I recently went on an overseas vacation, and I wanted to bring my laptop since I knew we'd be in hotels with free WiFi but didn't want to carry all that extra bulk while we schlepped from city to city. So I picked up a small laptop before I left, and throughout the trip I was pleasantly surprised by how lightweight and convenient it was. Even so, as soon as I had my sub-13-inch laptop in my hands I had to do a few things to make sure I was getting the most out of it. Learn my tips for optimizing your travelling laptop when you read more.
The HP Envy 14 Spectre was arguably the most fetching ultrabook at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and we finally know how much damage it will do to our bank accounts. The HP Envy 14 Spectre will be available Feb. 17 and priced at $1,400 to start.
The base model Spectre comes stocked with a 14-inch HD+ Radiance Infinity LED-backlit display and backlit keyboard, a 128GB SSD hard drive, Bluetooth connectivity, a TrueVision HD webcam, Gorilla Glass top fused to a black-and-silver aluminum body, and 9.5 hours of battery life. Supported ports include mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0, and an SD/MultiMediaCard reader. HP also developed HP CoolSense, which keeps your machine running cool even after long hours of use, so you won't suffer from the dreaded laptop burn on your legs.
What do you think of the HP Envy 14 Spectre — worth the price tag at first glance?
We know what farmer grew our apples and coffee, yet we are usually clueless when it comes to the origins of our tech gadgets. That shiny new phone or e-reader you bought didn't just appear out of thin air — it required hundreds of parts that were produced all around the world before it was assembled and shipped across the country. Take this quiz to see if you know where your favorite gadgets are manufactured.
It's like no other ultrabook you've seen at CES so far: the attractive HP Envy 14 Spectre's top shell is made of black, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass. No kidding. Although the Spectre is on the heavier side of the ultrabook norm at four pounds (which is to be expected, I suppose, with a glass shell), it remains light enough to transport with ease.
The Spectre boasts nine hours of battery life, Beats Audio technology, a full back-lit keyboard, and built-in HP Wireless Audio that allows you to stream uncompressed audio to up to four different devices. One interesting addition is the analog volume slider dial on the side that controls your tunes. It was added in as a "visual design cue," but I'm wondering how sensitive it will be.
The HP Envy 14 is quite the looker, but will set you back $1,400 when it hits the streets on Feb. 8. Check it out for yourself in these pics!
Acer kicked off CES 2012 today with the introduction of the Aspire S5, billed as the world's thinnest ultrabook. With a 13.3-inch LCD display, the computer measures 15 mm at its biggest point and weighs less than 3 lbs.
Using the same Instant On technology as the Timeline, the S5 boots to full functionality in 1.5 seconds and boasts a battery life of "several weeks," according to a statement by Acer. The included Always Connect feature wakes the S5 from sleep mode via a separate device like a tablet or smartphone. AcerCloud, Acer's multiplatform compatible response to customer cloud storage, will come pre-installed on the S5.
Despite its size, the S5 does include external ports, hidden within what Acer calls a MagicFlip I/o port panel. A touch of the MagicFlip key reveals an HDMI, USB 3.0, and 20 Gbps Thunderbolt port. You heard it — Thunderbolt. The brushed black metallic cover is made of magnesium-aluminum alloy. An Intel CoreTM processor, SSD storage, and Dolby Home Theater v4 round out the S5's inner specs.
Look for the S5 to ship in the second quarter of 2012, when pricing will also be announced. Check out a first look at the new ultrabook in the gallery!
Acer introduced a new lineup of ultrabooks to the world today, including the 14- and 15-inch Timeline Ultra. This slim and sleek laptop is just 20mm thick with a battery that keeps on chugging for up to eight hours. Instant-On technology helps you boot up in the blink of an eye, while Acer's signature AcerCloud cloud storage keeps your documents, music, and photos within reach on your PCs, laptops, and mobile devices wherever you are. A dedicated graphics card will allow you to game in 3D, and if you're still toting DVDs, the Timeline Ultra even comes with a DVD-Super Multi optical drive.
Other specs include the latest Intel Core i processors, SSD/HDD storage options, Dolby surround sound, HDMI, and USB 3.0 ports. No pricing has been made available just yet, but you can expect both 14- and 15-inch versions in Q2 of this year.
Get a better look at the Timeline Ultra in the gallery.
HP announced its entry into the ultrabook space, the HP Folio 13, this morning, and it's quite fetching with its cool brushed metal casing. Coming in at only 18mm thin, weighing 3.3 pounds, and stocked with a 13.3-inch HD Briteview display and 128GB hard drive, the Folio 13 also boasts rapid start and boot times and a whopping nine hours of battery life.
There are plenty of ports on the Folio 13 as well (unlike the thinner MacBook Air): USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Ethernet, HDMI, and an SD card reader. A backlit keyboard helps you work in low-light conditions (like on a plane perhaps?), while HP's CoolSense technology keeps the machine running at lower temps so you don't burn your legs. Bonus — there's a feature called TPM Embedded Security that protects the data found in your emails and info on your hard drive from hackers, thieves, and prying eyes, which will make the Folio 13 an easy choice for business types.
As for the price, $900 undercuts most of the ultrabook competition, and while it's not as sleek-looking as the MacBook Air or Asus Zenbook UX31, it's a nice all-around slim and light laptop for all your work and personal needs. Expect the HP Folio 13 to hit on Dec. 7.
The holidays are coming, which means there will be lots of new products hitting the scene before prime shopping time. And speaking of prime, Asus officially announced its entry into the tablet and ultrabook category — the Eee Pad Transformer Prime — this morning. Priced at $499 for a 32GB model and $599 for a 64GB version, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime has a number of features that will get your geeky juices flowing. Learn about six of them below.
- It's tiny — The Transformer Prime is only 8.3mm thick and weighs just over a pound, which will make this a perfect choice for frequent travelers.
- The optional dock — The Transformer Prime can, well, transform into an ultrabook with the addition of the optional $149 keyboard dock, which comes with a touchpad, USB port, and SD card slot, even an independent battery helping you stay productive for longer.
- It's incredibly powerful — For a tablet, the Transformer Prime will blow you away. Coming stocked with a NVIDIA Tegra 3 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, this tablet is the fastest on the market. Additionally, the Transformer Prime will come with 1GB of RAM, and while it will run Android 3.2 when it launches in December, Asus promises there will be an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of the year.
- It'll go the distance — The Transformer Prime battery will keep on chuggin'. The tablet itself is said to last for 12 hours, and when paired with the keyboard dock, you'll get a whopping 18 hours of powered bliss.
- The cameras — The backside of the Transformer Prime is equipped with an 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash that shoots full 1080p HD video, fast shutter speeds, and touch focus, while the front sports a 1.2MP forward-facing cam for video chatting. It even comes with a microSD slot so you can easily upload your photos.
- Color options — Finally, some choices! The Transformer Prime will come in two colors — amethyst gray and champagne gold.
I have to admit that I'm intrigued and can't wait to see the Transformer Prime in action. Get a better look at the setup in the gallery!