We were all a little shocked when Apple failed to deliver a redesigned iTunes at its last keynote. The company promised a major revamp of the service would land in October yet, here we are with one day left in the month, and no iTunes overhaul in sight. Today Tom Neumayr, a spokesperson for the Cupertino firm, confirmed to AllThingsD that the software release had indeed been pushed back by a month. Only a few short days ago CFO Peter Oppenheimer was touting the refresh during the company’s earnings call saying, “We look forward to looking to launching a redesigned iTunes. The new iTunes has a dramatically simpler and cleaner interface.” But he made no mention of a delay. Neumayr says the goal now is to release the update before the end of November stating that development is “taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right.” While the issue primarily cited in Neumayr’s statement is “seamless integration with iCloud” we wouldn’t be shocked if it’s rumored internet radio service also is playing a role in the delay. Read the complete statement below.
“The new iTunes is taking longer than expected and we wanted to take a little extra time to get it right. We look forward to releasing this new version of iTunes with its dramatically simpler and cleaner interface, and seamless integration with iCloud before the end of November.”
At Google’s developer conference, the company announced that it would soon offer the ability to download delta updates in its Play Store, and we’re starting to see the promise fulfilled before our very eyes. These delta upgrades, which save time and bandwidth when updating larger apps by only downloading the actual changes (rather than the entire program), were spotted earlier by Android Police and verified by our staff. While it may seem like a minor feature, you’ll likely be happy that you don’t have to think twice about updating your graphically-intense games when you’re not within range of a hotspot. Head below for a video showing the delta updates in action.
In addition to all the other new laptops it announced today, Sony refreshed its mid-range S Series with a new look, and consolidated its two 13-inch models, the SA and SB lines, into one model, now called the VAIO S13. (There’s also a more business-oriented version called the S13p, which we’ll tell you about in just a moment). Thanks to a magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber construction, it’s fairly lightweight, at 3.8 pounds. Spec-wise, Sony went with Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors, though this time around, it’s missing switchable graphics — at least on the S13. That machine now has integrated graphics only, though the business-centric S13p will be offered with an NVIDIA GPU with up to 2GB of VRAM. The S13p also sets itself apart with features the IT guy might appreciate, including TPM, a fingerprint reader and a hard drive accelerometer.
Across the board, the S13 should last up to about seven hours on a charge, or 14 if you add an optional sheet battery. Also, the company will sell an external docking station with a built-in 500GB hard drive and built-in battery — a first for Sony. We’re told the dock will cost $189, and that you can use it even with the sheet battery attached to the laptop. The S13 and S13p will go on sale this month, starting at $900 and $1,200, respectively. Though the more consumer-friendly S13 will be available in black, silver white and pink, the buttoned-up S13p comes in a more staid palette: black, gold and “Gun Metal.”
Sony refreshes VAIO Z series with Ivy Bridge, price now starts at $1,600 without the docking station
In case you didn’t notice, Sony completely revamped its laptop lineup this morning. Unlike some of the other models on offer, the high-end Z series didn’t get a redesign, but Sony at least took the opportunity to refresh it with new Ivy Bridge processors. Oh, and lower the starting price. The Z will no longer be bundled with the Power Media Dock, that external hub housing both a discrete GPU and optical drive. As such, the laptop will now start at $1,600, down from $2,000, while the dock will retail for an additional $400. Spec-wise, the Z still weighs a scant 2.6 pounds, but it’s now constructed from carbon fiber and will be offered with a glossy finish. It will also be available with quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs, though the starting model’s processor is dual-core. Otherwise, it offers nearly the same specs as the model we reviewed last year, including a 1080p display and solid-state RAID drives. Look for the refresh sometime this month, and in the meantime we’ve included pics below to jog your memory on what this guy looks like.
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.
You may have noticed that HP unleashed a torrent of laptops today, but at the heart of it all, even more crucial than those Ultrabooks and business laptops, are the notebooks Hewlett-Packard plans to sell to college kids during the all-important back-to-school season. This go-round, the company’s redesigned both its mainstream Pavilion dv series, as well as its entry-level “g” laptops, though the range of sizes (14 to 17 inches) is pretty predictable. In addition, the outfit also introduced the Pavilion m6, a slim 15-incher that isn’t technically an Ultrabook, but nonetheless joins a growing group of thin-and-lights with unexpectedly large screens. Throughout, as you’d expect, HP’s refreshed its laptops on the inside too — namely, with newer Intel and AMD chips, along with fresher GPUs. We’ve got a full break-down of specs, prices, design notes and availability details after the break, though we’ve also got photos and the full press release below if you’ve got some important study session to hurry to.
- Pavilion dv series. Starting with HP’s redesigned line of mainstream Pavilion dv laptops, these models have a more pared-down look, with recessed keyboards, soft-touch accents and some subtle chrome trim ringing the touchpad. (The Beats Audio branding, of course, hasn’t gone anywhere.) In addition to those Ivy Bridge CPUs, these will be offered with optional discrete graphics from NVIDIA. We’re also told the two larger models will make use of HP’s CoolSense technology, but for whatever reason the dv4 won’t. All three are hitting shelves June 20th, with the dv7 starting at $800 and and the dv4 and dv6 priced at $550 and up.
- Pavilion m6. Though HP isn’t using the word “Ultrabook” to classify the m6, it’s clear this guy is meant to compete with other affordable, 15-inch thin-and-lights, such as Acer’s Timeline Ultra series. For this particular number, HP went with an aluminum-clad design, featuring Beats, along with a subwoofer and optional backlit keyboard. On the inside, you’ll have your choice of Intel and AMD chips, and because this is a full-fledged laptop and all, it will be offered with discrete graphics, too. Pricing for the m6 hasn’t been announced yet; all we know is that it will go on sale sometime this summer.
- G series. And the parade of reserved-looking laptops continue. Though the g series has long been HP’s entry-level line, it’s fine-tuned this latest batch by erring on the side of simplicity. This time around, look for a recesessed “bowl” keyboard, beveled edges and a glossy finish whose fine pattern seems promising for masking fingerprints. The g6 and g7 will both be available on July 25th, starting at $450 and $500, respectively.
We know Ivy Bridge is close to landing, but when damn it, when? Until we know for sure, what about these new notebooks from HP that sneaked out with barely a flicker of ballyhoo. There are four new Pavilions on their way, the dv4-5000, dv6-7000, dv7-6000 and g4-2000. All of them are getting the Ivy Bridge treatment bar the g4, which sticks with Sandy Bridge. The dv4 and dv6 both sport 2.3GHz i7-3610QM processors, GeForce GT630M graphics, Beats Audio and 14-inch or 15.6-inch (1366 x 768) displays respectively. The dv7 model steps things up with a 2.6GHZ i7-3720QM chip, GeForce GT 650M graphics and 17.3-inches of 1920 x 1080 screen. The g4, on the other hand, comes in a range of processing flavors, including the i3-2350M and i5-2450M Sandy Bridge variants and a 14-inch screen. The g-series will likely carry a £399 (about $630) price-tag, while the dv6 and dv7 are rumored start around £599 ($940) when they eventually land potentially in April — but don’t count your chickens. Full specs in the source, and promo videos after the break.
It’s raining Mango, Hallelujah! Windows Phone 7.5 is now officially ready to get pushed to existing devices, and in a big way. Taking lessons Microsoft learned from the update debacle that was NoDo, the company’s eager to do a much more efficient (and quick) job of rolling out its latest revamp. While Redmond didn’t offer any exact details on which phones would be the lucky recipients right away, it’ll be keeping the masses posted through its “where’s my phone update” page. If your handset is listed, hook it up to your computer, load the Zune client and there should be a lovely message waiting for you. As always, don’t feel too discouraged if your device isn’t available right away, since these rollouts have a habit of taking a bit of time to get to everyone.
In addition to the rollout, the Web Marketplace will also make its debut, giving Windows Phone users the opportunity to do what Android users already enjoy — the ability to surf for apps online and have them downloaded directly on the phone with no sideloading required. There’s one bit of sad news to relay to anyone that already has a Windows Phone, however: Microsoft confirmed to us that Internet Sharing — the long-awaited mobile hotspot functionality — will not be available for existing devices. There’s no word on if this will be offered through a future update or if it’s a permanent deal, but at least it’s only a single thorn in an entire rose garden of good news.
Need a miniature desktop to match that petite MacBook Air that Apple just refreshed? Well, there’s a Mac for that. The new Mac mini packs an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, Thunderbolt, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and Mac OS X Lion. Notably absent, however, is that familiar front-facing SuperDrive slot. Starting at $599 with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5, the new models include Turbo Boost 2.0, letting you crank up the speed to 3.4GHz when using processor-intensive applications. Apple also announced a $999 server version that ships with a Core i7 processor and OS X Lion Server. As with the previous generation, the mini doesn’t sacrifice on connectivity, including gigabit Ethernet, FireWire 800, HDMI, SDXC, audio in and out, Thunderbolt (with support for up to six devices), and four USB 2.0 ports on the rear. There’s also 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Mac mini is available for purchase online today, and in Apple retail stores tomorrow.
They say Apple updates its products like clockwork, releasing something new at the same time in the same place every year. Not so with MacBook Airs anyway. The outfit’s gone and freshened up its 13-inch and 11-inch ultraportables — the second such update in nine months. Although the industrial design hasn’t changed much since the last generation, both models step up to Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, Thunderbolt ports, backlit keyboards, and, of course, OS X Lion.
The 11.6-inch flavor starts at $999 with 64GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of memory and a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. The higher-end of the two configurations costs $1,199, with the extra two hundred dollars doubling your RAM and storage. The 13-inch Air, meanwhile, starts at $1,299, with a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 CPU. Step up to the $1,599 model and you’ll get a 256GB SSD instead. Regardless, you’re looking at Intel HD 3000 graphics across the board, along with FaceTime webcams, two USB ports (plus an SD slot on the 13-inch version), 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The two differ when it comes to resolution and battery life: the 11-incher has a 1366 x 768 panel and is rated for up to five hours of battery life, whereas the 13-inch model has a 1440 x 900 screen and promises up to seven hours of juice. As for that 1.8GHz Core i7 CPU, it’ll set you back an extra $100 on the 13-inch version, and $150 for the 11-inch version. Whichever size you choose, it’s only an option for the higher-end configuration. Hit the source link to peep the specs and buy one, if you’re so inclined.
Meanwhile, Toshiba streamlined its consumer laptops for those non-gamers in the back-to-school crowd, axing the A and M lines, and leaving just the P series, for “premium.” It’ll include 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch models, all decked out in a textured, two-tone Fuxion X2 finish and featuring USB sleep-and-charge ports, HDMI-out, Harman Kardon speakers, and that same MaxxAudio 3 utility. Depending on the configuration, you can also score NVIDIA GeForce GT540M graphics, Intel Wireless Display, a 4G radio, a Blu-ray drive, and a 3D screen (only on the 15-incher). On the inside, you’ve got your choice of Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs or a spankin’ new A6-3400M accelerated processing unit from AMD. Look for the 14-inch P745 with a starting price of $699, and 15-inch P755 and the 17-inch P775 for $629 and up.
And, rounding out its portfolio, Toshiba refreshed its budget Satellite L700 series with Core 2011 processors and new AMD A4 and A6 APUs, while the entry-level Satellite C800 gets AMD Fusion C-50 and E-350 APU options. None of these laptops go on sale until later this month, so for now you can content yourself with those up-close-and-personal hands-on shots below.
Toshiba Qosmio X770
If you’ve enjoyed NVIDIA’s fine tradition of merely bumping along its GPUs time and again and affixing a new badge, you’ll like the GeForce GTX 560M — it’s much like last year’s GTX 460M, but with more bang for the buck than ever. ASUS, MSI, Alienware, Toshiba and Clevo have all committed to new notebooks bearing the graphics processor in light of the potent performance NVIDIA claims it will bring: Namely, those same 192 CUDA cores (now clocked at 1550MHz) and up to 3GB of GDDR5 memory (now clocked at 1250MHz, with a 192-bit bus) should enable the latest games to run at playable framerates on a 1080p screen with maximum detail — save antialiasing. Of course, that assumes you’ve also got a recent quad-core Sandy Bridge processor and gobs upon gobs of RAM, but NVIDIA also says that with the built-in Optimus switchable graphics, those same potent laptops should be able to manage five hours of battery life while idling.
If you’re looking for some inexpensive discrete graphics, however, NVIDIA’s also got a refresh there, as the new GeForce GT 520MX bumps up all the clock speeds of the GT 520M. When can you expect a mobile GPU to knock the GTX 485M off its silicon throne, though? Glad you asked: a chart shows a “Next-gen GTX” coming late this year. Meanwhile, see what NVIDIA says the GTX 560M’s capable of in the gallery below and a video after the break.
We’ve already seen Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt reinvigorating the MacBook Pro line, so it’s only logical for the MacBook Airs to eventually follow suit — presumably they’ll pick up Sandy Bridge’s 17W mobile processors to match the current 10W and 17W Core 2 Duos. So when can we expect this to happen? Well, according to DigiTimes’ sources within the supply chain, Apple may receive shipment of the refreshed Airs in late May ahead of a June or July launch — this echoes earlier reports from Apple Insider and CNET that cited the same time frame. Additionally, DigiTimes says Quanta will continue to assemble Apple’s ultra-portable laptops, with Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying the battery packs. As always, we shall remain open-minded about such rumors, but you’ll know the real deal as soon as we do within the next couple of months or so.
Right on schedule, Panasonic’s gone and made its thinly-veiled Lumix DMC-G3 Micro Four Thirds shooter official. The Micro Four Thirds shooter succeeds the G2with a a 16 megapixel sensor, support for 1080p AVCHD video recording with stereo audio, 4fps burst shooting at full resolution, and an articulating, 3-inch touchscreen that supplants some of the dials adorning the last-gen model. In addition to poking around menus, you can touch that display to focus on your subject, and slide your finger to tweak exposure, white balance, and depth of field — all in all, not unlike how you might interact with a smartphone camera. And, at 11.8 ounces, the aluminum-clad body weighs about ten percent less than its predecessor. Look for it in June for $700 in brown, red, and white — in addition to your garden-variety black. In the market for something more compact? Panny also trotted out the Lumix-FH7, a 16 megapixel point-and-shoot with 4x optical zoom and 720p movie recording. Oodles of photos below with a press release after the break.
With a Sandy Bridge refresh, a new 14-inch mainstream laptop, and a redesigned netbook, HP’s latest crop of consumer systems offers a little something for everyone. First up, there’s the 14-inch Pavilion dv4 (not to be confused with the metal-clad dm4), which bears the same Imprint finish and CoolSense technology as its siblings and ushers in a striking cobalt blue color option, as you can see in the photo above. Look for it on May 18 with a starting price of $600.
Then there’s the revamped Mini 210, which swaps last year’s not-too-glossy plastic lid for candy-colored lids, and adds a seamless touchpad, edge-to-edge 10.1-inch display, and a flush six-cell battery promising up to 8.8 hours of battery life — an upgrade over last year’s standard four-cell. Spec-wise, nothing has changed from the current 210, except for the addition of Beats Audio, something you’ll find across HP’s notebook lineup. It’ll be available on June 15 and cost $300 for the charcoal version — alas, you’ll have to pony up $330 for one of the punchier colors. For now, be sure to check out our video hands-on.
Lastly, HP did the predictable and refreshed the high-end Envy 14 with Sandy Bridge CPU options and USB 3.0. It also promises an improved touch experience — something we bemoaned in our review last year — with a trackpad that uses optical sensors to analyze your multitouch gestures. That will go on sale June 15 for $1,000 and up.
The last time Apple updated its iMac line we were treated to Intel Core 2010 processors. So it’s no surprise — really, no surprise at all — to see Apple refreshing the lineup today. Prices start at $1,199 (as usual) for the 21.5-inch (1,920 x 1,080 pixel IPS) model with new 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and 512MB of AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics. Prices soon jump to $1,999 for a 27-inch (2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel) model with 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU and 1GB of AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics, or optional 3.4GHz quad-core Core i7 proc and 2GB of HD 6970M graphics if you so desire. We’re talking Intel Sandy Bridge, of course, but Apple never goes into specifics. New owners will also be treated to a Thunderbolt jack (one on the 21.5-inch model and two on the 27-incher) and FaceTime HD camera with 24 hours shipping. Yeah, it looks the same, but it’s the insides that count.