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.
Memory makers would be wise never to take consumer demand for granted. It's a lesson all involved had to learn the hard way after the DRAM market crashed crashed a few years ago, and with the rise in popularity of solid state drives and products that use them, NAND flash memory is proving to be their mulligan. Even still, a repeat of what happened to DRAM sales is possible, and surprisingly enough, it's the Ultrabook market that's driving sales of NAND flash memory, not all those supposed PC-killing tablets.
Shipments of the next generation of Gorilla Glass are now underway, New York-based Corning announced Monday. This announcement comes more than a month after the launch of Gorilla Glass 2 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Hit the jump for more.
Last week, a Digitimes report citing unnamed sources from notebook vendors claimed that Intel had decided to postpone mass shipments of Ivy Bridge chips, and that its partners had already been apprised of the change in shipment plans. But now a new report has come out claiming that the extent of the delay in Ivy Bridge chip shipments is not as significant as has been rumored elsewhere.
Apple is famous for its stranglehold on supply chains all over the world, and it’s now exerting influence with it. According to a report from the Chinese Commercial Times, Apple has forced ODM Pegatron to stop manufacturing the Asus Zenbook Ultrabook or risk losing its iOS device contract. It was a no-contest for Pegatron, which will be ceasing its Zenbook production by the end of March.