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Computex: Microsoft Updates Its Windows 8 PC Gallery

The June issue of RCP featured a detailed gallery of interesting new Windows 8 PCs. We highlighted the Acer Aspire R7, P3 and V Series; the Dell XPS 18; the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon and ThinkPad S431; the Sony VAIO Fit; HP 400 ProBook and 200 series; the ASUS VivoBook S500; the VIZIO Thin +Light Touch and All-in-One Touch PC; and the Toshiba KIRAbook.

The reason for running the gallery in this latest issue is that with Windows 8 passing the six-month mark, PC OEMs seemed to be doubling down with a raft of new systems built to exploit the platform. The wave of new systems announced through early May also supported some Microsoft executives' recent statements about how many touch-enabled systems were starting to become available for Windows 8, a necessary precursor to spurring sales.

Predictably, though, the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan, this week demands an update to that gallery. Computex is annually one of the most important hardware showcases in the industry and this year was no exception. Several of the devices announced in Taipei this week deserve a mention in any discussion of the current Windows PC ecosystem.

Acer Iconia W3

The biggest Windows device news out of Computex, as reported by Kurt Mackie, by far was the demonstration of the Acer Iconia W3. It's one of the smaller Windows 8 form factors that Microsoft publicly confirmed a few months ago. Its most important spec is the 8.1-inch screen that puts the Iconia squarely in the mini-tablet category. The tablet weighs 1.19 pounds, is 0.45 inches thick, has a battery rated at eight hours and sports front and rear cameras. An optional keyboard dwarfs the tablet, giving users a larger surface to type on. The device is scheduled to ship later this month. Acer also unveiled a handful of other Windows 8 systems.

Sony VAIO Pro

Sony substantially upgraded its line of VAIO PC notebooks for Windows 8. The company unveiled the VAIO Pro 11 and VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabooks. They come in black or silver and will be available next week for $1,149 for the 11-inch-screen model and $1,249 for the 13-inch version. Sony also updated the Duo line -- the hybrid with the screen that slides down into a tablet mode. The new Duo 13 will retail for $1,399 next week.

ASUS Zenbook Infinity

ASUS announced several new devices. The most visually arresting is the Zenbook Infinity, which sports a new type of Gorilla Glass, among other features. Pricing, specifications and availability will be announced later. Other new ASUS models include 27-inch and 23-inch all-in-ones.

Dell XPS 11

Dell also used Computex to launch a new convertible Ultrabook -- the Dell XPS 11. It's a tight-looking little laptop with a screen that rotates 360-degrees to a tablet, with just a 15-mm thickness and a weight of 2.5 pounds. More details will come later in 2013. Meanwhile, Dell has also redone its "flip hinge" Dell XPS 12 to boost performance and battery life and add Near Field Communications and location awareness.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 06, 2013