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8
Dec

The best Xperia XZ1 Compact cases to safeguard your small smartphone


If you prefer a small smartphone that’s easy to manage one-handed, then Sony has you covered. In our Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact review we praised the performance and battery life of this pocket-sized powerhouse. It is also water resistant, and because it’s small, you’re less likely to lose your grip and drop it, but the smart move is still to snag yourself some protection. Here are some of the best Xperia XZ1 Compact cases you can buy.

If you’re wondering how the Compact compares to its bigger sibling, the Sony Xperia XZ1, then check out our spec comparison.

Stilgut Folio Cover with Clasp ($36)

We think this folio case, made from genuine cow leather, is one of the best looking Xperia XZ1 Compact cases you’ll find. It’s minimalist, with big openings providing easy access to your buttons and ports. The camera and flash cut-outs are a little tight, but you should find performance is unhindered. You can get it in black or brown, with or without the clasp. The non-clasp version also has cut-outs in the cover for the speakers. Drop protection is going to be limited, but it will ward off scratches, and it looks elegant and classy.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Roxfit Precision Slim Book Case ($28)

If you’re a fan of Sony smartphones, then you’ve probably come across Roxfit before, as it makes some of the best certified “Made for Xperia” cases. This stylish folio case is a perfect fit with generous openings for access to all your buttons, ports, and the camera. The cover conceals a single pocket for an ID or credit card and it also has cut-outs for the speakers. The soft touch finish makes it comfortable to hold and the brushed metal design on the cover provides a nice contrast. For falls it’s probably not the most protective case, but it’s certainly one of the most stylish.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Terrapin Wallet Case ($11)

Another case manufacturer that produces a decent range of options for Sony smartphones is Terrapin. This wallet case combines a red, faux leather exterior with a floral interior. The cover opens to reveal three pockets for cards and ID and a money pouch at the back. It can be folded back to act as a stand and there’s a magnetic closure to prevent it from flapping open uninvited. The XZ1 Compact is secured in a TPU shell with accurate openings for easy access to everything. You also get a detachable wrist strap with this case. It’s a good mix of protection, style, and practicality.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Kugi TPU Case ($8.50)

This affordable case has some smart design features. It’s made from flexible TPU and there are textured sides to aid your grip. The button covers are raised, so they’re easy to find and press without looking. There’s a large cut-out for the power button and fingerprint sensor, and for the camera, but the headphone and USB-C port openings are a bit too tight for some accessories. The bezel round the screen helps to protect it. We don’t love the fake leather panel stitched onto the back, but you can get this case in navy, black, gray, or red and it’s certainly cheap.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Feitenn Wallet Case ($11)

Here’s an interesting alternative to the classic wallet look. There’s a malleable, clear TPU shell inside to hold your Xperia XZ1 Compact in place and it’s wrapped in a durable, polyurethane cover that comes in a range of colors. You can fold the cover back to use it as a landscape stand and it also has a pocket providing room for a single credit card or ID. All the cut-outs and button covers you need are present and correct. It’s not the greatest quality, but that’s reflected in the price.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Ringke Fusion Case ($10)

For reasonably priced, transparent cases, Ringke usually hits the mark. Its Xperia XZ1 Compact case has the usual protective blend of TPU around the frame and a polycarbonate panel on the back. The button covers work well and there are port covers to keep out dust and lint. The opening for the camera and flash works well, but you may find the fingerprint sensor access a little awkward. It’s a bit bulky, but the flipside of that is decent military grade drop protection. The raised edges also prevent your screen from touching down.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Protect your iPhone 6 from spills, splashes with the best waterproof cases
  • The best Galaxy S7 Edge cases
  • The best Nintendo Switch accessories to pick up this holiday season
  • These Raspberry Pi 3 bundles will cover everyone, from coders to gamers
  • Here are the 9 best Moto G5S Plus cases for the king of budget smartphones




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8
Dec

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

Storm It

Storm It is a simple app that allows you to add or collect your ideas and share them as a Tweetstorm on Twitter. Storm It is perfect for Twitteratti’s who at times feel Twitter’s 140-character limit (or even #Twitter280) to be limiting.

Available on:

iOS

Calming Meditation Oasis

Meditate easily with this simple yet elegant app. Be stress-free and worry-free. Enjoy calmness, peace of mind, joy, vibrant health, greater energy, and more.

Available on:

iOS

Rainbow

Bored of the classic grayish iPhone keyboard? Now is the time to add some rainbow color strokes to your keys with the new Rainbow keyboard, exclusive for iPhone and iPad.

Available on:

iOS

Resume Builder

Resume Builder transforms your iPhone and iPad into a portable CV designer. It allows you to create unique resumes in minutes.

Available on:

iOS

dB Decible Meter

This app promises to provide you with a sound level meter with exclusive accuracy of measurements. It’s calibrated with a professional high-precision decibel meter.

Available on:

iOS

Shoppylist Pro

With Shoppylist you can create your grocery shopping list easily and quickly directly from your iPhone. Quickly add items to your grocery list using the built-in catalog that suggests items as you tap letters.

Available on:

iOS

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time
  • Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time
  • Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time
  • Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time
  • Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time




8
Dec

High fashion meets high tech in this 3D-printed store


Who says construction can’t be fashionable and fashion can’t be sustainable?

A new project by 3D-printing company Ai Build and luxury fashion brand Bottletop has recently launched in London, where the brand’s flagship brick and mortar store was finished using robotic fabrication and recycled materials. The interior of the 3D-printed store was created using filament from Reflow, an “ink” provider whose filament is entirely upcycled from plastic waste. The project serves as an example for how construction and fashion can combine in sustainable ways, without turning their backs on beautiful design.

“What is so special about 3D printing is that it opens up the possibility to control precisely where every single drop of material will be placed to form a physical object,” Daghan Cam, Ai Build’s co-founder and CEO, told Digital Trends. “That basically means that the material is deposited only where it needs to be, [in contrast] to conventional subtractive manufacturing methods which can be extremely wasteful.”

Ai Build has made waves in the past with its construction of sophisticated structures, meticulously built using Kuka robots and machine vision algorithms. Last year, the London-based startup revealed its “Daedalus Pavilion” at a conference in Amsterdam. The 350-pound structure consisted of 48 individual parts, yet took a surprisingly brief fifteen days to print.

Now Cam and his team have taken their penchant for design to the fashion industry by partnering with Bottletop, a fashion company that crafts their goods out of upcycled materials — yes, including bottletops — instilling sustainable values into a traditionally unsustainable industry.

“Fashion and construction industries are two of the biggest contributors of environmental pollution today,” Cam said. “This project demonstrates how cutting-edge technology can become the solution for such a fundamental problem of humanity as the environmental pollution.”

To be sure, the Bottletop store wasn’t completely 3D printed, like the proposed office space in Dubai, but by using recycled materials the project manages to make an impact in its own right.

“By turning waste plastic from India and Africa into a luxurious construction with our partners, we are questioning the status quo,” Cam added. “We believe that supporting the circular economy and zero-waste design philosophy through projects like this is the key for achieving a sustainable future of our built environment.”

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Don’t print with crappy plastic. Here’s the best 3D-printing filament you can buy
  • How do 3D printers work? Here’s a super simple breakdown
  • Hinckley’s all-electric Dasher yacht demos its floating high tech
  • The Netherlands is home to the world’s first 3D-printed concrete bridge
  • MacOS High Sierra Review




8
Dec

Apple claims it can gather data without violating the privacy of its users


Data is the currency of the new age, and while you might not think knowing your preference on washing powder is of any particular importance, it’s exceptionally valuable to the right companies.

Users, however, are increasingly becoming aware of the value of their privacy, and so it’s become important for companies to be able to gather data, while still retaining the anonymity — and trust — of their user base.

Back at the launch of iOS 10, Apple revealed it was trialing a system of gathering user data known as “differential privacy”. This system, when done correctly, allows for a company to gather large amounts of user data, without identifying the specific user that sent the data in the first place.

Simply put, it’s a method that allows Apple to study the forest, without being able to see the trees. Another way of explaining it would be like viewing a city from high above; you can study the lay of the land and the way the city blocks are laid out, but you can’t see the individual people, or know who owns which property. For extra security, Apple has the encryption of the data occur at a local level — on the device it’s sent from, rather than being encrypted at Apple’s central servers.

Back in 2016, Apple was only using the method to gather data from the iOS 10 keyboard, Spotlight searches, and Notes. Now, after a successful trial on iOS 10, the company has expanded the remit to gather data from more of iOS, including from Safari. As before, the system is opt-in, so users will have to enable the setting themselves in their system preferences.

Why does Apple need this data, and what does it use it for? The data allows Apple to respond quickly to user trends and deliver a better experience on their platform wherever possible. For instance, data on emoji use in various languages, or information on the latest trends inspiring use of foreign language words such as “Despacito” can be used to optimize iOS Keyboard to show more relevant suggestions. Other results include identifying which websites require the most resources for Safari, and allow Apple to make changes to optimize around those sites.

If you’re technically minded, you can read all about this through Apple’s full paper on the subject. Otherwise, check out our guide on differential privacy.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lawsuit aims to win British iPhone users $1.35 billion from Google
  • Save data, save money: How to reduce your data usage on Android or iOS
  • Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services
  • Popular VPN provider TunnelBear jumps into password management with RememBear
  • A simple guide on how to burn a CD to store your data or music




8
Dec

The pen is mightier than the finger: The best stylus for all your needs


Whether you’re the sort of person who doodles in class, diagrams lectures, or just jots down old-fashioned notes, you’ve probably considered buying a stylus or a tablet that’s already equipped with one. In recent years, styli have become more popular and more varied, meaning they’re not just for art majors anymore. The release of the Apple Pencil also helped push the once ill-fated peripheral back into the spotlight, helping to reinvigorate a market that is now bursting with viable options. To help you make sense of them all, we’ve put together a list of the best stylus pens for every occasion, not to mention the top tablets that come bundled with them. Read on for more details.

Are you looking for a great tablet? Check out our review of the iPad Pro and our picks for the best Android tablets you can buy.

Best styli for artists

No artist is exactly the same, and depending on your medium of choice, you may want a specific kind of stylus. Some artistic styli come with interchangeable tips, so you can vary the quality of stylus input, while others are a one-size fits all option or specifically designed to mimic a certain medium.

Apple Pencil ($99)

The Apple Pencil may have debuted towards the end of 2015, but it has already set the standard for styli. Before jumping to specifics, note that the Pencil only works with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the latest 9.7-inch version. The Pencil itself is one of the fastest, and most responsive styli we have used, with essentially no latency (if there is some, we didn’t notice).

Thanks to the pressure-sensitive screen in the iPad Pro, the Pencil can produce incredibly fine lines with variations in gradient as you increase pressure. The side of the tip creates wider strokes, which is great for shading, and the tip can also offer a fine point when you need it. It can be slippery at times, but it generally sits pretty well in the hand.

Unfortunately, the Pencil’s other end only features a charging cap that’s easy to lose, rather than an eraser.

Buy one now from:

Apple Amazon B&H

Adobe Ink & Slide ($22)

If you’re really invested in Adobe apps and the Creative Cloud, Adobe’s Ink & Slide stylus and ruler combo may just be the perfect tools for you. The Ink & Slide connect to any iPad 4 or later, iPad Air, or iPad Mini via Bluetooth LE. It’s also synced up with the Creative Cloud, so every drawing you make or preference you set will be stored in the cloud for you to access on your computer or other devices later. The Ink & Slide also work with Adobe’s Illustrator Line and Photoshop Sketch apps.

The Ink stylus has a fine-tip, pressure-sensitive point and feels like a normal pen in your hand. The Ink uses Pixelpoint technology from Adonit for greater accuracy. A status LED on the stylus even shows you what color you chose, so you don’t make any mistakes. The Slide ruler can be used to make perfectly straight lines, circles, and other shapes. Even though it’s a pricier stylus, the Ink & Slide does come with a USB charger and carrying case, and it’s the ideal stylus for serious creatives who are deeply invested in Adobe’s products already.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

FiftyThree Pencil, digital stylus for iPad ($50)

Pencil is one of the best all-around artistic styli when used in conjunction with the company’s app Paper. Using the preset tools available in the app — available for iOS — you can produce remarkable watercolor paintings, fine line drawings, pen and ink sketches, as well as dynamic comic-book like images with the marker function.

FiftyThree specifically designed Pencil to feel solid and comfortable in your hand. It’s shaped like a carpenter’s pencil and even comes in real walnut wood. Pencil even touts a built-in eraser on the end, so you can just flip it around when you want to erase. You can also use Pencil to smudge lines and create a nice blurred effect.

Although Pencil works best with Paper, it is also fully compatible with popular drawing and painting app Procreate, as well as Noteshelf and Squiggle. It connects to your iPad via Bluetooth, and once you’ve paired it, you’ll never have to do so again. When it runs out of battery, you can just remove the tip and pop the USB into any standard USB port.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus ($40)

Sensu’s Artist Brush and Stylus combo offer the best of both worlds with its real paintbrush tip and built-in stylus tip. The brush tip acts just like a real paintbrush, which makes it perfect for painting, but it certainly won’t work if you want to execute a fine line drawing. Luckily, once you switch over to the rubber stylus tip, you’ll be able to draw more precise lines. However, the Sensu isn’t pressure-sensitive and it may suffer from delayed reaction times now and then.

It comes in an aluminum finish and looks just like a normal paintbrush. The brush bristles are actually made of synthetic brush hair that was developed in Japan. The stylus tip is made of rubber. Luckily, it works on most Android, Windows, and iOS tablets, so you won’t be limited in your choice of tablet.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Studio Neat Cosmonaut ($25)

The Cosmonaut stylus may look huge a bulky, but it’s actually the ultimate stylus for white board and marker artists. This stylus won’t give you the thinnest line you’ve ever seen, but it will give you a nice, solid line. The Cosmonaut is easy to grip and it certainly isn’t delicate, so it can take a knocking in your bag without suffering any ill effects.

It’s a short, squat, round rubber stylus with no other defining features. It really looks like a fat, black crayon. The Cosmonaut seems like the perfect stylus for those of you who like to diagram lectures and take notes in a visual style. It works with both Android, iOS, and presumably Windows tablets. The Cosmonauts’ creators say it should also work on any touchscreen.

Buy one now from:

Studio Neat

Adonit Mark ($8)

Adonit has been offering affordable, but well-built styli for quite a while and the Mark is no different. At $8, it lets anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop have access to a solid, all-purpose stylus. The best thing about the Mark is how the stylus feels in the hand — it’s made of anodized aluminum and is smooth, but has a good grip. It’s also has a triangular shape, so it doesn’t roll, which also feels natural.

It’s a decent, cheap alternative for drawing, but we wouldn’t recommend it for note-taking as it’s not precise, being that it is tipped with a mesh. Even when drawing, don’t expect to get accurate strokes while you’re working on the finer details.

Buy one now from: 

Amazon B&H

Nomad Flex ($30)

If you’re looking for a paintbrush instead of just a stylus, then the Nomad Flex may be the tool you need for your iPad. The brush is made of aluminum and has synthetic bristles, which make it feel more akin to a real paintbrush. The Flex will work perfectly with apps such as Paper or Procreate, but in an app like Penultimate, a traditional stylus would be more appropriate. Nomad’s offering includes a plastic carrying case inside the box, too, so you can safeguard the brush from unwanted abuse.

How does it compare to the Sensu brush? Well, the bristles on the Sensu are a bit stiffer than the ones on the Flex — the bristles on the former are also more round. The Flex is going to feel thinner and lighter than the Sensu, and the Flex’s bristles will feel mushier by comparison. Another great thing about the Flex is that it is compatible with iPads, as well as Android tablets and Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The brush also comes in a variety of colors, including charcoal, pink, silver, blue, and red.

Buy one now from:

Amazon  Nomadbrush

8
Dec

The pen is mightier than the finger: The best stylus for all your needs


Whether you’re the sort of person who doodles in class, diagrams lectures, or just jots down old-fashioned notes, you’ve probably considered buying a stylus or a tablet that’s already equipped with one. In recent years, styli have become more popular and more varied, meaning they’re not just for art majors anymore. The release of the Apple Pencil also helped push the once ill-fated peripheral back into the spotlight, helping to reinvigorate a market that is now bursting with viable options. To help you make sense of them all, we’ve put together a list of the best stylus pens for every occasion, not to mention the top tablets that come bundled with them. Read on for more details.

Are you looking for a great tablet? Check out our review of the iPad Pro and our picks for the best Android tablets you can buy.

Best styli for artists

No artist is exactly the same, and depending on your medium of choice, you may want a specific kind of stylus. Some artistic styli come with interchangeable tips, so you can vary the quality of stylus input, while others are a one-size fits all option or specifically designed to mimic a certain medium.

Apple Pencil ($99)

The Apple Pencil may have debuted towards the end of 2015, but it has already set the standard for styli. Before jumping to specifics, note that the Pencil only works with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the latest 9.7-inch version. The Pencil itself is one of the fastest, and most responsive styli we have used, with essentially no latency (if there is some, we didn’t notice).

Thanks to the pressure-sensitive screen in the iPad Pro, the Pencil can produce incredibly fine lines with variations in gradient as you increase pressure. The side of the tip creates wider strokes, which is great for shading, and the tip can also offer a fine point when you need it. It can be slippery at times, but it generally sits pretty well in the hand.

Unfortunately, the Pencil’s other end only features a charging cap that’s easy to lose, rather than an eraser.

Buy one now from:

Apple Amazon B&H

Adobe Ink & Slide ($22)

If you’re really invested in Adobe apps and the Creative Cloud, Adobe’s Ink & Slide stylus and ruler combo may just be the perfect tools for you. The Ink & Slide connect to any iPad 4 or later, iPad Air, or iPad Mini via Bluetooth LE. It’s also synced up with the Creative Cloud, so every drawing you make or preference you set will be stored in the cloud for you to access on your computer or other devices later. The Ink & Slide also work with Adobe’s Illustrator Line and Photoshop Sketch apps.

The Ink stylus has a fine-tip, pressure-sensitive point and feels like a normal pen in your hand. The Ink uses Pixelpoint technology from Adonit for greater accuracy. A status LED on the stylus even shows you what color you chose, so you don’t make any mistakes. The Slide ruler can be used to make perfectly straight lines, circles, and other shapes. Even though it’s a pricier stylus, the Ink & Slide does come with a USB charger and carrying case, and it’s the ideal stylus for serious creatives who are deeply invested in Adobe’s products already.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

FiftyThree Pencil, digital stylus for iPad ($50)

Pencil is one of the best all-around artistic styli when used in conjunction with the company’s app Paper. Using the preset tools available in the app — available for iOS — you can produce remarkable watercolor paintings, fine line drawings, pen and ink sketches, as well as dynamic comic-book like images with the marker function.

FiftyThree specifically designed Pencil to feel solid and comfortable in your hand. It’s shaped like a carpenter’s pencil and even comes in real walnut wood. Pencil even touts a built-in eraser on the end, so you can just flip it around when you want to erase. You can also use Pencil to smudge lines and create a nice blurred effect.

Although Pencil works best with Paper, it is also fully compatible with popular drawing and painting app Procreate, as well as Noteshelf and Squiggle. It connects to your iPad via Bluetooth, and once you’ve paired it, you’ll never have to do so again. When it runs out of battery, you can just remove the tip and pop the USB into any standard USB port.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Sensu Artist Brush & Stylus ($40)

Sensu’s Artist Brush and Stylus combo offer the best of both worlds with its real paintbrush tip and built-in stylus tip. The brush tip acts just like a real paintbrush, which makes it perfect for painting, but it certainly won’t work if you want to execute a fine line drawing. Luckily, once you switch over to the rubber stylus tip, you’ll be able to draw more precise lines. However, the Sensu isn’t pressure-sensitive and it may suffer from delayed reaction times now and then.

It comes in an aluminum finish and looks just like a normal paintbrush. The brush bristles are actually made of synthetic brush hair that was developed in Japan. The stylus tip is made of rubber. Luckily, it works on most Android, Windows, and iOS tablets, so you won’t be limited in your choice of tablet.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

Studio Neat Cosmonaut ($25)

The Cosmonaut stylus may look huge a bulky, but it’s actually the ultimate stylus for white board and marker artists. This stylus won’t give you the thinnest line you’ve ever seen, but it will give you a nice, solid line. The Cosmonaut is easy to grip and it certainly isn’t delicate, so it can take a knocking in your bag without suffering any ill effects.

It’s a short, squat, round rubber stylus with no other defining features. It really looks like a fat, black crayon. The Cosmonaut seems like the perfect stylus for those of you who like to diagram lectures and take notes in a visual style. It works with both Android, iOS, and presumably Windows tablets. The Cosmonauts’ creators say it should also work on any touchscreen.

Buy one now from:

Studio Neat

Adonit Mark ($8)

Adonit has been offering affordable, but well-built styli for quite a while and the Mark is no different. At $8, it lets anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop have access to a solid, all-purpose stylus. The best thing about the Mark is how the stylus feels in the hand — it’s made of anodized aluminum and is smooth, but has a good grip. It’s also has a triangular shape, so it doesn’t roll, which also feels natural.

It’s a decent, cheap alternative for drawing, but we wouldn’t recommend it for note-taking as it’s not precise, being that it is tipped with a mesh. Even when drawing, don’t expect to get accurate strokes while you’re working on the finer details.

Buy one now from: 

Amazon B&H

Nomad Flex ($30)

If you’re looking for a paintbrush instead of just a stylus, then the Nomad Flex may be the tool you need for your iPad. The brush is made of aluminum and has synthetic bristles, which make it feel more akin to a real paintbrush. The Flex will work perfectly with apps such as Paper or Procreate, but in an app like Penultimate, a traditional stylus would be more appropriate. Nomad’s offering includes a plastic carrying case inside the box, too, so you can safeguard the brush from unwanted abuse.

How does it compare to the Sensu brush? Well, the bristles on the Sensu are a bit stiffer than the ones on the Flex — the bristles on the former are also more round. The Flex is going to feel thinner and lighter than the Sensu, and the Flex’s bristles will feel mushier by comparison. Another great thing about the Flex is that it is compatible with iPads, as well as Android tablets and Microsoft’s Surface lineup. The brush also comes in a variety of colors, including charcoal, pink, silver, blue, and red.

Buy one now from:

Amazon  Nomadbrush

8
Dec

DT Giveaway: AT&T + DIRECTV Now Prize Pack


To binge or not to binge. That is the question.

DIRECTV Now just celebrated its one-year anniversary on November 30th. To celebrate, Digital Trends partnered with the streaming service and its parent company, AT&T, to bring you one amazing prize package.

One lucky winner will receive a ZTE Axon M smartphone, an AT&T PrimeTime tablet, a Roku Streaming Stick and 90-day DIRECTV Now subscription code. Outside of those new OLED kitchen sinks, this pretty much covers every screen that you could experience DIRECTV Now on. For binging, AT&T allows unlimited streaming of DIRECTV Now to all of its mobile subscribers.

If you like being able to watch your favorite TV programming anywhere, anytime, and on any device, you’re going to want to sign up for this giveaway.

AT&T + DIRECTV Now Every Screen Giveaway

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Sign up for DirecTV Now and score a free Roku Premiere 4K media player
  • Stay safe with the best Google Pixel 2 XL screen protectors
  • The Honor 7X is coming to the U.S. with all the must-have features we love
  • Here’s every device available through Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones
  • ZTE Axon M review




8
Dec

Defying supply issues, Nvidia Titan V sports 12GB of HBM2


Amidst rumors that AMD may be leveraging GDDR6 memory for its next-generation of graphics cards due to high bandwidth memory two (HBM2) supply issues, Nvidia has announced that it utilizes as much as 12GB on each of its new Nvidia Titan V graphics cards. The new card pairs that up with the same Volta graphics processor as its professional counterpart and has a price tag as high as $3,000.

Although AMD put up a solid fight with its RX Vega range of graphics cards this year, they were nowhere near as successful at taking on the competition as its Ryzen CPUs were. That’s perhaps why we’ve seen mostly refreshes and tweaked versions of Nvidia’s successful 10-series Pascal cards in 2017. The Titan V however, is absolutely a next-generation graphics card.

Alongside the 12GB of HBM2 memory the Titan V utilizes the GV100 graphics core — the same one found in the $10,000 Tesla V100 enterprise card. Although it sports a lower boosted clock speed than the Titan XP (1,455Mhz vs. 1,582Mhz) its huge memory bus-width of 3,072-bit means it has a near 20-percent improvement in memory bandwidth (653GBps vs. 547GBps). Its single precision floating point power is noticeably higher, too, at 13.8 TFLOPS vs. 12.1 TFLOPS.

Although technically considered part of the Geforce 20-series range, the Titan V is very much a business-focused graphics card. It has much more in common with the Tesla V100 that it shares a core with, than with high-end consumer graphics cards.

Alongside the $3,000 price point which puts it out of range of even some of the deepest of consumer pockets, this card sports the same 21.1 billion transistor count as that data center graphics processor (GPU). It’s also built on the same 12nm process and has the same number of CUDA and Tensor cores: 5,120 and 640 respectively, as per Anandtech.

Although comparable, this card is far cheaper, and it’s incredibly capable, especially when it comes to computational tasks like powering artificial intelligence. Indeed Nvidia promises free access to its Nvidia GPU cloud with every purchase. The big difference is that this card works in a standard PC, so is much more versatile than some of its data center counterparts.

Considering this card is aimed at the professional market and Nvidia doesn’t typically open its new graphics generations with its most powerful entry, this card probably isn’t a great indication of what we can expect from Volta as a whole. Regardless, it’s still an impressive piece of equipment and continues to remind us that as powerful as is what came before, there will always be something new on the horizon to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

The Titan V is available now, priced at $3,000.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Push your PC to the max with the best graphics cards for gaming
  • Nvidia’s Pascal rollout continues with the upcoming Titan X Collector’s Edition
  • After teaming with AMD, Intel poaches its graphics guru to build its own GPUs
  • Nvidia confirms GTX 1070 Ti add-in card will arrive next month from 11 partners
  • Asus Strix doubles down on AMD with first eight-core Ryzen laptop




8
Dec

Windows 10 eSIM support lets laptop owners stay connected via their mobile plans


Moving beyond Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, Microsoft wants to see future builds of Windows 10 keep more Windows PCs online no matter where they go. A new initiative for Windows 10 “eSIM” support could see users use their mobile data plan in order to get their laptop online without the need to create a Wi-Fi hotspot or use any form of in-store activation.

This initiative should come as no surprise considering the recent announcement of Qualcomm-powered laptops with LTE support. These notebooks are more connected, rather than more powerful, sporting long battery life and cellular connectivity, making them part of a new range of “Always Connected” PCs. Microsoft’s proposed Windows 10 tweaks would make that even more viable.

As it stands notebooks with physical SIM cards with in-store activation can provide similar functionality, but they are specialist devices rather than the norm. With Microsoft’s planned changes, laptops would be able to leverage an embedded SIM (EUIIC or eSIM) with a profile downloaded from the cloud allowing for remote activation.

Details of this new feature were revealed at the WinHEC Fall 2017 Workshop which took place at the end of last month and ZDNet has a few slides from that show. They showcase the changes that the “next release of Windows 10” will have, making it possible to bring these notebooks online without the traditional physical sim card installation.

Full support of the feature may require cooperation from specific mobile carriers, so may be somewhat dependent on available packages in users’ geographic regions but if the feature becomes popular, there shouldn’t be much cause for not making it viable for all.

It’s possible this feature gains more traction in enterprise settings first, where the increased security of a cellular data connection is an attractive alternative to Wi-Fi, especially when there are comparable speeds. A lower power-usage than Wi-Fi is also an attractive side of it though, which may be what Microsoft uses to market it to consumers, as well as the fact that it allows laptops to remain “Always Connected,” without quite so many steps as existing solutions.

The “Redstone 4” build of Windows 10 where this feature is expected to appear, is slated to debut in April, so it will come a little after the launch of some of the Qualcomm-powered compatible notebooks. Although some of those notebooks will ship out without the hardware capabilities for eSIM support at launch, others may, with the Windows OS adding the software compatibility for them a little later. Windows Insiders, however, will likely gain access to the feature a little sooner.

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8
Dec

Windows 10 eSIM support lets laptop owners stay connected via their mobile plans


Moving beyond Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, Microsoft wants to see future builds of Windows 10 keep more Windows PCs online no matter where they go. A new initiative for Windows 10 “eSIM” support could see users use their mobile data plan in order to get their laptop online without the need to create a Wi-Fi hotspot or use any form of in-store activation.

This initiative should come as no surprise considering the recent announcement of Qualcomm-powered laptops with LTE support. These notebooks are more connected, rather than more powerful, sporting long battery life and cellular connectivity, making them part of a new range of “Always Connected” PCs. Microsoft’s proposed Windows 10 tweaks would make that even more viable.

As it stands notebooks with physical SIM cards with in-store activation can provide similar functionality, but they are specialist devices rather than the norm. With Microsoft’s planned changes, laptops would be able to leverage an embedded SIM (EUIIC or eSIM) with a profile downloaded from the cloud allowing for remote activation.

Details of this new feature were revealed at the WinHEC Fall 2017 Workshop which took place at the end of last month and ZDNet has a few slides from that show. They showcase the changes that the “next release of Windows 10” will have, making it possible to bring these notebooks online without the traditional physical sim card installation.

Full support of the feature may require cooperation from specific mobile carriers, so may be somewhat dependent on available packages in users’ geographic regions but if the feature becomes popular, there shouldn’t be much cause for not making it viable for all.

It’s possible this feature gains more traction in enterprise settings first, where the increased security of a cellular data connection is an attractive alternative to Wi-Fi, especially when there are comparable speeds. A lower power-usage than Wi-Fi is also an attractive side of it though, which may be what Microsoft uses to market it to consumers, as well as the fact that it allows laptops to remain “Always Connected,” without quite so many steps as existing solutions.

The “Redstone 4” build of Windows 10 where this feature is expected to appear, is slated to debut in April, so it will come a little after the launch of some of the Qualcomm-powered compatible notebooks. Although some of those notebooks will ship out without the hardware capabilities for eSIM support at launch, others may, with the Windows OS adding the software compatibility for them a little later. Windows Insiders, however, will likely gain access to the feature a little sooner.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Windows Mixed Reality news: Here’s everything you need to know
  • Insider build doesn’t want you to freak out about Windows Timeline privacy
  • These helpful Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts will update your OG Windows skills
  • Super-efficient Windows laptops powered by Qualcomm phone chips are here
  • Where was I? Timeline puts your Windows desktop right back the way you left it




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