notebook en Should AMD Jump on the Chromebook Bandwagon? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/chromebooks_2.jpg" alt="Chromebooks" title="Chromebooks" width="228" height="175" style="float: right;" />Chromebooks and AMD don't currently mix</h3> <p>You have options when it comes to Chromebooks. Some have touch displays, a few are rugged so they can endure a day at the playground, many are relatively inexpensive at around $200, while others like the Chromebook Pixel ($1,300) are quite a bit more. But one option you don't have is buying a Chromebook powered by AMD -- it's either ARM or Intel. That may change someday, but for now, <strong>AMD simply isn't interested in the Chromebook category</strong>.</p> <p>We know this because AMD chief technical officer Mark Papermaster said as much earlier this week during the International Solid State Circuits (ISSCC) conference.</p> <p>"You have to really look at the Chromebook, and what Google's objective with it is," Papermaster told a small group of reporters at ISSCC, <a href="" target="_blank">according <em>PCWorld</em></a>. "For us, it's just a business decision, when you need our type of CPU and graphics technology that can make a difference."</p> <p>For now, it isn't hurting AMD to ignore Chromebooks -- only around 4.6 million units were sold in 2014, representing a mere 1.5 percent of the PC market. However, the category is growing, with double the number of Chromebooks sold in 2014 compared to 2013.</p> <p>AMD is gambling that Chromebooks never become anything more than a niche product, or if they do, that it can jump in and become a player. And the Sunnyvale chip designer might be right. I've pointed out several times in the past that the top selling notebooks on Amazon are Chromebooks, but a glance today shows that's no longer the case.</p> <p>Instead, the top selling laptop is now a 15.6-inch Asus machine running a dual-core Celeron chip for $249, followed by the HP Stream 11 (No. 2), HP Stream 13 (No. 3), a 15.6-inch Acer Aspire (No. 4), and another HP Stream 13 (No. 5). None of these are more than $250, which suggests that customers weren't necessarily interested in Chromebooks for many of the reasons Google laid out other than price.</p> <p>Now that Windows laptops can be had at similar price points, Chromebooks aren't as popular, at least on Amazon. They only comprise the No. 7 and No. 8 spots out of the site's 10 best selling notebooks, whereas before they led the pack.</p> <p>"For us, it’s when do you need our CPU and graphics capability that can make a difference," Papermaster added. "Again, you’ll see that there’s these rock-bottom markets... so those don’t have our value proposition."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd chromebook Google laptop notebook News Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:33:28 +0000 Paul Lilly 29480 at Toshiba Updates Kirabook with Broadwell <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_kirabook_0.jpg" alt="Toshiba Kirabook" title="Toshiba Kirabook" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Laptop refresh sees an upgrade to Intel's Core i7-5500U CPU</h3> <p><strong>Toshiba today announced that its premium Kirabook 13 i7S1 Touch Ultrabook is now rocking a 5th Generation Intel Core i7-5500U processor</strong> based on the Santa Clara chip maker's Broadwell architecture. The new part is a dual-core chip with four threads with a base frequency of 2.4GHz and turbo frequency of 3GHz. It also sports 4MB of cache, Intel HD Graphics 5500, and a 15W TDP.</p> <p>Like the previous generation Kirabook, the upgraded model features a 13.3-inch WQHD (2560x1440) PixelPure touchscreen display, 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, 256GB mSATA solid state drive, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HD webcam, stereo microphone, HDMI output with 4K capability, three USB 3.0 ports (one with Sleep and Charge), and Windows 8.1 Pro. Toshiba also tosses in the full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 12.</p> <p>The Kirabook sports a luxury design with a magnesium-alloy body that weighs 2.91 pounds. We reviewed a similar spec'd version a couple of years ago and gave it a 9 verdict -- you can read that <a href="">review here</a>. Or if you'd rather not click, about the only thing we could ding it for was the price.</p> <p>At the time of that review, it was going for $2,000. The upgraded model on <a href="" target="_blank">Toshiba's website</a> goes for $1,700, though you may be able to get it for less -- when tried to leave the website, Toshiba offered us a $75 discount in exchanging for receiving weekly email specials.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> broadwell Hardware kirabook laptop notebook OEM rigs toshiba News Thu, 19 Feb 2015 17:14:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29446 at Microsoft Extends Surface Pro 3 Sale to Entry Level Model, Takes Trade-Ins <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_3_coffee.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Surface Pro 3 starts at $699 for a limited time</h3> <p>Maybe Microsoft is still scarred from having to take a <a href="">$900 million charge</a> on unsold Surface RT tablets a year and a half ago, or perhaps a refresh is around the bend. Either way, the Redmond outfit is trying its best to entice people to pick up a Surface Pro 3 tablet. It started earlier this month when <strong>Microsoft slashed $100 off the price of every model except the entry-level configuration, and now that too is included in the sale</strong>. You can save even more if trade up from an older Surface.</p> <p>The original sale was only supposed to run until February 7, though here we are in the middle of the month and all five configurations are selling for $100 off. Here's a handy breakdown:</p> <ul> <li>Core i3 4020Y / 64GB: $699 (down from $799)</li> <li>Core i5 4300U / 128GB: $899 (down from $999)</li> <li>Core i5 4300U / 256GB: $1,199 (down from $1,299)</li> <li>Core i7 4650U / 256GB: $1,449 (down from $1,549)</li> <li>Core i7 4670U / 512GB: $1,849 (down from $1,949)</li> </ul> <p>Now let's talk trade ins. If you got stuck with one of those Surface RT tablets and still have it, you can trade it in to Microsoft and receive $84 (32GB) or $94 (64GB) in credit towards a Surface Pro 3, provided the unit you're swapping out is in working order. Power adapter must be included, and you can get extra if you also trade in a touch or type cover.</p> <p>Newer models command more, as do the higher capacity builds. To see specifically how much you can get, go here to have your system appraised. And if you do decided to pick up a Surface Pro 3 on sale, you'll find those items <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware laptop microsoft notebook OEM rigs surface pro 3 tablet News Wed, 18 Feb 2015 13:53:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29438 at Asus Now Taking Orders for Super Slim Zenbook UX305 Ultrabook <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_zenbook_ux305.jpg" alt="Asus Zenbook UX305" title="Asus Zenbook UX305" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />Premium looks at an affordable price tag</h3> <p>The newly available <strong>Asus Zenbook UX305 might be the sexiest 13.3-inch Ultrabook you can buy for $699</strong>. According to Asus, it's certainly the slimmest -- measuring just 0.48 inches thin weighing a mere 2.6 pounds, we won't argue that claim. But getting back to the price tag, Asus manages to cram a surprising amount of amenities into this svelte laptop without breaking the bank, including an In-Plane Switching (IPS) Full HD 1080p display.</p> <p>Other standard features include an Intel Core M 5Y10 dual-core processor, 8GB of LPDDR3-1600 RAM, 256GB solid state drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 720p HD webcam, micro HDMI output, three USB 3.0 ports (one is a charging port), audio jack combo, SD card reader, Asus SonicMaster audio system, 45Wh battery, and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>A quad-core chip would be nice, but that's still a decent collection of hardware and features for the money. It all comes wrapped in a solid aluminum chassis with a wedge-shaped design and diamond-cut highlights. Depending on how much you value aesthetics, it's worth pointing out that the Zenbook UX305 has a few design awards under its belt.</p> <p>"A refined new shape that incorporates the DNA of the classic ZenBook gives the UX305 a subtle new wedge design with elegantly-tapered and smooth diamond-cut edges that emphasize the sleek ultra-thin chassis. The full-size ergonomic keyboard features an improved layout for comfortable and accurate typing coupled with a large responsive touchpad that supports Smart Gestures for precise control of Windows 8.1," <a href="" target="_blank">Asus says</a>.</p> <p>"Continuing the long-established ZenBook tradition of combining performance with luxury, the gorgeous UX305 ultraportable, which weighs only 2.6lbs, is available in a sophisticated new Obsidian Stone color with ZenBook's signature spun-metal finish with its Zen-inspired concentric circle pattern," the company continued.</p> <p>If you're interested, you can order the Zenbook UX305 now direct from <a href="" target="_blank">Asus for $699</a>. Alternately, a model with a QHD+ (3200x1800) display will be available at a later date, though Asus didn't say for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs ultrabook Zenbook UX305 News Mon, 16 Feb 2015 18:36:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29431 at Panasonic’s 14” Toughbook 54 is Thin, Light and ‘Semi-Rugged’ <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u46168/toughbook_54.png" alt="Panasonic Toughbook 54" title="Toughbook 54" width="228" height="181" style="float: right;" />The Toughbook 54 sacrifices a bit of ruggedness on the altar of portability</h3> <p>It’s not often that laptop manufacturers tout the lightness and thinness of a rugged or semi-rugged device. Panasonic’s announcement of the all-new Broadwell-powered Toughbook 54 on Friday was one such rare occasion. The latest in a long line of semi-rugged laptops going back to 1998, the <strong>Toughbook 54 is said to be the thinnest and lightest device in its class.</strong></p> <p>At 4.2 lbs, the Toughbook 54’s base model is over 25 percent lighter than the lightest configuration of last year’s Toughbook 53. And in case you haven’t inferred as much already, the Toughbook 54&nbsp; is also considerably thinner than its Haswell-based predecessor.</p> <p>The significant reduction in size and weight has come at a cost, though. The <a href="" target="_blank">Toughbook 54 (PDF)</a> can only <a href="" target="_blank">withstand drops from a height of 76cm</a>, which is a significant drop (pun intended) from its predecessor’s 1-meter impact rating. </p> <p>Here’s a quick rundown of its specs:</p> <ul> <li>Processor:&nbsp; 5th Generation Intel Core i5-5300U vPro (3MB cache, 2.3GHz up to 2.9GHz)</li> <li>Display: 14.0” IPS 1080p full HD display (Gloved Multi Touch and Performance</li> <li>models) or 768p HD display (Lite and Prime models) </li> <li>RAM: 4-16GB RAM (8-16GB on Performance model)</li> <li>Storage:&nbsp; 500GB HDD main drive (optional 128GB SSD, 256GB SSD, 1TB 7200rpm HDD); 128GB SSD or 256GB SSD optional second drive</li> <li>Graphics:&nbsp; Intel HD Graphics 5500 (all models); AMD FirePro M5100 graphics (Performance model)</li> <li>Ports and Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0,&nbsp; Intel Wireless Display (WiDi), 10/100/1000 Ethernet (two LAN ports on all models except Lite), 4G LTE (optional), three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA (optional), GPS (optional) and contactless SmartCard/NFC reader (optional).</li> <li>Battery: 8 hours (15 hours with opt. 2nd battery) for Lite model; 11 hours (18 hours with opt. 2nd battery) for all other models</li> </ul> <p>According to the company, the IP5X- and MIL-STD-810G-certified Toughbook 54 will go on sale later this month starting at&nbsp; $1,499.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> laptop notebook panasonic semi rugged toughbook 53 toughbook 54 News Mon, 16 Feb 2015 04:21:30 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29424 at Dell Chromebook 11 Boasts Schoolyard Durability <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dell_chromebook_11_0.jpg" alt="Dell Chromebook 11" title="Dell Chromebook 11" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />Can withstand the rigors of school life</h3> <p>Where Chromebooks currently thrive is in the education field, so it makes sense to focus on durability when designing new models.<strong> That's what Dell did with its Chromebook 11, the company's second generation Chromebook</strong> that will be available to order later this week. According to Dell, the Chromebook 11 is "schoolyard tough" and can handle bumps, drops, spills, and other hazards that students encounter on a daily basis.</p> <p>Dell subjected the Chromebook 11 to MIL-STD 810G testing for pressure, temperature, shock, and vibration. The OEM isn't billing it as a rugged laptop, though there are a few characteristics that sway in that direction, such as a rubberized trim to absorb shock when accidentally dropped, <a href="" target="_blank">the company said</a>.</p> <p>It also has a liquid-resistant keyboard and Corning Gorilla Glass to protect to the 11.6-inch TN display. With the latter, Dell wasn't necessarily thinking about scratches -- instead, the <a href="" target="_blank">OEM told <em>PCWorld</em></a> that one of the ways students end up breaking Chromebooks is by closing the lid without clearing the keyboard of pencils and other objects.</p> <p>The Chromebook 11 features an Intel Celeron N2840 CPU based on Bay Trail M, 2GB or 4GB of DDR3L RAM, 16GB of internal storage, 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, front-facing HD webcam, and up to 10 hours of battery life.</p> <p>In related news, Dell also announced the Venue 10 and Venue 10 Pro, a pair of new tablets also aimed at education customers. The former runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and the latter is a Windows 8.1 slate, both with a 10.1-inch HD or Full HD display.</p> <p>Dell's Chromebook 11 will be available on February 12 starting at $250. The Venue 10 Pro will make a debut on March 3 starting at $330 for the tablet or $380 with a keyboard option, while the Venue 10 will launch sometime this spring.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> chromebook 11 dell education Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs News Thu, 12 Feb 2015 18:17:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29418 at Google Adds Remote Lock Feature to Chromebook for Admins <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/chromebook_disabled_message.jpg" alt="Chromebook Disabled Message" title="Chromebook Disabled Message" width="228" height="181" style="float: right;" />Now admins can disable a stolen Chromebook</h3> <p>Well, this was a long time coming. As Chromebooks grow in popularity, so does the risk of one being stolen -- it's just a numbers game, really. It sucks if that happens, but on the bright side, <strong>Google has issued an update that will finally allow admins to place lost or stolen Chrome OS devices in a disabled state</strong>. They can flip the switch right from their web-based management console.</p> <p>They can also input a custom message to be displayed on the disabled device's screen. That could come in handy if you think the system's been lost rather than stolen, allowing you to put a "Reward if found" message or something to that effect. Or if it's stolen, "I know where you live -- return this laptop within 24 hours and I'll spare your pets."</p> <p>Google's François Beaufort announced the new feature on his <a href="" target="_blank">Google+ page</a>, and also linked to a related <a href="" target="_blank">support document</a>. Clicking through reveals some additional information, including the fact that the new feature requires the device to be running Chrome version 40 or later.</p> <p>Once you enable the feature, any user that's signed in gets signed out and taken to the device disabled page. Once that page is displayed, the user can't sign back in, and it will stay in that state until an admin re-enables or deprovisions the devices. It also returns licenses associated with the device to the license pool while disabled, and removes the serial number from the default ("Provisioned") view.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> chromebook Google laptop notebook remote lock Security News Fri, 06 Feb 2015 19:32:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29386 at Razer Sharpens Blade Laptop with 3K Touchscreen, Faster Hardware <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_blade_2015.jpg" alt="Razer Blade 2015" title="Razer Blade 2015" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Refreshed Blade sees several upgrades</h3> <p>Razer's original Blade laptop is officially old news. That's because <strong>Razer today introduced a pair of refreshed Blade gaming notebooks</strong>, one with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) IPS display and the other with a touch-enabled QHD+ 3K IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panel. Both models feature updated internals, including a faster CPU and GPU, though no Broadwell inside.</p> <p>The higher end model boasts a 14-inch panel and is still being billed as the thinnest and lightest gaming laptop in its size class. What that translates into is a 4.47-pound laptop measuring 13.6 inches (W) by 0.70 inches (H) by 9.3 inches (D).</p> <p>Powering the display is a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor (2.6GHz to 3.66GHz), 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics with 3GB of onboard memory. Other hardware and features include 128GB/256GB/512GB SATA M.2 SSD storage options, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, 2MP webcam, backlit anti-ghosting keyboard, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.</p> <p>As before, the Blade comes housed in a precision-cut CNC aluminum chassis. Inside is a custom designed trckpad and the aforementioned backlit keyboard, which also sports programmable keys powered by Razer's Synapse software.</p> <p>Pricing for the higher end model <a href="" target="_blank">starts at $2,200</a>, and you can place your order now. Alternately, the non-touch Full HD 1080p version features similar specs, but with half the RAM (8GB) and only a 256GB SSD option. That one's <a href="" target="_blank">priced at $2,000</a> and is also available to order now, though ships in 3-4 weeks.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> blade Gaming Hardware laptop notebook razer News Tue, 03 Feb 2015 17:31:19 +0000 Paul Lilly 29360 at Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Sale Results in $100 Price Cut and Free Sleeve <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_3_7.jpg" alt="Microsoft Surface Pro 3" title="Microsoft Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="162" style="float: right;" />Save $100 on a Surface Pro 3 for a limited time</h3> <p>If you've been on the fence about purchasing a Surface Pro 3 tablet, perhaps a price cut might help make up your mind, or so Microsoft hopes. <strong>From today until February 7 (Saturday), U.S. customers can grab a Surface Pro 3 tablet from the Microsoft Store (online or retail) for $100 off MSRP</strong>. In addition, Microsoft is throwing in a protective sleeve valued at $40 at no extra cost -- you can choose from a dozen different styles.</p> <p>The $100 savings and free sleeve offer applies to four of the five available SKUs -- as you might have guessed, it doesn't apply to the $799 Intel Core i3 4020Y CPU / 64GB SSD model, which is the least expensive of the bunch.</p> <p>With regards to the four remaining models, they can now be purchased for $899 (Core i5 4300U / 128GB), $1,199 (Core i5 4300U / 256GB), $1,499 (Core i7 4650U / 256GB), and $1,849 (Core i7 4650U / 512GB).</p> <p>All of the Surface Pro 3 slates sport a 12-inch multi-touch display with a 2160x1440 resolution, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Full HD 1080p front-facing camera, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, front and rear microphones, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, full-size USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader, various sensors, and Windows 8.1 Pro.</p> <p>Bear in mind that if you're student, parent of a student, or a faculty member, you can save 10 percent on select models at the Education Store. The $100 sale doesn't apply, but it still ends up being cheaper this way, and the entry-level model is included. Here's a look:</p> <ul> <li>Core i3 4020Y / 64GB: $719.10 (down from $799)</li> <li>Core i5 4300U / 256GB: $1,169.10 (down from $1,299)</li> <li>Core i7 4650U / 256GB: $1,394.10 (down from $1,594)</li> <li>Core i7 4670U / 512GB: $1,754.10 (down from $1,949)</li> </ul> <p>For more info or to order a Surface 3 Pro, hit <a href="" target="_blank">this link</a> for the $100 savings, and <a href="" target="_blank">this link</a> for the Education Store.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware microsoft notebook slate surface pro 3 tablet News Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:23:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 29354 at Microsoft Sticks a Fork in Surface 2 and Windows RT <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_2_4.jpg" alt="Surface 2" title="Surface 2" width="228" height="133" style="float: right;" />Windows RT becomes a footnote</h3> <p>Looking back through the years, it's pretty easy to pick out certain forgettable versions of Windows. You know the ones -- Windows ME, Windows Vista (before the first Service Pack), and now Windows RT, the most recent of the bunch. <strong>Microsoft has reportedly stopped producing Surface 2 tablets</strong>, which also means that the future of Windows RT is nonexistent at this point. You'll have to excuse us for not weeping.</p> <p>Microsoft has moved on, with the Surface Pro 3 contributing heavily to $1.1 billion in Surface revenue during Microsoft's most recent quarter, up 24 percent year-over-year. Surface Pro 3 tablets outsold Surface 2 during the quarter by a ratio of three to one, making it an easy decision for Microsoft to focus on its newest hardware and leave the old behind.</p> <p>"We are no longer manufacturing Surface 2; however, those still eager to buy Surface should visit Microsoft Retail Stores,, third-party retailers, and resellers for the latest availability," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft told <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>Windows RT has been a dead OS walking almost from the moment it arrived. Microsoft already had the challenge of convincing users to adopt a brand new interface in Windows 8, but to also pile on a gimped version that couldn't run x86 programs was too much to ask. As a result, Microsoft ended up taking a <a href="">$900 million charge</a> on unsold Surface RT inventory a year and a half ago.</p> <p>Manufactures could still build devices running Windows RT if they really want to, but with even Microsoft giving up on the OS, there wouldn't be much point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware laptop microsoft notebook operating system OS Software surface 2 tablet windows rt News Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:27:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29329 at Panasonic Toughbook 31 Now More Rugged, Faster, and Longer Lasting <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/panasonic_toughbook.jpg" alt="Panasonic Toughbook 31" title="Panasonic Toughbook 31" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Two batteries are better than one</h3> <p>We love that laptops are getting slimmer, lighter, and overall more portable than ever before (<a href=";set=vb.503833014&amp;type=2&amp;theater" target="_blank">have a look</a> at Michael Dell introducing a new notebook 25 years ago), but if your work (or pleasure) takes you off the beaten path into some extreme environments, a thin and light machine probably isn't your best bet. That's where systems like <strong>Panasonic's upgraded Toughbook 31</strong> comes in.</p> <p>Key upgrades include an 18-hour battery life (or up to 27 hours with an optional second battery), a new 5th Generation Intel Core i5 5300u vPro processor (3MB cache, 2.3GHz-2.9GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 5500, and a revised design that can now withstand a 6-foot drop and is certified to pass 19 different MIL-STD-810G tests.</p> <p>Other rugged and fancy bits of interest include a magnesium alloy case, sunlight-viewable touchscreen, reinforced locking port covers, and a quick-release hard drive with its own heater for cold weather operation. It all adds up to a system that Panasonic sees being ideal for emergency service professionals, utility workers, and anyone else who needs to be connected in extreme environments.</p> <p>As for the other hardware specs, they include 4GB to 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD with heater, SSD options (128GB to 512GB), 13.1-inch display with a 1024x768 resolution, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, optional backlit keyboard, USB 3.0 (x1) and USB 2.0 (x3) ports, GbE LAN, and various other odds and ends.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Toughbook 31</a> won't come cheap -- Panasonic says it will be available in February starting at around $3,700.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> laptop notebook panasonic rugged toughbook 31 News Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:30:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 29312 at Fujitsu Expands Enterprise Mobile PC Lineup with Broadwell Models <!--paging_filter--><h3>Tablets and laptops powered by 5th generation Intel Core processors</h3> <p>Earlier this week, Fujitsu joined many other PC vendors around the world in <a href="" target="_blank">announcing new mobile PC models built around 5th generation Intel Core processors</a>. The <strong>Broadwell-powered models announced by the Japanese company include both tablets and notebooks</strong>, and they all mean business.</p> <p>These new models include the 14” Lifebook U745 ultrabook, 13.3” Stylistic Q775 tablet, and a couple of Lifebook T series convertibles with 180-degree rotatable displays.</p> <p><img src="/files/u46168/20150120-q775.jpg" alt="Fujitsu Broadwell Lineup" title="Fujitsu Broadwell Lineup" width="620" height="406" /></p> <p>Weighing a shade under 2.2 pounds, the Stylistic Q775 sports a full HD anti-glare display, and comes with a choice of the latest Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB SSD storage. Optional upgrades include the company’s PalmSecure palm-vein sensor, detachable keyboard dock and 3G/LTE connectivity. According to the company, the device is capable of lasting around 9 hours on a single charge.</p> <p>Next up is the Lifebook U745, which is a 0.75” thick ultrabook that tips the scales at 2.5 pounds. Inside its slender magnesium-encased frame there is enough room for a 5th generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, 4GB of RAM (up to 12GB) and up to 512GB solid-state storage. The screen on this 14-incher is an HD+ (1600x900 ) anti-glare display (touchscreen optional).</p> <p>The 13.3”&nbsp; Lifebook T935 and 12.5” T725 are both convertibles that feature touchscreens that can be rotated 180 degrees in either direction and come standard with a stylus. But don’t make the mistake of thinking of them as the same device in two different sizes. Not only is the T935 bigger of the two, but it is also the higher-end model. Take, for instance, their displays. While the T725 is limited to a 1366x768 display, the T935 comes with the option of either a WQHD (2560x1440) or a full HD (1920x1080) display. Likewise, when it comes to battery life, the T935 fares much better with around 13 hours and 20 minutes of battery life on a single charge to the latter’s 10 hours and 30 minutes. However, the T725’s “multi-bay design” means that it can “configured with a super-multi drive or with an internal battery for about 16-hour runtimes.”</p> <p>The T935, T725, and U745 are all set to hit the market in February, with the Q775 arriving the following the month. No word on pricing yet.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> 2-in-1 broadwell Fujitsu Hybrid intel lifebook notebook tablet windows 7 windows 8.1 News Mon, 26 Jan 2015 01:01:19 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29307 at Acer's Tough and Tumble Chromebook C910 and C740 Laptops Can Take a Schoolyard Beating <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_chromebook_c910.jpg" alt="Acer Chromebook C910" title="Acer Chromebook C910" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />Durable design for students</h3> <p><strong>Acer today added to its Chromebook family with the launch of two new models, the 15.6-inch Acer Chromebook C910 and 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook C740</strong>. Though they differ in size, both new Chromebooks feature durable design qualities that make them better suited for school environments. It starts with using reinforced covers that can withstand up to 60kg of force, <a href="" target="_blank">Acer says</a>.</p> <p>The C910 and C740 also have corners that can tolerate drops from up to 45cm (17.7 inches) without sustaining damage, along with hinges that have been reinforced to endure more twisting and stress.</p> <p>Acer went a bit further on the C740 model under the assumption that it "will be frequently moved thanks to its compact size" and designed it with extended metal hinges that keep it more rigid. The thought process there is that students might be apt to pick up the C740 by its display and cram it into their backpacks.</p> <p>As for specs, the C910 brings a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) IPS display to the Chromebook party, while the C740 rocks an HD (1366x768) panel, an option that's also available on the C910 to "meet the budgets of schools." Both will be available with a 5th Generation Intel Core i3 5005U or Intel Celeron 3205U processor,&nbsp; 4GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB SSD, 802.11nac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, microSD card reader, HDMI output, and of course Chrome OS.</p> <p>The C910 and C740 will be available next month starting at $300 and $260, respectively.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Acer C740 C910 chromebook education Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs News Wed, 21 Jan 2015 13:41:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29285 at Intel Pushes for Bigger Size 2-in-1 Hybrid PCs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_aspire_switch_11.jpg" alt="Acer Aspire Switch 11" title="Acer Aspire Switch 11" width="228" height="157" style="float: right;" />Get ready to see 12.5-inch 2-in-1 PCs in the near future</h3> <p>If you own a low-cost 2-in-1 hybrid device (or convertible laptop, if you prefer to call it that), chances are you're rocking a 10-inch display, or thereabouts. Going forward, don't be surprised to see vendors start churning out bigger size models. That's because <strong>Intel has reportedly expanded its 2-in-1 reference blueprint to now include 12.5-inch display products</strong>, paving the way for larger 2-in-1 models.</p> <p>According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a> and its sources within the notebook industry, you'll see these 12.5-inch machines sporting both Intel's 14nm Core M processors and its newer 5th Generation Core processor series (newer Broadwell parts). Intel's Core M chips are primarily intended for low-power fanless systems, while the 5th Generation Core parts will add a performance punch to mobile devices.</p> <p>The timing couldn't be better -- apparently vendors like Asus and Acer are starting to see a decline in demand for 10-inch 2-in-1 products after an initial flurry of sales. To compensate for that, vendors are working on larger models with faster processors, with pricing expected to range from $350 to $400 for Atom, Celeron, and Pentium models, and under $700 for Core M variants.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 2-in-1 Hardware hybrid pc intel laptop notebook tablet News Wed, 14 Jan 2015 18:17:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 29255 at CES 2015: Spying Gigabyte's Wild Water Force Cooling System [Video] <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gigabyte_water_force.jpg" alt="Gigabyte Water Force" title="Gigabyte Water Force" width="228" height="148" style="float: right;" />Not your typical liquid cooling solution</h3> <p>Have you ever seen a water cooling setup that resembles Cthulhu? If not, then you've never seen <strong>Gigabyte's Water Force cooler, a unique and crazy looking apparatus</strong> that we had to see for ourselves. And now you can too, thanks to our Online Managing Editor and proficient deep water diver Jimmy Thang, who waded his way through the busy crowd at the Consumer Electronics Show to catch on camera Gigabyte's cool creation.</p> <p>Despite how it looks, Gigabyte maintains that its Water Force setup isn't difficult to install -- it's just a matter of pulling the large size box through your case and plopping it on top. From there, a series of cables dangle down and back into the case, where they're attached to cooling solutions on three included graphics cards -- Gigabyte describes its Water Force as an "all-in-one external liquid cooling system with three graphics cards" on its retail box.</p> <p>Inside the box that sits atop your case are three radiators. And on the front are digital controls, which allow you to configure how cool you want the graphics card to run.</p> <p>Have a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Next up, Gigabyte showed off some new high end X99-based motherboards and a Brix PC. On some of the boards, like the X99 SOC Champion, there are additional pins in the socket you can enable with a DIP switch -- these are intended to allow for better overclocking by unlocking options for adjusting certain voltages. This is a feature that will mainly be of interest to record breaking overclockers who use liquid nitrogen.</p> <p>As for the Brix, it's been refreshed with Intel's 5th Generation Core processor (Broadwell) and has a slightly modified case. Have a look:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Moving on, we also got a chance to see some of Gigabyte's gaming laptops, including a 14-inch model (P34W) and a 17.3-inch model (P37X), both of which are extremely thin and light in the gaming category. More here:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>And finally, Gigabyte showed off some gaming laptops under its Aorus brand. We got a look at the X5, a 15.6-inch laptop with dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M GPUs powering an optional 3840x2160 display. Gigabyte claims it's the thinnest and lightest 15.6-inch SLI gaming laptop around.</p> <p>Check it out:</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> BRIX ces2015 gigabyte Hardware laptop liquid cooling notebook Water Force News Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:13:15 +0000 Jimmy Thang and Paul Lilly 29228 at