Over at UMPCPortal last week I wrote some detail about the possibility of dual-OS systems in 2014. As 2-in-1 devices evolve they are leaving Windows 8 behind because the consumer-focused Windows applications store isn’t developing as fast as it needs to. This leaves an opportunity for Android on i86 as the primary OS or as a dual-OS solution. Samsung and ASUS have both been blocked by Google from doing this but American Megatrends (AMI) have come up with Duos which is an Android-on-Windows solution that any user could download and install.
I’ll be testing DuOS as a Beta tester soon and at CeBIT this week I had a chance to get a demo, ask questions and produce a video for you.
Duos is not a dual-boot system and it’s not a quick-switch system either. It’s a Windows runtime in the same style as Bluestacks. The Widows executable runs as an app and provides an environment in which Android apps can run. Read more... (549 words, 4 images, estimated 2:12 Min reading time)
I haven’t had the chance to take a close look at the Toshiba Kirabook before so when I saw it on the Microsoft booth at CeBIT this week I took the chance to have a closer look. Wow, it’s a smart looking bit of kit.
I love the shape of the Kirabook and that 2560×1440 touchscreen is punchy and sharp. The trackpad appears to be good and the thought of Haswell, with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD appeals. WiFi AC is included but there’s no GPS and no NFC, something I’m getting used to now with the tap-and-send feature.
The keyboard felt good but not quite as good as the Samsung ATIV Book 9, Lenovo Thinkpad and Dell Latitude alternatives.
There’s a reasonable 51Wh battery inside which should give you 8 hours of WiFi-on usage. Finally, think about the weight. 1.36KG (3 lbs) is very good for a touchscreen 13-incher. Read more... (207 words, 2 images, estimated 50 Sek reading time)
Over at UMPCPortal last week I took a long look at Windows 8 security features. One of the weak-points in my opinion is authentication. It’s single-channel, requires no proof of ‘personal presence’ and it leaves the user to choose the level of security. Poor passwords are a killer and as a result I’ve been looking at alternative and two-stage solutions. PalmSecure is a palm-vein detection technology and it’s pretty much the best technology out there for laptops right now.
PalmSecure has been around for at least a year as a physical entrance authentication mechanism but Fujitsu have now managed to build it into an Ultrabook. The Fujitsu U904 is now available to order with the technology at a $50-or-so premium over the fingerprint reader. Although it’s incredibly secure, it’s also extremely easy to use. Take a closer look at it in the video below. Read more... (176 words, 1 image, estimated 42 Sek reading time)
Fujitsu was the biggest promoters of Ultrabooks at CeBIT this year and although there were no new products announced they proved that there’s still development and marketing going on. The Fujitsu Lifebook T904 is one of the most desirable business-focused Ultrabooks out there and with its Wacom digitizer, removable battery, docking port and fantastic screen it has features that many of us would love to have on lower cost devices. I took a closer look at the T904 and focus on the digitizer that many of you have asked me about. In short I can tell you that it’s very responsive and would make an impressive tool for digital artists.
Edge performance, palm rejection, lag and pressure sensitivity was good and it resulted in a much more natural feel than with, for example, the ASUS Vivotab 8 although some may not like the thin stylus. You’ll see a demo in the latter part of the video below. Read more... (263 words, 1 image, estimated 1:03 Min reading time)
We hit the German trains in about an hour and head in the direction of Hannover and CeBIT 2014 where we’re expecting to have more business-focused PC experience compared to last weeks consumer-focused MWC. First out of the gate is this Samsung ATIV Book 9 Style that Mobilegeeks has the scoop on.
The Samsung ATIV Book 9 comes with a full-HD screen, 128GB SSD and is available in black or white. Unfortunately there’s only a 4GB version available and no pricing has been given. Full specs. below.
We’re likely to get our first touch tomorrow but it really looks like Samsung have just made a ‘style’ version of the existing model and added some weight in the process.
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Style Specifications Read more... (265 words, 4 images, estimated 1:04 Min reading time)
- Display Size 15,6” FHD (1920 x 1080)
- Battery Life up to 12 hours
Ben gave us a hands-on with the Dell XPS11 last week so I wanted to follow up with my own video hands-on from MWC. I took the opportunity to get up-close with the keyboard and test it. POV keyboard video coming up…
Like Ben, I worry about the keyboard. It has advantages in its slim design, light weight, dust and water resistance and, possibly, in longevity, but you will not want to use this keyboard to write reports. Data-entry, emails, social networking, URLS, banking and other activities could work out fine making this a great sofa-side laptop but at this price, is it worth it? You can do all those things on an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet for $199. (Current offer at BestBuy.)
Dell don’t have much to say about the keyboard quality in their marketing… Read more... (244 words, 3 images, estimated 59 Sek reading time)
We’re in a good place with Ultrabooks right now. Haswell gave us the battery life we were waiting for and prices have come down. Effectively the Ultrabook project is over but the brand, and the soul of the Ultrabook continues. A Dell XPS13 has been leaked for Q3 and it’s highly likely we’ll see a launch at Computex in June but don’t expect any large-scale products or refreshes until Q4. While some may say that’s a slip, it was much the same with the last generation.
With Broadwell we can expect another tick (or was it a tock?) in the Intel strategy of improving processor architecture and then improving the manufacturing process. This time round we’re moving to a 14nm process which, like the move from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Bridge, gave us power efficiencies. We also got a refreshed GPU in that round too so maybe we’ll see some ‘Iris’ action on Ultrabooks later this year. Read more... (377 words, 1 image, estimated 1:30 Min reading time)
At first glance, the Dell XPS 11 has it all. It’s sleek, convertible, and has a 2k screen! It’s one of the thinnest and, dare I say, sexiest, Ultrabooks ever released. But will a novel keyboard design be its Achilles’ heel?
The Dell XPS 11 might be the nicest Ultrabook I’ve laid my hands on. Real carbon fiber gives the unit an unmistakably svelte and sturdy feeling despite its minimum thickness of just 11mm and weight of 1.13kg.
The 11.6-inch touchscreen display has a whopping 2560×1440 resolution which is particularly remarkable when you see how thin the screen is. The screen also flips back, Yoga-style, to convert the unit into a tablet.
The unit can be equipped with the i3-4020Y, i5-4210Y, or i5-4300Y (all Y-variant processors being slightly lower power than their U-variant counterparts seen on the XPS 13 and 15). The ports are understandably (albeit regrettably) thin for such a thin and small device: full size HDMI (finally), 2x USB, and full SD (also finally!). Read more... (533 words, 1 image, estimated 2:08 Min reading time)
“We want Android to be your primary OS”
iConsole demonstrated a very high quality game on an Ultrabook at MWC this week and it wasn’t what you might expect. As a partner of Intel they’ve been working with recent releases of Android 4.x for i86 and have put together a thought- provoking demo of high-power Android. You can see it in the video below.
Interestingly Christopher Price references ‘high performance Android devices from Intel that will be on the market late this year.” What devices is he talking about? The Samsung ATIV Q got stomped-on by Google. The ASUS Duet is also, reportedly, having problems getting out the door. Are other dual-boot devices, or even pure Core-based Android devices, being worked on? Read more... (252 words, 1 image, estimated 1:00 Min reading time)
Yes it’s a bit late, but we did get our hands on some exciting devices at last month’s CES 2014 in Las Vegas and have some video for you to see.
Perhaps the most interesting device announced at the show was the Asus Duet, a dockable x86-based computer (similar in design to the Transformer Book) which natively runs both Windows 8.1 and Android x86 with quick switching between the two. We’ve seen similar devices which actually have Android hardware inside in addition to the usual x86 Windows hardware. The Duet is different in that Android here is actually running on the same Haswell processor that Windows runs on—at the same time. Android also has access to all of the ports on the device since it is running natively on that hardware. Asus claims the Duet runs Android up to twice as fast as tablets based on ARM processors. Read more... (556 words, 1 image, estimated 2:13 Min reading time)