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27
Apr

Acer Leap Ware fitness watch offers plenty of features and sensors for a reasonable €139


Acer has announced a smart fitness watch that is packed with tracking sensors yet looks more like a standard wristwatch.

The Acer Leap Ware has a circular 1.6-inch screen covered in Corning Gorilla Glass SR+. It is also IPX7 water resistant, which will keep it running even in a “torrential downpour”.

The processing is handled by a MediaTek MT2523 chipset and MT2511 bio-sensing chip. It has sensors to measure heart rate, stamina, stress/fatigue levels and exposure to UV rays.

Acer claims the battery will last three to five days of general use.

It also doubles as a basic smartwatch, with calls and texts showing up on the screen. The display is also touch-enabled so users can interact with the fitness systems.

A partner smartphone application, Liquid Life, is available for iOS and Android and it enables users to set daily fitness goals and notifications to aid coaching. Power Coins can be won in the app for achieving goals by completing activities and they can be redeemed for different virtual items, rewards and even real-world discounts on the Liquid Life Market.

The Acer Leap Ware smartwatch will be available from the third quarter of this year for €139. We’re still waiting to hear about a UK price tag.

27
Apr

Acer Predator Triton 700 is an ultrathin gaming laptop beast


Gaming laptops have been growing in popularity at a healthy rate in the last couple of years and Acer’s Predator range has been a major driver.

Not one to rest on its laurels though, the company has announced a flagship machine that is a beast under the hood, yet manageable on the outside.

The Acer Predator Triton 700 has a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS LCD display, 7th Gen Intel Core processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series GPU, two solid state drives and Intel Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

It also sports Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D fan technology, with two fans providing advanced thermal cooling while retaining a thin form factor. The chassis is made of aluminium and the keyboard is mechanical.

The Triton 700 weighs 2.6kg, which is light when the amount of game-class tech is considered. It is 18.9mm thick and, as a cool design feature, there is a Corning Gorilla Glass panel above the keyboard that gives you a view of the cooling system. It also doubles as a touchpad.

There are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and a HDMI 2.0 output. There are also DisplayPort and Gigabit Ethernet sockets.

The Acer Predator Triton 700 will be available from August starting at €3,399. We’re currently waiting for UK pricing.

Acer also announced two gaming notebooks in the Predator Helios 300 line. One has a 15.6-inch display, the other a 17.3-inch. Both are Full HD.

They will come with either Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050i or 1060 graphics, depending on your chosen spec and will start at €1,199. You will be able to get your hands on one come August.

27
Apr

Acer debuts new 2-in-1s in Switch 3 and 5, and all-new Swift notebooks


At a press event in New York City, Acer took the wraps off its latest portable computing solutions. There’s the new Switch 3 and Switch 5 2-in-1 crossovers, and the more traditional, run of the mill Swift 1 and Swift 3 notebooks. 

Acer Switch 5 and Switch 3

Starting with the Switch 5, the company’s latest 2-in-1 tablet crossover. Acer’s big reveal here is the fanless LiquidLoop cooling system, which ensures you get all the performance possible from the 7th generation Core i7 or i5 processor, without overheating, and without fan noise.

The fanless cooling has other benefits too, in that it doesn’t require any ventilation, so no risk of those pesky dust bunnies getting in and clogging up the internals. Keeping the processor cool efficiently also means the battery is capable of going 10.5 hours of use before needing to be charged up again. 

The Switch 5 also features the company’s auto-retracting kickstand, which enables users to adjust the the screen with one hand, easily.  

Acer

This kickstand is built on to a solid anodized aluminium chassis which measures just 12mm thin and weighs under 1.3kg with the keyboard attached. On the front, it boasts a 2160 x 1440 wide-view IPS 12-inch touchscreen display which also supports the Acer Active Pen stylus. 

While the Switch 5 is easily the flagship of the 2-in-1 range, the Switch 3 seeks to offer good performance at a lower cost. 

Switch 3 comes with Intel Pentium and Celeron inside, which offer up to 8 hours of battery life from a fanless device that features a 12.2-inch 1920 x 1200 resolution display. It also has front facing speakers and a metallic cover, etched at the edges to give it that extra bit of flair. 

As you’d expect from a 2-in-1, both Switch models come with an attachable keyboard that snaps on using magnets, and is adjustable to suit the user’s preference. It’s backlit, measures just 5.85mm thin and features 1.4mm of travel. 

Acer

The Switch 5 and Switch 3 will be available in Europe from June, with prices starting at €1,099 and €499 respectively. Switch 5 will be configurable with either 256GB or 512GB of SSD storage and up to 8GB RAM. Switch 3 will be sold with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage and up to 4GB RAM. 

Acer Swift 1 and Swift 3

Joining the Switch series 2-in-1 is a range of affordable ultrabooks. The Swift 1 and Swift 3 are thin, lightweight and don’t cost the earth. 

Starting with the budget-friendly Swift 1, is a slim laptop featuring a 13.3-inch full HD IPS display, 802.1ac wireless with 2×2 MIMO technology for fast, reliable connectivity. Acer claims it can work for 10 hours straight, and comes with either Pentium or Celeron processing power and 4GB RAM. 

The 0.7-inch metallic chassis weighs just 1.3kg and comes in a choice of three different colours: pink, gold and silver.

Acer

The Swift 3 is more high-end and features more powerful 7th gen Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce or Intel HD graphics and up to 10 hour of battery life.

More importantly, the Swift 3 comes in a 14-inch or 15.6-inch full HD model with IPS anti-glare displays, USB 3.1 Type C port and an HD webcam.  

Both support Windows Hello through fingerprint sensors, and will be available in June. The Swift 1 will be configurable with 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage with prices starting at €399. 

Swift 3 comes with the option of 256GB SSD storage or 1TB HDD, and even a special edition version with Corning Gorilla Glass on the top cover. Prices start at €649 in June, when the laptop is due to hit the EU. 

27
Apr

Acer’s all-new Aspire laptop line is affordable and suits everyday needs


Acer has unveiled its refreshed Aspire notebook line while at a press event in New York.

These are Windows 10 laptops called Aspire 1, Aspire 3, Aspire 5, and Aspire 7, the latter of which (pictured above) is at the top of the line. It features up to 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics. Acer called it a “powerhouse performance” laptop for creatives. It has 32GB DDR4 2400 MHz memory, up to 2TB HDD or 512GB M.2 SSD storage, and a HDR camera.

  • Acer debuts new 2-in-1s in Switch 3 and 5, and all-new Swift notebooks
  • Acer Predator Triton 700 is an ultrathin gaming laptop beast
  • Acer Leap Ware fitness watch offers plenty of features and sensors for €139

It also has Dolby Audio Premium, network connectivity with 2×2 MIMO 802.11ac wireless technology and Gigabit Ethernet, and a “sleekly designed shell with a premium aluminium cover that features a highly stylized texture”. As for the display, it comes in either 15 or 17 inches. The next laptop in the line, the Aspire 5, has a 15.6-inch HD or Full HD display with IPS technology. Acer called it a dependable workhouse.

Acer

The Aspire 5 can handle photo editing and a media-heavy lifestyle, according to Acer, as it’s powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core processors, latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics, and a maximum of 20GB DDR4 2400 MHz memory. It offers 2TB HDD or up to 256GB M.2 SSD storage, Acer TrueHarmony audio, two digital microphones with Acer Purified, and a Skype for Business Certification.

Acer

And finally, Acer said the Aspire 1 and Aspire 3 are built for everyday tasks and include 802.11ac wireless technology. The Aspire 1 comes with a one-year subscription of Office 365 Personal, 1TB of OneDrive storage, a 14-inch display, an Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, 32GB or 64GB eMMC storage, 4GB DDR3L memory, Intel HD Graphics, a 9-hour of battery life, and a chassis that’s 18mm in height.

Acer

The Aspire 3 has a bit more than the Aspire 1, as it also comes with either a 14-inch HD, 15.6-inch HD, or 15.6-inch Full HD display, processor options like Intel Core and Celeron Pentium, up to 12GB of memory, Acer’s BlueLightShield blue-light reducing technology

Acer’s Aspire 1, Aspire 3, and Aspire 5 will all be available from June starting at £279, £329, and £899, respectively, while the Aspire 7 will be available from July starting at €899.

27
Apr

Razer claims its wireless mouse is good enough for eSports


For pro gamers, wired mice have always been the only option, but now it looks like Razer is trying to change that. Following in the footsteps of Roccat, the peripheral company is releasing Lancehead – a wireless mouse which it claims is the most reliable ever made. Powered by Razer’s new Adaptive Frequency Technology, the mouse automatically switches between the strongest frequencies available within its 2.4 Ghz band – resulting in lag-free mouse movement. As well as boasting a resolution accuracy of 99.4 percent, the Lancehead also allows users to save mouse settings directly to the device while simultaneously uploading them to the cloud.

With eSports players usually swearing by wired mice, the new tech means that Lancehead could be the first wireless mouse that’s widely adopted by pro gamers. The cloud features (going under the name of Razer Synapse Pro) make a lot of sense for eSports, giving players the ability to easily keep their exact mouse settings wherever they go. Yet while Lancehead owners will get exclusive access to the beta version of Synapse Pro, it’s unclear as to whether they’ll have to evntually shell out for the full service.

The Razer Lancehead launches next month in the US, costing $139.99. Those who’d prefer to stick with a trusty wired mouse, however, can pick up The Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition now for $79.99.

27
Apr

24 hours with Sony’s A9 full-frame mirrorless camera


Sony has one clear goal with its A9 full-frame flagship camera: to make professional photographers forget about their DSLRs. These are high expectations, sure, but the company’s new mirrorless shooter seems to tick all the right boxes in terms of specs. The A9 focuses on speed, not so much resolution, which makes sense, considering that Sony’s going after people who do sports photography in particular. You’ll find a 24.2-megapixel 35mm sensor, 20fps continuous shooting, 1/32,000 shutter speed and a ridiculous 693-point phase detection autofocus that covers 93 percent of your frame. None of this would work without the latest Bionz X processor, though, which Sony claims handles data 20 times faster than previous models.

Based on my first experience with it, at a track-and-field event Sony chose for the demo setting, the A9 is as fast as it sounds on paper. The camera’s autofocus had no trouble keeping up with dancers, runners and pole vaulters. Being able to shoot up to 241 full-frame RAW images is definitely a nice option to have, even if you don’t often need it. I had the A9 paired with Sony’s new $2,500 G Master 100-400mm telephoto lens for most of my shots, which, as you can imagine, adds quite a bit of weight to the camera. Without any glass attached, the A9 is designed to be as compact as Sony’s other full-frame mirrorless shooters, like the A7 II, A7S II and A7R II.

The A9 looks so similar to the Alpha cameras mentioned above, in fact, that people at the launch event kept grabbing my A7 II by mistake. Like its siblings, the A9 also shoots 4K video at 3,840 x 2,160, as well as 1080p at up to 120fps, for those of you looking to record slow-motion videos. The max ISO range of 204,800 also sounds promising, although I haven’t been able to put that feature to the test just yet. It’ll be interesting to see how the A9 performs in night shoots, especially compared with flagship DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. After all, Sony did say during its A9 presentation, “The age of the DSLR being the kingpin is over.” We’ll see about that.

It’s hard to judge the A9 completely after spending only a day with it, but you can get an idea of what to expect in the sample images below. While I’m not a sports photographer, the camera definitely made it easy for me to get some solid shots of fast-moving subjects. Personally, I’d much rather use it for portraits and street photography, but then again, that’s how I feel about every camera I play with. If you’re into it, the A9 will arrive in stores May 25th for $4,500 (body only).

To view our sample images in full resolution, click here.

27
Apr

Acer unveils a slew of new Switch laptops and detachables


At the IMAX theatre in New York’s Lincoln Center, Acer CEO Jason Chen showed off his company’s upcoming back-to-school lineup of products, including new Switch laptops and detachables, as well as a fanless all-in-one. The new Swift 1 and Swift 3 laptops expands the company’s existing lineup of superthin notebooks. They come in 13, 14 and 15-inch models with full HD displays and colorful aluminum bodies, and sport fingerprint readers for more-convenient Windows Hello logins.

Then there are the Switch detachables, which were previously known as Switch Alpha. Two new models are available — the 12-inch Switch 3 and the 15-inch Switch 5. While the former is a pretty regular detachable with an adjustable kickstand, full HD display and support for Acer’s Active Pen, the Switch 5 stands out for its auto-retractable kickstand that you can adjust with one hand. The 5 also has a fingerprint reader for convenient logins.

As for the all-in-one desktop, Acer only said that it’s the “world’s first” fanless AIO, and there are no details yet on how much it’ll cost or when it’ll be available. Stay tuned though, as we’ll be taking a closer look at these computers later today.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.

27
Apr

Acer is making yet another fitness wearable


After a series of underwhelming attempts at making fitness wearables that track uncommon metrics, Acer is at it again with its new Leap Ware watch. Not many details have been shared yet, but one thing the company was happy to mention? The Ware will monitor your stamina, along with “more-effective fitness” metrics and a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass screen.

In the past, Acer touted its Liquid Leap wearables for their ability to track your stress level based on your galvanic skin response, as well as a constantly monitoring heart rate sensor for a low price. Stress-detection was a novelty at the time Acer announced it, and the technology didn’t seem to spread to other devices. This year’s stamina-monitoring seems equally gimmicky, and we don’t know the full details on the science behind it yet, so it’s too early to say if it will be effective.

We also don’t know what else the Ware can do, or how much it costs, but based on the pictures we saw, it looks more like a smartwatch than a Fitbit. The round display can show the time, at least, from the render the company showed. In addition to this wearable, Acer introduced Holo 360, a 360-degree camera that comes with built-in WiFi and LTE support. The company didn’t say much beyond that, other than it can make calls, but we should have more information as well as hands-on with both of these products shortly.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.

27
Apr

Acer’s new Predator gaming laptop trades power for portability


What’s the point of getting a powerful laptop if you can’t drag it to a gaming party? Acer’s latest back-to-school update for its Predator series of laptops, the Triton 700, may actually be portable enough for those trips. It packs the latest NVIDIA graphics chips and an advanced dual-fan cooling system into a chassis that’s just 18.9mm (or 0.75 inches) tall. Acer hasn’t shared many other details about the notebook yet, except to say that it will be ready for the back-to-school season this summer. In addition to size, the overall weight impacts portability, so we’ll have to withhold any final assessment until we have that info.

Even with all that oomph, the latest Razer Blade is still a smidge thinner and more powerful that the Triton 700 Acer is showing off. A closer comparison spec-wise to the machine we’re seeing today is Origin’s EON15-S that runs NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti graphics and an Intel i7-7700HQ CPU, but there are a number of PC makers cramming capable components into slimmer form factors for gamers these days.

Gamers who don’t need all that power can consider the new Nitro 5 laptop, which offers NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti graphics and the company’s CoolBoost cooling system. Again, at its New York presentation, the company didn’t dwell very long on each product, so other details about the laptop are scant, and we’ll update this post as we get more later from our hands-on.

For those who prefer to invest in their at-home battle stations, Acer also unveiled a 27-inch 4K gaming monitor called the Predator X27. It boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, 4ms response time and uses Quantom Dot technology for better image quality while saving energy. The X27, like many of its rivals, supports NVIDIA’s G-Sync HDR technology for smoother streams with higher definition and contrast.

We’ll be taking a closer look at Acer’s gaming lineup for 2017 later, so check back here for more information.

Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.

27
Apr

ICYMI: Boston’s book cleaning machine and Disney’s new SFX tricks


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Today on In Case You Missed It: We take a look at the Boston Public Library’s novel method of keeping its archives clean. Hint: it involves pushing them through a portable vacuum cleaner. The Depulvera book cleaning machine, as it’s called, can scrub the dust and accumulated grime from up to 12 ancient tomes a minute without damaging the books themselves.

Disney is also making headlines with a pair of new special effects tricks. The first will enable Disney CG animators to motion capture real life hairstyles and port them directly into computer generated simulations. The second uses high speed cameras and infrared lasers to map and project digital images and animations onto actors’ faces. One will result in more lifelike and naturals doos in kids movies, the other will serve as a steady source of nightmare fuel for the parents. Good times.

As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @Terrortola.

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