We are still waiting for the big laptop year

We are still waiting for the big laptop year

After a long, long month of laptop publishing, Computex 2022 is finally over. In some ways, it’s Computex, which it wasn’t.

The beginning of this year was an exciting time to be a reporter on a laptop. Every company and its mother have announced that great ideas are on the way. Wide products were plentiful, from monitors to telephones. The LG Display (which supplied a 13.3-inch panel for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold) featured a 17-inch folding OLED screen. We saw a lot of RGB, OLED and haptic elements. Chip makers have promised architectural innovations and increased performance. We were told that they would all come soon.

At the end of May, Computex, the largest exhibition of the year focused on laptops, took place. (Well, it really was all May – because many global participants couldn’t get to Taiwan, most companies just did their own stuff and dropped their versions at any time, but that’s a different story. I’m still recovering from this month of continuous announcements, please , don’t write to me.) This would be the perfect time for some of these innovative versions to be released. Or find the release date.

But we didn’t get them at Computex 2022. The show was actually aggressively exciting. We have a hell of a lot of chips. We have some displays with a higher refresh rate. We got an HP Specter x360 with rounder corners. (To be clear, I’m personally very excited about the rounder corners, but maybe I’m the only person on the ship on this ship.)

Don’t get me wrong: Gradual upgrades, both internal specifications and external elements, are important. It will change people’s lives. Companies don’t have to reinvent the wheel with every single laptop they release. However, it is still worth noting that a number of devices that do seem to be ready to expand or redefine their categories are not yet here (or if they do, I cannot find them in the offer for sale).

Here is the Elite Dragonfly G3, which you can’t buy yet.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Below are some of the highly anticipated products announced earlier this year that still haven’t made it to my desk:

  • Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED, originally announced at CES for Q2 2022. There are 25 days from this writing until Q2, and we don’t have a confirmed price yet. This is one of the many famous 17-inch folding laptops we’ve been expecting this year – Samsung has also unveiled one at CES and HP is said to have one at work. We haven’t seen either at Computex.
  • XPS 13 2-in-1, one of the most important models in the convertible area. Okay, so this hasn’t actually been announced yet, but it’s leaked – and according to Dell leaks, this product is likely to switch from the traditional 2-in-1 format to a Surface Pro-like device. There was no mention of it in May.
  • The non – business version of the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, the only device that Country the employees were the most enthusiastic this year. It is set to be the first Chromebook to feature impressive new features including a haptic trackpad and Intel vPro. It was to be shipped in April when it was announced to CES. We received an update at the beginning of May – “this summer” is coming, but it is not in stock at the moment.
  • Speaking of HP, the exciting Dragonfly G3, which finally brings a 3: 2 display to the top business line and whose prototype we saw in January, was originally expected in March. When you look at the HP website, it looks like it’s not available until July.
  • Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen 3, 2022 edition, which I was most excited about. It is a 17-inch device with two screens. While dual-screen devices that place the keyboard in front of the deck can still be quite good, their placement doesn’t work for everyone. The ThinkBook Plus places the screen on its side, leaving the keyboard in its normal position (albeit a little to the left) and maintaining the usable size of the touchpad, an arrangement that might be more practical for many people. It was legitimately very cool to use in the Lenovo CES demonstration area and it could be a potentially useful idea of ​​a dual screen format. It was supposed to be sent in May, but according to Lenovo’s website it is still “early”.
  • There’s also no sign of the ThinkPad Z-series, the new funky new ThinkPad line that targets the Gen Z, features a haptic touchpad and vegan leather case, and is a potentially new vision for who can benefit a business laptop. It was supposed to be sent in May, but no dice yet. (At the time of writing, the website still states “Spring 2022 is Coming.”
  • RDNA 3, the next generation of AMD’s Radeon graphics processors, is said to deliver crazy performance improvements. The updates that AMD made were still a big announcement, but the reported single-fiber gains were staggering compared to them.

This is not all bad news. Some of the most anticipated devices of 2022 were released as planned, including a number of products on the gaming site, such as the Asus ROG Flow Z13. And, of course, companies are constantly deviating from their plans. But I checked my impression with Gartner Research Vice President Stephen Kleynhans, and it seems to be true: Overall, we are seeing delays in PC deliveries, which in turn has an impact on the release. Of course, this is not just a PC issue – industries across all areas, including the automotive industry, are being held back.

Lenovo ThinkBook plus Gen 3 keyboard viewed from above.  The primary screen shows a blue circle on a white background.

Photo by Monica Chin / The Verge

Kleynhans believes that these delays are, unsurprisingly, “mostly supply chain problems” and many of them are related to the current situation of COVID in China, which has led to the locking of key technology centers. Kleynhans told me that “until China really reopens, which seems to be what we are seeing now, and it is able to catch up with the backlogs that have arisen, we will continue to see disturbances other than those already there.” He thinks that the availability of PCs could be disrupted “at least until the summer and at the end of the year.”

It’s not just that companies have trouble getting current-generation units into their hands, according to Kleynhans – it’s also about fulfilling the latest generation of orders. “If you have a customer who ordered 1,000 machines three or four months ago and still hasn’t received them, you don’t want to release this year’s model until those orders are outstanding,” Kleynhans told me. . We certainly see delays in current models as well – many of Apple’s latest MacBook Pros show delivery dates in late July or later. (Apple is rumored to be preparing a new MacBook Air, and it will be interesting to see if the company is able to meet its usual short-term availability timeline.)

In terms of supply chain delays, the PC market is hardly the worst affected (or most important) sector. The world will continue to spin if delivery of 17-inch folding computers takes longer than expected. And laptop delays are hardly the most important or impressive consequence of this pandemic.

Nevertheless, this situation should serve as a reminder of a fact that, frankly, is always worth remembering: PC space has so many moving parts. Many things had to go right to get the laptop you’re typing on and the laptop I’m typing on (it’s Zephyrus G14, if you’re curious) to get to our door. It’s fun to live in a world full of haptics, folding devices and a twofold increase in performance at the beginning of the year. But the real world is more complicated and boring, and even the greatest innovations require all kinds of logistics stars to match.

#waiting #big #laptop #year

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