Sunday, November 17, 2013

Apple's all new 12" MacBook and a higher-res sixth-gen iPad for 2014

Apple has a newly designed 12-inch MacBook featuring a high-resolution display, and a new 9.7-inch sixth-generation iPad with an even higher pixel count than the most current Retina display. Both are to be released next year according to knowledgeable insider Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo, who is an an analyst working for KGI Securities, has said that Apple has a ton of major new products in the works for 2014. The biggest one being the new 12-inch MacBook which will feature what he said is an "ultra-slim clamshell form factor."

He says this new and improved MacBook will bring the best of both worlds from both the portability of the 11-inch MacBook Air and the greater productivity brought by the 13-inch model. The display is said to be up to par with Apple's high-resolution MacBook Pro Retina display.

Kuo says that the newest MacBook being worked on will "redefine laptop computing once again following the milestone created by the MacBook Air."

Despite all the rumors that Apple will probably introduce a notebook powered by its custom A-series chips like the ones found in the iPhone and iPad, Kuo made it clear that he does not expect that the new 12-inch MacBook will run on an A-series chip. Instead, he thinks that the new MacBook will feature a traditional Intel CPU.

He has also revealed that Apple is currently working on a new sixth-generation iPad that will feature a higher pixel-per-inch count than the current 9.7-inch iPad with Retina display. Going against the recent rumors yet again, he doesn't expect Apple to launch a 12-inch iPad next year.

The sixth-generation iPad is expected to launch in late 2014, and will cram in as much as 40 percent more pixels than the current iPad's Retina display.

Inside the Apple supply chain, he is expecting the company Parade Technology to benefit from an large amount of embedded DisplayPort technology in the 2014 lineup. Kuo said eDP, which is a standardized display interface that makes graphics processors interface with display panels, will more than likely play a large role in the company's products next year.

"We think Parade will defend its status as Apple's sole eDP provider going into 2014, making it one of the top stories in the Apple supply chain," Kuo wrote in a research note.

Kuo has quite the track record of accurately revealing Apple's future plans. He was the first person to reveal that Apple would retire its 17-inch MacBook Pro. He also correctly forecast Apple's fall 2012 product lineup in its entirety, and his predictions for Apple's 2013 launch schedule made in January have thus far proven 100 percent correct.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Lenovo CEO Shares Bonus With Employees

With a large abundance of PC manufacturers out there all trying to sell you the same things, Lenovo, a Chinese multinational technology firm,  and their CEO Yang Yuanqing are implementing some generous small business tactics that may be contributing to their success. Lenovo has pushed their way into the top of PC manufacturing, surpassing $34 billion in sales. This company brings you all the day to day technology you would use including PC's, tablets, workstations, servers, electronic storage devices, and IT management software. Lenovo is also becoming a smartphone manufacturer, with rumors saying that they may even buy out Blackberry.

It's hard to ignore the apparent success of Lenovo, and it's even harder not to connect it to the selfless actions of their CEO, Yang Yuanqing.

Instead of simply pocketing his $3+ million dollar bonus due to the company's success, Yang Yuanqing took it upon himself to share his bonus with his 10,000 manufacturing employees. Although profit sharing is a fairly common practice in small business, its quite rare nowadays for a CEO of a multi-billion dollar company to use this practice. Actions like this clearly relate to the company's success because it motivates employees to work harder when they know they will be rewarded for the company's accomplishments.

Profit sharing is by no means something that is expected of a CEO, but it definitely has its benefits. Attracting and keeping good employees,  increasing business performance, and raising capital are just a few of the benefits that i believe Yang Yuanqing had in mind while making this decision. I personally feel that actions like this will play a large role in the future success of Lenovo, and if they keep it up, you will continue to see them at the top of the charts in PC manufacturing.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Surface Pro Sales Reach 400,000 in Only a Month

Since its launch, the Surface tablet from Microsoft has reached 400,000 sales, which isn't a bad start for a tablet that is definitely on the pricey side with an $899 price tag. What's even more impressive is that this tablet only launched a month ago. According to IDC Analyst Bob O'Donnell, "That's a respectable number and it leads me to believe that Surface Pro will end up outselling Surface RT."

O'Donnell is, of course, referring to the RT version of the Surface tablet, which is slightly less expensive at $499, though isn't compatible with older Windows software. "It's something that we've predicated all along because of the compatibility that Surface Pro offers," O'Donnell added. Overall, Microsoft has sold nearly 1.5 million Surface devices, including both Pro and RT versions, and was announced only three months ago.

Even though the RT version sold out initially, Microsoft was surprisingly able to keep up with demand quickly. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case with the Pro. The high-end, 128GB Pro version of Surface has been continuously sold out since it was released on February 9. This model of the Surface tablet has only recently become readily available in the last week or so.

Regardless, the numbers being put up by the Pro are nothing compared to that of Apple's iPad. Apple sold more than 20 million iPads in the quarter ending in December, though Apple has been in this market substantially longer than Microsoft has and has also had time to fine tune its device. However, like Surface RT, the 9.7" Retina iPad starts at $499 while the iPad Mini is even cheaper at $329.

The trick with the Surface is that it puts a conventional, mainstream laptop into a 2 lb, 0.5" thick tablet. The Pro version comes with a 10.6" 1,920 x 1,080 full HD resolution display, Intel Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of memory and a full-fledged solid-state drive, which is exponentially faster than the flash drives found in Apple and Android tablets.

Nonetheless, the numbers posted by Microsoft are impressive, especially considering the lackluster reviews that Windows 8 has been receiving. Windows 8 is the operating system that the Surface uses, though the OS has clearly been designed for use on touchscreen devices. It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers this tablet will post in the coming months.

Source: CNET - Microsoft Surface Pro sales hit 400K in a hurry

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Windows 8 Pro Discount Officially Ended

Well, it's official, you can no longer purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for the discounted price of $39.99. As of February 1, Microsoft has quintupled the price to $199.99. Just upgrading to the standard Windows 8, which doesn't include corporate features like BitLocker encryption and the ability to remotely connect to a company's network, will cost $119.99, though that edition was never discounted.

Upgrading to Windows 8 from an existing Windows operating system, like XP, Vista or 7, comes with varying degrees of success. It should come as no surprise that upgrading from Windows 7 causes the least amount of hassle with bringing along existing files, settings and applications whereas upgrading from XP is a little more difficult.

In addition to the end of the discount, several other deals also ended, including $69.99 prices for Windows 8 Pro on a DVD and something Microsoft was calling Windows 8 Pro Pack, which upgrades Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro. The first upgrade will jump to $199.99 with the latter costing $99.99. Windows 8 Media Center pack, which is an add-on that makes it possible to play CDs and DVDs on a Windows PC, now costs $9.99.

Only one time has Microsoft discussed Windows 8 Pro upgrade numbers. This occurred back in October when CEO Steve Ballmer said his company had sold 4 million copies in its first three days. Since then, Microsoft has declined to give any specific sales numbers, even though the firm's CFO recently cited upgrades as one of several reasons why the Windows division's revenue increased 11% in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Purchasers of the Windows 8 upgrade do not have to install it right away. Instead, they can create a bootable flash drive or installation DVD, then set aside the physical media for a later date. The final offer that recently expired was the eight-month deal that offered a $14.99 upgrade for customers who purchased a Windows 7-powered PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013. Those customers have until February 28 to claim the promotional code for the $14.99 price.

Windows 8 has received quite a bit of flak from users who believe that the heavy focus on touch-screen features do not translate well to desktops and laptops without touchscreens. Having used Windows 8 personally, I can honestly say that the new home screen and layout definitely take some getting used to, especially for long-time Windows users, though some of the features that are available are pretty cool and the operating system itself isn't all that bad (though that was at the time of the $39.99 download). I don't know if the operating system (or any, for that matter) is worth $200. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lenovo Reveals 2 New Models

In February of 2002, Lenovo came in to being. 10 years later, Lenovo is now the top computer manufacturer in the world. In January 2013, Lenovo revealed 3 new computer designs at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The three new computer designs consist of 2 different lines. The IdeaCentre A730 is the first model and the C-series makes up the 2nd line. The C-Series is the more affordable line  that will offer 2 models; a touch screen and non touch screen versions. With high end graphics cards being the standard and  the availability of up to 2 TB of memory, these models to compete with high end gaming systems but will be a little easier on the wallet. The non touch screen model will be available in February, while the touch screen version will be available in June.

The IdeaCentre A730 is a super sleek multi touch all in one model.  This model will allow Windows to openly compete with the Apple Mac Book Pro series. But the IdeaCentre A730 has a slight advantage over it Mac counterpart, it is equipped with a Blu-Ray drive. Lenovo has announced that this series of computers will be available in June of 2013 with a starting price of $1,499.

I think the new Lenovo all in one computers offer users a powerful compact computer with the portability of laptop with even more functionality than the new Mac Pro books.

Should you are ever need an all-in-one computer for a short term rental, please check with