Last week we looked at some of the most anticipated smartphones and tablets set to launch this year. While those certainly give tech fans plenty to look forward to, there are many more products set to hit the streets in 2011 from other categories. Now let's look at the best of the rest in tech hardware by discussing some upcoming netbooks, laptops, gaming systems, games, processors, and updated operating systems.
Lenovo IdeaPad U1
The IdeaPad U1 combines a tablet and netbook into one. It was originally slated for a 2010 release, but will now hit the streets in the first half of 2011. The U1 will feature a 10.1-inch touch-screen that can be detached, converting the device for tablet use. A Qualcomm Snapdragon processor powers the device in tablet mode, while a 1.3 GHz Core 2 Duo SU1400 processor backs it in netbook mode. Pricing is expected to fall around $1,000.
Netbooks based on the Google Chrome OS
Google is attempting to spread its influence by entering the world of netbooks with machines based on its Google Chrome OS. The company has already released the CR-48, an unbranded netbook operating on the Chrome OS. The CR-48 has received mixed reviews, but it does offer a glimpse into what Google can offer the portable computing market. Acer and Samsung are said to be two of the manufacturers that will release Chrome-based netbooks in the middle of 2011. Some of the expected specs of the upcoming netbooks include 3G support, a full-sized keyboard, and displays in the 10- to 12-inch range.
Sony VAIO 3D laptop
Sony will reportedly jump into the 3D laptop market this year by releasing a VAIO laptop with such technology. The VAIO line is already popular, so adding 3D technology to it will undoubtedly boost its appeal for those seeking advanced entertainment features out of their portable computers. Not much is known at the moment concerning the laptop's specs, but special glasses will probably be needed to view 3D content.
Asus U36 laptop
It appears as if a premium is being placed on portability, especially when it comes to laptops. The MacBook Air has helped set the standard, and now other manufacturers are aiming to compete against it for the ultra-portable crown. The Asus U36, measuring 0.75 inch thick, is not as thin as the 0.68 inch thick MacBook Air or the 0.65 inch thick Dell Adamo. It's close enough, however, and should gain some customers looking for a super-thin laptop for work and travel. The U36 carries a price tag of around $1,000 and features a 13.3-inch display.
While 3D gaming has hit mainstream gaming consoles so that gamers can enjoy their favorite titles on their pricey 3D HDTVs, Nintendo has decided to bring it to the portable gaming market with the 3DS system. The 3DS has an official release date of March 27th and will carry a hefty price tag of $249.99. The portable console will be capable of playing DS and DSi games, as well as newer 3D titles such as Madden Football, The Sims, Super Street Fighter IV, and many other titles set to launch. The system will have a new analog mini-stick, a gyroscope and accelerometer, and two camera lenses for 3D photography, among other features. Success of the product remains to be seen, and one has to wonder if gamers are willing to pay so much for portable 3D gaming.
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