Tagged With notebooks

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Welcome back to Toy Aisle, our round up of the best toys we've seen all week. This time we have a ton of new LEGO minifigures, the most amazing Magneto cape, entirely unrelated magnetic building blocks, a spectacularly poseable Spider-Man: Homecoming figure, and yes, the best grin on a Han Solo action figure ever.

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Apple's automatic shotgun approach to patent filing means we get all sorts of weird and wonderful insights into the imaginations of the company's designers, who have come up with everything from "sick vapes" to phones made entirely from glass. The most recent patent appears to err on the more conventional side of design, proffering a contraption that combines a phone or tablet with a notebook "shell".

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Not content with making every other technology product under the sun, Samsung now has a gaming laptop in its repertoire. It actually sounds pretty good on paper, too, if you want a powerful 15- or 17-inch machine that'll run double duty for workday tasks and casual PC gaming.

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The problem with technology shrinking is that our hands aren't getting smaller, creating usability issues. Apple's 12-inch MacBook is about as small as you can make a laptop with a full-size keyboard, but Japan's King Jim has found a clever way to make its Portabook XMC10 even smaller.

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We're seeing some pretty crazy and groundbreaking tech come out of Taiwan recently. Gaming laptops are chief amongst those, always making advancements in processing power and graphics grunt, all while getting thinner and sleeker. This is exactly the case with the new Aorus X5, which also has a display certified for flicker-free gaming by Nvidia; apparently it's the world's most powerful 15-inch laptop.

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There's an optional discrete graphics card available in higher-spec variants of Microsoft's brand new Surface Book laptop; it'll make the thin and light laptop powerful enough for a bit of casual gaming as well as demanding graphics applications like Adobe Photoshop. Probably, at least — we don't actually know anything about it, and Microsoft and Nvidia are staying pretty quiet on the topic.

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We don't all buy ridiculously powerful notebooks. Gaming PCs, sure, but not notebooks. Normal laptops — y'know, the ones you can buy in Harvey Norman and your local computer store, the ones that cost a thousand dollars and not five thousand — are far more common, but we don't give them as much love as we should.

AMD has just taken the covers off its latest high-performance notebook APU, called Carrizo, and the under-the-hood improvements are genuinely amazing. Say hello to double the battery life of last year's laptops, as well as almost double the computing power.

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As long as it's existed the Etch-A-Sketch has been sold as a drawing toy, but in reality that couldn't be a more inaccurate description. Using two twisty knobs is just about the least intuitive way to draw there is, and while the challenge is obviously part of the toy's long-lasting appeal, these Etch-A-Sketch-themed notebooks are a much better way to let your creative juices flow.

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There are times when you just need a bit of extra grunt from your laptop, whether it's for a bit of workday number-crunching or a spot of after-work gaming on the sly. Asus's ZenBook UX303LN is a thin and light Ultrabook, but has more than its fair share of extra graphical and computing power.

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Toshiba's Portege thin and light laptops have always been small, but they've made minor compromises to get there — generally in battery life or overall flexibility. Not the Portege Z20t, though — in the one device you'll get the portability of a sub-800g tablet, or clip on the included docking keyboard for a laptop that barely tips the scales at 1.5kg.

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The desktop graphics space hasn't been that exciting in recent years, but all the improvements in power optimisation, fabrication processes and performance have not gone to waste. Now more than ever, lightweight, yet powerful gaming notebooks are becoming commonplace (and affordable) and while there's still a way to go, getting grunt without sacrificing on portability is very realistic.