notebook en Notebooks Makes Ready 2-in-1 Chromebook Models for Release in Q2 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/chromebook_2-in-1.jpg" alt="Asus Chromebook 2-in-1" title="Asus Chromebook 2-in-1" width="228" height="122" style="float: right;" />Chrome OS versus Windows, round 2: FIGHT!</h3> <p>After getting off to a slow start, Chromebooks finally began to grow in popularity as lower cost alternatives to Windows-based machines. And for a long while, Chromebooks represented the top selling laptops on Amazon.&nbsp; Now that Windows laptops can be bought for $250 or less, Chromebooks aren't as enticing, but what about 2-in-1 systems? We're about to find out as <strong>laptop makers ready 2-in-1 Chromebook models for a second quarter release</strong>.</p> <p>Citing sources from within the upstream supply chain, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> Intel is planning to partner with Google and notebook players like Asus, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Quanta Computer, and Pegatron Technology to launch convertible Chromebooks next quarter. Initially these will be 11-inch to 13-inch devices.</p> <p>Like traditional Chromebooks, these 2-in-1 devices will compete on price. They'll also target students in the U.S., as that seems to be the niche that's most responsive to Chrome OS. After that, laptop makers will push 2-in-1 Chromebooks into emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.</p> <p>There's no word on specific pricing at this point, though it's expected these devices will undercut Windows 2-in-1 systems by about 10 percent.</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 chromebook Hardware intel laptop notebook News Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:58:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 29647 at Best Laptop Backpack <!--paging_filter--><h3>We hunt for the best laptop backpack</h3> <p>Let’s face it, laptops can be really expensive, especially the high-end gaming notebooks we recommend. They can also be heavy and a chore to carry around. And yet, to get your money’s worth out of these portable PCs, you’ll have to lug them around with you all the time.</p> <p>But finding the right bag—one that protects your computer while being comfortable to wear—is no easy feat. And it’s not too much to ask that it be somewhat visually appealing, if not downright attractive. You’ve spent your hard-earned money buying a kick-ass laptop and you deserve an equally kick-ass backpack to put it in. So, to help you with your baggage, we searched for the best laptop backpacks that we could find and rounded up seven worthy contenders.</p> <h4>Everki Beacon</h4> <p><strong>Large but in charge</strong></p> <p>Trying to find an AAA-quality backpack that can also fit a large 17-inch gaming notebook can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, but Everki’s Beacon is up for the challenge. Its laptop compartment had no problem fitting our monstrous 17-inch Asus ROG G750.</p> <p>This backpack is quite roomy, measuring 20.8x16.9x6.3 inches, and it’s a little on the heavy side at 3.5 pounds, making it more of a travel pack than something you would carry around every day. But because of this bulk, the Beacon offers a lot of protection with its mesh padding, while providing plenty of compartment space, too.</p> <p>In addition to the laptop slot, there’s an even roomier main compartment, which has a zipper for folders, four 3x5-inch pockets, and even a soft-shell bag inside designed to house consoles. In short, there’s plenty of space for whatever you need. Outside of the main compartment is a 3x11-inch easy-access pouch, which is optimal for sunglasses. It also has two small hip compartments on either side of the bag; the left one has a little hole for ear buds, and you can loop the cord through the left strap to get a tangle-free listening experience.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small.jpg" alt="The dashes of orange give the black bag a nice “pop.”" title="Everki Beacon" width="620" height="812" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The dashes of orange give the black bag a nice “pop.”</strong></p> <p>The build quality is impressive, including plenty of rubber padding at the bottom of the bag in case you accidentally drop the pack. The Beacon also comes with a water-resistant tarp that you can use to wrap the bag in case of rain.</p> <p>While the Beacon isn’t light, its pillow-soft straps are extremely comfortable, and it features a stretchy chest strap that takes the pressure off your shoulders. In addition, it has two sturdy handles: one on top of the backpack and another on the back. Considering you can get all of this for $100, it’s one hell of a deal.</p> <p><strong>Everki Beacon</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9ka" title="score:9ka" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$100, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Ful Dean</h4> <p><strong>The budget backpack</strong></p> <p>While expensive backpacks are often nice, we realize that not everyone can afford them, especially if you’ve spent all your dough on a sweet gaming laptop. However, this doesn’t mean you have to resort to tossing your super-nice notebook in your kid’s old cheapo Jansport, which offers little-to-no protection for your gear.</p> <p>If you don’t have a large notebook, don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, and if you’re on a budget, Ful’s $70 Dean backpack may be what you’re looking for. If you don’t have a large notebook, don’t need a ton of bells and whistles, and if you’re on a budget, Ful’s $70 Dean backpack may be what you’re looking for.</p> <p>While Ful says the Dean can fit some 17-inch notebooks, it’s really geared more toward 15-inch and smaller machines. The laptop compartment comfortably fit our fat 14-inch Alienware 14 notebook, but while there’s plenty of padding on the back, we would have liked a little more at the base of the pack, in case you set it down too abruptly. Its main compartment is quite basic, simply offering a 6x8-inch mesh zipper to stow pens and small notepads. On the face of the pack are three smaller, triangular-shaped pockets that zigzag across each other. These diagonal lines and zippers were meant to create an interesting aesthetic, but they look odd and aren’t terribly practical—how many items do you know have (or want) that are triangularly shaped? The pack also has hip compartments on both sides, with one designed for a water bottle. The only other pocket is the 2x4-inch zipper on the right shoulder strap that is ideal for something small, like car keys.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small2_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small2.jpg" alt="The Dean gets the job done, but is mostly no-frills. " title="Ful Dean" width="620" height="793" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Dean gets the job done, but is mostly no-frills. </strong></p> <p>Speaking of straps, there’s a chest harness attached, which is greatly appreciated, but the straps in general tended to be a little wider than we would have preferred, and tended to flare out at the sides. We did like the handle atop the pack, however, which feels quite sturdy.</p> <p>Overall, the pack isn’t bad, but for a few dollars more, we recommend going with the SwissGear bag in this roundup.</p> <p><strong>Ful Dean</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:7" title="score:7" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$70, <a href=" " target="_blank"> </a></strong></p> <h4>SwissGear SA1908 Scansmart</h4> <p><strong>The simple pack</strong></p> <p>Long known for its Swiss army knives, SwissGear has recently been making waves in the backpack scene. But unlike the tool that seems to have everything, the SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart backpack opts for simplicity. There are no fancy hip harnesses, nor are there a million pockets.</p> <p>One interesting quirk it does have, as its clunky name might suggest, is a “ScanSmart” pocket. This means its laptop compartment has a see-through mesh window, which is supposed to expedite TSA bag checks. From our experience, however, the TSA always wants laptops removed from their bags anyway, so your airport mileage may vary. If that feature doesn’t quite cut it, however, there is another zipper above the ScanSmart pocket that splits completely open like a flat clamshell. This clamshell compartment should be able to fit most 17-inch laptops; unfortunately, it was not able to swallow our beefy Asus ROG G750.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small3_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small3.jpg" alt="There are bottle pockets on either side of the pack." title="SwissGear SA1908 Scansmart" width="620" height="760" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>There are bottle pockets on either side of the pack.</strong></p> <p>The main compartment has a dangling pouch for your phone, and it also has a convenient small hole for your ear buds to slip through. This pouch fit our relatively large 5-inch Nexus 5, so it should be able to fit the majority of phones out there. Rounding out the compartments is a small, plain 7.5x10-inch zip. Another neat, if minor, feature is the little loop on the left strap that you can use to carry your sunglasses.</p> <p>In terms of padding, there’s not an exorbitant amount, but it should protect your laptop in most cases. There is a fair amount on the back, however, and it is quite comfortable to wear. There’s even some space between the back padding along the spine, which gives your back a little room to breathe.</p> <p><strong>SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$73, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4> <hr /></h4> <h4>Asus ROG Nomad</h4> <p><strong>Built for gamers</strong></p> <p>In conjunction with its massive 17-inch ROG gaming notebooks, Asus has designed the ROG Nomad backpack to be “built for gamers,” or so they claim. While that might sound like marketing hyperbole, the pack lives up to the claim.</p> <p>Everything about the Nomad has been meticulously designed for portable-PC enthusiasts. Its large 20x13.7x7.2-inch size will fit pretty much any 17-inch gaming notebook you throw at it, but what really gears it toward laptop enthusiasts is the dizzying array of specialized compartments. There’s the large main compartment that has designated spots for headphones, camera, keyboard, and power brick. The slightly smaller pocket above the main compartment contains a slit for 3x5-inch index cards, slots for pens to slip into, and there’s even a little HDD carrying case can be taken out. It really has all the trappings that a nerd would need from a backpack. Hell, there’s even a smartphone zipper built into the right shoulder strap, though it won’t fit any phone larger than 4 inches.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small4_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small4.jpg" alt="There’s no Asus branding on the pack itself. " title="Asus ROG Nomad" width="620" height="816" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>There’s no Asus branding on the pack itself. </strong></p> <p>The shoulder straps are also quite comfortable. And they’re aided by not only a chest strap, but a waist strap to distribute weight across your entire torso, adding stability to the comfort. In addition, it offers plenty of protection for your gear as well, with plenty of rubber padding at the base of the backpack in case you drop it. And the entire thing is made out of ballistic nylon, chosen for its water-resistant protection.</p> <p>Aesthetically, the pack definitely tries to entice gamers. There’s a “gladiator helmet” design on the pack, which is supposed to look cool, but it’s a little too garish for us. Another gripe we had is that one of the buttons fell off, although it’s merely an aesthetic blemish. Regardless, this is still one hell of a pack.</p> <p><strong>Asus ROG Nomad</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9ka" title="score:9ka" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$170, <a href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Timbuk2 Uptown</h4> <p><strong>The hipster bag</strong></p> <p>Let’s face it, most gaming laptop backpacks are nerdy-looking. But while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you want to lug your laptop in something more trendy, the Timbuk2’s Uptown Laptop bag’s contrasting grey meshes will make sure you fit in with the hipster crowd (skinny jeans not included).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small5_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small5.jpg" alt="The Uptown’s biggest drawback is that it lacks padding." title="Timbuk2 Uptown" width="620" height="801" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Uptown’s biggest drawback is that it lacks padding.</strong></p> <p>In terms of features, it has the bare essentials. While the pack looks fairly small compared to the others featured here, it actually measures 19.7x11.8x8.7 inches. And while its clamshell laptop compartment, which splits completely open for situations like TSA bag checks, doesn’t fit giant notebooks, its large main compartment fit our massive 17-inch Asus ROG gaming laptop—much to our surprise.</p> <p>Timbuk2’s simple design inluces a smaller secondary compartment with two 3x5-inch index card mesh zips and a relatively small 5x10-inch velcro pocket. Above the main compartment is a smaller 13x8-inch zipper, which has pockets for pens and other small items. Above that is a vertical quick-access slit where you can store small notepads. Other than the bottle holder on the left hip, there really isn’t too much else to this bag, aside from a bottle opener on the right strap, which you and your friends will appreciate when it’s called for.</p> <p>In terms of comfort, there isn’t an exorbitant amount of padding, but it still feels good, partially thanks to a chest strap, which we liked. We would have preferred more padding for the laptop compartment, however, as the Uptown is one of the least protective packs here. Another gripe that we had is that its top handle is not comfortable or easy to use; it’s just flat nylon webbing.</p> <p><strong>Timbuk2 Uptown Laptop TSA-Friendly Backpack</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:8" title="score:8" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$119, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Urban Xplorer</h4> <p><strong>The European</strong></p> <p>Even though Urban Xplorer’s HalfPack RT was actually designed in California, we still call it the “European backpack” around the office. There’s just something about the odd belt loops, bright burnt-orange (it also comes in black) day-pack-like body, and weird, detachable U-shaped shoulder straps that screams “This is what you carry to go yodeling in the Alps.” It’s clearly trying to cater to the “sophisticated businessman who also has an adventurous side,” but there’s just something awkward about it.</p> <p>While the pack certainly isn’t for everyone, it does have its nice qualities. There’s plenty of cotton/polyester padding everywhere, and bag is covered with a nylon ballistic fabric that is designed to be weatherproof and stain resistant. Another perk is that it has a sweet, sexy brown leather handle.</p> <p>Even though the pack features two belt-style bands to keep it closed, they’re more a novelty, as the flap of the pack can also be opened via two quick-release buckles. When you lift the flap, you’ll find two index card–sized velcro pockets, and a larger 9x12-inch zipper compartment designed to hold pens, glasses, and other stationery.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small6_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small6.jpg" alt="You can take off the shoulder straps to turn it into a messenger bag." title="Urban Xplorer" width="620" height="635" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>You can take off the shoulder straps to turn it into a messenger bag.</strong></p> <p>Arguably, the HalfPack RT’s biggest problem is that despite it being the heaviest pack in the roundup at whopping 4.5 pounds, it’s not very spacious—its main compartment was barely able to house our 14-inch alienware notebook. The pack’s actual laptop compartment could barely fit our svelte 13.3-inch Acer S7 Ultra-book. Also, accessing the main compartment is cumbersome, even with the quick-release buckles, because you have to lift its flap vertically to reach your arm into the bag. When you add in the fact that it’s $200, the Urban Xplorer is simply a tough sell.</p> <p><strong> Urban Xplorer HalfPack RT</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:6" title="score:6" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$200, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h4>Ogio Renegade</h4> <p><strong>The macho bag</strong></p> <p>If we had to crown the manliest bag in this roundup, it would have to go to Ogio’s Renegade RSS 17. Hell, even the name “Renegade” implies that it’s pretty badass, and thankfully, it lives up to its moniker.</p> <p>The Renegade isn’t the biggest pack in the roundup but it’s still pretty large, measuring 19.5x14x8 inches. It’s quite rugged and offers plenty of protection with its rigid frame and copious amount of padding. There’s also a nice padded soft-touch neoprene grab handle at the top, and its 600D polyester material feels high quality across the board. It’s very comfy, to boot, and has a chest strap in case you need to lug around heavy gear.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this backpack won’t be able to carry the heaviest of laptops—even though it’s advertised to fit 17-inch notebooks, it couldn’t fit our thin 17-inch iBuypower Battalion, let alone our beefy 17-inch Asus ROG G750. Regardless, you’ll find that the bag has a ton of pockets to play around with, which include a hard-shell sunglass cubby, a spacious main compartment, a tablet compartment, and another smaller pocket with designated slots for mouse, wallet, and pens. In addition, there are two pairs of pockets on the side of the pack and a phone-sized zip behind the Ogio logo. There’s also a small zipper on the left shoulder strap, though measuring 1.5x4.5 inches, it’s much too small for even keys.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" href="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small7_0.jpg"><img src="/files/u152332/mpc100.feat_bags_small7.jpg" alt="The Renegade is rugged and has tons of pockets." title="Ogio Renegade" width="620" height="727" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The Renegade is rugged and has tons of pockets.</strong></p> <p>In terms of aesthetics, it’s predominantly black with some silver and red accents, giving it a tough appearance. At $135 street, Ogio is pricing the Renegade in the premium tier, but this bag well deserves inclusion in that class.</p> <p><strong>Ogio Renegade RSS 17</strong></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <div class="module-content" style="margin-top: -20px;"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="verdict"><img src="/sites/" alt="score:9" title="score:9" width="210" height="80" /></div> </div> </div> <p><strong>$135, <a href=" " target="_blank"></a></strong></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>If you’ve combed through all the reviews here, you might have noticed that there is a positive correlation between the largeness of a pack and its score. It’s not that we think that bigger is necessarily better, but the larger packs here just happened to get a little more TLC from their manufacturers. This isn’t to say that the smaller bags in this roundup are worthless. Really, there’s something here for every kind of laptop user: from small to large, from cheap to luxurious, they all have their strengths.</p> <p>Still, if you asked us to design the ultimate laptop backpack for enthusiasts, we would definitely love to be able to combine different elements from all the packs reviewed here. The super pack would have the hip stylings of the Timbuk2 Uptown with all the specialized compartments of the Asus Rog Nomad. We would definitely want to toss in the durability of the Ogio Renegade, with, of course, the same amazing value that the Everki Beacon boasts. That would definitely be the quintessential laptop backpack. Until then, however, we’re still confident that you’ll find something in this roundup that packs the punch you’ve been looking for.</p> <div class="module orange-module article-module"> <div class="module orange-module article-module"><span class="module-name">Specifications</span><br /> <div class="module-content"> <div class="module-text full"> <div class="spec-table orange"> <table style="width: 620px; height: 265px;" border="0"> <thead> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td></td> <td>Everki Beacon</td> <td>Ful Dean</td> <td>SwissGear SA1908 ScanSmart</td> <td>Asus ROG Nomad</td> <td>Timbuk2 Uptown</td> <td>Urban Xplorer HalfPack RT</td> <td>Ogio Renegade RSS 17</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Size H x W x D (inches)</td> <td class="item-dark">20.8 x 16.9 x 6.3</td> <td>18 x 11 x 5</td> <td>18 x 13 x 9</td> <td>20 x 13.7 x 7.2</td> <td>19.7 x 11.8 x 8.7</td> <td>17 x 13.4 x 7</td> <td>19.5 x 14 x 8</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Weight (pounds)</td> <td>3.5</td> <td>2.5</td> <td>2.6</td> <td>3.6</td> <td>2</td> <td>4.5</td> <td>4</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="item">Fits 17-inch notebook</td> <td class="item-dark">Yes</td> <td>Some</td> <td>Some</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Some</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Chest strap</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>Yes</td> <td>No</td> <td>Yes</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Street price</td> <td>$100</td> <td>$70</td> <td>$73</td> <td>$170</td> <td>$119</td> <td>$200</td> <td>$135</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><em><br /></em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> asus rog Bag Best Laptop Backpack everki beacon Gaming notebook pack portable timbuk2 Features Mon, 23 Mar 2015 20:36:42 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28755 at Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Goes on Sale as Surface Pro 4 Rumors Heat Up <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_4.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Save up to $150 on Surface Pro 3</h3> <p>Microsoft has been wheeling and dealing its Surface Pro 3 tablets at reduced prices recently, and you have to wonder why the company doesn't just go ahead and permanently lower the cost. Regardless, <strong>Surface Pro 3 tablets are again on sale</strong> with savings of up to $150 off retail. The timing of the sale comes as reports of the Surface Pro 4 being an iPad Pro killer start to emerge.</p> <p>First let's talk about the Surface 3 Pro pricing. The entry level model is the only one that isn't being offered up at a discount -- it's still priced at $799 for a Core i3 4020Y processor and 64GB of storage. Here's how the rest shake out:</p> <ul> <li>Surface Pro 3 w/ Core i5 4300U (1.9GHz to 2.9GHz) and 128GB SSD: $899, down from $999 (save $100)</li> <li>Surface Pro 3 w/ Core i5 4300U (1.9GHz to 2.9GHz) and 256GB SSD: $1,149, down from $1,299 (save $150)</li> <li>Surface Pro 3 w/ Core i7 4650U (1.7GHz to 3.3GHz) and 256GB SSD: $1,399, down from $1,549 (save $150)</li> <li>Surface Pro 3 2/ Core i7 4650U (1.7Ghz to 3.3GHz ) and 512GB SSD: $1,799, down from $1,949 (save $150)</li> </ul> <p>Microsoft is also offering a free sleeve valued at $40 with the purchase of a Surface Pro 3. There are 14 different designs to choose from. And for an additional $130, you can add a Surface Pro Type Cover.</p> <p>You'll find the Surface Pro 3 deals at the <a href=";tduid=05cd4f4e8c88be70094588d0b5d3beed" target="_blank">Microsoft Store</a>.</p> <h3>Surface Pro 4 Rumor</h3> <p>As to the Surface Pro 4, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Fuse Joplin</em></a> claims there are multiple rumors suggesting the tablet will launch in July. Citing the various rumors, <em>TFJ</em> says there will be two versions -- one with a 1.1GHz dual-core processor and one with a 2.4GHz CPU, both of which are mobile Intel chips.</p> <p>There are also rumors saying the two versions will feature different sized displays, one with a 12-inch panel and the other with a 14-inch display. Interestingly, both are said to run at 2160x1440, so the screen real estate will effectively be the same, assuming the information is accurate.</p> <p>It's said the Surface Pro 4 will have a better webcam than the 480p one found on the new Macbook. Other untold features will supposedly also give the Surface Pro 4 a leg up against the rumored iPad Pro.</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 surface pro 3 Surface Pro 4 tablet News Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:16:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 29626 at Acer Upgrades Chromebook with Core i5 CPU, Claims It's the Fastest on the Block <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_c910.jpg" alt="Acer C910" title="Acer C910" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Fastest commercial Chromebook around?</h3> <p><strong>Acer later today will be adding a new configuration to its C910 line of Chromebooks</strong>, one that will sport an Intel Core i5 5200U processor. Equipped with the new chip, Acer says it feels confident claiming that it's the fastest performing commercial Chromebook on the market. At the same time, the C910 offers all-day battery life of up to 8 hours before needing to be recharged.</p> <p>The Core i5 5200U is a fifth generation part based on Intel's 14nm Broadwell-U architecture. It has two cores and four threads clocked at 2.2GHz to 2.7GHz with 3MB of cache, Intel HD Graphics 5500 (300MHz to 900MHz), and a 15W TDP. The same chip is also found in some Ultrabook models.</p> <p>"The new faster performing Acer C910 Chromebook with an Intel Core i5 processor is raising the bar for Chromebook performance," said Carlos Siqueiros, mobility business manager, Acer America. "The advanced technology will boost productivity and help our education and commercial customers get the most out of their Chromebook experience for collaboration on important projects and research."</p> <p>Also unique to the C910 is its 15.6-inch display, the industry's first Chromebook to go that big. It's available with either a 1366x768 (HD) or 1920x1080 (Full HD 1080p) resolution. Both versions sport Acer's ComfyView with anti-glare properties to minimize reflection and eye strain.</p> <p>Othe features include 4GB of RAM, 32GB SSD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO technology, full-sized upward facing speakers, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports (one each), HDMI output, and an SD memory card reader.</p> <p>The Acer C910-54M1 with Core i5 5200 will be available next month starting at $500.</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 C910 chromebook core i5 Hardware intel laptop notebook OEM News Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:55:21 +0000 Paul Lilly 29612 at Asus ROG Lifts Curtain Ultra Slim G501 Laptop with 4K Display, Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M GPU <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_g501.jpg" alt="Asus ROG G501" title="Asus ROG G501" width="228" height="164" style="float: right;" />Slim and sexy, but is it fast enough?</h3> <p>Typically when a graphics company announces a new GPU, as Nvidia did yesterday with its GeForce GTX 960M and 950M additions, hardware partners follow suit with systems build around the parts. And so it goes, as today <strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) unveiled the G501, a thin and light 15.6-inch gaming laptop</strong> with a 4K Ultra High Definition resolution powered by the GTX 960M.</p> <p>As a mid-range GPU in Nvidia's GeForce GTX 900M Series, I'm not sure the GTX 960M packs enough punch to drive a comfortable gaming experience at 4K (3840x2160; 282 pixels per inch), though I'll reserve judgement until the benchmarks provide a definitive answer. If not, there's always the option of dialing down the resolution and/or display settings. Since there are other benefits to a 4K display, doing so while gaming wouldn't necessarily defeat the purpose, though it's certainly something to consider.</p> <p>Both the GTX 950M and 960M were designed specifically for slim systems like the G501. In this instance, the G501 measures just 0.81 inches thick and weighs 4.54 pounds. Part of that is due to the lightweight aluminum construction. It also sports red bezel accents for added visual appeal, along with a red-backlit keyboard with 1.6mm of key travel and marked WASD cursor keys.</p> <p>Cooling chores are handed by two fans and copper heat pipes. The CPU and GPU are independently cooled based on each one's demands, resulting in a cool and quiet laptop.</p> <p>Rounding out the feature-set is an Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, 512GB PCI-E x4 solid state drive, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, SD card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Thunderbolt, headphone/mic combo port, 96Wh battery, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.</p> <p>The Asus ROG G501 will begin shipping in April for $1,999.</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 G501 Gaming GeForce GTX 960M Hardware laptop notebook OEM Republic of Gamers rigs ROG News Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:40:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 29581 at Razer Upgrades Blade Pro Laptop with GeForce GTX 960M GPU and More Storage <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_blade_pro.jpg" alt="Razer Blade Pro" title="Razer Blade Pro" width="228" height="161" style="float: right;" />A sharpened Blade</h3> <p>Nvidia earlier today <a href="">announced two new GPUs</a> for thin and light gaming laptops, the GeForce GTX 950M and 960M, and right on cue, several hardware partners have jumped on board with new and revised notebook models. One of them is <strong>Razer, which today announced the release of its refreshed Blade Pro laptop</strong> with GeForce GTX 960M graphics and a higher storage ceiling, up to 1TB.</p> <p>The 960M with 4GB of GDDR5 memory replaces the GeForce GTX 860M that was shipping with the previous version. And as for storage capacity, instead of topping out at 256GB (SSD), you can now configure up to 512GB of SSD storage and up to a 1TB hard drive.</p> <p>Razer's 17.3-inch (1920x1080) Blade Pro starts at $2,300 and comes standard with an Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 128GB SSD + 500GB HDD (256GB SSD + 500GB HDD and 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD options available), GeForce GTX 960M GPU, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GbE LAN port, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4a output, stereo speakers, 3.5mm mic/headphone combo jack, 2MP webcam, Windows 8.1 64-big, and various other bits.</p> <p>You can configure and order a <a href="" target="_blank">Blade Pro 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> Blade Pro GeForce GTX 960M Hardware laptop notebook OEM razer rigs News Thu, 12 Mar 2015 16:03:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29576 at 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