ASUS Zenbook NX500 uber-Ultrabook gets early review.


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When ASUS launched the Zenbook NX500 at Computex earlier this year it had one of the most impressive specifications lists to date. An Intel Core  i7-4702HQ  with Turbo Boost Up to 3.2GHz and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850 are the processors that power the 15.6-inch 4K IPS screen. There’s a huge 96Wh battery AC WiFi and a lot more. The price is high and the weight is over 2KG. Ultrabookreview have just published a full review and I spoke to the author, Andrei, about the unit…

[Andrei] I got to play with an early version of the Asus Zenbook NX500 in the last several days.On paper, this thing is stellar: wide-gamut 4K display, powerful hardware (Intel Core i7-4712HQ CPU, 16 GB of RAM, Nvidia 850M GDDR5 graphics, 512 GB SSD), a big 96 Wh battery and a sleek, metal made, sub-5 pounds body.

Toshiba Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W is the latest Ultrabook-class 2-in-1

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There are three things I check when I quickly evaluate new 2-in-1 announcements. Price, performance (CPU, disk, screen) and weight. If the tablet is over 1KG a big buzzer goes off in my head. This 13-inch Satellite Click 2 Pro P30W however has got me inquisitive. 13.3-inches in 1.05KG (2.3 pounds) on an Ultrabook platform makes it quite interesting.

As the name suggests this isn’t the first Toshiba Click. The original Click, launched at IFA 2013, was an AMD-powered device that used the netbook-class A4-1200. It wasn’t that well received which is understandable because who wants a 2KG laptop that performs like an old netbook? The recently launched Click 2 range comprises two designs. One, the Click 2, is aimed at the lower-cost consumer market, the other, the Click 2 Pro P30W, is designed to offer an Ultrabook experience with good connectivity.

NEC LaVie GZ with IGZO is the lightest Ultrabook yet.

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As the Ultrabook design philosophy reaches more of the mainstream laptop market it is becoming more and more difficult to spot new advances in laptop design. NEC makes it easy for us though by launching the sub 800-gram (1.76 pound) LaVie GZ. Energy and space-saving IGZO screen and mainboard means less layers to the laptop cake. There’s a trade-off though.

The LaVie GZ is a 13.3-inch Ultrabook available with 2560 × 1440 resolution and the weight is just 794 grams which is very very impressive. The IGZO screen doesn’t provide a touch layer (an IPS 1920x1080p version offers that and a larger internal battery but at a slightly heavier 964 grams.) but it’s all-Ultrabook in other aspects of the device.

Specs include a Core i7-4510U or Core i5-4210U CPU with a fixed 4GB of RAM and SSD options. There’s an SD card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and HDMI for video output. It’s just 14.9mm thick.

HP Pro X2 612 G1 offers Wacom on 12.5-inch FHD with Core


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As I continue my review of the HP Pro X2 410 G1 [first impressions] I’m acutely aware of what’s going on around it this week. The Surface Pro 3 and new products and announcements at Computex have us all thinking about larger-screen tablets and 2-in-1s. One competitor was from HP themselves as Microsoft held up the Pro X2 612 on stage at their keynote.  It offers a full HD screen, SSD and Wacom options that aren’t available with the X2 410. It also offers a range of CPUs that start with a Celeron (4th gen Core) and go up to Core i5.

AMD reveals Kaveri mobile APU for ultrathins and high-performance laptops (Updating)


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In a press conference at Computex AMD have announced the Kaveri Mobile APU which is targeted at thin and high-performance laptops. It looks like this is a processor that could appear in Ultrabook devices.

We’re pulling in information from sources at Computex right now…

According to a tweet from Notebook Italia AMD have announced that Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba will partner with AMD to use Kaveri. In another tweet @tenoq shows an image of the AMD FX-7500 (Update: 19W TDP) matching or beating the Intel i7-4500U in PCMark, 3DMark and Basemark CL. Graphics performance is said to be up to 58% better.

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Images via show performance comparison and Kaveri line-up.

Intel’s fanless mobile PC reference design is 7.2mm thin and uses Core M 14nm processor.

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Intel are currently presenting on stage at Computex. The press-release reveals what’s about to be demonstrated.

The world’s first 14nm fanless mobile PC reference design from Intel is a 12.5 inch screen that is 7.2mm thin with keyboard detached and weighs 670 grams. The innovative design is based on the first of Intel’s next-generation 14nm Broadwell processors, purpose-built for 2 in 1s and will be in market later this year. Called the Intel® Core™ M processor, it will deliver the most energy efficient Core processor in the company’s history.

So it looks like the days of the U-series processor are over. Perhaps the Y-series too. More importantly it looks like ASUS have used the Intel reference design in their Transformer Book Chi product. Both have a 12.5-inch screen. Both use the ‘next-generation’ Intel core. One is 7.3mm thick, the other is 7.2mm thick. OK, maybe the casing is different!

ASUS NX500 with Quad-Core i7, RAID, 4K. Full specs.

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We’ve never seen an Ultrabook with these specs before. The Asus NX500 Ultrabook was announced yesterday and it proves how far Ultrabook specification can be pushed. The NX500 is targeted squarely at creators and gamers and is one of the most impressive-looking Ultrabooks we’ve ever seen. No, this is not ultra-light, unless you want these specifications in a Windows laptop, and then it is!

ASUS NX500 Specifications

Official specs from ASUS. (“Subject to change without notice.”)

  • CPU: Intel® Core™  i7-4702HQ  with Turbo Boost Up to 3.2GHz (37W TDP with HD 4600 on board)
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850 graphics
  • Chipset: Intel® HM87
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX™ 850M with 2GB GDDR5 video memory
  • RAM: 1x SODIMM (4G/8G) and 4G/8G on board memory / DDR3L 1600MHz support
  • Drive: SATA 3 RAID 0 (128/256GB) or PCIe x4 SSD up to 512GB.

ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi is a Broadwell Teaser.

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Impressive. The Transformer Book Chi 2-in-1 was shown briefly at the Computex show today and although Asus didn’t say it outright, the ‘next generation’ Core processor, slick design and lack of detail in the specifications availability and pricing leads us to conclude that it’s going to be a product built around the 5th-Generation core. It means we’ll probably see this on stage a few more times before we get to see it for sale.

The incredibly thin 7.3mm tablet design is just 14.3mm thick when snapped together with the keyboard. The weight should be just as groundbreaking. The design suggests that it’s fanless too.

The 12.5-inch 2560×1440 display, 4GB RAM and SSD should provide enough for good, smooth productivity. LTE is an option.

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Don’t expect too much more info out of Computex on these devices as it appears to be locked-up behind plexiglass. We’ll keep watching for further information though.

ASUS Transformer Book Flip

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The TP300, TP450, TP500 and TP550 Transformer Book Flips have just leaked ahead of an ASUS press conference. These Ultrabook-class 2-in-1s have a Yoga-style 360-degree fold-back screen and will come with 13-inch, 14-inch or 15-inch screens and offer Nvidia discreet GPUs and DVD options.

Focusing on the most portable of the four models, the TP300, we’re seeing HD and FullHD screen options, up to 8GB of RAM and an optional Nvidia Geforce 820M. Core i3, i5 and i7 versions will be available on this 1.75KG package.

Update: Transformer Book Flip Specs now available.

Transformer Book Flip will be available worldwide from the end of June, 2014

Videos will be shown in a playlist below.

Source: Engadget Chinese

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Surface Pro 3. Engineering vs Demand vs Future

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It’s exactly 12-hours after the launch of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as I start to write this article. I’ve spent a number of hours hours researching and making notes on this unique product and have come to one main conclusion. Microsoft has a superbly engineered product in the Surface Pro 3 but it’s too early for mainstream 2-in-1 customers.

First-off, I agree with 12-inches tablets. There’s an interesting market and 2-in-1 opportunity developing as technology improves. The 11.6-inch Samsung XE700T, seen back in 2011, was a breakthrough product combining a Core i5 CPU with a weight of just 890 grams. It had a digitizer layer, a dock, keyboard and was one of the first well-designed premium Tablet PCs that wasn’t just built for the medical industry, logistics or some other specialist market. It wasn’t hugely successful but a follow-up product, the XE500T, was a complete 2-in-1 with a tablet that weighed just 750 grams. I bought one and enjoyed it as a ‘laptop-first’ 2-in-1. Then there was the Sony Vaio Tap 11 which offered Core CPUs in just 780 grams and very recently I was excited about the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, an Android device with 2560×1440 screen in 750 grams.