The Consumer Electronics Show is undoubtedly the biggest tech event at the start of each new year. It usually offers the tech community a titillating precursor of things to follow later in the year. So what should one expect to see at this year’s event? Sadly for those of you already feeling inundated, CES 2011 is likely to be dominated by tablets.
Asustek will be unveiling a 12-inch enterprise tablet running Windows 7. Rest of its lineup will be made up of a couple of 10-inchers and one 7-inch tablet. One of those 10-inchers is said to feature the Windows 7-Oak Trail combo, whereas the other is built around Nvidia’s Tegra 2 platform and Android.
MSI will also be bringing a 10-inch Wintel-based tablet to the show floor. Also on display will be engineering samples of the company’s ARM-based Android tablets.
Everyone expects Intel’s 32nm Sandy Bridge chips with on-die graphics to shed their “upcoming” tag at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, when the chip maker is officially supposed to launch the new CPU range. But that didn’t stop Malaysian computer retailer Compuzone from flaunting pictures of some members of the Sandy Bridge family on its Facebook page, claiming that it already has them in stock. While the photographs have since been taken down, the Sandy Bridge chips along with Socket 1155 motherboards might already be on sale there.
Forget about the Super Bowl (no one's going to stop the Patriots), if you want to start an office pool, start taking bets on how long it will take analysts to declare the death of the desktop in 2011. Given how aggressively PC makers are targeting the mobile market, we suspect those goofy predictions will come rolling in rather quickly.
Asus, for example, is talking (internally) about shipping 25 million notebooks in 2011, DigiTimes reports. That's nearly a 50 percent increase from the 16.9 units Asus will close out 2010 with, and a remarkable goal considering the demand for netbooks is no longer in a frenzy.
Lenovo, on the other hand, will focus on its 13.3-inch slim notebooks next year. Internally, the company has said it wants its 13.3-inch models to account for more than 30 percent of its total notebook shipments, at least in China.
A 17-inch notebook is going to be big, there’s just no way around it. But after reviewing Malibal’s ginormous X7200 desktop replacement in our Holiday issue, Asus’s eight-pound, 11.8-ounce G73Jw-A1 seems highly portable by comparison. And at $1,800—one-third the price of the X7200—the G73Jw-A1 also seems highly affordable.
You get a lot of notebook for that price. At its center is a Core i7-740 quad-core mobile CPU, with a base clock of 1.73GHz and Turbo Boost potential up to 2.93GHz. Asus kicks that up a notch with a one-button overclock feature called Twin Turbo Mode, which pushes the CPU as much as 100MHz higher. According to Asus, Twin Turbo’s impact is most noticeable in multithreaded apps. And we did see a 6 percent difference when running MainConcept with and without Twin Turbo. But we also observed a similar difference in scores when we ran Photoshop, a mostly single-threaded app, both ways. Hey, we’ll take any extra performance we can get.
It's a pretty safe bet that once the flurry of tablets finally arrive, this emerging sector will coexist with, and not replace netbooks. But that doesn't mean tablet PCs won't partially cannibalize netbooks sales.
According to DigiTimes, that's exactly what Asus can expect with its highly popular Eee PC line. Peering into its crystal ball, DigiTimes says Asus will see its netbook shipments decline by 4-4.5 million units in 2011, at which point they will account for 25 percent of total notebook shipments.
It isn't just Asus, either. Acer, which is expected to ship a total of 7 million netbooks by the end of 2010 and grabbed an 18.1 percent share of the global netbook market in the third quarter, will also see netbook shipments decline in 2011, DigiTimes says.
Have you been holding out for a 9-inch eBook reader with a full-size touchscreen? If so, maybe the new Asus Eee Reader DR900 is exactly what you had in mind.
Asus says it's the first of its kind, pointing out not only that it does touch, but offers 2.25 times the reading area when compared to 6-inch eBook devices.
The D900 is less than 10mm thick, weighs 440g, and comes with 2GB of internal storage, enough to hold up to 5,000 eBooks. And you can always add more via the SD card slot. As for battery life, Asus promises up to two weeks on a single charge, which depending on your reading speed is time enough to read 20 books back-to-back.
There's a virtual keyboard included with the capacitive touchscreen, which can be used to annotate reading material, make handwritten notes, and draw sketches, Asus says.
Unfortunately, Asus didn't disclose a price point or release date, so who knows if they'll pump this out in time for the holidays.
Asus a couple of weeks ago Asus slipped its Disk Unlocker utility under our radar, a piece of software designed to overcome the so-called 2.2TB barrier that, in a nutshell, prevents legacy operating systems from accessing the full storage capacity of hard drives larger than 2048GB.
The way Asus explains it, Disk Unlocker "taps into hidden storage space beyond the nominal 2048GB range, helping you use large hard drives to their maximum potential." The way things currently stand, in order to fully use a storage drive larger than 2.2TB, you need an OS that supports the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which is only supported in 64-bit versions of Windows. To boot from that same drive, things get an order of magnitude more complicated, requiring an UEFI BIOS; 64-bit version of Windows 7, Vista, or Server 2008; non-scented candles; and finely ground albino bat lips.
So where does Disk Unlocker fit into all this? Provided you're rocking an Asus motherboard, the Disk Unlocker utility essentially converts a physical HDD larger than 2048GB into a virtual drive, which can then be recognized in its entirety no matter which version of Windows you're running. And while Asus is a bit vague on this point, the manual appears to state that you can F6 the appropriate drivers during Windows XP installation so that you can boot from the drive as well.
We haven't had a chance to play with it yet, but when we do, you can be sure we'll report back the results.
It wasn't all that long ago that we seemingly caught wind of a new netbook announcement almost every day. Not anymore. The netbook segment, while still kicking, has certainly settled down, so much in fact that the netbook industry has stopped growing, DigiTimes reports.
Asus, which played a pivotal role in promoting what was once a fast emerging market, is hoping AMD has the moxie to get things back on track. Asus set a goal to ship six million netbooks in 2010, and to do that, it's going to need help from its AMD-equipped Eee PC 1015T netbook.
One advantage AMD netbooks like the Eee PC 1015T have over Intel Atom netbooks is that the AMD models are generally cheaper. Built around AMD's Nile platform, the Eee PC 1015T sports an an AMD V105 processor (1.2GHz), 10.1-inch LED backlit screen, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4250 graphics, 250GB hard drive, 0.3MP webcam, Wireless-N, and Windows 7 Starter. It streets for around $350 and is Asus' second AMD-based netbook, the first being the 12-inch Eee PC 1201T.
In Episode 156 of the No BS Podcast, we tasked you to come up with a limerick. Not just any limerick: entries had to weigh in on the eternal Mac vs PC debate. The prize? Eternal fame, plus an Asus EAH5830 graphics card courtesy of Asus.
Winner receives video card. Non-winner gets sense of satisfaction.
More than 150 entries came in. We narrowed the field to our 10 favorites, and now it's your turn. Read the 10 limericks after the jump (we've removed the names of the submitters for now) and decide which one you think is the best, then leave a comment on this post with your vote! We'll announce the winner on the next podcast, and post the finalists again, this time with names attached!
Asus company president Jerry Shen has been talking tablets, saying his company plans to launch several iterations in the coming months, including 7-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch models, DigiTimes reports.
The 12-inch model will feature Windows and sport Intel hardware inside. Mass production is scheduled for December with hopes of launching the Wintel device in January 2011.
Asus is also prepping two 7-inch and two 9-inch tablets for a March 2011 release. One of the 7-inch tablets will be Wi-Fi only, while the second will include 3.5G support and phone functionality. As for the 9-inch models, one will come built around Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform wrapped in Android, while the other will be another Wintel device. About $100 will separate the two devices.