ASUS TAICHI 21 and VivoBook X202 go up for US pre-orders, spoil the party a bit early (update: VivoTab RT, too)
Just because ASUS has planned a grand October 23rd event to outline its US Windows 8 lineup doesn’t mean we can’t get an advance peek. Pre-orders have officially kicked off for at least two touchscreen PCs that also give us a very good feeling for the hardware we’ll see at our doors. The dual-screened TAICHI 21 is naturally the star of the show, but it will cost you: a base version of the 11.6-inch hybrid with a 1.7GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD starts at $1,300, while an uprated model with a 1.9GHz Core i7 and a 256GB SSD will set early adopters back by $1,600. We’d say the VivoBook X202 is more likely to get some purchases sight-unseen at $600 for an entry laptop with an 11.6-inch touchscreen, a 1.8GHz Core i3, 4GB of RAM and a conventional 500GB hard drive. Both of the systems should arrive in tandem with Windows 8′s October 26th launch and compound the traffic jams for couriers and retailers on what could be a very busy day.
As is all the rage right now, Vizio is upgrading its lineup to support Windows 8′s more touch-centric UI. The company’s 24-inch and 27-inch all-in-one PCs will receive touch panels, resulting in a price bump to $998 for the base 24-incher with Ivy Bridge and Kepler internals, 1920 x 1080 display and 500GB hard drive. Meanwhile, Vizio’s Ultrabooks — both the 14-inch and 15.6-inch models — and its heftier 15.6-inch Full HD notebook will all get “enhanced multi-gesture touchpads” that will allow exactly the same swipes, taps and pinches as a touchscreen. These laptops will start at $849 for the smaller Ultrabook and $1,129 for the notebook. Expect the whole lot to arrive as part of the late October crush.
Fujitsu’s keeping its IFA 2012 presence relatively low-key, holding off on any new major tablet or mobile announcements. So while we may have already seen its Windows 8 Stylistic Q702 and LifeBook T902 in Hong Kong last week, there is still one product the company’s trotting out here in Berlin: the Esprimo X. Planned for a late year launch, this All-in-one also runs Redmond’s latest OS and packs Intel’s third-generation vPro chipset (up to Core i5 configurations) for the enterprise set. The slim PC features an adjustable touch display, which can even be laid out completely flat across any surface, a proximity sensor for power saving management, in addition to face recognition tech for an added layer of security. No other details on this AIO have yet to be disclosed — the company’s retaining those fuller spec bits for its release — so stay tuned for our first impressions from the showfloor.
Back in March, Maingear entered the world of the all-in-one PC with the utilitarian Solo 21. Even though the unit is now only five months old, it’s being replaced with a model that’s more attractive, more functional and that carries a lower price. We’re most excited that the redesigned Solo 21 is now fully upgradable — and yes, this includes the Mini-ITX motherboard itself. Available from $899 on up, the baseline configuration includes a 3.3GHz Intel Core i3 2125 CPU (Ivy Bridge), 4GB of RAM, 500GB of storage, a DVD burner, Bluetooth, WiFi and Windows 7 Home Premium. The Solo 21 also supports mSATA SSD storage and can also be outfitted with Blu-ray in place of the standard DVD configuration. You’ll also find it supports the VESA mount, should you decide to throw the PC on your wall. If you’d like to become a bit better acquainted with Maingear’s latest refresh, you’ll find the full PR after the break.
How big of a PC do you need? If you like your PC large and in charge, then here is some good news. Microsoft VP Frank Shaw recently told Wired UK that CEO Steve Ballmer has a Windows 8 80-inch PC hanging on the wall of his office.
Microsoft wants Windows 8 running on any size screen that any manufacturer can produce, and they want those screens to offer touch input. 80 inches might seem like overkill, but just imagine, executives would love to have this on their wall, or in their boardrooms and Microsoft aims to sell this just like they do with Surface. It’s not for the general public.
Although eventually it will be available to people like us as well, but that is a ways off still. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
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.
You’d think that with Tegra 3 shipping in the Transformer Prime and all, we’d know everything there is to know about the new SoC. Apparently not. NVIDIA just announced DirectTouch, a technology exclusive to its Tegra 3 platform that uses that bonus fifth core for to improve touch detection. So what does a low-power core have to do with the touch experience, you say? Essentially, what’s going on is NVIDIA’s PRISM Display technology separates color and backlight intensity to save battery life while preserving fidelity. In a demo, the technology looked mighty smooth, though we’ll need to get hands-on ourselves and see the technology in action for more than five seconds before we can weigh in on its utility.
Is this not the craziest thing we’ve seen at this year’s CES? Behold the Nikiski: an Intel prototype with a see-through touchpad that stretches across the entire palm rest. It’s unclear who makes the laptop, but Intel was keen to gush about that sprawling touch panel. Mr. Eden demonstrated some effective palm rejection, so that if your hands brush the touchscreen while you’re typing, you won’t lose control of the cursor. If this seems senseless, given how spacious trackpads already are, know that this panel doubles as a secondary display that can show webpages and other content when the laptop is shut. It looks like Intel’s got it on display here for the press to play with, so we’ll be getting hands-on as soon as we can.
Look, we recognize that touchscreens have come a long way in the last few years, but there’s always room for improvement. Thankfully, Synaptics agrees and is rolling out an update to its ClearPadcapacitive panels. At the heart of the improved system is a technology called SignalClarity, which boosts signal-to-noise ratio for better accuracy and finger separation. The new tech will not only lead to a better touchscreen experience, but it could also help drive down costs since manufacturers would be free to use lower cost components that might normally interfere with a capacitive panel. It’ll be a little bit before the next-gen ClearPad makes is debut in a consumer product and chances are you won’t see Synaptic brand emblazoned across the packaging of your next smartphone. That’s ok though, we know it’s in there working hard to keep our fingers happy. Check out the PR after the break for more details.
There’s no shortage of multitouch-friendly all-in-one desktops to choose from these days, but you can now add one more to the list: Lenovo’s new C325. This one packs a 20-inch 1600 x 900 display (also available sans multitouch in the basic configuration), along with a dual-core AMD E450 processor, integrated Radeon HD 6320 graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, a maximum 1TB hard drive, and a built-in DVD burner (no Blu-ray option, unfortunately), among other standard fare. It’s also available in your choice of black or white, with prices starting at $699. Check out the gallery below for a closer look.
Lenovo multitouch-friendly C325
Sit back and take notes while we… talk about Supernote. This note-taking app quietly debuted on the Eee Pad Transformer and Slider earlier this month, when ASUS rolled out an OTA update to Android 3.2.1, but the company has now provided substantially more details on the feature, which promises to “revolutionize the way you take notes in class.” With Supernote onboard, students can write or scribble using either the keyboard or their own fingers. That isn’t exactly enthralling, in and of itself, but what’s cool is the fact that Supernote will convert each hand-drawn item into an image, allowing users to seamlessly modify or delete their own characters as if they were typed text. The tool also makes it easy to insert graphs or charts, thanks to an “Add Annotation” option that integrates diagrams directly into your lecture notes. And, perhaps best of all, the app will even let you insert photos, meaning you can just take a shot of your professor’s blackboard and worry about understanding it later. Intrigued? Check out a demo video, after the break.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen HP and Toshiba freshen up their all-in-ones, while Samsung made a belated jump into the market just last week. Today, it’s Dell’s turn — the company just announced an addition to its all-in-one lineup, the 23-inch Inspiron One 2320. Funnily enough, the new design reminds us somewhat of the PCs HP trotted out last month in that it has an easel-like display with enough space underneath to stow the keyboard, although this one doesn’t have a tilting screen. Spec-wise, it’s well-matched against the competition, with a 1080p touchscreen, Intel Wireless Display capability, optional NVIDIA GeForce GT525M graphics, six USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-in, a Blu-ray option and up to 2TB in storage. (For whatever reason, USB 3.0 didn’t make the cut.) That starting price of $950 will get you a Core i5-2400S CPU and 6GB of RAM, but if you have an extra $450 lying around you can step up to a Core i7-2600S processor with 8GB of memory. Wrapping it all up, the 2320 runs Dell’s touch-friendly Stage UI, the latest version of which lets you sync photos and other media across different devices. We’ve rounded up a few glossy press shots below, but hit the source link if you’re curious enough for the full spill.
A fantastic tactile touchscreen Star Wars video game has been designed and developed at the Electronic Visualisation Laboratory (EVL) by MS graduate student Arthur Nishimoto called “Fleet Commander”, which is played on a 20 foot touchscreen LCD wall.
The game has been developed to demonstrate how a complex interactive strategy game that would normally rely on complex keyboard and mouse controls can be transformed into a tactile touchscreen experience. Watch this fantastic game in action after the jump.
The game was originally designed for use on a single 52 inch screen but has since evolved into a 20 foot wide video wall. Star Wars ships are able to be used in the game due to it not being commercially available.
Is it just us or do all-in-ones seem to be having a moment? Over the past two months, we’ve seen Toshiba make a belated jump into the market, while Lenovo went and added one to its family of Think-branded laptops and desktops. And that’s not even counting models by old-timers like Apple, Dell, and MSI. And then there’s HP, which has been making touchscreen all-in-ones for three years — long before they were a thing. The company’s had plenty of time to fine-tune its finger-friendly TouchSmart software, and now, its newest model, the TouchSmart 610 ($899 and up), ushers in a fresh design, highlighted by a hinge that allows the display to slide down and lie nearly flat. Although it’s been shipping since this spring, it’s only been available with Sandy Bridge for about a month now. We took one of these tricked-out beasts into our living room and got reacquainted with the comforts of not-so-mobile computing. At the risk of spoiling everything, we think this should be on your shortlist if you’re considering an all-in-one, especially one with a big ‘ol touchscreen. Read on to find out why.
We just elbowed our way through the crowds and managed to get our first hands-on time with Nintendo’s revolutionary new controller, the Wii U. As you can see in the images, it’s a rather different thing than even the company’s typically unusually styled contraptions. The dominant feature is the center-mounted 6.2-inch touchscreen, which actually looks really good. We’d expected Nintendo would cheap out to keep costs low, but that doesn’t appear to be the case, at least not in our first impressions. Join us after the break for more details.
Champtron's 65-incher can recognize two-finger touch, make for a decently spacious second screen (video)
If you can never have enough screen real estate while working, you might want to give Champtron’s 65-inch behemoth a look. It’s a 1080p Sharp panel imbued with the ability to recognize two touch inputs at a time — which can be fingers or “any” other sort of stylus — which should prove pretty damn useful when you’re trying to Photoshop a little extra sheen atop Steve Ballmer’s glorious dome. As an added bonus, the dimensions of this screen make the Windows 7 UI extremely finger-friendly. Hell, it borders on being fist-friendly when exploded to a 65-inch size. See video of this champ after the break.