“Free” is the word that current Windows 8 users will be well-acquainted with come later this year, when Windows 8.1 (the official title) debuts as a free update via the Windows Store in time for the holiday season. During Microsoft’s Build developer conference in June, the full list of l improvements to Windows 8.1 (alongside the public preview) will be announced, but in the meantime, this is all we’re left with.
Via: Windows Team Blog
The next Windows iteration is actually not a complete numerical jump, but instead is just Windows 8.1, codenamed “Blue”. During June 26th to the 28th, Microsoft developers in attendance will hear more about the next Windows iteration, and as a result, so will the public. During this whole time-frame, a public preview will be released, bringing cosmetic updates and other features, such as a new side-by-side app view and Internet Explorer 11, by the end of the year.
At a global press event here in New York City, Acer has announced several new devices to bolster their WIndows 8 and Android catalog. The purpose of these new devices is a theory Acer calls “duality”, where you can access different input options for different devices, so basically touch interfaces and typing interfaces are what will make what Acer thinks is a market advantage.
The Acer Aspire R7 is the first laptop that Acer is announcing at this event. The R7 radically changes the placement for the keyboard and trackpad, along with a rotatable display, very much like a easel — a branding name which Acer dubs “Ezel”. Designed as the notebook designed for touch, these features allow the user to edit and create without compromise between touch or keyboard interfaces. The design allows for a variety of usual ports, like two USBs and an HDMI port. A full HD display, Dolby Home Theater speakers, and Screen Grasp technology which lets you grasp and manipulate things on-screen.
Specs for the Aspire R7 notebook includes four speakers with one on each channel for easy listening. It comes out in United States on May 14th, as an Acer.com and BestBuy release.
The Acer Aspire P3 is your typical ultrabook, however still has the “Ezel” hinge, but to a lesser versatility — something that Acer calls an “ultrabook convertible”. It’s all backed up by Intel Core i5 processors, along with Windows 8 and support for a stylus pen, besides the touchscreen and keyboard. And if you’re not exactly into the laptop interface, you can remove the screen to use it as a normal Windows 8 tablet.
Lastly, the Acer Iconia A1 is an Android tablet with 8 hours of battery life with a price of $169, a 7.9-inch IPS display, and a quad-core processor.
Mail, Calendar, Messaging, and People. The core apps of Windows 8 all have all been spruced up — spring cleaning, if you will. The updates are available to both Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro machines, alongside several other optimizations. Besides the speed boosts, refinement to the Calendar (with a facelift), additional organization and easier sending in Mail, enhanced details of contacts in People, and more information in Messaging, there’s hope that even better changes can be made in Windows Blue, the upcoming version.
Keep your eyes peeled for the update in the Windows Store, later today or tomorrow.
Via: Windows Blog
The next version of Windows, named Blue, has been leaked on the internet to different file sharing sites. Specifically, Build 9364 is the version that got leaked, and includes many new customization options for the user in the Start screen, including the size of Live Tiles being reduced and deeper SkyDrive integration into apps and functions. Additional snap view allows you place apps side-by-side in the Start screen, or the changes made to Charms which would allow you to share images or have “play to” functions for other devices.
Windows Blue will enter public preview over the coming months, with a full release due later this year. So, it’s good to stay posted on the small happenings with the upcoming version.
Via: WinForum, Verge
The engineers at iFixit have already jumped on the case to take the Surface Pro apart. Apparently, it wasn’t a fun process: with 90 screws in total, iFixit rates the Surface Pro 1 out of 10 for repairability. The battery is removable so replacements are easy if you’re brave enough to go past the screws, but it’s the SSD that gets tricky: you could kill the entire Surface Pro due to the number of cables near the SSD. Otherwise, the usual assortment of fans (two of them, in fact), Core i5 processor, RAM, and the display assembly can all be gawked at in iFixit’s teardown, all at the source link.
Starting February 9th, the long-awaited Microsoft Surface Pro (none of that Windows RT business) will debut for $899 for the 64GB model, and $999 for the 128GB version. Both come with pressure-sensitive pens in the box, the full Windows 8 Pro experience, and no keyboard (that will go for $120 or $130, depending on whether you get the Touch or Type Cover). On the flipside, a 64GB standalone version of Surface for Windows RT for $599 will also debut, except it’s the one you really should be weary of (the Windows RT experience is much more limited than Windows 8 Pro).
And also to be included on February 9th? A ton of Surface Pro and RT accessories. And that’s about it from Microsoft, for now. PR after the break.
Via: Microsoft Surface
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Maingear has built a beast of a laptop: high-end specs, backlit keyboard, 1080p display, Blu-Ray drive, and even real bass and audio levels on a laptop. It all comes at a high price (the unit tested is $2400) but there’s a problem — the design. It’s based off of the MSI GT 70 – which has been recreated over and over (and over) again into different “custom build” laptops.
That’s something I really don’t like. This isn’t the usual opening I have when writing reviews; usually it’s a well-described intro detailing specs then a catchy line that brings you overboard, into the thick of the post: the Nomad 17 is an awesome machine.
This specific model has a GTX 680M graphics card — it can play any game, literally, on the highest settings, mods and all. And it’s installed without any bloatware, plus technicians who are extremely helpful; in fact I have a story about all of that (and more), after the break! Read More →
Why won’t Samsung release lots and lots of Windows RT tablets in the United States? Because consumers don’t know what Windows RT is. Plus it sucks. Plus it would take tons of marketing dollars to educate them. On top of all of that, people want Windows 8, not a watered-down version of it. In an interview with CNET, Samsung executive Mike Abary stated that, ”When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was,” and furthermore, “We didn’t necessarily attain the price point that we hoped to attain,”
Having reviewed a Samsung Windows RT tablet, I can agree that it’s not ready, or even remotely sensible.
So what if all these 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablets with Core i5 to Core i7 processors just don’t cut it for you? And maybe the Nexus 7, iPad Mini, and iPad are just puny? Well, Panasonic announced a 20-inch 4K resolution Windows 8 tablet, which weighs 5.3 pounds and is an incredibly slender 0.4 inches thick. Battery life? Just two hours. Other specs? 4K display (3840 x 2560 pixels), a stylus, a 720p HD camera, a 1.80 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM (though it can be upgraded to 16GB), and a 128GB SSD (plus support for USB and microSD).
Panasonic didn’t actually design this for the average tablet user; instead it’s for the editor or designer who wants the versatility of a tablet to present and design something, so it somewhat justifies its amazing size and weight. No word on pricing or retail availability, but it probably will on the high-end side of the pricing scale.