“CES 2015 saw a host of laptops getting launched and we take a look at the most noteworthy ones”
CES 2015 played host to the launch of a slew of laptops with different form factors from the OEMs. There was something in store for every kind of buyer on showcase. Manufacturers refreshed their current lineups and added new devices to the mix as well. The likes of Lenovo and Dell occupied the lion’s share of attention at the event while others like ASUS, MSI and Acer had their moments too. Let us take a look at the most noteworthy laptop launches at CES 2015.
Acer launched the biggest Chromebook ever with a 15.6-inch display, sporting the moniker Chromebook 15. It's powered by a fifth-generation Intel Core i3 processor and comes with RAM options of up to 4GB. It runs on Chrome OS and gets 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, an HD webcam, and an HDMI port.
The Chromebook 13 was also upgraded with a touchscreen display. The pricing for the Chromebook 15 begins at $249.99 and seeing the fact that Acer brings its Chromebooks to India, this one will be reaching us soon too.
The MSI GT80 Titan is meant for serious gamers and geeks with its top-of-the line specifications. MSI claims that the GT80 Titan is the world’s first ever gaming laptop with an integrated Cherry MX Brown switch mechanical keyboard from SteelSeries. It gets a digital trackpad on the right side of the keyboard which doubles up as a number pad.
It has been launched in two variants: Titan SLI-009 and SLI-001. Coming to the specifications, it comes shod with a 18.4-inch full HD display with an Intel Core i7-4980HQ / Core i7-4720HQ processor doing duty under the hood, coupled with up to 24GB of RAM. You get a Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI graphics processor to go with it and 1TB of HDD storage. The pricing for it begins at $3,399 (approximately Rs 2,15,000) and it may not be touching base in India at all.
Lenovo introduced an altogether a new series of laptops at the CES 2015 named the LaVie Z series. Lenovo claims that the LaVie Z HZ550 is the world’s lightest 13.3-inch laptop and its sibling, the LaVie Z HZ750 is the world’s lightest 13.3-inch convertible. Both of them run on Windows 8.1. The LaVie Z HZ550 comes with a 180-degree rotatable hinge and weighs just 0.7kg whereas the convertible sibling comes with a 360-degree hinge and tips the scales at just 9.9 kgs.
Both of them come with Intel HD integrated graphics, USB 3.0, HDMI port, 128GB of solid state drive storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and HD webcams. The laptop comes with non-touch anti-glare WQHD display and up to Intel Core i7 fifth-gen processors coupled with 4GB of RAM. On the other hand, the convertible gets the option of a full HD or WQHD screen resolution panel. Under the hood is an Intel Core i5 processor coupled with up to 8GB of RAM. They are priced at $1,299 (approximately Rs 80,000) and $1,499 (Rs 90,000) for the laptop and tablet respectively.
Lenovo was on a launch spree at the event and launched the Yoga 3 laptop which is lighter than the Macbook Air. That one the 11-inch variant which tips the scales at 1.2 kg and is lighter than the Macbook Air by 100 grams. There’s a 14-inch variant too that weighs 1.9 kg. Both of them come with a 360-degree hinge and run Windows 8.1.
The 14-inch model comes with a fifth-generation Intel i5 or i7 processor and the 11-inch sibling is powered by the Intel M processor. The Yoga 3 range comes with backlit keyboards and offers RAM of up to 8GB and storage options from 128GB to 500GB. The pricing for Yoga 3 begins at $799 (approximately Rs 48,000) for the 11-inch model and $979 (approximately Rs 59,000) for the 14-inch model.
ASUS launched three new devices under the newly announced Chi series and these include the T300 Chi, the T100 Chi and the T90 Chi. The Transformer Book T300 Chi has a 12.5-inch display with a resolution of either 2,560 x 1,440 pixels or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Under the hood is an Intel Core M processor (5Y71 or 5Y10) processor and 128GB of SSD storage. The T100 Chi comes with a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. On the other hand, the T90 Chi comes with a resolution of 1,280 x 800 pixels.
The T100 Chi and T90 Chi come in either 32GB or 64GB of eMMC storage variants. Powering them are 1.46GHz Intel Atom Z3775 processors which has a turbo burst speed of up to 2.4GHz. The prices of the T300 Chi, T100 Chi and T90 Chi are $699 (approximately Rs 42,000), $399 (approximately Rs 24,000) and $299 ( approximately Rs 18,000) respectively.
Dell introduced the refreshed versions of the XPS 13 and 15 at the CES 2015 with the two of them getting a comprehensive overhaul. The Dell XPS 13 comes in 13.3-inch FHD and 13.3-inch UltraSharp QHD+ resolution display models. Powering them are processors up to fifth-gen Intel Core i7 coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 5500. They offer stereo speakers with Waves MaxxAudio Pro, HD webcams with dual array microphones, run Windows 8.1, offer Miracast support, Bluetooth 4.0, and dual-band Wi-Fi to complete the package. A really slim bezel size of 5.2 mm is something which makes them unique.
The XPS 15 gets three resolutions to choose from on 15.6-inch displays: FHD, UltraSharp QHD+, and UltraSharp Ultra HD. Dell will provide you with the processing power up to fourth-gen Intel Core i7 processors coupled with up to 16GB of RAM, and Intel HD 4400 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M GPU graphics as an option to choose from. It also runs Windows 8.1 and gets dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Intel Wireless Display 3.0 and NFC for connectivity.
Toshiba launched the Z20t hybrid laptop/tablet with support for a Wacom Digitiser pen. The hybrid comes with a tablet and a detachable keyboard featuring a separate battery unit and the two combined can deliver a battery life of up to 17.4 hours. The hybrid has a 12.5-inch full-HD IPS display with anti-glare and anti-fingerprint coatings. Under the hood is the latest-gen Core M series fanless processor and is joined by 8GB of RAM.
It runs Windows 8.1 and offers storage options of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. It gets Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, micro-HDMI, micro-USB, and a microSD card slot. Once you attach the keyboard dock to it, you get a full-sized HDMI port, Ethernet port, and two USB 3.0 ports. The pricing for the complete bundle begins at $1,399 (approximately Rs 88,000) whereas the model without the digitiser and keyboard has its price starting at $899 (approximately Rs 54,000).
Lenovo launched the Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen technology courtesy of which any object which can conduct electricity can be used as a stylus. The tablet comes with an 8-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. It has a 1.86GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 chipset mated to 2GB RAM under the hood. The internal storage stands at 32GB, which is expandable by another 64GB via microSD.
There’s an 8-megapixel camera at the rear, a 1.6-megapixel camera in the front, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and USB OTG present on the device. A 6,400mAh battery is there inside and the same lasts for up to 18 hours of usage. It is priced at $299 (approximately Rs 18,500) and will go on sale globally towards the end of January.
Lenovo also launched the FLEX 3 convertible range with 11-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch variants. These can be used in different modes which include laptop, stand, tent and tablet. All of them come with touchscreens and run Windows 8.1. The 11-inch model has a resolution of 1,366 x 768 resolution touch display. Under the hood is an Intel Atom processor and there’s an option to get up to 8GB RAM. It comes with up to 64GB eMMC memory, and 1TB of hard disk drive storage, or up to 500GB SSHD with 8GB of flash memory.
The processing power in the 14-inch and 15-inch variants go up to fifth-generation Core i7 processors with up to 8GB RAM. There’s an option of getting the next-gen NVIDIA GeForce GPUs with optional full HD displays. There’s up to to 1TB HD/ 1TB hybrid SSHD with 8GB of flash memory on offer they get optional backlit AccuType keyboards too.
The pricing for the Lenovo FLEX 3 11-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch start at $399 (approximately Rs 24,000), $549 (approximately Rs 33,000) and $579 (approximately Rs 35,000) respectively.
Not a laptop or a convertible, the HP Stream Mini and Pavilion Mini personal computers that launched at CES 2015 also deserve a mention. The Stream Mini has an Intel Celeron processor doing duty inside it. It runs Windows 8.1 and you get Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, an SD card reader, Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI 1.4 port, 3.5mm headset jack and a Display Port 1.2 for connectivity. It comes bundled with a keyboard and mouse. It is priced at $180 (approximately Rs 11,000).
The HP Pavilion Mini runs Windows 8.1 too. It has a 1.7GHz Intel Pentium 3558U processor mated to a 4GB RAM and 500GB of storage. There’s an optional 1.9GHz Intel Core i3-4025U processor too which is joined by 8GB RAM and 1TB of on-board storage. The Pentium unit costs $319.99 (approximately Rs 19,400), while the i3 variant is priced at $449.99 (approximately Rs 27,500). The Pavilion Mini PCs come with a wireless keyboard and mouse.