Dell XPS 14z available now for $1000, ready to assail your eyes with a Shuriken display

From IFA to retailers’ shelves, Dell’s XPS 14z has finally completed its marketplace destiny. The 14-inch Windows 7 laptop we recently reviewed as a sensible buy is now up on the company’s site in three configurations, with the base model starting at $1,000. For your money, you can choose from a Core i5-2430M or Core i7-2640M processor, DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 8GB, up to 750GB of storage, an Intel HD Graphics 3000 or NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M graphics card and, of course, you get that narrow bezeled Shuriken display. Looking for a lightweight laptop to add to your computing arsenal? Then hit up the source below and get to ordering.

[Thanks, Jordan]

Dell XPS 14z available now for $1000, ready to assail your eyes with a Shuriken display originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Nov 2011 11:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple Updates MacBook Line With Faster Chips, Better Graphics

Apple has boosted CPU and graphics in the MacBook Pro line

Apple has quietly (and quite gently) updated the MacBook Pro lineup. The improvements are solely in the processors and graphics chips, bumping speed slightly, and the smaller models get an increase in storage . Everything else — from screen resolution to memory — remains the same.

To see the differences at a glance, take a look at the screenshot of the old models below and compare to those above (I picked the WayBack Machine’s page as Google’s cache has already been updated. The relevant specs are the same, though).

Only 2.3GHz? Oh man, anyone who just bought this old model must be sick with regret right now

As you can see, the numbers have hardly changed. But if you bought a new MacBook Pro last week, it’s probably enough to drive you crazy anyway.

MacBook Pro comparison [Apple]

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Dell XPS 14z review

As far as product launches go, Dell didn’t exactly rip the Band-Aid off the XPS 14z. After teasing it back in September, the company let all the specs out of the bag, but stopped short of naming a price and ship date for the United States. Well, now we know: this 14-incher will be available in the US and Canada November 1, and will start at $1,000 — a price that puts it in direct competition with the likes of the HP Envy 14 and Sony VAIO SA series.

Like these other laptops, the 14z commands a premium over cheaper models, with beefier specs and a (supposedly) more luxurious design. With Core i5 and i7 processor options, discrete graphics, USB 3.0 and an optional solid-state drive, it offers a lot of the same specs as its peers, though it manages to stand out in a couple key ways. One, it sports an LG Shuriken display, which crams a 14-inch screen into a chassis normally reserved for 13-inch systems (translation: its bezels are super narrow). And with a starting weight of 4.36 pounds, it’s lighter than a lot of the other laptops you’re probably considering. But are these bullet points enough to make it a smart buy? Read on to find out.

Gallery: Dell XPS 14z

Continue reading Dell XPS 14z review

Dell XPS 14z review originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 24 Oct 2011 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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MSI infuses more gaming juice into its G Series notebooks with processor refresh

They may have barely finished component convalescence after being kitted out with NVIDIA’s GTX 570M, but MSI’s GT780DXR and GT683DXR are getting yet another technical leg-up. This time, the processors are being nudged up to an Intel Core i7-2670QM, replacing the Core i7-2630QM we found on these gaming rigs last time we met. The ultra slim X460 series will also get the same CPU refresh. We’ll admit, it’s a pretty gentle update, but it should help keep MSI’s latest offerings close to the bleeding edge of high-end laptops.

Continue reading MSI infuses more gaming juice into its G Series notebooks with processor refresh

MSI infuses more gaming juice into its G Series notebooks with processor refresh originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 14 Oct 2011 18:58:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ultraportable ASUS ZenBook Challenges MacBook Air

The ASUS ZenBook measures a mere .11 inches (3 mm) at its thinnest point. Image: ASUS

Hoping to shatter the dominance of the MacBook Air in the ultraportable laptop market, ASUS officially launched its slick brushed aluminum ZenBooks yesterday.

The notebooks are available in 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch models, and the 11-incher, the UX21, starts at just under $1,000. It comes standard with a 128 GB hybrid solid state drive, and base models feature an Intel i5 processor (i7 upgrades are available). The ZenBook runs Windows 7 and is part of Intel’s “Ultrabook” line, which includes notebooks that are less than one-inch thick and in the sub-$1,000 price range.

The ZenBook is super thin: 0.11 inches at its thinnest point and 0.35 inches at its thickest, validating claims that it’s the thinnest notebook available (the MacBook Air is slightly thicker at its largest point, .68 inches). The UX21 weighs in at just under two and a half pounds (2.43 lbs), while the 13-inch model, the UX31, tips the scales at 2.84 lbs. Compared to respective MacBook Air models, the UX21 is slightly heavier and the UX31 is slightly lighter.

When the super-thin MacBook Air debuted in 2008, it carved a niche out of the notebook market. Super light and 11- to 13-inches in size, it was perfect for toting in the wild, and more powerful than similarly small but lower-speced netbooks (and, in the case of the 2011 MacBook Air, just as powerful as the larger 2010 MacBook Pros). The MacBook Air proved thin is in, and now there are several lookalikes — er, competitors — available, such as the Acer Aspire and the ZenBook, which we first previewed in May.

The ZenBook features an “Instant On” capability that allows it to boot from standby mode in only two seconds, and can last for up to two weeks on a single battery charge in standby.

The ASUS ZenBook is available now, starting at $999 for the UX21 and $1,099 for the UX31.

I-Wood ‘Laptop’ With Chalkboard Screen

Awesome toy or huge disappointment? For $50, you can afford to find out the hard way

This amazing little kids’ notebook is just 2.5 cm thick (about an inch) and likely weighs in at less than even the MacBook Air. It will never get hot, the battery will never run down and the keyboard can be configured to any layout you like, from QWERTY to AZERTY to Dvorak.

You’ll never have to worry about your offspring going crazy on your credit card at the App Store, nor cringe when they stab their sticky, stubby fingers at the “screen.” The only thing you might have to replace from time to time is the “trackpad,” which has been replaced by sticks of chalk for scrawling on the blackboard screen.

The device is called the i-wood (of course) and comes from Germany by way of kids’ store Rasselfisch. You could buy it for your young child, or — even better — you could swap it into your teenager’s proper laptop case when he goes back to college. Hilarity will ensue.

I-wood product page [Rasselfisch via Gadget Review]

See Also:

Asus Zenbook Hands On: Good Lord There’s a Lot of Awesome Packed Into Something This Thin

It’s kind of insane it took a $300 million slush fund from Intel to get notebook makers to create MacBook Air-like ultrabooks, the first results from Asus are, well, pretty damn impressive. More »

Dell Laptops Affected by NVIDIA GPU Failures

This article was written on August 12, 2008 by CyberNet.

dell nvidia.pngOver a month ago NVIDIA came forward and announced that they had shipped some faulty graphical processing units (GPU’s), and that it would cost them between $150-$200 million to cover the damages done. They didn’t announce specifically what cards were affected, but the cause of the issue was a weak die/packaging material that could fail because of temperature fluctuations.

To try and correct the issues the laptop manufacturers were advised to release new BIOS updates that would trigger the fans to turn on more frequently in hopes of lowering the heat. Dell is actually the first one that I’ve seen come forward, admit that some of their laptops are affected, and have already begun taking steps to correct the issues.

So what Dell laptops are affected by the NVIDIA GPU failures? Here’s a list of the models along with any updated BIOS drivers that should be downloaded:

The BIOS update won’t do any good if you’re already experiencing the symptoms of a faulty GPU (multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, or no video), and you’ll have to contact Dell to have the notebook repaired. They also plan on offering “modified service terms” which likely means they’ll extend your warranty in case you become affected by the problem later on down the road.

The thing that I find the most interesting is that the comments on the Dell blog regarding the faulty NVIDIA GPU’s are people saying that they’ll be purchasing from a different manufacturer next time if Dell doesn’t replace their graphics card… regardless of whether they’re having the problems right now. I understand their frustration, but these people need to realize that Dell isn’t the only one affected by the failures. I haven’t seen any other companies, like HP, come forward saying they’ll replace all of the graphics cards that could cause problems. It’s rumored that all NVIDIA 8400M and 8600M series cards are affected, which also means Apple could be in the line of fire.

Kudos to Dell for stepping forward with information on the faulty GPU’s. It’s apparent that many manufacturers aren’t brave enough to do the same thing.

Update: Dell has announced that they will be offering extended warranties to cover the issue. Thanks Claus for pointing it out!

Copyright © 2011

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Four Atom chips sneak out of Intel, soon to appear in netbooks and nettops

Rarely do you hear of new chips sneaking out of Intel, Escape from Alcatraz-style. But that’s (figuratively) happened today, with a quartet of processors appearing with little fanfare from Chipzilla. Two of these you might recognize as members of the delayed Cedar Trail series, the D2500 and D2700. The former clocks at 1.86GHz and 2.13GHz, with the latter upping that to 2.13GHz and 2.4Ghz; both have a thermal design power of less than 10W. The other two chips sip power even more judiciously: the N2600 has a TDP of less than 3.5W at 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz; the N2800 has a 6.5W TDP, running at 1.86GHz or 2.13GHz. All include GPUs, with the N2000 series destined for netbooks, while the D2000 series should end up in nettops. To dig deeper into the specs, see Intel’s datasheet at the source link below.

Four Atom chips sneak out of Intel, soon to appear in netbooks and nettops originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 09:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dell confirms XPS 14z will go on sale in the US in the ‘coming weeks’

Remember that XPS 14z Dell teased at IFA? Yeah, well, it’s arriving soon. As in, “the coming weeks” soon. The company just confirmed it’s on the cusp of shipping here in the states, and while the outfit stopped short of giving a starting price, it’s good and ready to talk specs. As we reported last month, it has the same industrial design as its big brother, the XPS 15z, and we’re told it, too, measures less than an inch thick (0.9 inches, to be precise). With the 14-incher, though, you’ll enjoy LG’s Shuriken display, which means we have one narrow bezel to look forward to. Look for it with a Core i5-2430M or Core i7-2640M CPU, NVIDIA Optimus graphics, a slot-loading optical drive, USB 3.0 and a starting weight of 4.36 pounds (that’s 4.12 pounds if you upgrade to an SSD). You heard the company — we’ll get the full spill in a few weeks — but for now, skip past the break for another sneak peak.

Update: You want dimensions? We’ve got ’em. The XPS 14z measures 13.19 x 9.21 x 0.9 inches (335 x 234 x 23mm).

Continue reading Dell confirms XPS 14z will go on sale in the US in the ‘coming weeks’

Dell confirms XPS 14z will go on sale in the US in the ‘coming weeks’ originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 29 Sep 2011 15:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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