"And I did like the illuminated indicator light inside the keys for CapsLock and Wi-Fi. Why has it taken laptop manufacturers 30 years to include this on laptops"
Like my 2 year old HP?
Samsung has taken an expensive legal hit from Apple over copying design elements in the iPhone. Yet with the Series 9, Samsung has created something a bit special. The entire Ultrabook concept took its inspiration from the Apple MacBook Air, of course. But Samsung's Series 9 has developed a confident design language of its own …
USP Backlit Keyboard?
I have a 10 year old backlit keyboard under my desk, brought long before apple added it...
Or is this another 'in a mobile device' patent they might want to go for?
I own an apple laptop, simple down to best at the time of purchase, I am waiting for a decent non-apple netbook made out of something other than plastic that I can run linux on...
i just bought a Toshiba Z830 - it has a backlit keyboard. It also weighs 1/2 lb less than an Air, has 3 hours more battery life and a full set of ports. Oh, and it costs $500, not $1000+.
That said, the resell value in 2 years will be exactly zero - while the Air will probably still be worth 70% of the purchase price...
It would be nice to be able to use a high-res tablet as just a dumb monitor, to add a screen to one's laptop. It doesn't strike me as being too difficult/costly a thing to achieve technically (or am I wrong?) and would give said tablet a unique selling point.
One could imagine buying x86 laptops without screens, and plugging them into a ARM tablets in dumb-monitor mode... this could lead to improvements in ergonomics over traditional laptops, since the screen and keyboard could then be placed further apart from each other.
If it is backed up by appropriate circuitry, can a microHDMI port act as an input? (i.e, is it purely a scaled-down HDMI socket?)
@Dave 126 - I do this with my iPad, using a tool called Air Display. App on the pad, bit of software on the workstation, makes the iPad available as an extra screen for Mac or Windows desktops over wifi. Works at pixel-doubled or retina density, your choice.
I've heard of a few competing software solutions, for all iOSXAndroidWindows combos- there were plenty of blogs that announced it works, but none that I could find that actually said how well it works. Thanks for your recomendation, I don't know why I was of so little faith...
Mini-Ethernet? Hadn't heard of it before, but looking at the pictures it's clear that it would have been very hard to fit in a standard RJ45 connector.
Anyone know if it's a standard (like mini-USB)? If so the cables will become widely available at low-ish prices and interchangeable between manufacturers. Maybe we'll even start seeing mini-Ethernet connectors on tablets, where a full RJ45 would be quite impossible.
Fruity Retina displays have a 326 PPI screen. The human eye can distinguish 170 PPI. So anything over that, a human being cannot see. The highest estimate of the number of colors a human being can detect is 20 million so anything over 24 bit colour is irrelevant. HDMI generates over a billion colours.
Technology has surpassed what we can discern and denser PPI screens with more colors may be technologically more advanced and generate bragging rights, but are in effect moot.
> The human eye can distinguish 170 PPI.
Alas, if only things were that simple, but things involving biology rarely are. The human eye can distinguish more detail in different situations, and uses some tricks in 'post-processing' to achieve even more, especially when illumination or movement is involved. It is the centre of our vision (rare animals we are, with two front-facing eyes- most trade front-on depth perception for greater situational awareness) that is very sharp, and it is estimated that to fool our eye into thinking a picture is real would require 500 megapixels filling the full vision of one eye (not including trying to simulate the dynamic range that our eyes can perceive).
Whilst we might only be able to distinguish 20 million colours, this number is not evenly distributed amongst the hues (we can distinguish more shades of green, for example) so it is better that the hardware can handle more, so that it can display at least the number of greens that we can see.
Yeah, in essence I agree with you- more pixels can only benefit the user so far.
A sheet of paper printed at 300dpi is about 2400 pixels across and 3300 deep. If you degrade your printing to 150dpi (1200 x 1650) you most assuredly notice the jaggies on slanting linse and glyphs!
300dpi is old hat. Many of today's laser printers are 1200dpi, although I'm not convinced I can tell the difference between a 1200dpi laser and a 600dpi laser. 600dpi looks crisper than 300dpi although that diffrence is more subjective than objective.
Anyway, this shows there is a limit to the number of pixels that could benefit a laptop user, but we haven't yet got close to it with screens and monitors.
@The anonymous coward making up nonsense about PPI.
The eye's ability to 'distinguish PPI', to use your slightly non-sensical phrase depends on viewing distance and is not an absolute.
Have a look at the PPI comparison images part way down this page http://kcbx.net/~mhd/2photo/digital/pixel.htm
I can clearly see a difference between the 250 and 300 ppi images at my normal viewing dstance (about 12") and I do not have particularly great eyesight.
Not checking your facts and just pulling figures out of your arse is inexcusable in a Word with Google. That you think the rest of us are as stupid as you is just insulting.
'FAIL' icon for obvious reasons.
My 10 year old Dull Inspiron 8500 had 1920x1200 on an 15" laptop. OK it was a brick to lug around but the screen was great.
Anything less than 1920x1200 should be classified as LoRes.
1280x1024 became the standard screen res in about 1987/88 didn't it. Please can we have some progress somewhere.
Perhaps manufactures should be forced to quote a MegaPixel rating so that Joe public understands just how shit most modern screens are.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but 1920x1200 is now almost extinct on new laptops. Seriously, there is only ONE laptop manufacturer in the world that still makes 16:10 laptops, and depressingly, that's Apple. Every single Samsung, Dell, HP, Lenovo etc. laptop made today has a 16:9 screen. Yes, that's depressing. Still, the screen on the Samsung Series 9 is a good screen. Yes it'd be better if it were 16:10, but it's still at the top end of a bad bunch.
If you're after a 16:10 screen today though, your only 3 options are an old laptop, an Apple laptop, or to wait until manufacturers come to their senses and stop this ridiculous obsession with multimedia-oriented 16:9 screens.
I'm typing this on a Dell laptop with a 17" 1920 x 1200 screen... I am at a normal distance from the screen and can just about make out the pixels - well, I can just about make out a very slight jaggedness around text. I'm not desperate for a greater pixel density (as it would be on a 15" display) - and I do appreciate that many people I know have difficulty in reading small text on monitors- but I'm glad for the extra pixels, especially in the single-pixel-thick lines and wire-frames in CAD.
It might be this issue of reading text that has caused most modern laptops to have a poor resolution screen; I'm not sure how Windows 8 handles it, but setting up Windows 7 for someone with less than 20/20 vision on a high res monitor feels like a work in progress- upping the text size to 125% or 150% can can render text in some legacy programs unreadable, as it spills out of its allotted space. Some users resort to running their computers at below the monitors native resolution, just to make text and icons larger.
I'm running 1920x1200 on a 4-ish year old 15" Dell Latitude E6500 laptop - this capability was the major selling point when I bought the laptop (and it was under a grand). It'd be nice if more manufacturers offered high-res laptops in their range without the painful prices associated with the "premium" brands, be they fruity or otherwise.
Samsung looks nice though.
Look, if you use software that only works under Windows, you don't have a choice of OS. I use Win 7, and though there are annoyances (I'm sure every Windows user has their own list of pet hates) it is the only tool for the job.
OSX might be suitable for some, Linux might become usable for Joe-public if the application names gave even the smallest clue as to their function....
>Like for example Adobe Acrobat or Quick Time ? You know what, just stick with Windows and OS X and forget about Linux, OK?
Er, no- most Mechanical CAD packages won't run under Linux, including the one I use. Few run under OSX, though AutoDesk products do. Maybe mainstream mechanical CAD will become available for OSs other than Windows (and it is a candidate for using rented computer power from elsewhere) but that day hasn't arrived yet, and my point stands.
So, I repeat: Sometimes the software one uses dictates the operating system one uses. An example: Bloggs accountancy software is used by many small businesses, because the Tax Man here in the UK seems to like the format of the reports it generates (a virtuous circle, from Blogg's perspective). If you are a shop, a third party might develop stock control software that integrates with Bloggs, but is specific to your trade. All of which is designed to run under Windows. You might experiment with running Bloggs+add-ons in Linux under WINE or whatever, but why would you? I'm not saying it is fair, but it is the way it is.
I do use Linux, I like it, but sometimes the application names appear to be the result of playing cerebral games with recursive acronyms than they do a considered effort to be clear to the user.
[I use Foxit reader or whatever is integrated with my web-browser, but don't bother with Quicktime... it might be better if you don't make assumptions]
Much as I agree with the sentiment, Win7 is a lot better than XP in a number of areas.
Fanboyism aside, the way things _should_ be done, is:
Work out what you want to do.
Work out which software does it best
Decide on the OS which runs it best
Decide on the most suitable hardware.
Buying hardware because it's sexy is "tail wagging the dog"
Not really. Pretty much every laptop you can buy over £300 nowadays is overly capable for the needs of 95% of users, so when you've got a choice of hundreds of possible machines that would suit you why not get something pretty?
It sells MacBooks by the million, and it works for Tosh, Samsung and Sony too.
Secure boot is not "a Windows 8 thing" - My Lenovo W530 has secure boot, it's turned off in order that I can boot Windows 7. Where you get a difference with Windows 8 is that it has a signed bootloader, so you can switch secure boot on. Windows 8 is by no means the only OS with a signed bootloader.
Secure boot is uEFI, I don't know about this particular laptop, but it's highly unlikely that new hardware will be being released without uEFI.
Your supplied PC may only have an MS key on it upon delivery, but you can load other keys onto it. In any case, even if you couldn't, MS are supplying keys to any (legitimate) company that wants them, specifically because they don't want to be seen as the bogeyman and probably because they want to make it perfectly clear that they're not killing competition. It remains to be seen what Apple will do with their hardware when they move to uEFI from EFI, but no-one has mentioned this yet.
uEFI is an industry initiative to move away from legacy BIOS, which is out of date and doesn't support the needs of a modern PC, it's not just a Microsoft thing.
Exactly, Microsoft does not want to be seen period. Microsoft is not supplying any keys to anyone, they just sign with their key whatever you want to boot, if they can be bothered to. You may supply as many keys as you want, UEFI firmware will use just one (bet you can't tell which!) to validate the boot environment. Apart from Microsoft, who else was invited to that industry initiative, any other OS or software vendor ? And I will not ask you who has all the PC manufacturers grabbed tightly by their balls. Industry initiative, pfft!
Thanks for the clarification guys... I didn't phrase things well. The point I was grasping at was that Win 7 machines will happily run Linux, since Win 7 doesn't have signed boot loader as Win 8 does, so a Win 7 machine will surely have a UEFI that allows the SecureBoot to be turned off. As I understood it, the concern about other OSs was that it wasn't guaranteed that all future machines would allow this, or, if one wished to keep the SecureBoot enabled, if one would be able to get a signed bootloader for the desired OS.
looking for a new laptop for several months. This has to be the closest fit to my needs and desires so far.
I think I will wait till January and see if it comes up on sale somewhere. Perhaps then I can purchase it from a UK company that pays their taxes for the same or lower price than that of the item which is linked to in the article.
I found this laptop cheaper here with a FREE 7" Galaxy Tab thrown in:
Only one caveat, one has to claim the Tab from Samsung, it doesn't come with the laptop.
Hopefully this sub £900 example will undergo a sales price drop in a few weeks.
Thanks, It certainly gets good reviews. I do need 8Gb RAM though and the extra screen area helps.
Full HD would be nice but 1600x900 is fair enough.
I will wait till the sales season starts me thinks, I already have a Tab 2, so selling the freebie Tab gets me the Series 9 even cheaper.
Another vote for the Toshiba Satellite R830-1GZ. Bought mine in late June and it's just been fantastic. I've enthused about it here before, in a way that I seldom bother to do. Yeah, the resolution's not brilliant but I run it through an HD monitor when it's on my desk. Very penguin-friendly too (Mint 13 Cinnamon works pretty much perfectly out of the box, including webcam, sound, external monitor switching and so on). In Mint I typically get seven hours out of the battery in use with wi-fi.
It was a Fujitsu, don't remember the model. Minimal set of ports, 1/2 in thick. Came with a very cool docking station that had a full set of ports & a CD-ROM drive. It was actually lighter than the 1st gen Air (had one of those as well....), with roughly similar battery life (2hrs if you were lucky). Not as thin and all plastic, 'tho.
Apple is not the first one to build a minimalist light laptop, although I had a PowerBook Duo back in the day that came pretty close - it was replaced by the Fujitsu, then by an Acer of similar spec, but with a 14" screen...
It's by far the sexiest-looking piece of kit I have ever owned. The screen (same resolution @ 13.3") is an absolute delight, the keyboard is usable, and it's hard to tell if the thing is actually present in my laptop bag, seeing that it weighs next to nothing.
I opted for the previous model though (NP900X3C) over the latest one: the dark grey looks IMO much nicer than the silver of the new one, it's got the latest Intel chipset in it (the new model, NP900X3D, curiously, doesn't seem to...), also runs Windows 7 (Home Pro) instead of 8, and it's substantially cheaper if you hunt around (£850 at Amazon vs about £1000).
Still not cheap, but well worth it for me.
There are a number of reviews out there that complain about issues with the trackpad, but i can't confirm this; so far I've had no trouble with mine.
Might be worth you having a double check of the T&C's on the Samsung page. You too may be eligible for a free Galaxy Tab.. Got to be worth a couple of clicks and a ransack, for the hell of it. Surely? 15-60 days after purchase and god knows what else "not if you.........." etc but who knows...
The *design*, not the being-thin-etc-etc, is kinda Airlike more than anything else.
It looks nothing like the various lightweight Sonys that I've met, but I try and ignore Sony so I may have missed something. It's not really their aesthetic at all.
I also went for the 13 inch version and it is a joy to use. If you are looking for a reasonable-ish screen, Ivy Bridge chipset and W7 in a lightweight package then it is a reasonable choice.
For all the gnashing of teeth about laptop resolution there aren't that many small and light machines with
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