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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Images courtesy of Dell inc.
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Three hours after this article is posted ASUS will hold a press conference at Computex Taiwan. You’ll see a number of products launched and one of them is probably going to be this new ASUS Transformer Book T200TA – an 11.6-inch tablet weighing 750 grams running quad-core Baytrail that’s been leaked.
Mobilegeeks have published the news that came via research at online retailers. As usual one of them had jumped the gun to get the lead on SEO which is a shame because the ASUS press event was shaping up to be pretty exciting ‘blend.’
The 11.6-inch ASUS Transfomer Book T200A tablet runs on an Intel Z3775 (Baytrail-T 1.46-2.39Ghz.) 2GB of RAM won’t impress those looking for a productivity-focused 11.6-inch 2-in-1 and the 1366×768 display resolution will look poor even to many consumers.
There’s a hard disk in the keyboard base (optional, probably connected via USB3.0) and a total weight of about 1.65 KG so this isn’t a lightweight 11.6-inch 2-in-1. Charging is via a separate DC-in port and there’s an HDMI and USB 3.0 port. 32 or 64GB SSD (eMMC) options that indicate that this is going to be a consumer focused 2-in-1.
The price is the deciding factor here. A German site talks of a 399 Euro (inc. taxes) price so if that’s true and if there’s a comfortable keyboard, good battery life and a year of Office 365 we could be looking at another big Widows 8.1 2-in-1 seller.
Further specifications revealed include a 38Wh battery, microSD and microUSB 2.0 port.
We’ll get full details at 6am GMT. (0800 Berlin. 1400hrs Taiwan)
The HP Split X2 is one of a confusing range of 13-inch 2-in-1’s from HP that includes the Spectre X2, Split X2Ultrabook and Pavilion X2 13. Each offers a slightly different specification and design. HP have just made it a little more confusing by re-launching the Split X2 as a new fanless 2-in-1 with Baytrail and Core CPU options.
It’s possible that this new HP Split X2 simplifies the range of HP 2-in-1s by offering all the options under one banner but as we don’t see an SSD listed, we hope not. Yes, the SSD has been replaced with a hybrid hard drive (which also removes the hard drive option in the keyboard.) There’s a new hinge design which allows the ports to be re-positioned on the rear of the unit. You’ll find an HDMI port, two USB ports, headset port and a power port there which is more in style with a true docking station and looks like it will provide more stability for wider screen angles and laptop usage.
HP haven’t listed full specifications but for $599 (starting June 29th in the USA) you get a 13.3-inch tablet that weighs 2.45 pounds (1.11KG) and is 0.53 inches thick (13.5mm.) Battery life is quoted at a rather poor 5.25 hours although there’s a keyboard dock with battery available.
Again, it’s fanless so that’s a step in the right direction [I’m testing a fanless 11-inch HP Pro 2-in-1 right now.] and there’s up to 8GB RAM available. A full range of Baytrail and Haswell options are rumored. At this stage we can’t confirm the screen resolution but the previous HP Split X2 had a full HD screen option so we expect that to be carried forward.
We’ve pinged our sources out in Taipei and hope to have more details, pics and videos soon.