Just as it did last year, HP is updating its convertible, all-in-one and thin-and-light laptop again. This time, the company is making sure its devices are (more than) slim enough for your bags and crowded desks. In addition to losing weight and girth, the Envy 13, the Spectre x360 13.3 and the 27-inch Envy All-In-One and display are all getting refreshed with the latest processors and improved battery lives (for the laptops). While neither the new Envy 13 nor the Spectre x360 convertible can steal the title of skinniest notebook from the Spectre laptop, they’re still impressively svelte with profiles measuring just 14mm and 13.8mm respectively.
Both the new Envy 13 laptop and Spectre x360 convertible offer configurations with the latest seventh-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 1TB solid state drives as well as Bang & Olufsen audio enhancements. They’re supposed to last 15 and 14 hours respectively and support HP Fast Charge. The latter is supposed to bring the laptops’ batteries from zero to 90 percent in 90 minutes of charging.
The new Spectre convertible looks as gorgeous as it did before, but now has a new hinge, smaller size and a so-called micro-edge display bezel that’s narrower than its predecessor. It also has a new dual fan design to keep it cool when it’s running taxing tasks. You’ll get a full HD IPS display and two USB Type C ports that support Thunderbolt 3. In addition to a webcam with a 12 percent wider field of view than before, the x360 also sports an infrared camera that enables Windows Hello for face-recognition logins.
Display options are aplenty on the new Envy. You can pick from full HD, quad HD and ultra HD display resolutions with touchscreen choices starting from QHD. It now has two USB 3.0 ports (one of which is dedicated to sleep and charge), as well as one USB Type C slot. Like the Spectre x360, it also has a narrower bezel.
For those interested in larger systems for the desktop, HP’s also refreshed its Envy AIO 27 to feature an integrated four speaker sound bar and a floating Technicolor Color Certified HD display that is 15 mm thin. The motherboard has been moved to the base to make the screen as thin as it is, and you can pick from sixth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 chips, as well as an optional discrete NVIDIA GTX 950M graphics card.
The Spectre x360 is already available today, starting at $1,050, while the Envy is out on October 26 for a base price of $850. The Envy All-In-One 27 is expected to retail later this month starting at $1,300.
Almost exactly seven years ago, Alienware joined the Tokyo Game Show for the first time to launch its redesigned machines since Dell’s acquisition. This week, the American company is once again present there to launch the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops for Japan, with one of their main selling points being their VR capability courtesy of NVIDIA’s GTX 10-Series graphics. While this won’t change the fact that high-end VR rigs are still relatively expensive, global marketing director Joe Olmsted reckons the mobility aspect will be enough to turn VR into the new home party machine that can be shared between friends — much like what he did with the Nintendo Wii back in the days.
“I don’t know if you remember but ten years ago it was hard to get a Wii, and yet everyone wanted one, everyone wanted to play it, everyone wanted to do tennis and bowling,” recalls Olmsted, who first joined Alienware 13 years ago. “So we had one, we just lugged it around in a bag and went from place to place to place, you know, be wherever our buddies were at on a Friday night.”
“With VR, I can see that happening; I certainly do it myself.”
Over the last few months, Olmsted has been bringing his company’s next-generation VR-ready notebook (he sure likes to tease) and his own HTC Vive — all tucked into one bag — to friends’ houses for extra entertainment at parties and gatherings. As he quite rightly puts it, “it’s basically a portable VR [rig].” Neither do the Vive nor the Oculus Rift have to be stuck at home because of the bulky desktop PC they’re tied to, as the latest high-end laptops can perform just as well, let alone whatever future model that Olmsted is already using. For those planning on doing the same, you may also want to bring tripods to prop the trackers up.
According to the exec, the GTX 10-Series graphics is the biggest performance jump he’s ever seen on laptops, but that’s not to say the previous generation isn’t good enough for VR, either. Take Alienware’s VR backpack, for instance: It’s essentially an Alpha R2 mini PC powered by the older GTX 960, and it’s utilized by Australia’s Zero Latency to host its six-player VR zombie game. Obviously, for those who are buying a PC now for the sake of VR, you’ll want to go straight to the GTX 10-Series to be as future-proof as possible. In the case of the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops, they’ll be hitting the US store on September 30th and then its UK counterpart on October 4th.
When Intel formally launched its seventh-generation Core processors, you could practically hear the outcry for an updated Dell XPS 13 that uses them. It’s a fan favorite among laptops, but a showcase for what Intel’s technology can do for mobile performance and battery life. Well, you can relax. Dell is releasing an upgraded XPS 13 that not only touts the latest Intel tech, but also comes in an optional “rose gold” (aka light metallic pink). It’s an acknowledgment that the XPS 13 and its near-borderless display have become design statements, and that many people would like color options beyond the usual shades of gray.
Outside of the attention-getting hue, this is mostly a nuts-and-bolts upgrade. The big deals are newer Core i3, i5 and i7 chips that promise faster performance and longer battery life (22 hours 21 minutes in productivity apps, 13 hours for web browsing or Netflix streaming). You’ll also get higher-speed WiFi though Killer networking hardware. However, the addition of Thunderbolt 3 may be especially welcome — the high-speed port opens the door to single-cable docking and up to two 4K external displays, in case your XPS regularly doubles as a desktop.
The specs are otherwise largely unchanged. The XPS 13 still starts at $799 with a 1080p display, a Core i3, 4GB of RAM (seriously, Dell, bump this up) and a 128GB solid-state drive. You’ll have to pay more for one of the speedier CPUs, a 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen, up to 16GB of RAM and a maximum 1TB SSD. Also, be prepared to pay a premium to stand out from the crowd. Dell tells us that the rose gold model starts at $1,179, so you can’t just choose the new shade alongside your configuration of choice.
Now you can watch all the adult content you want on the go. HP has designed a new integrated privacy screen in partnership with 3M to combat what the company calls “visual hacking.” In other words: creepers looking over your shoulder. The Sure View screen will be available on touchscreen versions of the company’s Elitebook 840 and 1040 laptops in September, and on nontouch ones in October. I got an early look at the new panels, which were mostly useful and effective.
Sure View eliminates the need to stick an additional privacy filter onto your screen, which can be cumbersome and annoying. Plus, privacy filters cost between $30 and $80 a pop, and if you damage or lose one, that can be a pricey replacement. So it’s easy to see why this implementation is a benefit.
HP also made it pretty easy to activate the privacy mode. You’ll just have to hit Fn + F2 to switch it on and off. This worked quickly and seamlessly when I saw it at an HP demo, and as I moved from side to side, the contents on the screen did get blacked out once I was at more than 10 degrees away.
While it’s easy to imagine this feature being used for sketchy media consumption in public places, Sure View actually has a lot of practical uses. It would probably be most helpful to business people dealing with sensitive financial information or updating classified presentations on the go.
Pricing is still being determined. On some higher-end configurations of the 840 and 1040 notebooks, which start at $1,249 and $1,449 respectively, the Sure View fee could be absorbed. The screen add-on could cost up to $75 in other setups. If you frequently deal with sensitive data in public, you might want to check out the new notebooks come September. In the meantime, you should really check out the pictures in the gallery of random people creeping on HP laptop users to know what you’re dealing with.
It wouldn’t be a Xiaomi event if it was just announcing one product. In addition to the new Redmi Pro smartphone, the Chinese company threw in a huge surprise by launching its first-ever laptop line, the Mi Notebook Air, running on Windows 10. It comes in two sizes — the powerful 13.3-inch and the portable 12.5-inch — and both feature a slim body, a 1080p display with slim under-glass bezels (while still managing to fit in a 1-megapixel webcam), a backlit keyboard, a USB Type-C charging port plus a minimalistic metallic design — in gold or silver, naturally — with no logo on the outside. The best part of all? The flagship model costs just 4,999 yuan or about $750.
Don’t be misled by that seemingly too-good-to-be-true price tag. The 13.3-inch model comes in at just 14.8mm thick and 1.28kg heavy, which is pretty good given that you get an Intel Core i5-6200U processor (up to 2.7GHz) plus an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU (with 1GB GDDR5 RAM). Of course, Xiaomi just had to point out that this is thinner and lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air. You also get 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB of SSD via PCIe and one free SATA slot for expansion (but only serviced by Xiaomi). The 40Wh battery should be good for up to 9.5 hours, and it can go from zero to 50 percent in just half an hour using the bundled USB-C charger.
The smaller 12.5-inch model is even slimmer and lighter at 12.9mm and 1.07kg, respectively, but you’ll have to make do with an Intel Core M3 CPU, no dedicated GPU, just 4GB of RAM and just a 128GB SSD via SATA — though there’s one free PCIe slot if you don’t mind letting Xiaomi do the upgrade for you later. And instead of two USB 3.0 ports, you only get one here; but you still have an HDMI port. The upside of this model is that you get two more hours of battery life. The price? 3,499 yuan or about $520.
Much likes its bicycles, rice cookers and drones, the Mi Notebook Air is a “Mi Ecosystem” product made by a partner — in this case, it’s Tianmi which literally means “field rice.” A Xiaomi rep reasoned that the company decided to tap into the laptop market as it identified a potential market to deliver the right balance between performance and portability, as well as to make it easier for young adults to afford a PC for productivity. While the Mi Notebook Air doesn’t run on MIUI (Xiaomi’s customized Android ROM), it does come with “Mi Sync” software (tentative name translated from Chinese) which should somewhat boost Mi Cloud usage. The laptop can also be automatically unlocked when your Mi Band is within a close proximity.
The Mi Notebook Air is launching in China on August 2nd. Again, there’s no info regarding global availability for it just yet, so stay tuned for future updates.
When we reviewed Samsung’s Notebook 9, my editor Dana noted that it was an excellent back to basics model from the company. It didn’t feature a touchscreen or even a rotating screen — it had a pretty good normal screen, though. For the folks who need the above accoutrements, though, Samsung is introducing the Notebook 7 Spin. With it comes a new 1080p touchscreen you can use like a tablet when spun 360 degrees. Hence the name. The 7 Spin can also go into tent mode for watching a movie with its HDR video capabilities. Or, if you’re a traditionalist, you could use the computer like a normal laptop.
Beyond the screen’s tricks, the computer also boasts fast charging. A full charge takes an hour and a half on the 15.6-inch model, and an additional ten minutes for the 13.3-inch version. But, if you’re only near an outlet for 20 minutes, that’ll eke out two extra hours of battery life. The Spin also offers either a 6th gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and 1TB hard drive, with options for more RAM and solid state storage.
You can snag one starting next week on June 26th from Best Buy or Samsung directly, with configurations starting at $799.
It’s no secret that the PC market has been shrinking due to the onslaught of smartphones and tablets, but if you ask Dell, it’s apparently bucking the trend thanks to its 2-in-1 notebooks and gaming laptops. At Computex, Executive Director Monty Wong told us that Dell saw 13 consecutive quarters of increasing PC market share, to the point where it overtook HP as the number one PC brand in the US back in Q1, according to IDC. As such, it’s no surprise that the PC giant has been mostly focusing on 2-in-1s at this year’s show, with the new lineup running the gamut from the world’s first 17-inch 2-in-1 all the way down to a $249 11-inch device. Let’s take a closer look.
Starting off at the high end, we have the aluminum Inspiron 7000 series 2-in-1s, which come in sizes of 13, 15 and 17 inches. The 17-incher is a first in the 2-in-1 market, with its beastly size making it especially handy for kitchen use, small meetings and maybe movie watching. These are all designed with prosumers in mind. As such, they pack Intel’s sixth-generation Core processor, NVIDIA’s GeForce 940M graphics chip and a backlit keyboard.
These will also come with an infrared camera for Windows Hello’s facial recognition login feature. In addition to the HDMI port, the two full-size USB connections (one of them USB 3.0), the SD card slot and the usual power plug socket, there’s also a USB Type-C port on the left for an external dock, monitor or secondary battery. This series starts at $749 and will be hitting Dell’s US site on June 2nd, followed by retail availability at Best Buy.
Next up we have the more mainstream Inspiron 5000 series. While their bodies are made of plain plastic, I’m digging their clean, understated design. There are only two size options: 13 inches and 15 inches, both offering a full HD touchscreen with wide viewing angle. The infrared camera is here to stay, and these machines will support up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM. In terms of sockets, you’ll miss out on the USB Type-C port featured on the 7000 series; instead you’ll get an additional full-size USB 3.0 port. These start at $529 and will be on Dell.com at the same time as the 7000 series.
Finally, there’s the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1, an 11-inch convertible laptop aimed at children and budget-conscious shoppers. Given its $249 entry price, there’s not much to expect in terms of performance: It comes with an Intel Pentium chip, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage space and a 1,366 x 768 touchscreen. That said, you still get one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 connections, an HDMI socket and a microSD slot. It will be available June 2nd, initially in red and blue, followed by gray and white at a later date.
Stay on top of all the latest news from Computex 2016 right here.
Evernote is still one of the most popular and fully-featured note-taking apps, however as a business it’s been struggling of late. Following extensive layoffs and the departure of its long-time CEO Phil Libin, the company is cutting back on nonessential projects. The latest is Evernote Market, an online store where it sells physical goods such as “smart” notebooks, scanners and styluses. Most of these are complimentary to its software, making it easier to transfer handwritten notes. While useful for users, the entire initiative was probably a distraction for Evernote.
The products will still be available, however Evernote won’t be responsible for selling or fulfilling the orders. Instead, the company will simply point customers to other sites where it’s possible to buy them. “We plan to continue adding partners and integrations that strongly and elegantly complement Evernote,” the company stresses in a blog post. Whether or not that comes to fruition, the decision to close Market should allow Evernote to focus entirely on the core app. That’s important, given Premium subscriptions is the key to its long-term success and profitability.
Source: Evernote (Blog Post)
If you find yourself working in crowded spaces like coffee shops, it can be tough to keep prying eyes from glancing at your screen. To combat that sort of snooping, HP is outfitting its stable of notebook PCs with privacy screens from 3M. The duo is working on new displays that integrate the security feature for “an on-demand electronic privacy solution.” While details are scarce for now, it sounds like the screens in HP’s future laptops will allow the feature to be turned off when you’re working from the comforts of your home or office. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a bit to get your hands on a machine that houses the tech, as the first products are expected to arrive in mid-2016.
LG Display has begun mass production of some larger Advanced In-Cell (AIT) touchscreen panels. Although aimed at the notebook market for now, the technology could eventually made its way to tablets, enabling thinner and lighter devices.
As already mentioned, the key part of LG’s latest displays in its AIT technology, which reduced the thickness of the display panel by integrating the TFT LCD and touchscreen layers into a single unit, rather than stacking the two on top of one another.
In-cell isn’t a new idea in the mobile market, by LG states that its latest version of the technology allows panel thickness to be reduced by around 1mm. That may not sound like a lot but that reduces the display size by 25 percent and up to 200 grams in larger panels.
A thinner distance from the backlight to the display surface also increases the brightness and color reproduction of the display. You may recognize the AIT name from a previous display launch, as LG is already using this technology in its LG G4 flagship smartphone.
LG is not the only company working on improving its in-cell display technology. Last month Sharp announced that it has begun mass production of its own in-cell displays for smartphones.
LG’s latest panels are designed for 14 and 15.6 inch notebooks, to capitalize on the launch of Windows 10. But as LG Display already has a similar 5.5-inch panel in production, we will hopefully see some intermediate screens for tablets appear in the future as well.
LG Display Launches Lighter and Slimmer LCD Panels with Advanced In-Cell Touch Technology for Notebook PCs
Seoul, Korea (July, 6 2015) – LG Display, the world’s leading innovator of display technologies, announced today that it will start mass production of Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) panels for notebook PCs, which will make the devices drastically slimmer and lighter, in the second half of this year.
The new Full HD LCD panel incorporating the ‘In-Cell’ touch function is an exclusive development by LG Display. The AIT is an advanced in-cell touch technology that employs a touch sensor embedded within the LCD panel, replacing the ‘add-on’ type that places the touch panel on top of the LCD.
The panels with the AIT technology have earlier been introduced for smartphones such as LG G4. It is the first time the technology is being applied to larger size devices such as notebook PCs.
The technology eliminates the space needed for a touch function cover glass, and as a result reduces the panel’s thickness by 1 millimeter (approximately 25 percent) and its weight by 200 grams (approximately 35 percent) compared to a conventional 15.6-inch touch-embedded panel with Full HD resolution. It also offers a brighter and clearer screen picture since there is no light loss or light reflection caused by the cover glass. In addition it features an excellent touch response and precise calibration of the touch point even with water drops on the screen.
In response to enthusiastic customer feedback about the ultra-slim and light LCD panel for notebook PCs, LG Display has already agreed to supply 15.6-inch and 14-inch panels to several global notebook PC brands, and the company is engaged in active discussions with customers to supply different panel sizes.
Expectations for LG Display’s new notebook PC panel are anticipated to soar since the industry is gearing up for the expansion of touch embedded products, especially with the launch in the second half of the year of the Window 10 operating system, which is optimized for touch functions.
LG Display is also working on an AIT-based panel for pen touch functions. The pen touch function is particularly essential for consumers using two-in-one PCs that combine tablet and laptop functions, which involves writing with a pen while consumers hold the product.
Mr. Byeong-Koo Kim, Vice President and Head of the IT/Mobile Development Group at LG Display, said, “The AIT technology is the most optimized and best solution to lead the touch embedded notebook PC market as it delivers excellent touch response as well as offering an ultra-slim and light design.” He added, “LG Display will continue to develop products that offer the best user experience, such as QHD high resolution panels and the pen touch function products.”
According to market search firm IDC, 10 percent of global notebook PCs in 2014 were touch function embedded, and the market is expected to rapidly increase up to 20 percent in 2016 and 30 percent in
About LG Display
LG Display Co., Ltd. [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220] is the world’s leading innovator of display technologies including thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD), OLEDs and flexible displays. The company manufactures and provides display panels in a broad range of sizes and specifications primarily for use in TVs, notebook computers, desktop monitors, and various other applications including tablets, mobile devices. LG Display currently operates fabrication facilities in Korea and China, and back-end assembly facilities in Korea, China, and Poland. The company has a total of approximately 50,000 employees operating worldwide. For more news and information about LG Display, please visit http://www.lgdisplay.com