Acer president Jim Wong believes touchscreens are an “irreversible trend”
Acer has never made any bones about its displeasure about having to both partner and compete with Microsoft in the Windows 8 tablet market. But, just to be clear, the Taiwanese company only has a problem with the “Surface” bit of Microsoft’s tablet strategy and is otherwise satisfied with the overall direction in which Windows is headed.
When Asus’s Zenbook UX31E debuted last year, it seemed to almost single-handedly put Ultrabooks on the map. Its intriguing mix of good looks, performance, and price convinced many a skeptic, us included, that PCs could compete with the likes of Apple’s vaunted MacBook Air—at a price that catered to common folk.
The UX32Vd comes with a protective sleeve, as well as a small pouch for carrying two connector dongles: one USB-to-Ethernet, one Mini-VGA-to-VGA.
Samsung has readied itself for Microsoft's Windows 8 launch at the end of next week by revealing over half a dozen new systems built to take advantage of the touch oriented operating system. Leaving no stone unturned, Samsung unveiled a pair of convertible tablets, two Ultrabooks, a pair of all-in-one (AIO) systems, and a traditional notebook, most of which sport touchscreen displays.
Someone should go ahead and que up a continuous loop of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me" hit from the 1970s (which again became popular in the 1980s courtesy of Joan Jett) because almost every time we see a new product announcement these days, it's the first song that comes to mind. Manufacturers are launching touch-friendly Windows 8 devices at a breakneck pace, including Acer, which just unveiled a line of Aspire M5 Ultrabooks and V5 notebooks, both with touch support.
As with most technological devices, notebooks have a natural tendency to get smaller, lighter, and faster over time. It's the natural progression of things. Partly in an attempt to speed up the progression towards increasingly capable ultraportable systems, Intel created the Ultrabook specification with a set of guidelines manufacturers must abide by in order to market their systems as such. We've seen some promising Ultrabooks come to market, but will they become the de facto standard Intel envisions? Conflicting reports make that a tough question to answer.
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Regardless of how you feel about Windows 8 and its tile-based user interface, you have to hand it to Microsoft for ensuring its launch partners are on board with the new operating system. Hewlett-Packard certainly is, as it's one of several companies announcing new products ahead of Windows 8's debut in October. HP today unveiled three new Windows 8 devices, including two Ultrabook models (Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 and Spectre XT TouchSmart) and a hybrid PC (Envy x2) that follows a growing trend of combining a tablet PC and Ultrabook into a single device.
You can think of the Synaptics ForcePad as a highly sensitive pressure plate for Ultrabooks and other thin and light devices. Rather than rely on mouse clicks like the majority of standard trackpads, the ForcePad detects up to 1000 grams of pressure from all five fingers and responds accordingly. This type of force detection technology has benefits that go beneath the surface.
Micro-Star International on Friday expanded its notebook portfolio to include the CX61 and CR61 multimedia notebooks. Actually, the two 15.6-inch laptops are essentially the same machine, with the only difference being that the CX61 has a dedicated graphics card, whereas the latter ships with integrated graphics.
At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if Apple's MacBook Air provided inspiration for Intel's Ultrabook platform and AMD's push into ultrathin territory, or whether these new generation of thin and light machines represent a natural evolution of the form factor. What matters is which platform will rule the day, and thus seize the lion's share of the market and the financial rewards that come with it. At least one analyst believes that platform belongs to Apple.