Laptops & Tablets

IDC: W. European Tablet Market "Almost" Returns to Growth

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IDC: W. European Tablet Market

According to IDC the contraction of the W. European tablet market felt on Q2 2017 is of "just" -0.5% Y-o-Y as shipments reach 70 million units, an "almost complete recovery of the market in the region."

Driving such recovery are Apple tablets and improvement in the macroeconomic situation of several countries. In general, detachable see 1% Y-o-Y growth, while regular slate tablets show "resilience" with a decrease of just -1% Y-o-Y. Interestingly, the commercial segment shows positive 2.8% Y-o-Y growth, mainly driven by Apple and Android-based detachables (whose growth is 29.3% and 34.9% Y-o-Y respectively).

"Detachables are showing particularly strong growth within the corporate business, facilitated by the introduction of more commercially oriented models," the analyst remarks. "These models are geared toward operating primarily as a portable PC with the secondary benefit of a tablet, helping to compete against the growing commercial trend toward the adoption of convertibles."

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IDC: Tablet Decline Slows in Q2 2017

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IDC: Tablet Decline Slows in Q2 2017

According to IDC, the tablet market continued to slide downwards in Q2 2017-- global shipments total 37.9 million, a -3.4% Y-o-Y decline, despite notable product launches such as the new, lower priced iPad.

Not even detachable tablets could save the quarter, as customers prefer to wait for upcoming product refreshes from the high-profile likes of Apple and Microsoft. That said, new product launches towards the end of Q2 should leave detachables in a stronger position on H2 2017.

"There's been a resetting of expectations for detachables as competing convertible notebooks offered a convincing and familiar computing experience for many," the analyst remarks. "To date, the 2-in-1 market was bifurcated as Apple and Microsoft led with detachables while the PC vendors led with convertibles. Though that is slowly changing as smartphone vendors and traditional PC vendors begin to offer compelling alternatives, the pace has been rather slow as Surface and iPad Pro still dominate shelf space and mindshare."

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Acer Goes Back to School With Rugged Chromebook 11 C771

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Acer Goes Back to School With Rugged Chromebook 11 C771

Customers looking for a tough Chrome OS-powered notebook get an Acer option-- the Chromebook 11 C771, an 11.6-inch number featuring a few performance upgrades in a rugged design.

Primarily aimed at the education segment, the C771 is compliant with MIL-STD-810G US Military Standard, meaning it should resist drops of up to 122cm as well as up to 60kg of downwards force on the top. In addition it should also be resistant to dust and spills.

When it comes to the internals, on launch the C771 (and the C771T touchscreen variant) packs an Intel Celeron 3855U CPU, 32GB storage and 4GB RAM. On September it will also be available with 6th gen Core i3 and i5 processors. As for battery life, Acer says the C711 offers up to 13 hours of use on a single charge, while the C711T lasts for up to 12 hours.

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GDP Ships Pocket Notebook

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GDP Ships Pocket Notebook

Chinese Android gaming device maker GamePad Digital (aka GDP) announces the Pocket, a 7-inch Windows 10 notebook, is now shipping following a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

First announced back in February 2017, the Pocket represents something of a departure from the portable consoles that are GDP's usual product offering. Described as a combination of ultra-thin notebook and smartphone, the Pocket offers a 7-inch 1920 x 1080 display, Intel Atom X7-Z8750 quad-core CPU, Intel HD Graphics 405 GPU, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, 128GB eMMC storage and a 7000mAh battery.

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Kodak Sells Tablets in Europe

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Kodak Sells Tablets in Europe

The Eastman Kodak company joins Archos to offer Kodak-branded tablets-- available in 7- and 10.1-inch models with either full black or "radiant" yellow back casing.

Imaginatively dubbed the Kodak Tablet 7 and Tablet 10, the tablets fall in the lower end of the market spectrum. Both carry a quad-core Mediatek processor, 1GB RAM and 16/32GB storage (expandable via microSD). The 10-inch model offers a 720p display and a 6000mAh battery, while the 7-inch model has a resolution of just 1024 x 600 and a 2500mAh battery.

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Razer Updates Blade Stealth Notebook

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Razer Updates Blade Stealth Notebook

Razer uses E3 2017 to launch a gaming notebook refresh-- the Blade Stealth, a device packing a 13.3-inch display inside the same size chassis as the previous model (which had a 12.5-inch display).

The updated Blade Stealth has a design less garish than typical Razer products, with the glowing logo replaced with a subtle two-tone version and a rainbow backlit keys ditched for regular white lighting. The display features a 3200 x 1800 resolution IGZO panel promising 100% sRGB colour gamut coverage and 400 nits brightness, and inside the machine are a 2.7GHz Core i7-7500U CPU, integrated Intel HD Graphics 620, up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB PCIe SSD.

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Samsung Includes S Pen With Notebook 9 Pro

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Samsung Includes S Pen With Notebook 9 Pro

Samsung announces the Notebook 9 Pro at Computex 2017-- a Windows 10 convertible laptop with a built-in slot for the stowing of an included S Pen stylus.

Available in 13.3- or 15-inch sizes, the Notebook 9 Pro features a 360-degree hinge, allowing the users to switch between notebook and tablet use modes. It carries a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor and 256GB SSD storage, with the 13.3-inch model including 8GB RAM and the 15-inch model featuring 15GB RAM and Radeon 540 graphics.

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Eve V Makes Computex Appearance

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Eve V Makes Computex Appearance

The Microsoft Computex 2017 stand hosts what is described as the first "crowd-developed computer"-- the Eve V, a Windows 10 2-in-1 device very similar to the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The Eve V is a crowdfunded product, having first appeared on Indiegogo back in October 2016. However, it also received a "six-figure" investment from no other than Intel, making it more legitimate. The result is a hybrid device running on Intel 7th generation i5 or i7 Y-series (aka Core M) processors, as paired with 48Wh battery and a cooling system allowing the processors to run at top speed for longer without need for fans.

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IDC: Migration from Tablets to Hybrids Continues in Q1

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IDC: Migration from Tablets to Hybrids Continues in Q1

The global tablet market continues to contract in Q1 2017, IDC reports-- shipments are down by 8.5% Y-o-Y to 36.2 million, marking a 10th straight quarter of tablet decline.

The analyst divides the tablet segment in two "very different" categories. The first is detachables, which are packaged with a 1st party keyboard and are actually growing, at least for the most part. The second is slates/traditional tablets, which lack a keyboard and are on "steep" decline following a 2014 shipment peak.

"As far as most are aware, the tablet market was created in 2010 with the launch of the original iPad, despite unsuccessful product attempts by other OEMs in the years leading up to this," IDC says. "The rate at which the tablet market grew from 2010 to 2013 was unlike many other consumer-oriented device markets we've seen before. However, it appears for many reasons consumers became less eager to refresh these devices, or in some instances purchase them at all. We continue to believe the leading driver for this was the increased dependency on smartphones, along with rather minimal technology and form factor progression."

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Microsoft Presents Surface Laptop

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Microsoft Presents Surface Laptop

After the Surface and Surface Book, Microsoft takes on a classic form factor with the Surface Laptop-- a MacBook-style premium laptop with no frills of the detachable variety.

Unveiled at a New York event, the Surface Book is aimed at students and the education sector. As such, it is a thin and light ultraportable, with a metal body and a keyboard area draped in Alacantara, a cloth-like material commonly used in cars. The backlit keyboard is similar to that found in the Surface Pro 4, while the touchscreen is a 13.5-inch PixelSense number with a 3:2 aspect ratio.

Inside the Surface Laptop are either Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs, together with 4/8GB RAM and 128/256/512GB SSD storage. It is compatible with the Surface Dial, and Microsoft also offers a Surface Arc Bluetooth mouse. Since connectivity comes via single USB-C port an additional dock accessory allows one to charge the device while adding x2 HDMI, x1 ethernet and x4 USB 3.0 ports.

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Apple Declares Plastic MacBooks Obsolete

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Apple Declares Plastic MacBooks Obsolete

Apple updates the official list of vintage and obsolete products-- and adds the 2009 13-inch MacBook, the last plastic-shelled laptop produced by the company.

Also listed are several 2009 and 2010 MacBook Pro models in 13- and 15-inch sizes.

First revealed back in 2009, the 3rd generation MacBook comes in a polycarbonate unibody available in either white or black. It was sold for a relatively short time, since in mid-2011 Apple introduced the MacBook Air, whose construction is in aluminium.

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