By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Port Washington, N.Y. – Computer sales during the 10-week back-to-school selling period fell slightly this year, according to a study by The NPD Group.
The research firm reported sales declined 2.5 percent with laptop sales falling 2 percent and desktops down 5 percent year over year. NPD noted that sales of Chromebook and notebooks with touchscreens helped offset the decline.
Chromebooks added about 175,000 units into the market this year and touchscreen notebooks accounted for 25 percent of all sales. Also giving a boost were sub-$300 priced Windows laptops.
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.
Irvine, Calif. — Toshiba today refreshed several of its laptop lines, adding faster processors and more storage capacity.
The updates, all of which will be available as of Sept. 29, cross Toshiba’s Qosmio, Satellite P, S, L and C laptop series.
The high-end Qosmio X, $1,399, is now powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. It uses Nvidia’s GTX 770M discrete graphics; has a 17.3-inch FullHD display, 1TB hybrid hard drive or a 1.5TB standard HDD option; and is bundled with Photoshop Elements 11.
San Diego – Sony has created a luxury version of its Vaio Duo, Pro and Fit laptops through the addition of a high-gloss red finish.
Dubbed the Vaio red edition, the laptops are given the new exterior by adding individually applied layers of paint which are hand polished. The final step is adding a layer of UV protection to help maintain the color.
Corning, N.Y. — Corning unveiled on Monday the latest version of its Gorilla Glass targeting touchscreen notebook PCs, Gorilla Glass NBT.
The newest Gorilla Glass iteration was said to bring an increased layer of protection to touchscreen notebooks, helping to protect against scratches and other forms of damage that come from everyday handling and use.
Irvine, Calif. — Toshiba today brought out three new thin and light laptop models, one under Intel’s Ultrabook label and another powered by an AMD processor.
The models fall under the new Satellite E series and include the E45t and the E55t/E55Dt. The former has a 14-inch HD display while the latter models sport a 15.6-inch screen. This is the first time Toshiba has included this screen size in an Ultrabook or ultra-thin model, said Carrie Cowan, Toshiba’s senior product marketing manager.
City of Industry, Calif. — MSI Computer released its latest gaming laptop, the GE40.
The GE40, which comes in two configurations, features an Intel Haswell processor and uses an Nvidia GTX 760M graphics card. It weighs in at 4.4 pounds and is less than an inch thick.
Its size and weight makes it more portable than other laptops, said MSI. “The GE40 was designed for mobile gamers seeking the best in performance but not wanting to carry around larger laptops,” said Andy Tung, sales VP for MSI U.S.
Taipei, Taiwan — High-performance gaming PC manufacturer Razer said Tuesday it is using Computex Show week to take pre-orders for its 14-inch Blade gaming laptop.
The Blade is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with Hyper-Threading (Base 2.2 GHz/Turbo 3.2 GHz) and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M GPU, yet still delivers “the thinnest and lightest 14-inch gaming laptop in history,” Razer said in a statement.
San Diego — Sony rolled out its spring computer line, which includes Ultrabooks, Vaio Fit ultra-thin laptops, and upgraded tabletop and all-in-one PCs.
The higher-end Fit 14 and Fit 15 and more mainstream Fit E 14 and Fit E 15 laptops fall into Sony’s slim and light product categories. All are equipped with touchscreens.
The Fit models have Sony’s Vaio logo rendered in diamond cut on the casing and come in Steel Black, Steel Pink and Steel Silver, while the Fit E will come in black, pink and white.
New York — Toshiba today unveiled a new premium brand called Kira that is part of the company’s move to present a higher-profile image to consumers.
The first Kira product to be rolled out is a three-SKU line of 13-inch Ultrabooks dubbed Kirabooks. These will have prices starting at $1,599 and will join Toshiba’s Satellite- and Portege-branded models. The Ultrabooks are only the initial Kira products. The company plans to roll out additional models in not only the computer, but also in other product categories.
Santa Clara, Calif. — The mature notebook PC category is expected to get a boost from the popularity of Microsoft Windows 8 and the touchscreen capabilities it offers, according to a new NPD DisplaySearch report.
The penetration of touchscreens in notebook PCs was less than 3 percent in 2012, but is expected to grow to more than 12 percent in 2013. This compares with touchscreen penetration of 77 percent in mobile phones and 100 percent in tablet PCs.