Hands-on with the iPhone 7 Plus: Is bigger always better?

Hands-on with the iPhone 7 Plus: Is bigger always better?

Image: Rill Causey/Mashable

By Lance Ulanoff2016-09-08 00:25:46 UTC

SAN FRANCISCO — Much of what you need to know about the Apple iPhone 7 Plus, which was unveiled here Wednesday, can be found in the iPhone 7 hands-on. These handsets are of a piece.

Like the iPhone 7, the 7 Plus is virtually the same size and shape as its predecessor. In the demo room I fiddled around with the very sharp-looking matte Black finish. It’s almost hard to believe that Apple could take the exact same material, Series 7000 aluminum, and create such diametrically opposed finishes. The polish on the Jet Black is like the surface of water, and the matte Black reflects almost nothing.

And, no, in case you’re wondering, the iPhone 7 Plus doesn’t use its larger body and extra space to offer a 3.5mm headphone jack. That technology is dead to Apple. Instead, the bottom edge looked just like the iPhone 7, with two grills and a lighting port. It’s just a bit wider.

Two cameras

Aside from the obvious discrepancy in size (the iPhone 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch display while the iPhone 7’s is 4.7 inches), the only notable difference between the two phones is the camera. And it’s a big difference. The iPhone 7 Plus is Apple’s first dual-camera smartphone, and they did a pretty good job of integrating the larger bump into the body. It helps that the case curves to meet the edge of the dual-lens housing.

Unlike the regular iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera.

The cameras themselves are both 12 megapixels. One has a wide-angle lens and the other uses a 2x telephoto. Only the former has optical image stabilization. However, they work in concert to give you new photo capabilities.

In the demo room, I was able to take photos and also use the cameras simultaneously. When I opened the camera app, the interface looked pretty much as it has for a while, but I could see the little “1x” floating near the bottom of my image. If I tapped it, it instantly zoomed to 2x, which meant it was accessing the second telephoto lens and not using software to zoom. Right now I use an Olloclip iPhone lens attachment to add 2x zoom to my iPhone 6, so I really appreciate having this built in.

When I held my finger on the button, I got a sort of dial that let me zoom all the way into 10x. I took a picture or two this way. They looked okay — I’ve never been a huge fan of digital zoom, but at least you’re starting with an image that’s been optically pulled twice as close.

Those two lenses will eventually let you take beautiful portrait shots with defocussed backgrounds, but the software that can do this wasn’t ready in time for the demo room. I only saw the same pictures Apple showed off during the initial unveiling.

A glance at the upcoming “Portrait” mode in the iPhone 7 Plus

Image: Rill Causey/Mashable

The rest of the device

The Taptic Engine behind the device’s immovable home button felt just as responsive as it did on the iPhone 7, and the stereo speakers were at least as loud.

This phone is also water and dust-resistant, features I couldn’t tell you much about based on my experience in the demo room (but I’m awfully glad they’re finally here).

Inside, the iPhone 7 Plus is the same new A10 Fusion CPU, a chip designed to offer more power when you need it and preserve energy when it can. Of course, the larger iPhone 7 Plus will always offer more battery life than the more diminutive iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 Plus looks just as sharp as the iPhone 7, but the camera is an interesting question. It offers a number of cool and promising features, but does more to break up the perfectly clean lines of the iPhone 7 Plus than the single lens does on the iPhone 7. Only time will tell if this bothers people or not.

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-09-08 00:48:06

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Apple won’t disclose first weekend iPhone 7 sales — but claims it will sell out

Apple won’t disclose first weekend iPhone 7 sales — but claims it will sell out

Well goodbye then, iPhone first weekend sales metric. You had a good innings, as the British like to say, but the days of Cupertino putting a figure on how many iPhones it has managed to flog in the first few days of sales are done. Let’s say they’re (Tim) Cooked.

Apple announced the forthcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus yesterday, revealing two new iPhones without a 3.5mm headphone jack but with some light new design elements, as well as water and dust resistance; beefed up storage and battery life; a dual-lens rear camera; a reworked home button; stereo speakers; and the customary CPU upgrade.

Pre-orders for the two new iPhones start on Friday, with store availability from September 16. But, unlike in previous new iPhone release cycles, come Monday Apple won’t be saying how many handsets it’s shifted.

The company tells Reuters it is ending the traditional first weekend glimpse of iPhone sales because there is no point in releasing a figure that merely measures its (in)ability to fulfill demand. Although of course it would say that.

An Apple spokeswoman told the news agency: “As we have expanded our distribution through carriers and resellers to hundreds of thousands of locations around the world, we are now at a point where we know before taking the first customer pre-order that we will sell out of iPhone 7. These initial sales will be governed by supply, not demand, and we have decided that it is no longer a representative metric for our investors and customers.”

Now there are two schools of thought here — one of which is that Apple is explicitly promising a “sell out” and thus the iPhone 7 is a sewn-up, in-the-bag home run. And, in a perfect world where Apple’s supply chain had limitless on-demand capacity, it could shift more iPhones than it can in the real world, where even Cook’s supply chain expertise can only stretch manufacturing capacity so far. So why should Apple report a smaller number of iPhone sales than demand for new iPhones exists?

The other school of thought is that Apple is cloaking traditional first weekend iPhone sales because it’s rather less confident about its controversial decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack than Phil Schiller made out on stage yesterday. So less #Courage, more #Contingency.

The new iPhones also don’t represent a big design overhaul over last year’s models (or indeed the year before) — which might also discourage iOS users from upgrading. In saturated smartphone markets skipping an upgrade cycle or two might not seem such a big deal when this year’s iPhones look much the same as 2014’s models.

Add to that Cupertino of course remains massively scrutinized so any perceived blip in early iPhone 7 sales figures could rebound painfully on its bottom line. So — eyeing shareholder value — why take the risk of revealing sales figures when you don’t have to? Just be sure to get that message out early, i.e. ahead of pre-orders, rather than once orders have started flowing and/or the world’s media is expecting you to drop an impressive set of digits.

#Control.

Which just leaves the sales guesstimates…

Speculating on Apple’s decision not to release first weekend sales for the iPhone 7, analyst Ben Bajarin tweets that he’s expecting “roughly flat” sales figures — in the region of 10 million units…

Although last year’s iPhone 6s upgrade racked a bumper 13 million in first weekend sales for Apple so 10M iPhone 7 units would represent a bit of a drop-off.

For the record, here’s a list of iPhone first weekend sales figures from all prior years:

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-09-08 19:22:00

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Face-Off: Doom

Face-Off: Doom

There was a time when a new id Software release could make waves across the industry – redefining entire genres, upping the ante for high-end graphics, and changing the face of multiplayer games forever. With those halcyon days lingering in our rear view mirrors over the past few years, it has often felt as if the id Software we grew up with had been lost to time. Then, on Friday the 13th of May, everything changed – Doom was released to the world and blew the doors off expectations worldwide. To say that we were pleasantly surprised would be a vast understatement. To put it simply, id Software is back in a big way and this new take on Doom rockets the studio right back up to the top.

The release of Doom also marks id’s triumphant return to cutting-edge graphics engine development. Combining the high performance and virtual texturing capabilities of id Tech 5 with advanced lighting and materials, the new id Tech 6 feels like a long awaited return to form. Such results don’t come easy, however – while classic id Tech engines were architected primarily by John Carmack, who has since moved onto Oculus, id Tech 6 is the product of a massive dedicated team of id veterans and leading industry engineers, including a number of folks from Crytek, coming together under one banner.

The results are explosive. Doom delivers a full 60fps shooter on consoles with some of the most remarkable visuals we’ve seen this entire generation. In the wake of PlayStation Neo rumours and cries for new hardware, the release of Doom and Uncharted 4 in the same month demonstrates just how capable the existing machines are in the right hands. After all, no matter how much power is available, good performance still requires smart coding and design.

What’s more impressive is the fact that id has achieved all of this without leaving the PC fan base out to dry. Doom includes a huge number of adjustable options for PC users and crucially, it feels great to play with a mouse and keyboard. id has managed to create something with Doom that manages to feel as if it were crafted specifically for each platform – almost as if it were a high-end first party title. It doesn’t really matter which system you own; you’re going to have a great experience.

Jump into the world of Doom as we examine the technology powering the game while comparing all three versions to one another.

Getting down to the basics, as with id Tech 5 before it, Doom brings a dynamic pixel-count to the table. The idea is simple – adjust the internal rendering resolution based on the load in order to maximise performance. This helps keep the performance up even in the busiest of scenes – the same areas where a drop in resolution will be harder to pick-up visually. This highlights one area where a PS4 exhibits an advantage over Xbox One: it boasts a full 1080p output for the vast majority of the duration, with minor drops in resolution occurring in select circumstances. In contrast, Xbox One regularly struggles to hit full 1080p, more often coming in around 1472×828 or lower.

When it comes to performance, both versions aim to deliver a steady 60 frames per second update and the game comes remarkably close to delivering just that. On PlayStation 4, the majority of battles play out with only the smallest of drops. We’ve already presented one of the worst-case scenarios in video form, but the overall experience feels perceptually rock solid to the point where we were surprised to find any drops at all after analysing the footage.

On Xbox One, performance isn’t quite as robust but it still manages to feel great. During many of the larger battles, frame-rates tumble into the mid-50s with some dips all the way down into the 40s. Again, the general perception is that the experience is smooth, but the drops are more evident throughout. Still, it’s a solid effort and one that Xbox One owners will still greatly enjoy. Both platforms offer users the option to adjust FOV and disable motion blur and these settings do have an extremely minor impact on performance but the end results feel similar regardless.

The PC version does not offer any sort of dynamic resolution option, but thankfully, it is possible to manually adjust resolution scaling. Using a 1440p monitor, GTX 970 and R9 290X are both incapable of delivering a full 60fps experience at native resolution. However, knocking the resolution scaling feature down to 85 per cent provides a boost in image quality over 1080p while hitting the desired 60fps target. This is great news here as the game handles scaling better than typical GPU or monitor solutions.

While browsing the options menu, then, you may be surprised by the sheer number of options on offer. The PC version is full of tweakable bits and bobs that enable users to optimise the experience across a wide range of hardware. Despite the wealth of options, many of the changes are actually rather insignificant. So the question becomes, what do these options do and how do the consoles stack up?

Anti-aliasing: Doom introduces a new form of anti-aliasing known as Temporal Super-Sampling Anti-Aliasing, which uses super-sampling to analyse motion data of each frame. This effectively eliminates edge and in-surface aliasing along with distant shimmering to create one of the cleanest examples of AA we’ve seen as of late, right up there with Uncharted 4. It’s a technique present across both consoles versions and included as the default option on PC. It’s fast and very effective but PC users are also given the choice of FXAA, SMAA, and TAA with additional temporal pass variants on hand.

Lights quality: Changing this setting impacts the distance in which point lights become visible. On lower settings, these lights are simply faded from view earlier while, naturally, the highest settings allow you to see each of them from across the map. The console versions both utilise the game’s medium setting with lights disappearing from view at a moderate distance from the player.

Shadows quality: This setting determines the resolution of the shadows presented across the world and the distance in which some of them are drawn. The difference between medium and ultra is minimal in terms of visible quality, but when using the medium setting, there are instances in which shadows actually disappear from view. As one might expect, the console versions utilise the medium setting. There is a nightmare setting available on PC, which requires a GPU with 5GB of VRAM and while there is a noticeable boost in shadow clarity over all other settings, it’s not something you will miss if you’re lacking the memory.

Player self-shadow: This feature allows shadows to play off of the Doom Guy’s weapon realistically. It is enabled on consoles and looks very nice in action. That said, it’s not something that is visible in all lighting conditions nor does it appear to have a significant impact on performance.

Direction occlusion quality: This is a very high quality approach to ambient contact shadows that works by calculating occlusion and scene illumination dynamically. It brings additional depth to the world that exceeds typical screen-space ambient occlusion methods. Increasing this setting simply improves the accuracy of the effect leading to fewer visible artefacts, but it does manage to look excellent even at medium settings, which is what the consoles appear to use.

Decal quality: The decal system in Doom enables a wide range of surface effects to be painted across the world including the all-important blood splatter and bullet holes. The quality setting appears to control the resolution and density of decals. Using the higher settings enables a much greater number of decals per scene, which are visible further into the distance. The console versions are using the medium setting. The option below it, labeled ‘decal filtering’, determines the level of anisotropic filtering applied to each decal.

Virtual texturing page size: The page file here serves as a sort of virtual memory pool for the textures. The point of virtual texturing/megatexture is to enable consistency across all versions of the game. For GPUs with less memory available, decreasing the page file size simply means that you’ll run into increased texture pop-in but, when textures are fully loaded, quality is still adequate. However, stuttering kicks in if you attempt to push the size of the page file beyond the limits. We’re uncertain how large the available page file is for consoles, but we can say that texture pop-in occurs more frequently in these versions than on our 4GB GTX 970, though never to the same degree as previous id Tech 5 games. Textures are slightly less crisp on the consoles as well.

Reflections quality: Doom utilizes a combination of screen-space reflections and cube-maps – at least when using the medium through ultra settings. Consoles appear to use the medium setting, which features slightly less accurate screen-space reflections. On low, screen-space reflections are disabled completely and only cube-maps remain. It’s also possible to completely disable all reflections, save for the specular highlights used for point lights.

Particles quality: This determines the resolution and visible distance of particles, such as clouds of dust, smoke, and fire, used in the game. Console versions use the high setting while PC users can push things up to ultra for cleaner effects. What’s interesting about the particle system in Doom is that alpha clouds are properly lit and shadowed by the world. Plumes of smoke passing in front of a red light next to a machine will exhibit a red glow, for instance, while shadows filter realistically through steam filled corridors. Doom includes an impressive GPU particle system that is not controlled by this or any setting – it’s standard across the board on all platforms for most objects. In certain scenes, such as the foundry, there are actually additional particles in the air visible on the PC when using higher settings.

Compute shaders: This setting takes advantage of additional processing power on the GPU to increase performance of more general purpose tasks. Performing arbitrary processing on the GPU frees up resources on the CPU but it’s not entirely clear how this feature is being used in the game as it need not tie into any visible rendering features. It’s interesting to see this option available and it likely benefits the consoles in terms of performance due to weaker CPUs.

Doom features a mostly consistent level of performance, but there are drops to be found which we uncovered in this performance test.

Motion blur quality: As you would expect, this option controls the sample count and quality of the motion blur used in the game. Even at the lower settings, however, motion blur is of an excellent quality on all three platforms though PS4 boasts a slightly higher quality version of the effect compared to Xbox One. It’s also possible to adjust the amount of motion blur as well as disable it completely.

Depth of field: Doom features an absolutely beautiful bokeh depth of field effect that is used when picking up new items, interacting with objects, or swapping weapons around. An option exists for depth of field anti-aliasing as well, but in comparing shots, there does not appear to be any significant difference there. Depth of field is in full effect on consoles, of course.

Those are the primary settings available but there are a few additional options included as well. HDR Bloom, lens flare, and lens dirt, for instance, are all enabled on consoles but can be toggled off on the PC if you prefer to remove the effects from view. HDR Bloom is most visible around lava where an obvious bloom effect is visible with this enabled while lens flare and lens dirt are effects designed to simulate light and dirt playing off of your helmet. It’s also possible to play with sharpness and film grain settings.

AMD performance was troubled at launch, but with updated drivers, both cards deliver a solid level of performance and this video showcases the results.

The PC version also includes a set of rendering modes that influence the appearance of the final image. The default mode presents the game as intended, but gritty and cinematic modes modify contrast, sharpness, and colour grading. It’s a setting not unlike that which was available in early Unreal Engine 3 games such as Gears of War and it’s a nice touch. Interestingly, Tiago Sousa, lead renderer programmer on the game, suggested that the team fiddled with locking the cinematic mode to 24Hz just for fun but ultimately decided against it as the game suffered.

We were also impressed with the addition of classic maps within the game. Each main level in Doom includes a hidden map from the original Doom or Doom 2, which can be played in its entirety from the main menu. What’s fascinating here is that the same models and enemies from the main game are placed into these maps and lighting is all but disabled giving them a unique, flat appearance that you wouldn’t normally encounter. Beyond that, we were pleased that textures rendered in these sections are presented using nearest neighbor filtering, giving them a properly pixelated appearance. It’s also fascinating to play these maps with the mechanics from the new game – even if you’ve played through these maps hundreds of times, changing up the mechanics brings an entirely new challenge and it’s surprisingly enjoyable.

While we’ve broken Doom out into its individual components, the truth is, this is a game that is greater than the sum of its parts. You can look closely at certain surfaces or effects and find examples of a game that does it better but there are no other console games that combine all of these elements so beautifully at such a high frame-rate. Doom focuses on the big picture and is stronger for it.

The only area that left us a touch disappointed concerns loading times on consoles. It’s not unacceptably long, weighing in between 35 and 40 seconds for each map, but it’s the waiting upon death that is the real issue. When you reload a checkpoint, Doom requires users to wait upwards of 20 seconds before returning to the action, which on the higher difficulty modes, feels like an eternity. Now, to be fair, anyone that has played a Dark Souls game on consoles won’t have any issues here, but with the speed of the game, we would have loved a faster reload a la Halo 5.

We also ran into some launch day woes with AMD hardware. Doom currently uses OpenGL exclusively, though a Vulcan patch is in the works, and this has often presented an issue for AMD’s driver team. Early tests demonstrated that AMD cards were operating at a much lower level of performance but,with the updated Crimson drivers released a few days after launch, frame-rates skyrocketed. We’ll be curious to see how Doom runs under Vulcan and we also await the promised SLI support.

Beyond that, however, Doom is a masterpiece both in terms of its technology and its design. The world of shooters has become increasing saturated with bloated open world games with repetitive content, so it’s refreshing to play something as exciting and well-made as Doom. It’s also a triumph for multi-platform releases in that each version of the game feels crafted for its target machine. While it’s true that the PS4 version takes the lead when comparing the two consoles with its faster frame-rate and higher resolution, the Xbox One version is still incredibly well made and looks excellent. No matter which platform you choose, you’re bound to have a great time with Doom.

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-05-21 10:33:31

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PS4 Neo: release date, specs, price and everything we know

PS4 Neo: release date, specs, price and everything we know

By Matthew Reynolds Published 24/06/2016

The dust has settled after E3, and the PS4 Neo – or the PS4K – was notably absent. Whereas Microsoft announced not one but two new consoles – the Xbox One S and Xbox Project Scorpio – Sony quietly confirmed a mid-generational upgrade just before the show opened. Despite this, there’s plenty about the PS4 Neo we know through a series of leaks, such as a visual and performance upgrade for future games as part of a dedicated ‘Neo’ mode, 4K output, and full compatibility with existing PS4 games and peripherals.

PS4 Neo specs vs PS4 – how the two systems compare

Base PS4

PS4K Neo

Boost

CPU

Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 1.6GHz

Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz

1.3x

GPU

18 Radeon GCN compute units at 800MHz

36 ‘improved’ GCN compute units at 911MHz

2.3x FLOPs

Memory

8GB GDDR5 at 176GB/s

8GB GDDR5 at 218GB/s

24% more bandwidth, 512MB more useable memory

While Digital Foundry goes into more detailed specifics in its PS4 Neo specs analysis, in summary, expect a CPU overclock over the x86 cores in the original PS4 system; a bandwidth increase to memory that, while doesn’t scale too well with the 31% CPU increase, provides a 512MB memory increase for games in Neo-mode; and what’s described as the most exciting aspect, a sizable GPU boost most likely based on upcoming Polaris AMD technology.

In short, the PS4 Neo is different to the existing PS4 in the following areas:

Graphical and performance improvements to supported games when played on Neo

4K native output of select games, and the ability to upscale to 4K of others

4K video support (specifics, including UHD Blu-rays, have yet to be confirmed)

PS4 Neo vs PS4 – what will be the same?

Same library of games – so no PS4 Neo exclusives – with each piece of software a unified package that runs on both consoles

Identical peripheral support, from the DualShock 4 to the PS Camera

No PS4 Neo-exclusive features or DLC in any games. However, certain modes can be enhanced; one example is if there is a two-player local split-screen mode, it could expand to four-players on Neo

Shared and equal PSN ecosystem, so regular PS4 users can play and interact alongside Neo users with no differences online, and vice versa

Save data, Trophy and PSN account log-in compatibility between the two systems, with the same user interface

PlayStation Store will be the same, but expect pages and physical game-packaging to list PS4 Neo-added features

What we don’t know about the PS4 Neo yet:

Whether PS4 Neo will have a UHD Blu-ray drive for 4K movies

Whether the physical appearance of the hardware will be different

HDR support, something that is coming to Xbox One S (read what HDR means for games and movies with our dedicated article)

Whether background media functions will improve; Sony leaks have suggested but not confirmed 1080p gameplay recording support on Neo systems

Specific improvements to PlayStation VR games, or whether the headset’s external processing unit will be integrated into Neo hardware

Hard drive space increase in Neo models

We don’t know whether the PS4 Neo will look the same as the existing console just yet.

PS4 Neo graphics – how different will PS4K games look?

Until an official announcement and the first footage from developers is out there, it’s hard to say exactly how different PS4 Neo games will look – but on paper, a 2.3x FLOP graphics boost and an additional 512MB of memory should give games some extra oomph. But with mandatory support for existing PS4 games on the Neo, there will be a ceiling in terms of the improvements to performance; after all, in a statement from PlayStation boss Andrew House, both original and Neo systems will be sold at the same time “through the life cycle” of the system. Until then, we know that improvements will range from the following for Neo-mode titles, depending on the game:

Mandatory 1080p minimum native display resolution

Higher frame-rates

More stable frame-rates

Improved graphics fidelity

Additional graphics features

PS4 Neo games: What software will be improved on the new system?

From October 2016, all games released on PS4 must offer a Neo mode to offer visual and performance improvements, whether it’s a resolution increase, or new graphical features. While this surely means many of this year’s biggest releases will have Neo modes – such as Gran Turismo Sport, Watch Dogs 2, Dishonored 2 and possibly the PSVR line-up – there have been no confirmed titles yet by first or third-party studios.

Developers are welcome – but not required – to add ‘forward compatibility’ patches to their existing PS4 games, opening the door to some of this console generation’s biggest releases to get some performance upgrades. Again, nothing has been confirmed, but Digital Foundry has chosen a list of 10 games perfect for PS4 Neo updates as examples of what would most benefit.

How does the PS4 Neo compare to Xbox One S?

Whereas the Xbox One S is essentially a slimline version of the existing Xbox One (with some added benefits for those using 4KTVs – you can read everything we know about Xbox One S in our dedicated guide) the PS4 Neo is a mid-generational upgrade over the existing PS4, with notable graphical and performance upgrades.

That said, the Xbox One S offers HDR support for select games as well as a UMD Blu-ray drive, features that aren’t yet confirmed for the PS4K.

How does the PS4 Neo compare to Project Scorpio?

PS4

PS4K Neo

Xbox One

Project Scorpio

CPU

Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 1.6GHz

Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 2.1GHz

Eight Jaguar cores clocked at 1.75GHz

Eight cores, speculation: up-clocked Jaguar or equivalent

GPU

18 Radeon GCN compute units at 800MHz

36 improved GCN compute units at 911MHz

12 GCN compute units at 853MHz

Speculation: 56/60 GCN compute units at 800-850MHz

Memory

8GB GDDR5 at 176GB/s

8GB GDDR5 at 218GB/s

8GB DDR3 at 68GB/s and 32MB ESRAM at max 218GB/s

Over 320GB/s bandwidth – speculation: 12GB of GDDR5

Project Scorpio is to Xbox One as what the PS4 Neo is to the PS4; a mid-generation upgrade with notable graphical and performance improvements to existing software, and full backwards compatibility with all previous software and peripherals.

How do the two compare in theory? While to date Xbox One has lagged behind PS4 performance, Project Scorpio is set to offer a sizable leap over both the PS4 and PS4 Neo, with much better graphical and memory capabilities, and support for native 4K gaming.

To quote Digital Foundry in their Xbox Project Scorpio spec analysis: “It’s a remarkable turnabout. A good portion of PlayStation 4’s success has been down to its spec advantage over Xbox One, combined with a focus on the hardcore player. Sony’s technological advantage will be gone with the next wave of hardware.”

It’s expected you will have to wait longer for one than the other, though; PS4 Neo is rumoured for end of 2016 – though could be as late as March 2017 – while Microsoft has said Project Scorpio won’t release until holiday 2017. Price is also a factor, with Digital Foundry also predicting a $100 difference between the two mid-generation systems.

PS4 Neo price, release date, and UK pre-orders

Despite confirming the system, Sony has yet to announce pricing for PS4 Neo. However, PlayStation boss Andrew House said it will be more expensive than the existing hardware – the original PS4 released at £350, and is currently selling for around £280-300 – and is expected to be profitable at launch and not sold at a loss. PS4K pre-orders won’t likely go live until the console is formally unveiled.

Sony has also yet to confirm a release date, though support for PS4K improved software will begin to roll out in October, suggesting a release around that time – which would make sense with the PlayStation VR release date of October 13 in the US. However, Sony has told developers they are happy with Neo-supported titles coming ahead of release, so it could be later, with suggestions of up to March 2017.

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-06-24 11:21:07

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Updated: Surface PC release date, news and rumors

Updated: Surface PC release date, news and rumors

Nearing the one-year anniversary of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, it’s time to start thinking about the future. Early 2017 in particular is when the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 are rumored to be out in the hands of the public, alongside the second Redstone update.

But, what if Microsoft were to create yet another Surface, aimed to complement the already-thriving market of 2-in-1 devices it helped inspire? With PC sales on the decline, surely the company would do whatever it takes to spur another trend to drive even more Windows 10 installs.

Enter the Surface all-in-one (AIO) PC, an idea that originally emerged in the press back in February as a modular desktop computer. Theoretically, this hot piece of tech would meld the best of both worlds, fusing the PixelSense table display with the night-equally expensive Surface Hub. Of course, a smaller form factor would be appreciated.

Rest assured, the Surface all-in-one could be the PC to challenge the new iMac. With few options for top-end all-in-ones to choose from, the proposed Surface PC could draw on the success of Microsoft’s other 2-in-1 hardware and inpsire third-party OEMs – like HP and Dell – to rethink how they produce their machines.

Cut to the chase

What is it? An all-in-one PC in Microsoft’s Surface style

When is it out? Latest rumors point to October 26

What will it cost? Hopefully not much more than $999

Surface PC release date

It’s been suspected for a while, but now we have our biggest clue to an October reveal for the Surface PC, corroborated by Microsoft insiders like Mary Jo Foley. Microsoft recently announced an October 26 event that promises to reveal the firm’s road map for Windows 10 into 2017.

Will part of that future be an all-new, Microsoft-made PC to experience Windows 10 with? The ramping up of leaks regarding the alleged device’s keyboard and mouse seem to affirm this – again, as do the sources speaking with reporters on the Microsoft beat.

One of several images of Microsoft’s patent for a would-be Surface AIO

Working out the guts

Before we go into the more nitpicky design choices, we should talk about specs. Windows Central recently reported that Microsoft was testing not one, but three different Surface AIOs featuring screens of various sizes and resolutions. The 21-inch model will bear a Full HD display while the 24- and 27-inchers will be upgraded to a whopping 4K. It’s no 5K iMac, but at the same time, a higher resolution would demand beefed up graphics capabilities across the board.

While it’s still not clear whether Microsoft is bringing this version of the Surface all-in-one, or any PC at all, to market, it’s still fun to speculate on what exactly it might comprise. For instance, we might want for a Surface all-in-one to include a discrete graphics chip, at least in the 4K models. Sure, it’s a pipe dream to expect high-end games to run in 4K at the highest settings, but you don’t need a Titan X for video editing or 3D modeling applications.

The graphics, specifically, we expect would make use of Nvidia’s new Pascal architecture, likely a custom mobile chipset akin to that found in the optional Surface Book SKUs. As for the processor, given its launch window, it would be frivolous to ignore Intel’s latest Kaby Lake chips despite the insubstantial upgrades over Skylake. Maybe we’ll get some one-on-one action with that i7-7700K, if we’re lucky.

Intel’s brand new Kaby Lake range would most likely find its way into a Surface PC

CPU-wise, however, we don’t know what to anticipate, since the Kaby Lake processors have just been announced. And, given the time frame, Skylake will be left in the dust by then.

Another theory that recently popped up stems from MSPoweruser, which suggests the presumed Surface all-in-one will ship with Intel’s 3D camera technology, RealSense. This would undoubtedly come in handy for Windows Hello, which mandates 3D authentication for its facial recognition scanner.

That being said, although this rumor isn’t exactly prodigious, the same report suggests we’ll see the Surface all-in-one as early as Q3 2016. Given Microsoft’s historical struggle acclimating to new chipsets, and the reports that the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 5 were delayed as a result of these complications, this seems all but implausible.

But, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley seems to agree with this rumor, claiming that Microsoft is planning a late October event to debut the Surface PC with a release shortly thereafter.

A computer like LEGOs?

The original Surface Book, with its larger than life hinge gap and unusual 3:2 aspect ratio, was off-putting in areas where it was trying to be subversive. Sure, 3:2 made reading on-screen text easier, but for just about everything else – including TV and gaming – 16:9 is the standard.

This is what 3:2 is good for – not watching movies or playing games

What we’re hoping with the Surface all-in-one is that it dodges these design flaws altogether by tailoring to the user rather than Microsoft’s ideas of innovation. With word that it’s going to support both 1080p and 4K resolutions rather than the peculiar 3,000 x 2,000 pixels of the Surface Book, we can optimistically see parity with other all-in-one devices.

Moreover, the original Surface PC rumors pointed to a patent filed in July 2015 authored by Tim Escolin – you guessed it – a senior industrial designer on the range of Surface devices. It pictured a modular computer, reminding us of Razer’s Project Christine from a few years back, with components stacked one on top of the other at the base of the computer, bolstering the monitor to eye level.

Project Christine sure looked cool, but it didn’t sound cool to part makers

The only problem is, Project Christine fell through the cracks not long after its conception, as it failed to garner enough support from OEMs. Sure, Microsoft has more authority over parts manufacturers, but just how far they’re willing to go for an unproven product remains to be seen.

LEGO brick-like modular components could make DIY computing significantly more accessible, and since we all have different needs for our mouse and keyboard companions, a stackable solution would be preferred to a limited swath of predetermined configurations. In this case, gamers could focus on integrating high-end GPUs while number-crunchers could opt for sheer processing might.

Monitor detachment

Keeping with the modular components theory, a Surface PC would conceivably appeal to the same audience as the Surfaces before it: users who want highly capable hardware without the effort and the mess of building a PC. On the other hand, even if it happens, there isn’t much evidence to qualify it as a Surface just yet.

Will there be a detachable screen that acts as a massive tablet, or would that prove too risky for Microsoft? It would be an interesting (not to mention unique) take on the all-in-one to say the least, but its practicality is questionable. Then again, bundle it with an almighty Surface Pen, and Microsoft could give Wacom a run for its money, effectively challenging the Cintiq tablet.

Please, please, please make this a remotely affordable reality?

For non-designers, however, an all-in-one with a detachable screen makes us think it’s the tablet reincarnation of the Motorola DynaTAC rather than the dawn of a new computing era. Who knows, though? Maybe we’ll see a renaissance of virtual board games, thanks to a screen finally big enough to support them.

Stay tuned to this article, as we’ll update it with more Surface PC leaks, rumors and our take on them as they pop up.

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-10-07 20:04:15

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Best of Android flagship phones of H2 2016 – The Pros and Cons

Best of Android flagship phones of H2 2016 – The Pros and Cons

The year is about to come to a close, but before that is, of course, the holidays and the shopping season and the shopping that goes along with it. If you’ve been waiting until then to make that long-planned high-end smartphone purchase, either for yourself or a lucky, special someone, the good news is that there is quite a lot to choose from. The bad news: there is a lot to choose from. To help whittle down the selection, here are 8 of the most notable Android flagship smartphones that popped up in the second half of the year.

Google Pixel/Pixel XL

This is probably a no-brainer. Almost all Android fans probably have their eyes on Google’s first ever self-made smartphones. Unless they’re die-hard Nexus fans or anti-Google Android fans. OK, maybe not everyone’s buying the whole Pixel and Pixel XL spiel, but it’s hard to deny the device’s appeal. If you can get past the odd glass plate design at the back.

• Operating System: Android 7.1 Nougat• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 32 or 128 GB• Display: 5.5-inch FHD/5.5-inch QHD• Main Camera: 12.3 MP Sony IMX378, f/2.0, EIS, HDR+• Secondary Camera: 8 MP Sony IMX179, f/2.4• Battery: 2,770 mAh/3,450 mAh, Fasts Charging• Price: $749.99/$869.99

Where it excels: Google has put a lot of emphasis on the Google Assistant, a feature that remains an exclusive to these two. But not everyone is going to be able to utilize that smart personal assistant. Almost everyone, however, will appreciate the Pixel’s cameras, rated by DxOMark to be the best of the best. And that’s even with only Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS). And there’s practically unlimited cloud storage go with it! Google really pulled off a rabbit with this one.

Where it falls short: Google might be trying to be like Apple selling iPhones, but it can’t beat Apple when it comes to selling its flagship phone almost everywhere. Although just a tiny bit better than the Nexus, the Pixel and Pixel XL are still in short supply, making it harder to get your hands on one. And that design is really, really odd.

LG V20

While not a complete flop, the LG G5 launched in the first half of 2016 wasn’t exactly the hot seller that LG had hoped. Perhaps the modular smartphone idea was just far too ahead of its time. The LG V20, on the other hand, exchanges modularity for capability, sporting some of the best audio equipment you can find in a smartphone.

• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 64 GB, expandable• Display: 5.7-inch QHD• Main Camera: 16 MP f/1.8 + 8 MP f/2.4, OIS, HDR, Hybrid AF• Secondary Camera: 5 MP, f/1.9• Battery: 3,200 mAh, removable, Quick Charge 3.0• Price: $769.99

Where it excels: The LG V10 prided itself for two things: the second screen strip at the top and its camera app with manual controls. The V20 takes the latter one step further by not only boosting the camera specs but also empowering its audio capabilities. Not only do you get “studio-quality” audio recording, you also have what is touted to be the first 32-bit Quad DAC found in a smartphone.

Where it falls short: Should the V20 fall in water, it might be time to bid farewell. The smartphone doesn’t exactly have the best dust and waterproofing ratings, but LG insists it has nothing to do with the removable battery. And while the audio output is great, it can only be heard if you have compatible headphones, like the B&O BeoPlay that ship with some, but not all, boxes.

Huawei Mate 9

Huawei may not yet be a household name in the US, even after the somewhat successful Nexus 6P, but it might very just land on the smartphone map this year thanks to the Huawei Mate 9 trio (just recently, quartet). Huawei pulled out all the marketing stops on this one, pulling in the biggest names that money can buy, from Leica to Porsche Design, while still retaining some of the things that made the Huawei P9 just as notable.

Where it excels: The Huawei P9 was praised for its dual lens camera, which was the first time Leica lent its name to a smartphone. The Mate 9 carries on that tradition and takes it further, placing the high-end camera sensors on a team of high-end specs. Well, somewhat, depending on which model you get.

Where it falls short: Buyers might end up a bit confused with this one, because there are two models available, three depending on whether the Huawei top brass smiles upon us. There is the more affordable Mate 9 and the extremely not affordable Porsche Design Mate 9. In China, Huawei launched the Mate 9 Pro as a compromise between the two, though it’s still unknown whether that will be found elsewhere as well.

Xiaomi Mi Mix

The Xiaomi Mi Mix is, practically, a concept phone, but one that you can already purchase. Depending on where you are, of course. The allure of a near bezel-free smartphone is just hard to resist, especially when it comes with flagship hardware at the same time.

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821• RAM: 4 or 6 GB• Storage: 128 or 256 GB• Display: 6.4-inch 2040×1080• Main Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, EIS, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 5 MP• Battery: 4,400 mAh• Price: TBA

Where it excels: Again, the main pull of this smartphone will be its 91.3% screen to body ratio, which practically means that, aside from a thin frame around it as well as a bottom area, there are no other features to be seen on its face. Whether that actually is a practical benefit remains to be tested. Plus, it’s quite the sturdy smartphone, surviving some excruciatingly painful scratch, bend, and burn tests.

Where it falls short: If the Google Pixel was already hard to get, this one would be even harder. For now, there doesn’t seem to be any plans to move it out of China. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, they say. And money is an international language. If you’re willing to part with more than $850 of your savings, that is.

BlackBerry DTEK60

A fan of BlackBerry but not of its QWERTY keyboards? While that may be an oxymoron for some, that kind of creature does exist. At least enough for BlackBerry to put out the all-screen DTEK60. Sharing some familial similarities with the DTEK50 before it, at least in design, the DTEK60 is the Canadian company’s closing chapter for 2016, bequeathing it with all the high end features you want at a low, low price.

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshamallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 32 GB expandable• Display: 5.5-inch QHD• Main Camera: 21 MP, f/2.0, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2• Battery: 3,000 mAh• Price: $499 USD

Where it excels: A flagship smartphone that’s $200 less than its competitors. What’s not to love? It has everything you could want in an Android smartphone in terms of specs and features, with the added benefit of BlackBerry’s enterprise-grade apps and services.

Where it falls short: Without those add-ons, however, the DTEK60 might actually look a bit too plain. The 32 GB starting storage is also a bit dismal this time and age, but, hey, the Pixel XL does have that too. And not everyone might be too confident about BlackBerry’s survivability, though that’s unlikely to happen during the smartphone’s two-year lifetime.

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus cheated death, so to speak. Launching the OnePlus 3 in the first half of 2016, it just now launched the OnePlus 3T. And the difference? Not much save for the slightly newer processor and 128 GB storage option. It definitely ruffled a few feathers but OnePlus always manages to make magic, no matter the controversy.

• Operating System: Android 7.0 Nougat• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 821• RAM: 6 GB• Storage: 64 o 128 GB• Display: 5.5-inch FHD• Main Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, OIS, PDAF• Secondary Camera: 16 MP Samsung 3P8SP, f/2.0, EIS, HDR• Battery: 3,400 mAh, DASH Charge• Price: $449

Where it excels: You can’t get a flagship smartphone cheaper than this. Although you do get what you pay for in at least one aspect, most of the specs are definitely right there among the top, sometimes even more. 6 GB RAM? You got it! 16 megapixel front camera? You bet! All for less than $500.

Where it falls short: It’s still Full HD. For some, that’s not really a deal breaker and 1080p is still very much acceptable. But once you’ve gone QHD, going back to Full HD can be a bit disconcerting. For those hoping for a 2K screen from OnePlus, there is always next year.

Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro

OK, technically speaking, the Lenovo PHAB 2 Pro might not qualify as a flagship because of its processor. If you ignore that, however, almost everything else is. And if you like living on the cutting edge of futuristic technology, the PHAB 2 Pro’s dance might just enamor you.

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 6 GB• Display: 6.4-inch QHD• Main Camera: 16 MP, PDAF, depth sensor, motion sensor• Secondary Camera: 8 MP, f/2.2• Battery: 4,050 mAh Quick Charge• Price: $499

Where it excels: Two words: “Project Tango”. This Lenovo phablet is the first commercial smartphone to bear the technology needed to implement Google’s computer vision technologies, particularly in the area of augmented and mixed reality. This is a factor to consider if you’re the type who loves tinkering with forward-looking technologies.

Where it falls short: The CPU rests on the higher mid-range of Qualcomm’s mobile team. While both Qualcomm and Lenovo naturally promise that this chip is particularly suited to do the Tango, one can’t shake the feeling that there will be some compromise here and there. Plus, despite its promise, Tango is still pretty much a niche use case for now. Good thing the PHAB 2 Pro is also a capable smartphone the rest of the time.

Moto Z/Moto Z Force

Yet another “cheat”, the Moto Z family was announced earlier on in the year, but it only really launched around July, barely making it to our cut. And we can’t but help include it either, given its particular super power: Moto Mods.

• Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 32/64 GB, expandable• Display: 5.5-inch QHD• Main Camera: 13 MP, f/1.8/21 MP, f/1.8, OIS, HDR, Laser AF• Secondary Camera: 5 MP, f/2.2• Battery: 2,600 mAh/3,500 mAh, Turbo Power• Price: $699/$720

Where it excels: You get a solid, high-end Android smartphone but, if you want more bang, you can also grab a Moto Mod “cover” for added functionality. Presuming there’s a Mod for that. The camera, especially on the Force edition, is no slouch either. And, as always, the Moto Android experience is pretty vanilla as far as customizations go.

Where it falls short: Like the LG G5, the launch set of Moto Mods isn’t that much. Unlike LG, however, Motorola seems more invested in moving the idea forward. It remains to be seen how many hardware and software developers will accept Lenovo’s and Moto’s invitation, but at least the doors remain open. For now.

Wrap-up

The Android smartphone market is again teeming with choices (can’t say the same about tablets, sadly). And these eight aren’t even all that’s available on the high-end, let alone the even more diverse and chaotic mid-range. But when you’ve got the dough to spend and are looking for this year’s champ, do consider giving these a deeper look.

The post Best of Android flagship phones of H2 2016 – The Pros and Cons appeared first on The Post5 – Technology News , Game News & More.

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-11-21 13:38:04

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Top 10 best business tablets in 2016

Top 10 best business tablets in 2016

Implementing a tablet, regardless of the OS, into your workflow could allow you to stay productive while reducing the weight of your gear bag. Many of today’s best tablets come with processing power that rivals standalone laptops. And when you add in a decent keyboard, getting work done on a smaller, slimmer form factor device will be easy.

While some slates offer manageable price tags, the market is still dense, and the top dog offerings with consumers are still not necessarily the best option for small business and enterprise users.

No matter if you rely on Windows, Android, or even iOS, there’s something worth recommending. It’s only a matter of figuring out what your priorities are. And to help you choose the best tablet, here’s our overview of the market at the moment, and the 10 tablets we’d recommend for the business user.

For the sake of clarity, we will only look at pure tablets, and detachables when it comes to convertibles. 2-in-1 hybrid models are closer to traditional laptops as their keyboard can’t be totally detached.

1. Microsoft Surface Pro 4

The tablet that can replace your laptop

CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing (1080p HD), 5MP front-facing (1080p) | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36-inch

High screen

Vastly improved Type Cover

Type Cover still sold separately

Intel Core m3 at entry level

A higher resolution screen, a thinner design and a move to Intel’s more powerful Skylake processors all help to make this portable tablet a capable replacement for your laptop. Sadly, the Type Cover keyboard is still optional, but in reality it’s a necessity for this laptop replacement; come on Microsoft, bundle it already. The good news with the Type Cover in this fourth iteration of the Surface Pro is that it’s much improved this time around.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4

2. Apple iPad Pro

The biggest tablet Apple’s ever made

CPU: Apple A9X | Graphics: Integrated | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.9-inch, 2,732 x 2,048 | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 | Camera: 8MP iSight (1080p HD), 5MP FaceTime (720p) | Weight: 1.57 pounds | Dimensions: 8.68 x 12 x 0.27-inch

Expansive, usable screen

Hugely powerful

Large footprint

Battery life could be longer

Apple took the iPad into uncharted territory here. The iPad Pro’s optional accessories add to the cost of the tablet, but the keyboard cover and Apple Pencil stylus make the iPad even more suited for business and creative users. The iPad Pro also debuted Apple’s new split-screen multitasking. It is, quite simply, a massively powerful tablet which can certainly turbocharge your productivity away from the desk – although we’d like to see more in the way of battery life.

Read the full review: Apple iPad Pro

3. Dell XPS 12

Dell has a clever new take on the 2-in-1

CPU: 1.1GHz Intel Core m5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 3,840 x 2,160 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p), 5MP front (1080p) | Weight: 1.75 pounds | Dimensions: 11.46 x 7.6 x 0.31-inch

Inventive hinge-less keyboard base

Sharp, rich and accurate 4K display

Soft touch plastic coating all over

Short battery life

Even though the new XPS 12 takes its inspiration from the Surface Pro line, Dell’s keyboard dock is highly usable and is included in the cost of the slate. This laptop replacement also supports Dell’s Active Stylus for digital inking.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 12

4. Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Beautifully designed to handle accidental spills

CPU: 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 | Graphics: Adreno 430 | RAM: 2GB | Screen: 10.1-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 | Storage: 32GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear (1080p), 5MP front (1080p) | Weight: 0.86 pounds | Dimensions: 10.0 x 6.57 x 0.24-inch

Gorgeous display

New improved design

Problematic UI

Only 32GB option

Sony’s Xperia Z4 Tablet retains the water- and dust-resistant capabilities of the range’s previous models, making it a good slate for business users who may not need a fully rugged device. Add in the keyboard dock, and this tablet becomes a versatile machine for composing emails and writing documents on the go.

Read the full review: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

5. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

For diehards of the Big Blue era

CPU: Intel Core m7-6Y75 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Dimensions: 11.45 x 8.97 x 0.20-inch

Modular design is cool

A plethora of ports

Expensive

Average battery life

The ThinkPad X1 Tablet is probably one of the best designed convertible devices on the market, and one where engineers clearly had a great time building a slate that crams in so many features that it’s hard to believe that the X1 is so thin and portable. It bears all the hallmarks of a signature ThinkPad device: the finish, the red colour scheme, the Trackpoint, the shape of the Accutype keys, everything down to the ThinkPad logo at the back. Aficionados will love it while others might balk at the price – this is vintage ThinkPad at its finest.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

6. Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

This ultra-light Windows tablet is the latest iPad Pro challenger

CPU: Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12-inch, 2,160 x 1,440 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 5MP rear, 5MP front | Weight: 1.5 pounds | Dimensions: 11.43 x 7.83 x 0.25-inch

Extremely thin

First-class AMOLED display

Flimsy keyboard base

Aspect ratio might not be to everyone’s taste

Samsung has been very quiet lately when it comes to tablets with the Galaxy Tab S2 being the last significant Android model. Fortunately, Windows is undergoing a bit of a revival at the moment in the mobility segment, and the Galaxy TabPro S may well mark the comeback of the South Korean company as a more strategic partner for Microsoft. The TabPro S is one of the few Windows tablets to sport a screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio putting the slate in direct competition with the iPad Pro, and unlike Apple’s flagship device, its keyboard is bundled rather than optional.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

7. Asus Transformer 3 Pro

A better value proposition than the Surface Pro 4

CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 12.6-inch, 2,880 x 1,920 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 13MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Dimensions: 11.7 by 8.3 by 0.3-inch

16GB RAM by default

Ultra-high resolution

No cheaper version

Aspect ratio might not be for everyone

Asus threw down the gauntlet to Microsoft with the launch of the Transformer 3 Pro. The device, which is the only tablet we know of that comes with 16GB of RAM as standard, easily surpasses the Surface Pro 4 in terms of sheer value for money although Microsoft’s flagship tablet remains the better known (and probably more trusted) of the two. Other than the standard keyboard, the Transformer also has a docking station, a stylus and even a trusted platform module (TPM) for improved security within an enterprise setting.

Read the full review: Asus Transformer 3 Pro

8. Getac RX10

A tough tablet that fears nothing

CPU: Intel Core m-5Y10C | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 10.1-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 2.65 pounds | Dimensions: 11 x 9.65 x 0.74-inch

Built like a tank

Light and portable

Battery life could be better

Not cheap

Getac’s RX10 dares to go where no other tablet can thanks to its rugged design and bright screen. If your work takes you into the field, you’ll be thankful that Getac equipped this slate with a screen that’s readable even under direct sunlight. This slate will sustain a fair amount of hardship including being dropped, or assaulted with dust, water and much more. Plus it’s also light and very portable, despite being such a tough customer. As expected on such a device, there are also plenty of expansion options including hot-swappable batteries as well as a barcode scanner and an NFC/RFID card reader.

Read the full review: Getac RX10

9. Fujitsu Stylistic R726

A worthy Surface Pro 4 competitor with plenty of options

CPU: Intel Core i7-6600U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Dimensions: 12.55 x 7.91 x 0.37-inch

Full-fat Core i7 CPU

Impressive range of accessories

Noisy fan

Maximum 8GB of RAM

Fujitsu certainly used the Surface range from Microsoft as its inspiration for the Stylistic R726, but then applied its own spin by making this convertible far more enterprise-friendly with a surprisingly (relatively) low price tag. An impressive range of accessories? Check. Extreme serviceability backed by a top notch aftersales warranty? Check. A plethora of ports and connection options? Check. Active stylus? Wouldn’t you know, that’s here as well. The R726 also has a first-class docking station and its detachable keyboard is a rather good one, and quality accessories certainly don’t do its case any harm.

Read the full review: Fujitsu Stylistic R726

10. HP Elite x2 1012 G1

This slate is impressive in the usability stakes

CPU: Intel Core m7-6Y75 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 12-inch, 1,920 x 1,280 | Storage: 256GB | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 5MP rear, 2MP front | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Dimensions: 11.8 x 8.4 x 0.3-inch

Kickstand allows screen to tilt to almost any angle

Great keyboard

Touchpad could be better

Short battery life

Just like the rest of the competition, HP took inspiration from Microsoft’s playbook when building the Elite x2 1012, which clearly targets the business market. Like Fujitsu, HP made sure that its product was designed with enterprise users in mind. It is sturdy, undergoing a 12-point stress test, is very easy to upgrade and comes with a number of security features. There’s an active pen and a keyboard, and our reviewer said that typing on the latter was “as comfortable as it is on a real notebook”. Not everything about the design is perfect – such as the hinge – but overall this is a tempter with a great keyboard and screen.

Read the full review: HP Elite x2 1012 G1

Chuong Nguyen, John McCann and Henry Casey also contributed to this article

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Posted by hui.vn1988 on 2016-11-29 13:19:35

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17 inch Fanless Dust-Proof Panel PC (NTP17…_12

17 inch Fanless Dust-Proof Panel PC (NTP17..._12

NTP17SUF Fanless Dust-Proof Panel PC – Intel Mobile PentiumM 1.6Ghz up to 2.0Ghz
Panel PC with 17"(1280*1024)TFT LCD and Touch Screen
1. Fanless Dust-Proof 17"(1280*1024)color TFT LCD Panel PC
2. Low Power Intel Mobile PentiumM 1.6Ghz up to 2.0Ghz (Mobile CPU)
3. Intel82915GM Chipset / DVMT3.0 support up to 128MB Video memory

4. Two SO-DIMM up to 2GB DDR2 RAM and SATA HDD

5. 2*LAN / 4*USB / 1*Parallel / 4*Port RS-232 + (1*RS-232/422/485Port) / 1*PCI Slot /1*mini-pci Slot

6. AC97 Audio / Type I/II CF / CD-ROM (Option)

7. Fanless Thermal Solution dust-proof
8. High class design front panel & heatsink
9. windows auto recovery
10. Input:AC110~220V,DC24V Power
11. Weight : 10Kg NTP17SUF Fanless Dust-Proof Panel PC – Intel Mobile PentiumM 1.6Ghz up to 2.0Ghz Panel PC with 17"(1280*1024)TFT LCD and Touch Screen

Posted by bestmadeinthekorea on 2016-12-13 05:32:27

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Starry Night

Starry Night

For what ails you.
Take two of these and call me in the morning.

Two days ago I saw the way these gel tabs glow between crossed polarizers and knew just what to do.

Many objects like mica, cellophane, most transparent plastics, butterfly scales and a variety other things turn colors when placed between polarizing filters.

I placed a polarizing filter on my lens and an all white image on my notebook computer’s screen.
(LCD) screens emit polarized light.)
I then placed a couple of the gel tabs and a plastic shot glass between the all white computer screen and the polarizer on the camera. Then I rotated the polarizer on the camera until the white computer screen was a dark as possible. (The polarizer in the computer screen and the polarizer on the camera are now crossed.

The gel tabs then develop a beautiful glow and the plastic shot glass displays rainbow colors. The stars are actually specs of dust on the computer screen.
A sheet of black glass was placed over the computer’s keyboard to create the reflections.

Finally I turned off the room lights and clicked the shutter.

*Instead of solid white on the computer screen, you can use an image for a different effect and still get colors from the polarizing objects.

Episode 984 20130602

Posted by Pixel-Pusher on 2013-05-09 06:40:14

Tagged: , bubble , crossed polarizer , close up , still life , pills , water glass , tiny bubbles , Starry Night , dream , Chapman University