Review Category : Hardware

Asus’s Chief Financial Officer David Chang has complained of poor demand for their Windows 8 laptops. “Demand for Windows 8 is not that good right now,” said he said, noting that demand ramp-up for Windows 8 touch notebooks was slow. Asus has been less vocal in their criticism of Windows 8 than Acer, and has produced a number of low-cost Windows 8 touch devices, so their statement should likely be taken seriously. Their delay of the high-end Asus Taichi may be a consequence of this experience. Microsoft is however in the midst of a $1.5 billion marketing campaign for the OS, which will hopefully educate the public as to the advantages of the OS and stimulate sales, and increased penetration after Christmas should also help normalize the new UI and help ameliorate concerns the general public has about the OS. Read more at the WSJ here. Via Neowin.net ...

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During Microsoft’s shareholder meeting today CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged to shareholders that Microsoft should have moved quicker into hardware. “Sometimes getting the innovation right across the seam between hardware and software is difficult unless you do both of them,” he said, noting it was  something “maybe we should have done” earlier. “Bill did hold up a tablet many years ago,” when it was observed that Microsoft called tablets the future in 2001. “Maybe if we had started innovating then, which is what we really did with Surface,” Mr. Ballmer said, “maybe we should have done that earlier. Maybe that tablet shift would have been sooner.” “But we are building a big business working with those partners and serving a lot of needs,” he added. “What we say now is there is no boundary between hardware and software.” Steve said Microsoft is now determined to propel change, even suggesting there could ...

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Acer S7 is one of the most attractive Windows 8 touch Ultrabook that got released recently. The 13inch version is covered with Gorilla Glass and comes in various specs from Intel Corei5 to Corei7 processors. Now, Acer is promoting their flagship Windows 8 device on various social networks with their new give away program. You can now win a S7 Ultrabook daily through Dec 31st. To enter, you have to visit a special page on Acer’s Facebook Timeline, install the app, and start selecting friends that share attributes with the Aspire S7, such as “stylish,” “brilliant,” and “smooth,” to name a few of the adjectives. via: maximum pc ...

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Our favourite Windows 8 hybrid, the Asus Taichi, appears to have been delayed, according to PCWorld. A spokesman from Asus said shipments may begin in December or possibly even later, and a number of online stores are now listing the device as either being out of stock or discontinued, and are no longer taking orders. The issue is emblematic of the problem OEMs have been having of getting interesting and desirable new Windows 8 form-factors into the market, something which Microsoft supposedly blames for Windows 8 underperforming in the market, and something we as some-one who is in the market for a new laptop finds personally frustrating. Have any of our readers been waiting for this device? Let us know below. Via The Verge.com ...

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Windows RT, the new version of Windows that runs on ARM processors has started shipping to consumers via new tablets such as Microsoft Surface, Asus VivoTab RT, etc,. So far, Nvidia Tegra is the only ARM processor that Windows RT ships on. Some reviews of the devices like Microsoft Surface pointed out to the performance hiccups in Windows RT. This may be because of Windows RT is not yet fully optimized for Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. Microsoft is still working on fully taking advantage of Tegra 3 processor in Windows RT. It is evident from the Nvdia’s own page that Windows RT is not taking advantage of Tegra 3′s key innovation 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core. 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core with a 5th Battery Saver Core** – Four plus one refers to Tegra 3’s four CPU cores, plus the fifth, battery-saver CPU core. This Variable SMP architecture enables four performance ...

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Lenovo has quietly put the Ideapad Yoga 11 available for sale on their website, with a 32GB going for $679 and a 64GB for $759. This comes a few short days from their initial announced availability of December, making the launch of it early. Pricing on the Yoga 11 is a little steep considering the specs are very similar to other Windows RT-based tablets such as the Surface, Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung Ativ Tab. All have Nvidia Tegra 3 processors and 2GB of RAM, though the Yoga does have the biggest screen of the four (11.6 inches), as well as the only one with a full-size HDMI port and SD card slot. Time will only tell whether that will be enough to differentiate it from the other devices and justify the premium price, though you could always get its higher-specced Yoga 13 sibling (just not in orange). ...

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Jin Park, Vice President of the IT solutions business at Samsung has told that Samsung Electronics will ship 16 million Windows 8/Windows 7 devices such as tablets, PCs this year. Samsung today announced ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro devices in India selling for Rs. 53,990 and Rs. 75, 490. respectively. Samsung VP told the following regarding Samsung Windows products, “Our smart devices like ATIV Smart PC and ATIV Smart PC Pro and Samsung Notebooks deliver seamless user experience through convergence technologies across multiple devices. With our leadership in design and technology and Microsoft’s leadership in operating systems, we are able to provide customers with smart devices that have the most beautiful design, powerful performance and ease of use.” Source: Reuters ...

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Microsoft is offering the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet for only $399 from their online store, a whole $100 discount from the normal price. The device sports a 10.1" Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit TFT LCD (1366 x 768), Intel Atom (dual-core) 1.50 GHz, 2GB DDR2, 32GB SSD, MicroSD, ~ 9 hours battery life, 8MP rear camera (with 2MP FFC), WiFi + Bluetooth, and weighs less than 1 kg. There is also an optional keyboard dock available which doubles the battery life. The device can be found in the Microsoft Store here. Via WPC ...

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WindowsTabletTV have unboxed the Acer Iconia W700 which seems to be a pretty rewarding experience, seeing the huge amount of accessories that come bundled with the Windows 8 tablet. The Core i5 powered device with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage will currently set you back around around $788 on Amazon.com which includes a case, a stand and a Bluetooth keyboard, which is not a bad bundle. The tablet promises 9 hours battery life, but given it is a Core i5 device this seems rather unlikely.  We will look forward to the follow-up review for its real performance. Thanks Sam for the tip. ...

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Lenovo has finally brought the IdeaPad Yoga to UK retail, with the device being sold for £999 (around $1600) by electronics chain Currys. The device was launched with the above ad on national TV. Despite the steep price the convertible laptop has promptly sold out online. In fact it seems UK does have a taste for new form factors, with the HP Envy X2 for £799 also selling out, as did the HP Spectre XT According to rumours Microsoft blamed tepid early sales of Windows 8 on disappointing products by OEMs.  It is nice to see the market responding to the more innovative form factors. Hopefully the same OEMs can address the unnecessary premium which will also work against better sales. ...

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Whether accidentally or on purpose Lenovo has let slip a new, unannounced Windows 8 laptop, with a HD+ display (probably 1600×900) and 10 finger touch screen. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch Ultrabook has now disappeared from the site, but appears to be an updated version of the original ThinkPad Carbon, which Lenovo touted as the world’s lightest business-class 14-inch laptop. The original X1 Carbon packed an Intel Core i7 processor, Intel HD Graphics 4000, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, 128GB or 256GB SSD, and Dolby Home Theatre v4 sound, with pricing starts at $1,124.10. The Touch will likely command a premium over this. Are there readers who demand a ThinkPad, and will be getting this laptop due to both the brand and features? Let us know below. Via MaximumPC and Neowin.net ...

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There is a belief that a higher PPI display is always better, but in the above video review of the screens of the Google Nexus vs the Microsoft Surface Armando shows that increasing the PPI without improving the resolution of the assets simply results in a fuzzy, pixelated mess in many occasions. See part 1 of his review here, and keep an eye on his channel for the next episode. ...

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Many who will be buying a low-power tablet running Intel will be getting a Clovertrail processor, which is the next generation Atom processor. However the concern always remains that one is giving up processing power for battery life. Intel is however never sitting still, and MobileGeeks.com have leaked details of their next generation 22 nm processor, the Bay Trail-T and Valley View T, which will take Atom to the next level. The Bay Trail T processor, which is due 2014, comes with a Quad core CPU and a DirectX 11-capable GPU, which is all housed in a 22-nm SoC code named Valley View-T. The Valley View-T SoC will no longer offer hyperthreading, but rather offer an increase from 2 to 4 cores, which should offer a performance boost of 50-60%. The processor will be paired with the  7th generation HD 4000 GPU based on the Ivy Bridge platform as well ...

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Microsoft’s official Windows blog today highlighted a Windows 8 story with one its customers. Emirates Airlines will deploy Windows 8 tablet to improve customer and employee experiences. Emirates is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, operating over 2,500 flights per week to 126 cities in 74 countries across six continents. The company also operates four of the world’s 10 longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston. Knowledge Driven Inflight Service App is a fully immersive crew and customer management solution that captures important passenger data around preferences and history. It allows crew and staff to personalize customers needs by checking their past history of travels, preferences, etc,. The crew can also use the app to upgrade Emirates Skywards members while in flight to Business Class or First Class, as well as record customer feedback that is delivered straight to Emirates management once the flight lands. ...

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Andy Bryant posted this hands-on review of the Logitech T650 Wireless Touch pad, which brings support for Windows 8 gestures to desktops and laptops which lack multi-touch touchpads. The device appears to work very well, and is very responsive, but has a few issues, including some ergonomics issues and flaws in multi-monitor support. Andy concludes: If you’re used to using a touchpad on a laptop, and are migrating to Windows 8 on a single-screen non-touch PC, then I’d say unreservedly yes. The benefits you get from gestures under Win8 outweigh the complexity of right-click drag on the desktop. If you’re using a multiple-monitor setup, it does work, but you just won’t gain quite as much primarily because Microsoft hasn’t quite optimized the interaction between the Win8 mode,  and desktop mode across both screens. That said, it is quite usable – and I’m going to continue using mine on my home ...

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Yes, this review of the Microsoft Surface is a bit late. You’ve most likely read several of the high-profile reviews already. You’ve possibly read many more. In this review, I will focus only on the things I personally like and do not like. This will not be a be-all-end-all review. Please take what you can from it, and hopefully, if you’re on the fence about getting a Surface RT, this will cement your decision one way or the other. Let’s get the hardware specifications out of the way. The Surface RT is a 1.5 pound, 10.6 inch tablet. The screen resolution is 1366×768. The processor is an Nvidia Tegra 3, which is a quad-core ARM-based processor, reportedly clocking in at 1.3 ghz per core. It comes with 2 GB of RAM, and a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of memory. In regards to ports, the Surface has a full-sized USB 2.0 port, a ...

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