ASUS debuted its largest Chromebook to date, the C523 model that comes with Celeron or Pentium options. Lenovo had a big Chromebook previously, the convertible 15.6 incher Yoga model and now we have a rival. If it’s worth it you can find out below.
This newcomer supports up to a Full HD display and has pretty slim bezels, at about 6 mm or so. There’s an 80% screen to body ratio here and support for an optional touchscreen, plus an 180 degree hinge, which lets you push the screen back till it becomes parallel to the keyboard. Inside we can find either a Celeron N3350 or Pentium N4200 CPU, support for up to 8 GB of RAM and up to 10 hours of battery life.
Connectivity here includes all the options you can need: WiFi ac, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports and two USB Type-C ports too. We’ve got an audio jack and a microSD card reader, as well as stereo speakers. ASUS Chromebook C523 weighs 3.2 pounds and measures 0.6 inches in thickness. There’s either 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM in the mix, Bluetooth 4.0 and HD webcam for video calls and the works.
We don’t have a clear price right now, but seeing how Acer sells rival products for around $350-$399, I expect a similar tag. I suggest you keep your money and wait for the Snapdragon powered Chromebooks.
Xiaomi Mi Notebook receives new configurations this week, as the device is now available with an 8th gen Intel processor and 128 GB of storage. The device is only available in China for starters and we have details about pricing and specs below.
Meant to compete with lower priced ASUS models and still sporting a quality case, this device starts at $581 and goes to $727. For that amount you get an Intel 8th gen CPU and SSD storage. The product goes on sale in China on August 28th and there’s no info about a launch on other markets just yet. The base version of the machine has an Intel Core i5 CPU, as well as 4 GB of RAM.
The midrange model has the same CPU, but also 8 GB of RAM, while the high end model opts for a Core i7 and 8 GB of RAM. Otherwise, they all have the same 15.6 inch Full HD screen. Storage is quite generous, with both a 1 TB HDD and 128 GB of SSD. On the graphics front, we get an NVIDIA GeForce MX110 GPU with 2 GB of VRAM. Clearly not a machine for gaming.
As far as connectivity is concerned, we have two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Ethernet, a card reader and an audio jack. Bluetooth and WiFi are also here. The good news is that we get a full sized keyboard and also a numeric pad. The product comes in Deep Gray and White and has dual 3W stereo speakers with Dolby Audio virtual surround.
Apple is at it again, so after throttling iPhone components, they also did the same with the MacBooks. This time it has to do with the latest MacBook Pro laptops, which have a tendency to overheat in the Core i9 hexa core setup, with AMD Radeon Pro Graphics. It’s all about the throttling again, for the sake of lower temperature and Apple promised a fix.
Such laptops can even reach a price of $6000 or more and the company is preparing a software update that solves the problem. Apple blames it all on a missing digital key in the firmware, that messes up the thermal management system. This may cause CPU clock speeds to haywire under heavier loads. Basically, when the PC gets hot, the CPU slows down until everything gets cooler.
This means that the huge power of the Core i9 is wasted and you could do better with an older device. Ars Technica did tests with Cinebench, Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, GeekBench and other programs, all of them running faster on a 2018 MacBook Pro with Core i7 than the Core i9 unit. Apple claims that the bug fix is ready for prime time and it’ll be rolled out as part of the macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update, which is coming today.
I’ve been hearing about this problem ever since the laptop was first in stores, so it took them a while to do something about it. New results are coming in and it seems that the update helps with functioning under heavy work loads. Some people are finding bigger improvements than others, which is odd.
ASUS brought the new hinge of the ZenBook S to the new VivoBook S lineup, shown at Computex 2018. However, these are more colorful laptops and also more compact ones, with high midrange specs.
ASUS VivoBook S laptops come in 14 inch or 15.6 inch screen versions and they’ve got the format and colors going for them. Firmament Green, Star Grey, Silver Blue, Gun Metal and Icicle Gold are the hues available here. Some of them have a textured woven finish around the keyboard, others bringing a brushed finish with diamond inspired motifs.
The screen adopts the NanoEdge approach, with very narrow bezels. There’s 16 GB of RAM, NVIDIA GPUs, Intel Core i7 CPUs and dual storage options, with SSD and HDD. There’s no pricing yet, but we do know that products come this month. One of the drawbacks I found here is the lack of an SD card reader, possibly axed for the sake of the waistline.
The 15.6 inch VivoBook S weighs 1.8 kilograms and the 14 incher S14 weighs 1.4 kilograms. On the connectivity front there’s USB Type-C and there are also 3 USB Type-A ports, plus a full size HDMI for some reason. At least there’s a microSD card slot.
They run Windows 10, we’ve also got Core i3 or Core i5 options and GeForce MX150 with 2 GB of memory in the mix.
Acer is on a roll this week, debuting a few Chromebooks and Predator devices. The former are the Chromebook Spin 15 and Spin 13 machines, with hybrid formats.
As any rotateable laptop goes, they can easily be turned into tablets. Acer Chromebook Spin 15 has a 15.6 inch screen, while the Chromebook Spin 13 has a 13.5 inch panel. The smaller has a Full HD resolution, while the biggie goes Full HD+. I can’t promise you’ll notice the difference, because you probably won’t.
Acer Spin 15 relies on a few choices of Intel CPUs, together with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM, as well as 32 GB or 64 GB of storage. Spin 13 for example packs an Intel Core i3 8th gen chipset and an impressive top level of 16 GB RAM. There’s also 32 GB or 64 GB of storage, although 128 GB would have also made sense.
These are obviously Chrome OS laptops and since they’re new, they also have support for the Play Store and Android apps. Linux is also rumored to arrive at some point as an option. No price has been mentioned or leaked for the Spin 13, but the Spin 15 goes for $449.