Category Archives: PC/Laptops

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Lenovo launches Chrome OS powered ThinkPad X131e for $429

TPX131e-chromebookGoogle seems to be silently getting more and more manufacturers to build Chromebooks and latest company to join the Chrome OS arena is Lenovo. The Chinese manufacturer has released a Chrome OS powered version of its Windows 8 running ThinkPad X131e.

Targeted to school students, this ThinkPad Chromebook comes with 11.6-inch 1366x768p display with anti-glare, unknown Intel processor, 3 USB ports, web cam, HDMI and VGA ports. According to Lenovo, the Chromebook should last a school day. It is also rugged, comes with a bumper around the edge and extra-study hinges.

“Lenovo has a great reputation in schools for making durable and reliable laptops, so we’re excited to partner with them to introduce the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook,” said Caesar Sengupta, director of product management, Chrome OS, Google.

The Thinkpad Chromebook X131e will be available starting February 26 under special bid for school systems.

The Chrome OS seems to be getting a lot of attention from manufacturers recently. First Samsung revealed a brand new Chromebook for $249, followed by Acer with $199 Chromebook and just yesterday itself we reported about Series 3 Chromebox from Samsung with Intel Core i5 processor.lenovo-chromebook-1000

Update: Google has just made the Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook official on Google Enterprise blog. It will be sold for $429 in the United States. Schools can add management and support from Google for a one-time cost of $30 per device.

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Samsung Series 3 Chromebox with Core i5, 4GB RAM official

Samsung-Series-3-Chromebox-XE300M22-A02USSamsung’s Series 3 Chromebox XE300M22-A02US, which recently popped up at various online stores, has now been confirmed by a listing at Samsung USA website.  This listing confirms the previously revealed specification of the Chrome OS powered box, but we will have to wait until an announcement to get an official price-tag.

This Series 3 Chromebox is a big improvement over its predecessor, it still might be featuring Ivy Bridge, but otherwise specifications are more than enough for your web browsing or HTML5 app needs.

The devices features an Intel Core i5-2450M Processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, Wi-Fi connectivity, 6 USB ports, Eothernet, Bluetooth, display port and Chrome OS. Samsung has kept the old design on this Chromebox unlike the newly designed ChromeBox that appeared in UK weeks ago.

If we believe the retailer listings, the Series 3 Chromebox XE300M22-A02US will be officially priced around $400-430. Amazon is currently selling it for $423 with a listing price of $499, however it is available for just $405 at CompSource.

Here are some of the live shots of Samsung’s Series 3 Chromebox XE300M22-A02US (via an ebay listing):

Dell Precision Tower Workstation Family. Features T7600, T5600, T3600, and T1650 tower workstations.

Dell buyout talks move further with discussions around $13/$14 a share

Dell Precision Tower Workstation Family. Features T7600, T5600, T3600, and T1650 tower workstations.Just 24 hours ago, we heard about Dell’s alleged plans to go private and now both WSJ and Reuters are reporting that talks are now in advanced stages with private equity firms lining up banks for financing.

According to Reuters, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is leading the discussions and has even brought Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and RBC in to finance a potential deal. One of major issues with taking Dell private is going to be financing and if Silver Lake is able to do that will the help of these bank, we might actually see the this PC maker going private.

Wall Street Journal adds that Silver Lake is discussion a buyout at around $13-$14 per share, which is about the current share price of Dell.  The buyout group is likely to include a private equity firm, another investor and Michael Dell.

WSJ claims that Silver Lake and the other investors would need to arrange for $2 billion in equity, and Michael Dell would likely put his stock toward the deal, worth $3.6 billion or more depending on the offer price, this person said. The group would also use some cash on Dell’s balance sheet, while taking on new debt of about $15 billion, to meet an equity purchase price of roughly $22 billion to $25 billion. The person said advisers are trying to bring the negotiations to a close quickly, either way.

JP Morgan is reportedly advising Dell for this deal. Dell or any of the so-called involved banks have not commented on the buy-out reports.

While, there are complications with a massive buyout like this, it would also allow Dell to re-align its businesses with more focus on enterprise software and services (more lucrative market than PC) without having to worry around investor concerns.

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Dell considering going private: Bloomberg, Reuters

dell-logoThe PC maker Dell is considering potential buyouts from private equity firms, reports Bloomberg. According to the news agency, at least two people familiar with the matter have told it that Dell is in talks with TPG Capital and Silver Lake private equity firms, but these discussions are still preliminary and could fall apart.

The report further adds that several large banks have been approached for the financing, as Dell’s market cap is around $18.9 billion (as of Jan 11, 2013) and would need large financing if going-private plans have to go through.

A similar report from Reuters, which also cites two of its sources, confirmed what Bloomberg is reporting.

This isn’t the first time that Dell has considered going private. CEO and founder Michael Dell confirmed at an investor meet in June 2010 that he had considered taking the company private.

Some analysts believe that taken Dell private might help the company in its shift from PC business to enterprise hardware, software and services by escaping the investor scrutiny.  “You can be bolder in your decisions when you are a private company,” one analyst noted. While others are skeptical about the size of Dell and its going private is no easy task because of the massive financing requirements.

“The market value of Dell has come down so much that a buyout has become something that is plausible. They have about $5 billion in net cash and also free cash flow generation that could sustain payments on debt from a leveraged buyout,” told S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino to Reuters. “However, we think it’s unlikely, given the sheer size of Dell and where the stock is currently trading at.”

Dell has declined to comment on the talks.

Dell, which was founded by Michael Dell in University dorm room in 1984, has been ceding market share to HP and Lenovo to the past few years. Even the latest preliminary report from Gartner suggests that Dell lost 2 pc of market share in the Q4, 2012, slipping to 10.2 pc from 12.2 pc in 2011.

Image credit: Reuters

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Worldwide PC shipments decline in Q4, 2012, a trend?

Seems tablets are finally eating the PC pie. According to the latest preliminary report released by Gartner, the worldwide PC shipments totalled 90.3 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 4.9 percent decline year-on-year basis.  This fall further gives credibility to the notion that consumers are increasingly choosing tablets as their main computing device rather than opting for a desktop or laptop, unless required.

“Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by ‘cannibalizing’ PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. It makes sense and even personally I have heard from multiple consumers that they are looking to grab a tablet as their next computing device as they don’t really do more than web browsing or media consumption on their current personal computers.pc-vendor-shipments-2012-gartner

“Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC. There will be some individuals who retain both, but we believe they will be exception and not the norm,” Kitagawa added.

Windows 8, which was expected to rejuvenate PC sales, hasn’t done much to help. “Analysts said some PC vendors offered somewhat lackluster form factors in their Windows 8 offerings and missed the excitement of touch,” noted Gartner in a press release.

In terms of the manufacturers, HP leads the pack with 14.6 million shipments and 16.2pc market share, followed closely by Lenovo with 13.9 million units and 15.5pc market share.

Highlights:

  • In the U.S., PC shipments totalled 17.5million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 2.1 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011
  • PC shipments in EMEA totalled 28.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 9.6 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2011
  • PC shipments in Asia/Pacific totalled 29.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012, a 1.8 percent decline from the fourth quarter of 2011.

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