LG to unveil Tab-Book hybrid tablet-notebook device at CES 2013

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Dec 282012
LG Tab-Book

LG has taken the unusual step of announcing its new 2013 PC lineup ahead of CES 2013. The new devices will be on display at the show, including the LG Tab-Book, a hybrid tablet-notebook device.

“This year, we are introducing several innovative PCs designed with one goal in mind — to meet the needs and desires of consumers in an environment which is quickly transitioning to touchscreens,” said Il-geun Kwon, Senior Vice President and Head of the IT Business Unit at the LG Home Entertainment Company. “At CES, LG will be displaying a diverse PC lineup, truly deserving of the next generation moniker.”

Powered by Windows 8, the LG Tab-Book will look like a typical if slightly larger tablet with an 11.6-inch display. 15.9 millimeters thick, a QWERTY keyboard is concealed in the tablet and slides out from underneath the screen when needed. It will also come with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, an HDMI output, a USB port and a microSD slot. It will weigh 1.05 kilograms.

Two variants will be available. The LG Tab-Book (H160) will come with an unspecified processor while the Tab-Book Ultra (Z160) will be powered by an Intel Core i5 processor.

More detailed specifications, pricing and availability were not announced but all should be revealed at CES 2013.

LG will also show off the Windows 8-powered LG Z360 Ultrabook with a Full HD display and the LG All-In-One (AIO) V325 with a 23-inch touchscreen display.

Read more: LG

Microsoft Holiday Stores to open on October 26th

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Oct 022012

Last month, Microsoft announced plans to open a number of Holiday Stores in a number of Canadian and U.S. cities in time for the holiday season. In Canada, four such stores were announced: In Burnaby (Metropolis at Metrotown), Edmonton (West Edmonton Mall), Toronto (Eaton Centre), and Vancouver (Oakridge Centre). Microsoft has now confirmed that these pop-up stores will open on October 26th, the day that Windows 8 and the Surface RT tablets launch. Not surprisingly, they will carry both: “We can’t wait for you to take home Surface. You’ll find it and a curated selection of the latest Microsoft products at any of our Holiday Stores.”

Toronto Microsoft Holiday Store
Click for a larger version

Canada’s first permanent Microsoft store will open just a bit later on November 16th at the Yorkdale Mall in Toronto.

A total of 28 Microsoft Holiday Stores are also planned for the U.S.

Read more: Microsoft Stores

Microsoft to hold Windows 8 launch event on October 25th

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Sep 172012

Microsoft has already confirmed that Windows 8 will launch on October 26th. It has now sent out press invitations for a press event to take place the day before. It will take place in New York City.

Microsoft Windows 8 launch event

No additional details are provided.

The next day, Windows 8 will be available on both new computers as well as an upgrade. Among the new devices will be Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

Read more: BGR

Retina Display coming to new 13.3-inch Apple MacBook Pro?

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Sep 102012

AppleApple brought its Retina Display to the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro earlier this summer. It is now gearing up to offer it on the 13.3-inch MacBook Pro as well as iMac All-in-One desktop models. Digitimes reports that Apple’s partners have already begun shipping new MacBook Pro and iMac models in preparation for a launch later this month or in October.

Display supply challenges have forced Apple to delay a high-end iMac model but mid- and entry-level models will be available.

Rumours have suggested that Apple could unveil new Macs at its September 12th event. It might quickly announce them before the expected main event, the new iPhone. There are also rumours of a second event in October so Apple certainly has options.

Any takers for a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a display offering a resolution of 2880 by 1800 pixels

Read more: Digitimes

Samsung transforming notebook teased in image and video

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Aug 282012

Samsung looks set to have a busy IFA 2012 event. It has posted the following image to its Samsung Notebook Facebook page, adding “Don’t worry, it’s just around the corner…”:

Samsung notebook IFA 2012 teaser

The image reveals what appears to be a transforming notebook powered by Windows 8. Such a concept device, with a detachable keyboard and stylus pen slot, was first teased at Computex earlier this summer. Samsung may now be ready to make it official.

A short teaser video gives us further tantalizing glimpses at what this notebook will look like:

Only days before all is revealed…

Read more: Samsung [via Facebook]

Microsoft: Windows 8 to launch on October 26th

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Jul 182012

MicrosoftEarlier this month, Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would launch in October. It has now narrowed that down to a specific day. Window 8 (not to be confused with Windows Phone 8) will hit the street on October 26th. It will be available to customers either on new PCs or as an upgrade.

Aside from the slew of new desktops and notebooks you can expect to see announced, we will also be able to get our hands on tablets running either Windows 8 with Intel processors or Windows RT with ARM-based processors.

Microsoft has yet to provide a specific release date for Windows Phone 8. A fall release is as specific as Microsoft has gotten to date. Could it happen at the same time as the Windows 8 launch?

Read more: Microsoft

Summary of the Apple WWDC 2012 keynote address

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Jun 112012

Apple As expected, today’s keynote at the WWDC was delivered by CEO Tim Cook. It’s Apple’s 23rd WWDC event.

  • A look at the Apple Store:
    • 400 million accounts with credit cards
    • 650,000 apps now available with 225,000 for the iPad
    • 30 billion apps now downloaded with US$5 billion paid out to developers
    • Offered in 120 countries with an additional 32 to come
  • New MacBook Air models announced:
    • Intel Ivy Bridge processors. Up to 2GHz dual-core I7
    • Up to 8GB RAM
    • Up to 512GB SSD storage
    • Up to 60% faster graphics
    • USB 3.0 support
    • 720p FaceTime camera
    • 11-inch and 13-inch models starting at US$999 and US$1199 respectively
  • New MacBook Pro models announced:
    • Intel Ivy Bridge processors. Up to 2GHz dual-core i7
    • Up to 8GB RAM
    • Up to 60% faster graphics with GeForce GT 650M
    • USB 3.0 support
    • 13-inch model with 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processor starting at US$1199
    • 15-inch model with 2.3Ghz quad-core i7 processor starting at US$1499
  • MacBook Pro with Retina Display announced:
    • 15.4-inch Retina Display running at 2880 by 1800
    • OS X Mountain Lion and updated apps such as Mail and iPhoto to take advantage of the new display
    • Up to 16GB of RAM
    • Up to 768GB of SSD storage
    • USB 3.0 support
    • FaceTime HD, dual microphones, and the “best speakers we’ve ever put into a notebook”
    • 0.71-inch thick and 4.46 pounds
    • Starts at US$2199 with 2.3GHz quad-core i7, 8GB RAM, 1GB video RAM, and 256GB SSD
    • Starts shipping today
  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion announced:
    • 26 million copies of Mac OS X Lion shipped with 40% adoption rate already
    • 200 new features, of which 8 featured during the keynote
    • New Messages, Reminders, and Notes apps added to iCloud
    • iCloud to support Documents in the Cloud, cloud-based document storage and syncing
    • New notification system with different notification types such as banners and alerts
    • Dictation now built into the system and available everywhere
    • Improved sharing with a share button in toolbars
    • New version of Safari with “fastest” Javascript engine, unified search field, and iCloud Tabs (sharing your tabs across devices)
    • Power Nap: Allows MacBook Air (2nd generation) and MacBook Pro PCs to update the OS and apps and perform backup while it is asleep
    • AirPlay Mirroring
    • Game Center: Mac to Mac and iOS to Mac support
    • Shipping in July for US$19.99 to upgrade from Lion or Snow Leopard
  • iOS 6 announced:
    • 365 million iOS devices sold through to March
    • About 80% of devices on iOS 5, the latest version. Adoption rate compared to Android 4.0’s which stands at 7.9%
    • iMessage now has 140 million users and has been used to send over 150 billion messages
    • iOS 6 comes with more than 200 new features
    • Siri improvements including sports, restaurant, and movie information integration
    • More international support including French for Canada
    • Siri coming to the new iPad (but not the original model)
    • Facebook integration, including support in other apps
    • Enhanced phone app including ability to easily manage incoming calls (Eg, Reply with Message, Remind me Later) and Do Not Disturb feature that takes call without lighting up display or making a sound.
    • Cellular support for FaceTime
    • Unification of phone number and Apple ID allowing call management on various devices
    • VIP emails displayed on lock screen
    • PassBook: New app to manage passes (boarding passes, movie passes, etc)
    • New mapping solution for Map app that covers the world with cartography from Apple
    • Maps now include crowd-sourced traffic data, turn-by-turn navigation, and Siri integration
    • Flyover mode provides 3D photographic models of a number of world cities
    • Lost mode which allows you to send a phone number to the device for someone to call you back with
    • iOS 6 coming this fall with support for iPhone 3GS and up, 2nd generation iPad, and 4th generation iPod touch

Sadly, no “one more thing” suprise today. It appears that we will need to wait until the fall to find out about the next iPhone (and perhaps the 7-inch iPad).

E3: Microsoft announces Xbox SmartGlass

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Jun 042012

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 platform got a whole more integrated with other household devices today as Microsoft today announced Xbox SmartGlass at E3. The application will allow users to connect phones, PCs and tablets to their Xbox 360. With it, devices become remote controls and controllers as well as additional displays. Content can also be pushed two ways to and from the Xbox.

“Xbox is on a mission to make the entertainment that you love even more amazing,” said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. “With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way. If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the Web, or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox.”

A demonstration during the E3 event had Game of Thrones being played on a TV via Xbox 360. A SmartGlass-enabled tablet showed a map of Westeros at the same time. The map zoomed in on the relevant part of the map during the episode. Other demos showed how connected devices could be used in games. For example, players will be able to create plays on their tablet and watch them get executed on their TV in Madden NFL.

Microsoft Xbox SmartGlass demonstration

SmartGlass will be available for Windows, Android, and iOS devices. It will launch later this year.

Microsoft will also launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available.

Read more: Microsoft

Microsoft to raise license fees for Windows 8?

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May 282012

Taiwan-based supply chain makers are telling Digitimes that Microsoft is considering raising license fees for Windows 8. The report does not give a sense of how much of an increase Microsoft is considering but suggests that the move will make it more difficult for ultrabooks to reach a 40% market share of the consumer notebook market.

For its part, Intel is also reluctant to reduce the price of processors for ultrabooks. Instead, it is providing suggestions to manufacturers on ways to reduce the bill of materials (BOM) by using different combinations of hardware components. The processor platform is the most expensive component.

It’s the second time this month that Digitimes has reported Windows 8 license fees are making it difficult for manufacturers to make upcoming devices price-competitive. The previous report indicated that Windows 8 would add between US$90 and US$100 to the cost of a WoA tablet.

Read more: Digitimes

Rumour: US$799 Apple MacBook Air coming in Q3 2012

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May 072012

Apple MacBook AirCiting its usual “sources from the upstream supply chain,” Digitimes reports that new MacBook Air models will launch in Q3 2012. Along with the introduction of updated specifications, Apple will also lower the price of the cheapest model from US$999 down to US$799.

The price move is attributed to Intel’s push to drive ultrabook starting prices down to US$699 in the second half of the year. Ultrabook sales momentum is expected to pick up with the introduction of Windows 8 later this year but Apple’s price drop could blunt their adoption.

Intel is also rumoured to have set aside up to US$300 million to push ultrabook adoption and “strengthen notebook brand vendors’ morale.” Intel could spend a further US$100 million to develop its own application store.

Read more: Digitimes

IDF 2012: Intel shows off Windows 8 tablet/ultrabook hybrid prototype

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Apr 162012

Intel’s 2012 Developer Forum took place last week in Beijing. While Windows 8 is still some months away, Intel took the opportunity to show off some interesting prototype devices. Among them was the Letexo, a hybrid device that blends features from tablets and ultrabooks. It can transform from tablet to ultrabook to even a small all-in-one thanks to a a built-in stand. Check it out at the 1:09 mark:

Intel did not give any details on the specifications of this hybrid device.

A separate prototype (at the 1:16 mark) had a window through the bottom of the clamshell design so that users could see and interact with the top of the display while the device was closed.

It remains to be seen how much of this cool stuff we will see when Windows 8 comes out.

Read more: Tom’s Hardware (Source: The Verge)

Apple releases Flashback malware removal tools

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Apr 152012

AppleAn estimated 600,000 Macs were infected by the Flashback trojan earlier this month. The botnet apparently collected personal information and web browsing logs. It exploited a Java security hole that, while patched by Oracle some time ago, had not been fixed by Apple.

Apple has now released a removal tool that will deal with “most common variants” and has patched the exploit in its Java package. It is available via Software Update.

While it is likely that most infections were due to the Java vulnerability, a number of Flashback versions also use social engineering tricks to fool users into installing it. As a result, Apple has also released a standalone Flashback removal tool for Mac OS X Lion installations that don’t have Java.

Read more: Java version and Non-Java version

Would this Japanese Intel ad convince you to buy an ultrabook?

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Apr 092012

An increasing number of ultrabooks are hitting the market but they’re not exactly setting sales records just yet. See if you can resist buying an ultrabook after seeing this Intel ad:

If you want to sing along, here is the translation:

Ultra Ultra Ultra Ultrabook
The new era is coming…
For capable people
For progressive people — Ultrabook
Ultra Ultra Ultra Ultrabook, INTEL

Brilliant or sheer lunacy?

Read more: Intel Japan (Source: Gizmodo)

Rumour: Retina Display coming to MacBooks

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Mar 242012

AppleBuried in the latest developer release of OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) are hints that Apple could bring its Retina Displays to its desktops and MacBooks. An Ars Technica source with access to the upcoming OS has found double-sized graphics in “some unexpected places,” suggesting that high pixel-density screens could be in the works.

One example give shows the double-sized graphics in Messages, the successor to Apple’s iChat. The image below shows such an icon incorrectly showing instead of a normally sized one.

iMessage with double-sized graphic

The source adds that they expect a Retina Display MacBook (likely with Intel’s upcomingIvy Bridge chipset) to be announced alongside the release of OS X 10.8.

A Retina Display would likely require more battery power to run. As Apple just demonstrated with the new iPad, it could make future MacBooks slightly thicker and heavier to add larger batteries and not compromise battery life.

Read more: Ars Technica

CES 2012: 400,000 Android apps coming to Windows 8

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Jan 102012

BlueStacks today announced that its “App Player” app is now compatible with Windows 8. The app lets Android apps run natively on PCs and tablets whether they be ARM-based or x86 and windowed or fullscreen. BlueStacks also made sure that its app supports both the standard desktop and the new Metro UI mode. In the latter, Android apps will appear as tiles next to other Windows app tiles.

“The Metro UI is beautiful, but the number one thing Windows 8 is missing is apps,” noted BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma. “This changes all that.”

BlueStacks is looking to partner with PC manufacturers to have the BlueStacks App Player preloaded on ultrabooks, tablets, notebooks and all-in-one desktop PCs. So far, Taiwanese manufacturer InHon has signed on and will preload it on an upcoming ultrabook coming in March.

BlueStacks App Player is currently available in alpha version as a free download. A paid version offering unlimited premium apps like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja is also in the works.

Read more: BlueStacks