After learning that the Amtran barebones laptop had been used on-stage at BUILD this year I tracked down the relevant presentation and am pleased that I did. There’s some really good information about Continuum in there along with some excellent demos. Important things to note are the Miracast continuum demo, which doesn’t need a physical video connector, and the projection mode, again, something that Miracast is perfect for. There’s also a Continuum control application that works as a touchpad for a remote screen.
Microsoft already have a set of UWP apps that are available via PCs but as soon as Windows 10 hits smartphones there’s going to be an opportunity to enjoy a new type of ultramobile computing…or is there? Indications are that new smartphone hardware is needed to enable Continuum features.
I’ve just ordered a Windows 10 2-in-1 with Atom X5-Z8500, 4 GB RAM, USB 3.1 / USB C and 64 GB storage for 379 Euro. (Amazon Germany.) That’s just under $350 in pre-tax USA pricing and having had some hands-on with the Transformer Book T100HA last week I’m confident that it’s a bargain 2-in-1 and that it will be very popular this quarter, unless I find some gotchas. The entry-level model with 32 GB storage and 2 GB RAM is being offered at just €309 – $280 (pre-19% tax conversion.) My T100HA will be here in 5-6 days and yes, there will be plenty of coverage here at UMPCPortal.
Update: The delivery estimate went from 5-6 days to infinity and I haven’t found an alternative retailer yet.
It looks like the Lenovo Miix 700 is going to get some strong competition in the 12-inch 2-in-1 space because details are emerging of a new Dell XPS 12 tablet with docking keyboard, USB-C and an edge-to-edge display.
Giga.de have followed up their Venue 8 Pro leak with a slide of information on a new Dell XPS 12 showing that Dell have moved on from the carousel design to a docking tablet set-up. Brief information shows a 4K display which may, or may not, excite you. The same goes for the edge-edge Infinity display which removes the oft-important frame.
Finally, an 8-inch Windows 10 tablet with an Atom X5 inside. The Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855 will be launched in November and will run the Z8500 mid-range Atom X5 processor with a full HD display and a 3D camera option.
Last week I wrote about the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and how it could drive adoption of the Windows 10 Mobile ‘smartphone’ as a core computing device for all consumer needs, whatever the screen-size or input method. The Lumia 950 rumor and that image of the USB-C dock brought back memories of the Continuum demo at BUILD 2015 and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see that extending into barebones laptops driven by Windows 10 Mobile devices. At IFA I saw another interesting accessory. It’s not a smartbook but could be a smartphone-book. A phab-book perhaps. OK, I’m still working on the name!
I’ll let you into a secret. I’ve got official access to the Mobilegeeks team collaboration system and I can see what’s coming next – and it’s the first English Transformer Book T100HA hands-on video with a secret price reveal!
T100HA comes in various colors
The Transformer Book T100HA was the only significant product launched (for us) at the Asus press event this morning and it takes what is probably the most popular Windows 2-in-1 so far and updates it with an Intel Atom X5 Z5800, a USB-C port, USB 3.0 on the keyboard dock and a full 64-bit Windows 10 OS. 4GB RAM and 128 GB storage are options that will delight many of you. There’s a new metal casing on the rear and a few other design changes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – Critical to Intel’s ‘no wires’ strategy.
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?