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Apacer Launches Three latest SATA 3.0 SSDs

According to the top ten Taiwan ICT market trend predictions of 2013 published by IDC, as reaction to the uncertainty of prosperity in the next year, the enterprises will continuously increase IT budget and expenditure with primary growth power from cloud computing, mobility and the market driven by massive data, and expects a robust growth of 3.9%. To respond to these trends and needs, the storage devices will definitely continue to develop toward energy-saving, high efficiency and compactness. Therefore, Apacer correspondingly launches three SATA 3.0 SuperSpeed transmission interface SSDs, including 2.5-inch SFD 25S-M, MO-297-compliant SFD 18S5-M and mSATA S1-M designed in compliance with MO-300, respectively applicable for cloud data center, various servers, embedded system, and compact Ultrabook and Networking devices, which meet different needs for cloud, massiveness and mobility.

Intel Intros Core i5-3439Y and Core i7-3689Y Dual-Core Processors with 13W TDP

Intel introduced a pair of new dual-core ultra-low voltage processors, the Core i5-3439Y and Core i7-3689Y, based on the current 22 nm "Ivy Bridge" architecture. The two feature a stunning 13W TDP, and are designed for cool Ultrabooks, with minimal cooling. The Core i5-3439Y features a nominal clock speed of 1.50 GHz, with 2.30 GHz maximum Turbo Boost, HyperThreading enabling four logical CPUs, 3 MB of L3 cache, and an SDP (scenario driven power) of just 7W. It is priced at US $250. The Core i7-3689Y, on the other side, features the same 1.50 GHz nominal clock speed, but a higher maximum Turbo Boost frequency of 2.60 GHz, and 4 MB of L3 cache. Other features are identical between the two. The i7-3689Y is priced at $362.

Intel Delivers Broad Range of New Mobile Experiences

Intel Corporation executives held a press conference today to outline a plan to accelerate new mobile device experiences across the company's growing portfolio of smartphone, tablet and Ultrabook offerings.

The announcements included a new smartphone platform for emerging markets, details on a forthcoming 22 nm quad-core SoC for tablets, and more personal and intuitive Ultrabook devices in innovative convertible designs were outlined by Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group, and Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel.

Lenovo Intros "Rip and Flip" ThinkPad Helix and First Multimode Mini-Ultrabook

Lenovo today announced two new additions to its family of convertible laptop-tablet devices: the ThinkPad Helix, a premium convertible for business professionals featuring a "rip and flip" design - a blueprint for the next generation of laptop designs - and a more powerful and productive IdeaPad Yoga 11S, the first multimode mini Ultrabook equipped with powerful Intel processors and featuring Windows 8.

"Our unmatched family of convertibles gives consumers, students, business professionals, and everyone in between the opportunity to choose the convertible that's right for them," said Peter Hortensius, president, Product Group, and senior vice president, Lenovo. "The ThinkPad Helix gives business professionals two devices in one incredible form factor. It is a high performance, thin and light Ultrabook with a detachable Windows 8 tablet. We've also pumped more power and productivity into the new IdeaPad Yoga 11S mini-Ultrabook so it can handle whatever mobile computing tasks consumers throw at it."

Toshiba Rolls Out its First Sub-$800 Ultrabook

Toshiba joined industry-wide efforts to bring the Ultrabook down to mainstream prices, by launching the Satellite U845t. The 14-incher features a lean feature-set to achieve its $799 price-point. It features 1366 x 768 pixels resolution, a Core i3 dual-core processor, up to 6 GB of RAM, 500 GB HDD-based storage with a 32 GB cache-SSD to speed things up, and connectivity that includes USB 3.0, HDMI, and SDXC. The Satellite U845t will be released to market on March 10th.

Dell XPS 13 To Get 1080p Screen Option

Dell's XPS 13 Ultrabook is all set to get a 1080p (1920 x 1080 resolution) screen option, without changes in its size, later this month, according to a company spokesperson. The 13-incher has been sticking around with drab 1366 x 768 resolution, and will join several other Ultrabook manufacturers in making 1080p a norm for notebooks with over 11.6-inch screen size. It remains to be seen how the 1080p screen option is priced over the current base model's $790 price-tag.

Lenovo Unleashes New Windows 8 Touch Devices

Lenovo today announced its new lineup of consumer and business Windows 8 touch-optimized devices at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. Headlining the collection are new additions to the ultra-portable IdeaPad U Series Ultrabooks and the multimedia intensive IdeaPad Z Series laptops as well as new models of IdeaCentre all-in-one desktops, from the sleek and stylish A Series to the affordable and space-saving C Series.

Lenovo also introduced an extreme performance gaming desktop PC, the Lenovo Erazer X700, designed for enthusiast-level gaming and graphics-hungry applications. For small businesses, the ThinkPad Edge E431 and E531 laptops introduce a unique Lenovo OneLink technology for new docking capabilities, and to complete the new range of Windows 8 touch devices, the ThinkPad Mobile Monitor makes a great companion as a second display, especially for complementing non-touch devices with touch functionality.

Intel SSD 530 in NGFF Form-Factor Pictured, Arrives in Q2

Intel's next-generation SSD 530 series, which sees a single product line covering 2.5-inch and compact form-factors, arrives in the second quarter of 2013. The new series is being designed to offer high-performance even at smaller card form-factors, which is particularly important for the ultra-thin/Ultrabook ecosystem. The drive has been pictured in the newer NGFF (next generation form-factor), which is designed to be even smaller than mSATA.

While mSATA drives typically measure 51 x 30 mm, NGFF measures 42 x 22 mm. NGFF is a single interface featuring pins for both SATA and PCI-Express x2 or x4, and cards designed around its specification can either be SATA SSDs, or other bandwidth-heavy devices (such as 802.11ac WLAN controllers). Cards can even be designed to have an SATA SSD subunit on one side, and a PCI-Express device on the other, saving swathes of PCB real-estate in the process. The form-factor even supports double-sided SSDs such as this one from Lite-On, which features an independent SSD subunit on each side, which is striped in RAID 0. The NGFF Intel SSD 530 family will be introduced in Q2-2013, in two capacities - 80 GB and 180 GB.

Velocity Micro Announces New Products for CES 2013

Velocity Micro, the premier builder of award winning enthusiast desktops, laptops, peripherals, and Cruz tablets announces several new products to be debuted at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Products include the dual core D610 Cruz tablet, quad core Q610 Cruz tablet, and the 4" x 4" Edge Mini. Additionally, the recently announced NoteMagix Ultrabook devices and Edge AIO will be on display along with several Velocity Micro desktop skus and peripherals. All product demos for press and retail customers will be held via scheduled meetings in a private suite at Bellagio.

Samsung Unveils Enhanced Series 7 Chronos and New Ultrabooks at CES 2013

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, today announced two additions to its high performance Series 7 PC lineup: the enhanced Series 7 Chronos, which delivers professional performance in a thin and light form factor, and the Series 7 Ultra, which takes Ultrabooks to the next level with enriched computing power, graphics and touch capability. The new Samsung Series 7 intuitive devices incorporate PCs into consumers' lives by enabling mobility and helping to keep them connected.

"2012 was a definitive year for Samsung's PC business - we expanded our lineup, taking advantage of the new form factors and consumer demand. This led to significant growth in the industry," said David Song, Senior Vice President of IT & Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics. "In 2013, we will continue to focus on innovation delivering products that fit into customer lifestyles while maintaining Samsung's high-end design and performance standards. The new Series 7 Chronos and Ultra products are just two examples of what you can expect to see from us throughout the year."

Velocity Micro Announces Three New Ultrabook Products

Velocity Micro, the premier builder of award winning enthusiast desktops, laptops, peripherals, and the remarkable line of Cruz tablets announces the immediate availability of the NoteMagix U400 Series, a stunning line of Ultrabook devices. Featuring a solid aluminum chassis, integrated optical drive, 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors, and Intel 520 Series solid state drives, the NoteMagix U400 Series is a unique combination of muscle and style, starting at just $799.

"With the NoteMagix U400 Ultrabook devices, we wanted to design something that would appeal to both our enthusiast customers and mainstream customers alike," said Randy Copeland, President and CEO of Velocity Micro. "The end result outdid even our own high expectations. These are truly remarkable products, both inside and out."

Intel Haswell and Broadwell Silicon Variants Detailed

It's no secret that nearly all Intel Core processors are carved out of essentially one or two physical dies, be it the "2M" die that physically features four cores and 8 MB of L3 cache, or the "1M" die, which physically features two cores and 4 MB of L3 cache. The two silicons are further graded for energy-efficiency and performance before being assigned a package most suited to them: desktop LGA, mobile PGA, mobile BGA, and with the introduction of the 4th generation Core "Haswell," SoC (system on chip, a package that's going to be a multi-chip module of the CPU and PCH dies). The SoC package will be designed to conserve PCB real-estate, and will be suited for extremely size-sensitive devices such as Ultrabooks.

The third kind of grading for the two silicons relates to its on-die graphics processor, which makes up over a third of the die area. Depending on the number of programmable shaders and ROPs unlocked, there are two grades: GT2, and GT3, with GT3 being the most powerful. On the desktop front (identified by silicon extension "-DT,") Intel very much will retain dual-core processors, which will make up its Core i3, Pentium, and Celeron processor lines. It will be lead by quad-core parts. All desktop processors feature the GT2 graphics core.

MSI Slider S20 Ultrabook Starts Selling

The Slidebook S20, the ideal mobile work station and leisure companion, just hit the market. Its elegant streamlined exterior, all-in-one design, Intel's third generation Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor, and all-weather, long-life battery meet are designed to meet your work and leisure needs and make the Slidebook S20 stand out from the crowd of other ultrabooks.

Another MSI ingenious design, the Slidebook S20 not only offers all the audiovisual, multimedia, reading, and gaming enjoyment of a tablet, it also sports a keyboard, USB, and HDMI capabilities of a mobile office notebook. This chicly mobile machine satisfies the needs of both on-the-go businesspeople and students and the extended battery power ensures that you have plenty of time to do what you're doing. Ideal for Internet browsing, social networking, and word processing, the Slidebook S20 is the perfect choice for anybody on the go. The S20's design with keyboard and sliding cover eliminates the limitations most people feel when they use tablets. MSI's innovative, user-friendly design have you the user in mind.

Lite-On Develops Strange New mSATA SSD Design for Acer

On taking apart the Acer S7 Ultrabook, The SSD Review discovered a strange new SSD form-factor, which bears the label of Lite-On, and carrying the model number "CMT-256L3M." This is perhaps the first mSATA SSD with two independent SSD subunits, one on each side. The mSATA interface itself is modified to have two SSD ports. The drive registers on the system BIOS as two individual drives, which is then run as a 256 GB (physical) RAID 0 volume by the BIOS and operating-system.

Each of the CMT-256L3M's two subunits feature a Marvell 88S9175 controller, which supports SATA 6 Gb/s interface, two 64 GB dual-channel 24 nm toggle NAND flash memory chips by Toshiba, and a Nanya-made DRAM cache chip. Putting the drive through sequential-friendly benchmarks such as CrystalDiskMark shows a sequential read speed of the drive (combined with its two subunits) to be around 877 MB/s, with sequential writes up to 672 MB/s. Multi-subunit SSDs aren't new, most high-end consumer SSDs from the pre-TRIM, pre-SandForce era used to be dual- to quad-subunit drives. The CMT-256L3M is the first one in the super-compact mSATA form-factor, and its performance numbers could impress more Ultrabook designers.

NEC Outs the World's Thinnest 15.6" Ultrabook, the LaVie X

NEC Japan rolled out the world's thinnest Ultrabook, the 15.6-inch LaVie X (model: LX850/JS). It is just 12.8 mm thick (375 x 255 x 12.8 mm), weighing 1.59 kg. NEC achieved its thickness thanks to innovations in cooling that spreads cooling components apart. It features an LED backlit IPS LCD screen featuring 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD storage, and Windows 8. Connectivity includes two USB 3.0 ports, 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0 +HS, HDMI display-output, SDHC/SDXC card slot, and a 2-megapixel web-camera. It is slated for market availability on December 27.

AMD Radeon HD 8000M Series Codenamed "Solar System," To Debut at CES

It was high time AMD updated its tiny entry-thru-mid GPU silicons to the new 28 nm fab process, Graphics CoreNext micro-architecture, and make them truly Windows 8-ready with DirectX 11.1 support. What better way to do those by giving them as big a launchpad as Radeon HD 8000M series branding, and a gala launch at the 2013 International CES? AMD's next-generation mobile GPUs are codenamed "Solar System," breaking away from the desktop GPU family codename of "Sea Islands." Among its members are those named after our planetary neighbours, "Mars" and "Venus," to name a few. The recent leak of a ASUS Vivobook featuring HD 8550M may not be a re-brand, after all.

Panasonic Announces the Toughbook CF-AX2 Rugged Ultrabook

Panasonic today unveiled the world's lightest business rugged, convertible Ultrabook with a unique Flip-Over design making it ideal for mobile sales workforces and executives to use in notebook or tablet mode. Combining high usability, style, durability and long battery life with hot swappable, replaceable battery, the Toughbook CF-AX2 is one of the first ready-made Microsoft Windows 8 Pro certified devices. This means business users can have the best of both worlds, using the Toughbook CF-AX2 as both a desirable touch-screen tablet and state-of-the-art, stylish Ultrabook.

Drawing on its long pedigree of combining ergonomic and durable design, Panasonic has created the Toughbook CF-AX2 with a unique and robust 360° Flip-Over hinge design, allowing the device to be used in very different business situations and offering business users a new level of working freedom.

Dell Evolves the PC: Combines Design With Security, Manageability and Reliability

Dell today detailed its strategy for developing and deploying PCs that enable new user experiences while also meeting enterprise IT demands around security, manageability and reliability. The company recently introduced a completely redesigned portfolio of personal computing devices, services and solutions that let people move easily between work and personal applications. The devices also help enterprise IT departments deliver solutions that enable personal productivity while also protecting sensitive corporate data.

New Client Devices
Dell has recently introduced a completely redesigned platform of new commercial and consumer tablets and PCs that combine a consumer-friendly aesthetic with advanced business client functionality. These new form factors were created to capitalize on the advances in new operating systems such as Windows 8 and make touch computing available to more end-users than ever before.

Amped Wireless Unveils the First High Power Wi-Fi Adapter for Windows 8

Coinciding with the momentum of the Windows 8 launch from Microsoft, Amped Wireless, the leading manufacturer of high power, long range wireless communication products for the home and office, today unveiled the TAN1, the first High Power Wi-Fi Adapter designed specifically for use with Windows 8 tablets, Ultrabooks and laptops.

"With more than 40 million licenses sold, Windows 8 is quickly becoming a success with consumers. And while there are some great new features for managing Wi-Fi in Windows 8, OEMs are still compromising Wi-Fi performance for aesthetics and slimmer form factors," stated Jason Owen, CEO, Amped Wireless. "With the TAN1, Windows 8 users can now have uncompromised long range Wi-Fi performance to connect to Wi-Fi networks from much greater distances. Home users can roam freely throughout their home without worrying about disconnects or buffering, while business users can connect to Wi-Fi hotspots with ease while at airports or hotels."

Team Group Announces Team Ultra L1 SSD

Solid state drive (SSD) is gradually making its way to become the mainstream in 3C product market. Team Group Inc., one of the leading memory manufacturers in the world, is making improvement in SSD product development by launching the ultra-thin Team Ultra L1 SSD. As thin as 7mm, the Team Ultra L1 SSD is the most lightweight and compact model which can be installed directly onto new generation of Ultrabooks for faster booting and read/write speed. Combined with the inherent advantage of shock resistance and stability of SSD, it signifies significant improvement of computer performance and durability.

Team Ultra L1 SSD is provided with SATA III 6Gb/s high-speed interface. The compact profile and special titanium color finishing highlight the product's high quality and the sense of modern technology. The continuous read and write speeds go as high as 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. The random write-in speed for small files of 4K reaches up to 80,000 IOPS, not only fast but stable. In addition, the integration of Dura Write and RAISE (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) provides support for S.M.A.R.T. and full compatibility with Win7 Trim commands. It gives the hard drive a boost of burst random writing and effective improvement of computer's ability to respond and multiplexing performance, making the hard drive a storage solution of extreme speed for consumers.

Pioneer Computers Debuts the DreamBook T14 Touch Ultrabook

Aussie PC maker Pioneer Computers has introduced a new, DreamBook-branded mobile solution, the T14 ultrabook featuring a 14-inch (1366 x 768) touch-enabled display. This ultrabook weights 1.5 kg and has an Intel Core processor (up to a 1.9 GHz i7-3517U), up to 8 GB of RAM and up to a 256 GB mSATA solid state drive, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, optional Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel webcam, an SD card slot, one USB 3.0 ports (and two USB 2.0 connectors), and an HDMI output.

The DreamBook T14 starts at 799 AUD (837 USD / 646 Euro).

Lenovo Announces the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch Ultrabook

Lenovo today announced the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch, optimized for Windows 8 and now adds touch experience to the industry's leading business class Ultrabook. The X1 Carbon and X1 Carbon Touch are developed from superior grade carbon fibre and deliver legendary durability and the highest levels of performance. The new X1 Carbon Touch paves the way for mobile professionals who demand the best in mobility and entertainment and want to experience the simplicity of touch gesture control.

"Bringing touch gesture control to our best ThinkPad ever is a natural evolution of the portfolio and a big step towards fulfilling our promise to bring computers into a new PC+ era," said Peter Hortensius, president, Lenovo Product Group. "We are excited to be able to offer customers the best experience in a thin and light business class Ultrabook. The X1 Carbon Touch is the Ultrabook to beat."

Intel Updates CPU Launch Roadmap for Q1 2013

With the dawn of 2013, and no catastrophes in sight, Intel is going ahead with its usual business of phasing out old processor models, and making way for new ones. By the end of 2012, Intel will stop taking orders for several processor models mostly based on the older 32 nm "Sandy Bridge" silicon. These include chips such as the Core i7-2700K, Core i5-2310, Core i3-2105, Pentium G440, and surprisingly, an early demise of the 22 nm Core i5-3450, which is cannibalized by the Core i5-3470 at the same price point. Pentium G870, G645 and G645T as well as Celeron G555, G550 and G550T are the other chips on the chopping block.

Come 2013, Intel will release Pentium and Celeron series processors based on its 22 nm "Ivy Bridge" micro-architecture. These include the Pentium G2130, G2020 and G2020T and Celeron G1620, G1610 and G1610T. In the mobile (notebook) CPU sphere, Intel will launch dual-core "Ivy Bridge" chips to layer out its Ultrabook product segment. These include the Core i7-3687, Core i5-3437U, Celeron 1037U, 1007U, 1020M and 1000M. In March, the company is expected to launch its 4th generation Core "Haswell" line of processors.

Team Group Unveils 7 mm-thick Ultra L2 SSDs

All the spotlights are now focusing on the surge of Ultrabook, Team Group, the leading brand names in the world in memory storage, is rolling out the new Team Ultra L2 SSD. Only 7mm in thickness, it is the most compact model in the market. It can be installed on the new generation of Ultrabook with ease, improving significantly the booting speed and read-write performance. The model provides substantial battery life and shock resistance. It is like a size of featherweight boxer packed with heavyweight champion performance. It is the ultimate upgrade choice for your Ultrabook.

Ultrabook (and the like) Shipments to Double in 2013: Taiwan Manufactuers

It looks like recent Ultrabook platform growth forecasts by DRAMeXchange are on the money, as sources associated with PC ODMs in Taiwan are coming forward with expectations of 100% growth in Ultrabook and Ultrabook-like notebook shipments in 2013. It's important to note that the figure is augmented with shipments of various "Ultrabook-like" notebooks, which are tough to classify. By the end of 2013, Ultrabooks will make up 10% of the global notebook shipments, according to the sources.
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