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Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 3

Archaeologic In the early 1980s, civil servant Bernard Terry devised a 'portable text processor' to make his fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI designed the machine with help of a team of former Dragon Data engineers. As the Liberator, it launched in September 1985 to become the first …
Tony Smith, 16 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

Asus and Lenovo both offer more innovative Ultrabook-style laptops than Apple, though the Mac maker has the pair of them licked when it comes to implementing that innovation. So says market watcher ABI Research, which reckons Apple “outscores its rivals significantly in implementation” if not in innovation. For proof, look no …
Hard Reg, 14 Nov 2012
Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 2

Archaeologic It is 1984 and Bernard Terry, a civil servant, has devised a 'portable text processor' to make his fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI has agreed to manufacturer the machine, which will eventually be called the Liberator and become Britain's first laptop computer. Thorn has …
Tony Smith, 14 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

iFixit CEO launches open Toshiba service guide scheme

Kyle Wiens, head of gadget repair service iFixit - an operation best known for its device disassembly efforts - has called on owners of Toshiba laptops to help pen open source repair manuals to make good the computer makers’ closure of an independent Toshiba documentation archive. Launching Operation Fix Toshiba, Wiens promised …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2012
Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

When I reviewed the latest version of the 13in MacBook Pro just a few months ago, it seemed to me that Apple was getting a bit complacent. The mid-2012 update did gain a new Ivy Bridge processor, but the modest speedbump that this produced no longer justified the MacBook’s starting price of £999 – especially with classy new …
Stephen Dean, 13 Nov 2012
Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 1

Archaeologic In 1985, the UK home computer boom was over. Those computer manufacturers who had survived the sales wasteland that was Christmas 1984 quickly began to turn their attention away from the home users they had courted through the first half of the 1980s to the growing and potentially much more lucrative business market. The IBM PC …
Tony Smith, 12 Nov 2012
Intel Pentium 4

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs

Would there have been a PC revolution had Intel decided in the late 1960s to stick to making memory chips and turn its back on microprocessors? Almost certainly, but the company did get into CPUs and IBM chose its 8088 chip to build into its first Personal Computer, the 5150. The 8088 and its sibling, the 8086, evolved from the …
Hard Reg, 12 Nov 2012
Apple

Analyst slams Apple innovation FAIL

One Wall Street analyst has lashed out at Apple, claiming the Mac maker's innovation is "sputtering" on the back of its failure to introduce touchscreen notebooks and desktop all-in-ones. Despite anticipation of a record holiday quarter, the Cupertino firm lacks the inventive touch it once had, Global Equities Research MD Trip …
Caleb Cox, 1 Nov 2012
Apple Fusion Drive logo

Hardware hacker proves Apple Fusion Drive works on older Macs

Top marks to hardware hacker Patrick Stein who has discovered that Apple’s Fusion Drive technology, which combines separate SSD and HDD storage into a single volume, can be added to old Macs. And he’s added one to his own Mac Pro. Patrick’s test set-up included a 120GB SSD linked into the desktop’s internal Sata connector plus a …
Tony Smith, 1 Nov 2012
Dell Latitude 6430u

Dell Latitude 6430u set to be first Ultrabook with gigabit wireless

Dell’s upcoming Windows 8 Ultrabook, the Latitude 6430u, look set to be one of the first - if not the very first - notebook computer to incorporate high-speed WiGig wireless networking technology. The PC giant’s Latitude 6430u page doesn’t yet mention WiGig or 802.11ad, the yet-to-be ratified standard on which WiGig is based. …
Tony Smith, 1 Nov 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix turns Westward

Lenovo’s convertible Ultrabook, the Helix, has made an appearance on the company’s Israel website. The Windows 8-running laptop sports a removable display which operates independently of the keyboard section, Asus Transformer style. Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx IdeaPad Lynx Lenovo hasn’t said much about the device, but the Israeli …
Hard Reg, 30 Oct 2012

Alienware assimilates Dell FROM THE INSIDE!

Gaming notebooks are a secret hobby of mine. I don't actually game that much – even my wife logs more hours than I do – but gaming notebooks are the only way to get the best of the best in a luggable form factor. Alienware is the name to beat in this space, but I've always wondered how they managed to survive the Dell …
Trevor Pott, 29 Oct 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

As a MacBook Pro owner, and yet a fan of the ThinkPad range since the early IBM days, it would be easy for me to assume Lenovo's new IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook fills the gap as the ultimate middle ground model. Indeed, it's a ThinkPad descendant that looks like Lenovo desperately wants an Apple lawsuit. Lenovo IdeaPad U410 …
Shaun Dormon, 25 Oct 2012
Fujitsu's Floral Kiss Ultrabook

Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

Fujitsu Japan has announced a range of PCs “planned and developed primarily under the direction of female employees” and “aimed at female users”. The 'Floral Kiss' range of computers is an extension of the LifeBook line and will go on sale in Japan next Friday. Fujitsu says the Floral Kiss was created because women make nearly …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Oct 2012
Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook

Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook review

A good journalist always tries to avoid clichés, but sometimes when I’m writing laptop reviews I do find myself reaching for a few stock phrases, such as: the speakers are crap. Imagine my relief, then, to discover that the speakers on the Asus N56VM don't fall into the crap category, but are actually rather good, no doubt …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Oct 2012

Wanted! 4m-plus PC purchases to halt industry decline

The PC industry needs YOUR help! Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Sony, Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba and co. require stout - and well-heeled - lads and lasses to pop out and buy just over four million machines before the end of December 2012 and prevent world PC sales slipping year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade. That is what’ …
Tony Smith, 11 Oct 2012
Lenovo Yoga

Lenovo unfolds smaller Yoga tablet-laptop hybrid

Lenovo has announced an 11in version of its still-to-ship Yoga tablet-laptop hybrid. Part of the IdeaPad line-up, Yoga is so named because the hinge on its clamshell casing allows the screen not merely to be lifted up from the keyboard and folded flat against the desk but can be pushed further round to form a tablet. Lenovo …
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2012
Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook

Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook review

It’s only natural that manufacturers want to show off their biggest (or in this case, smallest) and best but Sony has spotted the flaw in this plan. By thrusting their fabulously lean but powerful sexy bits in your face all the time, Ultrabooks have gained a reputation for being the Page 3 girls of computing: naughty, vigorous …
IBM ThinkPad 700C

Happy 20th Birthday, IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad

The ThinkPad is 20 today. Sort of. Launched by IBM and now made by Lenovo, the familiar black-clad, red-nippled laptop family quickly established itself as an icon, in many ways re-establishing Big Blue's reputation as a PC maker after years in the shadow of the clone manufacturers. The first three clamshell-styled ThinkPads, …
Tony Smith, 5 Oct 2012

Analysts slash Ultrabook sales estimate by over 50%

Analyst house IHS iSuppli has slashed its forecast for Ultrabook sales by more than half for this year, and the outlook for 2013 could hardly be described as rosy, as well. Earlier in the year, iSuppli predicted that 22 million of the svelte laptops would ship by the end of 2012, but it's now cut that forecast to 10.3 million. …
Iain Thomson, 1 Oct 2012
HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

The Spectre XT is HP’s third shot at an Ultrabook in less than six months. The gleaming Gorilla Glass livery of the original 14-inch Spectre was both eye-catching and rugged, but it was also very expensive and quite a bit heavier than you’d expect from an Ultrabook. That was quickly followed by the Envy 4, which was much more …
Cliff Joseph, 1 Oct 2012
Apple iPad Mini

Tablet and laptop sales neck and neck

Brits bought as many tablets as laptops in August, market watcher GfK said today. Good news for tablet proponents, that, but not for the folk making and selling computer kit. They make less money selling slabs than notebooks. So while notebooks accounted for 33.6 per cent of IT sales revenue in August 2012, down from 34.5 per …
Tony Smith, 28 Sep 2012
Apple MacBook Air 13in Ivy Bridge

Apple MacBook Air 13in review

Two years ago Apple got really serious about thin and light laptops - and did something really quite important. It replaced its original Air model – that was by then almost three years old – with two new designs. The first Air had been widely perceived to be an expensive novelty, over-priced and under-powered, and it didn’t look …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Sep 2012
Intel logo

Deep, deep dive inside Intel's next-generation processor

At Intel's developer shindig last week, chippery engineers spent a goodly amount of time conducting tech sessions that detailed the company's upcoming 4th-generation Core microprocessor architecture, code-named "Haswell." We thought that you, inordinately intelligent and tech-savvy Reg reader, might enjoy a deep dive into their …
Rik Myslewski, 20 Sep 2012
HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

HP unzips slim Windows 8 notebooks

More skinny (ish) Windows 8 notebooks from HP. Branded Sleekbook, the new notebooks don't meet Intel's specifications for Ultrabook status, not least the 14in model, which sports an AMD CPU. That said, the 15.6in version comes with a choice of Intel Core i processors. You can also spec the machines up with either 1366 x 768 or …
Hard Reg, 20 Sep 2012
Dell Latitude 10

Dell sets out Win8 tablet, Ultrabook, all-in-one stall

Dell unveiled its latest business products for the upcoming Windows 8 platform this morning. The firm flaunted its forthcoming tablet, all-in-one and Ultrabook, all of which come with Dell's high-end security protocols for the serious business user. This includes Dell's data protection encryption services and support for …
Caleb Cox, 19 Sep 2012
DRAM chips

PC share of DRAM biz falls below 50%

PCs, once the final destination for almost all of the world's memory chips, now consume less than half of the world's DRAM shipments. During Q2, only 49 per cent of DRAM shipments ended up in desktop and laptop PCs, down from 50.2 per cent in Q1, market watcher IHS iSuppli said this weekend. This at a time when new machines …
Hard Reg, 17 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Intel to take felon-foiling tech to phones, slates

IDF 2012 Intel has confirmed that it will bring its Anti-theft Technology (AT), currently being pitched at Ultrabooks, to Atom-based smartphones and tablets. The timeframe for bringing AT to such devices is unclear, but it is definitely on the company's roadmap, said Mojy Mirashrafi, Intel's Director of Engineering, Security and Content …
Tony Smith, 13 Sep 2012
Toshiba AT300 Android tablet

Intel to turn Ultrabooks, all-in-one desktops into giant tablets

IDF 2012 Intel wants to turn laptops and even desktops into tablets in order to reverse the decline in the personal computer market. To that end, it unwrapped two form-factors it will be promoting to get tablet-hungry consumers back buying PCs. Well, if you can't beat 'em... Ultrabooks will remain Intel's "hero product", according to …
Tony Smith, 11 Sep 2012
The Register breaking news

Touch tech firms tap Intel for factory cash

IDF 2012 Intel has been pumping money into the touchscreen component business in order to encourage the production of panels of 13in and up to make sure there are enough of them for vendors to build all the touch-enabled Windows 8 notebooks Intel hopes World+Dog will want. The head of Intel's PC Client Group, Kirk Skaugen, didn't say how …
Tony Smith, 11 Sep 2012

Vesa to enable backlight arrays on laptops, tablets

Display standards body Vesa has announced a new version of its Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) specification that paves the way for laptop screens and tablet panels with TV-like array backlighting. It's all done in the name of power conservation, of course, and the eDP 1.4 specification includes a number of technologies designed to …
Tony Smith, 10 Sep 2012
Astronaut with Grid Compass

Laptop innovator Moggridge dies aged 69

The British designer of the world’s first clamshell-style laptop, Bill Moggridge, has died aged 69. His creation, the GRiD Compass (below), was a 4.6-kg, $8,000-plus monster – but it was influential enough for Moggridge to be honoured in 2010 with the Prince Philip Designer Prize, and as noted in this story from the time, his …
The Register breaking news

Google to rent Chromebooks for $30 per month

Google must have a lot of unsold Chrome OS devices lying around, because it has launched an unusual new scheme to get them into customers' hands. Beginning on Wednesday, customers can rent the boot-to-browser machines on a month-to-month basis for as long as three years or as little as a single month. According to a blog post by …
The Register breaking news

Apple weighs in on AntiSec's alleged FBI hack

If, as they claim, the black hats of AntiSec did indeed hack into an FBI agent's laptop and lift unique device identifier (UDID) codes and some users' personal info from 12,367,232 iPhones and iPads, the feds did not get that user and device data from Cupertino. Or so Apple says. "The FBI has not requested this information from …
Rik Myslewski, 5 Sep 2012
Sony Vaio 11 Duo hybrid PC Ultrabook

Sony Vaio 11 Duo hybrid PC hands on review

IFA 2012 Examples of Windows 8 tablet plus detachable keyboard combo devices were all over IFA like a rash. However, Sony’s Vaio Duo 11 has a different approach that keeps the two components together. There are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement, whichever way you look at it. Great, I’ll never lose that keyboard... mmmh, …
Bob Dormon, 3 Sep 2012
Asus Eee PC X101CH

Asus CEO sounds netbook death knell

Asus CEO Jerry Shen has apparently called time on the company's pioneering Eee PC family of netbooks. Shen has said Asus will make no more of the devices, and when current stocks have shipped that will be that, Digitimes claims. Shen is reported to have blamed the move on falling netbooks sales in emerging markets and upon the …
Tony Smith, 3 Sep 2012
Identity

PCs get touchy ahead of Windows 8 launch

IFA 2012 PC manufacturers have been busy unveiling their touchscreen laptops at IFA this week in hot anticipation of Microsoft's Windows 8 release. While several firms have opted for Windows 8 tablets which convert into laptops using peripherals - many of which we talked up yesterday - Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba continued the touchy trend …
Caleb Cox, 3 Sep 2012
Samsung Series 3 300E5A 15in notebook

Ten 15in notebooks for under 400 quid

Product Round-up As much as Intel would like us all to rush out and buy an expensive new Ultrabook, the fact remains that the top-selling laptops for most manufacturers are still low-cost 15.6in models. Laptops for £400 or less have back-to-school appeal written all over them, but the mix of components varies enormously to appeal to different …
Cliff Joseph, 1 Sep 2012
Acer Aspire One 725

Ten netbooks

Product Roundup Tablets may have taken the wind out of the netbook's sales, and prompted some manufacturers, Dell and Sony among them, to stop selling them, but if you're looking for a small and, crucially, cheap personal computer for the kids, for offspring heading off to college, or just for emailing while travelling, a netbook is well worth …
Nick Hawkesmoor, 28 Aug 2012
Intel Ivy Bridge mobile

Ivy Bridge for Ultrabooks

The one thing missing at the launch of Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPU technology was detail on the dual-core and lower powered chips for the mobile market segment, in particular, for its Ultrabook concept. The recent launch of the ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) and dual-core standard voltage mobile Ivy Bridge parts has revealed all, with the …
Simon Crisp, 20 Aug 2012
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

Acer Aspire Timeline M3 Ultra review

It seems safe to say that Ultrabooks haven’t given the PC market the shot in the arm that Intel was hoping for. The high prices haven’t helped, of course, and there also seems to be some evidence that many people are turned off by the relatively small 13in screens that dominate the Ultrabook category. Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra …
Cliff Joseph, 13 Aug 2012

New Intel Ultrabooks to spray HOT JUICE into mobes

Intel will build wireless charging into its svelte laptops, aka Ultrabooks, and smartphones by the middle of 2013, according to whisperings on Chinese rumour mill Digitimes Using the chip giant's own in-house technology, the mobes' batteries are topped up over the air by the Ultrabooks. Apparently the phones can be held anywhere …
Anna Leach, 13 Aug 2012