Although Qualcomm’s SnapDragon processors have been successful at powering recent generations of mobile devices, that performance doesn’t necessarily translate to the Windows 10 ecosystem. In rumored early tests of laptops running Windows 10 on Qualcomm SnapDragon 835 processors, the benchmark results are anything but impressive.
Earlier this year Microsoft and Qualcomm promised much from the introduction of new Windows 10 laptops powered by the usually mobile processors, suggesting they would help make big gains in battery life and responsiveness. Early tests suggest otherwise, and though any pre-release benchmarks should be taken with a note of caution, they aren’t a good sign.
The rumored tests were apparently conducted using Geekbench and were dug up by Winfuture.de (translation by GizmoChina). They showed a single-core score of 1,202 points and a multi-core score of 4,068 when running Windows 10 S 32-bit. The scores took a roughly 10-percent hit when running Windows 10 Pro, too.
By comparison, a relatively low-end Intel Core-i3 CPU achieved a single core score of 3,692 points and a multi-core score of 11,860 points, as highlighted by MSPowerUser. That’s a near three-fold increase in performance with the Intel hardware versus the Qualcomm equivalent.
It’s important to note that these are pre-release numbers and really even pre-debut numbers, as we have not seen the fabled devices that Microsoft and Qualcomm are reportedly working on. That could mean that further optimizations need to be done. It could also be that a focus on battery life has left the devices a little underpowered, though Microsoft did initially claim that there would be no trade-off in overall performance for claimed increase in battery life.
It could also be that mobile processors like the SnapDragon 835, which are incredibly powerful when confined to a smartphone, just don’t perform as well on a desktop operating system as does hardware designed specifically for that kind of platform.
At the very least these results should be taken as a warning that if and when the SnapDragon-equipped laptops are officially unveiled, interested customers should wait for proper testing from third-party sources. Testing the actual hardware in a real-world setting will give us a much firmer idea of what these laptops are capable of.
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Locomotives may just come back into vogue. That is, if Deutsche Bahn’s concept for its “Idea Train” comes to fruition. While your preferred method of transportation today may not be the train, that could soon change with the debut of this incredibly futuristic design. Combining sleeping pods, noise-canceling chairs (that’s right, not just headphones), and even a digital fitness coach for your workout regimen, this train might make your commute more enjoyable than your actual job.
Known as the “Ideenzug,” this train is decked out with more features than even the most hip startup office. Doing away with the traditional setup of rows upon rows of seats, the Idea Train instead features a host of seating options, including swivel chairs that will either allow you face forward or backward. If you’re not looking to settle in, however, there are also benches and folding seats available for shorter rides.
For folks hoping to get some work done on the train, the Ideenzug comes with built-in tablet stands and privacy pods, so you can focus as you prepare for your meeting. Alternatively, for folks looking for a workout, there’s a fitness studio that comes complete with exercise bikes and a virtual trainer. Even kids will be able to occupy themselves on this train, as there are game consoles and a “play paradise” available for the younger tots.
Conceptualized by Christoph Kraller, who heads Deutsche Bahn’s regional train subsidiary “Südostbayernbahn,” this new-age train is intended to make train travel a more enticing prospect, especially as technologies like self-driving cars threaten the very existence of commuter rails. But as Dr. Jörg Sandvoß, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn noted, “We want to offer our local transport customers more in the future — a new and unique travel experience. That’s why we developed the Idea Train with completely new design ideas for the vehicle interior. Our goal is that the public transport commuters think about such ideas in their future tenders.”
Though it’s unclear whether this concept will ever see the light of day, it appears that officials are quite impressed by the mere idea. As Dr. Johann Niggl, spokesman the Bavarian Railways Company noted, “The mobility behavior of commuters in Germany is changing rapidly. Passengers expect comfort and individuality and want to use their time wisely. Vehicles must be suitable for mass transportation and highly reliable, but at the same time comfortable and individual. I therefore welcome the fact that DB Regio faces up to this challenge and develops the Idea Train.”
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Bill Gates used his smarts to become one of the most successful people on the planet, so it only makes sense that he would make a smart city. Earlier this month, a group headed by Gates’ investment group Cascade Investment LLC purchased a large plot of land just outside of Phoenix, Arizona to build this vision of a smart future.
The vision for Gates’ smart city is one with “high-speed digital networks, data centers, new manufacturing technologies and distribution models, autonomous vehicles, and autonomous logistics hubs,” according to a statement from Belmont Partners, the real estate developer on the project. Few people live in the area now, but Belmont said in a statement the projected population of the smart city will be comparable to Tempe, Arizona, which is home to more than 182,000 Arizonans.
The smart city’s cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and modes of distribution could involve large-scale 3D printing, a technology Gates has supported in the past. With plans for autonomous vehicles, the city could be one of the cities Gates says will experiment with the technology before it is offered to the broader public. In a 2016 CNBC interview, Gates said autonomous vehicles are 15 years from being “a meaningful percentage of cars driven,” and it will take “leading-edge cities around the world during the next decade” to work the kinks out.
Gates’ Belmont development is near White Tank Mountain and is a massive 24,800 acres, according to property records. Belmont Partners plan to divide the acres up into 80,000 homes, 3,800 acres for retail, office, and industrial space, and 470 acres for public schools. Gates and his foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have been instrumental in changing public schools, and recently invested $1.7 billion in public education in order to pursue new instructional methods.
If the homes in this city incorporate today’s smart technology in the same way that Gates’ home did when it was built in 1997, the residents should be well connected. Gates’ 66,000-square-foot compound was the original tech paradise with touch pads in each room that control lighting, temperature, and music. Companies such as Wink have made this technology commonplace in the home, so it’s entirely plausible they’ll be in Gates’ vision of the smart home.
No announcement has been made as to when construction of Gates’ smart city will commence.
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iPhones have been editing RAW photos since iOS 10, but a new app is bringing that same power to the iCloud and Photo Library. On Tuesday, November 14, Gentlemen Coders launched RAW Power for iOS, the first iOS app that allows for both nondestructive RAW photo editing and seamless iCloud photo integration. The mobile app builds on the success of a program by the same name for desktop and brings those tools to a mobile platform.
While several apps allow the iPhone to handle RAW files, RAW Power integrates directly with the camera roll or the iCloud library, the developer says. Once images are edited using the app, those changes are synced to the cloud platform or to the device, while users can also turn cloud features off to keep images offline.
Along with syncing files, the integration allows users to manage their photos in the app, including creating and adjusting albums. RAW Power also allows photographers to mark favorite photos and view metadata, while tools like a “recents” album and sorting options help users find the right photo.
With that access to images on the device and on the iCloud, RAW Power offers eight different sliders to adjust each image, with the option to copy and paste to apply those same adjustments to another shot. A histogram feature will automatically highlight over or underexposed areas, then help to correct those spots.
Gentlemen Coders says that by using Apple’s RAW Engine, the app can show those changes in real time. That expanded power also allows users to zoom in on shots up to 800 percent. The app can handle larger, DSLR files from several brands as well as DNG files shot on an iPhone.
The app’s key integration with native iOS apps comes from the founder Nik Bhatt, who is a former lead member of the Aperture and iPhoto staff. “We constantly hear from photographers how much they want to edit the RAW images in their iOS or iCloud photo libraries using the same kind of advanced tools they are accustomed to using on the desktop,” he said.
“Using our deep experience with Apple’s RAW Engine, we have created a powerful, easy-to-use editing app that seamlessly integrates with the built-in photo apps on iOS and Mac, allowing iOS users to keep their images in iCloud and maximizing integration with the Apple ecosystem.”
While RAW Power is a free iOS app, users can also purchase the one-time Advanced Adjustment Pack, which adds tools like curves and white balance. The advanced pack also includes Depth Effect, which can read the depth map from the dual-lens iPhones and adjust the highlights and shadows in the background and foreground separately.
RAW Power for iOS is now available from the App Store.
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After a decade of relatively tranquil seas, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was literally one for the books. Nearly two months after Irma ravaged Puerto Rico, more than half of the country is still without electricity — a true testament to the power of this storm system. Unfortunately, as surface ocean temperatures continue to rise, we can only expect more powerful storms in the future. With this in mind, perhaps this ingenious floating “hurricane-proof” home will allow humanity to better weather the challenges of a more tempestuous planet.
Architect Koen Olthuis and housing startup Arkup recently unveiled a series of “livable yachts” at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Olthuis’ architectural firm, Waterstudio, has produced floating structures for the past decade. We’ve covered flood-proof homes in the past, but these floating structures have been designed to handle not only rising waters but also the powerful winds (up to 156 miles per hour) associated with Category 4 hurricanes.
A hydraulic system allows the unit to rise more than 40 feet during a surge, and a series of rooftop solar panels will enable each of these floating homes to operate completely off the power grid. These glorified houseboats will also incorporate a rainwater collection and filtration system, allowing them to fulfill basic plumping needs in situ. Currently, Olthuis and the team anticipate these hurricane-proof homes will cost somewhere between $2 million or $3 million, with the first prototype set hit the Miami River in 2018.
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Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10
There is an art to making a special edition smartphone, and not every manufacturer can pull it off. In Porsche Design, Huawei has found a solid partner, which has resulted in two existing collaborations — the Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design, and the Huawei Watch 2 Porsche Design — and now a third, based on the brand new Huawei Mate 10 Pro.
The Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 is technically almost identical to the regular Mate 10 Pro, but it costs 1,400 euros, or about $1,630 (it’s not available in the U.S.). That’s more than twice what a Mate 10 Pro will cost without the Porsche Design name attached. Is it worth it? We had the chance to take a closer look for our Porsche Huawei Design Mate 10 hands-on review.
Not all that different
Before we answer that question, let’s talk about the differences between a Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design Mate 10. The most noticeable is the color. The Porsche Design Mate 10 comes in diamond black; an exclusive glossy, highly reflective finish unavailable on the standard version. It’s undeniably attractive, and heavily influenced by Porsche Design’s other products; but the body is still glass and not some special, more expensive material. The reflective stripe is vertical, rather than horizontal like on the regular Mate 10, mimicking a racing stripe.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
There is more internal memory in the Porsche Design model. It has 256GB over the 128GB inside the Mate 10 Pro. It also comes in a flashier box with a selection of custom Porsche Design accessories, including a good looking folio case. Switch on the phone and Porsche Design’s custom theme greets you, with different icons and a cool wallpaper. It’s pretty and comfortable to hold, because it’s the same as the Mate 10 Pro.
Save some cash and buy the Mate 10 Pro.
Expecting more? Don’t, because that’s it. The Porsche Design version of the Mate 9 was a special edition phone done right, because it didn’t look the same as the regular model. There was some benefit (outside of the brand name) to paying more. This time the phone looks the same, has the same Kirin 970 processor, 6GB of RAM, dual-lens Leica camera, 6-inch 2,160 x 1,080 pixel screen, 4,000mAh battery, Android 8.0 software, and everything else. You pay more for the color, a little more memory, special wallpaper, and a folio case.
We like Porsche Design, and we like the Mate 9 Porsche Design. Sadly, because the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 offers so little extra over the regular version, it embodies everything we don’t like about special edition smartphones, and is a real disappointment. The Mate 10 itself is shaping up to be one of our favorite smartphones, but even with our Porsche Design obsession, we cannot find anything about the special version to get excited about. Slapping on a logo and installing a new theme, then changing the orientation of the stripe on the device’s rear panel — the only visual alteration — to make it “special” is lazy and dull.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
If you want to know about the Mate 10 Pro, our comprehensive review is coming soon, but in the meantime we have an in-depth hands-on review. You can also check out our guide detailing the differences between the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro. There are no operational differences between the Mate 10 Pro and the Porsche Design version at all.
Huawei and Porsche Design can do better, having proved it with the Mate 9 Porsche Design. Porsche Design makes expensive products, and the Mate 10 is no different. People who regularly buy Porsche Design clothing or accessories will want it, and likely have no problem paying the inflated price to own it.
Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Compared To
HTC U11 Life
Google Pixel 2
Google Pixel 2 XL
Maze Alpha 4G
ZTE Blade Z Max
Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom
Moto Z2 Play
Motorola Moto E4
ZTE Max XL
Meizu M3 Max
ZTE ZMax Pro
Huawei Mate 8
ZTE Grand X Max+
LG G Flex
Everyone else should save some cash and buy the Mate 10 Pro. It looks the same, feels the same, and performs the same as the Porsche Design model. The Porsche Design version will leave you feeling underwhelmed and disappointed.
The phone is going to be sold through select Porsche Design dealers, including its own online store, and likely only in Europe. It’s available to pre-order now, with deliveries expected to start in December.
- Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro hands-on review
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- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs. Huawei Mate 10 Pro: Which phablet reigns supreme?
Apple, which is the world’s largest technology company, has now regained its spot as the world’s largest wearable manufacturer according to a new report by the research firm Canalys. The company reclaimed its spot from Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi in the most recent quarter, with Fitbit, Huawei, and Samsung rounding out the top five wearable manufacturers.
During its last quarterly conference call, Apple announced that sales of its wearable products, including Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats, were up 75 percent year-over-year for the quarter. The sheer size of Apple’s wearable business alone would make it a Fortune 400 company.
In terms of the Apple Watch, the company did not release precise sales numbers but did note that its sales were up over 50 percent year-over year for the quarter. However, a new report from the research firm Canalys sheds some light on the number of Apple Watch sales.
Canalys estimates that Apple sold 3.9 million Apple Watches last quarter, with a sizable portion of those sales coming from the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular model.
While Apple Watch sales increased overall in the third quarter, sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular model were especially remarkable. Sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular accounted for nearly a quarter of overall Apple Watch sales. Even with only a few weeks of availability in the quarter, Apple sold 800,000 S3 GPS + Cellular watches.
The demand for the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular surprised many carriers and retailers. While some providers doubted the appeal of a cellular watch to consumers, sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular far exceeded expectations. In fact Canalys believes sales of this model did not reach their full potential in the quarter because limited availability due to retailers and carriers underestimating demand for the product.
Fourth quarter sales of the Apple Watch are expected to be even stronger compared to last year. Improvements to design and functionality are driving demand for Apple’s wearables. Canalys believes that better health tracking options, longer battery life, and, of course, the apparently very popular feature of cellular service will continue to increase the value and desirability of the Apple Watch to consumers moving forward.
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It’s early, but we’re starting to see some promising cases for the BlackBerry Motion emerge.
The BlackBerry Motion is starting to roll out to lucky owners in (Oh Canada!), which means that it’s time to take a look at cases to keep that brand new phone safe.
At launch, the pickings for Motion cases are fairly slim — there are a couple cheap options available on Amazon but we can’t recommend them just yet, so buyers beware.
However, there are a handful that we can recommend for all you early adopters, and we’ll be updating this article as new options emerge. Here are the best cases for the BlackBerry Motion so far!
- Incipio Dual Pro Case
- CoverOn FlexGuard Case
- BlackBerry Cases
Incipio DualPro Case
The DualPro case by Incipio is essentially Incipio’s flagship case which they make for nearly all major phones released, including the BlackBerry Motion.
This is a classic case style with no frills or unnecessary accents — just a two-layer case designed to protect your phone protected from drops. The interior is made of shock absorbing TPU while the outer shell is made of rigid polycarbonate with a soft touch finish. Available in all-black for $29.99, this is a reliable case with a classic look.
If you’re looking for something with a bit more flash and style, Incipio will also has a Carnaby Esquire Series case available soon, so you may want to keep your eye on that one.
See at Amazon
CoverOn FlexGuard Series Case
For those looking for a cheaper, one-piece case you might want to consider the CoverOn FlexGuard series case. Available for just $6 CAD, this case is made of flexible TPU which means that it’s easy to put on and will absorb the shock of any drops or impacts so your phone doesn’t.
Featuring a simple minimalist look and feel including a raised bevel around the front to protect the screen, this is a slim and lightweight case that’s available in your choice of black or as a clear case.
See at Amazon Canada
Longtime BlackBerry fans know that typically some of the best cases for BlackBerry phones are offered by BlackBerry itself, and that appears to be the case with the BlackBerry Motion.
There are two case styles available for the Motion on the BlackBerry Mobile website — the Privacy FlipCase and a classic Hard Shell case.
We’ve featured the Privacy FlipCase because it’s the most intriguing option because it’s packed with awesome features like a transparent flip cover that leaves the touchscreen fully functional with the cover closed while also doubling as a privacy shield that limits your screen’s viewing angle so you don’t have any looky-loos on your daily commute trying to sneak a peak at your screen. There’s also a built-in card slot on the back to help free up some space in your wallet.
So far we’ve only found these cases available for sale from a UK-based online store, but you can also also register for availability updates from the BlackBerry Mobile website.
See at BlackBerry
Anything we missed?
Are there any cases for the Motion that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!
Make your home warmer or cooler with just your voice.
Of all that smart home gadgets that exist, thermostats continue to be some of the most popular. Having to get up and walk over to a certain part of the house to warm or cool it is so outdated, and devices like Ecobee’s thermostats allow you to easily adjust the temperature right from your phone.
However, sometimes even pulling out your phone to do this can be a chore. Thankfully, Ecobee is now adding Google Assistant support to its latest thermostats so you can use your Google Home or other Assistant-equipped devices to control them with just your voice.
You can now use Google Assistant with the Ecobee3 Lite, Ecobee3, and Ecobee4, and saying commands such as “Ok, Google, make my home warmer” will allow you to get your house or apartment at just the right temperature without having to lift a finger.
Ecobee isn’t the first smart thermostat to add Google Assistant support, but the way we see it, the more the merrier.
Ecobee’s new smart thermostat has Alexa built-in
Chargers, cables, and cases, oh my!
Is this deal for me?
Around here, we are not strangers to Anker discounts. The company loves to put its products on sale, and you guys love to buy them. Leading up to Black Friday, Anker has released another round of discounts, but we wanted to take it one step further. We’ve partnered with them to bring another list of exclusive discounts to the best deals community on the internet (you guys!).
Below is a combined list of Anker’s pre-Black Friday deals, as well as our Thrifter exclusive ones. Be sure to check them all out and grab as many of the items as you want! These make for great stocking stuffers, so don’t miss out.
- Cases & Screen Protectors
- Anker PowerCore 13000 C – $27.19 with coupon THRIFT79
- Anker PowerCore+ 10050 w/ Quick Charge 3.0 – $26.99 with coupon THRIFT89
- Anker PowerCore 20100 Power Bank – $31.69 (no coupon needed)
- Anker PowerCore 26800 3-Port Power Bank – $47.49 (no coupon needed)
- Anker PowerPort II w/ 2 PowerIQ Ports – $12.59 (no coupon needed)
- Anker 48W 4-Port USB Car Charger – $14.39 with coupon THRIFT23
- Anker 24W 2-Port Car Charger w/ Lightning Connector – $11.89 (no coupon needed)
- Anker 2-Port 24W USB Wall Charger PowerPort – $9.99 with coupon THRIFT24
- Anker Quick Charge 3.0 51.5W 5-Port USB Wall Charger – $25.59 with coupon THRIFT55
- Anker 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger – $20.59 (no coupon needed)
- Anker PowerLine+ USB-C to USB A 2.0 Cable (2-pack) – $9.49 (no coupon needed)
- Anker Powerline+ USB C to USB 3.0 Cable (6ft) – $10.49 with coupon THRIFT88
- Anker Powerline+ lightning Cable (3ft) – $8.99 with coupon THRIFT66
- Anker PowerLine II Lightning Cable (10ft) – $11.89 (no coupon needed)
- Anker Powerline Micro Cable (2-pack) – $7.49 with coupon THRIFT77
- Anker Ultra Portable Bluetooth Speaker – $14.99 with coupon THRIFT67
- Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker – $23.99 with coupon THRIFT58
- Anker SoundCore Sport Bluetooth Speaker – $31.90 with coupon RX6QE5C6
- Anker SoundSync Drive Bluetooth Car Receiver – $15.99 with code RX6QE5C6
Cases & Screen Protectors
- Anker KARAPAX Shield+ Case for iPhone X – $7.99 with coupon KRPX22DM
- Anker KARAPAX Silk Case for iPhone X – $9.99 with coupon KRPX28DM
- Anker iPad Pro 10.5″ Tempered Glass Screen Protector – $6.99 (no coupon needed)
- Anker KARAPAX iPhone X Screen Protector (2 Pack) – $5.99 with coupon RL9UZZFY
- Eufy Lumi Stick-On Night Light (3-pack) – $10.99 (no coupon needed)
- What makes this deal worth considering? – There are a TON of items available at great discounts here. From charging cables to portable power banks, lights for your house and cases for your phone, you won’t want to miss out on these.
- Things to know before you buy! – Some of these items require coupon codes, and others will reflect the discounted pricing on the listing. Be sure to grab the correct code for the item you are interested in, as they are all different.