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Posts tagged ‘Tablet’

21
Sep

Lenovo’s sketch-ready Yoga Book ships on October 17th


When we first got our hands on Lenovo’s Yoga Book tablet, we found it to be more than just a Microsoft Surface imitator. The freeform touch field might make typing a bit to get used to, but it’s the ease of drawing on stylus or pen that makes it unique. As pre-orders open today for all models to ship out on October 17th, it remains unclear whether the novelty will be enough for the device to distinguish itself in a tanking tablet market.

The Yoga Book certainly has things going for it: At $500 for its Android version and $550 for Windows, it’s cheaper than the baseline iPad Pro and the Surface 3. Having a scribing tablet directly integrated will likely appeal to an artistic demographic more comfortable drawing on a Wacom-style pad than directly on the screen with an Apple Pencil. It even records your stylus sketches when the tablet is asleep, which should boost battery life at the expense of, well, not seeing what you’re writing or drawing.

But at the end of the day, the Yoga Book doesn’t have a keyboard. Despite haptic feedback in the pad and autocorrect in the Android version, our reviewer struggled to type accurately, and doubted Lenovo’s claim that it would take about two hours to adapt. If a user’s work depends on quickly and accurately getting words on a page, this might not be the tablet for them. Lenovo is betting big that the physical process of pen-to-pad has secretly been what many tablet users have secretly been missing. We’ll see whether it’s enough to carve market share away from Apple and Microsoft.

Source: 9to5 Google

13
Sep

Apple releases iOS 10 and watchOS 3


You no longer have to be a guinea pig to give Apple’s latest software upgrades a try — as promised, the Cupertino crew has released the finished versions of iOS 10 and watchOS 3. As before, iOS’ biggest improvements are in communication — Messages gets apps, hand-drawn images, secret messages and stickers (among many other additions), while Siri now offers you control over third-party apps. You’ll also see major interface revamps in Maps (which now offers proactive suggestions) and Music, a Home app to manage smart household gadgets, lock screen widgets and wider use of 3D Touch on supporting hardware.

As for watchOS 3? It’s nothing less than a major rethink of the platform. Your favorite apps will not only load much faster (as they’re stored in memory), but the side button has changed from its original focus on contacts to bringing up favorite apps. You can also hand-draw replies, quickly access common settings and share activities to get some extra motivation. A Breathe app reminds you to relax, and iOS 10’s Home app gets a wrist-worn counterpart.

And Apple TV fans, you’re included too… although the upgrades aren’t as dramatic. The newly launched tvOS 10 update primarily introduces a dark mode for those late-night movies, a single sign-on to spare you from signing into umpteen services and Siri voice search for YouTube. You’ll need a fourth-generation Apple TV to see any of these differences.

2
Sep

The Engadget Podcast Ep 4: All Eyez On Me


Editors Cherlynn Low and Devindra Hardawar join host Terrence O’Brien to talk about Intel’s latest CPUs, Dead or Alive’s controversial VR feature and Lenovo’s “innovative” take on the keyboard. Then the panel takes a look at Chris Brown’s standoff and how Instagram videos and Facebook Live fit into our modern media landscape.

Here are your Flame Wars leaderboards:

Wins

Loses

Winning %

Chris Velazco
3
1
.750
Devindra Hardawar
6
4
.600
Nathan Ingraham
3
4
.429
Cherlynn Low
3
4
.429

Relevant links:

  • Lenovo’s Yoga Book is part tablet, part sketch pad
  • Intel’s 7th generation Core CPUs will devour 4K video
  • ‘Dead or Alive’ VR is basically sexual assault, the game
  • Chris Brown turns to Instagram amid police standoff
  • Kim Dotcom hopes to livestream his extradition appeal
  • Kim Dotcom will be allowed to stream his extradition appeal

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

1
Sep

Huawei’s MediaPad M3 features an 8.4-inch high-res display


Huawei didn’t make the trip to IFA with just a couple of new smartphones in hand, but a new slate too. Following the company’s overly ambitious attempt at a Surface-like device in the MateBook, we’re back to more standard tablet fare with the MediaPad M3 announced today. As the name suggests, the hardware is particularly geared towards media consumption, boasting an 8.4-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 display, Harman Kardon-certified stereo speakers and hi-res audio support.

The MediaPad M3 is driven by one of Huawei’s own Kirin 950 octa-core processors (four 2.3GHz cores plus four 1.8GHz cores), paired with 4GB of RAM and either 32 or 64 gigs of expandable storage (up to 128GB microSD cards supported). A 5,100mAh battery keeps the Netflix binge going, and a pair of 8-megapixel cameras are on hand when you absolutely must take a picture with a tablet.

The OS of choice is Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI) 4.1 on top, and in addition to all the standard connectivity options, there are cellular options with a nano-SIM card slot and LTE radio for getting data on the move.

Launching first on September 26th in several European countries (including the UK), as well as in parts of Asia and the Middle East, the base 32GB WiFi model will cost €349. The 64GB WiFi and 32GB LTE versions are priced at a slightly more expensive €399, with the €449 64GB LTE model rounding out the options.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

1
Sep

Lenovo’s Yoga Book is part tablet, part sketch pad


Let’s face it: Tablets are on the brink of death, and it’s difficult to get excited about a new slate these days. And even though tablet-laptop hybrids are taking off, that market is cornered by Surfaces and iPad Pros. So I wasn’t prepared to be as thrilled as I was by Lenovo’s latest offering. The Yoga Book, based on my experience with a preview unit, is not merely a mimicry of Microsoft’s Surface Book; it has impressively innovative features and a well-thought-out interface that make it a solid hybrid in its own right.

The Yoga Book has the same shiny “Watchband hinge” as Lenovo’s Yoga 900 convertible laptops, which makes the book’s spine look like links on a wristwatch. That, together with a metal casing and slim silhouette, lend the book a clean, modern aesthetic. I particularly like the gold version, which is only available for the Android variant that costs $499. A $549 Windows 10 model is also available, but that (disappointingly) only comes in black.

Lenovo Yoga Book: Hands-on

This book’s cover may be pretty, but what really impressed me lies beneath. The Yoga Book’s standout feature is its keyboard, which is essentially a giant touchpad. There are no physical buttons — just a flat surface with the outline of keys.

The absence of physical buttons helps the Yoga Book look and feel more like a regular tablet with a flat back when you unfold it all the way around. Plus, without the uneven surface, you can use the bottom half of the device as a stand, with the keyboard facing down. The hybrid is also a lot lighter (1.52 pounds) than it would have been with a full keyboard, although it’s still heavier than the Surface 3 (1.37 pounds without a keyboard).

But those aren’t the main reasons for doing away with keys. The real pièce de résistance is housed within the flat surface, and Lenovo calls it the “Create Pad.” Tap a button to the top right of the keyboard and the outlines disappear, leaving you with a blank canvas. It’s like a Wacom digitizer tablet that you can draw on with the included stylus.

Lenovo adapted Android 6.0 Marshmallow to automatically start recording your doodles in the company’s default note-taking app (which is the only app in the tablet that stores your input in the background) once you put the stylus to the touchpad. When you start writing, a small window pops up on the bottom right of the screen and captures your scrawls. This happens whether the tablet is awake or asleep, which is super convenient. It’s basically like having a piece of paper ready for you to write on whenever you need, and it worked well in our demo. But because the screen stays off when you’re writing while the Yoga Book is asleep, it’s hard to know what you’re jotting down.

Those who can’t give up their paper addiction, however, will love this next feature. With a little finesse and jiggling of the stylus’ nib with the included pen cap, you can pull out the nib and replace it with an ink cartridge to make a real pen. Oh, and did I mention that “Real Pen” is what Lenovo named this stylus?

With the ink nib, you can write on real paper for a more old-school experience. And if you place the paper on the Create Pad, whatever you scrawl there will also show up in the Yoga Book. I tried placing an inch-thick notebook on top of the surface and wrote on it with the Real Pen, and I was impressed when the system still detected my scribbles.

This won’t work with a regular pen, though; you’ll have to use the one Lenovo provides. It’s designed with Wacom’s “feel IT” tech that responds to the electromagnetic resonance (EMR) film built into the keyboard, which enables the real-time digitization.

All of this adds up to an experience that will delight and win over notetakers, and I’m incredibly stoked by what I’ve seen so far.

But I don’t think the Yoga Book will appeal to road warriors. Sure, the Windows version will run desktop apps and multiple apps simultaneously, making it suitable for productivity. The Android version has Lenovo’s multiwindow support (until it gets updated to Android Nougat, which has that feature baked in), so it can handle multitasking as well. The Yoga Book is powered by an Intel Atom x5 processor and has a generous 8500mAh battery that Lenovo said should last for up to 15 hours of general use. Its 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS display should also be a decent canvas for multimedia.

But for a 2-in-1 to truly facilitate productivity, it needs a real keyboard. Even though Lenovo thoughtfully designed the layout with more generously sized keys and spaces and implemented haptic feedback, predictive text and autocorrect (the latter two are only on the Android model), I still struggled to bang out more than a few words at once without a typo. Lenovo said it would take about two hours to get used to the new keyboard, but I’m not sure I believe that.

The stark change may alienate those who depend heavily on physical keys. For those people, Lenovo still has slightly more traditional hybrids. The company also unveiled a super thin Yoga 910 convertible laptop, which has a full-sized physical keyboard and bends all the way around to become a 14-inch tablet.

Still, Lenovo deserves props for making a bold, innovative move. As a lover of notebooks and real-life writing, I can’t deny that I’m incredibly excited to try out the Yoga Book in the real world. And for those who prefer pen and paper (I imagine that includes artists, designers and students), the Yoga Book is a compelling candidate that could trump the iPad Pro and Surface.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

31
Aug

Acer’s latest PCs include the first curved screen laptop


You no longer have to stick to your desk to enjoy a flashy curved display. Acer is unveiling flood of new laptops at Germany’s IFA show, and the highlight by far is the Predator 21 X — according to Acer, the world’s first curved screen laptop. As the name suggests, opening up this gigantic gaming portable reveals a 21-inch curved, ultra-wide display that promises more immersion than you’re used to with portable gaming. It ‘only’ touts a 2,560 x 1,080 resolution, but NVIDIA G-Sync support should give you smoother, game-friendly output.

That’s not the only party trick, either. It includes Tobii eye tracking to help you aim and look around paths, a 4.2-channel audio system, and a full-size illuminated keyboard with both Cherry MX mechanical switches (for improved feel) and a trackpad hidden under the number pad. The system is a performance beast, too, between its 7th-generation Core processors and dual GeForce GTX 1080 graphics. Acer hasn’t said how much the Predator 21 X will cost. This rig won’t ship until sometime in the first quarter of 2017, however, so you’ll at least have some time to save up.

Acer Swift 7

There’s more. Acer is unveiling a new Swift line of thin-and-light laptops, led by the 13.3-inch Swift 7 you see above. It’s reportedly the world’s thinnest laptop at just 0.39 inches thick — take that, LG. Between that and its 2.5-pound weight, you might not notice it in your bag. It’s even reasonably powerful between its 7th-gen Core i5, 256GB SSD, 9-hour claimed battery life and dual USB-C 3.1 ports. There’s even a high dynamic range webcam to bring out more color and details in video chats. It’ll sell for $999 when it ships in October. The lower-end Swift 1, 3 and 5 models all tout 14-inch screens, thicker bodies and and slower processors. They’ll arrive between October and November, with respective prices starting at $249, $499 and $749.

Acer Spin 7

And no, Acer hasn’t forgotten about the hybrid PC crowd. It’s launching four Spin laptops with “360-degree” hinges that, like many rivals, turn your computer into an impromptu tablet, presentation monitor or tent display. The Spin 7 you see here is the portability champ of the bunch through its 14-inch screen (in a 13-inch aluminum chassis), 0.43-inch thickness, 7th-gen Core i7, 8GB of maximum RAM and 256GB SSD. The remaining Spin 1, Spin 3 and Spin 5 systems aren’t always steps down, though. While the Spin 1 is an entry-level model with 11.6- and 13.3-inch screens, the Spin 3 carries a larger 15.6-inch screen and two storage drives; opt for the 13.3-inch Spin 5 and you get more RAM (up to 16GB), up to a 512GB SSD and support for an optional pen.

Just when you can get the Spin series varies. The 3, 5 and 7 will all show up in October, with beginning prices of $499, $599 and $1,199. You’ll have to wait until December to get the Spin 1, although its $249 price could be worth your patience.

We’re live all week from Berlin, Germany, for IFA 2016. Click here to catch up on all the news from the show.

Source: Acer

25
Aug

Amazon will donate Kindles to promote digital reading


Amazon aims to promote digital reading around the world and has established a new program called Kindle Reading Fund to achieve that goal. The Fund will be in charge of donating Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and ebooks to various recipients, such as reading programs in developing nations. To make sure its devices reach the people who need them, the tech titan has joined forces with Worldreader, a non-profit that provides e-books to children and families in the developing world to promote literacy. The two already worked together in previous projects, according to TechCrunch, including bringing digital reading materials to 61 Kenyan libraries.

Besides reading programs, the Kindle Fund will also provide both devices and ebooks to schools, libraries, hospitals and other non-profit orgs around the globe. While it will introduce new projects, it will also be in charge of Amazon’s older ones. It will allow the company to formally accept donation requests from 501(c) or tax-exempt non-profits and schools, as well. In fact, if you’d like to submit a request, you can contact the company right now from its the new Kindle Reading Fund website.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Amazon

21
Aug

Microsoft will fix Surface Pro 3 battery issues through software


Microsoft was right about its hunch that Surface Pro 3 battery degradation was a software problem. The company reports that it has ruled out hardware as a cause for the shrinking battery capacity, and that it’s working on a patch that should bring your Windows tablet back to normal. You’ll get the fix as soon as it passes testing, Microsoft says. In the meantime, it’s advising against asking for a hardware replacement.

The news isn’t pleasing everyone. Surface Pro 3 owners have complained of paying steep replacement fees ($450 or more) to get new models that they’re now learning aren’t necessary. Also, some are worried that their slate’s battery will be all but useless before the patch is ready, forcing them to pay for a replacement. Will these users get compensation for their troubles? We’ve asked Microsoft what it will do, and we’ll let you know what it has to say.

Via: Panos Panay (Twitter)

Source: Microsoft Community

4
Aug

iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard is available in your local language


The iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard is arguably its main selling point, but it hasn’t been much good if you aren’t North American — you’ve had to rely on a US English layout so far. Thankfully, you won’t have to go through hoops to type in your native language after today. Apple has released versions of the Smart Keyboard in numerous languages, including many European languages (such as British English, French, German and Spanish) as well as Arabic, Korean, Thai and others. The keyboards you can buy depend on the store you buy from, so you can’t just get one in the language of your choice. Even so, it beats having to use the on-screen keyboard to express yourself.

Source: Apple

20
Jul

Android Nougat won’t boot your phone if its software is corrupt


Ever since KitKat, Android has verified your device’s boot process to make sure that rootkits and other forms of malware don’t operate undetected. However, it hasn’t done much more than alert you of potential problems (as of Marshmallow)… until now. Google explains that Android Nougat strictly enforces that boot check, giving you far more than just a warning. If your boot image or partition is corrupt, Android will either start in a limited-use mode (with your permission) or won’t start at all. The feature will first show up in devices that ship with Nougat out of the box.

For most people, this is likely to be helpful — it’ll prevent your device from becoming a playground for viruses, at least after you restart. Google notes that it could create some hiccups, however. It’s more likely that you’ll notice error-related corruption, since the verification could shut off access to data blocks and trigger unusual behavior. Also, this may make it tougher to tweak your phone with custom firmware. Google says that any device with a locked bootloader will use this addition to check for modifications — while those bootloaders weren’t exactly mod-friendly to start with, it’s going to get that much harder when Nougat rolls around. Thankfully, this won’t affect the Nexus line or other devices where bootloaders are unlocked as a matter of course.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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