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Memoright Announces 7 mm-Slim SSDs

With the Ultrabook form-factor gaining prominence, there's an urgent need for notebook components to shape up, so is the case with storage devices. A little earlier this month, Crucial announced its latest M4 series SSD in the 2.5" SATA form-factor, which is just 7 mm-slim, as opposed to the ~9.3 mm thickness that's standard. It looks like more SSD makers are hopping into this trend, including Memoright, which launched its FTM Plus Slim series. For SSDs, slimmer 7 mm enclosures don't affect components inside, as SSDs are essentially a printed-circuit board with controllers, DRAM and NAND flash chips.

The FTM Plus Slim series have otherwise the same specifications as the regular (9.3 mm-thick) FTM Plus series. These drives are driven by SandForce SF-2281 controllers, with sequential transfer rates of up to 550 MB/s reads, 500 MB/s writes, and 55,000/50,000 read/write 4K IOPS. They take advantage of SATA 6 Gb/s interface to achieve those speeds. Like its thicker siblings, the FTM Plus Slim will be available in 60 GB, 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities.

Dell Launches the XPS 13 13.3-inch Ultrabook

Dell today unveiled its ultraportable XPS 13 laptop, the most compact 13.3-inch Ultrabook featuring an edge-to-edge glass, near "frameless" display, all-day battery life, and the latest innovative technology for a superb overall user experience.

Starting at 2.99 lbs., and less than a quarter-inch at its thinnest point, the XPS 13 combines performance-oriented thoughtful design with the latest Intel technology, such as Rapid Start and Smart Connect, to enable users to be productive, connected and responsive anywhere.

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012 (UPDATED)

Word has been flying round the internet about Intel's dodgy Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo'. Intel's Mooly Eden, VP, PC Client Group was attempting to demonstrate a racing game on a prototype laptop - 'ultrabook' - fitted with an upcoming 22 nm Ivy Bridge processor with a racing wheel attached and allegedly rendering DX11 graphics. However, as is very apparent at the start, it's actually a video, because the control panel for the free VLC video player pops up for a few seconds. Eden then 'drives' a car and after a few seconds puts up one hand and then the other, because as he says "they are driving it from backstage". However, there was no one driving the game "backstage", as it was just a video and Eden doesn't say anything about this at any point in the presentation.

This gives conspiracy theorists lots of ammunition, as perhaps the game was actually played on a high powered desktop PC with NVIDIA or AMD discrete graphics cards? What game was it? Eden doesn't say. "IB can't really do these graphics!" they cry and so on. Sure, man 'didn't' go to the moon, either... However, we believe that while yes, there was a bit of deception going on, it was nothing more than a white(ish) lie. Why? Because Ivy Bridge comes out in April and people aren't going to forget this demo. They will immediately put IBs DX11 graphics to the test with similar games and if it doesn't deliver, Intel will have a lot of egg on its face. Here's what Intel had to say about this demo in an official statement:

HP Unveils Premium Ultrabook with Extraordinary Glass Design – the HP ENVY 14 Spectre

HP today revealed the HP ENVY 14 Spectre, a premium consumer Ultrabook PC that commands attention with its unparalleled use of glass and stunning performance.

"Sleek, midnight black glass on the outside and stark contrast silver glass on the inside make Spectre extraordinary, defying conventional notebook design," said Eric Keshin, senior vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. "We chose the name for our first ENVY Ultrabook to evoke mystery, and we packed it with the best in entertainment technology to satisfy those who expect the unexpected."

OCZ SSDs Using Indilinx's Everest Platform Now Available in LG Z330 Ultrabooks

Indilinx, a leading provider of solid state drive (SSD) processors and a subsidiary of OCZ Technology Group, announces OCZ Indilinx SSDs based on the acclaimed Everest Series SATA 3.0 (6 Gbps) platform are shipping in LG Electronics' thinnest notebook yet, the Super Ultrabook Z300 based on the Intel Ultrabook initiative.

"We are excited to continue our partnership with LG Electronics and provide our Indilinx Everest based OEM SSDs for integration into the company's exciting new Super Ultrabook Z300," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "These custom OEM Indilinx SSDs are the ideal solution for the Z300's ultra slim and stylish form factor, and help deliver a superior overall computing experience for customers with quicker transfer speeds and faster boot up."

Acer Announces the Thunderbolt-equipped Aspire S5 Ultrabook

Kicking off the CES release madness a little early, PC maker Acer has today announced its second ultrabook, the Aspire S5. Set for a Q2 arrival, the S5 is 15 mm thick, it weights under 1.35 kg, and features an Onyx Black magnesium-aluminum alloy cover, a 13.3-inch LCD screen, a chiclet keyboard, an Intel Core processor, a solid state drive, and a MagicFlip I/O port panel (found below the hinge) which includes HDMI, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt (!) connectors.

Acer's ultrabook also includes the Green Instant On technology for super fast booting and resume, and the Always Connect solution enabling users to 'manage their multimedia and data on all their devices at anytime, anywhere'.

No word (yet) on the Aspire S5's pricing scheme.
Images courtesy of The Verge.

LG Unveils Super Ultrabook Z330, Z430, P535, A540, and V300 All-in-One

LG Electronics (LG) will showcase four new notebook models and an all-in-one PC at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. LG's brand new Super Ultrabook Series, the Z330 and the Z430, offer powerful performance and sleek design unseen in ordinary Ultrabooks, while the P535 and the A540 establish a new standard for 3D notebooks. Lastly, the V300 is the ideal 23-inch all-in-one PC for entertainment, thanks to its immersive 3D display and In-Plane Switching (IPS) -enabled wide viewing angle.

"At this year's CES, LG will showcase products that are not only new, but also establish categories defining new standards for personal computing devices," said J.J. Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of LG Electronics IT Business Unit. "Our new products feature a range of breakthrough technologies from LG, such as IPS display, glasses-free 3D and Super Speed Boot, that will noticeably elevate the personal computing experience. These technologies reflect our goal of satisfying various consumer demands, as well as our aggressive strategy for 2012."

OCZ Delivers Deneva 2 mSATA SSDs for Intel's 2012 Ultrabook Platform

OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced that the OCZ Deneva2 30GB and 60GB mSATA SSDs, part numbers D2CSTEMS1A10-0030 and D2CSTEMS1A10-0060 have been tested with Intel Smart Response Technology and have passed the performance benchmarks for the 'While Using' portion of the responsiveness requirements in the 2012 Ultrabook Definition.

"We are pleased with the results that Intel has achieved with our Deneva 2 mSATA products," said Tobias Brinkmann, VP Partner Relations at OCZ Technology Group. "The Deneva 2 SSDs have a very small footprint making them ideal for the slim and stylish Ultrabook designs, and also deliver exceptionally fast bootup and data transfer speeds for a superior instant-on and overall more responsive computing experience."

Samsung's Series 5 Ultrabooks up for Pre-Order in the US

Although they've only been officially launched in South Korea (Samsung's home market), the Series 5 ultrabooks have begun to pop up in US stores, for starters, only on pre-order. Both the 13.3-inch and 14-inch Series 5 models can be found listed, with the former bring priced at $899.99 and the latter at $949.99.

Both versions of Samsung's ultrabook run Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and feature an aluminum chassis, an LED-backlit display, a 1.6 GHz Core i5-2467M processor, 4 GB of RAM, Intel HD 3000 graphics, a 500 GB hard drive backed by 16 GB of flash storage, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a 4-in-1 card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, stereo speakers, and a 4-cell battery. The 14-inch Series 5 ultrabook also comes with a built-in DVD writer.

Teaser Video Gives Sneak Peek of HP’s Spectre… Ultrabook?

Number one PC vendor HP has slipped out a little clip aimed at building up the hype around a new product, the Spectre. The video doesn't spell it out but it seems the Spectre is a new, ultra-thin laptop, or probably a consumer-oriented ultrabook (the Folio 13 introduced in November is marketed as a 'business ultrabook').

An Envy Spectre passed the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in late December so that's probably what we're getting a glimpse of today. A full unveiling is likely planned for next week either at CES 2012 or just before the show.

Ultrabooks The Answer to ARM Tablets: Intel

The onslaught of ARM-powered smartphones and tablets has taken a bit toll on not just the netbook (cheap, slow notebook, Steve Jobs' views), but even the future of Intel's x86 architecture as everyday computing devices get smaller. Sure, Intel has an x86-based processor platform in the works for smartphones and tablets, codenamed "Medfield", but its intentions towards the two form-factors come across as hollow and short-sighted when you look at the latest partner release, where it pitches the ultrabook form-factor as "the answer" to ARM tablets.

It goes on to list out exactly why tablets are function-limited, and can never become people's everyday computing device; and how ultrabooks can offer more functionality at similar compactness of form-factor as tablets. This directly implies that Intel's intentions with Medfield are to merely cash-in on what it perceives to be a short-term demand for processors that drive ultra-compact tablets; at least till ultrabooks get cemented in the market, so it could push tablets out of the market and bring "order" back to the PC segment.

Targus Announces The Market’s First USB 3.0 Docking Solution

Targus Inc., maker of the world's top-selling laptop computer cases and accessories today announced it is first to market with USB 3.0 docking technology. The Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Docking Station (ACP70US) allows you to connect all of your peripherals while offering the benefit of enhanced speed and power associated with USB 3.0. It is the ideal solution for various work environments that support multiple laptop standards or where there is the need for a shared workspace, "Hot Desking" or "Hoteling". In addition, with the emergence of Ultrabooks, users will need additional USB ports for all of their necessary peripherals.

Utilizing USB 3.0 graphics technology by DisplayLink, the new docking station also includes dual video ports, which provides beyond HD video and graphics with up to 2048 x 1152 resolution. This is ideal for peripherals that require enriched image and text clarity such as external HD monitors. It also features the first-of-its-kind Gigabit Ethernet via USB for high-speed networking. The wedge design offers an ergonomic tilt and improved ambient airflow while its horizontal form factor allows users to place the docking station under a laptop, thus saving desk space.

Acer Working on 15-inch Ultrabook PC

After seeing market success with 11-inch and 13-inch ultrabooks (ultra-compact notebooks), Acer began working on a new, larger 15-inch ultrabook, which it plans to sell at a price-point of US $699. According to sources, Pegatron is the upstream ODM behind this model. Acer's current ultrabooks are manufactured on contract by Wistron. The sales of ultrabooks are expected to reach 250,000-300,000 units by the end of this year. Pegatron's total notebook shipments to reach 18.99 million units by the end of this year, with an annual growth of 22%, which will make it the fourth largest ODM by volume.

Lenovo IdeaPad U300s Up For Pre-Order, Already Back-Ordered

Lenovo put its IdeaPad U300s ultrabook up for pre-order on its company online store. Soon enough, many buyers found themselves to have back-ordered it. The initial few waves of orders got December 19 as the expected shipment date, the rest will have to wait for at least another few weeks. Not only is the U300s back-ordered, but it's also that the winter break is falling in between that period. The only model available for orders is a 13.3-inch one powered by Intel Core i7 ULV processor, with up to 4 GB of memory and 256 GB of SSD storage. The fact that this $1999 model is being sold at a sweet web-price of $1499 could be driving the rush.

Samsung Introduces the Series 5 Ultrabook

Today Samsung Electronics unveiled the Series 5 Ultra, a 'high-performance' ultrabook which will debut in South Korea at the end of this month and will probably (hopefully) reach other markets in early 2012.

This new mobile solution makes use of an aluminum chassis, comes in 13.3-inch and 14-inch versions (the 13-inch model is 14.9 mm thick, the 14-inch is 20.9 mm), and features a yet unnamed Intel processor, up to 8GB of RAM, a 500GB/1TB hard drive or a 128GB solid state drive, and 8GB of ExpressCache memory which ensures lower boot and access times (Samsung claims that its machine can come out of sleep mode in under 2 seconds). The 14-inch unit boasts a Radeon HD 7550M discrete graphics card and an optical drive while the 13.3-inch model has to settle for an integrated Intel GPU and no ODD.

The Series 5 Ultra also has WiFi, a webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, and both D-Sub and HDMI outputs. Pricing in Korea is said to range from about US $1,121 to US $1,339.

HP's Folio 13 Ultrabook Goes on Sale

Top PC vendor HP has now begun selling its first-generation ultrabook, the business-oriented Folio 13. This new mobile machine is just 0.7-inch (18mm) thick but has a battery life of up to 9.5 hours and can boot up its pre-installed OS (Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, 64-bit only) in a matter of seconds.

The Folio 13 starts at $899.99 and features a full-size backlit keyboard, a 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) BrightView LED display, a 1.6 GHz Core i5-2467M processor, Intel HD Graphics 3000, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid state drive.

LG Joins the Ultrabook Club, Unveils the Xnote Z330

The ultrabook supporters club has grown some more recently as LG Electronics decided to adopt this form factor and release the Xnote Z330, an Intel-based mobile PC that weights just 1.21kg and is 14.7mm thick.

LG's first ultrabook comes with a 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) LED-backlit display boasting a super-thin bezel (8mm), is powered by a Core i5-2467M (1.6 GHz) or Core i7-2637M (1.7 GHz) processor, and can boot up in 9.9 seconds.

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