out and above all of the other gamer-centric portable PCs? The fact that it is designed from the ground up for performance and portability without making any compromises. That’s what. Check out these specs. Inside a full aluminum chassis breathes a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7 2640M processor, a NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M with Optimus Technology, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM, 320GB 7200rpm SATA HDD, built-in HD webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, integrated 60Wh battery, and a 17.3″  1920×1080 LED backlit display. All of this is packed inside a managable 0.88 inch thin design that weighs only 6.97lbs. What a magnificent feat! And that’s not all. Razer has also imagined the Switchblade User Interface, a technology built specifically for gamers that is comprised of 10 dynamic adaptive tactile keys and an LCD screen. The separate mini-display (480×800) located to the right of the keyboard has two modes: (1) it displays in-game information when a mouse is in use; and (2) it functions as an ultra-sensitive, multi-touch panel designed for gaming on the go. The Switchblade tech was actually born out of the “Razer Switchblade” concept that was previewed earlier this year.

With the Razer Blade the company hopes to reinvigorate the laptop market and set a new standard for portable gaming machines. And by the looks of it, that’s exactly what they’ve done here. When it releases in Q4 2011 it’ll run for an understandably pricey $2,799.99. If you’re a dedicated gamer and need something portable and powerful enough to maintain a desktop experience on-the-go, the Razer Blade is a clear choice. Now look in the gallery below for some press shots and after the break you’ll find Razer “Chief Gamer and CEO” Min-Liang Tan talking up his latest creation.

[Via Engadget]

READ MORE Razer Blade vies to be “the world’s first true gaming laptop”

Apple refreshes MacBook Air, Mac mini & 27-inch display

A couple months after updating the MacBook Pros, Apple has gone ahead and reinvigorated their MacBook Air and Mac mini products. The thin-and-light ultraportable notebook now boasts faster Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, the high-speed Thunderbolt I/O port, and a backlit keyboard. The 11-inch model is available in two customizable SKUs. The base $999 model packs a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB of memory, 64GB of flash storage, and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The $1,199 model upgrades the memory to 4GB and the flash storage to 128GB. Moving along to the 13-inch model, two additional SKUs are offered. The $1,299 model features a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB memory,128GB flash storage, and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The $1,599 model upgrades the flash storage to 256GB. Certain models can be customized to feature Intel Core i7 processors (up to 1.8GHz) and upgraded flash memory (up to 256GB). The new incredibly thin MacBook Air measures 0.11-inches at its thinnest point and 0.68-inches at its thickest. Apple claims it is is up to twice as fast as the previous generation thanks to the upgraded Intel processors. The 11-inch model (at 2.38 pounds) provides up to 5 hours of battery life, while the 13-inch model  (2.96 pounds) offers up to 7 hours of battery life. It comes with a full size backlit keyboard and an improved glass Multi-Touch trackpad. Ports include MagSafe for power, 2 USB 2.0, headphone jack, Thunderbolt, and an SD Card slot (on the 11-inch model only). WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 are included; the USB Ethernet Adapter ($29) can be purchased separately. Note that the $999 MacBook Air is the base laptop Apple offers today; the white plastic MacBook has been discontinued.

Like the newly enhanced MacBook Air, the Mac mini is speedier and packs Intel Core i5 and  i7 processors and the Thunderbolt port. Additionally, graphics can be upgraded to AMD Radeon HD. Three SKUs are offered. The base $599 model comes with 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB memory, 500GB hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The $799 model upgrades the processor to 2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, the memory to 4GB, and the graphics to AMD Radeon HD 6630M. These two SKUs can be customized to feature upgraded memory (up to 8GB) and hard drive space (up to 750GB); the pricier SKU can be configured with a 2.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i7. The third and final SKU is the Mac mini with Lion Server and its specs include: 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 4GB memory, Dual 500GB 7200-rpm hard drives, and Intel HD Graphics 3000 for $999; memory and hard drive capacities can be upgraded. Ports include Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, HDMI, Thunderbolt, 4 USB 2.0, SDXC card slot, and audio in/out. WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 included. Notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about the Superdrive; that’s because Apple’s decided not to include a CD/DVD drive in the new Mac mini. A bold move if you ask me. BYO keyboard, mouse, and display.

Speaking of displays, in addition to updating their computers Apple has also given their Cinema Display a minor refresh. The newly branded 27-inch Thunderbolt Display features the 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design, a 2560 x 1440 resolution with IPS technology (that is, an ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle), and it’s the world’s first display to include the Thunderbolt I/O port. The display also includes includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera for video conferencing, a 2.1 speaker system for high quality audio, an integrated MagSafe charger to keep Mac notebooks charged, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, and one Gigabit Ethernet port. The cost is $999.

All three products–the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and Thunderbolt Display–are all available today. The new computers come preinstalled with Apple’s latest and greatest operating system Mac OS X Lion. Get a closer look at everything in the galleries below. Official PR sits after the break.

[Via Apple] READ MORE Apple refreshes MacBook Air, Mac mini & 27-inch display

Google I/O 2011: Music Beta, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Android@Home, Chrome OS, Chrome Web Store

Yesterday and today Google hosted its renowned developer’s conference dubbed Google I/O 2011. Literally thousands of developers flocked to San Fransisco’s Moscone Center to find out what Google’s been cooking up on their end. This year’s event proved to be leaps and bounds more exciting than last year’s conference. Google introduced their new cloud-based music service called Music Beta; they unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android that promises to bridge the gap between Gingerbread and Honeycomb; Android is going into the home automation business with Google’s impressive initiative Android@Home; Chrome OS is finally ready for the big leagues–Samsung and Acer are prepping Chromebooks for mass consumption; and Angry Birds has landed in the browser!

So much to discuss–it’s all a hop, skip and a jump after the break. READ MORE Google I/O 2011: Music Beta, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Android@Home, Chrome OS, Chrome Web Store

Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series hides a full keyboard under a tablet

CES 2011 was host to a myriad of upcoming tablets running Android, Windows 7, custom skins, you name it.  Samsung’s Sliding PC 7 Series is certainly one of the most innovative and is a stand-out winner in my humble opinion. At first you might look at the slate and think it’s just a thicker iPad.  But that thickness is apparent for a reason; hiding underneath the tablet is a slide-out chiclet keyboard with a trackpad.  This hybrid machine doubles as a 10.1 inch tablet and a small notebook PC.  I’m really impressed with the design factor here, but specs are important too: 1366×768 multitouch display, Intel’s 1.66GHz (Oak Trail) processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, 4-in-1 memory card reader, webcam, 802.11n WiFi, 3G/WiMax & DLNA support, built-in accelerometer, USB, HDMI out, will last up to nine hours on a single charge.  Samsung’s Fast Start feature will boot up the machine in as little as 15 seconds, or restore it from Hibernate and Sleep modes in 3 seconds.  The hybrid will ship with Windows 7 Home Premium and Samsung’s custom skin called Touch Launch that “comes with preloaded applications that are optimized for the touch screen display.”  To launch Sammy’s skin you simply and elegantly swipe a blue strip located on the screen bezel.  The Sliding PC 7 Series will drop in March at $699.

I’m really digging the choice hardware manufacturers are giving consumers when it comes to tablet design.  Companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung are creating such inventive, sleek hardware designs that give users the option to use a simplified OS in a tablet form factor and a more robust Windows experience with a touchpad/keyboard present.  I like the idea of having a tablet that can easily be converted into a more full-fledged computing device when a full-sized keyboard is needed.  At just 2.2 pounds, Samsung’s slider isn’t that hefty and I think I can sacrifice a couple pounds in weight and some inches in thickness to know that a reliable physical keyboard is just a hand gesture away from accessibility.

Jump after the break to see the notebook do its transformation thing.  Official PR’s there too.

[Via Engadget] READ MORE Samsung Sliding PC 7 Series hides a full keyboard under a tablet

Lenovo injects life back into the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

Remember way back when (about one year ago)… Lenovo revealed a funky and intriguing laptop/tablet hybrid design called the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid.  Much like the Dell Inspiron Duo, it promised to double as a tablet running Lenovo’s custom Linux OS called Skylight and a standard notebook running Windows 7 when the tablet’s docked as a display.  Since then, Lenovo has dumped Skylight for Android and beefed up the processing power. The detachable tablet is now called LePad and it’s powered by a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and runs a custom Lenovo skin called LeOS that’s build on top of Android 2.2.  The LePad features a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) capacitive multitouch display and it works in both landscape and portrait modes.  An eight hour battery life is promised.   Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is expected to play nice when the product ships.  The notebook, or U1 Base, packs a 1.2GHz Intel Core and runs Windows 7.  Switching from Android to Windows is a snap, literally.  Once the tablet is locked into place in the notebook base, a couples seconds later Windows is fully loaded.  When you detach the screen the switch to Android is instantaneous.

Unfortunately for those living in the U.S. the LePad and U1 Base will not ship until Google releases Android 3.0 (aka Honeycomb).  The first market Lenovo will hit is China this quarter.  The IdeaPad U1 with LePad will go for $1300 and the LePad will be available as a standalone product with an asking price of $520.

With a refreshed look and Android integration the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid is leaps and bounds superior to its original incarnation unveiled one year ago.  Here’s to hoping that Gingerbread arrives sooner rather than later so that Lenovo can work on an updated tablet skin and ship this puppy Stateside stat!  Product images below, PR after the break.

[Via Engadget]

READ MORE Lenovo injects life back into the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid

The Razer Switchblade transforms the mouse and keyboard experience into the realm of portability

This is one slick concept machine.  Razer, the maker of high-end precision gaming products, revealed a concept mobile PC designed for gamers on the go.  The Razer Switchblade is based on the Intel Atom processor and packs an ultra-sensitive, 7-inch capacitive multitouch touchscreen (1024 x 600) and a dynamic tactile keyboard.  The keyboard is the most intriguing part of the design; key layout and configuration can be changed on-the-fly based on game content and user requirements.  For example, it can serve as a standard QWERTY keyboard as you’re browsing a website inside a browser and the next minute it can morph into a keyboard made specifically to play a game like World of Warcraft where the keys become quick access points for magical potions and spells.  So how does it all work?  Easy; just like the top half of the device, the keyboard is actually a large LCD screen in disguise with physical keys layered on top of it.  Inside the custom Razer OS skin the user can tweak the keyboard to make the keys function however they want.  Customization is left up to the user’s imagination. Sure, you can make the keys display video playback controls such as play, pause, fast-forward, etc.; but Razer is a gaming company at heart and they are hoping that gamers will find the customization options to be helpful in optimizing the way they play games on the go when a full keyboard and mouse combo are not present.

As awesome as that keyboard hopes to be, keep in mind that the Switchblade is still a portable notebook.  Razer’s custom skin can be hidden to reveal a standard copy of Windows 7.  There are also USB ports (so a mouse can theoretically be connected), a mini HDMI port, and a webcam.  Bluetooth and WiFi are also inside.  The company is still determining whether or not to pack 3G capability with it.  That’s right–this concept notebook unveiled at CES 2011 is actually coming to market in the near future.  Razer is mum on exact release date and price, but you can expect to see this portable gaming machine attempt its transformation of the mouse/keyboard paradigm sometime within the next year or so.  Full PR after the break.

[Via Engadget, here & here]

READ MORE The Razer Switchblade transforms the mouse and keyboard experience into the realm of portability

Dell Inspiron Duo available to purchase now, ships December 17

Dell’s Inspiron duo convertible tablet is finally available to order.  And a final spec sheet reveals its guts: 10.1-inch HD (1366×768) capacitive multitouch display; Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator; Intel Atom N550 dual core processor (clocked at 1.5GHz); 2GB of RAM; 320GB (7200RPM) HDD; 1.3 megapixel camera with digital microphone; two USB ports and one headphone jack; and it comes preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium and Dell’s custom “duo Stage” software.  The Stage software comes into view when the laptop is transformed into a tablet form factor.  Dell is pimping its ability to “provide quick and easy access to your music, movies and photos” using touch input.  The Inspiron duo is on sale now for $549.99 with a preliminary ship date set for December 17.  Right now it’s available in “Foggy Night” (black), but Dell promises “Fastback Red” and “Marlin Blue” will be available at additional cost at an unspecified date.  For $100 extra Dell is offering the attractive hybrid netbook/tablet with an Audio Dock that features an integrated speaker and subwoofer, two USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet adapter, and a 7-in-1 card reader.  So if you’re planning on hooking this bad boy up to the Internet and want it to double (erm, triple) as a digital photo frame, the splurge is worth it.  Full PR after the break.

[Via Dell; Engadget] READ MORE Dell Inspiron Duo available to purchase now, ships December 17

Dell Inspiron Duo to ship in early December for $549

It’s official: Dell’s netbook/tablet hybrid is coming to market in the first week of December.  Underneath that conventional, super cool swivel design lies a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator, and 250GB of storage.  In standard laptop mode, Windows 7 Home Premium is your OS.  Transform it into a tablet and you’ll be introduced to Dell’s Duo Stage UI made for fingers.  The 10.1-inch, 1366×768-resolution display can be backed with a coat of blue, black, or red.  The Inspiron Duo is priced at $549.  A JBL speaker dock will ship alongside it; you can get it bundled with the Duo and bring the grand total to $649.  Antsy to get your paws on this slick lookin’ lappy?  This teaser should hold you over ’til it’s sweet release.

[Via Engadget; Dell]

Dell Inspiron Duo shows up in official teaser

Ya’ll remember when Dell unveiled the Inspiron Duo back in September at IDF?  You know, it’s the netbook/tablet hybrid that sports an awesome (albiet unconventional) swivel design.  We’ve seen it pose for press shots and star in brief hands-on demonstrations, but there’s nothing like watching it shine in an official teaser video from Dell.  Watch the Duo in convertible action above, then watch it again!  Latest murmurs point to a late 2010 release date.

[Via Engadget]

Back to the Mac: iLife ’11, FaceTime, Mac OS X Lion, MacBook Air

Today Steve Jobs hosted an Apple keynote presentation appropriately titled Back to the Mac.  In it he demonstrated the new version of iLife ’11, highlighting major upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie, and GarageBand; introduced FaceTime for the Mac; previewed the next version of Mac OS X; and unveiled two new MacBook Air notebooks.  It’s breakdown time.

iLife ’11: The latest version of iLife packs the usual suspects–iPhone, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD.  The former three have been given major upgrades in functionality.

iPhoto ’11 features a new full-screen mode.  With a click of a button (the green [+] located at the top left corner of the window), desktop applications, the menu bar, and other distractions disappear.  In full-screen mode you take advantage of more screen real estate when viewing pictures in Events, Faces, Places, Albums, and Projects.  Projects is a new way to view your collection of books and letterpress cards on a wooden bookshelf.  The ability to create custom letterpress cards is a new feature; 15 distinct themes are at your disposal to customize and order directly from Apple to send to relatives and friends.  When you go to create a book or letterpress card, a new dynamic theme browser in carousel style will be presented to you.  There are also a bunch of new slideshow themes including Holiday Mobile, Reflections, and Places.  Want to email a group of photos to a friend?  Now you can create and send an email message within iPhoto; no need to jump out and into a mail client.  You can choose from eight themes to customize how you want your pictures to be presented in the email.  And lastly there’s Facebook enhancements.  Within iPhoto you can now publish photos directly to your wall or to an existing album, and if your friends leave comments on your photos you’ll be able to view them in iPhoto.  You can also tag faces and browse all of your Facebook albums in iPhoto; no need to jump out and into a browser.

iMovie ’11 features new audio editing tools.  Detailed wave forms are color coded, so now you can see where audio levels are too loud or quiet and adjust them properly.  Also there’s a new single-row view that shows you your entire movie project in one horizontal row, making it easier to edit your soundtrack.  One-step effects are also at your disposal.  Adding visual effects like instant replay, flash and hold, and jump cuts at beats can be done with minimal amount of clicks.  The new People Finder feature works similarly to Faces in iPhoto; the software will analyze your video to identify the parts with people in them.  It also finds the close-ups, medium shots, or wide angles making it easier to find these specific shots during an edit session.  There are two new themes: sports and news.  And now you can publish your movies directly Vimeo,CNN iReport, and Apple Podcast Producer in addition to iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, and your mobile devices.  Last there’s movie trailers.  You can choose from 15 templates to create professional-looking movie trailers out of your clips.  Apple commissioned the London Symphony Orchestra to record (in Abbey Road Studios) and perform original tracks for you to use when creating movie trailers.  Outline and storyboard views make it simple to put together a movie trailer in no time.

GarageBand ’11 includes two new features called Flex Time and Groove Matching.  Flex Time allows you to fix timing mistakes on the fly; you can literally click and drag any part of a waveform to change the timing of a note or beat.  Groove Matching is described as “an automatic spell checker for bad rhythm.”  If one (or multiple) instruments appears to be out of rhythm, all you have to do is select the one instrument that has the perfect rhythm (called the Groove Track) and all the other instrument tracks will instantly match it.  A new feature called “How Did I Play?” gives you the opportunity to play along with a piano or guitar lesson, record yourself, and test how you’re doing in real time.  Like Guitar Hero, the GarageBand lesson will keep track of your performance with a performance meter and show you missed notes in red to help you perfect your skills.  A track progess bar will show you how better (or worse) you’re performing a particular song by date.  Finally, there’s new lessons for piano and guitar, as well as new guitar amps and stompbox effects.

iLife ’11 is available for purchase today at $49.  A family pack, which includes 5 licenses, goes for $79.  Keep in mind iLife ships free with every new Mac. READ MORE Back to the Mac: iLife ’11, FaceTime, Mac OS X Lion, MacBook Air

Dell’s Inspiron Duo is a netbook/tablet hybrid with swivel design

At this year’s Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Dell unveiled a brand new super cool laptop design with the Inspiron Duo.  The Duo doubles as a netbook and tablet thanks to a swiveling 10.1 inch capacitive multitouch display.  What looks like a standard netbook at first glance can instantly be transformed into a tablet device by swiveling the screen from within the frame.  It’s powered by a dual-core Intel Atom N550 chip and runs Windows 7.  Additional specs and pricing have yet to be disclosed.  Dell says the unconventionally designed hybrid will be released into the wilds later this year.  Look after the break for a brief video showing off the swivel action and signs of capacitive touch in Microsoft Surface Globe software.

Update: A new video sufaced today featuring Dell Product Marketer Dave Zavelson handling the Inspiron Duo and showing off photo and video touch-based applications.  It’s sitting after the break for your viewing pleasure.

[Via Engadget, here, here & here] READ MORE Dell’s Inspiron Duo is a netbook/tablet hybrid with swivel design

Founder Nicholas Negroponte claims OLPC XO-3 prototype coming later this year

Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child initiative, says that the next prototype laptop to come out of the factory will be the XO-3 model discussed here.  Back in December we were told that the XO-3 would be ready for 2012 with a $75 price tag.  Apparently the folks at OLPC are ramping up production techniques.  According to Negroponte, the dream tablet for developing countries will be put together in prototype form by December 2010 and will be formally revealed at the next Consumer Electronics Show in January 2011.  Though the prototype model will feature a glass screen, the objective is for it to eventually be “100 percent plastic, unbreakable, and almost extruded out of a machine.”  Listen to Negroponte divulge more details about the XO-3 in the brief but informative video above.

[Via Engadget]