NEVER in our lives will we have such a significant update as the upcoming Windows 8. No one can deny how much Windows has impacted their digital lives, especially growing up in the 90's when the Mac's OS wasn't as popular as it is now.
This upcoming Windows 8 reminds me much of Android's transition from Gingerbread/Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich, to integrate every device across the line.
Windows 8 will be workable with tablets, laptops, desktops and of course Windows Phone, which can be expected by the fourth quarter of the year.
At this year's Computex in Taipei, Intel and Microsoft were not shy about introducing a whole new line of hybrid devices, using Intel's latest Ivy Bridge processor, and Microsoft's light and minimalistic metro live tiled Windows 8.
Hybrid here means that these devices are highly portable tablet-laptops, touch-laptop or touch-ultrabooks, whichever name you prefer.
In one of my columns ages ago, I mentioned how tablets are getting bigger and bigger, whilst laptops are getting smaller and smaller. It seems that now is the time for them to converge on a Windows 8 platform.
Here are just a few brief touches on some of the products I think we'll most likely see here in Brunei shortly after launch. Be warned though as some of these are tasty enough for you to forget Apple's refreshed Macbook Air/Pro and the new Retina Macbook Pro.
Asus Transformer Book
Like the current Transformer and Transformer Prime, these new Books come with a tablet, Windows 8 and all of course, with a keyboard dock.
It looks sneakily like the Asus Zenbook Prime or UX31/UX21 Ultrabooks, but these can have up to i7 Ivy Bridge Processors, a Solid State Drive (SSD), dedicated graphic cards and an IPS (In-Plane Switching technology) display.
They would also feature tablet-like features like front and back cameras and touch-screen enabled.
As for the Zenbooks, Asus will also include Windows 8 on the refreshed version complete with a touchscreen.
My favourite of all the released hybrids at Computex, the TAICHI has two screens, one on the lid and one on inside, so you can either use it like a normal laptop, or you close it to become a tablet.
In a notebook format, you get a nice full-sized backlit keyboard, the best PC specs, up to i7 Ivy Bridge, SSDs, and Super IPS+ displays (that's right, two screens).
What's also impressive is that on both screens, you get 1920x1080 resolutions, and Asus is allowing different contents displayed on both screens simultaneously. Further, it seems there are two choices of screen sizes 11.6 and 13.3-inches.
This may be good enough for me to put on hold getting a replacement for my very very old Macbook Pro that feels as heavy as a brick.
Samsung Series 5 Ultra Touch and Ultra Convertible
I haven't exactly heard people raving about their Samsung laptops, but the Korean company is not one to be left behind.
The two choices are: the traditional ultrabook/laptop style device, or a convertible, where you can fold the screen the other way and use it as a tablet, a design which never really took off even though being in existence for a while now.
Acer Aspire S7
Acer was one of the first to introduce its hybrids on Windows 7 and Android here in Brunei, along with the sleek S3 ultrabook.
Out of all the above, I'm guessing this will be the first one we see here, and that's not entirely a bad thing because the S7 looks so neat.
One of the first to release an ultrabook, Acer seems to be doing it right again this time with the S7 built sturdy via a unibody metal.
The screen folds 180 degrees tucked to the back, like the previously mentioned Samsung. Again, I remain skeptical because if your screen faces you, then your hands will constantly be in contact with the keyboard on the back? Not something I'd enjoy holding.
But the screen resolution on this is good as well, 1366x768 and in two sizes, 11 and 13.
Sony VAIO T13
Sony hasn't really had an ultrabook until now, so it seems like the Japanese premium brand is joining the party late.
However, this isn't one of the hybrids as shown above, but a mere Windows 8 ultrabook.
Reports said the T13 will be on the cheaper side of ultrabooks, which is good considering Sony's laptop prices are usually more on the premium side.
This ultrabook comes with USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, HDMI and even a VGA port. It also has an ethernet port, for those times in the hotel where they don't offer free Wi-Fi but free wired Internet.
The views expressed by the author are his own and do not reflect those of The Brunei Times.
The Brunei Times
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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