For all of Microsoft’s talk of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, we’ve heard precious little about the Windows 7 version beyond the certainty that it was coming. Eventually. Someday. The company is partly putting that anxiety to bed with word that IE 10 should be available for the Metrophobic in mid-November, but only in a preview version — a possible sign that Microsoft’s Windows 8 RTM deadline prevented the concurrent platform releases we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years. The team in Redmond is hinging its launch of a finished Windows 7 build on the feedback it gets, so we’d suggest that those willing to experiment with a new browser (but not a new OS) still give IE 10 a shot next month.
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac: Retina Support, Dictation, Instant switching and 30 percent faster performance
Parallels 8 has arrived with a raft of tweaks that makes running Windows on your Mac that much easier. The newest version lets you use Mountain Lion’s dictation feature in Windows, open any website in Internet Explorer with a single click and you can even add Redmond-hewn apps to Launchpad. Retina display support is now included, offering you eye-popping detail no matter your operating system and the company’s claiming performance has been boosted by up to 30 percent. It’ll cost you $80 for the full version, while students get it for $40, and if you purchased Parallels 7 after July 25th, you’re eligible to upgrade for free. Meanwhile, if you’re more into running Windows software on your iOS device, Parallels Mobile is available from the App Store for $5.
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.
The FCC gave us a clue that Vizio’s first-ever PCs would be shipping soon, and the company is now spilling a few beans more directly. Although the official statement is still short on many of the details we’ve been hoping to know, Vizio is promising that the line will launch before June is up. As a refresher, the normally home theater-focused company is planning to go all-out despite being the new kid on the block, going with a trio of mid-size laptops as well as two sizes of all-in-one desktops that rely on Magic Trackpad-like input to draw attention. Mum’s the word on whether or not the 10-inch tablet will be part of the June arrivals, although there’s unconfirmed talk that Walmart will carry at least some of the lineup and trigger some jealousy in the 2012 Vizio TVs across the aisle.
Glasses-free 3DTVs sporting 4K resolution don’t exactly match up to the everyman’s budget. Still, the tech needs to trickle down to the masses somehow and it appears Spatial View’s keen to take up that three-dimensional, plebeian mantle. Available today, the outfit’s inventively titled 3DeeScreen snaps onto 15.6-inch laptops of the Windows 7 variety to translate ordinary 2D images and video into autostereoscopic eye candy. And, unlike prevailing iterations that depend upon strict viewing zones, this ad hoc implementation can adjust to a viewer’s position through the use of eye-tracking software, letting their zombified heads loll about while they tune in and drop out. Of course, if you choose to plunk down $130 for this visual pizzazz, you’ll be jonesing for a library of compatible media. Good thing then the company’s prepared to scratch that imaginary itch with a planned one-stop hub, dubbed 3DeeCentral, that’ll offer up a curated mix of free and paid content. Need to know more? Then peruse the official presser below while you wonder how the other one percent lives.
As Ultrabooks give us one more reason to eschew the cramped dimensions of low-powered netbooks, outfits like HP continue to churn out the little laptops that could‘ve despite the deafening ring of that category’s death knell. So, if you’re a student on a crunched budget, a business-y type with low-cost computing needs or just a wee PC fetishist, this latest Mini should suit your tiny tastes just fine. Starting at $399, the 1104 runs Windows 7 Home Premium on a dual-core Intel Atom N2600 clocked at 1.6GHz, sports a 10.1-inch WSVGA display, 320GB of storage, 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM, Bluetooth 3.0 and support for WiFi a/b/g/n networks. You’ll also have the option to swap out the standard battery with a six-cell Li-ion for up to nine hours of productivity. And if security’s your major concern, the embedded TPM 1.2 chip along with Computrace Pro software should help you keep tabs and control over your data. Wondering if this lil’ guy fits your bill? Then check out the gallery below for additional shots while you ponder the merits of subnotebooks.
Thin and light may be the name of the game for many when it comes to mobile computing, but there’s still plenty of folks who need a full-featured portable machine. Samsung’s Series 7 Chronos is just such a PC, packing an optical drive, numpad and discrete graphics beneath a brushed aluminum façade. While it may look like just another MacBook Pro clone running Windows 7, this Sammy’s got some surprises up its sleeve that set it apart from Apple’s offering (aside from a $1,000 price difference) and other laptops running Redmond’s OS, for that matter. To find out what the Series 7 brings to the table and how it stacks up against its competition, you’ll have to read on past the break. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Let’s be honest: with the size of a brick and a relatively short battery life, it’s no surprise that ITG’s xpPhone hasn’t quite dominated the smartphone market since its launch back in November. In fact, we haven’t even seen one in the wild, and we certainly wouldn’t have missed it if there ever was one on the street. That said, ITG hasn’t given up, as the company’s just announced its second-generation Windows-powered smartphone. The reason? Well, interestingly enough, ITG prefers Windows’ greater range of compatible software compared to those of mobile OSes, namely Android and iOS. Let’s just leave it at that for now.
Simply dubbed the xpPhone 2, this beast of a QWERTY slider packs a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 chip, along with 2GB RAM, up to 112GB of SSD storage, 4.3-inch display and compatibility with both Windows 7 and Windows 8 — obviously the latter OS will depend on its final release date. Not only has battery life been bumped up to around 18 hours of call time or 46 days on standby, but the phone’s also been slimmed down to 140mm x 73mm x 17.5mm, which is a huge improvement compared to its bulky predecessor. With the touch-friendly Windows 8 on board along with a non-underclocked CPU, we have a feeling that the xpPhone 2 will at least fare much better than Fujitsu’s F-07C; as for the rest, we shall see when it comes out in January next year. And no, it probably won’t run Crysis.
Just as Windows Phone 7′s “touch-only” interface threw away the past to create a streamlined, more approachable experience, Microsoft is creating a “touch-first” experience for Windows 8 that has more in common with its new phone software than previous versions of Windows. This “Metro-style” UI will be able to run on virtually any modern PC, with screens from 10- to 30-inches and above. The touch interface will be only occasionally relevant on desktops, though, more so on laptops. Where it’s obviously meant to shine is on pure slates — will consumers really flock to Windows 8 for such slates, though?
The software and hardware — to say nothing of Microsoft’s cloud services — have come a long way. Let’s give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and say that the company will create a first-rate tablet experience in the absence of legacy Windows applications. That represents a significant improvement from the state of the Windows tablets as it has existed since the dawn of the Tablet PC. The thinness and longer battery life of both laptops and slates have also improved considerably as well since those days. Particularly with access to ARM processors, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Windows 8 slates match the razor-like profile of the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 10.1… or whatever the state-of-the-art is when Windows 8 ships.
We got a taste of Windows 8 back at D9, but the real bounty is waiting in Anaheim. The company’s kicking off its Build conference with a full-on developer preview of its next major desktop operating system, still code-named Windows 8 for the time being. According to Steven Sinofsky — president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft — the company has “reimagined Windows,” bringing about a “new range of capabilities” that coders will begin to dig into sooner rather than later. As we’d seen before, the “Metro-styled” user interface is front-and-center, bringing graphical elements of Windows Phone 7 to desktop, laptop and tablet users of the future. Internet Explorer 10 is also onboard, as well as a focus on “apps” that can communicate with one another, and content that can sync across devices. Folks comfortable in a Win7 environment ought to be right at home here — Win8 is built on the same foundation, though the retooled Task Manager and Windows Explorer should tickle the average fancy.
The Windows Store will enable devs to hawk their apps to any nation where Windows is sold, and yes, support for ARM-based chipsets is proudly included alongside compatibility with x86 devices. In other words, everything from “10-inch tablets to laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch HD screens” will be able to ingest Win8 with ease. That’s a markedly different take than the folks in Cupertino have expressed, with an (admittedly limiting) mobile OS being chosen to run the tablet side of things. Only time will tell which mantra proves more viable, but we’re guessing the both of ‘em will find varying levels of success. Microsoft has also confirmed backwards compatibility with “devices and programs” that support Windows 7, and while an exact time has yet to be revealed, we’re told that developers will be able to download the Windows Developer Preview via the new Windows Dev Center later this week. Full fact sheets can be seen in the source link below.
If this nifty little bugger looks familiar, that’s because it should. NEC’s LaVie Touch sports the same design and specs as the VersaPro model we spotted back in May. The difference here is, it comes packed with a bevy of accessories, including a keyboard, mouse and a dock that happens to hold a DVD drive. Underneath the 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800, IPS touchscreen is a 1.5GHz Oak Trail CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Sure the pair of full USB ports, HDMI jack, WiFi, Bluetooth and SD reader are welcome, but it’s that optical drive packing stand that really makes this a unique package. The NEC LaVie Touch should be landing in Japan next month for around $1,200 with the accessories. Sadly, here’s no word of whether or not it’ll ever find its way stateside.
During a sitdown with reporters yesterday, NVIDIA Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang discussed his company’s near- and long-term financial outlook, while providing some insight into the chipmaker’s quad-core future. According to Huang, NVIDIA expects to rake in between $4.7 and $5 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2013, with revenue from its mobile chip unit projected to mushroom tenfold by 2015, to a whopping $20 billion. Huang acknowledged that these predictions could be affected by external factors, including the ongoing patent wars between tablet and smartphone manufacturers, but didn’t seem too concerned about their immediate impact. “At this point, it looks like it’s much ado about nothing,” he said. In fact, Huang foresees rather robust growth in the mobile processing sector, estimating that there are about 100 million devices that will need chips this year — a figure that could soon rise to one billion, on the strength of more affordable handsets, efficient ARM processors and the rise of ultra-thin notebooks. And, despite his recent disappointment, Huang expects Android tablets to comprise a full 50 percent of the market in the near future, claiming that NVIDIA’s Tegra chips can currently be found in 70 percent of all slates running Google’s OS, and about half of all Android-based smartphones.
In the short-term, meanwhile, NVIDIA is busy developing its quad-core mobile processors — which, according to the exec, should appear in tablets during the third or fourth quarter of this year (quad-core smartphones, however, may be further down the road). Huang also sees room to develop wireless-enabled, Snapdragon-like processors, thanks to NVIDIA’s recent acquisition of Icera, but he hasn’t given up on GPUs, either, predicting that demand for graphics performance will remain stable. The loquacious CEO went on to divine that Windows 8 will support apps designed for Windows 7 (implying, perhaps, that Microsoft’s Silverlight platform will play a major role in future cloud-based developments), while contending that smaller, “clamshell devices” with keyboards will ultimately win out of over the Ultrabook strategy that Intel has been pursuing. For the moment, though, Huang seems pretty comfortable with NVIDIA’s position in the mobile processing market, citing only Qualcommas primary competition. “We’re the only people seriously on the dance floor with Qualcomm,” he argued, adding that companies without a solid mobile strategy are “in deep turd.” You can find more of Huang’s insights at the source links below.
And you thought Samsung was finished showing off its Series 7 line of PCs. Joining the gaming rig and its smaller laptop brethren is a brand new Series 7 Slate running Windows 7. It sports a 400 nit, 1366 x 768 11.6-inch capacitive panel, Intel’s 1.6GHz Core i5 2467M CPU with integrated graphics and 4GB of RAM. On the front there’s a 2 megapixel camera and a light sensor, and around the back sits a 3 megapixel shooter. Connectivity comes courtesy of 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, plus there’s a USB 2.0 port, micro HDMI, and a SIM slot for surfing waves of 3G (no word on which carrier will send those swells of data, though). Each slate also comes with an capacitive active digitizer pen, but will also have Swype on board plus a custom software layer to make Windows a bit more finger-friendly.
It comes in four versions that differ in storage size and flavor of Windows, but all are .5 inches thin, weigh 2.03 pounds, and are swathed in brushed aluminum. There are 64GB SSD variants packing Home Premium for $1,099 or Pro for $1,199, while the 128GB models come with Home Premium, a dock and keyboard for $1349 or Pro sans the peripherals at the same price. They’re all scheduled for a late September release, so it won’t be long before you can pick one up. Looking to take the tablet plunge into Windows waters? Read on past the break for our impressions of Sammy’s new slate.
The eye-catching P220 ultraportable isn’t the only system LG is showcasing at Computex — the Korean manufacturer is also gracing Intel’s booth with the V300, an all-in-one with a few tricks up its sleeve. Not only is that 23-inch display using a beautiful IPS panel (full HD), but it’s even 3D-capable and includes a touchscreen in some versions. Yes, this isn’t your father’s PC. A variety of processors are available including Intel’s Core i7 with room for up to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM. Some models are paired with AMD’s Radeon HD 6650M video card. Blu-ray is an option, and storage maxes out at 750GB. The computer takes some visual cues from Apple’s iMac (the stand), but still manages to have its own personality. The display is quite thin, and while the model we played with didn’t appear to offer the touchscreen option, it did feature a Core i5 CPU. Take a look at the gallery below, and hit the break for our hands-on video and LG’s press release.
What would happen if you took a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro and shrunk it down a notch into a 12.1 or 11.6-inch ultraportable but decided to keep the box shape instead of using a MacBook Air-like wedge design? We’re pretty sure you’d end up with something like this sexy LG P220. We saw this light and thin laptop at the Intel booth at Computex and came away rather impressed. While the materials used (plastics) don’t live up to the lofty standards set by Apple’s popular notebooks, the innards appear to pack a serious punch. We don’t have any specs, but the unit we handled was equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, and LG’s gorgeous super slim bezel-hating Shuriken display. We’ll keep you posted with more info as soon as we dig it up — in the meantime, why not take a look at this hot little number in our gallery and hands-on video after the break?