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Feel great in 2017: Get fit with MrMobile

It’s that special time of year! The time we all say “heck no, I’m not going to keep all this holiday weight!” and trundle off to the gym… for about a week. But not this year! You know it’s going to be different, and you want some apps to help you keep to that goal.

MrMobile and his friends Jon Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo, Serenity Caldwell at iMore, Marques Brownlee at MKBHD, Krystal Key, Joshua Vergara at Android Authority, Safwan Ahmedmia at SuperSaf, and Jaime Rivera at PocketNow suggest their favorite apps to keep you getting healthy this 2017. Let us and them know which ones work for you!

Stay social, my friends

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And thanks to all our friends who collaborated on this video:

Jon Rettinger [TechnoBuffalo]

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Serenity Caldwell [iMore]

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Marques Brownlee [MKBHD]

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Krystal Key

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Joshua Vergara

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Safwan Ahmedmia [SuperSaf]

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Jaime Rivera [Pocketnow]

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Acer announces education-focused Chromebook 11 N7 with rugged body, $229 starting price

As Chromebooks continue to dominate the education market, Acer keeps its line fresh.

This one won’t necessarily get the Chromebook enthusiasts excited, but Acer has another education-focused Chromebook hitting the budget segment with a rugged body. The Chromebook 11 N7 (or model C731) is an 11-inch offering made to take a beating without also looking too tough, so it still has a tad bit of design appeal while also being sturdy for the expected rigors of many months being passed around in the classroom.


Acer has outfitted the Chromebook 11 N7 with a spill-resistant keyboard, and claims the laptop is built to MIL-STD 810G spec including drop testing up to 48 inches. That’s good resistance and should be more than enough for the application, and despite the extra toughness it still comes in at under three pounds.

This won’t get Chromebook fans jumping for joy, but is necessary for the education market.

The new Chromebook 11 N7 offers just a 1366×768 resolution display, but can be optioned up with an IPS touchscreen (look for a C731T model number) and in either case folds down completely flat for more collaborative viewing possibilities. The screen resolution surely helps with battery life, which Acer rates at 12 hours, and even if it comes up a bit short of that figure the battery life will be more than enough for the way it’s most likely to be deployed in a school.

Though the range starts at just $229 and is focused on education the internal specs are actually pretty solid. The base configuration offers 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (32GB is optional) and is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060. It also offers HDMI out and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The combination isn’t likely to make Chromebook enthusiasts salivate, but it’s great to see even these low-end machines that generally offer lower performance getting a little spec bump.

Acer will have the Chromebook 11 N7 on sale in North America starting this month, and the rest of the world starting in February. Sales are initially limited to education and commercial customers, but chances are if you’re interested in getting one for personal use they’ll make their way out in due time.

Press release:

Rugged Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is a Smart Solution for Classrooms

  • Durability features include drop tested to 48-inches (122 cm), spill-resistant keyboard; compliant with stringent U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD 810G)
  • Long 12-hour battery life lessens the need to charge every day
  • Fan-less design boosts reliability, quiet operation for classrooms, libraries, lab time
  • Easy to deploy and administer; ideal for labs, carts and 1:1 programs
  • PS touch screen (C731T) or non-touch (C731) 11.6-inch display options

LAS VEGAS (Jan. 3, 2017) Acer today announced the availability of its newest Chromebook for education customers, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) with enhanced durability features. In addition, it provides long battery life and a fan-less design, making it an exceptional choice for schools and school districts that want a reliable, powerful and quiet device for student learning.

“Chromebooks have become the de facto standard for education technology in many districts around the country,” said Chris Chiang, Vice President of Product Management at Acer America. “The new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) will set the bar even higher for what schools utilize for their classrooms and labs – a durable design, quiet fan-less operation and a portable form factor that makes them easy to transport for 1:1 programs, around the classroom, outside and in the lab.”

According to data from Gartner, Acer Group is the world’s leading Chromebook brand with over 33 percent market share in 2015.

Durable Design Features Enhance Real-Time Learning

The durability and design features of the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) ensure maximum uptime and contribute to reduced IT maintenance. The device endured rigorous testing to meet the demanding U.S. MIL-STD 810G military standard3. This military specification testing validates the
ruggedness, durability and quality of the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731), so that student learning can take place in a variety of environments.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) can handle up to 132 pounds (60kg) of downward force on the top cover, while the reinforced case and hinges result in greater resistance to twisting and stress, even if students cram them into their backpacks. In addition, the corner-shield structure and rubber bumper keyboard surround further protect the Chromebook, so it can tolerate drops from heights up to 48 inches (122cm). These features ensure the Chromebook will be protected whether it takes a tumble while being transported or is accidentally knocked off a desk. The anti-slip pattern on the rear case makes it easy to grip and helps prevent it from slipping out of students’ hands.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a spill-resistant keyboard that provides protection against spills of up to 11 fluid ounces (330ml) of water. The unique gutter system under the keyboard and touchpad drains water so that it’s routed away from internal components and out the bottom of the chassis.

A new feature to the Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is the keyboard design with recessed keys that prevent the key caps from being easily removed by students. In addition, the keyboard was designed for an excellent typing experience for students, many of whom are still learning keyboarding skills.

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a fan-less design that provides cool and quiet operation, so it doesn’t add noise, even to a whole classroom of students. Also, reliability is boosted since it doesn’t require venting that may cause airflow issues and dust accumulation.

Long Battery Life up to 12 Hours, Excellent Performance

Administrators and teachers won’t have to worry about charging their Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) every evening, since it provides up to 12 hours of battery life, enough for several days of classroom use1. This long battery life is also ideal for 1:1 programs where students use their Chromebook throughout the school day, then take it home for homework and fun. Powered by Intel® Celeron® dual-core processors, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) delivers solid everyday performance.

Touch Display Option, 180-Degree Hinge Promotes Sharing

School administrators can meet their curriculum and budget requirements with different models of the Chromebook 11 N7. The Acer C731T has an 11.6-inch IPS touch screen display, while the C731 has a standard non-touch display. Touch models allow students a heightened level of engagement, since any webpage or app can benefit from touch gestures in both solo and group settings. The display has a 1366×768 resolution that ensures sharp and legible apps and text as well as vivid, clear videos and photos. Also, the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731)’s hinge is designed to open up to 180 degrees – so it can lay flat on a table for sharing during certain lessons such as labs.

The slim and portable form factor makes the Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) ideal for use anywhere – at home, school, work and on-the-go. It measures only 0.87 inches (22mm) thin and weighs only 2.98 pounds (1.35kg).

The Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) will provide additional capabilities thanks to planned support for Android apps via the Google PlayTM Store in the coming months.

Students Stay Connected

Students can stay connected to their campus network with the fast dual-band 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The device connects easily to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port. Students can plug in headphones with the 3.5mm combo audio port. Files can be transferred with the device’s built-in SD card reader.

Sharing and Collaborating

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) supports multiple user sign on to keep each student’s data safe. Students simply log onto their unique accounts to ensure their project, Gmail and other information is kept safe, even if the Chromebook is lost or stolen. Storage on Google Drive protects files, documents, and photos safely in the cloud, and ensures that the most current version is always available. Students can also access files offline, and even open and edit Microsoft® Office documents as well as Google Documents.

Easy to Deploy, Manage, Keep Safe; Backed by Acer Support

The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) is easy to deploy and manage. IT administrators will find it easy to make updates, configure apps, utilize extensions and policies and more with the web- based management.

Students will stay protected since Chrome OS is automatically updated and guards against ever- changing online threats, such as viruses and malware. The new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 (C731) has a Kensington lock, so it can be secured to a wireless cart or lab.
U.S.-based Acer Premier Care also is provided to U.S. Acer education and business customers purchasing 100+ units. Acer education customers can also take advantage of the Acer Educare Warranty Programs to further protect their investment with solutions such as battery replacement, paid two-way shipping, and accidental damage protection.

Price and Availability

Several models of the new Acer Chromebook 11 N7 – both the C731 with a non-touch display and C731T with an IPS touch screen display – will be available with either 16GB or 32GB eMMC storage and 4GB of RAM. It will be available to education and commercial customers in North America in January with prices starting at $229.99, and in EMEA in February with prices starting at €299.
Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To learn more about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office via


LeEco wants you to ride its Android-powered smart bicycles

LeEco, the Chinese company whose recent push into the U.S. has been met with excitement, trepidation and more than a little skepticism, is launching a pair of smart bicycles at CES 2017, powered by the company’s own Android 6.0-based BikeOS.


LeEco’s Android-powered smart road bike

Both the LeEco Smart Road Bike and Smart Mountain Bike are made of carbon fiber frames and single-chain designs, but the most interesting part — aside from the fact that they’re going to be sold in the U.S. later this year — is that they both have a built-in 4-inch touchscreen powered by what it essentially a small Android smartphone.

Inside is a Snapdragon 410 processor, a 6,000mAh battery and all the sensors needed to get you where you need to go, including GPS, compass, accelerometer, barometer, light sensor, wheel and crank speed, and third-party ANT+ support. The company notes that the built-in Android experience is far safer and more secure than a third-party alternative, since it’s not attached using clips or mounts, and it is designed specifically for the chassis.


LeEco’s Android-powered smart mountain bike

Perhaps even more interesting are the safety features. There are built-in lights on the front and sides, as well as a horn and security alarm, the latter of which talks to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, using GPS and Wi-Fi to track location. It’s not a for-sure way of getting the bike returned, but it’s better than most current solutions.

The bikes will be available in the U.S. in the second quarter for undisclosed amounts.


Dish’s AirTV set-top box is now official with Sling TV, OTA, and 4K streaming

OTA and streaming TV mash it up.

After initially leaking on its website in December, Dish has made its first standalone set-top box is now official (via Engadget). Called AirTV Player, the box is based on Android TV and mashes up Sling TV’s streaming cable offering with apps available on Google Play and over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts.


AirTV comes packed with a Bluetooth remote that features convenient shortcut buttons to popular services like Netflix, YouTube, and, of course, Sling. A microphone is also on board for easy voice control when you need it.

The box also supports 4K streaming, so if you’ve got the it hooked up to a compatible TV, you can start streaming UHD content from sources that support it. Perhaps most interestingly is the AirTV’s support for OTA broadcasts when hooked up to an antenna. Any channels you pick up will then be integrated into Sling’s own channel guide, which is pretty convenient if you’re already a subscriber.

Dish, Sling TV’s parent company, is already selling the AirTV in two different variants on a dedicated AirTV website. If you plan on using an OTA antenna, the $129.99 configuration includes a necessary OTA adapter kit. Otherwise, you can pick up a $99.99 version that only works with Sling and other streaming apps. The OTA adapter will be available separately for $39.99 if you change your mind later.

Of course, Sling TV is available on a number of streaming boxes already, so it may be difficult for some to justify slotting AirTV into their setup. That said, the inclusion of OTA support may just be appealing enough for some to warrant moving to on all-encompassing set-top box for their entertainment needs.


WeMo’s new smart dimmer solves the problem of LED light flickering

Belkin’s WeMo is back with a couple more smart home gadgets to make your life easier.

As it has every year for as long as we can remember, Belkin’s WeMo brand is launching a couple of neat new smart home products at CES, set to be released in the next few months.


First up is the Dimmer, the company’s take on the ubiquitous light switch dimmer. While such a product is not new — Philips, Lutron, GE and others have been offering them for years — Belkin’s solution promises to calibrate the circuitry for every light, avoiding the eye-crushing flickering often seen when combining LED bulbs with dimmer switches.

Dimmer is also compatible with a number of smart home services, including IFTTT, Alexa, Google Home and others. Look for it this spring.


Next is the company’s take on the mini plug, with the WeMo Mini Smart Plug. The plug connects to a home Wi-Fi network to allow remote controlling of anything attached to it, from coffee machines to fans to lights. WeMo’s Android app has gone from terrible to awesome in the last couple of years, so using it should be a treat. Look for it in the spring for $34.99.

See at Belkin


The latest Asus Chromebook Flip is $500 and all USB-C

A convertible with a big price tag.

Asus has announced the latest in its popular line of Chromebooks, the Flip C302, with a $500 price tag and all USB-C ports. Like Apple and, increasingly, the competition, Asus has decided to do away with full-sized USB-A ports in favor of the smaller, more versatile USB-C standard.


The Flip C302 features a hinge that allows the 12.5-inch screen to fold all the way back into a tablet form, while the 1080p touchscreen should be great for Android apps on the go. Inside, a last-gen Intel Core m3 chip, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage power the two USB-C ports, 3.5mm headphone jack and, thankfully, microSD card slot. While certainly not the most beastly of Chromebooks, the Flip has earned its place as the most versatile, and with this new spec sheet, one of the most future-proof. No word on battery life, but it should last upwards of 10 hours on a charge with its 39 Whr battery. And at 2.65lbs, it’s not a lot of extra weight to carry around.

The Chromebook Flip C302 is available today in the U.S. for $499. Who’s biting?

See at Asus



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The ASUS VivoPC X is a compact box designed for virtual reality

Right now, going all-in on PC virtual reality means going big: you need a big space for room-scale VR, a big, powerful gaming PC and a big wallet to buy it all with. ASUS wants to make one of those things smaller. Unfortunately, it’s not the price. The new ASUS VivoPC X is a compact gaming desktop that’s powerful enough for virtual reality, but still small enough to be moved in a pinch.

Weighing in at just under five pounds, the VivoPC X boasts a Intel Core i5 Kaby Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. That’s more than enough power to meet the minimum requirements for PC VR, but not quite enough to push the current generation of virtual realities to their limit.

Still, for $799, the VivoPC X is a decently power gaming rig in about the form-factor of a game console. Not too shabby. Is VR not your thing? No worries — with two HDMI ports and DisplayPort out (with support for NVIDIA GSync displays), the VivoPC X will make a decent all around desktop machine too.

ASUS’ compact gaming rig should be available in March, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more power, you may want to wait for the ROG GT51CH — a full-sized gaming desktop with an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 64GB of RAM and 3TB of storage and support for dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or 1080 graphics configured in SLI. That rig won’t be out until halfway through the year (and prices aren’t announced yet), but if you want to push consumer VR to its limits, it’s a much safer bet.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

Via: MsPowerUser, Verge


Intel Announces Full Lineup of Kaby Lake Processors for iMac, MacBook Pro, and More

At today’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Intel formally announced its full lineup of 7th-generation Intel Core processors, known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake low-power Y-Series and U-Series processors were announced in late August, but today’s unveiling covers notebook and desktop chips that could be destined for many future Apple Macs.

Intel’s 7th-generation processors are built on the “14nm+” process, introducing new optimizations compared to previous 14nm Broadwell and Skylake chips.

According to Intel, Kaby Lake will bring “double digit productivity performance increases” of up to 20 percent for gaming notebooks and 25 percent for desktops. With 4K and 360 degree content, customers can expect up to 65 percent faster performance on notebooks. Enhanced security, a new media engine, and improvements in VR and gaming are all advertised features.

Of the chips announced today, the 28-watt U-Series chips are appropriate for a future 13-inch MacBook Pro update, and we could see the 7267U/7287U/7567U used in 13-inch MacBook Pro machines this year. Those same chips are likely what Apple would use in a Mac mini update, as the Mac mini and the 13-inch MacBook Pro have traditionally included the same chips.

Intel’s 45-watt H-Series chips are appropriate for a future 15-inch MacBook Pro update. The 7700HQ would be ideal for entry-level machines, while a mid-tier machine would use the 7820HQ and the top-of-the-line MacBook Pro would use the 7920HQ.

There are multiple potential upgrade options for the 27-inch iMac, but the S-Series desktop chips (7500/7600/7700K) are the straight upgrade path from the current Skylake chips used in 27-inch machines.

For the 21.5-inch iMac, Apple normally uses chips with higher-end integrated graphics, but Intel has not released Kaby Lake chips that are a clear upgrade for the smaller iMac machines. Apple could choose to use Skylake chips instead of Kaby Lake chips for the 21.5-inch iMac, and in that case, would likely adopt the 6585R, 6685R, and 6785R chips, released six months ago.

With today’s announcement, Kaby Lake chips that are clear upgrades for the iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini will be available to manufacturers in the near future and will be available for Apple’s planned 2017 upgrades. Kaby Lake chips appropriate for future MacBook updates are already available.

Rumors suggest we will see refreshed iMacs in the spring, which is also when we may see new MacBooks, and in the fall, we expect to see Kaby Lake refreshes for the MacBook Pro lineup.

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook
Tags: Intel, CES 2017
Buyer’s Guide: iMac (Don’t Buy), Mac Mini (Don’t Buy), MacBook Pro (Buy Now), MacBook (Caution)
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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will have 4K display and Bixby voice assistant

Samsung is hoping 2017 will be a much better year following the unfortunate demise of the Galaxy Note 7 in the second half of 2016. We already know the Galaxy S8 and S8 Edge are coming, perhaps in April, but fresh news out of Korea suggests the Note brand will return in the Galaxy Note 8.

  • Samsung confirms Galaxy Note 7 with Note 7 trade-in programme

An official from the “electronics industry” has said: “As the phablet market, which was developed by Samsung Electronics, has been growing, the company will release the Note series again this year”.

If Samsung does release a Galaxy Note 8, it will arrive with pressure to perform well and to not have an exploding battery. Rumours suggest the Note 8 will have enhanced features over the Galaxy S8 series, such as a 4K resolution display as opposed to a 2K display on the S8. The 4K screen is said to improve the virtual reality performance of the Galaxy Note 8.

The Note 8 should also come with improved stylus features over the Note 7 and Samsung’s own virtual assistant, which is now being called Bixby, rather than Viv. An exact release date isn’t known just yet, but the previous Note phablets have been released towards the end of August, so this is the most obvious date for now.

  • RIP Samsung Galaxy Note 7: A eulogy for a great but flawed friend

Samsung has been looking into the issues that plagued the Galaxy Note 7 and caused all production to stop and units recalled and should release the findings of its study by the end of January. It’s thought that the problems were caused by an electronic hardware design problem rather than just faulty batteries, but we’ll find out for sure soon.


The next Moto 2017: What’s the story so far?

Motorola has changed hands more times than a used car in recent years, skipping over to Google and then to Lenovo where it currently resides.

With future phones carrying the Moto branding – and a shake-up on 2016 introducing the Moto Z family, we’re left wondering exactly what the next Moto handset might be. 

We’ve been keeping track of the rumours surrounding the next Moto phone, which might be the X, or might be something else.

Next Moto G, Moto X, Moto Z or something else?

There’s some confusion as to what the next Moto handset might be. The Moto G was updated in mid-2016, the Moto Z was launched in summer (although it didn’t escape the US until November 2016). 

Meanwhile the Moto X dropped off the radar. It’s still available from Motorola, but hasn’t been updated since 2015, leading many to believe that the next launch will be the reintroduction of the Moto X. 

However, with the Moto G creeping up in spec and expanding into three different handsets and the Moto Z offering two different models, at different prices, is there space for the Moto X to slide into the middle? 

Although many are calling this the Moto X, TechDroider is reporting that it isn’t the Moto X, but it does have the codename Cedric.


The next Motorola 2017: Design

Fortunately, we know a lot more about the design of the next Moto phone because it unceremoniously leaked in a couple of murky hands-on photos.

The handset doesn’t appear to have the Moto Z’s contact pins, so we can assume that it won’t support Moto Mods. The photos appear to show a device with a metal build, but there’s no telling what the rear panel is made from and it could easily be plastic in a metal frame.

Expanding on the design leaks, Android Authority teamed up with @onleaks to produce renders of the handset, revealing what looks like some leading edge chamfer and a nice curve to the back.

It’s been suggested that it will come in silver and gold colours and the dimensions given in this latest rendering are 150 x 73.8 x 8.4mm.

The next Moto 2017: Display

When this device first appeared it was suggested that it would have a 5.5-inch display. Lenovo has previously said that it wouldn’t make devices smaller than 5.5-inch. 

However, it’s suggested that it’s actually 5.2-inches and there’s no word on the resolution. We’re guessing that it’s going to be 1920 x 1080 pixels, so full HD. 

The next Moto 2017: Hardware and specs

There’s less information about the hardware specs for this Moto handset. There’s been no talk about the chipset that it might run on, although it’s been suggested that it will offer a microSD card slot, which is great for storage expansion. 

There’s a fingerprint scanner on the front which seems to be less like the odd square version that was on the Moto G4 Plus, and more like the iterations we’ve seen from Samsung or HTC. We’re assuming it’s not a button, just a touch pad.

There’s a 3.5mm headphone socket – so it doesn’t lose it like the Moto Z, but also the suggestion that this handset uses Micro-USB, rather than the newer, neater, USB Type-C, which would be an odd decision. We’re expecting most handsets to shift to USB Type-C in 2017.


The next Moto 2017: Camera

Around the back, this Moto handset used the same sort of design as the Moto Z for the camera, with a large round bump, housing both the lens and the flash module. 

The Moto G4 rocked a range of camera options – 8MP, 13MP, 16MP – so it’s difficult to predict exactly what this model might get equipped with. If it lifts the Moto Z camera, that’s 13 megapixels. 

There appear to be two apertures on the front however, flanking the ear speaker, so there’s a chance this this model will also offer a front-facing flash for the selfie camera. 

The next Moto: Conclusions

At the moment there’s a lot we don’t know about the forthcoming Moto handset. We’re not sure about the name or the timescale of when it might appear. The leaks are a little light for a CES 2017 launch, so we suspect this will be a MWC 2017 handset. 

But from the design is does very much appear this is a mid-range design. It doesn’t have the gloss of the Moto Z and it doesn’t quite do justice to the Moto X models of the past either, so the positioning is still unknown. 

Time will reveal all and we suspect there will be a lot more leaking before launch day.

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