Best 11.6-inch laptops and hybrids

One of the most surprising things about the Windows 8 era has been the revival of 11-inch laptops. After a couple of years of seeing very few PCs with smaller displays, we've reviewed half a dozen 11.6-inch systems in the past two months alone.

This is especially interesting to me, as ultraportable laptops, with their 11-inch screens (along with a few 10- and 12-inch stragglers), have had a very uneven history.

Ultraportables were once, typically, extremely expensive brag-worthy laptops that could cost $2,000 or more, back when miniaturization and thermal issues were much more difficult to navigate … Read more

Lenovo reveals the thin and streamlined ThinkPad T431s

Today at the Engadget Expand event held in San Francisco, Lenovo announced its new ThinkPad T431s laptop. This is an update to the company's already available T series of laptaps. The new laptops features a 14-inch screen and will be released in April with prices starting at $949.

Not to veer too far from what's it's known for, the new 14-inch laptop looks like a Lenovo ThinkPad: It's (graphite) black, and there's a red button nub in the middle of the keyboard for navigating; however, there are a few changes of note.

At 3.5 … Read more

CES postscript: The touch laptop, like it or not

The laptop was reinvented at CES.

Or maybe I should say there was a vigorous attempt to reinvent the laptop. Because we won't know how successful touch has been until next year this time.

Intel's CES booth -- still a large presence in the CES Central Hall -- had one basic unmistakable message: touch has arrived.

Windows 8 convertibles, detachables, touch-screen laptops, and just plain tablets from Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Samsung, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony, and others blanketed Intel's booth.

And just to make sure the touch message was crystal clear, Intel issued an edict to PC … Read more

Intel-based Windows 8 tablet beats Surface, but 'bug' cited

A fresh review of a Windows 8 Acer tablet by chip site Anandtech shows it beating ARM-based devices pretty consistently on central processor unit performance benchmarks but not on graphics. The site also noted a "bug" that has delayed the release of some Intel-based tablets.

"The [Intel] Atom architecture is still faster than every single ARM based [processor] core on the market today with the exception of the Cortex A15," -- ARM's newest chip design -- wrote Anandtech when it posted a review of the Acer W510 today.

Intel's Atom z2760 "Clover Trail&… Read more

Intel-based Windows 8 tablets see spotty availability

A tablet from Hewlett-Packard running the full version of Windows 8 is expected to finally ship to customers, though a full Win 8 tablet doesn't appear to be imminent from Lenovo.

HP's Envy x2 laptop-tablet hybrid "convertible" was originally slated for November 14 availability but is now expected to reach customers soon, HP said.

"Customers can expect to receive an Envy January, if they order today. Customers who ordered their units on Dec. 3 or prior are expected to receive their PC by Dec. 21 at the latest," an HP representative told … Read more

ThinkPad X1 Carbon touch for Windows 8 arrives

Lenovo said today that it has added a touch-screen ThinkPad X1 Carbon model, as PC vendors continue to ramp up shipments of Windows 8 ultrabooks with tablet-like attributes.

The 14-inch ThinkPad now measures 20.8mm (about 0.8 inches) thick and weighs 3.4 pounds, slightly thicker and heavier than the non-touch model.

The display resolution and internals stay the same, though. That means a pixel-dense 1,600x900 resolution display and Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors.

And, true to its name, the chassis is made from lightweight carbon fiber, which allows Lenovo to keep the weight of its 14-inch laptop below 3.5 pounds.

Other specifications have not been disclosed yet.

But the price has: $1,499. Some of that extra cost is due to the high-resolution touch display, which comes at a premium. … Read more

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 with Win 8, keyboard will cost $799

PC makers usually don't cough up pricing information on unreleased models easily, but apparently the folks at wpcentral merely asked Lenovo reps at a recent press event how much the ThinkPad Tablet 2 running Windows 8 Pro would cost at launch -- and the reps told them. The new slate will bow on October 26 -- the launch date of Windows 8 -- and cost $799.

That price will apparently include a keyboard, which could make it a slightly better deal than Microsoft's own Surface Pro tablet, which may cost $799 with an additional $199 for its keyboard … Read more

Ultrabooks: The top technical problems

Owners of ultrabooks face a variety of technical woes, from limited battery life to poor screen quality, according to a new study from FixYa.

Tracking questions and complaints from its site users, FixYa narrowed its scope to seven different ultrabooks, shining a light on the key problems found in each one.

Low memory was the top complaint among users of Apple's popular MacBook Air, followed by thermal shutdown, which automatically turns off the computer if it gets too hot. Some owners also said the Air was difficult to repair and that the speaker quality was poor.

To deal with … Read more

Lenovo has new ultrabook details, Windows 8 tablet for ThinkPad at 20

During an event at New York's Museum of Modern Art, PC maker Lenovo has announced new details about upcoming laptops, as well as a new ThinkPad-branded Windows 8 tablet.

The event was to mark the ThinkPad brand's 20th anniversary. Originally IBM's PC line, Lenovo bought the brand in 2005. The three new products profiled have all been spotted before, at CES 2012 or later in the year, including the flagship ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon First spotted in May 2012, we've already given this 14-inch ultrabook an extensive hands-on look. It starts at $1,… Read more

CNET's peek at the Lenovo Windows 8 tablet

Earlier today, we told you that Lenovo used the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, to show a new ThinkPad tablet running Windows 8. And now, CNET's team on the ground was able to get a closer look.

As the unannounced device is only a prototype (it doesn't event have a name yet), CNET Australia's Craig Simms wasn't able to pick it up himself, but he did get close in for some beauty shots. He reports that the 10.1-inch, 1366x768-pixel display offered bright and vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles.

Lenovo reps wouldn't reveal full … Read more