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9
Jan

Dell’s new ultrathin displays bring HDR to your PC without emptying your wallet


Dell introduced two new desktop “S” displays for the mainstream market this week during the Consumer Electronics Show: The 27-inch S2719DM and the 23.8-inch S2419HM. They’re nearly identical in nature outside their obvious size differences, packing extremely high brightness levels, deep color support, and wide viewing angles. They’re extremely thin from front to back, and rather elegant, sporting a black and silver design.

That said, Dell is claiming the “world’s brightest ultra-thin monitor” torch with the release of these two displays. At their thinnest, they measure 0.21 inches thick, and are complemented by Dell’s InfinityEdge design (read: narrow bezels). Both are based on in-plane switching technology and Dell’s own ComfortView design for flicker-free viewing, and low blue light levels.

“Dell’s Ultrathin Monitors are the brightest in the world,” the company says. “Corning Iris Glass is a glass substrate used as a light-guide plate (LGP) in Dell monitors. This best-in-class material enables an ultra-thin form factor, boosts brightness, and delivers brilliant pictures.”

According to Corning, Iris Glass essentially distributes light evenly across ultra-thin displays so you’re not viewing dull colors or see low brightness in some spots. The typical light-guide plate can warp due to heat and humidity, thus manufacturers are forced to create displays with a thicker backlight and wider bezels to handle the physical changes. Corning’s Iris Glass solves the problem with “superior” stability and optical performance, enabling thinner displays.

Dell 27 Ultrathin Monitor

Key Specs


Model: S2719DM


Size: 27 inches


Panel tech: In-plane switching


Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 @ 60Hz


Pixel pitch (mm): 0.233 x 0.233


Max brightness: 600 nits


Response time: 5ms Fast Mode / 8ms Normal Mode


Release date: January 30


Price: $500

This is the largest model of the two, sporting a 27-inch screen packing a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution. It’s based on in-plane switching technology that pushes deep, rich colors and wide viewing angles. The result is a desktop monitor supporting 99 percent of the sRGB color space, and 85 percent of the DCI-P3 color space. It also serves up 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, and a color depth of 16.7 million colors.

According to the specs, this panel has a typical contrast ratio of 1,000:1, but a dynamic contrast ratio of 8 million:1. It’s HDR-ready, and the only model of the two that’s actually certified by VESA with a DisplayHDR 400 classification. That is a new standards system measuring the level of a panel’s HDR capabilities, placing capable displays in three brackets: 400 (low), 600 (medium), and 1,000 (high).

As for other features stuffed into Dell’s new monitor, it has a typical brightness of 400 nits, but a peak brightness of 600 nits, both of which are still rather high. There are two response times as well: 8ms when the panel is set to Normal Mode, and 5ms when moved to Fast Mode. Port-wise, you will find two HDMI 2.0 ports, one audio jack, and surprisingly no DisplayPort connections. Given you’re paying $499 for a display, you’d expect at least one DisplayPort option.

9
Jan

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2


2017 was a big year for not only 2-in-1 laptops, but 15-inchers in particular. However, if the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is anything to go by, 2018 is going to be an even bigger year — in both size and importance. Here’s a laptop that calls itself the most powerful 2-in-1 ever, and for a frankly limited time only, that will assuredly be the case.

The main draw of the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 over, say, the Microsoft Surface Book 2, is that it uses a G-series Intel Core i7 processor. That means that, yes, Dell’s latest flagship hybrid machine supports integrated AMD Radeon RX “Vega M GL” graphics featuring a form of high-bandwidth memory called HBM2.

The price, for instance, is going to be a major point of contention for anyone on the fence about buying either a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 or Microsoft Surface Book 2. Whereas the 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2 will set you back upwards of $2,500, the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 starts at a comparably modest $1,299. But are there concessions made along the way to adhere to that price point? Let’s take a deep-dive into the nitty gritty of the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and its arch-nemesis, the Surface Book 2, to find out for certain.

Specifications

Design

When it comes to aesthetic alone, you can’t go wrong with either the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 or the Surface Book 2. Both are equipped with flattering looks intended to make you swoon, and neither is particularly gaudy or peculiar. Personally, we prefer the matte-black finish of the XPS 15, but that — of all things — shouldn’t steer you away from the Surface Book 2.

In fact, you could argue that the Surface Book 2 looks better in tablet mode than the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. That’s because, unlike Microsoft’s winning laptop, Dell’s efforts are inhibited by a 360-degree rotating hinge. In effect, the ability to detach the screen from its keyboard is absent in the XPS 15 2-in-1, a feature that has long gripped enthusiasts of the Surface brand ever since the induction of the Surface Pro.

Then again, the Dell XPS 15 brings design innovation in other areas. It is, after all, the smallest and thinnest 15-inch, 2-in-1 laptop available. At its thinnest point, it’s 0.35 inches thick, as opposed to the Surface Book 2’s thickness of 0.568 inches. It’s also got those tiny bezels that the XPS lineup has been known for. The catch is that the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 weighs but a hair more at 4.3 pounds, compared to the Surface Book 2’s 4.2-pound heft.

Port-wise, you can expect a more progressive range from the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. Similar to the last two MacBook Pros, the 2-in-1 rendition of the XPS 15 forgoes USB as you know it in favor of four USB-C ports. Notably, only two are Thunderbolt 3, while the remaining two are USB 3.1. Likewise, only one of these can double as a charging port, not that it’ll need the juice with a promised battery life of up to 15 hours. You might prefer the Surface Book 2 for it’s inclusion of USB-A for your legacy accessories, but overall the XPS 15 2-in-1 takes the cake here.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Hardware

There’s no question that the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 comes with better hardware for the buck.

You’ll have to reach a bit deeper into your pockets to take advantage of a full-fledged UltraHD 4K display, but otherwise Dell’s option comes with a faster processor out of the box and HBM2 graphics that are largely thought to be better than the Nvidia GDDR5 memory found in the Surface Book 2’s GPU (though we haven’t gotten to test it out fully yet).

Having said that, we’re a lot more familiar with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 wielded by the Surface Book 2, and that goes without mentioning the fact that it boasts 6GB of VRAM, contrasting the 4GB found in the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1.

In regards to battery life, the Surface Book 2 poses an undeniable threat to the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. Instead of clinging to a 75WHr (watt-hours) battery, you’ll find a 90WHr battery housed in the likes of the Surface Book 2. According to both companies, that makes for up to a two-hour difference in the amount of time you can use the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and Surface Book 2 without plugging them in.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Display

While we can’t say for sure which one looks better in person just yet, on paper the Surface Book 2 has a sharper screen no matter which configuration you opt for. At 259 pixels-per-inch (ppi), the Surface Book 2’s smaller display gives it the upper hand against the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1’s 235 ppi (max) LED-backlit IPS touchscreen.

That sentiment bears more truth when you’re looking at the base models. On one hand, the cheapest Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 has a 141 ppi, 1,920 x 1,080 display and, on the other, the Surface Book 2 has that same 3,200 x 1,800 resolution (259 ppi) detachable IPS panel. Of course, being in two different price ranges, it’s evident why Dell chose the route it did, but nonetheless, the Surface Book 2 erupts the clear winner.

Winner: Surface Book 2

Portability

It’s irrefutable that the Surface Book 2 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops around when it comes to portability. Again, you can separate the screen and the keyboard entirely, instead of wrapping the keyboard around the back and lugging around its full weight in your leisure time.

Yes, that’s a subtle jab at the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, a laptop that takes the more common approach to the convertible form factor by letting you fold the screen backwards to initiate tablet mode. The better method is your call honestly, but being able to take the keyboard off of the Surface Book 2 when we’re propped up in bed binge-watching Broad City is undoubtedly the more “portable” option.

Moreover, as we mentioned before, the battery life difference will be an important factor in your purchasing decision between the Surface Book 2 and the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 as well. It just so happens to be that the Surface Book 2 also packs a longer battery life. Even considering how thin and small the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is, the Surface Book 2 wins for its tablet mode alone.

Winner: Surface Book 2

Bottom line

Our verdict is this: The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and Surface Book 2 were clearly meant for different audiences. Dell wants to grab the masses with the XPS 15 2-in-1, as indicated by its $1,299 starting price. Meanwhile, Microsoft is dead-set on appealing to the prosumer creative type with the $2,500+ 15-inch version of the Surface Book 2.

As a result, there’s no definitive answer as to which laptop is better, but the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is definitely going to appeal to a wider smattering of people for its better value and strong performance.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • HP Spectre x360 15 vs Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: Both are awesome, but one is the future
  • Microsoft takes on Apple’s prestige: Surface Book 2 15-inch vs. MacBook Pro 15
  • Is the Surface Book 2 a worthy sequel to the original? Here’s how it compares
  • Battle of the 15-inch 2-in-1s: HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2
  • Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1 gets slim maglev magic, yet packs AMD Radeon graphics




9
Jan

HP Spectre x360 15 vs Dell XPS 15 2-in-1: Both are awesome, but one is the future


The 2-in-1 PC became commonplace in 2017, with all major manufacturers devoting at least as much time and effort on producing the flexible form factor as they spent on traditional clamshell notebooks. This year looks no different, with a variety of compelling 2-in-1s hitting the market, including a revised version of HP’s large-format 2-in-1 and a brand-new Dell that ups the screen size from its existing XPS 13 2-in-1.

We pit the HP Spectre x360 15 vs Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, taking a look at two major players in the large 2-in-1 space to see which does the best job of matching a 2-in-1’s flexibility with the advantages of a large, high-resolution display.

Specs

Design

HP’s new Spectre x360 15 has a tried-and-true design that we thoroughly enjoyed in the original model Spectre x360 15 released in early 2017. The machine boasts a similar design to one of our favorite convertible 2-in-1s, the HP Spectre x360 13, only made larger and packing in a 15.6-inch display. The smaller version received its own refresh late in 2017, chiseling a reduced chassis with sharper and more angular lines, and its larger sibling now follows suit. It’s a great-looking machine with its Dark Ash Silver and Copper Luxe accent color scheme, and its also very well built with its solid all-aluminum chassis.

Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1, while brand-new, also take design cues from its smaller sibling, the excellent XPS 13 2-in-1. It utilizes a similar silver aluminum chassis and black carbon fiber keyboard deck, which gives it both a conservative yet attractive aesthetic and a very robust build quality. Dell kicks things up a notch, however, by using a rather exotic Gore Thermal Insulation material — the kind you’ll find in running jackets — that promises to direct heat out of the chassis and help keep the processor running at full speed.

It’s hard to argue against the HP’s elegant and modern design, but Dell is packing some material advantages (no pun intended) into its XPS 15 2-in-1 that demonstrate a real attention to detail. We give the Dell the design win.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Performance

One of the more intriguing developments for early 2018 is the introduction of Intel’s new quad-core Kaby Lake-G CPUs that are mated with AMD Radeon RX M GPUs. There are two versions of this chipset, one that utilizes the Radeon RX Vega M GL that competes with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050, and one that builds in the Radeon RX M GH that competes with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 with Max Q.

Both machines should offer similar high-end performance but without knowing heat generation, battery life, etc it’s hard to say who will win

HP is offering the Spectre x360 15 in two versions. One utilizes the Kaby Lake-G CPU, specifically the i7-8705G, that packs in a Radeon Vega M GL. The other is a holdover from a late 2017 refresh that mates an eighth-generation quad-core Intel i7-8850U and an entry-level discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150.

Dell, on the other hand, skips the lowest performance option entirely. Instead, it’s offering the XPS 15 2-1 with either a Core i5-8305G or Core i7-8705G, both using the Radeon Vega M GL GPU.

Ultimately, both machines should offer similar performance at the high end, while the XPS 15 2-in-1 will offer more performance in its lower cost option. Without more to go on regarding how the Intel/AMD mashup will perform and what costs there might be in terms of heat generation, battery life, and other considerations, it’s difficult to say which machine will win this battle.

Winner: Tie

Keyboard, Mouse, and Pen

HP revised its excellent keyboard from the previous model, squeezing in a numeric keypad and getting rid of the row of home buttons along the right-hand side. We like the keyboard feel of the previous model, lauding its precise feel and copious amounts of travel, but we’ll have to reserve judgment until we have a chance to check out the updated version.

HP also moved the touchpad slightly to the left to make it fit more comfortably underneath the keyboard, and we hope that it uses the Microsoft Precision Touchpad protocol rather than the Synaptics driver that we found somewhat less precise and responsive. Finally, the Spectre x360 15 can use either of HP’s active pens, both of which offer 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, and the upgraded version, that offers a rechargeable battery and laser-pointer-like gyroscope.

With its cool-sounding mag-lev keyboard and more precise pen, we have to give Dell the nod for sheer innovation.

Dell started from scratch with the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1’s input options. First, it created a completely new and very innovative-sounding Mag-Lev (magnetic levitation) keyboard offering 0.7mm of travel. That sounds low (the Spectre x360 15 offers 1.5mm of travel), but we’ve had a chance to try it, and were fairly impressed — though we’d like to use it for more than a few minutes before making a verdict.

The Dell offers a Microsoft Precision touchpad with a glass surface and integrated button, and there’s a new Dell Active Pen that offers a full 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support. That makes it the equal of the excellent Microsoft Surface Pro, and Surface Book 2’s Surface Pen.

Both machines enable Windows 10 Hello password-less login support via fingerprint reader, but the Spectre x360 15 also offers an infrared camera for facial recognition. In spite of this additional security option, we have to give Dell the nod for sheer innovation with its cool-sounding mag-lev keyboard, and also its more precise pen.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Connectivity

The HP Spectre x360 15 has a solid collection of ports to meet both legacy and future connectivity needs. A full-size HDMI port sits next to two USB-C ports on the right-hand side. On the Nvidia version, one of them provides Thunderbolt 3 support, while on the AMD version both are Thunderbolt 3-compliant. On the left-hand side, you’ll find a USB-A 3.0 port, a combo audio jack, and an SD card reader. Wireless connectivity comes via 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is looking entirely to the future with its selection of connectivity options. There are four USB-C connections on hand, two of which are USB-C 3.1, and two of which support Thunderbolt 3. A microSD card reader is also built in. Wireless connectivity includes 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac and Bluetooth.

Ultimately, we appreciate HP’s inclusion of old-school connectivity with the USB-A and HDMI ports. That just means two fewer dongles. Both machines offer USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, and so you’ll enjoy good future peripheral connectivity, but the Spectre x360 15 gets the win for saving you the need to invest in any dongles.

Winner: HP Spectre x360 15

Display

HP’s Spectre x360 15 has always offered only one display option, a very nice 15.6-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 or 282 PPI) resolution panel that offers decent color support and good enough contrast. Given the convertible 2-in-1’s ability to flip over the display to media view mode, it makes for a great 4K Netflix movie-watching experience, while also working well for productivity. The 16:9 aspect ratio does make for an uncomfortably tall portrait tablet experience, however.

On paper, Dell is promising a superior viewing experience.

Dell will be offering two display options for the XPS 15 2-in-1, 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 141 PPI) and 4K UHD panels. Both promise 100 percent sRGB color gamut support, good brightness at 400 nits, and a very high 1500:1 contrast ratio with anti-reflective properties.

We’ll have to get the machines in our offices and get busy with our colorimeter to see which display is better. However, on paper, Dell is promising a superior viewing experience; based on the excellent 4K UHD displays in the XPS 15 clamshell notebook, we believe them.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Portability and Battery Life

While HP shaved off a few fractions of a millimeter from the HP Spectre x360 15’s bezels and therefore packed everything into a slightly smaller chassis, it increased the machine’s thickness 0.06 inches (to 0.76 inches). It also upped the weight from 4.4 pounds to 4.62 pounds for the Nvidia version and 4.72 pounds for the AMD version.

That concession to slightly less comfortable portability allowed the company to squeeze in a larger battery, 84 watt-hours versus the previous model’s 79.2 watt-hours. HP promises 13.5 hours of battery life from the Nvidia version, and 12 hours from the more powerful AMD version.

Dell focused more on making the “smallest, thinnest 2-in-1 in its class,” and the XPS 15 2-in-1 certainly qualifies. It’s significantly thinner than the HP at 0.63 inches and it’s much lighter at 4.3 pounds. The company says battery life will reach 15 hours with the machine’s 75 watt-hour battery, but we imagine this refers to the Full HD configuration. The 4K UHD display will suck down more power and likely won’t last nearly as long.

Which machine wins this round depends entirely on whether you want longer battery life with a 4K display (the HP’s significantly larger battery should win out here) or a thinner, lighter chassis. We would call it a tie because both considerations are important, but if you really want the longest battery life to go with the most svelte frame, then Dell has you covered with its Full HD display option.

Winner: Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Availability and Price

The HP Spectre x360 15 will start at $1,370 for the Nvidia version with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), while the same model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD will run $1,600. The AMD version, on the other hand, will start at $1,500 for 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, while the version with 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD will be priced at $1,700. The standard HP pen is included, while the enhanced pen will be priced at $90.

We don’t yet have much pricing information for the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. All we know at this point is that pricing will start at $1,299, which is likely the low-end configuration with a Full HD display. Given the premium nature of the XPS 13 2-in-1, we imagine that pricing on the larger model will ramp up quickly.

The Spectre x360 15 should be available in March 2018, while Dell has only indicated a more general Spring 2018 availability date. We have to give the nod the HP here for likely being the more affordable solution, but that’s based only on the Spectre x360 15’s earlier pricing models.

Winner: HP Spectre x360 15

The Dell just seems more like the future

Both HP and Dell are making good use of Intel’s new partnership with AMD, putting out attractive and likely well-built convertible 2-in-1s with graphics performance equalling Nvidia’s GTX 1050. That means that both will perform well in high-end productivity and creativity tasks like video editing, while also running modern games at 1080p and decent graphics quality.

The XPS 15 2-in-1 is likely to be a bit more expensive, it’s thinner and lighter, and it’s probably going to have a nicer display. The Spectre x360 15, on the other hand, should have better battery life with the 4K UHD display, and of course, it’s likely to be less expensive. We’ll be surprised if either new model does poorly when we receive them for review.

In the end, though, we do love companies that push the technology envelope. Dell is doing just that by incorporating a mag-lev keyboard and Gore Thermal Insulation, and for that reason, we’re going to give it the win in this shootout.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Dell’s XPS 15 2-in-1 gets slim maglev magic, yet packs AMD Radeon graphics
  • HP supercharges Spectre x360 15-inch with Intel 8th-Gen Core and AMD Vega graphics
  • Battle of the 15-inch 2-in-1s: HP Spectre x360 vs. Microsoft Surface Book 2
  • Microsoft Surface Book 2 15-inch Review
  • The best 15-inch laptops of 2017




9
Jan

Learn how to get rich off of cryptocurrency for $24


News of the increasing price of Bitcoin has spread like wildfire over the last little while, but many of the uninitiated have no idea what exactly cryptocurrency is or whether or not it’s even a real thing. Rest assured; cryptocurrency is real, and it’s making many of its early investors very rich right now. Now’s a great time to get in on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, since prices are still relatively low when you consider other trading options like the New York Stock Exchange. But how and where do you even get started? It’s best to educate yourself before blowing your wad.

The Complete Cryptocurrency Investment Bundle is your full education in cryptocurrency investment. You get a lifetime subscription to five courses on how cryptocurrency works for only $24, while they regularly retail for $479 altogether. You save 94%!

bitcoin-stacksocial.jpg?itok=HnvzJ_mN

You’ll get an education in the following aspects of cryptocurrency investment:

  • Cryptocurrency Wealth: How to Trade & Invest Like the Pros
  • The Ultimate Bitcoin and Blockchain Course & Audio Book
  • Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals
  • The Complete Ethereum (Cryptocurrency) Guide
  • Complete Steemit Course: Earn Cryptocurrency for Free

These courses will take you through everything you need to get started on your road to riches in cryptocurrency, and the focus on Bitcoin couldn’t come at a better time, with it recently hitting record prices. If you’re at all interested in investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, then check out the Complete Cryptocurrency Investment Bundle at Android Central Digital Offers and save 94%!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

9
Jan

Sony’s adding Google Assistant to lots of its older headphones


Five headphones in total are getting some Assitant love.

To no one’s surprise, CES 2018 has been home to announcement after announcement of new speakers, headphones, TVs, and more that ship with Google Assistant built-in. This new tech is great, but if you own Sony headphones that have already been released, you’ll get a taste of this Assistant action, too.

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First reported by the folks at Android Police, Sony will be releasing software updates to multiple existing headphones to add Google Assistant functionality. You’ll need to have your headphones connected to your phone in order for the update to download and install, and models that will receive this treatment include:

  • WF-1000X
  • WI-1000X
  • WH-1000XM2
  • WH-CH900N
  • H.ear on 2 WH-H900N

Sony hasn’t announced exactly when these software updates to add the Assistant will be pushed out, but even so, it’s still great to see a company adding new features to “old” tech.

Hisense announces two Android TVs with Google Assistant and Alexa

9
Jan

Samsung is finally merging all of its IoT apps into SmartThings


Three years later, Samsung completes the SmartThings merger.

When Samsung bought SmartThings back in August of 2014, it was quickly clear the plan was to make that brand the one everyone associated with Samsung’s smart home products. And over the last couple of year, that is exactly what has happened. Everything Samsung does with the smart home gets released under the SmartThings brand, but if you owned products from before the SmartThings integration happened you still had to use the older Samsung apps.

Those days are over, because Samsung has finally decided to merge all of its IoT apps into the SmartThings app.

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According to Samsung, more than 40 apps are being consolidated into SmartThings right now. The big ones Samsung users will most likely be familiar with are Samsung Smart Home and Samsung Connect, but any other company or product Samsung has acquired along the way that once had its own app will soon be consolidated into SmartThings. As SmartThings is embedded in more products, rolling everything into one app was inevitable.

Alongside this consolidation will be a huge UI overhaul, expected to be available for both Android and iOS this spring. Developers are being promised SmartThings is still a highly open platform with support for custom in-app panels. These panels let developers customize the UI and create scripts to pull their products deeper into specific functions, and according to Samsung there are over 300 of these panels for many of the devices SmartThings integrates with.

This change has been a long time coming, but it’s clear with the combination of improvements coming to SmartThings this spring that Samsung still has big plans for making your home smarter.

9
Jan

Zagg has the curved display screen protector you’ve been looking for


It’s called the InvisibleShield Glass Curve Elite, and it costs $50.

There were a few different smartphone trends that we saw in 2017, but one of the biggest was curved displays. Samsung went big with curves with the Galaxy S8, and after this, phones like the LG V30, Note 8, and Pixel 2 XL followed suit.

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Curved displays look fantastic and feel great to the touch, but one area where they flat out suck is with screen protectors. You can find plenty of screen protectors on Amazon and Best Buy to purchase for these devices, but unless you’re willing to spend 20 minutes messing with LOCA glue and UV lights, they’re all pretty much useless.

However, that might soon be changing thanks to Zagg’s latest screen protector – the InvisibleShield Glass Curve Elite. The InvisibleShield Glass Curve Elite has a gel-based adhesive surrounding the entire surface, and this is what sets it apart from other screen protectors released by Zagg and competing brands. Rather than only having the adhesive around the edges or putting it everywhere else but here, Zagg potentially eliminates any lost touch responsiveness or ugly halo effects that are often seen with other protectors.

Zagg will be selling the InvisibleShield Glass Curve Elite for $50, and it’ll first be available for the Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8. It’s possible Zagg will release it for other devices, such as the Pixel 2 XL, but that’s yet to be confirmed.

Honor 7X will get its own face unlock feature in Q1 2018

9
Jan

Qualcomm’s president says Spectre and Meltdown aren’t big areas of concern


Qualcomm’s new president talks about the latest CPU threats.

Earlier this week, news broke about two processor vulnerabilities by the names of Spectre and Meltdown. These two vulnerabilities essentially reveal weaknesses for just about every gadget with a CPU, including the likes of computers, laptops, and even your phone.

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Qualcomm’s President Cristiano Amon was asked about his thoughts on Spectre and Meltdown during a press conference at CES 2018, and according to Amon, neither vulnerability serves as a serious threat to mobile devices since Qualcomm has already worked with its many partners to get patches pushed out that have hardly any impact on device performance.

More specifically, Amon said:

There are a few things that are unique about the mobile ecosystem. Users download from an app store. On top of that, the impact you had on Android and ARM — we had patches that got released as early as December to some OEMs.

Following this, Amon ended his response by saying:

Specifically, when we look at the fixes that are available, especially when you look at memory mapping, the global ecosystem has adapted. This is not an area of concern for us and the mobile ecosystem.

Qualcomm appoints Cristiano R. Amon as its new president

9
Jan

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket will test its 27 engines on January 10th


We’ve been talking about SpaceX’s new rocket, the Falcon Heavy, for years now, so it’s exciting to see that the launch vehicle inching closer to its maiden voyage. Last week, the rocket was raised to a vertical position on Pad 39A before being lowered to make way for the Falcon 9 Zuma mission, which launched on Sunday evening. Now, the Falcon Heavy has returned to the pad to prepare for the static fire test, which will take place this week. The test window is tomorrow, January 10th, between 1PM and 7 PM ET.

#FalconHeavy static fire window confirmed to be 13:00-19:00 EST (1p-7p EST, 18:00-00:00 UCT) tomorrow, Wednesday 10 Jan. #SpaceX

— Chris G – NSF (@ChrisG_NSF) January 9, 2018

The static fire test means that the heavy duty rocket is almost ready for its first launch, the payload of which will be one of Musk’s Tesla Roadsters. During the test, all 27 of the Falcon Heavy’s Merlin engines will fire at full thrust while the rocket remains on the launch pad. It’s a chance to test all the engines at once and monitor the startup process, pressure, temperature and flow of the propellant. If the test is successful, a launch date could be scheduled very soon. It’s currently targeted for takeoff in late January.

There were questions about whether Falcon Heavy would be delayed because of rumors surrounding the fate of Zuma. While SpaceX maintains that the Falcon 9 launch vehicle performed as expected, it appears that the satellite isn’t functioning. The payload from Northrop Grumman was a secret, and therefore it’s hard to get any facts about its status. However, SpaceX made clear this morning that the rocket wasn’t at fault for any failures (without confirming or denying that there were problems with Zuma), and that the schedule of Falcon Heavy would not be affected.

Source: Twitter

9
Jan

SpaceX says its rocket didn’t malfunction during the Zuma launch


Sunday night, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the mysterious Zuma payload — a satellite made by Northrop Grumman for an unnamed US government agency. The launch itself was more secretive than usual as the classified status of Zuma meant portions of the launch weren’t livestreamed like they typically are. Shortly after launch, the rocket’s first stage successfully landed at Cape Canaveral but it appears that Zuma’s fate wasn’t as rosy. It’s unclear what exactly happened to the satellite, but it appears that at the very least, it didn’t end up where it was supposed to. Some pointed their fingers at SpaceX, but on Monday the company said, “We do not comment on missions of this nature; but as of right now reviews of the data indicate Falcon 9 performed nominally,” meaning the rocket performed as expected. Now, SpaceX has doubled down on that statement saying whatever happened is definitely not on them.

In a statement to TechCrunch, SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said, “For clarity: after review of all data to date, Falcon 9 did everything correctly on Sunday night. If we or others find otherwise based on further review, we will report it immediately. Information published that is contrary to this statement is categorically false.” She also said that because of the misson’s classified nature, the company couldn’t comment further.

So what did happen to Zuma is still a big question mark and we may never get the full story. Some accounts have said that Zuma deorbited and burned up as it fell through the atmosphere. But it’s possible the satellite is still up there and unresponsive. One proposed theory is that Zuma didn’t properly detach from the Falcon 9’s second stage and because the piece attaching it to the rocket — the payload adapter — was made by Northrop Grumman rather than SpaceX, that could mean the rocket did in fact perform as expected and a faulty adapter was to blame. However, no government agency has stepped up to claim the satellite and Northrop Grumman has naturally remained tight-lipped about the whole mission.

If SpaceX really was at fault, it probably wouldn’t jump right into another major launch. But Falcon Heavy is still on schedule for a static fire later this week, just ahead of its upcoming and highly anticipated launch. “Since the data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational or other changes are needed, we do not anticipate any impact on the upcoming launch schedule,” said Shotwell.

Via: TechCrunch

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