Acer, Asus and Lenovo will reportedly begin selling ultrabooks equipped with Intel’s fast and versatile Thunderbolt I/O port, which combines DisplayPort and PCI Express, during the second quarter of 2012. DigiTimes said mostly high-end computers will adopt Thunderbolt this year since it now costs more than $20 to add Thunderbolt connectivity to a computer. Apple was one of the first companies to adopt Thunderbolt and it currently equips a number of its computers and displays with the technology. A recent patent filing also suggested Apple may begin using Thunderbolt in iOS devices, too. More →
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently published three Thunderbolt related patents that suggest Apple may have plans to build Intel’s Thunderbolt connections into its iOS devices. As Patently Apple points out, Apple may build its own cabling technology that gives it exclusive rights to how Thunderbolt technology might be built into portable devices. Thunderbolt ports would allow for faster data transfers on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as shorter charging times. One of Apple’s more revealing patents describes stronger Thunderbolt cables that could handle greater amounts of data more efficiently and without overheating. Apple says in its patent that the Thunderbolt connections “may be provided between a portable media player and a display, a computer and a portable media player, or between other types of devices.” Apple currently has a number of devices, including displays and computers, with Thunderbolt ports. The company does not yet offer a portable device with the I/O option, however. More →
It wasn’t exactly a secret, but now the proverbial big cat is out of the bag. Apple has just updated the company’s best-selling computer product, the MacBook Air with a Core i5/i7 option, better storage, Thunderbolt port, and finally, a backlit keyboard (again). Mac minis are updated as well, at long last bringing them up to speed with current processors and features.
The other big story is obviously OS X Lion which is Apple’s most iOS-like release yet, and it slowly starts to bridge PC and post-PC devices. Lion is a major OS update with more than 250 new features, and it’s available for $29 through the Mac App Store starting now. More →
Apple has reportedly scheduled overnights for Tuesday night in preparation for the OS X Lion launch. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple Store outlets are already equipped with hard drives to quickly install Lion on the show floor computers, and the stores have been sent new posters to outfit the walls with advertisements for the new operating system. Apple is also expected to refresh the MacBook Air in the imminent future. We’re expecting the new notebooks to pack the Thunderbolt I/O port in place of DisplayPort, Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, and a backlit keyboard. More →
We’ve already heard that new MacBook Air and Mac Pro models are on the way, and now there’s a report that Apple is poised to refresh its MacBook and Mac mini computers in the near future, too. According to 9to5 Mac, Apple will soon launch a new MacBook, part number MC914LL/A, with Thunderbolt I/O ports and a faster processor. Similarly, the Cupertino-based firm is expected to refresh its Mac mini line with new server model and standard models. There’s a possibility that a third built-to-order model will be available with a faster processor, too. According to 9to5 Mac the model numbers are:
MC936LL/A – J40, ULTIMATE – USA – Mac mini Server
MC815LL/A – J40I, BETTER – USA – Mac mini standard configuration
MC816LL/A – J40, BEST – USA Faster Mac mini
Apple is expected to add a backlit keyboard to the new MacBook Air models when it refreshes the laptop line, AppleInsider reported on Tuesday. The Cupertino-based firm used to offer the feature on its high-end MacBook Air laptop, but oddly omitted keyboard backlighting during the last refresh. Apple is expected to take the wraps off of its new models during the week of July 21st, and the notebooks are rumored to offer the new Thunderbolt I/O port in place of a DisplayPort, OS X Lion, and Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. Other rumors have also suggested that Apple will offer 400MBps SSD modules. We’ve heard that Apple has an overnight shift planned on July 13th, too, so we’re still keeping our fingers crossed that an announcement could come even sooner. More →
Sony announced its brand new VAIO Z laptop on Thursday, an ultralight device that weighs just 2.6 pounds. The Windows 7 Professional-powered notebook is equipped with a 13.1-inch 1600 x 900-pixel display, a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7 processor, a 256GB solid state drive, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and can be purchased with an optional battery sheet that provides up to 14 hours of battery life. Similarly, its optional Power Media Dock accessory supports up to four displays at once, has its own 1GB graphics card, can be purchased with a DVD or Blu-ray drive, and offers support for Intel’s new “Light Peak” port. The VAIO Z will make its debut in July in the UK first for £2,700 ($4,320), Read on for the full press release.
It has been widely reported that Apple is planning to refresh its MacBook Air family later this month or early next month, and now there’s a new rumor that may make the wait even more worthwhile. According to MacRumors, the refreshed top-end MacBook Air model may also be available with a new anodized black aluminum finish — a color option that hasn’t been seen since Apple did away with the black MacBook. The image above is from Colorwave, which offers custom paint jobs for a variety of gadgets, but it’s a good idea of what such a product could look like barring the trackpad. Apple’s refresh is also expected to deliver support for the new Thunderbolt I/O port as well as Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. We’re definitely excited to see what the refresh entails, and the good news is we almost certainly won’t have a long wait to find out. More →
According to Reuters, Apple is poised to refresh its popular thin and light MacBook Air family later this month. The news outlet cited a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily, which suggested that Apple’s first shipment will include 380,000 of the new Air units. The report is in line with earlier rumors suggesting supplies of the MacBook Air were drying up nearing a possible refresh; one analyst with Concord Securities recently suggested that Apple will upgrade its MacBook Air family in June, too. The new models are expected to carry Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs, new Thunderbolt I/O ports, and improved Intel graphics. Apple last refreshed its MacBook Air family on October 20th, 2010. More →
Looking to scoop up one of Apple’s ultra-light notebook offerings? You may want to hold on to your wallet for a few more weeks. According to the latest report, Apple is preparing to update the notebook line in the not-too-distant future. “The Taiwan-based supply chain for Apple products will begin shipments of new 11.6-inch and 13.3-inch MacBook Air models featuring Sandy Bridge platform and Thunderbolt interface in late May for launch in June or July,” reads a report filed by DigiTimes. The article goes on to note that the updated Air will be assembled by Quanta Computer, with Catcher Technology, Auras Technology, Shin Zu Shing, Simplo Technology, and Dynapack all supplying components. The report echos earlier prognostications made by Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The current iterations of the MacBook Air were first revealed in October of 2010, just 7-months ago. More →
During the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today, Google discussed the future of its “Chrome OS” platform, as well as some future products that will soon hit the market. Google has improved the performance of Adobe Flash playback within the browser, and the OS will now recognize I/O devices — such as cameras — when they’re plugged into the computer. Other new features include Google Music integration, a new photo manager that allows you to send directly to Picasa, and an option to upload files directly to Box.net. Google’s bread and butter, Gmail, Calendar, and Docs are all now accessible while offline. Hackers will also appreciate a new built-in jailbreaking feature. Samsung and Acer will both introduce “Chromebooks” on June 15th for $429 and $399, respectively. Samsung will also sell a 3G version of its Chromebook for $499. Those prices sound a bit high to us considering that you can get a full-fledged Windows 7 netbook for that price, but we’ll see if the market agrees.
During the company’s I/O keynote today, Google announced a new and powerful accessory design kit (ADK) that aims to merge the physical and digital worlds. Using the ADK and a hardware interface, developers can allow digital devices to manipulate physical objects. To illustrate this point, Google constructed a two-ton labyrinth right on the show floor. Using the gyroscope on a Motorola XOOM tablet, conference goers were able to try their hand at manipulating a bowling ball through the over-sized maze. Other potential uses for the technology ranges from turning lights and appliances on and off to providing physical alerts for digital events — why have your phone make an audible alert when it could move or manipulate a physical object in your home or office? The possibilities are endless, but this giant board was just too cool to not share. Hit the jump to watch a video of the big boy in action. More →
We’ve just scored some hands-on time with Samsung’s latest Android tablet, the new and improved Galaxy Tab 10.1. Officially unveiled at Mobile World Congress, the device was re-announced — with new and improved specifications — at CTIA in March. The tablet that we fondled is a “Limited Edition” Tab, complete with a white alien-engraved backing made just for Google I/O attendees. Our first impressions? Thin. Like, really thin. And the Galaxy Tab 10.1, in case you haven’t looked at the pictures yet, is absolutely gorgeous. Darkened chrome bezel, textured polymer backing, nearly perfect weight… it’s all there. The device we have is running Android 3.0 but we’re being told that it will be updated to the just-announced Android 3.1 in the “new few weeks.” Having handled the original Tab 10.1, we’re definitely happy that Samsung took some extra time to refine the design before pushing it out to market. We’ve got a handful of images waiting for you in the gallery linked below, so have a look for yourself and let us know what you think.