It's the kind of announcement one expects to hear at CES, not a week or two after. Sony has updated part of its Vaio laptop line with new CPUs and new colors. But don't get too excited, these minor upgrades say nothing about any possible future systems meeting Intel's ultrabook spec, or using the next generation of Core i-series CPUs, expected around midyear.
LAS VEGAS--The biggest surprise of CES 2012 is not what we've seen here at the show, but what we haven't. In a radical departure from previous years, several major laptop makers are missing in action, while others are showing off only a single major new product, if anything.
Instead of hosting its usual giant press conference and hotel suites full of products to demo, Dell instead introduced a single laptop, the XPS 13 ultrabook. If it was going to highlight just one laptop, Dell certainly picked the most relevant one, but last year's CES saw several systems across different categories.
Dell's sister brand, Alienware, had nothing new to show, despite scoring big at past CES events with systems such as the M11X.
HP likewise stuck to a single major new laptop, the Envy 14 Spectre. It's an innovative system with a cool design (and our Best of CES winner in the computers and hardware category), but HP's other new laptops, the revamped Envy 15 and Envy 17, and the Folio 13 ultrabook, had already been released last month.
Toshiba typically has new models spilling from its various Satellite, Qosmio, and Portege laptop lines. But at CES 2012, it only had a single product to show off, an unnamed 14-inch ultrabook prototype. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of my favorite CES pastimes is checking out Sony's concept products.
This year, the Japanese company is showing off two compelling Vaio computer prototypes, which should have you drooling. The first product is a rounded tablet with a separate, sleek keyboard. The other is a hybrid tablet/notebook with an ultra-thin docking station that includes a bronze keyboard, speakers, and a stylus.
Check out our slideshow of the two concept computers.
2012 promises to be a watershed year for laptops. Really thin will be in and internal optical drives out, while some designs venture into hybrid territory.
Apple: Apple is expected to incorporate the MacBook Air design theme into more models, including a 15-incher sans optical drive. And since Apple popularized the really-thin aesthetic with the January 2008 introduction of the MacBook Air, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the company will continue to be a trendsetter.
The lofty goal of 40 percent market share for Ultrabooks in 2012 is due for a reality check, according to an analyst. Meanwhile announcements from Asus and Acer in the U.S. are imminent.
First the positive news. Asus is about to roll out, as soon as next week, at least four Ultrabook models ranging in price from $999 to $1,499, according to a source familiar with the PC maker's rollout. The $999 model, for example, will come with an 11.6-inch display, a Core i5 Intel Sandy Bridge processor, and a 128GB solid-state drive. The high-end $1,… Read more
Sony is joining the glasses-free 3D movement with a laptop add-on designed to give you the best of both 2D and 3D viewing.
Sony's 3D panel, designed for Vaio S and C series notebooks, is a 3mm-thick plastic sheet that clips onto the front of a laptop screen. The sheet is a lenticular lens that produces 3D images by sending slightly different images to each eye. Lenticular lenses are widely used to give printed images the illusion of depth or motion.
Like Toshiba's recently released glasses-free 3D laptop, the Sony Vaio SE will include face-tracking software that adjusts the optimal viewing angle to the user's position. By contrast, Toshiba's 3D screen is built-in, which results in slightly compromised 2D viewing.… Read more
Sony has added a new 15.5-inch laptop to its lineup in the form of the Vaio SE, an upscale-looking slim and light system about 1 inch thick that weighs 4.4 pounds. From the design and features list of the Vaio SE, it's clear Sony is targeting this as a high-end, power laptop with potential appeal to business users.Additional Sony IFA announcements Sony bets on quality with S and P Android tablets Sony debuts Android-based Walkman prototype Sony Reader Wi-Fi puts Kindle in its sights Sony debuts 3D OLED head-mounted display
Our just-arrived review unit, currently being benchmarked in the CNET Labs, is black, but a silver version is also available (Sony calls them Jet Black and Platinum Silver). Like Sony's other high-end laptops, such as the Vaio Z, the body is made of magnesium and aluminum, for a combination of ruggedness and light weight. The look and feel is pure Vaio, and the system looks like a matte black slab when closed, offset by an angular chrome hinge. … Read more
Intel believes ultraslim Windows laptops dubbed Ultrabooks can reach aggressive price points and compete with the MacBook Air, arguably the first Ultrabook.
With the entry-level Air today bottoming out at $999 for an 11-inch model, major PC vendors like Hewlett-Packard, Acer, and Asus must roughly match Apple's build quality at lower prices to draw consumers to the category in large numbers. This issue was raised in a report from Taipei-based Digitimes on Friday.
Intel--which, ironically, is competing with itself in a sense because the Air already uses its chips--believes the industry can get there. "We won't publicly … 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
The Sony Vaio Z not only bests the Air on portability but--perish the thought--may be showing Apple a thing or two about ultrathin laptop design.
Sony's latest Z series, based on published specifications, easily beats the current MacBook Air on raw specs (not surprising since the current Air was released last year). But that's not all. Depending on how far Apple goes with the impending Air update, Sony may have just slipped past Apple in avant-garde design.
First, a quick comparison between the Z and Air (including some projected Air updates).
13.3-inch Vaio Z:Chassis: 0.66 … Read more