ASUS TAICHI dual-screen Ultrabook coming in November for $1,300, 13-inch version to follow a month later
Although we’ve now seen many dozens of Windows 8 devices, the ASUS TAICHI remains one of the most memorable — it’s unusual, after all, for a PC maker to make a laptop with displays on both sides of the lid. Even when it was announced, ASUS shared some high-level specs, but now we also know how much it’ll cost, and when it will be available. As leaked the 11-inch version (aka the TAICHI 21) will go on sale next month, starting at $1,299. A lofty price, to be sure, but no one ever said dual 1080p IPS displays would come cheap. At the entry level, you get a Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. For $1,499, it comes with 256GB of storage. Finally, there will be a $1,599 configuration with a 256GB drive and a Core i7 processor. And what of the 13-inch version ASUS showed off earlier this year? An ASUS rep says the TAICHI 31 won’t ship until December.
Across the board, the TAICHI comes with Intel HD 4000 graphics, two USB 3.0 ports, a 5-megapixel rear camera, a 720p webcam up front, Bluetooth 4.0 and Intel’s Wireless Display technology. Again, the smaller, 11-inch version will ship in November with the 13-inch model following a month later. In the meantime, we’ll direct you to our hands-on from June if you’re hankering for hands-on photos and video
We’re almost there. Just a few more days until the big reveal. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still a few final Windows 8 secrets to be disclosed. Two of those are the price and the packaging, which online retailer Newegg has just let slip. There are four packages listed: Windows 8 Professional Upgrade ($69), Windows 8 Pro Pack ($69, product key card only), Windows 8 OEM ($99) and Windows 8 Professional ($139), with the latter two being available in both 32- and 64-bit versions (for the same price). If you go into the product page, however, we can see that the original price for the upgrade and product key card only versions is listed as “$199” suggesting that this might either be a launch offer, or subject to change. Don’t forget though, there’s still the chance to upgrade for an even lower price, for those who qualify. You can officially reserve your copy of Pro from today for $69.99 at all the main retailers, but if you can hold back on that impulse purchase for just a little longer, you’ll be able to upgrade to Pro online for $39 (until January 31st). Follow the source for details.
Back at Computex, Acer announced the Aspire S7 series — the company’s third line of Ultrabooks, and the first of the bunch to sport touchscreens. At the time, we were told they’d go on sale once Windows 8 started shipping and sure enough, Acer just sent out a press release confirming they’ll be available October 26th, the day Win 8 officially launches. Prices will start at $1,200 for the 11-inch model (the S7-191), but you’ll pay either $1,400 or $1,650 for the 13-inch version (S7-391), depending on which configuration you choose.
For those who missed the initial June reveal, the laptops all have 1080p IPS screens and backlit keyboards. The 13-inch model in particular has a display that can lie completely flat. Another key difference: the 11-inch version has an aluminum lid, while the 13-incher’s is fashioned out of Gorilla Glass. Whichever you choose, the S7 comes with a USB to Ethernet adapter, a micro-HDMI to VGA dongle and a carrying case — a first for Acer. They also make use of Acer’s TwinAir cooling technology and are set up to work with AcerCloud, the company’s free online storage service, which you can use with mobile apps on iOS and Android.
Vizio details its first laptops: two thin-and-lights and a mainstream 15-incher, on pre-order for $898 and up (Video)
Back at CES, Vizio taught us a valuable lesson: you don’t need to be a seasoned PC maker to build a beautiful laptop. The outfit, best known for its value-priced TVs, didn’t dip its toes into the personal computer market so much as plunge in, head first: it teased three notebooks (along with two all-in-ones), each bearing a clean, surprisingly tasteful design. Now, right on schedule, they’re finally going on sale. The company just announced that its first laptops, the 14-inch Thin + Light, the 15-inch Thin + Light and the 15-inch Notebook, are available for pre-order, each starting at $898.
Funnily enough, as much as we’ve written about these laptops, we didn’t know their names (much less specs) until now. So listen up: it’s time for a quick (and long-overdue) run-down. First up, there are two “Thin + Lights” (Vizio isn’t using the word Ultrabook). These come in two sizes: a 14-inch version with a 1600 x 900 display and a 15-incher with a 1080p panel. Aside from the resolution, the two models offer similar specs: Ivy Bridge processors, Intel HD 4000 graphics, SRS Premium Sound HD audio and battery life rated at seven hours. There’s also a mainstream laptop, appropriately dubbed the 15.6-inch Notebook, which offers similar innards, except it has an unspecified Kepler GPU from NVIDIA. It, too, is rated for seven hours of runtime.
First the rumor mill revealed ASUS had plans to refresh Ultrabooks with Ivy Bridge and 1080p IPS displays. Then the company confirmed the news itself when it brought some new Zenbook Prime laptops out for a demo and promised they’d go on sale in ASUS’ native Taiwan. Now we’ve got some splendid news for our readers here in the US: those fresh ultraportables are making their way stateside too… eventually. ASUS just confirmed it’s bringing four models to the states: the 11-inch UX21A, the 13-inch UX31A / UX32A and the UX32VD. What’s the difference between the UX31A and the UX32A, you ask? It all comes down to storage: the UX32A uses hybrid hard drives, while the UX31A packs an SSD. Meanwhile, the UX32VD is nearly identical to the UX31A except that it packs an NVIDIA GT 620M GPU.
As rumored, the lineup includes Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors, with 1920 x 1080 IPS displays offered even on the 11-incher. (If you don’t need that kind of pixel density, 1366 x 768 displays will be available as well.) Another thing they all have in common: ASUS has tweaked the touchpad and re-tooled the keyboard, making the pitch 12 percent deeper. Also, the keys are now backlit, for what that’s worth.
We’ve already seen a number of laptops from HP sporting Intel’s 22nm micro architecture, most commonly known as Ivy Bridge, but now the company is giving its desktop lineup a similar refresh with six quad-core models that’ll be available directly from the manufacturer on April 29th. Of the group, three will feature all-in-one form factors, which include the Omni 220qd — a rig with Beats Audio and a cantilever design that’ll start at $999 — along with the Omni 27qd, which features a 27-inch display and a $1,199 price tag. The third model will bring a refresh to the TouchSmart 520xt, which features a touch-enabled 23-inch display that’ll retail for $999.
The remaining updates are stand-alone desktops, which consist of the HPE h8t, available for $699, and the HPE h8xt — a more powerful unit that’ll start at $799. Those looking to delve a bit further into the high-end will find the HPE Phoenix h9t, which will metaphorically rise from the ashes at $1,149. Curiously, the Phoenix is the only unit that’ll simultaneously hit retailers on April 29th — the five other models won’t get their taste of brick and mortar until June 24th.
Spotify has unveiled this week it plans to offer a family subscriptions in the future for its Premium service, according to comments made by Spotify’s Chief content officer, Ken Parks.
The Verge technology website caught up with Ken Parks at SXSW this week after his “Future of Music” panel, and when questioned about the new family packages, explained they are “definitely coming.”.
No information on pricing or worldwide availability was mentioned but the new package would help Spotify compete with Rdio’s family plan offering. As soon as information comes to light we will keep you updated as always.
Currently Rdio offers a family plan for two users at $17.99 per month or a package for three users at $22.99. Additional subscription can then be added as sub-accounts at the standard going rate.
Llano laptops are like buses. You wait two years for just one to arrive and then eleven come out at once. Yep, AMD’s long-awaited hybrid CPU / GPU has finally gone official today and HP is wasting no time in introducing laptops harnessing its Accelerated Processing powers. On the consumer side, the Pavilion dv (dv4, dv6, dv7) and g (g4, g6, g7) series are both getting in on the action, with the dv models touting fancier additions like Beats Audio and CoolSense as justifications for their dearer pricing. For the more demure or business-oriented AMD fans, ProBook laptops of both b (6465b, 6465b) and s (4535s, 4435s, 4436s) varieties are also getting A-series processor options. Pricing starts out at $600 on the dv line and $450 for the g series, with both expected to ship in July, whereas the ProBook models will be a bit more punctual and arrive on June 27th, provided you have at least $519 to splash out. Ful PR after the break.
Now that HP’s TouchPad has a confirmed July 1st release date, the company’s going to do its darnedest to make sure you’re excited for the slate, and the company’s starting off rather well if you ask us — instead of attempting to find a new anthem, it’s simply showing off what the dual-core tablet actually does. The nine YouTube videos after the break may not be the most exciting things you’ll watch all day, but they certainly do show off the multitasking magic of HP’s card-based operating system. If that’s not nearly enough TouchPad information, though, Geekazine also taped a 37-minute conversation with HP product manager Tim Pettitt, where he reveals that the final TouchPad won’t have a traditional gesture area, but it will recognize the traditional swipe up for opening and closing apps. By the by, all the TouchPad’s accessories have now been priced: you’ll drop $30 for a charger, $50 for the official folding case, $70 for the Bluetooth keyboard, and $80 for the new Touchstone dock. Pricey.
The US already knows when Samsung will launch its updated Galaxy Tab models and for how much, but that picture hasn’t been quite as lucid over in Europe. Amazon.de is doing its best to dissipate the mists of unknowing by listing the 16GB Galaxy Tab 8.9 at a price of €606.50 ($852), whether you’re buying the version with a black or white back. That sounds a relatively steep price, but it’s not clear whether we’re talking about the WiFi-only or 3G-equipped model. Notably, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 option is also listed alongside its 8.9-inch brethren, but there’s no price attached to it yet. All we can really say for now is that the wheels are in motion and these Honeycomb tablets look to be on their way to the Euro market at about the same time as they’ll hit the American one. Égalité!
The XPS 15z, true to Michael Dell’s word, is now with us. Provided “now” is May the 24th in whatever part of the world you happen to live in. Laptop shoppers in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — a group of nations already enjoying the glories of Tuesday — can now buy the 0.97 inches-thick 15z for prices starting at just under A$1,400. That buys you a Core i5-2410M from Intel (2.3GHz default speed, 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost), a generous 6GB of DDR3 RAM, backlit keyboard, GeForce GT 525M graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory, a 750GB hard drive, and a 64WHr battery. The screen spans 15.6 inches diagonally and offers 1920 x 1080 resolution. Stepping up to A$1,700 gets you a Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz default, 3.4GHz TB) and 8GB of RAM. Juicy specs, we must admit. Now when’s midnight coming?
Remember Dimenco? A four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, the company has been hard at work refining its glasses-free 3D display tech and today some of the earliest fruit of its labor is going on sale. Nissho Electronics in Japan is beginning sales of a 52-inch LCD panel that can pump out full 1080p of 3D vision without requiring any headgear from the viewer. Initially, this big lenticular display will target businesses, who’ll be among the few to be able to afford the ¥1.7 million ($20,820) asking price. Other specs include a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 3D on this TV is actually described as a unique “2D + depth” implementation, which can also be used to convert 2D images in real time. Great, now take a zero out of that price, ship it westwards, and watch the sales really take off.
Brits eager for a taste of the first 7-inch BlackBerry device have just under a month of anticipation left to go. UK retailers have today revealed the date and prices at which they’ll be selling RIM’s PlayBook: depending on how much integrated storage you want, you’ll have to pay up £400 (16GB), £480 (32GB), or £560 (64GB) for your slate, starting from June 16th. Aside from the gigabytes, you’ll be getting the gigahertz too, with a dual-core 1,000MHz TI OMAP4430 processor keeping the PlayBook’s insides warm and its outsides responsive. Availability will be widespread, with Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u, and Best Buy UK having already announced they’ll be stocking the tablet. You can even hit up the source link now and lay down some cash to secure your pre-order.
With one of the original 5-inch Streak’s chief downsides being that it was considered too small to be a proper tablet, Dell did the sage thing this January and introduced a 7-inch variant in the Streak 7. The newer slate is outfitted with a nice Tegra 2 dual-core chip, 16GB of storage, a 5 megapixel rear- and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, a WVGA (800 x 480) display, and now the eminently reasonable UK price of £299 ($487). Alas, where Dell fell short with its Streak family expansion was in installing Android 2.2 on the 7, which hasn’t changed during its trip over the Altantic, and in offering pretty poor battery life — which might actually be a bit better here since Brits are receiving the WiFi-only model. Then again, if we’re having to praise a device for improving itself by omitting a valuable feature like 3G, perhaps that tells you all you need to know about its viability. At least the Streak 7 is priced correctly and Dell does promise a Honeycomb update is in the offing. You can order yours at Dell’s UK outlet linked below or jump past the break to familiarize yourself with the company’s press release.
The one Android tablet that isn’t riding NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 dual-core chip and Google’s Honeycomb iteration (but might still be worth buying) has this weekend become available to pre-order in the UK. The Carphone Warehouse is listing a £600 ($983) fee for owning the HTC Flyer, which is more or less a match for the €669 price Amazon.de is offering to German slate lovers. In exchange for a dozen rose-tinted notes with the Queen’s face on them, you’ll get a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 display, encased in an aluminum unibody case and powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm chip. HTC’s Sense UI has undergone some tablet-friendly tweaks and there is of course that Scribe stylus to flex your artistic muscles with. 3G connectivity and 32GB of storage flesh out the Flyer’s hardware offering, while the underlying Android Gingerbread OS is promised to get a Honeycomb-flavored update, most likely some time this summer.
Any new technology generally costs an arm, a leg, and a bit of your sanity to adopt early, but that’s a luxury that the well settled auto market cannot afford. In light of its elastic economics, car makers looking to go electric have had to be extremely aggressive in cutting their own profits, an aggressiveness that’s now been estimated by Fiat’s CEO Sergio Marchionne to cost them as much as $10,000 per unit sold. Fiat’s famed little car, the Cinquecento, is going to be hitting the US in a new EV configuration in 2012, in spite of the fact it’ll be causing a ding to the company’s bottom line. It’s not actually clear whether Mr. Marchionne is factoring in research and development costs or whether he’s talking purely of material costs, though Fiat’s fate is hardly unique — the Nissan Leaf isn’t expected to generate a profit for a good couple of years yet. The Fiat 500 EV’s likely price was indirectly revealed, too, by the company chief’s assertion that it’ll retail for about three times the cost of its gas-powered version. So about $45,000. Yikes!
As sure as snow in winter or sun in summer, AMD has yet another refresh to its graphics card portfolio this spring. The Radeon HD 6790 is only a couple of misplaced digits away from the far more illustrious HD 6970, but you should be able to tell the two apart by another, altogether more significant spec: the new mid-tier card retails at $149. Predictably, its performance offers no threat to AMD’s single-GPU flagship, but the 6790′s 840MHz graphics and shader clock speeds plus 1GB of GDDR5 running at an effective 4.2GHz data rate don’t seem like anything to sniff at either. Reviewers agreed that it’s AMD’s slightly delayed answer to NVIDIA’s GTX 460, and with the latter card exiting retail availability to make room for the (oddly enough) less powerful GTX 550 Ti, AMD’s new solution looks set to be the better choice at the shared $149 price point. Alas, being limited to 800 Stream processors and 16 ROPs does expose the HD 6790 to being cannibalized by AMD’s own Radeon HD 6850 (which can be had for sub-$150 if you’re tolerant of rebates) and that turns out to be exactly what happens. A solid card, then, but one that would require an even lower price dip to make economic sense. Benchmarks await below.
Never mind the cringe-inducing advertising, ASUS has given us a much better reason to care about its Tegra 2-toting Eee Pad Transformer: a $400 price. The 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet (with 1280 x 800 resolution on an IPS display) has quickly moved from its Taiwanese release, through yesterday’s UK pricing announcement, to today showing up at Best Buy in the US, so we suspect its global shipping can’t be far off at all. With a sticker that’s a clear $99 less than the cheapest iPad and a good deal more affordable than its Android competition like the Xoom and G-Slate, the Transformer could yet take the tablet world by storm. Do take note that the keyboard dock that inspires this slate’s name is an optional extra, but given the starting price, the whole package might still end up less than what others will ask.
In the dead of night… pre-orders happen. RIM has snuck out the first official pricing for its 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and, true to its promise, it costs less than $500. A cent less than $500. The 16GB WiFi-only PlayBook is now up for pre-order at Best Buy and is coming to a vast list of other retailers soon. Staples, Office Depot and RadioShack are among the popular US store chains, while AT&T, Sprint and Verizon will also carry the tablet. No T-Mobile on that list. Canadian pre-orders for the same model are now live as well, also at $499.99, albeit in the local dollar currency. A 32GB WiFi model will set Canucks back C$599 and the 64GB model is C$699, which might be indicative of US pricing too if price parity is maintained throughout the range. The almost full press release (still no release date) follows after the break.