It used to be that if you only wanted to pay $199 for a brand-new laptop, you’d have to try your luck on Black Friday or pick up a Chromebook. Not so anymore. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner outed a $199 HP Windows laptop called the Stream at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference this morning, and it should see the light of day in time for the holiday season. Fine, it doesn’t sound like the biggest deal ever. There are already a few solid Windows laptops floating around there for less than $100 more, after all, and at this point no one’s sure what $199 will actually get you. That’s a fair point, but c’mon: on some level this move is all about symbolism. Microsoft is telling the industry — and the consumers that fuel that immaculate machine — that it’s not giving up low-end computing to Google without a fight.
Nadella and his crew are banking on the fact that Windows provides greater functionality and extensibility than ChromeOS right out of the box. When computer shoppers can own the full Windows experience (for better or worse) for the same price as committing to a Chrome-y connected lifestyle, they’ll have to mull that choice over. That’s exactly what Microsoft wants. Turner also confirmed that the next few months would bring at least a few full-blown Windows tablets priced to move at $99. That announcement wasn’t as much of a surprise since the folks in Redmond revealed that the OS would be free to manufacturers when its installed on device’s with screens under 9 inches. It was only a matter of time, but hey — that doesn’t make the gesture any less meaningful.
Source: The Verge
Both Gartner and IDC appear to have some good news for the PC industry — the seemingly never-ending death spiral may have come to an end. While the two research groups don’t agree completely on the numbers, it does appear that after two years of stead and sizable declines, the PC industry is seeing shipments flatten out. In total, according to Gartner, 75.8 million computers were shipped in the second quarter of 2014, a negligible 0.1 percent drop from the same quarter a year ago. While IDC saw a much more sizable 1.7 percent fall in PC shipments, that’s still a far cry from the 7.1 percent decline it anticipated and the smallest it’s measured in two years.
Two years ago the netbook market imploded and tablets started eating into laptop sales. Since then shipments of traditional computers have been falling at an alarming rate. IDC doesn’t necessarily expect this to indicate a longer term trend towards flat PC sales. Basically, the worst may not be over yet. Despite impressive growth from major players like Dell, HP and Lenovo smaller companies are still seeing tremendous drop off. And the declines are particularly steep in markets like India where the most potential for growth is. Instead the improvements during the quarter were carried primarily by the US and Western Europe, which might not be able to keep the industry from declining further in the long run.
Computers have gone through nothing short of a renaissance in the decade since Engadget was born. When we started in 2004, desktops still ruled the roost; laptops were frequently clunky; and tablets were niche devices for doctors.
That state of affairs didn’t last for long, though. Netbooks briefly took over the world, bringing tiny laptops to the masses. Ultrabooks proved that slim machines could still be powerful. And just about the entire PC market has had to confront the rise and domination of touchscreen-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. In short, it’s pretty remarkable how much of a difference 10 years can make in tech.
2004: Sony VAIO X505
Notable specs: 1.1GHz Pentium M processor, 20GB hard drive, 1.73-pound weight, 10.4-inch (1,024 x 768) display.
Sony didn’t realize it at the time, but it was laying the groundwork for the next decade of laptops with the VAIO X505. The 10-inch system was so featherlight and slender that it was easy to take anywhere, much like a netbook or Ultrabook. If it weren’t for the astronomical $2,999 price tag, it’s possible it could have started a mobile-computing revolution.
2005: IBM ThinkPad T43
Notable specs: 1.6GHz to 2.13GHz Pentium M processors, 30GB or larger hard drive, 6-pound weight, DVD drive, 14.1-inch (1,024 x 768 or 1,400 x 1,050) display.
The ThinkPad T43 was the swan song for an era of computing when laptops were mostly for globe-trotting professionals. One of the last PCs to bear the IBM name before Lenovo closed its acquisition of IBM’s PC business, it represented everything good about the ThinkPad badge: It was fast, well-built and relatively easy to carry in a briefcase.
2006: Dell XPS 700
Notable specs: Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme processors, dual 320GB hard drives, dual DVD drives, dual GeForce 7900 GTX graphics.
Dell had built up a reputation for high-performance PCs well before 2006, but the XPS 700 was the system to own that year if you wanted a gaming desktop from a major brand. Its aggressive design still holds up today, and it was often as powerful as custom-built rigs. It was a dream machine at a time when you still needed a giant tower for serious online gaming.
2007: ASUS Eee PC 701
Notable specs: 800MHz or 900MHz Celeron M processors, 2GB to 8GB solid-state drives, 2-pound weight, 7-inch (800 x 480) display.
The Eee PC 701 marked the official start of the netbook craze, which lasted until the iPad’s arrival in 2010. Its screen, speed and storage were very modest even when new, but it showed that you didn’t need a big, expensive portable just to check your email at the coffee shop.
2008: Apple MacBook Air
Notable specs: 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo processors, 80GB hard drive or 64GB solid-state drive, 3-pound weight, 13.3-inch (1,280 x 800) display.
The archetypal Ultrabook. While it wasn’t without its quirks, the MacBook Air successfully bridged the gap between ultraportables and full laptops. It was fast enough for most tasks, yet light enough that you’d hardly notice it in your bag.
2009: HP Firebird
Notable specs: 2.66GHz or 2.83GHz Core 2 Quad processors, dual 250GB or 320GB hard drives, DVD or Blu-ray drives, dual GeForce 9800S graphics.
While HP’s Firebird line wasn’t perfect by any stretch, it showed how efficient desktops had become. You could get a reasonably quick, ready-made gaming PC that both looked good and didn’t swallow up too much surface area. It’s arguably the prototype for the small-yet-strong Steam Machines that would follow five years later.
2010: Lenovo IdeaCentre A300
Notable specs: 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 500GB hard drive, 21.5-inch (1,920 x 1,080) display.
Although the iMac is virtually synonymous with all-in-one computers, Lenovo’s sleekly designed IdeaCentre A300 was proof that Apple didn’t have a complete lock on the category. Rather than glom the computer on to the A300′s back, Lenovo tucked it away in the base. The result was a relatively subtle, stylish desktop that looked right at home in just about any environment.
2011: Samsung Chromebook Series 5
Notable specs: 1.66GHz Atom processor, 16GB solid-state drive, 3.3-pound weight, 12.1-inch (1,280 x 800) display.
Unlike the other PCs here, the Chromebook Series 5′s real revolution was its software — with Chrome OS, both Google and Samsung were betting that you only needed a web browser for most of your day-to-day computing. That was optimistic on a slow, Atom-based machine circa 2011, but the Series 5 helped launch a wave of stripped-down, affordable laptops that could do a lot without relying on conventional apps.
2012: Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display
Notable specs: 2.3GHz or 2.6GHz Core i7 processors, 256GB to 768GB solid-state drives, 4.5-pound weight, 15.4-inch (2,880 x 1,800) display.
Apple’s 2012 MacBook Pro redesign was just an iterative upgrade in some ways, but it was also a bellwether for where laptop design would go. It wasn’t just that extra-sharp Retina display that turned heads; this was also one of the first high-end, full-size laptops to ditch optical discs and hard drives in the name of both an easier-to-carry body and faster, flash-based storage.
2013: Acer Aspire R7
Notable specs: 1.8GHz Core i5 processor, 500GB hybrid hard drive, 15.6-inch (1,920 x 1,080) adjustable display.
Windows 8′s touch-friendly interface prompted a flood of PCs that tried to be everything to everyone, and that’s epitomized in Acer’s one-of-a-kind Aspire R7. Depending on how you adjusted its multi-hinged display, the R7 could serve as a desktop, laptop or tablet. It wasn’t especially good at any of these, but it revealed how eager PC makers were to keep you from buying mobile tablets.
2014: Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Notable specs: Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, 64GB to 512GB solid-state drive, 12-inch (2,160 x 1,440) display.
If you want a system emblematic of the changes to PCs in the past 10 years, you only need to look at Microsoft’s latest flagship device, the Surface Pro 3. So long as you get its (practically mandatory) keyboard cover, it blurs the lines between tablet and laptop — it’s as useful for watching movies on the couch as it is for serious media editing at your desk.
Jon Turi contributed to this post.
We’ve seen bits and pieces of technology that hint at the future of computing, but HP has just taken a big, big step toward bringing them all together. The company has unveiled The Machine (yes, that’s the name), a processing architecture designed to cope with the flood of data from an internet of things. It uses clusters of special-purpose cores, rather than a few generalized cores; photonics link everything instead of slow, energy-hungry copper wires; memristors give it unified memory that’s as fast as RAM yet stores data permanently, like a flash drive.
The result is a computer that can handle dramatically larger amounts of data, all the while using much less power. A Machine server could address 160 petabytes of data in 250 nanoseconds; HP says its hardware should be about six times more powerful than an existing server, even as it consume 80 times less energy. Ditching older technology like copper also encourages non-traditional, three-dimensional computing shapes (you’re looking at a concept here), since you’re not bound by the usual distance limits. The Machine shouldn’t just be for data centers and supercomputers, either — it can shrink down to laptops and phones.
To HP, the platform opens the door to large-scale computing concepts that aren’t even possible today, since devices can talk to entire networks to get things done. A doctor could compare your symptoms with that of every other patient on Earth, even while keeping everything private; smart cell towers would be aware of what’s going on across other towers and react accordingly. The shift in thinking is significant enough that HP is writing its own operating system from scratch to handle what’s possible with The Machine. It’s also creating an optimized version of Android, so there is a chance you’ll see Machine-based gadgets in your pocket.
The big obstacle at this point is simply timing. HP won’t even have samples of the necessary memory until 2015, while the first devices using The Machine are expected to ship in 2018. However, the tech firm is also attempting the kind of fundamental shift that the industry hasn’t seen in decades — this is going to take a while as a matter of course.
Source: HP Next
For the last few years, we’ve travelled to Computex in Taiwan to see the latest flock of Ultrabooks, with the latest and greatest models providing the biggest news of the show. This year, though, the highlight of the show wasn’t one particularly great notebook or even one company — though ASUS did steal the show with its mile-long list of new products. Rather, it was a prototype from Intel that teased the next generation of ridiculously thin and light PCs.
You think your Ultrabook or iPad Air is thin, but you have to see Intel’s reference design to grasp the skinniness of 2-in-1 devices powered by the Core M-series of processors. We’ll start to see products integrating Intel’s new line of chips later this year, but just imagine how much slimmer high-powered laptops will be a few Computexes down the line. At a certain point, devices will reach peak thinness, and then the focus will shift to improving battery life and performance in such a compact package — and that’s when everybody wins.
Intel’s look at the future of mobile computing is probably the most significant announcement at a show that’s traditionally all about PCs, but this year’s Computex also shined the light on wearables. True, we didn’t see any hardware that rivals Google Glass or Pebble in features or sophistication, but several prototypes from smaller companies boast clever designs for gadgets that live on your head or wrist. A flexible-battery manufacturer demonstrated a strap design that doubles the life of your smartwatch, offering a solution to one of the biggest complaints about the most popular models. E Ink’s wraparoud-display prototype is also an interesting approach to the next generation of wearables, giving you a ton of space to display info on your wrist.
Computex may not be the “CES of Asia” in terms of high-profile product announcements, and much of the new tech we saw here in Taipei was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of cool stuff to see. We’ve made it easy for you by breaking down our coverage just below — enjoy!
- Hands-on with the Liquid Leap: Acer’s first wearable tries to be everything to everyone
- Acer claims the Liquid Jade is the world’s ‘most compact’ 5-inch smartphone
- Acer shows off ‘Extend’ app allowing you to control your phone from your PC
- Acer claims its €79 Liquid Z200 is the cheapest branded Android phone
- With three SIM slots, Acer’s Liquid E700 is a phone for frequent travelers
- ASUS’ PadFone X goes global: still a 5-inch to 8.9-inch transformer
- ASUS’ Zenbook NX500 is a thin and light laptop with a 4K screen
- The ASUS MeMO Pad 8 is ‘the world’s lightest 8-inch LTE tablet’
- New Fonepads from ASUS offer 3G, extra processing power
- ASUS intros the Transformer Book T300 Chi, a super-thin hybrid laptop
- ASUS Transformer Book V is a Windows hybrid with a detachable Android phone
- Here’s a semi-professional 32-inch 4K monitor from ASUS
- ASUS Transformer Pad refreshed with front speakers, lighter keyboard
- Hands-on with ASUS’ Zenbook NX500: The MacBook Pro meets its match
- ASUS’ 20-inch ‘portable’ all-in-one PC has gesture controls and a carrying handle
- There’s no such thing as too many antennas for ASUS’ high-end router
- ASUS’ new Fonepads are solid tablets, but still awkward for making calls
- Up close with ASUS’ quirky Windows laptop/Android phone hybrid
- ASUS has two Steam Machines and one is incredibly compact
- ASUS’ Chromebook C300 is yet another well-made budget laptop
- ASUS crams 4K gaming into sleek and distinctive laptop
- ASUS introduces us to the ‘world’s largest’ curved LED monitor
- ASUS’ new external Blu-ray drive does 7.1 audio at a fair price
- ASUS shows off a 14-inch USB touchscreen monitor
- Asia’s biggest tech show is ASUS’ show
- Angry owl is angry: ASUS does a badass gaming headset
- Dell adds two budget Android tablets to Venue lineup, prices start at $160
- Dell’s new Inspiron 20 is a giant tablet for work and play
- Dell aims for the mainstream with its two new Windows convertibles
- HP’s back-to-school lineup includes lots of convertibles (and Beats products, too)
- HP hedges its bets, unveils a 14-inch laptop running Android (updated)
- HP’s Pro x2 612 laptop-tablet hybrid brings pen support, a sturdy keyboard
- Intel doubles down on tablets, says it will power 130 models this year
- Intel launches Core M processors for even thinner 2-in-1 PCs
- Intel’s Windows 8.1 Pro Broadwell tablet is thinner than the iPad Air
- Intel’s super-thin ‘Core M’ tablets will be cheaper than you think
- Intel: Where we’re going, we don’t need cables
- With seven different use modes, Toshiba’s Kirabook is a Lenovo Yoga on steroids
- Toshiba stuffs Windows into a 7-inch tablet, whether you want it or not
- Watch strap batteries could double the life of your wearable
- An up close look at the giant gaming PC that’s also a desk
- This $295 battery-powered unicycle could replace your Segway
- E Ink’s working on a smartwatch with a full wraparound display
- The PhoneStation uses your smartphone as a head-mounted display
The Leap Motion controller is currently present in three forms: a $74.99 standalone dongle, inside the special edition HP Envy 17 laptop and inside an HP keyboard. The dongle — with almost half a million units sold since launch — and the keyboard are obviously the only ways to add this hand motion sensor externally, but the latter option was limited to select HP computers to begin with. Well, not any more. At Computex, Leap Motion told Engadget that as of this month, you’ll be able to purchase said keyboard for about $99, and it’ll work on any Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC as long as you have the software installed — be it the current version or the free V2 update with skeletal tracking coming this summer.
Today, we give Microsoft’s Cortana a psych eval, take a closer look at Lian Li’s desk/PC hybrid, go hands-on with the MSI GT70 Dominator and learn about the HP’s latest slate, the Pro x2 612. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
Confident, caring, competent: these are just a few of the terms Microsoft’s Susan Hendrich uses to describe Cortana, the personal assistant with attitude. Read on as our own Brad Molen investigates the lovable AI’s development and the real-life personal assistants behind her demeanor.
MSI’s GT70 Dominator gaming laptop is built for power, and it shows. It may have a bulky, old-school frame, but this machine packs a full-sized keyboard and a killer sound system, complete with its own subwoofer.
If you’re intrigued by the Surface Pro 3, but need a 2-in-1 with a sturdy keyboard, then HP’s new Pro x2 612 might be just the device for you. This hybrid shares many features and specs with Microsoft’s premier tablet, but also packs a backlit, spill-resistant keyboard dock.
What you’re looking at is Lian Li’s DX-01: a sleek, glass-faced office desk that happens to have a high-powered PC stuffed inside. What’s more, you can buy it right now, starting at $990. That’s just for the empty case, though — you’ll have to get all the computer bits yourself.
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Filed under: Misc
If you read our Surface Pro 3 review, you know we recommend it, but only for a certain kind of person: someone who needs both a laptop and a tablet, preferably one that allows for pen input. Even then, is Microsoft’s approach the smartest one? Can you really call something a laptop replacement if it’s not as comfortable to use in the lap, or if the keyboard isn’t as sturdy? For all of you skeptics out there, there’s an alternative incoming: HP has just announced the Pro x2 612, a laptop-tablet hybrid that offers many of the same features as the Surface Pro 3. Like the Surface, this is a 12-inch tablet that supports pen input and runs on Ultrabook-caliber Intel Core processors. The main difference is that rather than use a flat, click-in keyboard, the Pro x2 612 comes with a backlit, spill-resistant keyboard dock. As a bonus, that dock also includes a spare battery that brings the total runtime to about 14 hours.
As for the tablet itself, it uses a Wacom pen digitizer, which is what the Surface Pro had before Microsoft switched to N-Trig. As a quick refresher, Wacom’s chief benefit has always been its precision, with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. The downside, though, is that Wacom tablets tend to be thicker than N-Trig ones, which is the primary reason Microsoft made the switch. Indeed, that seems to be the biggest drawback here: the tablet and keyboard dock combined weigh around four pounds, compared with two or so for the Surface Pro 3. In exchange, you get a bunch of ports on the dock, including VGA, DisplayPort and Ethernet sockets; an SD slot; and two USB 3.0 ports. The tablet, meanwhile, has a microSD slot, along with a slot to stow the pen — something you won’t find on the Surface. In effect, then, the Pro x2 612 is a laptop first and a tablet sometimes, whereas the Surface Pro 3 tries to be both in equal measure. Again, different approach here.
Given that HP plans on selling this to businesses and government agencies, you can bet it has all sorts of security measures in places. These include TPM and a Smart Card reader, as well as an optional fingerprint scanner. Spec-wise, it’ll start with a Celeron processor, with options for Pentium, Core i3 and Core i5 (the Surface Pro 3 goes up to i7). Storage capacity ranges from 64GB to 512GB; screen resolution starts at 1,366 x 768 but goes up to full HD. A built-in 4G radio will be an option too, as will Windows 7. HP says it will retail ship in September, with the power keyboard included. You can also buy the standalone tablet, in which case it’s just called the Pro Tablet 612 (no “x2″). Oh, and if you’re put off by the weight, there’ll be a lighter-weight “travel” keyboard too. Until then, check out our hands-on photos above — and take our word for it when we say the keyboard is pretty good.
HP is known in the world of technology for their laptops and desktop computers, and if you are one of the people who are looking forward to a laptop with Android, then HP have something for you. HP officially announced the HP Slatebook – a notebook in a yellow and black color with a 14-inch display. Last year in July, HP released the Slatebook x2 but the new Slatebook comes with a lot of new specs and features.
it comes with a 14-inch FHD (1080p), quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 4 under the hood. It will feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with slight customization made by HP – it will run HP’s apps as well as the Google Play app store, as well as the NVIDIA TegraZone for games. It has a 16mm ultra-slim design and weighs in at a tiny 3.71lbs. It has a battery life of up to 9 hours, which is good enough for a tablet.
It will be available starting August 6th, and it will cost $399. Are you planning to grab it? Let us know in the comment box below.
The post HP announces Android 4.3 powered 14-inch Slatebook appeared first on AndroidGuys.
This week is Computex, a huge computer show happening in Taiwan, which means lots of PC makers will be unveiling their back-to-school lineups, if they haven’t already. HP, for instance, just unveiled a boatload of PCs, including budget and mid-range laptops, a handful of convertibles, and even some Beats products — the first we’ve seen from HP since the Apple deal was announced. Rather than inundate you with specs, we’ve got a neat summary laid out below. We promise to make sense of it all — even if HP does have a penchant for similar-sounding product names.
- Pavilion x360. Confusing product names? May we present Exhibit A: HP just announced a laptop called the Pavilion x360, even though it already sells something with the same name. The original x360 is a cheap, 11-inch machine with a screen that folds all the way back into tablet mode, à la Lenovo’s Yoga line. This new model has a similar design, except it rocks a larger 13.3-inch screen and is more powerful. Whereas the 11-inch version makes do with an Intel Bay Trail processor, the 13-incher starts with AMD A6/A8/A10 chips, going all the way up to Intel Core i3 and i5 CPUs. It also has up to 1TB of storage, not 500GB, with battery life rated between 6.25 and 8.25 hours, depending on whether you go with AMD or Intel (the 11-inch x360 tops out at 4.5 hours). Look for it in July, starting at $600.
- Envy x360. It’s a similar story with the Envy x360, except it has a bigger 15.6-inch screen, and also belongs to HP’s mid-range Envy line, which means the design will be nicer than what you find in the Pavilion range. As a higher-end machine, it also offers higher-end specs, including a range of Core i3 to Core i7 processors and up to 1TB of storage, with the option of a hybrid hard drive for faster boot-ups. This one starts at $680.
- Split x2. Also known as the Pavilion x2 outside the US, the Split x2 is a refresh of an earlier HP Split x2, which came out last year. Like the original, this is a 13.3-inch Windows tablet with a keyboard dock that packs a spare battery. Whereas the original was only offered with Core i3 and i5 processors, though, this new one will also be available with Bay Trail CPUs, allowing HP to sell it at a lower price ($600 and up). Another tradeoff: the new edition has a 500GB spinning hard drive in the tablet, whereas the old one had SSDs inside the slate and an optional HDD inside the dock. In that case, we don’t performance to be quite as fast.
- HP All-in-One PC Beats. You’re going to have to pry the Beats-branded PCs out of HP’s cold, dead hands. The company has said it plans to release products with Beats through the end of 2015, presumably even after the Apple acquisition closes, and indeed, it appears the company is wasting no time. The Envy All-in-One Beats is, uh, exactly what it sounds like: a 23-inch all-in-one desktop whose very being centers around the Beats brand. (Which is to say, it’s very red, and comes armed with both four speakers and four subwoofers.) Design and audio quality aside, the system also has a hinge allowing it to tilt to a 60-degree angle. On the spec front, you’re looking at Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Expect it to start at $999.
- Envy notebooks. HP’s mid-range “Envy” laptops come in three sizes (14, 15.6 and 17.3 inches), each with a metal-accented design and an extra-wide trackpad with “touch zones” on the end to help with Windows 8 gestures. (N.B.: Most modern touchpads handle Windows 8 swipes just fine.) Across the board, these come with touch or non-touch screens, Core i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage, with hybrid hard drives offered on the 14- and 17-inch models. Expect the 14, 15- and 17-inch versions to start at $599, $749 and $699, respectively.
- Pavilion notebooks. It’s all about the color, folks. HP’s budget notebooks (available in 14-, 15- and 17-inch sizes) have a polycarbonate shell with colors like silver, red, blue, white and purple. They also have Beats Audio, which isn’t exactly surprising to us, though HP is making a big deal out of the fact that it’s included even on lower-end notebooks. Speaking of, though this is technically HP’s lower-tier range, you’ll still have lots of flexibility when it comes to configurations; each starts with an AMD E2 chip, moving up to AMD’s A4/A6/A8/A10 APUs and culminating with Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 series. Other specs include up to 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage — again, not bad for a so-called low-end machine. Look for the 14- and 15-inch models to start at $429, while the 17-incher is slated to sell for $449.