Leather-wrapped Chromebook 2 models from Samsung start at $250
If the only thing that's stopping you from picking up a Chromebook is that you're waiting for a company to stitch a strip of leather-like material to the lid, well, you're in luck. Samsung today announced that it's taking pre-orders for its 11.6-inch Chromebook 2. According to Samsung, the build is nearly seamless, supported by a strong metal frame from top to bottom and covered with a leather-like case, giving the system the appearance of an expensive briefcase.
We're always hearing about Intel and Microsoft working with system vendors to promote cheaper systems, but what about AMD? Well, if the chatty heads entrenched in the upstream supply chain know what they're talking about, then AMD and Asus are fast becoming BFFs in the desktop space. AMD is even said to be using the name "Zen" for its next-generation desktop APU platform.
Why's Ashton Kutcher hanging around Lenovo, you ask? The short answer, quite simply, is marketing. But the longer answer is that he joined Lenovo as a product engineer a year ago and purportedly helped develop the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, one of three new products Lenovo just rolled out. The other two are the non-pro version of the Yoga Tablet and the Yoga 3 Pro, an ultraslim convertible.
News of the Surface Pro 3's demise have been greatly exaggerated
It's not too often that Microsoft addresses rumors and speculation floating through cyberspace, so the fact that it stood up in defense of its Surface Pro 3 tablet amid talk that it's planning to cancel the product line is telling. Straight and to the point, Microsoft took to its Surface blog to reiterate to businesses (and anyone else) that it's not planning to discontinue the Surface Pro 3. Period.
Update: Now with more screens and information on Nvidia battery boost
When Nvidia unveiled its first Maxwell-based graphics cards during its GAME24 event, the company trumpeted increased performance alongside power efficiency, allowing for high-end video cards that run cooler and quieter. That's the kind of combination that's ideal for mobile gamers, and if you've been waiting for Maxwell to arrive on laptops, your wait is over -- Nvidia this morning launched its GeForce GTX 970M and 980M notebook GPUs.
Consumers aren't getting touchy-feely with their notebooks
The emergency of tablet PCs and smartphones taught everyone the value of touch computing, and with Windows 8, Microsoft tried to carry that momentum over to traditional PCs. It didn't take, or least it hasn't so far, because if it had, we'd all be owners of touchscreen monitors and touch-enabled laptops. However, it looks like that ship may have sailed for certain segments -- because demand for touchscreen laptops has been weaker than expected, vendors have reportedly stopped developing them.
Built to meet U.S. military-standard 810G requirements
Asus is all set to welcome a new Windows 8.1 ultrabook to its AsusPro B Advanced line of business notebooks, a range made up mostly of 14- and 15.6-inch models. The incoming AsusPro Advanced BU201 will be a tad different, though. With a screen size of 12.5-inch, it will be the joint smallest model in the lineup when it goes up for sale.
Asus has been winning over gamers with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of laptops, some of which sport aggressive designs. Others, like the new Asus G551 and G771 gaming laptops, feature a more traditional aesthetic with an emphasis on quiet cooling -- Asus describes the scheme as an "almost-silent cooling system" that efficiently removes heat with minimal fan noise.
If you're looking for a business laptop to bring into the boardroom and take notes with, there's nothing for you to see here (unless you want to make a splash in front of your colleagues and bosses). However, if it's an aggressive design and affordable price tag you're after, Xotic PC may have something of interest. Meet the Phantom X1, Xotic PC's latest 15.6-inch gaming laptop starting at $1,159.
One of many cheap, no-frills Windows notebooks ready to take on Chromebooks
The influx of dirt-cheap Windows laptops that we had been warned about a couple of months back has begun. Among the first wave of such devices is the Satellite Cloudbook CL10-B, an 11.6-inch laptop that runs Windows 8.1 with Bing and is powered by an Intel Bay Trail processor.