Microsoft Surface Tablets, Tablet , iPad & Notebook News, Reviews and Accessories
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HP Spectre x360 15 (2018)
Microsoft Surface Book 2 15-inch
|Dimensions||14.1 x 9.8 x 0.76 (in)||13.5 x 9.87 x 0.56-0.90 (in)|
|Weight||4.62/4.72 pounds||4.2 pounds|
|Keyboard||Full-size, island-style backlit keyboard||Full-size backlit keyboard|
|Processor||Eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U / eighth-generation Intel Kaby Lake-G||Up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8650U|
|RAM||Up to 16GB||16GB|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce MX150 w/2GB of VRAM / AMD RX Vega M GL||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 w/ 6GB of RAM|
|Display||15.6-inch WLED-backlit touchscreen||15-inch LED-backlit display with IPS technology|
|Resolution||3840 x 2160||3240 x 2160|
|Storage||Up to 1TB PCIe M.2 SSD||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD|
|Networking||802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2||802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Ports||1 USB 3.1 Type-C, 1/2 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C, 1 USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 HDMI, 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, SD card reader||2x USB Type-A ports, 1 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x Surface Connect ports, SD Card reader|
|Webcam||HP Wide Vision full HD infrared Camera||5.0MP 1080p front-facing camera, 8.0MP 1080p rear-facing autofocus camera|
|Operating System||Windows 10||Windows 10|
|Battery||84 watt-hour||90 watt-hour|
|Price||Starts at $1,370||Starts at $2,500|
|Availability||March (HP Store)||Now (Microsoft Store)|
|Review||Coming soon||Full review: 8/10|
Earlier this week at CES, Lenovo refreshed its lineup of flagship ThinkPad X1 PCs, introducing the second-generation X1 Tablet. Unlike the X1 Yoga, which is a convertible, the Tablet has a detachable keyboard.
Last year's ThinkPad X1 Tablet had its limitations, all of which have been resolved this time around. For example, the first-generation model had an Intel Y-series Core processor, which offered limited performance. This year, Lenovo went all-in with an eighth-generation U-series chip.
To be clear, not only is the U-series more powerful than the Y-series in general, but the eighth-generation chips are quad-core now, meaning that they even pack a much larger punch than the seventh-gen processors. This all boils down to a massive performance increase for the X1 Tablet.
Apple now offering refurbished 10.5-Inch iPad Pro models
The iPad Guide
Apple has added refurbished 10.5-inch iPad Pro models to its online store in the US and Canada. This is the first time Apple has offered the 10.5-inch iPad as a refurbished model in the US. Currently most models and colors are available in the WiFi-only variant.
The starting price for a refurbished 64GB Wi-Fi model is $549, which $100 less than the normal $649 asking price for a new model. The 265GB refurbished model is available at $679, and the 512GB Wi-Fi version is listed at $849. New models of the same variants will set you back $799 and $999, respectively. At the time of this post, only the 512GB Cellular model is available in all four colors at $959.
Apple's refurbished products ship repackaged with a brand new battery and new outer shell. All refurbished models are tested and certified, and come with a 1-year warranty. You can extend the warranty to up to 2-years for $99 with AppleCare+ for iPad.
January 9 , 2018
The Lenovo Miix 630 is a Windows tablet powered by a smartphone processor that promises an always-on LTE connection and excellent battery life.
With a starting price of $799, the Lenovo Miix 630 detachable Windows tablet is on the cheaper end of a brand-new crop of PCs that run power-sipping Qualcomm Snapdragon processors rather than CPUs from Intel or AMD.
The Miix 630, announced on Monday here at CES, looks nearly identical to the Chinese electronics giant's other detachable Windows tablets, such as the Miix 520$999.99 at Lenovo. It's got a 12.3-inch full HD (1,920 by 1,080) touch screen that's fortified with Corning Gorilla Glass. There's a kickstand built into the back of the tablet for propping it up when the keyboard is attached, and the whole thing weighs just under three pounds.
Where the Miix 630 differs from other convertibles is its CPU, a Snapdragon 835. That's the same unit that powers high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S8, which translates into a compelling blend of performance and battery life. Lenovo boasts that the Miix 630 will last up to 20 hours between charges. Even better, that estimate assumes that you'll use your device as you would a smartphone: rarely turning it off and accessing the internet both via Wi-Fi and the included LTE modem.
HP has thrown down the gauntlet at this year's CES, unveiling what it claims is the most powerful convertible PC currently available anywhere in the world.
Part of its popular Spectre line, the HP Spectre x360 15 is aimed squarely at creators of high-quality digital content. In addition to a 15.6-inch 4K UHD display, the x360 15 packs up to 16GB of RAM for editing large photos or video files, a dedicated Radeon RX Vega graphics card for speedy video encoding and a powerful Intel i7 8705G CPU for responsive performance across all manner of computing tasks.
As a device designed for portability, the Spectre x360 15 doesn't skimp on the battery life, either, with HP touting up to 12 hours of battery life plus Fast Charge Technology capable of recharging the battery from 0% to 50% in just 30 minutes.
Unsurprisingly, this kind of power doesn't come cheap, with pricing for the HP Spectre x360 15 starting at $3499 and increasing depending on your chosen configuration. HP will sell the x360 15 directly from its own website and via Harvey Norman, with availability due to be announced in the coming weeks.
January 8 , 2018
Apple should do more to curb growing smartphone addiction among children, two major investors in the iPhone maker said Monday.
In an open letter to the technology giant, New York-based Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, highlighted increasing concern about the effects of gadgets and social media on youngsters.
"There is a developing consensus around the world including Silicon Valley that the potential long-term consequences of new technologies need to be factored in at the outset, and no company can outsource that responsibility,” the letter said.
The letter cited various studies and surveys on how the heavy usage of smartphones and social media negatively affects children’s mental and physical health. Examples include distractions by digital technologies in the classroom, a decreased ability of students to focus on educational tasks, and higher risks of suicide and depression.
Among the proposals: establish an expert committee including child development specialists; offer Apple’s vast information to researchers; and enhance mobile device software so parents have more options to protect their children’s health.
January 5 , 2018
Antivirus firms are playing patch catch-up, as Microsoft releases Meltdown firmware updates for Surface devices.
Antivirus firms are gradually adding support for Microsoft's Windows patch for the Meltdown and Spectre attack methods that affect most modern CPUs.
As Microsoft warned this week, it's not delivering its January 3 Windows security updates to customers if they're running third-party antivirus, unless the AV is confirmed to be compatible with it.
Microsoft's testing found some antivirus products were producing errors by making unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory, resulting in blue screen of death (BSOD) errors.
Third-party Windows antivirus products need to support Microsoft's security update and set a Windows registry key for customers to receive the update via Windows Update.
Microsoft hasn't said which antivirus products are compatible beyond its own Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. However, security researcher Kevin Beaumont has created a public spreadsheet that may help IT admins prepare for installing Microsoft's mitigations for the attack techniques that affect CPUs from Intel, AMD and Arm, albeit to differing degrees.
January 4 , 2018
Lenovo announces new 10-inch Windows tablet
At CES 2018, Lenovo today announced Tablet 10, a new 10-inch Windows tablet targeting enterprise customers. Tablet 10 is actually a detachable that comes with a keyboard base. It is powered by Intel Celeron N Series processors that will benefit vertical applications such as healthcare and retail. To support easy authentication in retail scenarios, it features fingerprint reader and discrete Trusted Platform Module for business-class protection.
Like other ThinkPad tablets, Tablet 10 also comes with an integrated rechargeable pen, up to 9 hours of battery life and Wireless WAN support.
Lenovo has yet to release pricing on the Tablet 10.
January 3 , 2018
Samsung's “Rollable OLED” Tablet LEAKS In Patent Filings
Know Your Mobile
The tablet space is more or less dominated by Apple. Most other players have thrown in the towel, admitting defeat, but ALL this could change in 2018 with the rise of completely new form factors. And Samsung could well be leading the charge with its truly flexible tablet designs.
We’ve known about Samsung’s plans for folding devices for years. The Galaxy X has been rumoured since around 2014. But newly leaked images from a Samsung patent show a rather innovative-looking design for a fold-up tablet device.
Filed in Mid-June, the tablet device, if you could call it that, features a metallic unit that houses a slide out, completely flexible display. The design looks a lot like a scroll, so we could well see the nomenclature reflect this when the device eventually surfaces.
The Lenovo Ideapad Miix 520 aspires to compete with Microsoft’s Surface Pro, and it checks nearly all of the boxes: excellent performance; a bright, high-resolution display; and a comfortable typing experience. Only in battery life does it fall well short. Nevertheless, the Miix 520 is a great alternative to the pricier Surface lineup.
As Windows tablets coalesce toward the 12.2-inch panel size used by the Miix 520, comparing them is all about tradeoffs. The Miix 520, which is currently available in only one configuration (currently about $990 on Amazon), upgrades the typical tablet display from 1080p to a 1920x1200 panel. But that higher resolution affects battery life, as you’ll see later in our tests. The other major features are detailed below.,
Unlike Microsoft, Lenovo bundles the detachable keyboard as well as a stylus, known as the Active Pen 2.
January 2 , 2018
Microsoft's regular updates and additions to its range of Surface devices provides plenty of incentive for its OEM partners to refresh their own hybrid laptop/tablet products. The latest version of the Asus Transformer Pro (T304UA) provides a good alternative to the Surface Pro range for business users who need a versatile and affordable device that can function as both a laptop and a tablet.
The 12.6-inch Transformer Pro T304UA makes a good first impression, with the tablet and bundled keyboard already magnetically connected and lifting easily out of the box with a combined weight of just 1.18kg. There's a stylus included too, whereas Microsoft's Surface Pro only provides a keyboard and stylus as optional extras.
Roamit app lets you quickly transfer files from Android to Windows
You may be enjoying your Android phone and tablet for both personal and work use but sometimes you’d wish you can just easily sync them with your Windows-powered laptop. Cross-platform isn’t always easy especially between Windows and Android but there’s an app for that. Roamit is a new program that allows one to synchronize clipboard content, share links, and share files via Wi-Fi. With Roamit, you can now connect your Android device and Windows 10 or Windows 10 Mobile-powered computer.
Roamit isn’t an official app developed by Microsoft but it’s now available on the Play Store for FREE. Developer KandH made sure this app can be used on all Android devices. It allows web continuity so you can read web pages on your phone, tablet, or Xbox. All you need is a local network and the app to share files and photos between your smartphone and other devices. If you need to share some files, you can do so from the app to any other device that supports the system.
January 1, 2018
December 29, 2017
Apple has today posted a letter on its website and a technical article in its Knowledge Base apologizing for not being more transparent about how it handles performance on iPhones with older batteries. Last week, Apple issued a statement that made it clear that changes it made a year ago were indeed slowing down the maximum performance of iPhones with older batteries.
It will now also offer a battery replacement for older devices affected for a reduced $29.
“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process,” the letter reads. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”
Apple is doing three things in response to customers concerned that older batteries are making their iPhone run slower.
December 27, 2017
Microsoft’s Surface Pro with built-in LTE is now available online, one of a rare breed of Windows portables with integrated WWAN connectivity. The Surface Pro with LTE Advanced was confirmed as in the pipeline back in September, a welcome return after Microsoft’s last cellularly-equipped Surface was discontinued several years ago.
Sales of the Surface Pro with LTE Advanced began for commercial customers in December of this year, though individual buyers were still out of luck. That changes today, with a listing for the tablet appearing on Microsoft’s online store.
For $1,449 you get a Core i5 based Surface Pro, with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of solid-state storage. It uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, though there’s a little disappointment there. Though the modem is theoretically capable of gigabit LTE speeds Microsoft has, according to Neowin, capped download rates at 450 Mbps.
December 22, 2017
December 21, 2017
Researchers find Windows Hello can be bypassed with a photograph of the owner
A team of cybersecurity researchers have revealed how Windows 10 computers can be accessed with just a printed photograph of the owner.
The attack targets Windows Hello, a facial recognition system used by some Windows 10 machines, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book 2. Windows Hello learns the face of the owner, then unlocks the machine and logs them in when it sees them.
Microsoft describes Windows Hello as offering "enterprise-grade security without having to type in a password." As well as a facial scan, other input methods supported by Windows Hello include fingerprint and iris.
Detailed in the Full Disclosure mailing list, and spotted by security expert Graham Cluley, the German researchers discovered it was easy to trick their way into a Windows 10 machine by using a "modified printed photo of an authorized user." Machines yet to be updated with the recent Fall Creators Update remain vulnerable to the attack.
Microsoft's Fall Creators Update for Windows 10, released in October, fixes the issue and all Windows Hello users are urged to install that update right away. After doing so, it is recommended that users enable Windows Hello's "enhanced anti-spoofing" feature and re-scan their face so the system can re-learn what they look like.
December 20, 2017
What is a laptop even for any more?
The question has been playing on my mind lately, since before I received a review unit of Microsoft’s new Surface Book 2. I’m writing this on a train on a Bluetooth keyboard connected to my iPad; statistically, you’re most likely reading it on a phone. Recent leaps in power-efficient processors means either of those is perfectly capable enough to tackle most computing tasks.
Full credit to Microsoft: they have been making this argument in recent years with the Surface line – that the old terminology is outdated. The Surface line – from the entry-level Pro to the stunning and stunningly-expensive Surface Studio – are all part of one family; a shared language. Most ordinary users don’t need the power of a Surface Book 2 and will be happy with a Surface Pro. But Microsoft knows that many people need a workhorse computer, one that can handle anything they throw at it - including creative pen inputs, video editing, external monitors – but can be slung in a bag at the end of the day.
So they created the Surface Book 2, which may be the most powerful Windows laptop on the market. (I haven’t run benchmark tests, but you can check Ars Technica's review or another site for confirmation.) The Book 2 comes in two sizes, 13.5in (which I tested) or 15in, with the latest Intel i5 or i7 processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPUs, upwards of 8GB RAm and up to 1TB of SSD storage. (The exception: the entry-level 13.5in model, which runs on last year's Kaby Lake-gen processors.)
Hardware wise, the machine is tweaked slightly from its predecessor, though you’d be hard-pushed to notice. It’s a little slimmer, a little more curved, and the hinge a little more robust. It’s an undeniably beautiful piece of design. The display, in particular, is absolutely glorious, with rich colour, crisp details and that delightful Microsoft-favoured aspect ratio. It’s wonderful to touch, too - crisp and responsive. The Surface Book 2, paired with the new Surface Pen (now sold separately, which is frankly in insult when you’ve spent £1,499+ on a 2-in-1 machine) is the best drawing and note-taking experience I’ve ever had on a device. Note taking in split screen while paired with One Note or Myscript Nebo’s impressive handwriting-to-text features is almost enough to sell me one outright, it’s that natural.
Lenovo Yoga 720 (12”) Review: The Best for Less
Gotta Be Mobile
For far too long, the most expensive laptops and tablets have captured our imagination. The Lenovo Lenovo Yoga 720 (12”)Yoga 720 (12”) makes a good case for why some us should pay less attention to pricey computers with mid-range specs and more attention to wallet-friendly PCs that do exactly what we need them to do.
Don’t mistake the Lenovo Yoga 720 (12”) for an ultra-affordable PC. With a price tag of $629 at Best Buy, it’s definitely not the least expensive Windows 2-in-1 that you can buy. This works to its advantage. It isn’t ruined by a sub-par display or terrible touch experience and it looks just as good as Lenovo’s more expensive laptops.
The front of the Yoga 720 (12”)’s lid and base gently curve to meet each other. From the sides, it looks a lot like a binder. At 2.53 pounds it feels like you’re carrying a binder too.
The lid, base and keyboard deck are all made of the same aluminum material that Lenovo uses in its more expensive devices. Despite that, Lenovo takes a step back from the bright colors and watchband designs its known for these days. The Yoga 720 (12”) only comes in black or platinum. Neither color is as bold as the glass backs and Star Wars logos of the Yoga 920, but they both look professional, at least.
December 19, 2017
Lenovo Miix 520
The Lenovo Miix 520 ($999) is gunning for the Microsoft Surface Pro, aiming to provide many of the features of this iconic Windows tablet at a fraction of the price. It's a difficult task, made even harder by the fact that many other PC makers are attempting to do the same thing. But there's no question that it's a worthwhile pursuit, since the the high price of a respectably configured Surface Pro is perhaps its most significant drawback. Lenovo succeeds on the most important fronts—a powerful eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and a useful stylus, for instance—but fails to improve on some common tablet drawbacks, such as poor battery life and uncomfortable ergonomics for lap use. Still, the Miix 520 is clearly the best midrange Windows tablet you can buy right now.
Terrific performance. Stylish, sturdy watchband-style kickstand hinges. Lenovo Active Pen is included.
Stand design precludes comfortable lap use. Relatively short battery life. Occasional fan noise.
Can't spring for a Surface Pro? The Lenovo Miix 520 is the best midrange Windows tablet you can buy right now, with excellent computing performance, a good keyboard, and an included stylus.
December 18, 2017
Google Home vs Amazon Echo: Which is the best smart speaker?
The battle to be the voice assistant to dominate our homes has well and truly begun. While the Amazon Echo took an early lead by virtue of being released first, Google has upped its game for its Home range of speakers. Now, with the Echo on its second generation, which one is best for you?
Google Home vs Amazon Echo: It's the battle of the robot PAs. Voice-controlled assistants are totally in right now, and the Amazon Echo has already made significant headway. But the Google Home is gunning for smart home dominance too, so here’s a guide to which speaker is winning right now.Google Home vs Amazon Echo – Design
Both the Amazon Echo and Google Home are voice-controlled speakers, which you can shout at without using your hands. While Google used to win the design battle, the second generation Amazon Echo ups the stakes.
Whereas the first Echo was a little basic and industrial looking, Amazon as made the new smart speaker far more attractive, and there’s now a choice of six finishes: three material, two wood and a metallic choice. This makes it far easier to find the product that suits your home decor.
December 15, 2017
Microsoft has been rumored to be working on a foldable notepad-like device, much like the company’s Courier concept. A patent from earlier this year provided an outline for such a device, but a new patent has emerged this week with a lot more detail. The patent, first spotted by MSPU, references a “hinged device,” and has been filed by Microsoft Surface engineers that are responsible for creating various Surface hinges and devices.
The device appears to have two separate screens and sections that fold together or flat, much like Lenovo’s Yoga Book. The images also show how the mysterious device could flip over and be used as a nightstand. While there’s not much detail about software for such a device, Microsoft’s patent filing includes a lot of intricate details around how the hinge works. Microsoft appears to be using gear-like cogs to create this adjustable hinge, allowing the device to hold in different positions.
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What is Tablet PC?
The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.