Bill Moggridge, the man behind the first laptop computer, passed away at the age of 69 on Saturday following a battle with cancer, the Associated Press reported. Moggridge, a British-born designer, author and educator, created the Grid Compass clamshell computer in 1979. The computer, which sold for $8,150 when it was released in 1982, was encased in magnesium and used by the U.S. military and NASA. There were a number of portable computers being developed at the same time as the Grid Compass, however Moggridge pushed for the foldable design because the screen, keyboard and circuitry could all fit into a comfortable and truly portable design. Portable computers at that time resembled sewing machines and weighed more than 20 pounds; Moggridge’s design cut average device weight in half and actually made computers portable. Since then, the clamshell laptop has continued to evolve into the portable ultrabooks that are available today. Moggridge is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karin, and two sons Alex and Erik.
Ultrabooks will remain pricey through the end of this year, with ideal pricing of $600-$700 finally being reached in 2013 according to Digitimes. Due to the high production cost associated with the computers — especially solid state drives, which are 10 times more expensive than traditional hard drive — prices are expected to remain high in order to maintain profitability. As vendors work on reducing costs, ultrabooks have chance to reach $799 in the second quarter of 2012, a significant drop from the $999 price point of the first generation models but still well above the “sweet spot” the new notebook supposedly must hit in order to be more widely adopted. More →
NPD In-Stat recently issued a report in which the firm said it expects smartphones, tablets and notebooks — which are all included in its “mobile magnet platforms” category — to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of of 25.7% through 2015. The company also said it expects the overall mobile market to grow 8.7%. ”The technology driver of all these smart devices is the mobile technology, because it represents the largest and fastest growing segment of the entire electronics market,” Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist for NPD said. “The innovation of the mobile market is being driven by four key factors: richer content, network access for communications and content, increased bandwidth to enable this access, and new technologies. These four factors form a self-sustaining circle of innovation that feeds from and enables each factor.” The market research firm also expects that smartphones to grow from under 20% of all phones sold in 2010 to 43% of all handsets sold by 2015. NPD’s full press release follows after the break. More →
Apple pulled ahead of HP in the fourth quarter to become the largest player in the client PC market, a new report suggested Monday. The Cupertino-based company shipped more than 15 million iPads and 5 million Mac computers last quarter, and those figures represented 17% of all PCs shipped around the world during the fourth quarter. The report, which comes from market research firm Canalys, said PC shipments grew 16% annually to reach 120 million during the quarter, and the firm’s categorization of “PC” includes desktops, notebooks, netbooks and tablets in its figures. Tablets drove PC growth, however, and Canalys said the market would have declined by 0.4% without taking tablets into consideration. Read on for more. More →
Asus is reportedly working on Windows 8 laptops that are equipped with Microsoft’s Kinect technology. The Daily recently reported that it was able to “check out” two different prototype laptops that “appeared” to be made by Asus. The Kinect sensor was built into the area where a notebook’s camera would typically reside, and The Daily also noted a set of LEDs below the screen. Microsoft reportedly confirmed that the notebooks were Kinect-enabled prototypes. As The Daily points out, a Kinect-enabled notebook could allow a user to interact with Windows 8 or play games using motion controls, much like Xbox 360 Kinect users are able to do now. It is unclear when, or even if, the notebooks will ever be released. More →
Tablet owners spend big bucks online according to a new report. In fact, the new study published by Adobe Digital Marketing Insights suggests that tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone owners on retail purchases, and over 20% more than PC users. The study found that smartphone owners spent about $80 per purchase on average but tablet owners spent an average of $123. Laptop/PC users spent $102 per retail purchase on average in 2011. Tablet owners are three times more likely to make a purchase on a retail website than a smartphone user is, too. Adobe Digital Marketing Insights gathered its data from more than 150 U.S. retailers last year and more than 16.2 billion transactions made online. More →
AMD is reportedly planning to undercut Intel by offering cheaper ultrabook components later this year. The notebooks are expected to cost between $700 and $999, which is a good deal cheaper than the $999-$1,200 price tag that many ultrabooks carry now. DigiTimes notes that AMD’s technology will not add any new innovative functions but will instead be focused on delivering consumers thin and light devices at a much more wallet-friendly price. The first round of AMD-powered ultrabooks is expected to hit the market in June. More →
Toshiba had a ton of products on display this year at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The booth was chocked full of stunning new technology and we were blown away by several of the 3D products on display. Toshiba had its new line of Qosmio laptops with glasses-free 3D screens, glasses-free 3D TVs that were more impressive than the models we saw last year, and its Thrive and Excite X10 tablets were on display as well. We even had a chance to play a 3D game on a huge HDTV that was hooked up to a Qosmio laptop, which was a ton of fun. Check out all the highlights from Toshiba’s booth in our gallery below.
HP recently circulated a short video of a new ultra-thin notebook that is purportedly its upcoming HP Envy Spectre ultrabook. While there aren’t any specs discussed in the video, we’re definitely impressed by what appears to be a very sleek design. HP’s first ultrabook, the Folio 13, was unveiled in November and it offers the latest Intel Core processors, a 128GB SSD and more for a relatively affordable $900 price point. The Consumer Electronics Show is just around the corner so hopefully we’ll hear a bit more about the Spectre next week. The clip follows after the break. More →
Intel could be preparing to unveil most of its next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge processors ”on or around” April 8th according to a recent rumor. The company is set to introduce 25 different models in total, DigiTimes reported, including 17 chips designed for use in desktop PCs and eight for notebooks and ultrabooks. Intel will announce the following desktop processors in April according to the report: the Core i7-3770K, 3770, 3770S, 3770T as well as the Core i5-3570, 3550 and 3450. The desktop processors will reportedly range in price from $184 to $332. The following notebook CPUs will also be announced: Core i7-3920Qm ($1,096), 3820QM ($568) and the 3720QM ($378). Intel is allegedly working on the Core i5-3520M, 3360M, 3320M for notebooks and the Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U for ultrabooks, but those processors may not be announced at the same time; the company is expected to unveil several other models for both notebooks and desktops in May. Intel has said its Ivy Bridge chips will offer a 37% performance increase over its 32nm chips.
Laptops running Microsoft’s Windows operating system currently utilize x86 processors, but that’s all about to change in mid-2013 when Windows 8 notebooks powered by ARM processors may hit the market. It could happen sooner, of course; Qualcomm’s CEO Paul Jacobs recently said that Windows 8 devices powered by his company’s ARM-based Snapdragon processors would hit the market in 2012. The Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered devices may only be tablets at first, however, and DigiTimes said Tuesday the first ARM-based notebooks from ASUS and Lenovo will begin to hit the market in June of 2013. Read on for more. More →
HP unveiled its first Ultrabook on Wednesday, the Folio 13. The laptop packs a 13.3-inch display, 9 hours of battery life, a 128GB SSD, USB 3.0, an Ethernet jack, an HP TrueVision HD webcam, and Windows 7 in a small 3.3-pound unit that measures just 18mm thick. The notebook, no doubt created to compete with Apple’s MacBook Air, will be targeted at business users and can be outfitted with one of Intel’s latest Core processors, although specific chip speeds were not identified by HP. The Folio 13 will make its debut on December 7th for $899.99. HP also announced several new ENVY notebooks, including the HP ENVY 15, the ENVY 17 and the ENVY 17 3D, and two new Pavilion dm4 models, including a special Beats Edition with a black and red design and a signature Beats logo on the lid. The full press release from HP follows after the break. More →
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Acer’s former chief executive officer Gianfranco Lanci has accepted a job at Samsung where he will lead the Korean company’s notebook business. Acer founder Stan Shih spoke with reporters during the ADOC 2.0 technology conference in Taipei on Wednesday and discussed the issue. While the move has yet to be confirmed by Samsung or Acer, Shih noted that it is common for executives to move between firms, especially for better gigs, and that the press should not be surprised. The calm remarks are a bit surprising as there is speculation that Lanci’s move could be a blow to Acer’s laptop business. Acer is currently the world’s No. 4 laptop manufacturer, trailed by Samsung in the No. 7 spot. More →