Transformer Pad, Transformer Book sees upgrades, name changes
Asus has used IFA to relaunch a number of devices it revealed earlier this year under new names, as well as introducing upgraded versions of existing devices. The Zenbook Infinity, now named the Zenbook UX301, was shown at the same time as a Transformer Book with Haswell, a new Transformer Pad, and other Android devices.
Specifications of Touch similar to Zenbook Prime
Asus has updated its website to include details of an unannounced notebook, though not accompanied with the usual marketing fanfare. The 15-inch U500VZ Zenbook Touch is listed in the online product catalog with specifications that seem relatively similar to that of recent Zenbook Prime iterations, but includes a touchscreen.
Asus Zenbook UX32A and UX32Vd gain latest CPUs
Asus is improving the Zenbook lineup with another pair of aluminium-clad notebooks. A Taipei press event was used to show off the Ivy Bridge-powered UX32A and UX32Vd, with the former relying on Intel integrated graphics and the latter a switchable 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT620M graphics card, according to Netbooknews.
ASUS Zenbook Primes get aluminum construction
The upcoming ASUS Zenbook UX21A and UX31A ultrabooks may join a new Zenbook Prime family and sport all-aluminum bodies, Engadget learned. The bodies would have the familiar design of the current UX21 and UX31. Technical upgrades, however, would include 1080p matte IPS panels and upgraded processors.
Intel's private goals for ultrabooks maybe leaked
Intel has set ambitious targets for the number of ultrabooks it hopes will sell this year, part suppliers understood late Wednesday. Supposed internal roadmap details passed on to Digitimes had between 20 million to 30 million ultrabooks shipping in 2012. That number would double or triple in 2013, according to the claims, as the supply chain would be truly ready for mainstream adoption, such as reinforced plastic to emulate the rigidity of metal without some of the cost.
ASUS UX21A and UX31A to be drop-in upgrades
(Update: speed changes) ASUS' rumored major ultrabook upgrades were given their first real details through leaks on Monday. The Zenbook UX21A and UX31A models identified by The Verge would be direct replacements for the existing 11.6- and 13.3-inch UX21 and UX31, respectively, but with an option for a 1080p, IPS-based display on either model. Their conventional 1366x768 (UX21) and 1600x900 (UX31) displays would still come standard.
Pegatron maybe pressed to choose Apple vs ASUS
A tentative rumor has had Pegatron allegedly forced to choose between manufacturing ASUS' Zenbooks and Apple's iOS devices. Taiwan's Commercial Times had heard that Apple was supposedly unhappy with the similarity to the MacBook Air and didn't want one of its own contractors to be making what was perceived to be a clone. If it happened, production wouldn't stop until at least March and would be outsourced to a nearby contractor like Compal or Wistron.
HP Spectre may be ultrabook Envy
HP has teased that it might have more at CES than it has told the media in a teaser slipped out Monday. Called just the Spectre in the video (below) seeded to Engadget and multiple other sites, and believed to be part of the Envy line, it looks to be an extremely thin notebook with a flat lid. Very little else is shown other than patterns that infer the very thin design.
ASUS hints it stays unafraid of Apple lawsuits
ASUS isn't worried about being sued over patents, company chairman Jonney Shih stated at an awards ceremony Tuesday. Picking up the Pan Wen Yuan Prize with Digitimes in attendance, he said ASUS had "many" 3G patents and wasn't worried about being sued. Although not stated, he was likely referencing HTC's loss to Apple after an ITC complaint, which will likely lead to a favorable ruling if HTC doesn't settle ahead of other ITC verdicts and matching civil lawsuits.
Acer and ASUS tap AUO, Chi Mei for dense LCDs
Acer and ASUS are reportedly developing very high density displays to try to head off the iPad 3's 2048x1536 display, a new rumor claimed Wednesday. AU Optronics and Chi Mei Innolux were said by Digitimes' industry contacts to be working on 1920x1280 (incorrectly marked as 1928) LCDs that would go into new ultrabooks as soon as January or February. The Retina Display effect would be "forcing" upgrades at PC builders.
Wistron develops exotic material for ultrabook PCs
Contract supplier Wistron is developing a new material to help ultrabook makers who have been finding new materials for their designs after being squeezed by Apple. The firm's president Robert Hwang was working with a new notebook chassis partner to create a new material to use as a substitute, he told local news outlet Apple Daily. It wouldn't have connections either to metal or to substitutes that have been used in its place, such as carbon fiber or fiberglass.
15-inch ultralight MacBook slated for March
The rumored very thin 15-inch MacBook may already have seen some of its earliest part shipments. A rumor emerging from the parts chain told Digitimes that unnamed components were already being sent to Apple. Their nature wasn't known, although test runs of the LCD had purportedly taken place in the past.
Lenovo roadmap tips low-cost ThinkPad and new X1
Lenovo may be one of the first Windows PC builders to significantly undercut the current MacBook Air in price. An escaped roadmap (PDF) has a 14-inch "mainstream" ThinkPad ultrabook arriving in May or June. At a price closer to $800, it would be significantly less expensive than the current model.
Acer, ASUS, in trouble competing with MacBook Air
Acer and ASUS were understood late Wednesday to have cut their current ultrabook orders by 40 percent after poor sales in the first month. Having originally targeted their total orders at between 250,000 to 300,000 each, Digitimes heard from contract ODMs (original design makers) that systems like the Acer Aspire S3 and ASUS Zenbook were down to between just 150,000 to 180,000. Their relatively high prices for normally budget-focused PC builders wasn't the only factor, the sources claimed, as the PCs themselves weren't stacking up to the MacBook Air.
Intel says work slow on dropping ultrabook costs
Intel's Asia-Pacific GM Navin Shenoy in an interview Tuesday said that ultrabooks weren't likely to get down to typical Windows PC levels in the near future. While Intel was helping to find ways to lower the price, Shenoy told Reuters that "more work needs to happen" from partners to dip much below the $999 price set by the originator of the category, the MacBook Air. The magic $699 price thought to bring mainstream adoption would come, but it wouldn't be in the first wave.
ASUS UX21 has similar basic design idea as Apple
A new teardown of the ASUS Zenbook UX21 at AnandTech has shown that its internal design, just like the outside, is very similar to the MacBook Air. Partly out of necessity, the 11-inch ultrabook uses the same basic concept of a two-board core area at the back while the front two thirds are dominated by four discrete lithium batteries. Likewise, it uses the same stick-based SSD format, although here the drives are supplied by ADATA (128GB) and SanDisk (256GB) rather than Samsung and Toshiba.
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 shows MB Air clues
ASUS' Facebook page on Wednesday teased the upcoming Eee Pad Transformer 2. Although it would only call the Android tablet "the next transformation," the quick glimpse showed a much slimmer device than the original. The glossy black and brushed aluminum design appears more clearly patterned both after its own Zenbooks and, by extension, Apple's MacBook Air.