Tag Archive | "convertible"

Intel Skylake showcase: E-ink, WiGig, RealSense, USB C, no-wires. (PDF and video)

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Did you know that Intel makes own-brand tablets, laptops and 2-in-1s? I’ve had a couple and they’re pretty good. The latest is built on the next-generation Core platform codenamed Skylake which is due in late 2015.  Nicole Scott from Mobilegeeks got a close look at the prototype at Intel’s developer conference in Shenzen and I’ve just taken a look at a PDF presentation describing what’s inside. It’s inspirational, and that’s the idea because these products aren’t targeted at consumers, they are early showcases that are meant to stimulate product designers and software developers into creating the next-generation PCs that you and I might want to buy in 2016.  Read-on to find about E-ink, WiGig, USB-C, wireless charging and other new technologies that you’ll find inside the Skylake reference design and might find in your next 2 in 1 tablet.

Intel Skylake 2 in 1. (Via Notebookitalia)

Intel Skylake 2 in 1. (Via Notebookitalia)

Skylake, the next generation Intel Core platform, has been teased a few times and it has usually been in conjunction with Intel’s ‘no wires’ marketing and 2-in-1 designs. I expect the platform to form part of a new Core M range (probably before any other laptop or desktop versions) and for it to be a big step forward in both processing capability and features. WiGig is coming of age as is USB-C but there are other technologies like wireless power, NFC and RealSense that Intel want to push. In a presentation at IDF 15 last week Intel even highlighted E-Ink secondary screens.

E-ink secondary screen on a tablet.

E-ink secondary screen on a tablet.

You’ll see it demonstrated in the video below but before you take a look at that, look at some of the details that Intel presented to attendees at IDF. The presentation PDF (available here but you might have to go through the session catalog here first) is titled “Integration of New Technologies for 2 in 1 Detachable Systems” and although it doesn’t directly reference Skylake, it’s clear that Intel are talking about next generation high-end architecture in the presentation.

Processor block diagram. Likely to be Skylake.

Processor block diagram. Likely to be Skylake.

Note wireless charging in base.

Note wireless charging in base.

Intel sees USB-C playing a big part in docking connectors for tablet and keyboards. In theory this could lead to some level of standardization. You might be able to plug a wireless charging keyboard into a tablet with a small USB-C cable, for example.

USB Type C can be used for docking keyboards to tablets.

USB Type C can be used for docking keyboards to tablets.

The tablet internals showing RealSense camera, 34 Wh battery and more.

The tablet internals showing RealSense camera, 34 Wh battery and more.

This ‘showcase’ doesn’t look as tidy as the new Macbook does on the inside but then the new Macbook doesn’t have RealSense, WiGig, GPS and (given that there’s a fan) a laptop-class processor in a dockable tablet design. Finally, there’s the wireless charging and WiGi to consider…

wigig

WiGig – Critical to Intel’s ‘no wires’ strategy.

 

Wireless charging on a 2-in-1.

Wireless charging on a 2-in-1.

Nicole Scott from Mobilegeeks got to take a look at the real thing at IDF 15 in Shenzen. Take a look at the video below and read Nicole’s article here. Let us know what you think of these new technologies in the comments below. Which of the features do you want first and how much are you prepared to pay?

HP Spectre X360. Inside and out a craft Ultrabook

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HP Spectre X360

HP Spectre X360

 

HP launched the Spectre X360 at MWC and as I’m here working with MobileGeeks I’ve had a chance to get some hands-on and look at the internals. It’s a beautifully crafted Ultrabook convertible from both perspectives and the big battery is going to give it battery life in the 8-10 hours range which means it’s a competitor to the current belle-of-the-ball, the Dell XPS 13.

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Lenovo Yoga 3 11. Refined, again.

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The 11-inch Yoga got a significant upgrade when Lenovo launched the Yoga 3 11 this week. It’s a fanless Core M based convertible that now has a Full HD screen, a redesigned casing and hinge, has a power connector that doubles-up as a third USB port and it weighs just 1.1KG (2.4 pounds.) The starting price is $799 which, as we all know, means is will probably sell for a street price of $750 or even $699 with promotions. There’s no backlit keyboard and the battery is relatively small but for a convertible ultralight the Yoga 3 11 has to be high on the list.

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M, 2015 model)

Lenovo Yoga 3 11 (Core M, 2015 model)

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Core-M ASUS Transformer Book T300FA gets a detailed review

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An early sample of the 12.5-inch Asus Transformer Book T300Fa 2-in-1 has been reviewed by Ultrabookreview. The 812 gram fanless tablet  (1.79 pounds) is not as light as the ASUS Chi but at around 600 Euro (based on one online pre-order price)  it looks like a good value and yet powerful 2-in-1. A 1366×768 screen might put off those thinking about replacing a laptop for productive use but there’s a nice feature in the docking-keyboard drive-bay.

ASUS Transformer Book T300FA runs on Core M

ASUS Transformer Book T300Fa runs on Core M

A few noteworthy take-aways from the review include the relatively slow eMMC disk speeds. They’re no faster than a $200 PC and should have been better. Having said that there’s a disk bay that can be used. It’s a USB-connected SATA interface and speeds, with the right SSD, should be better than the eMMC. Unfortunately that wasn’t tested in the review. The other slightly disappointing thing is the battery which, at 30Wh is small for a 1.6KG total weight. ASUS haven’t put a battery in the dock so you’re looking at around 5 hours of browsing on the tablet and less if you’re docked to the hard drive.

Core M performance is as we would expect with Ultrabook-level 3D performance and sub-Ultrabook CPU performance which is impressive on a fanless device. Weight still needs to come down though so for the best ultra-mobile PC experience on a 12.5-inch 2-in-1 you’ll have to wait for the ASUS Transformer Book Chi.

The detailed review can be found at Ultrabookreview here.

All the Core M mobile PCs in our database can be found here.

 

Lenovo N20p is 2-in-1, touch-capable and a step towards an exciting consumer Chromebook

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Rounding-off a series of Chromebook updates here on UMPCPortal are my thoughts on the Lenovo N20p Chromebook which is built around a design I tested recently in the Lenovo Flex 10. In my opinion it adds a lot of value to a laptop and is actually more suited to a laptops design than a ‘yoga’ style tablet-capable design. Like the Flex 10 the N20P has a 270-degree fold-back ‘stand mode’ touchscreen and comes with a basic set of specifications. Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16 GB of eMMC storage.

Lenovo N20p Chromebook (6)

Unlike the Flex 10 this Chromebook doesn’t have a touch-friendly user interface option and that, for the time being, could be seen as a big disadvantage. In practice though there are a lot of things you can do with a touchscreen in stand mode and web-browsing is an important one. When I did the in-depth Lenovo Flex 10 testing I found the unit to be more practical as a partner PC than a 7-inch or even 10-inch tablet without a stand. Magazine-style reader apps (I use Feedly) are great with coffee as is a Facebook or Tweetdeck ‘easel.’ Video applications work well too because this seat-back friendly mode brings the screen closer to the eye and, at full fold-back, has great stability. If you want to lift the screen to eye-height you’re also able to fold the screen to 180-degrees and prop up the unit to balance on the keyboard edge. Flex is good and worth paying a little extra for.

At current prices the Lenovo N20p is going to set you back about $60-$80 more than the cheaper Chromebook options which is a significant 25%-33% more than the cheaper ASUS and Acer options and, presumably because of the design, it’s a little heavier than, say, the ASUS C200. There’s a 34.8Wh battery inside which is OK, but not the biggest either.

Lenovo N20p Chromebook (2)Lenovo N20p Chromebook (4)

Screen resolution is a basic 1366×768 and there’s no mention of wide-viewing angles in the Lenovo marketing materials. A USB 2.0. USB 3.0, SD card, headset and full-size HDMI port are on-board and there’s AC-capable WiFi.

Although there isn’t a perfect match between a 2-in-1 design and ChromeOS now the Lenovo N20p offers the consumer something that’s been missing from Chromebooks up until now – fun. As ChromeOS develops with new features and improved touch capability the N20p could evolve into an attractive secondary PC for home and holiday use. If the AccuType full-size keyboard is good, this might make a good conference or hotel PC. In the Education market students are going to be far more excited about this Chromebook design.

If you’ve got the Lenovo N20p or are thinking of buying it (available at Amazon for $310 in the USA) let us know your thoughts.

To assist you in choosing a Chromebook we’re adding selected (lightweight, portable) models to our database here. The N20p will be added shortly.

You can find out more about the N20p at Lenovo’s US website.

Acer Switch, with an 11-inch screen. This rumour makes sense.

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I’m not one to pass on rumours but I have always believed, since I tested the Switch 10, that an 11.6-inch version would be even better. An article at TabTec takes some previously unseen model numbers and predicts that an 11.6-inch Acer Switch, the SW5-111 and SW5-171, will arrive at IFA.

Acer Aspire Switch 10  _6_ (1)

There’s literally no more information other than the new model numbers that were found on an Acer website but if you follow Acer’s model numbers it would make sense that an SW5-111 would be an 11.6-inch with Atom/Celeron and that the 171 would be running a Core CPU (I’d guess at a Haswell Y-series.) They would be a natural replacement for the Acer Aspire P3 range which runs on 2nd-generation Core.

If an 11.6-inch Acer Switch 11 to be launched there would need to be some improvements over the Switch 10 to make it interesting. A Full-HD screen, larger battery (or additional battery in keyboard) would be the first on the list. A good price would be expected too.

I’m at IFA (from 3rd Sept) so will be able to being you some more information then, unless Acer launches the Switch 11 beforehand.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 Review – Video Overview

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What a pleasure it was to test and review the Acer Aspire Switch 10 for Notebookcheck.net over the last three weeks.  The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is a low-cost 2-in-1 that’s up against a product that has been selling like hot-cakes and yet it pulls through.

It’s cheap and capable and it’s a great showcase for Windows 8 and Intel’s Baytrail-T processor

Acer Aspire Switch 10 _31_

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Acer Aspire Switch 10 Keyboard Battery Coming?

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I’m testing the Acer Aspire Switch 10 for Notebookcheck.net right now and it’s going well. I prefer it to the ASUS Transformer Book T100 because of the better keyboard, mouse and screen but there’s one little issue – battery life. The Switch 10 has a 24Wh battery inside which is much less than the 34Wh battery of the ASUS T100 and less than half of what you got on the previous W510. Looking at the keyboard reveals that it’s quite light and has 8 exposed screws so naturally I took a look inside. What I saw was encouraging because there’s space, screw holes and an unused PCB header space.

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Llama Mountain tablet uses Core-M to provide 10-inches at 550 grams, 6.8mm

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We saw the Llama mountain 12.5-inch concept announced at Computex yesterday. Its 7.2mm fanless design is enabled by the new 14nm Broadwell-Y based Core M branded CPUs. Today at Computex Intel demonstrated a 10-inch version of that dockable tablet that weighs just 550 grams (1.21 pounds.) That’s as light as any Atom-based 10-inch Windows tablet we’ve seen to date. The thickness is just 6.8mm. This is a breakthrough. A Core-powered fanless tablet at a consumer-friendly weight.

cm_i_ww_rgb_3000_edited

This is only a reference design but it’s working and obviously something that OEMs will be working with to help them produce interesting 2-in-1 and tablet products for Q4 this year. We’re trying to track down some images of the Llama Mountain 10-inch design so check back for more info as we update.

In the same event today Intel also announced more details on RealSense sensors including RealSense Snapshot for depth-enabled photography.  [concept video from IDF shown here.]

Intel also announced a new RealSense SDK, a new developer kit, new developer competition and a lot of applications that will be RealSense-enabled. More info on RealSense here.

The press release is here. No information was given on the next-gen Windows tablet platform, Cherry Trail.

ASUS Transformer Book T200TA Shows at Computex–Video

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I was a little surprised that ASUS didn’t mention the Transformer Book T200TA in the press event at Computex yesterday but at least it showed-up on the Asus booth today. This 399 Euro 2-in-1 should raise some eyebrows.

Mobilegeeks got hands-on and here’s a round-up of the specifications for you. Video below.

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ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi is a Broadwell Teaser.

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Transformer Book T300 Chi_Gold_edited

Impressive. The Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 was shown briefly at the Computex show today and although Asus didn’t say it outright, the ‘next generation’ Core processor, slick design and lack of detail in the specifications availability and pricing leads us to conclude that it’s going to be a product built around the 5th-Generation core. It means we’ll probably see this on stage a few more times before we get to see it for sale.

The incredibly thin 7.3mm tablet design is just 14.3mm thick when snapped together with the keyboard. The weight should be just as groundbreaking. The design suggests that it’s fanless too.

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Dell Inspiron 11 3000 fold-back laptop starts at $449

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Is everyone jumping on the Lenovo Yoga bandwagon now? Dell has just announced the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 and the Dell Inspiron 13 7000. One comes with Atom and starts at $449 on June 19th. The other will be a larger Core-based unit that will be available later in the year.

Inspiron11_3000_4Inspiron 13 7

This Laptop-first design has been appealing to many over the last few years and having reviewed three Yogas I can see why. It’s not the tablet mode that’s important, it’s the flexibility. Lie-flat screen and display modes are the two likely to be used most after the laptop mode but yes, if you want to have a brief flirt with a heavy tablet, go ahead. Choice is the key here.

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Specifications

  • 11.6-inch display has only a 1,366×768 resolution, but it’s an IPS screen.
  • ‘Up to’ Intel Pentium quad-core processors. (Baytrail-M.)
  • 4GB RAM.
  • 500GB hard drive.
  • 43 Whr battery (Dell quote over 8hrs Mobile Mark on a Celeron dual-core version.)
  • SD card slot, 3 x USB, HDMI.

Parallels will be drawn with the Lenovo Miix 2 11 which is already out there with similar specifications so we can see why Dell are offering 20GB of Dropbox and facial recognition software included in the package

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Gallery

Inspiron 11 3000Inspiron 11 3000 (1)Inspiron 11 3000 (2)Inspiron 11 3000 (3)Inspiron 11 3000 (4)Inspiron 11 3000 (5)Inspiron 11 3000 (6)Inspiron 11 3000 (7)

It’s that spinning hard drive in an ultra-mobile configuration again. Fingers crossed for an easy upgrade path because the rest of the specs and the design look great.

 

Dell Inspiron 13 7000

The information on the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 is a little thinner but it’s a September product so that could be the reason why. Dell aren’t waiting for Broadwell though because a 4th-gen Intel Core processor will be found inside. It’s another indicator that Broadwell-based Ultrabooks and tablets won’t be around until 2015. The sreen is a FullHD resolution and there’s information from reporters out in Taiwan that there will be a built-in stylus. Is that it behind the SD card slot? If so we have a Thinkpad Yoga competitor on our hands.

Inspiron 13 6 (2)

Port layout looks the same as on the Inspiron 11 with three USB, HDMI and SD slots. Some reports are talking about options on the screen and keyboard backlight so we’ll have to wait until after summer before we’re sure about what we’re getting. Pencil-in IFA 2014 for the launch event!

Inspiron 13 7000 Gallery

 

Inspiron 13 7000Inspiron 13 7000 (1)Inspiron 13 7000 (2)Inspiron 13 7000 (3)Inspiron 13 7000 (4)Inspiron 13 7000 (5)Inspiron 13 7000 (6)Inspiron 13 7000 (7)

 

Images courtesy of Dell inc.



Top 10 Ultra Mobile PCs

Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
HP Pavilion X2 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Lenovo ThinkPad P40
14.0" Intel Core i7 5500U
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Teclast x2 pro
11.6" Intel Core M 5Y10c
Lenovo IdeaPad A10
10.1" ARM Cortex A9 (Dual-Core)
Asus Transformer Book T100HA
10.1" Intel Atom X5 Z8500
Dell Venue 11 Pro
10.8" Intel Atom Z3795
ASUS T100
10.0" Intel Atom Z3740