News Update: ASUS TaiChi, Panasonic AX, Acer S7

Posted on 04 October 2012 by

photo 1 (3)Good morning from Bonn, Germany!

I’ve been so busy with the Ultimate Coder Ultrabook Challenge over the last 2 days that a few news items have slipped through unattended. Ben is working on TWO Ultrabook reviews too so we’ll let him get on with that -  he’s got a Sony and  Gigabyte for you (yes, the one with the Nvidia GT640!)

First, a public announcement… let your friends and family know about a telephone support scam. I got a call yesterday and had some fun but it’s a serious matter.

But now back to the news updates…

Panasonic AXPanasonic have demonstrated the AX Series Ultrabook with ASUS Taichi-like folding screen. As with most Panasonic devices it’s likely to remain in Japan and it launches with Windows 8 later in October. It’s an 11.6” Ultrabook which could be quite light given Panasonics skills but it looks a little bulky to me. As I’ve said before, ‘tablets’ that weight over 1KG aren’t going to be the most user friendly. Engadget have some more images and a video. Ubergizmo have some pics.

On the subject of 180 degree folding screens, there’s a brief bit of news about the ASUS TaiChi. Asus are displaying the Taichi at Gitex Shopper in Dubai and ASUS say the TaiChi will be “launched by” the first quarter of 2013. I take that as being 2013 and not just before Christmas although it was a local country manager talking. If you’ve heard something else, comment below!

There’s an availability update on the Acer S7 which we had previously heard would be available before Windows 8. The US price of $1199 isn’t cheap but it doesn’t surprise me given the screen and design. The latest availability is said to be available on October 26th. The model number is Acer S7-391 as far as we know.

We’ve been working hard to get all the Windows 8 Ultrabooks in the database and will be creating a ‘WIndows 8 Touch’ Ultrabook list. In the meantime you can use our terribly designed  ‘alpha’ Ultrabook selector tool [Please – anyone out there care to php/html this page into shape?] to get a list. Choose ‘capacitive touchscreen’ to get the latest list of touch-enabled Ultrabooks.

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  • Tsuki

    Considering they have a Standard Voltage CPU laptop under 1kg (J-series), I think there is a pretty good chance that this AX series will also be a sub 1kg machine.

    It’s a bit bulky, but I don’t really see what’s wrong with that as long as the weight remains low.

  • JohnCz

    When I first saw Asus’s TaiChi, I thought it was very cool and innovative. After thinking about its practicality, I don’t see the real world scenario where someone would use it in laptop mode and share the lid screen with someone else. What I’m curious about though, is it actually cheaper to add a second screen like Asus did as opposed to developing a hinge mechanism? It hard to imagine it would be.

  • joe

    Cool social engineering hack video. I wonder if they bothered to hide their real IP and I assume the phone number was hidden. Then again, someone who would fall for it probably doesn’t know what an IP address is anyway.

    Anyway, the press release I read from Engadget for the Acer S7 talked about a second battery. How does it work? The press release and article didn’t say. Hopefully it’s somehow attached and not just a regular external battery that plugs into the DC in port. If so, I hope it’s on the 11.6″ model since the Engadget article specifically mentions it for the 13.3″ one while the press release didn’t really say it.

    • joe

      Oh ya, the Thunderbolt port seems to be gone since the press release didn’t mention it. Oh well, on to the next rumoured ultrabooks.

  • Dan

    Great to hear more news of teh Taichi and others… I’m especially anxious to hear about the Lenovo Yoga… and it’s WinRT counterpart, for hopefully less $$.

  • Eloy

    Chippy, I would like to know how you and the ultrabook coders taking part in the challenge feel towards the fact that windows 8 is going to be a largely closed platform.

    This is going to greatly bottleneck independent software development as all apps for the metro/whatever store will have be approved by Microsoft. This will almost certainly lead to services like Steam being hindered due to their competing with Windows live. Not to mention the fact that all content must pass the Microsoft ‘standard’ eg. censored content, meaning restricted adult themes or even swearing.

    This can already be seen on mac OS stores (besides the 40% cut apple take on every download which provides the main motivation for Microsoft to hinder its own competitors).

    The pc market has thrived largely due to its openness to new developers – I cant shake the feeling that windows 8 is just a shiny gimmick (much like touch-screens themselves) designed to distract consumers from the fact Microsoft is largely closing its doors to third party developers which it may not approve of or it could make a profit by hindering.

    • Eloy

      The iphone store is completely closed; all developers have to agree in apple taking a cut, and there’s nothing users can do about it without jail-breaking.

      Right now Microsoft has to compete – sink or swim, I can see them reverting to this strategy in the dog-eat-dog technology world.

      Long live windows 7, it will be the XP of this generation.

      • piktik

        There’s the joke about every other Windows release is bad :) .

        As usual, I don’t upgrade OS’s as soon as the new one comes out. I’ll wait at least a year to see how everything pans out and how the following questions are answered:
        Will developers embrace the new UI and app ecosystem?
        Will apps for the new UI be too touch focused and end up difficult to use with a mouse?
        When will it leave the usual beta stage of new technology releases nowadays?
        Has all the software I use been officially updated for Windows 8 since backwards compatibility has always been a hit or miss?

    • eloy.maybank@gmail.com

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