A few months after it started shipping the Scorpio Blue 7mm hard drive, aimed at Intel-based ultrabooks and other ultra-thin and light notebooks, Western Digital on Monday up the ante by announcing what it claims is the “world's thinnest 2.5-inch hybrid hard drive.” The world’s largest HDD maker said it has begun sampling the 5mm-thin hybrid HDD and will be showcasing the technology during the upcoming WD Investor Day on September 13, 2012.
Having debuted late last year with 2nd generation Intel Core processors, ultrabooks moved to 22nm Ivy Bridge chips back in June. But all along, it has been said that ultrabooks will truly come into their own when Intel launches Haswell, its first true system-on-a-chip (SoC). The launch of Ivy Bridge’s successor is still far off, but we will soon have a fair idea of what Intel has in store for us.
Apple gets all the credit for pushing out machines with ultra-high “retina” class display’s, but let’s face it, they didn’t exactly invent it. Samsung is the company pumping out the panel’s en-mass to fill the Apple supply chain, and thanks to the popularity of the technology, we are starting to see the trickle down effect into the PC space. Samsung snuck a new Series 9 prototype into their innovation gallery at this year’s IFA exhibition in Germany, and the 2560 x 1440 matte display is being described by MobileGeeks as nothing short of glorious.
For whatever reason, Ultrabook makers have been infatuated with 1,366x768 and 1,600x900 screen resolutions, rarely experimenting with anything higher, regardless of display size. That isn't true of Toshiba, which earlier this month launched its Satellite U845W, purportedly the world's first laptop to play with an ultra-wide 21:9 cinematic aspect ratio (1,792x768). Come October 26, the U845W will get a Windows 8 makeover, Toshiba announced today.
IFA Berlin is in full swing and we're starting to see a number of Windows 8 product announcements emerge. One of them is Toshiba's Satellite U925t convertible tablet, or "tablet meets Ultrabook," as the company describes it. Sleek and slim, the Satellite U925t looks every bit a tablet, but a slide out QWERTY keyboard quickly transforms it into a makeshift Ultrabook with some pretty impressive hardware inside.
Boutique system builder CyberPower PC is looking to put the pressure on Ultrabook vendors with a sleek and sexy looking model of its own. Unlike many Ultrabooks, however, CyberPower says its new Zeus-M and Zeus-M2 thin and light machines are a little more customizable in that you can configure additional RAM and solid state drive (SSD) storage without selecting a whole new baseline system.
Lenovo's been enjoying a fair amount of time sitting the limelight as it celebrates the ThinkPad brand's 20th anniversary. Most of the attention has been split between the OEM's ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Windows 8 and ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook, but nearly slipping under the radar is the company's ThinkPad T430u "ultraportable," which is by all means an Ultrabook aimed at the business crowd.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the ThinkPad brand, which was developed by IBM and then sold to Lenovo in 2005. To celebrate the occasion, Lenovo today announced the release of its ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook model at a company-sponsored event in Beijing. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a 14-inch Ultrabook that weighs less than 3 pounds and boasts an 8-hour battery life.
LSI Corporation today announced an injection of enhanced features into its SandForce SF-2200 and SF-2100 series of client flash storage processors (FSPs) specifically designed to play nice with Ultrabooks. The new features are said to extend battery life by as much as one hour, cut down on resume times when waking from sleep mode, and "enhance the overall user experience."
As much as we're in love with the Ultrabook category's thin and light form factor, we're not nearly as smitten over the low display resolution that plagues the majority of first and second generation models. Even larger models like Acer's 15.6-inch Timeline and HP's equally sized Envy both sport 1366x768 screen resolutions, while Samsung's 15-inch Series 9 taps out at 1600x900. Well, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon Vizio's online collection of PCs, including a 15.6-inch Ultrabook model that finally gets the resolution right.