Tablet PC News Archive
May 2, 2016
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Surface Dock firmware released
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and Surface Dock got some love recently in the April firmware update. To be completely honest, the updates are not of the significant variety, but we do not recommend skipping them because they are designed to improve.
The Surface Pro 3 is probably the first Surface that knocked it out of the park with solid specification and design.
The following are description of the updates:
Surface Pro 3 devices with Windows 10 update:
- Microsoft driver update for Surface Dock Firmware Update
- Microsoft driver update for Surface Dock Integration
There’s also something called the Surface Dock Updater tool. This is great for updating multiple docs at the same time. The Surface Dock is arguably the best accessory available for the Surface Pro 3 as it gives the user more options when it comes down to using the device.
May 3, 2016
Apple patent hints next-gen Apple Pencil to sport swappable nibs, Touch ID, 'eraser' & more
A years-old Apple patent filing might yield clues as to the company's future plans for Apple Pencil, as the document includes never before seen features like interchangeable multifunction nibs with built-in sensors.
Like Apple Pencil, the device described by Apple's U.S. Patent No. 9,329,703 for an "Intelligent Stylus," as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, employs sensors, microprocessors and advanced algorithms to capture hand gestures for display on a digital touchscreen.
Both Pencil and the proposed device operate by determining stylus condition at a set point in time, specifically when the conductive nib makes contact with a tablet's capacitive display. These conditions are measured by a set of onboard sensors ranging in capability from pressure sensing to proximity awareness, broken into readable data and sent to a host device via suitable wireless communications protocol.
The invention detailed today supports stylus conditions identical to those built into Pencil, peppering in a few more hardware options like hot-swappable active nibs and additional sensing equipment. In some embodiments the replaceable tips carry unique identification codes readable by specialized sensors embedded within the stylus body. Each tip type — brush, pencil, felt tip pen and others — supports a different stylus condition.
Six months with the Surface Pro 4: Patches, lappability, and battery life are key
Microsoft calls the Surface Pro "the tablet that can replace your PC." If you had asked me in January of this year whether that claim was reasonable, I would almost certainly have answered no.
Today, I can give a mildly enthusiastic yes, at least for the segment of the market that needs extreme mobility and the ability to do complex work on a large screen. Using a single device for both those functions means no more worrying about syncing software and data files between a desktop PC and a portable device.
Ironically, where the Surface Pro 4 falls short is that "tablet" part, not because of the hardware but as the result of an ecosystem that is light on the kind of apps that make a great tablet.
The Surface Pro 4 keyboard is a huge improvement over previous generations, with virtually no flex and lots of separation between keys. The hinge design that allows the kickstand to adjust over an infinite range means it's no trouble to find the right angle. Overall, it feels very solid and stable on the lap.
The Precision Trackpad with built-in palm rejection works perfectly, with no glitching of any kind. That's my experience with other recent high-end Windows 10 laptops designs as well, which have become as smooth in operation as (gasp) a MacBook. Maybe it's time to finally retire those complaints about Windows trackpads.
Sprint and Other Carriers Deal a Blow to Tablet Makers Like Apple
Two years ago, tablets were all the rage among the carriers as a way to bolster sagging phone subscriber growth. But luring millions of customers to sign up for $10 per month or less data plans at the cost of subsidizing $200 or more off the price of a tablet turned out to be a pretty dismal business tactic.
“For whatever reason, two years ago we had some pretty aggressive promotions in tablets that right now we’re paying the price for,” said Claure, who become CEO a few months less than two years ago, while speaking to analysts on the company’s earnings call. “That obviously has stopped.”
The reason is simple economics, Claure added, explaining that “in many cases,” the carrier would get 10 times more lifetime customer value from a phone subscriber than a tablet buyer. Phone buyers sign up for much more expensive monthly plans, and the carriers no longer subsidize most phone purchases at all.
May 4, 2016
Vine launches new app for Windows 10 PCs and tablets
Twitter's popular social video service Vine is now available for Windows 10 PCs and tablets, expanding the app beyond its previous mobile confines. If you're a fan of taking in the often-hilarious videos 6 seconds at a time, you'll now be able to kick back and meander through your feed from the comfort of your Windows 10 machine of choice.
Those who use the mobile app will be able to find all of the same features in the new PC and tablet app as well. You can venture through channels split up by category, check out trending vines and more. And on the UI side, you'll be able to check out Live Tiles, and you can even pin your favorite channels and accounts to your Start menu. And of course, if you want to share your own Vines, Vine lets you easily drag and drop videos from your desktop into the app.
Logitech BASE Review: Turn an iPad Pro into a Desktop
Tablet PC Review
- Frees up Lightning port while iPad is charging
- Premium appearance and build
- Offers only one viewing angle
- Doesn't come with charging cable
Although it's a bit expensive, the Logitech BASE is absolutely ideal for those who use an iPad Pro like a desktop, complete with charging and an open Lightning port.
All Apple iPads prior to the Pro had one major limitation: only one port for cables and accessories. That changed with the introduction of the Smart Connector, and the Logitech BASE is one of the more innovative accessories to support it. This cradle can hold and charge the , while leaving the lightning port open for other uses.
It’s available now with a suggested price of $99, and works with both the 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-Inch iPad Pro.
May 5, 2016
Microsoft Surface Pro 5 Coming Soon? Pro 4, 3 Get Huge Discounts! Details Here
Existing models of Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Pro 3 are now offered at hugely discounted price making fans believe that the much-awaited release of the upgraded Microsoft Surface Pro 5 is just around the corner.
In its report, Game N Guide said that as much as $200 is discounted from the selling price of Microsoft Surface Pro 5 and Pro 4 offered in Amazon and eBay and according to them, tech analysts observed that the bigger discounts are being offered to more expensive devices.
From its usual price of $2,199, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is now offered at $2,000. Pro 4 includes specs of a 512 GB storage, an Intel Core i7 processor and a 16 GB RAM. Microsoft Surface Pro 3, on the other hand, gets a $220 discount. The report added that according to speculations, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is already being moved out by Microsoft in order to give way to the release of the Microsoft Surface Pro 5.
Analysts recommend to users of Microsoft Surface Pro devices to take advantage of the currently offered discounts.
10 best new tablets coming in 2016
If you're looking to buy a tablet, you might want to put away your money and check out our list of the most exciting new tablets coming later this year. We cover all the best new tablets for 2016, including the best new Windows tablets, best new Android tablets and best new iPads.
If you're looking to buy a tablet, you might want to put away your money and check out our list of the most exciting new tablets coming later this year. We cover all the best new tablets for 2016, including the best new Windows tablets, best new Android tablets and best new iPads. Also see: Best new phones coming in 2016.
If you would rather buy a tablet today, check out our group tests of the best tablets, best Android tablets, best Windows tablets, best budget tablets and best kids tablets. Otherwise, read on >
Microsoft Surface 4
We’re now nearly a year from the launch of the Surface 3, Microsoft’s cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro line-up, which most likely means we’ll see a Surface 4 tablet announcement within the next few months.
Leaks are very thin on the ground, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Surface 4 come with a slightly larger screen and smaller bezels, the removal of the physical Start button, a more easily adjustable kickstand and a magnet for storing the Surface Pen. USB-C will more than likely feature, as well as Windows Hello support.
We’ll keep you updated with new rumours as we hear them.
Microsoft Surface Pro 5
We’re not expecting to see a new Surface Pro Windows tablet until October 2016, but when we do it will be one of the best Windows tablets money can buy (and it will cost a fair amount of money, most likely starting at around £749 - for a cheaper option see the Surface Pro on the previous slide).
One of the changes we’re certain we’ll see is an upgraded Surface Pen, since Microsoft recently filed a patent for a stylus with a rechargeable battery that charges over a magnetic dock. The Surface Pro 5 is also likely to be fitted with a Kaby Lake processor for performance and battery life improvements, a USB-C connection, and a higher-resolution 4K display. The design will otherwise stay mostly the same when compared to the Surface Pro 4.
We’ll bring you more Surface Pro 5 rumours as we hear them.
Microsoft's Surface, Apple's iPad in customer satisfaction dead heat
Devices like Microsoft's Surface, Apple's iPad Pro and a bevy of 2-in-1 devices are leading to an increase in customer satisfaction as well as more engagement, according to J.D. Power.
The ratings firm said in its latest tablet satisfaction survey that the idea of a convergence device is far from dead. Customer satisfaction for hybrid devices is 11 points higher than tablets.
Overall, Microsoft and Apple are in a dead heat in terms of satisfaction with the Surface and iPad, respectively.
J.D. Power noted:
Among hybrid tablet owners, usage is higher than among non-hybrid device owners when using Microsoft Office (1.0 hour vs. 0.6 hours for non-hybrids); browsing the Internet (4.5 hours vs. 4.1); using social media (2.4 hours vs. 2.2); and texting/instant messaging (1.1 hours vs. 0.9).
Hybrid tablet owners also pay for more apps.
May 9, 2016
Microsoft Surface Book vs Apple MacBook 2016: Best Bang For Your Buck?
Know Your Mobile
What's the best option for you? Apple's new 2016 MacBook or Microsoft's stunning Surface Book?
Recently a friend of mine came to me and asked me what kind of laptop he should get. My friend is an iPhone user, but had traditionally used Windows PCs. He loves his iPhone and was seriously thinking about making the jump to Mac due to the company’s just-released upgraded MacBook with Retina display.
However, he really likes the idea of having a tablet hybrid, so was also thinking about getting Microsoft’s Surface Book (the iPad Pro was out of the question as he wanted a device that runs a full desktop OS). His predicament got us thinking about how the two devices compare, so without further ado, we put a Surface Book and a MacBook (2016 model) head to head to see how they stack up against the other.
Surface Book vs MacBook (2016): Specs
Microsoft's Surface Book
- Display: 13.5in PixelSense display, 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) resolution
- Design: Hybrid laptop with detachable keyboard
- Storage: 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB
- CPU: Intel Core i5 or i7
- RAM: 8GB or 16GB
- Ports: 2 USB 3.0, SD card reader, Surface Connect, headphone jack, mini DisplayPort
Apple MacBook (2016)
- Display: 12in display, 2304 x 1440 (266 PPI) resolution
- Design: traditional laptop
- Storage: 256GB or 512GB
- CPU: Intel Core m3 or m5
- RAM: 8GB
- Ports: 1 USB-C, headphone jack
Surface Pro 5 news: 2-in-1 tablet rumored to be delayed as Microsoft waits for Intel's new processor
Over the past weeks, numerous reports hint of the imminent arrival of the Surface Pro 5. Unfortunately, it seems like Microsoft is pulling back a bit on the device as latest updates point to a delayed release date.
Coming from the price cuts of both Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4, many have speculated that the tech company is already inching its way towards the launch of the newest iteration of the gadget. The predecessor gadgets received price cuts worth $200 for the Pro 3 and $150 for the Pro 4.
However, while offered discounts usually hint of the coming of a brand new iteration of a gadget, some say that this may not be the case for the Surface Pro 5.
One of the main reasons for the delay is because Microsoft is still waiting for Intel's upcoming processor called "Kaby Lake." Much like the Surface Book 2, the Pro 5 has been rumored to sport the chipset once released. "Kaby Lake" is expected to come out later this year and timeline-wise, it will technically push the Pro 5's launch to next year.
May 10, 2016
Apple granted patent for even smarter iPad cover, with built-in display & sketchpad
Apple has today been granted a patent for an iPad Smart Cover with more smarts than usual: it incorporates a built-in display, and even a Wacom-style drawing tablet.
The patent illustrates a number of different ways the Smart Cover display could be used, from simply extending the iPad’s own display through text-only displays of things like reminders to a combined display and touchpad. Some of the options show the display acting as a full input device too, allowing both handwritten notes and drawings.
While we of course add our usual disclaimer that Apple patents way more things than it actually makes, two element of this patent have actually made it into production …
Such covers would of course need power, and the patent illustrates something immediately recognizable as the iPad Pro’s Smart Connector. The only difference between patent drawing and actual product is that the drawing shows four connection points rather than three. We’ll get to the second real-life product shortly.
This does not, of course, mean that any of the rest of it will, but it has always seemed likely that Apple had more roles in mind for the Smart Connector than just keyboards.
At its simplest, Apple illustrates a cover with one extra column of icons, while the rest of the cover is devoted to solar panels.
Microsoft Releases May 2016 Firmware Update for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4
Microsoft has just pushed this month’s firmware updates for the Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4, which are the company’s latest devices launched in October 2015.
The May 2016 firmware updates are specifically focused on improving performance of the two devices and come with new driver versions for most of the hardware available on both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book.
Specifically, the new firmware version include Intel driver updates for the AVStream Camera 2500, the Intel Control Logic and CSI2 Host Controller, the front and rear cameras, but also the IR camera on the front that’s being used for biometric authentication with Windows hello.
The Surface Pro 4 gets the very same improvements, and most of the driver updates available on the Surface Book are shipped to the tablet as well.
Release taking place in stages
It’s important to note that Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 firmware updates are being released in stages, so in case you’re not getting them already, just wait for a few more hours and then check again.
“When Surface updates are provided via the Windows Update service, they are delivered in stages to Surface customers. As a result, not every Surface will receive the update at the same time, but the update will be delivered to all devices. If you have not received the update then please manually check Windows Update later,” Microsoft explains.
May 12, 2016
Samsung taps strong elements from Surface Pro 4, iPad Pro
Samsung has entered the ring for the Windows two-in-one (tablet/laptop) hybrid device with its Galaxy TabPro S, as competition for this segment is heating up with the launch of Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s iPad Pro.
The Korean company’s first device offers sharp design and solid performance.
The 12-inch super AMOLED display with 2160 x 1440 resolution is powered by Intel Core M3 dual-core 2.2GHz processor and coupled with 4GB of RAM and 128GB solid state drive.
The tablet is extremely thin at 0.63mm and is thinner than the rival devices in the market (Surface Pro 4 at 8.45mm and the iPad Pro at 6.9 mm). The sad part is it does not have the same magnesium unibody design as its Tab S2. The TabPro S has a plastic back with a magnesium frame. It weighs 693 grams, versus 766 grams for the Surface Pro 4 and 713 grams for iPad Pro.
The TabPro S is not as powerful as iPad Pro or Surface Pro 4 but Samsung has blended strong elements from these devices for a solid machine for both business and home users.
Seriously, would you use an 18.4-inch tablet?
If you’ve ever seen Apple’s iPad Pro, you’ll understand how freaking huge a 12.9-inch tablet actually looks in real life. In the quest for gargantuan gadgets, where should we stop?
For instance, Lenovo is now rumoured to be working on an 18.4-inch tablet, putting the iPad Pro to shame. That’s according to a recent GFX Bench readout that revealed a new Android tablet – codename PB2-690N – with incredible girth.
The device has an impressive QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) resolution, trumping Samsung’s Full HD 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet. It’s also more substantial than Alcatel’s Full HD 17.3-inch Xess.
But the question is: would you be willing to use an 18.4-inch tablet?
May 11, 2016
HP Elite x2 Review
Since the introduction of Microsoft's Surface, shoppers have been overwhelmed with an explosion of sleek and sexy detachable PCs. But on the enterprise side of things, pickings have been pretty slim. Thankfully, HP's $899 ($1,349 as reviewed) Elite x2 is raising the bar, as a business-class hybrid featuring a top-tier design along with the mil-spec durability and enterprise-level security that big corporations need. Like a lot of other detachables, the Elite x2 could use a bit more battery life, but for doing business on a detachable, HP's Elite x2 is now the system to beat. -
One of the best things about the Elite x2 is that it looks classy and professional, but without being boring. The polished-chrome HP logo provides a nice accent for the Elite X2's brushed-aluminum body, and the detachable's chamfered metal sides make it feel more durable than its more rounded consumer sibling, the Spectre x2. And with mil-spec 810G testing for resistance against things such as extreme temperatures, dust and sand, humidity and more, the Elite x2 has the cred to back up its solid body. -
Strong, easy-to-service body; Features USB-A and USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 ; Comfy folding keyboard and active pen included; Active-pen support with 2,048 levels of sensitivity
Keyboard and touchpad slow to wake up; Mediocre battery life for an ultraportable
With a top-notch detachable design, strong security features and comfortable keyboard, HP's Elite x2 is our top pick among business hybrids.
May 13, 2016
The ThinkPad X1 Tablet is like a Surface with a business twist
Imagine the unholy union of Microsoft's Surface lineup and the iconic Thinkpad, and you have the ThinkPad X1 Tablet. It's not Lenovo's first Surface clone -- that would be the cheaper and less equipped Miix 700 -- but it's the company's first for its ThinkPad lineup, which is targeted at the professional crowd. After years of honing the art of building convertible laptops, Lenovo seems like a safe bet for delivering a solid, Surface-like hybrid tablet. And for the most part, it succeeds.
May 16, 2016
With three attachable modules, this 2-in-1 has versatility on its side.
PC companies want to make products that combine the best of both worlds—and we're talking about multiple dichotomies, too: thin but powerful, business-ready but play-capable, high-end but also (semi) affordable, tablet but also a laptop, and more. We've seen it recently with Microsoft's Surface Book and Surface Pro line of hybrids, HP's newest Spectre laptop, and many more. Lenovo's designs (the Yoga line in particular) have always been good at marrying these elements to one another, and its ThinkPad X1 tablet is an attempt to deliver a Surface competitor for businesses.
The X1 takes the convenience of a tablet, incorporates a metal kickstand, and attaches a solid keyboard to the bottom so it can become a laptop at any time. So as not to overwhelm consumers with a ton of unnecessary features, Lenovo build three custom "modules" for the X1 which can turn it into a projector, a 3D scanner, and a longer-lasting, port-happy work device. Without any modules, the X1 starts off at a hefty $1,029. I recently lived with the mid-tier module ($1,349)
33% off Fire HD 6 Kids Edition Tablet - Deal Alert
Amazon's Fire tablet comes in a well thought out kid's edition. If you're in the market for a kid-proof tablet that won't break the bank, this is one to consider at its currently discounted price of $99.99. That's a $50 savings on its regular list price of $149.99.
The Fire Kids Edition sports a 7" 1024 x 600 IPS display (wider viewing angle and higher quality colors). There is a 2MP rear-facing HD camera as well as a VGA front-facing camera for things like Skype. 8GB internal storage is expandable to 128GB via a microSD slot, and Amazon gives you free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content and photos/videos taken from the device. There's an accelerometer and gyroscopic sensor onboard, and Bluetooth for wireless headphones or microphone connections. Battery life is roughly 7 hours, and it recharges to 100% in about 6.
The device comes with 1 year of Amazon Freetime Unlimited, a service that lets your children access more than 10,000 kid-friendly games, books, TV shows, movies and educational apps, all hand curated to ensure your kids can be left alone with them. But if you prefer to further curate, the parental controls are described as “best-in-class”.
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 review: Intel's Core m gets the job done in this sturdy convertible
HP designed its 12-inch Elite x2 convertible tablet with notebook-class ruggedness in mind, and it largely succeeds. But while it offers seriously solid competition for the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, a few features fall short of the bar.
Unlike Microsoft’s Surface Book, which emerged after several generations of Surface tablets, the Elite x2 evolved from HP’s notebook line as well as its more consumer-focused predecessor, last year’s Spectre x2 convertible tablet. Buy an Elite x2, and you’ll probably be pleased with the stability of the keyboard, the integrated Windows Hello fingerprint sensor, and the superb trackpad. Just be wary of using it on your lap: The magnets holding the tablet in place seem weaker than their competition, potentially allowing the x2 to tumble to the ground.
The SUV of convertible tablets
Though Microsoft’s Surface series is often considered to be the premium, priciest tablet option, Microsoft’s Core m3 version of the Surface Pro 4 costs just $899, with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. (You’ll need to buy the $130 Type Cover, too.) HP, however, chose to architect what might be called a premium budget tablet: The $1,399 Elite x2 version we tested houses a 1.1GHz Core m5-6Y54 chip inside (with Core m3 and Core m7 options), a slightly less powerful alternative to the Core i3, i5, and i7 chips found in the upper-echelon Surface machines.
Still, the Elite x2 blows away the SP4 with low-power DDR3-1866 memory options up to 8GB, plus SSD storage up to 512GB using either a SATA or even a PCI Express interface. Furthermore, it supports Intel’s vPro technology, giving IT administrators access to a suite of manageability technologies and justifying that premium price to corporate bean-counters. The keyboard is included in the price of the tablet, too
Apple Tablet Deal: Best Buy Offers $100 Off 9.7-Inch iPad Pro
U.S. retailer Best Buy has reduced the price of some 9.7-inch iPad Pro models by $100.
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available with 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB internal storage options. Customers can opt for Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus cellular models.
The 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB Wi-Fi only models cost $599, $749 and $899, and the Wi-Fi plus cellular model is priced at $729, $879 and $1,029, respectively. However, Best Buy customers can get the 128 GB and 256 GB models with a discount of $100. The price of the base model remains unchanged at the retailer.
The discounted 9.7-inch iPad Pro is available in four hues: space gray, silver, gold and rose gold. Best Buy is offering all four colors of the tablet as part of the deal for the 128 GB and 256 GB (Wi-Fi only models). The retailer is not selling the rose gold color for the 256 GB Wi-Fi plus cellular model.
May 17, 2016
Getac's Next Gen F110 Fully Rugged Tablet and V110 Fully Rugged Convertible Offer Maximum Performance and Multi-Layer Security, All Within a Light and Versatile Form Factor
The next generation of the best-selling Getac F110 fully rugged tablet and V110 fully rugged convertible is now available to help field service professionals battle a new generation of performance demands and security threats in the most extreme environments. Ideal for public safety, military, utilities and field service professionals, both are redesigned to deliver bulletproof security, best-in-class performance and a full-size touch screen housed in a thin, light form factor. Couple that with a fully rugged design that survives drops, spills, heat, cold and dust, and you have the perfect compact touch tablet for pros working in tight spaces and an ideal convertible for others who need a full-size keyboard.
“The F110 and V110 continue to be two of Getac’s best-selling products,” explained Scott Shainman, president of Getac. “These next-generation models maintain Getac’s fully rugged tradition with best-in-class performance and advanced security to create the optimal tool for field service professionals.”
Just the right size for productivity in the field, the sunlight-readable 11.6” LumiBond® 2.0 display delivers a responsive 10-point touch experience in a thin, light form factor. Rain, glove and pen (hard-tip stylus) touch modes provide just the right sensitivity for virtually any environment, while the spacious screen provides ample real estate for applications with minimal scrolling.
Both devices have vehicle docks available from Gamber-Johnson and Havis that allow simultaneous connection to high-gain WWAN, WLAN and GPS roof-mounted antennas. Optional Discrete GPS (with GLONASS option) provides high-performance location awareness.
The choice between the V110 and F110 depends on how it will be used. The V110 offers a full-size keyboard and transforms easily between tablet and notebook modes, making it ideal for officers who need a tablet in the car and a full-size keyboard for typing reports outside the vehicle. The F110, Getac’s thinnest Windows tablet, is the ultimate mobile choice, with a FullHD webcam, 8MP autofocus camera and optional 1D/2D barcode reader to video conference and capture data.
Durability is synonymous with the Getac brand, and the V110 and F110 proudly continue that tradition. Both devices are MIL-STD810G and IP65-certified to survive drops up to four feet and endure spills, moisture, vibrations, shock and extreme temperatures
Apple's latest iOS update wreaks havoc with some iPad Pro tablets
Another Apple software update, another hiccup.
On Monday, Apple rolled out version 9.3.2 of its mobile operating system to fix a small number of bugs. But the update itself has introduced a bug of its own -- one that affects the iPad Pro.
Users chiming in on MacRumors support forums, on Apple Support Communities and on Twitter say the new version has bricked their 9.7-inch iPad Pro tablets, meaning the device locks up after the update is installed and won't restart.
Many of those hit by the glitch say they receive an "Error 56" message that tells them to plug their device into iTunes. But that action does nothing to resolve the error, and rebooting simply returns the device to the same state.
May 18, 2016
Apple Has Patented Some Crazy Upgrades to Touch ID
IPhone screens may become fingerprint readers.
Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor could get a meaningful upgrade, if a recently revealed patent is any guide.
The patent, awarded to Apple on Tuesday and reported on by Apple-tracking site Patently Apple, describes several methods for improving standard biometric sensors to increase their accuracy and use them in new ways. The patent also mentions one important addition: The ability to embed the fingerprint sensor directly into the screen and use ultrasound imaging to help the fingerprint sensor finds a match.
In a layperson’s terms, Apple AAPL 0.75% is essentially describing a new way to deliver its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. Rather than using a button that sits below its touchscreen, like it does now, the patent would allow the company to embed an ultrasound-based sensor directly into a device’s touchscreen.
Apple mentioned one more thing in its patent that should be mentioned: Its technology could also be used to verify the validity of driver’s licenses. It suggests that Apple’s software could one day house a driver’s license and that its fingerprint sensor could be used to ensure it’s the user’s and is valid.
Microsoft Surface Pro 5: Top 5 features expected
International Business Times AU
Speculations indicate that Microsoft would unveil the next iteration of its popular Surface Pro 4 in July 2016. The new Surface Pro 5 may also be accompanied by the next generation of Surface Book.
At the same time, Apple is also rumoured to bring in its new MacBook Pro 2016 models in June. However, the Redmond-based
giant has not yet announced the official release date of Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2.
Here’s an attempt to pen down 5 most rumoured features of the Microsoft Surface Pro 5:
1. 4K Display screen
According to prevailing rumours, Microsoft will introduce 4K display resolution with the new Surface Pro 5 lineup. This will result in a stunning resolution of 3840 X 2160 pixels. The Surface Pro 4 features a 12.3-inch display with a screen resolution of 2736×1824 pixels.
2. Onboard Fingerprint scanner
The new generation of Surface Pro
will house a fingerprint scanner onboard, as reported by the Bitbag. The current generation of Surface Pro 4 accompanies a Type Cover with fingerprint sensor, which has to be purchased separately.
May 19, 2016
Better than Microsoft's Surface Pro? Here's the Windows 10 2-in-1 being built on public opinion
There's always something you would like to change in a device, whether it's a bigger screen or another port. Now Finnish startup Eve Tech is giving users the option of shaping the machine of their choice by crowdsourcing the development of its upcoming Windows 10 tablet-laptop hybrid.
Eve-Tech opened up its 2-in-1 tablet project, codenamed Pyramid Flipper, to crowd scrutiny in early 2016 and now has 1,000 registered members on its community platform.
The process is simple: members discuss design, specifications, and features they would like to see in the Pyramid Flipper. Eve-Tech reviews component options based on the discussion, submits them to a vote, and pieces together the final product.
"We've really crowdsourced every single spec. About 100 people from different backgrounds participated in [each discussion]," Konstantinos Karatsevidis, CEO of Eve-Tech, tells ZDNet. "Now we're polishing off the final things and questions like where the ports should be located."
So what does the community want? The advisory specs were nailed down in April and they consist of a 12-inch to 12.5-inch LCD display, 8GB of RAM, Intel's Core M processor, 10 hours of battery life, and two storage options: 128GB and 256GB. Eve-Tech notes there could still be minor changes to the final product.
May 20, 2016
4 Things That Make the Surface Pro 4 Worth Buying
Gotta Be Mobile
Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4 at an event in New York City last October. Since then, I’ve used the Surface Pro 4 has become my do-everything device. I live with my decision to purchase the device daily. It’s how I enjoy some very basic games. I’m currently keeping track of my cross-country move on the Surface Pro 4, keeping clippings of furniture I like and information about moving companies.
When I’m not using its pen to replace paper notebooks, I’m turning the paper notebooks I’ve kept all of these years into digital notes that I can search. I’m able to do this using the 8 megapixel rear-facing camera and the devices free copy of OneNote. Also, nearly every piece I’ve written in the last half-year has been on a Surface Pro 4.
May 23, 2016
What to do when your iPad Pro's Apple Pencil stops working
At its best, Apple Pencil and an iPad Pro can be best sketchbook for creative expression you’ve ever used, though some artists I’ve spoken with would like the Pencil to respond slightly differently to reflect the way different media behaved in the real world, eg. Oil paints act differently to charcoal. However, discussions like these are a moot point if your Pencil isn’t working, and unfortunately you do get problems keeping both devices in sync. Here is what to do:
When it works, it’s great, but for some reason the Bluetooth pairing between your iPad Pro and your Apple Pencil isn’t quite as robust as you might like. If your iPad Pro restarts you may need to re-pair the Pencil, for example. Apple Pencil doesn’t hold onto power very long – in my experience I’ve usually had to charge it up after not using it for a few days.
If you’ve previously paired your Pencil with your iPad and find the device is no longer working you should check the Battery section in the iPad’s Notifications view. If your Pencil is not visible there then it means the stylus is either out of power or needs to be paired once again.
If the Pencil is not showing in Notifications Battery view you should connect your Pencil to your iPad Pro or use the included Apple Pencil Thunderbolt Adapter to charge the pencil up for ten minutes. Once you’ve done this check Notifications once again, if the Pencil now shows up you know it just needed recharging, if not you should move on to the next step.
May 24, 2016
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Review: Surface Pro, ThinkPad Edition
- Great build and design
- Decent keyboard
- Plenty of ports and inputs
- Kickstand can slip
- Mediocre battery life
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet is a Surface Pro with a ThinkPad twist. It’s intended for business users, but anyone looking for a high-end 2-in-1 should consider it thanks to its great build, performance, and utility.
We could claim the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet was inspired by the Microsoft Surface Pro. Both are high-end Windows 10 tablets with a kickstand, active stylus, and an extremely similar keyboard. In fact, both are indistinguishable at a glance.
Build & Design
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet looks just like a Surface Pro.
Lenovo actually did one better than build an outright Surface clone. It melded the best parts of the Surface with some of its iconic ThinkPad features to create a more business-focused 2-in-1.
Microsoft Surface Pro outselling iPad Pro into enterprise in UK
According to market analyst firm Canalys Microsoft is beating Apple when it comes to the enterprise tablet market in UK.
Microsoft managed to sell more than double the number of Surface Pro tablets into enterprise compared to the iPad Pro in Q1 2016.
In the period the iPad Pro sold 107,000 units while the Surface Pro moved 275,000, up from 83,000 a year ago.
Importantly the data is only for the enterprise market, with Apple tablets handedly outselling Surface tablets in the consumer market. The consumer market however appears to be in decline, down 8% in UK in Q1 2016 and Apple’s strategy of turning to the enterprise market appears to not be as successful as they have hoped.
“One of the problems facing Apple is price, the other is familiarity and applications,” said Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys.
The Surface is an “easier sell” to businesses because of compatibility with the existing corporate infrastructure. “It is a difficult market for Apple,” said the analyst.
May 25, 2016
WWDC 2016: Apple to unveil iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 at Worldwide Developers Conference in June
Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is fast approaching.
The Californian tech giant traditionally uses the event in San Francisco to unveil its latest software updates for its iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, Mac and Apple TV.
This year we're expecting to see iOS 10, OS X 10.12, watchOS 3 and possibly a new version of tvOS - as well as updates to Apple Music and the company's other home-grown apps.
Here's everything we know so far about Apple's next big event.
The next version of Apple's operating system for the iPhone will be called iOS 10.
The beta version of the software is expected to be opened up to developers in June, before being rolled out to the general public in the autumn, along with the release of the iPhone 7.
Rumours suggest Apple's virtual assistant Siri will be beefed up so that she can pick up your phone calls, explain to your friends why you can't speak to them and then transcribe their voicemails.
Apple is reportedly planning to dramatically overhaul its music streaming service, Apple Music, just one year after unveiling it to the world at WWDC 2015.
The tech giant will redesign the user interface, expand Beats 1 radio, and better integrate the streaming and download elements of the service, according to reports in Bloomberg and 9to5Mac .
Samsung's new tablet scans your irises
Samsung's new tablet can tell who you are by looking you right in the eyes.
Dubbed the Galaxy Tab Iris, the new tablet is hitting the Indian market, Samsung said in a blog post Wednesday. The tablet will use a built-in dual-eye scanner to authenticate people via their irises and is aimed at financial institutions and other organizations that seek a better way to confirm the identity of their users.
As a means of authentication, passwords have fallen from grace. People have a difficult time remembering them, and passwords have proven to be less than fail-safe. Their deficiencies have led the way for biometric techniques, which are easier and quicker because they simply read parts of the body, such as fingerprints, eyes and faces. Many PC, tablet and smartphone makers already incorporate fingerprint scanners. Microsoft has adopted iris and fingerprint scanning in Windows 10. But biometric technology is still in its infancy and will take years to become widespread.
May 26, 2016
This Microsoft App Helps Delete All Your Data from a Surface Tablet or Laptop
If you’re planning to sell your Surface tablet or laptop or simply send it to a Microsoft service center, but you’re afraid that someone might access your data, there’s a very simple app that can take care of everything for you.
Called the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser and developed by the Redmond-based software giant, this application is supposed to do exactly what its name suggests: remove data from the Surface tablet and get it ready for a trip to the service center (or maybe for a new user if you sell it, for instance).
The way it works is quite simple. All you have to do is create a bootable USB stick that can then run the secure wipe for you, all automatically. Microsoft says the data can’t be recovered, so you’re all safe.
First Surface models aren’t supported
The latest Surface devices are compatible with the application, including Surface Pro 2, Surface 3 and Surface 3 LTE, Surface Pro 3 and 4, and Surface Book. The Surface RT, Surface 2, and Surface Pro are not supported.
“A Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick requires only the ability to boot from USB. The USB tool is easy to create by using the provided wizard, the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser Wrapper, and is easy to use with a simple graphic interface, no command line needed,” Microsoft explains.
May 27, 2016
Deal Alert: Microsoft now offering $150 off the Surface Book and Pro 4
Microsoft’s Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 has been selling pretty well recently. The company has been offering some sweet deals on the devices, too. Now, if you are yet to get a Surface Book or Pro 4, you might be glad to know that Microsoft is now offering $150 off both of the devices at the Microsoft Store. You can get the deal from the links below:
Surface Pro 4:
- Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD for $849 (original price is $999)
- Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $1149 (original price is $1299)
- Intel Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $1449 (original price is $1599)
- Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $1649 (original price is $1799)
- Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $2049 (original price is $2199)
It is worth noting that these deals will be available until Monday, May 30 — so, you’ll need to hurry up if you want to grab the offer.
The 3D Touch Feature Might Not Be Present In The iPad Air 3
Apple is the name in mind when you are looking for the newest features, however it seems that the 3D touch feature on the iPhone 6s will stay there because the iPad Air 3 might not have that feature.
As reported by Silicon India, Apple will be unveiling the iPad Air 3 at the rumored March 2016 event, where the new 4-inch iPhone and the second generation Apple Watch will be announced as well.
The Motley Fool reported that Ming-Chi Kuo, a KGI Securities Analyst, has unveiled a current research note on the next-generation iPad Air 3, and he said that the 3D touch feature is not expected to make it to the tablets made by Apple.
According to Kuo, the 3D touch supply chain is only at 30% of its peak capacity utilization. He did not mention any technical challenges, but there should be some issues Apple is facing for incorporating the 3D touch on a dramatically bigger display.
May 30, 2016
May 31, 2016
Asus Transformer 3 Pro review - hands-on with Surface Pro rival
Asus is one of many large technology companies from Taiwan and the country's annual Computex conference draws big announcements from such firms. Asus didn’t disappoint this year, either, unveiling the Transformer 3 Pro, a tablet/laptop hybrid that looks suspiciously like Microsoft’s Surface Pro range. I got the chance to try it out at the Asus booth here at Computex, to see how it compares to the Surface Pro and if it really is the hybrid to replace your traditional laptop as Asus claims.
Dubbed as 'the world’s most versatile PC', the Transformer 3 Pro is a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid that takes many of its design features from the Surface Pro, such as a kickstand, cover keyboard and 12in metal frame. And I said 'take', not steal, but read that how you wish.
While its overall design is not exactly original, I have to say that the Transformer 3 Pro feels exceptionally well made and has a good strong build to it. It’s also impressively thin and light, measuring 8.35mm as its thickest point and weighing 795g (though that’s without the keyboard dock). It will also be available in four colours: Stone, Charcoal, Taupe, and Amber. Although these might not be available in all regions at launch.
The Transformer Pro 3’s 12.6in display has a resolution of 2,880x1,920, which equates to 275 pixels per inch, marginally higher than the Surface Pro 4’s 2736x1824 resolution and 267ppi. This is perhaps my favourite part on the device. Images appear pin-sharp, crisp and vibrant, which is probably thanks to the huge claimed colour gamut.
On the inside, the Transformer 3 Pro uses a relatively powerful Core i7 processor alongside a whopping 16GB of RAM for a nifty and fluid experience. This translates well in real life performance, too, as I found the transformer 3 Pro responded well to all the commands I threw at it; loading up apps and folders quickly.
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