The term "thin and light" has a flexible meaning in the laptop world. Currently, to be truly thin, a PC must be in the same range as the MacBook Air. Still, plenty of thicker 13-inch laptops still exist that would have been considered thin a few years ago, but seem merely normal today. The Asus U31SD-A1 is just that sort of laptop. Its thickness is more akin to a 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro, but Asus' laptop lacks an optical drive. We reviewed a nearly identical Asus U31JG laptop a few months ago, noting that it was a solid … Read more
When reviewing the Dell XPS 15z this summer, it was hard not to notice how comparatively slim it was to the normal XPS 15--and how thick so many of Dell's laptops are by comparison. While the Inspiron R series is hardly as large as the XPS, it's miles away from anything one would call thin and light.
Dell's newly unveiled Inspiron 13z and 14z laptops are a continuation of the thinner laptop trend, but they're a bigger deal for most consumers: they're 13- and 14-inchers, and they're relatively budget-oriented mainstream machines as opposed to high-end. It's a repeat of what Dell did just a few years ago with the Inspiron line, but revisited on the latest-generation laptops. … Read more
What's an Ultrabook? According to Intel, it's a superthin MacBook Air-like laptop with great battery life and a solid-state drive, which is less than .8 inch thick. Most people couldn't tell you that, though. It's not surprising then, perhaps, that Intel Capital has created a $300 million Ultrabook Fund to drive continuing growth in the category. It is, however, significant news.
According to the press release sent today, Intel's Ultrabook Fund will "invest in companies building hardware and software technologies focused on enhancing how people interact with Ultrabooks such as through sensors and touch, … Read more
A few years ago, the Acer TimelineX was one of the first of what we then called "thin and light" laptops, 13-inchers with sleeker, lighter frames, long battery life, and a more easily portable design than a standard notebook.
The TimelineX series still exists, and Acer's latest version features newer Intel second-gen Core i-series processors and impressive Nvidia graphics. Still, the landscape has expanded to include many thin laptops: the Sony Vaio S and Toshiba Portege R835, and the extremely thin Apple MacBook Air and Samsung Series 9. The $779 TimelineX 3830TG-6431 is thin, but not as … Read more
Because of the high prices of solid-state drives, most tablets have limited storage. To keep the cost reasonable, manufacturers have to opt for offering low-capacity units.
And the main reason why tablets don't use hard-disk drives (HDDs) is the physical size: HDDs are generally not compact enough for the portability of a tablet computer. That is, unless, that HDD is Seagate Technology's Momentus Thin.
The company announced today that this hard drive, which is the world's first 2.5-inch hard drive with a 7mm profile, is now also the internal storage unit for the first HDD-based handheld tablets in the world, the 8- and 10-inch Archos G9 tablets. The new tablets, unveiled today, are among the first low-cost high-capacity tablets on the market.… Read more
Low-profile solar start-up Alta Devices today will detail a technique it claims can deliver record solar cell efficiency, a step toward making solar cheaper than fossil fuels.
Executives from the Silicon Valley company, which has raised at least $72 million in funding, will present technical papers today at the IEEE's Photovoltaic Specialist Conference in Seattle on how it has set a new mark in converting sunlight to electricity. Among its investors is Bill Joy, a Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers partner and famed technologist.
In tests, engineers achieved 27.6 percent efficiency last year and later hit 28.2 … Read more
Swiss scientists have broken an energy conversion efficiency record for flexible thin-film CIGS solar cells, Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, announced last week.
In collaboration with the Swiss solar start-up Flisom, Empa has achieved an 18.7 percent efficiency for CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) flexible solar cells, which the lab says was made possible by mounting them on a polymer substrate. This breaks Empa's record of 17.6 percent when mounting the CIGS on steel foil substrates, according to the Swiss lab.
Solar efficiency is the amount of electricity per square inch that … Read more
Google faces plenty of skeptics when it comes to Chrome OS, the browser-based operating system it hopes will catalyze a Web app future.
But when it comes to selling the vision, the company also has a group of potentially influential allies that already have a foot in the door: partners making a business selling the Google Apps suite.
Google Apps is the suite of Gmail, calendar, word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation Web apps that Google sells in subscription form for $50 per user per year. And although Google Apps hasn't come close to pushing aside Microsoft Office, it does … Read more
Fancy a thin ThinkPad? Lenovo's venerable ThinkPad brand may seem from a distance to look the same every year, since lately the interesting changes have been made under the surface lately. It's also a confusing landscape to navigate, even when you know what size you want. Case in point: the ThinkPad X1 and the ThinkPad Edge E220s.
In one sense, they're completely different laptops. The X1 is a full-powered 13-incher, with a serious professional bent and durable construction. The Edge E220s is a smaller, low-voltage laptop, a 12.5-incher with a more reasonable price tag. And yet, … Read more