By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Austin, Texas – Samsung launched Monday its Chromebook 2 series.
The two Chromebooks will ship in April and include 11.6-inch ($319 suggested retail) and 13.3-inch configurations ($399). Both feature improved performance, longer battery life and a slim, light build.
Both Chromebooks also feature enhanced durable textured lids with a stitched design. Battery life for both models is listed up to 8.5 hours per charge.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Palo Alto, Calif. — Hewlett-Packard introduced Sunday a convertible touchscreen tablet/notebook PC called the HP Pavilion x360.
The company also revealed that it is expanding its free HP DataPass 3G/4G broadband data service to 12 additional countries, including the United States this summer. The service enables owners of select HP notebook and tablet models connect to the Internet on the go when Wi-Fi isn’t available.
Fremont, Calif. — Dell has joined the Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP), becoming the first major PC manufacturer to formally support a wireless power standard group.
Coinciding with the addition of Dell’s membership, the A4WP is introducing a secondary, higher-powered initiative focusing on wirelessly charging higher powered electronic products, from 20 to 50 watts, such as Ultrabooks, laptops and mid-powered appliances.
Fremont, Calif. — Laptop maker GammaTech Computer will release a new semi-rugged model for the business and consumer markets this quarter.
The 15.6-inch S15H is ruggedized to meet military specification standard 810G. This means the laptop can still operate under a variety of stressful environmental issues, including shock, vibration, harsh weather and temperature fluctuations. The company said its magnesium alloy case is 20 times stronger than plastic, and it has anti-shock mounting for the display.
Santa Clara, Calif. — NPD DisplaySearch cut its 2014 laptop shipment forecast, with tablets and new wearable mobile devices being the main culprit for the drop.
The research firm now expects about 134 million laptops to be shipped by the top nine PC brands in 2014. This is down from the 148 million shipped last year and the 168 million shipped in 2012.
Competition for consumer dollars will come from the expected 12.9-inch Apple iPad and other large-screen-size tablets, along with smart watches and other wearable devices.
Las Vegas – Toshiba officially entered the Chromebook market today with a $279, 13.3-inch device.
While the Chromebook market has made a splash in education circles, Toshiba believes this model’s larger screen size will change the perception of the Chromebook from a browsing-centric device to one capable of serious productivity through the use of Google supplied docs, sheets and slides software.
To further highlight this new perception, Toshiba has powered the Chromebook with an updated Intel Celeron processor.
Las Vegas – Acer America expanded its Chromebook line with a new configuration and color scheme.
The C720-2600 comes in Acer’s new Moonstone White look, and it features an 11.6-inch 10-point HD LED touchscreen with 1,366 by 768 resolution.
The unit has an Intel Haswell Celeron 2955U processor that Acer said helps boost battery life to 7.5 hours. Other features include a 32GB solid-state drive, 100GB of free Google Drive storage and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi.
The unit will ship next week with a $299 suggested retail.
New York – The office superstore chains have dramatically increased the number of touchscreen laptops carried online in 2013, according to GfK.
GfK’s year-long tracking of online touchscreen availability trends noted that all three national office chains started the year off slow with touchscreens comprising no more than 10 percent of their available online laptops. However, these quickly ramped up for Office Depot and Staples during the back to school season, but OfficeMax did not catch up until the end of the summer.
City of Industry, Calif. — Gaming notebook maker MSI Computing has released its first unit featuring a 3K display.
The $2,199 GT60 20D-261US has a 15.6-inch display with a 2,880 by 1,620 screen resolution and an anti-reflective coating. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and uses Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780M graphics chip.
It has a 128GB solid-state drive mated to a 1TB 7,200 RPM hard disk drive for quick boot-up and 16GB of DDR3L memory.
Other features include a backlit keyboard and Dynaudio Premium speakers and subwoofer.
El Segundo, Calif. – The notebook computer category is positioned to see a decrease in year-over-year worldwide unit shipments for 2013, despite an upbeat second half.
The research firm IHS reported today that third-quarter worldwide notebook shipments will increase 6 percent sequentially over the second quarter to 47.9 million. However, even a positive fourth quarter will not be able to offset the double-digit decrease that took place during the first six months of the year.