You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199 from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.
The word “omen” generally connotes bad juju for most people. For some longtime PC enthusiasts, however, it evokes fond memories of Voodoo PC’s old beautiful and powerful desktops. While HP isn’t bringing Voodoo PC back from the grave, it hopes to pay homage to the Omen namesake by rebirthing it as a modern gaming notebook.
Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs
Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside.
This holiday shopping season has been highlighted by numerous deals on lots of different items, though the sales didn't end after Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Several retailers continue to pitch discounts, including Microsoft, which is in the home stretch of its 12 Days of Deals promotion. Effective today (and today only), Microsoft is offering the Asus Transformer Book Flip (TP500LA) Signature Edition Laptop for a comparatively low $299.
Billed as the world's thinnest and lightest business-class laptop
HP today introduced its Elitebook Folio 1020 family highlighted by the Elitebook 1020 Special Edition (SE), supposedly the world's thinnest and lightest laptop in the business world. Comparisons to Apple's MacBook Air are inevitable, and that's because of the physical design -- HP said it used an exclusive blend of magnesium-lithium alloy and reusable carbon fiber to achieve a weight of just 2.2 pounds.
Buy a Chromebook, get 1TB of cloud storage for two years
It's getting to be all-out warfare in the low-cost computing market. In response to the growing interest in cheap Chromebooks, Intel and Microsoft have been working together to push sub-$200 Windows laptops into the market place through its hardware partners. That's caused Chromebooks to come down in price as well, but it isn't stopping there. Google today announced that new Chromebook buyers can get 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years at no additional cost.
Acer this morning announced the availability of its new TravelMate B115 laptop for customers in the U.S. and Canada. It sports an 11.6-inch HD (1366x768) display with support for 10-point multi-touch, once considered a premium feature in laptop land but now available for a comparative pittance -- Acer's asking $380 USD and $439 CAD for the TravelMate B115.
HP's Envy x2 is back, only this time it looks less like a traditional laptop and is more powerful than before. Taking a page from Microsoft's Surface design, the Envy x2 now comes with a kickstand. HP is billing it as a detachable PC with mutiple modes, including an all-in-one mode (detached from the keyboard), notebook mode (attached to the keyboard), and tablet mode (detached from the keyboard and used as a tablet).
Tis the season of the low cost laptop, and if you're looking for a portable system on the cheap, you have a growing number of choices. You won't find them in the Apple Store, of course, but you will find Windows laptops in the $200 range, including a recently reduced Asus X205TA model selling for just $170 at the Microsoft Store. In response, Chromebook models are expected to be even more affordable than they already are with Asus and Lenovo both reportedly planning to release $149 Chromebook models.
We're beginning to notice more low-cost Windows laptops in the $200 range, though one thing we haven't seen is a manufacturer revive the netbook nomenclature. Fair enough, since these machines are more powerful than yesterday's netbooks, and generally cheaper too. The least expensive so far is the Asus X205TA Signature Edition, a $199 laptop that's been reduced to $179 in the Microsoft Store.