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  1. Samsung announces Snapdragon-powered Galaxy Book Go laptops from $349 More Windows on Arm laptops are hitting the market Samsung has announced two new Windows laptops running Arm-based processors. The Galaxy Book Go and Galaxy Book Go 5G both use Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm rather than Samsung’s own Exynos designs. The Galaxy Book Go is an entry-level model that starts at $349. It has the updated Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 processor that Qualcomm announced last month, as well as 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of eUFS storage. The display is a 14-inch 1080p LCD and the laptop is 14.9mm thick, weighing in at 1.38kg. The Galaxy Book Go 5G, meanwhile, uses Qualcomm’s more powerful Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 processor — though other laptops with that chip aren’t exactly powerhouses — and, as the name suggests, it includes 5G connectivity. Despite running on a Snapdragon chip with an integrated LTE modem, the $349 Galaxy Book Go is actually Wi-Fi-only. Specs otherwise appear to be shared between the two laptops. The Galaxy Book Go has two USB-C ports, one USB-A port, a headphone jack, a 720p webcam, and a microSD card slot. Samsung hasn’t given pricing or release information for the Galaxy Book Go 5G just yet, but the $349 Galaxy Book Go is going on sale on June 10th. Samsung announces Snapdragon-powered Galaxy Book Go laptops from $349
  2. Intel announces its first 5G M.2 modem for laptops Ahead of this year's virtual Computex event, Intel has announced the first 5G product to come from its partnership with MediaTek, which it announced in late 2019. The Intel 5G Solution 5000 is an M.2 5G system for laptops, which allows OEMs to more easily come up with 5G designs, using a standardized interface. The Intel 5G Solution 5000 comes with support for sub-6GHz 5G, and there's no mmWave support. It can also connect to 4G LTE and 3G WCDMA. The product has been carrier certified in most major regions around the world, so laptops that adopt this solution can be sold in most markets. It's also supported by Windows, Chrome OS, and Linux. MediaTek had begun sampling the first Intel 5G solution, based on the T700 modem, last summer, and the two companies also worked with Fibocom, which helped with carrier certification and regulatory support. Fibocom also handles manufacturing, sales, and distribution of the 5G M.2 modules. Of course, while using the M.2 format reduces some of the complexity of implementing 5G in a laptop, it's not as simple as inserting this solution in an M.2 slot on any laptop. The devices still need antennas for cellular reception. Despite its early announcement of the collaboration with MediaTek all the way back in 2019, Intel ended up being sucker-punched by Qualcomm, which announced its own 5G M.2 reference designs about a week ago, based on the Snapdragon X62 and X65 modems. The first designs with Intel's 5G Solution 5000 will be available this year with manufacturers such as Acer, ASUS, and HP among the first to use in their designs. Next year, we should see over 30 designs that include the solution. Intel announces its first 5G M.2 modem for laptops
  3. NVIDIA Launches GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti for Laptops Coinciding with today’s launch of Intel’s Tiger Lake-H CPUs for high performance laptops, NVIDIA is also using the occasion to launch their latest lineup of laptop video cards, the GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti For Laptops. Based on NVIDIA’s newest and smallest Ampere GPU, GA107, the RTX 3050 series finally rounds out the rest of NVIDIA’s laptop offering, introducing a mobile video card that’s better suited for mid-power systems, and cheaper than RTX 3060 to boot. Laptops featuring the new RTX 3050 video adapters will be available today, with all of the major vendors set to ship laptops using NVIDIA’s latest laptop adapter in short order. NVIDIA’s xx50 tier of laptop video cards has traditionally been the company’s high-volume/low-price products for laptops, and the RTX 3050 family is no different. Laptops with the new adapters will start at $799, and will frequently crop up as a baseline option in Tiger Lake-H laptops. With Intel only shipping 32 EUs in Tiger Lake’s integrated GPU – just a third of how many are in Tiger Lake-U – Intel isn’t setting the bar for graphics performance particularly high in this generation of H-series CPUs. As a result, there’s a wide-open market for NVIDIA’s latest low-end graphics adapter to give these machines a boost in graphics performance. And, like the RTX 3060 For Laptops launch back at the start of the year, it’s actually the laptop market that is getting the newest silicon first. For the RTX 3050 series, NVIDIA is rolling out their new GA107 GPU. Cut from the same cloth as the rest of the Ampere family, NVIDIA’s 5th Ampere chip is the smallest and cheapest yet, fulfilling the company’s traditional waterfall launch strategy of rolling out successively cheaper and lower-power/lower-performing chips for additional markets. As an added kicker, these are the first xx50 tier products to have ray tracing – and thus qualify for the RTX moniker – so expect to see NVIDIA promoting that aspect rather hard. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Laptop Specifications RTX 3070 Laptop GPU RTX 3060 Laptop GPU RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU RTX 3050 Laptop GPU CUDA Cores 5120 3840 2560 2048 ROPs 80 48 32? 32? Boost Clock 1290 - 1620MHz 1283 - 1703MHz 1035 - 1695MHz 1057 - 1740MHz Memory Clock 14Gbps GDDR6 14Gbps GDDR6 12Gbps? GDDR6 12Gbps? GDDR6 Memory Bus Width 256-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit VRAM 8GB 6GB 4GB 4GB TDP Range 80 - 125W 60 - 115W 35 - 80W 35 - 80W GPU GA104 GA106 GA107 GA107 Architecture Ampere Ampere Ampere Ampere Manufacturing Process Samsung 8nm Samsung 8nm Samsung 8nm Samsung 8nm Launch Date 01/26/2021 01/26/2021 05/11/2021 05/11/2021 NVIDIA normally launches two parts at the xx50 tier for laptops, and for this generation NVIDIA has stuck squarely with tradition. At the top is the RTX 3050 Ti, a full-fat (or close to it) GA107 implementation with 20 SMs, for a total of 2560 CUDA cores. Below it is the RTX 3050 (vanilla), with has 16 SMs for 2048 CUDA cores. As these are Ampere family parts, NVIDIA has kept the basic GPU functional blocks proportional across the lineup, so we’re looking at 80/64 tensor cores and 20/16 ray tracing cores for the RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050 respectively. Past that, NVIDIA isn’t sharing too much about GA107 in particular. We’re still waiting to find out the die size and transistor count (just how much smaller is it than the 276mm2 GA106?), as well as a few details like ROP counts. As for clockspeeds, both RTX 3050 laptop parts are a bit more modestly clocked, owing to their lower TDP options. Officially, the boost clock for the RTX 3050 Ti for laptops is anywhere between 1035MHz and 1695MHz, depending on what the OEM dials in. Meanwhile the vanilla RTX 3050 for laptops lands between 1057MHz and 1740MHz; a bit higher than the Ti version, owing to the fewer enabled SMs in the lower-end part. Meanwhile, both adapters will ship with 4GB of GDDR6 memory. We’re still awaiting confirmation from NVIDIA on the clockspeed, but 12Gbps is a reasonable bet for both power and cost reasons. Both cards come with a 128-bit memory bus – another typical design choice for xx50 tier parts – so this puts the cards’ memory bandwidth at or above 192GB/sec. Finally, both parts offer the same 35 Watt to 80 Watt TDP window. This very wide range allows for the RTX 3050 parts to be suitable for use in everything from 13-inch gaming laptops to 17-inch workstation laptops. Though it also underscores the fact that the cards’ performance will vary pretty widely from OEM to OEM, since power and cooling allowances are such a critical element of performance. Overall, the new RTX 3050 parts come in at a lower TDP than the RTX 3060 – which started at 60 Watts – which opens the door for use in a bunch more designs, though I fully expect RTX 3060 to be more efficient where the parts overlap in power consumption. Performance Expectations & 140 Wins For better or worse, NVIDIA doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about the actual performance of their low-end laptop adapters, and the RTX 3050 series is no exception. The company’s promotional focus is more on features and how it compares to Intel’s integrated graphics, so we don’t have a lot of performance guidance to work with. Not helping matters again is the wide TDP range, which means different laptop designs can end up being quite far apart in performance. For the games where NVIDIA does provide GTX 1650 Ti data as a comparison point, they have the RTX 3050 Ti at roughly 60% faster. But with a sample size of two games, this should be taken as a very rough estimate. If nothing else, expect to see NVIDIA push DLSS harder here than they have on any other RTX 30 series part thus far. As these are the lowest performing Ampere parts (to date), they have little performance to spare for ray tracing and other resource-intensive effects at native (1080p) resolution, so NVIDIA will be relying on DLSS to make these advanced features viable on this entry-level hardware. Otherwise, as Ampere family parts, the new RTX 3050 for laptop accelerators offer the usual suite of NVIDIA features, including those laptop features rolled out back at the RTX 3060 For Laptops launch earlier this year. So this includes HDMI 2.1 output support and Dynamic Boost 2.0. As well, even these entry-level parts support PCI Express 4.0 connectivity and resizable PCIe base address register (reBAR) support to maximize performance there. Overall, NVIDIA is touting 140 wins across the consumer and professional (Studio) markets, underscoring the fact that the RTX 3050 series will be NVIDIA’s highest volume parts for the laptop market. Over the years NVIDIA has established a rather cozy symbiotic relationship with Intel’s H-series laptop CPUs – with xx50 tier parts being the de facto choice for laptops that include a discrete GPU as a baseline option – and it looks like that will once again be the case for Tiger Lake -H. Already NVIDIA has wins in 15-inch and 17-inch laptops from Dell, Lenovo, HP, and ASUS, and there will be more to come as OEMs continue to launch their next-generation H-series laptops. Finally, according to NVIDIA, the first RTX 3050-equipped laptops will be released as soon as today, depending on the shipping schedule of each OEM. Laptops with the new adapters will start at $799. Source: NVIDIA Launches GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti for Laptops
  4. Lenovo announces a slew of affordable and durable laptops for education Each of Lenovo's new laptops for education meets tests for durability and is available as a Windows PC or Chromebook. What you need to know Lenovo announced a new generation of laptops for education today. The laptops are each available as either Windows PCs or Chromebooks. The new laptops start at $299 and will start rolling out in May 2021. Source: Lenovo Lenovo announced a new generation of laptops built for education. The new laptops each have Windows and Chromebook versions and start at $299. The Lenovo 14w Gen 2 ($334) and Lenovo 300w Gen 3 ($359) launch in May 2021 while the Lenovo 100w Gen 3 ($299) and Lenovo 500w Gen 3 ($429) will be available in June 2021. All of the new laptops from Lenovo meet the MIL-SPEC 801H standard for durability. They also have reinforced ports and hinges, rubber bumpers, and improved spill resistance. Each of them also features Corning Gorilla Glass. Each of Lenovo's new laptops also has a USB-C port that supports quick charging that can provide up to 80% battery from an hour of charging. They also all have optional Wi-Fi 6, and some models have an option for 4G LTE. The new Lenovo laptops are available as either Windows devices or Chromebooks. You can tell which type of device they are by the final letter of their name. The Lenovo 14w, 100w, 300w, and 500w Gen 3 are all Windows devices. The Lenovo 14e, 100e, 300e, and 500w Gen 3 are all Chromebooks. Source: Lenovo The Gen 2 Lenovo 14w runs on an AMD processor. The Windows version comes in storm black, as opposed to the gray aluminum design of its Chromebook counterpart. The Lenovo 500w runs on an Intel Pentium N6000 processor. The Lenovo 100w and 300w run on AMD 3015e processors. Alongside the new laptops, Lenovo announced the ThinkVision T24t monitor. It's a touchscreen monitor with a 23.8-inch display. It has a one-cable design that allows people to connect to a variety of devices, including Windows PCs, Chromebooks, and Android devices through USB-C. The connection also supports up to 75W charging. The T24t has natural low blue light technology that's certified Eyesafe, and that has a TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort certification. Source: Lenovo announces a slew of affordable and durable laptops for education
  5. 2021 HP Envy x360 15 sports a larger trackpad and offers both AMD Ryzen 5000-U Cezanne and Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake options HP, today, introduced upgrades to its Envy x360 15 lineup. The 2021 HP Envy x360 now comes in AMD Ryzen 5000-U Cezanne and Intel 11th gen Core i5/Core i7 Tiger Lake offerings. The new Envy x360 models offer a few chassis design changes and also come with the option of a 4K OLED panel with 100% DCI-P3 coverage. HP Envy x360 15 gets AMD Ryzen Zen 3 and Intel Tiger Lake upgrades. (Image Source: HP) The 2020 HP Envy x360 2-in-1 received a decent recommendation in our reviews of both the Intel Comet Lake-U and AMD Renoir versions. This year, HP is introducing a refresh to the HP Envy x360 offering both Intel Tiger Lake and AMD Cezanne upgrades along with a few chassis design changes. The 2021 HP Envy x360 sports Bang and Olufsen-tuned speakers on either side of the keyboard deck instead of the top as in the 2020 version. Another minor change in this year's iteration is that both the Intel and AMD variants offer a similar placement of ports on either side. HP said that the touchpad area is now 19% larger compared to the previous generation and is properly centered. HP Envy x360 15 with AMD Ryzen Cezanne HP has two Envy x360 SKUs on offer powered by AMD's latest Cezanne Ryzen 5000-U processors. The Envy x360 eu15m-eu0013dx and eu15m-eu0023dx share an identical spec sheet. The only difference between the two models is that the 15m-eu0013dx is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U APU and comes with a 256 GB NVMe SSD while the 15m-eu0023dx offers an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U chip and a 512 GB NVMe SSD in the default configuration. Both variants offer 8 GB of dual-channel RAM, but the memory is not user upgradeable. The default configurations come with 15.6-inch FHD IPS touchscreens with a 250-nit brightness and 45% NTSC color gamut coverage. Buyers can also opt for a 4K OLED panel with a 100,000:1 contrast ratio and a 100% DCI-P3 coverage. HP says that all configurations come with factory-calibrated displays with a Delta E < 2. HP Display Control offers selecting optimal color profile depending on the use case. The Envy x360 models also offer HP Eyesafe to reduce harmful blue light emissions. HP Envy x360 15 AMD. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 AMD. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 AMD. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 AMD. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15m-eu0013dx AMD Ryzen 5 5500U - Specifications. (Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15m-eu0023dx AMD Ryzen 7 5700U - Specifications. (Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 with Intel Tiger Lake The Intel Tiger Lake variants of the HP Envy x360 come in Core i5-1135G7 (15m-es0013dx) and Core i7-1165G7 (15m-es0023dx) options. Similar to their AMD counterparts, both the Intel versions also share a similar spec sheet. However, there are few differences between the Intel and AMD versions themselves. The Intel variants offer Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a proprietary variant that works with only certain Intel chipsets), and the Core i7 SKU offers 12 GB of DDR4-3200 RAM along with 512 GB PCIe storage and 32 GB Intel Optane memory. The Core i5 version, on the other hand, offers a 256 GB NVMe SSD. The Intel SKUs also implement a Thunderbolt 4 port that offers 40 Gbps throughput while AMD versions have to make do with a 10 Gbps USB Type-C port. HP Envy x360 15 Intel. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 Intel. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 Intel. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15 Intel. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15m-es0013dx Intel Core i5-1135G7 - Specifications. (Image Source: HP) HP Envy x360 15m-es0023dx Intel Core i7-1165G7 - Specifications. (Image Source: HP) Though not indicated in the spec sheet, HP said in its presentation that the Envy x360 can also be configured with NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics. Other features in the Envy x360 15 lineup include AI noise removal to recognize and mute background noise in calls (only on Intel), lighting adjustments for video call enhancement, QuickDrop to seamless share files between mobile and laptop, Smart Sense thermal management (only on Intel), and privacy features such as a physical camera shutter, dedicated mic mute button, and an integrated fingerprint reader. Pricing and availability The HP Envy x360 powered by AMD Ryzen 5000 U-series will be available in Nightfall Black on BestBuy and HP.com from April at prices starting from US$749.99 for the Ryzen 5 SKU and from US$959.99 for the Ryzen 7 variant. The HP Envy x360 powered by Intel Tiger Lake-U will be available in Natural Silver on BestBuy and HP.com from April at prices starting from US$899.99 for the Core i5 SKU and from US$1,049.99 for the Core i7 version. Source(s) HP Press Release Source: 2021 HP Envy x360 15 sports a larger trackpad and offers both AMD Ryzen 5000-U Cezanne and Intel 11th gen Tiger Lake options
  6. Malware found on laptops given out by government Some of the laptops given out in England to support vulnerable children home-schooling during lockdown contain malware, BBC News has learned. Teachers shared details on an online forum about suspicious files found on devices sent to a Bradford school. The malware, which they said appeared to be contacting Russian servers, is believed to have been found on laptops given to a handful of schools. The Department for Education said it was aware and urgently investigating. A DfE official told BBC News: "We are aware of an issue with a small number of devices. And we are investigating as an urgent priority to resolve the matter as soon as possible. "DfE IT teams are in touch with those who have reported this issue." "We believe this is not widespread." According to the forum, the Windows laptops contained Gamarue.I, a worm identified by Microsoft in 2012. The government has so far sent schools more than 800,000 laptops, as it tries to distribute more than a million devices to disadvantaged pupils who may not have access at home. "Upon unboxing and preparing them, it was discovered that a number of the laptops were infected with a self-propagating network worm," wrote Marium Haque, deputy director of Education and Learning at Bradford Council. She recommended that schools also check their networks "as an added precaution". Information security consultant Paul Moore told the BBC that the Gamarue worm "presents a very severe threat to any PC or network." "Ideally users should reboot into safe mode and run a full scan with an anti-virus product," he said. "However with this type of malware, it is advisable to seek professional assistance in order to ensure it has been correctly removed." Source: Malware found on laptops given out by government
  7. Samsung’s new 90Hz OLED display will take laptops to the next level You’ve been hearing a lot about high refresh rates since last year. Samsung wasn’t the first to bring 120Hz displays to its smartphones but its subsidiary was actually the one supplying them to others as well. Samsung Display remains one of the biggest suppliers of OLED displays and now it’s got an amazing new product for laptops. Samsung Display has announced today that it’s going to mass produce the world’s first 90Hz OLED laptop displays in the first quarter of this year. Get ready for an influx of laptops touting this new panel. Samsung’s 90Hz OLED display will be available in 14-inch size The vast majority of laptop displays, LCD and OLED alike, have a 60Hz refresh rate. You can get absurdly high refresh rates like 300Hz in some gaming laptops from the likes of Razer and Asus. Those laptops utilize IPS displays, though, not OLED, they’re simply a type of LCD displays. OLED is a superior technology and while there are laptops on the market already with OLED displays, they only provide a 60Hz refresh rate. That’s more than enough for general use but not the best for high FPS gaming. That’s why the new 90Hz panel is going to be a welcome addition. Samsung Display Chief Executive Officer Joo Sun Choi has said that the company is going to produce “very large quantities” of its 14-inch 90Hz OLED display for laptops starting in March 2021. The company admits that a high-spec graphics card will be required to power the display. Considering where GPU prices are these days, you can bet that the initial models that get this display won’t exactly be cheap. Samsung Display feels that customers will be quick to purchase laptops with 90Hz OLED displays because of the experience they provide. The company claims that its 90Hz OLED refresh rate is 10x the fastest screen response time on the market today and on part with a 120Hz LCD panel. Expect the first laptops equipped with this new panel to arrive possibly in the second quarter of this year. Source: Samsung’s new 90Hz OLED display will take laptops to the next level
  8. Intel’s laptop empire is under threat from AMD Ryzen CPUs and Apple’s next ARM MacBooks AMD and Apple are both taking big strides forward in the notebook arena (Image credit: Future) Apple’s incoming MacBook Pro models with ARM chips, which are expected to arrive later in 2021, are forecast to gain some serious sales traction. Along with laptops powered by AMD Ryzen chips, these combined forces look like a real threat to Intel’s dominant presence in the notebook arena. According to analyst firm TrendForce, Apple’s new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros – which are expected to debut in Q2 or Q3 of 2021, with some major innovations including a mini-LED screen – will push the firm’s laptop market share to around an estimated 7%. Meanwhile, TrendForce observes that laptops with AMD processors had an 11.4% market share in 2019, which rose to 20.1% in 2020. The analyst firm notes: “The 7% and 20% market shares from Apple and AMD, respectively, mean that Intel will be faced with increasing competitive pressure in the market and need to deliver an appropriate product strategy in response.” We have reached out to Intel for comment and will update this article if and when we hear anything. Demoralized designers? As MacRumors observes, this isn’t the only voice of concern when it comes to Intel’s future laptop prospects. New York hedge fund Third Point believes that Intel must take immediate action to stem its losses when it comes to chip designers who are leaving, with remaining staff apparently becoming increasingly demoralized, according to an Ars Technica report. Intel is now behind AMD in the desktop CPU market, as we’ve seen time and time again with big headlines about AMD’s huge sales – and what Intel can’t afford is to now start losing its laptop lead. The fact that not just AMD, but now Apple – which is transitioning away from Intel processors over a period of two years, to use its own ARM-based chips in Macs (the initial incarnation of which has proved massively successful) – is a threat just underlines the seriousness of the situation. Intel’s laptop empire is under threat from AMD Ryzen CPUs and Apple’s next ARM MacBooks
  9. A look back at the best laptops of 2020 It's once again that time of the year — the time to take a look back at what happened in 2020. For laptops, we've added a 'most innovative' category just to talk about some of the really fun things that OEMs are doing, and we added a 'best for creators' category. We're also getting rid of the 'best tablet' category, combining it with 'best thin and light', and combining 'best 15-inch convertible' and 'best 15-inch clamshell'. Finally, 13-inch categories are becoming 'compact'. Best thin and light Microsoft Surface Pro X (starts at $999) | Review Microsoft's Surface Pro X is largely the same product as the one that we called 'best tablet' last year, getting a very minor refresh. It now comes with an SQ2 processor, which really only offers a clock speed bump over the SQ1. It still has 4G LTE connectivity, a 13-inch 3:2 display, a pen garage in the Surface Keyboard, and weighs in at 1.7 pounds. Other improvements this year are cosmetic. If you get one of the SQ2 models, which actually start at $1,499 because Microsoft didn't include the new chipset in configurations with 8GB RAM (it doesn't actually cost more than SQ1 models), you can get it in a new Platinum color. There are also new colors for the Surface Keyboard, making it more of a traditional Surface product. Best for business HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7 (starts at $1,688.28) | Review The EliteBook x360 1040 G7 is one of my favorite PCs all-around, and a big reason for that is because I really think it has the best keyboard on the market. But HP also has a ton of great features for businesses when it comes to its Elite lineup. You can get it with a Sure View Reflect privacy display, something that you can turn on so people won't be able to look over your shoulder while you're using it. There are also options for 4G LTE, so you don't have to worry about insecure public Wi-Fi while on the road. Every year, it's a toss-up between HP's EliteBook 1000 series and Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 series, but HP has come out ahead in the last couple of years. Dell has a new Latitude 9000 series, but personally, I feel like that's not competing with HP's and Lenovo's top brands just yet. Best 15-inch Dell XPS 15 (Starts at $1,149.99) | Review When I reviewed this year's Dell XPS 15, I called it a MacBook Pro killer. Part of the reason was that the touchpad is so big, something that I hadn't seen a Windows OEM do. But also, this was a big redesign year for the XPS 15; in fact, it was the first major redesign in half a decade. It now has a larger 16:10 display while still shrinking the footprint due to even smaller bezels. In fact, everything about it seems to be improved, and it's a delight to use. It's powerful too, with Intel's 10th-gen H-series processors and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics. Best for creators Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel (starts at $1,499.99) | Review Acer's ConceptD 3 Ezel is one of those PCs that I fell in love with just for how unique and pleasant it is. It has a Pantone-validated display, and while it's powerful with Intel's 45W processors and up to Nvidia's RTX graphics, it's still a convertible. It even has a pen garage so you can easily draw while always having the pen with you. The ConceptD 3 Ezel has a minimal white design, and the keyboard has an orange backlight. It's an excellent PC for creators. Best compact convertible* Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 (starts at $1,099.99) | Review While the 15-inch market tends to have 45W CPUs and dedicated graphics, the 13- and 14-inch markets have integrated graphics, making them very different devices. Because of this, the Yoga 9i 14 is much different from its 15-inch sibling. But Intel's new 11th-generation processors pack a punch, and the chip-maker has focused heavily on better integrated graphics. Also, the Yoga 9i 14 is just a lot of fun. It maintains its Dolby Atmos rotating soundbar in the hinge, there's a new TrueStrike keyboard, and it comes in a new Shadow Black color with a leather lid. Best compact clamshell Dell XPS 13 (starts at $999.99) | Review Just like the XPS 15, the XPS 13 got a redesign this year. It was the first XPS clamshell to get the new 16:10 look with the chopped down chin, and it's lovely. It also puts the IR camera back in the top bezel, has a bigger touchpad, and more. In fact, not only was it redesigned back at CES, but there was another new XPS 13 that arrived later in the year, refreshing it with Intel's 11th-generation processors, Thunderbolt 4, and more. Most innovative Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (starts at $2,499) | Review It's a Windows 10 PC with a foldable OLED display, and it's the first one to use the technology. It's pricey, and it's definitely got some kinks to work out, but it's pretty awesome. You can prop up the 13.3-inch tablet on a kickstand and use the Bluetooth keyboard with it, or you can magnetically attach the keyboard for a smaller, 9.6-inch laptop. Naturally, you can use it in book mode, with two apps side-by-side. For example, you can have a reference document on one side and OneNote on the other, taking notes with the pen. I'd love to see this product with Microsoft's Windows 10X, whenever that's available. Best overall HP Spectre x360 (starts at $849.99) | Review HP's Spectre x360 convertible is what I consider to be the best of the best (yes, better than the Yoga 9i 14 that I mentioned above, hence the asterisk). Let's start with the design. The Spectre x360 uses gem-cut edges and flat corners for a unique and stylish look. And it comes in colors like Poseidon Blue with silver accents or Nightfall Black with copper accents. With this year's model, HP added the Spectre x360 14 to the mix, sitting alongside the Spectre x360 13. It doesn't have a 14-inch screen though. Rather than a 13.3-inch 16:9 display, it has a 13.5-inch 3:2 display. HP said that it aimed for a screen that's the width of a 13-inch 16:9 display but the height of a 15-inch screen. And just like those 13- and 15-inch variants, HP even has an OLED variant for the Spectre x360 14. Microsoft popularized 13.5-inch 3:2 displays with its Surface Laptop and Surface Book, but HP will be the first to do it with OLED. Aside from the design and the display, the Spectre x360 is still a phenomenal convertible, no matter which size and aspect ratio you go for (there's even a Spectre x360 5G). It's got an awesome keyboard, Intel Tiger Lake CPUs, Thunderbolt 4, and more. What do you think of our top picks for 2020? Let us know your picks in the comments! Source: A look back at the best laptops of 2020
  10. These fast, powerful PCs—from the favored brand of world-class gamers—are made for a wide range of users. Which one are you? MSI—the computer manufacturer best known for its highly regarded gaming PCs—recently unveiled a line of laptops designed for use in the classroom and office (which, as we know all too well, will continue in a place that bears an uncanny resemblance to our home). It’s a development that David Chou, vice president of sales for MSI North America, says customers have long been clamoring for: “Along with processing power and the latest features, they wanted these devices to have MSI’s build and design qualities.” The Summit series—released alongside the foundational Prestige and Modern series—was created with specific users in mind, what Chou calls “business elites.” “They are high-performing executives who are looking for a machine with enough muscle to tackle the most challenging problems while eliminating the friction points that slow productivity,” he says. The four models in the series—Summit B14, Summit B15, Summit E14, and Summit E15—all come with 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake processors, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4, fingerprint readers with the latest authentication technologies, and they are built to military specifications. Just as important as the list of impressive internal components is the tight integration with Windows and productivity apps and services from Microsoft—and the close collaboration between the two companies that began in the early stages of the laptops’ development. “We’ve worked with MSI for more than 30 years,” says Kurt Petersen, general manager of device partner sales at Microsoft. “After working with MSI to build innovative gaming PCs, it’s exciting that MSI is bringing the powerful and secure Summit PCs to business customers.” A business—whether conducted in an actual office or the homes of its employees—is made up of individuals with a wide range of skills—and equally diverse approaches to how they use their tools. Some like to keep up to date on the latest advances, while others would prefer not to think about their computers after pressing the power button. Here are some (perhaps familiar?) types of users—and how their work experiences might benefit by switching to Summit. THE TECHNOPHILE This is the type of user who understands that if the CPU is the brain of a PC, then the motherboard is its central nervous system. It’s a crucial if overlooked component, and MSI—with long experience catering to the (sometimes comically) exacting standards of PC gamers—builds some of the best. “We’ve been in the motherboard business for the past 30-plus years,” Chen says. “We’ve put that experience and knowledge, along with our industry-leading engineering and production capabilities, into the Summit and our other business laptops.” THE MEETING MAESTRO “We’re constantly adding new capabilities to Microsoft 365 to equip organizations and teams with the tools to thrive in this new work-from-home world,” says Microsoft’s Kurt Petersen. Project leaders can utilize a new feature in Microsoft Teams that brings the presenter’s video feed into the foreground of shared-content screens—as well as MSI’s powerful background-noise-cancellation software—to minimize distractions. THE ZEN SEEKER Not everyone (thankfully) is a back-slapping Type A. For the equally capable but less high-spirited, Petersen points out a set of “personal well-being insights and features” now incorporated into Teams, such as a “‘virtual commute’ [which schedules twice-daily nonwork blocks of time] to restore a familiar structure to long workdays at home” and “apps like Headspace that make it easier to de-stress and find focus at any time during the day.” THE SECURITY SPECIALIST Security and privacy are especially critical in today’s work- and study-from-home environments. “Working with Microsoft to enhance our cameras and fingerprint sensors, we’ve created a robust privacy environment that has minimal impact on productivity,” Chou says. MSI business laptops have fingerprint readers with FIDO2 authentication, a highly secure two-factor technology that uses biometrics rather than a password. THE SERIAL CONFERENCE CALLER MSI consumer research found that WFH users who bounce from video conference to video conference often lose track of privacy settings on their computers. To prevent overstretched workers from over-revealing, Chou says, “We’ve added an LED indicator to let them know when the camera is on and transmitting, so they don’t get caught on camera accidentally.” THE IT CHIEF Telecommuting has posed a set of daunting challenges for IT departments. Microsoft’s Windows Autopilot utilizes cloud-based technologies to overcome these new hurdles, starting with the traditionally cumbersome process through which new PCs are configured and distributed. With Autopilot, “IT sends a PC to an employee’s home,” Petersen says, “and all that employee has to do to get up and running is simply connect to a network and verify their credentials.” The same cloud technology can be used to reset, repurpose, and recover devices—all with minimal infrastructure management. THE TIME-IS-MONEY EXEC One of Chou’s favorite features is called Modern Standby, developed by Microsoft and made possible by the latest Intel chips. It leverages low-power standby settings to give PCs the “instant on” experience of smartphones. “It’s empowering and satisfying to have this kind of quick access to where I last left off on my computer,” he says. THE ALL-THUMBS KLUTZ Each of MSI’s new laptops are certified to have met MIL-STD-810G requirements, a set of military specifications covering normal operation in a variety of harsh environments and conditions that include temperature extremes, vibrations, humidity, and “contamination by fluid” (which, thankfully, includes your morning coffee). Chou views MSI’s new laptop lines—and the Summit series in particular—as a particularly successful outgrowth of years-long research, an inside-out rethink on how to make computers, and close collaboration with a key partner. “We invested a lot of new resources and encouraged our designers to consider every detail a business user might want or need,” he says. “And Microsoft brings an unmatched understanding of software that boosts the user experience for executives who need a fast and reliable PC that can keep up with the increasing pace of today’s business—whether at the office or in the home.” Source
  11. Lenovo swings for the fences with unusual Tiger Lake laptop designs X1 Nano is ultra lightweight at just under two pounds—but X1 Fold, well, folds. Enlarge / The X1 Fold is aiming for the same basic target as the Samsung Galaxy Fold—but in a more laptop-ish form factor. Lenovo 81 with 70 posters participating, including story author Lenovo is following on Dell's heels with an announcement of two 13-inch Intel Tiger Lake powered laptops of its own—but Lenovo's new designs are considerably further "out there" than Dell's. Lenovo's two new designs are the X1 Nano—a traditional but ultralight laptop weighing in at less than two pounds—and X1 Fold, a not-exactly-laptop design with a folding screen. Yes, you read that right—the X1 Fold is to feature a folding LCD display, aiming at the same basic target Samsung did with the Galaxy Fold. Our own Ron Amadeo reviewed the Galaxy Fold in January and was very unimpressed, but it has been nearly a year, and Lenovo may well have figured out a few things that Samsung did not. We're reserving judgment on the X1 Fold until we can get one in our hands. X1 Nano First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. The X1 Nano is a pretty straightforward design—it's extremely sleek and lightweight, but apart from that, it's a standard 13-inch laptop. It will be available in black, as shown above, with no further colors announced at this time. It's worth stressing just how thin and lightweight the X1 Nano is, though—it's about 25-percent lighter than the XPS 13, and 10-percent thinner. Its keyboard has an uncompressed arrow key layout—but it also has the Thinkpad Trackpoint, which is usually either loved or hated with equal ferocity. Rounding out the major differences, the X1 Nano has large cooling vents along the right side—a more lap- or blanket-friendly arrangement than the underside-only cooling vents on the XPS 13. As far as ports go, the X1 Nano is even more minimalistic—you get two Thunderbolt 4/USB-C ports and a 3.5mm audio jack. That's it. The X1 Nano will start at $1,400 and is expected to be available in Q4 2020. X1 Fold First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. The X1 Fold is another Tiger Lake powered, 13-inch lightweight laptop design from Lenovo. Except it's not quite a laptop, according to Lenovo's own press about it. Except when it is, of course. Confused yet? We don't blame you. We suspect it's a little too early for anyone to really know quite how a folding screen is (and is not) truly more useful than a conventional one—but if you're an early adopter, the Fold is—or at least will be—here for you. Fully unfolded, the X1 Fold sports a 4:3 13.3-inch QXGA (2048×1536) touchscreen display, at 300 nits brightness. But it doesn't need to be fully unfolded—it can be folded roughly in half either inward or outward and can be configured to display separate windows on either side of the seam. The Fold almost certainly packs a better camera than the X1 Nano; the Nano's spec sheet simply specifies "HD camera"—which could mean as little as 0.9MP (720p)—but the Fold's specifies 5MP (2560×1920). The X1 Fold is available to preorder now, with prices starting at $2,500. We do not have concrete shipping or general availability dates yet. Specifications Lenovo is playing its hardware and software configuration options much closer to the chest than Dell did; we've been given a general range but no specifics on many configurable options, such as operating system and CPU. What we do know so far follows below. X1 Nano X1 Fold Operating System Up to Windows 10 Pro or Linux Windows 10 Pro CPU Up to 11th-generation Core i7 with Iris Xe graphics Intel Core Processor with Intel Hybrid Technology and UHD 11 graphics RAM Up to 16GiB LPDDR4x 8GiB LPDDR4x Storage Up to 1TB PCIe SSD Up to 1TB PCIe SSD Display 13-inch 2K (2160×1350) 450 nit 13-inch 2K (2160×1350) 450 nit, touch 13.3-inch flexible QXGA OLED 4:3 (2048×1536) 300 nit, touch Battery 48 Watt-hour battery, up to 17 hours claimed runtime 50 Watt-hour battery, up to 11 hours claimed runtime Optical Drive none none Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB type-C 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB type-C 1 SIM card Network Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX-201 LTE 5G CAT20 LTE 4G CAT9 Bluetooth 5.0 Wi-Fi 6 (unspecified) 5G sub-6GHz with 4G LTE (CAT20) coverage Bluetooth 5.1 Dimensions 11.5×8.2×0.6 inches (293×208×14mm) Unfolded: 299×236×12mm Folded: 158×236×28mm Weight Starting at 1.99 lbs (0.9 kg) 2.2 lbs (1 kg) Lenovo swings for the fences with unusual Tiger Lake laptop designs (To view the article's image galleries, please visit the above link)
  12. Intel could kill off traditional USB ports with USB 4 laptops Bye bye Type A (Image credit: Shutterstock) New documentation that supposedly sheds light on Intel’s USB 4 plans, with the USB 4.0 host controller coming in three versions: 0x9A1B, 0x9A1D, and 0x9A13, and it suggests that it will not be compatible with the larger Type A USB ports. According to the leak, which was shared on Twitter by @_rogame, a well known leaker, an internal document mentions how USB 4.0 comes with USB 3.2 support, yet does not mention USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 support. While we expect USB 4 to be backwards compatible to some extent, this new leak suggests that Intel won't be pushing for laptops that come with USB 4 to also have older Type A ports. Although the number and type of ports is down to manufacturers, it could mean most modern laptops will no longer come with those older ports. If you have peripherals that use those ports, you’re therefore likely to need an adaptor. Gone but not forgotten While the loss of Type A ports will be annoying for people who use legacy peripherals, many laptops don’t come with them anyway – MacBooks ditched them years ago. Also, most new peripherals come with the Type-C connection, and that will work with USB 4. The leaked specs also suggest Power Delivery 3.0 for charging devices, and confirm max USB 4 speeds of a huge 40Gbps. For reference, USB 2.0 had max speeds of 480Mbps. So, while many of us will mourn the loss of Type-A USB ports, the benefits USB 4 seems to be bringing will make that sacrifice a bit easier to swallow. Via TechPowerUp Intel could kill off traditional USB ports with USB 4 laptops
  13. A mobile RTX 3070 has been spotted, and expectations are already sky-high RTX 3070 for laptops will have 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, rumor mill suggests (Image credit: Future) Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 chip for laptops has been snapped and the photo posted on Twitter, prompting excitement about how powerful this mobile GPU might be – and how soon it may arrive – but we’d be wise to temper any expectations at this point. The image was tweeted by HXL and appears to be a qualification sample of the GA104 mobile GPU, but of course, treat that with the usual caution around any early leak. The folks over at Tom’s Hardware can’t help but get excited (along with others) at the prospect of an RTX 3070 for laptops which maintains the same spec as the desktop version of the graphics card (i.e. 5,888 CUDA cores). If true, it would mean we'd get a mobile GPU with equivalent performance to the RTX 2080 Ti (which the desktop RTX 3070 has been shown to pretty much match, going by Nvidia’s internal benchmarking). Dose of realism That is, of course, an enticing prospect – but let’s be realistic here. While mobile GPUs have certainly taken big strides in recent times, performance is normally a notch down with the laptop version. Even if it has the same core count, the mobile GPU will likely be clocked a chunk slower with laptop power and thermal restraints in mind. The RTX 2070 mobile part was appreciably slower than the desktop 2070, and more like equivalent to the GTX 1080. So similarly, with the RTX 3070, we can probably expect something in the same ballpark as the desktop RTX 2080 (rather than the 2080 Ti). Which, don’t get us wrong, will still be an impressively powerful laptop GPU. As Tom’s further notes, the image purportedly shows the GPU surrounded by eight SK Hynix GDDR6 memory chips, each of 1GB, meaning the mobile RTX 3070 will offer 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM in theory (and a 256-bit memory interface). Glimpsing a sample chip now might also have you thinking that we could see this mobile GPU perhaps sooner rather than later, but the reality is that the RTX 3070 for laptops (and other offerings) are probably a good way out yet. Indeed, stock of Nvidia’s desktop Ampere graphics cards seems like it’s still a fair way out, for that matter, and that’s hardly a promising situation in terms of heralding a mobile launch. So we’re betting that the mobile flavors of Ampere GPUs won’t pop up until March 2021 at the earliest, or maybe April, but that – and indeed all of this – is just speculation. A mobile RTX 3070 has been spotted, and expectations are already sky-high
  14. Shortages of Intel's CPUs are expected to worsen in the second quarter compared to the first as demand for Chromebooks, which are mostly equipped with Intel's entry-level processors, enters its best period. Bean counters at Digitimes Research have been adding up some numbers and dividing them by their shoe size and have reached the conclusion that Intel CPUs will see their supply gap shrink by three percent The shortage will be greater for the Core i3. Previously it has been far Core i5 as the series hit hardest by shortages. It all went tits up for Intel in August with major brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo all experiencing supply gaps of over five percent at their worst. It had been widely believed that the shortages would get better. But the supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018 still stayed at the same level as that in the third as HP launched a second wave of CPU inventory buildup during the last quarter of the year, prompting other vendors to follow suit. The shortage was particularly hard on Taiwan-based vendors which saw their supply gaps expand from a single digit percentage previously to over 10 per cent in the fourth quarter. With all the impacts, the notebook market continued suffering a four to fiveper cent supply gap in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Core i5 series for mainstream models, and the Atom, Celeron and Pentium series for entry level ones saw the most serious shortages in the second half of 2018. Within the Core i5 family, those based on Kaby Lake R architecture featuring a quad-core design instead of the traditional dual-core one had the worst shortfall as they were key products in Intel's promotional campaign in 2018 and increased the consumption of the company's already limited wafer capacity. Apollo Lake- and Gemini Lake-based processors for the entry-level segment were second worst in terms of shortages as Intel had shifted most of its capacity to make high-end processors that offered better profit. Lenovo, which primarily focuses on mid-range and entry-level models, had a supply gap of hundreds of thousands CPUs in the second half of the year. White-box players in China have even been denied any supply of Intel's entry-level processors since September 2018. One of the main beneficiaries of Intel’s cock up has been AMD which has seen its share in worldwide notebook shipments have also been picking up gradually from only 9.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 to 15.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2019. As more Chromebooks are expected to come with AMD processors in the second quarter and many vendors will begin mass shipping AMD-based entry-level notebooks, AMD's share is expected to rise to 18 per cent in the second quarter of 2018. Some analysts are saying that AMD will not be able to capitalise on the mess in the long term. Intel's newly established 14nm capacity to begin contributing shipments, the second quarter is expected to be the peak for AMD's share in worldwide notebook shipments in 2019. Intel is expected to have new 14nm capacity join production in the second half of 2019. Intel's existing 14nm fabs are mainly located in the US and Ireland and the newly expanded capacity in Arizona, the US is expected to begin volume production in July or August, to boost Intel's overall 14nm capacity by 25 per cent and completely resolve the shortage problem. View: Original Article.
  15. Wave of low-cost Windows 10 on ARM laptops finally coming (pictures) A major concern for consumers is that the compatibility issues with Windows 10 on ARM outweighed the benefits of the longer battery life, meaning they just did not see the value proposition. One way to address this is to fix the compatibility issues, but this is of course very difficult given how vast and diverse the Win32 platform is. The other is to simply reduce the price of Windows 10 on ARM devices to a level where users are willing to put up with the occasional driver issues and not being able to run high-end 64bit X86 applications. Till now most Windows 10 in ARM devices have been priced at least at comparable if not more expensive than Intel devices, but NotebookItalia has discovered a wave of low-cost Chinese devices at the Global Sources Electronics Fair 2019, which will be hitting the market very soon which will change the playing field dramatically. Manufactured by an ODM called Weibu, the devices appear to address every price point and form factor. Weibu H116QA-MT with Snapdragon 850 First image of article image slideshow. Please visit the source link to see all images. The Weibu H116QA-MT has an 11.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS display. It is a Surface clone with a kickstand on the back, Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 SoC up to 2.96GHz, with 4/8 GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB of UFS 2.1 memory, WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.2, 2MP webcam and a limited set of interfaces including USB Type-C and audio jack, a microSD card slot and one for the SIM card. The Weibu H116QA-MT has a 4000 mAh battery and of course, runs Windows 10 on ARM. Weibo H123GA-MT with Snapdragon 850 First image of article image slideshow. Please visit the source link to see all images. The Weibu H123GA-MT has a 12.3-inch 2K (3000 x 2000 pixels) IPS display. It is a Surface clone with a kickstand on the back, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 SoC up to 2.96GHz, with 4/8 GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB of UFS 2.1 memory, WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.2, 2MP webcam and a limited set of interfaces including USB Type-C and audio jack, a microSD card slot and one for the SIM card. The Weibu H123GA-MT has a 5000 mAh battery and of course, runs Windows 10 on ARM. Weibu QT108QA-MT The Weibu QT108QA-MT is a 10.8 inch tablet with a Full HD display (2560 x 1600 pixels) display and keyboard cover. It weighs 700 grams and measures 259.8 x 175.8 x 8.5 mm and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor up to 2.96GHz, with 4 / 8GB and 128/256 / 512GB of UFS 2.1 memory. There is also a 13MP camera on the back with autofocus. Weibu H133Q-MT The Weibu H133Q-MT is a clamshell notebook powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor, with 4/8 GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB of UFS 2.1 memory, 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display (1920 x 1080 pixels) , 2MP webcam and 5000 mAh battery. It also features a USB Type-C port, an audio jack, a slot for microSD cards and one for the SIM card, as well as WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. Weibu H133QA-YD The Weibu H133QA-YD is a convertible Yoga-style notebook powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor, with 4/8 GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB of UFS 2.1 memory, 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display (1920 x 1080 pixels) , 2MP webcam and 5000 mAh battery. It also features a USB Type-C port, an audio jack, a slot for microSD cards and one for the SIM card, as well as WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2. Weibu says they are working closely with Qualcomm and that the devices are expected to hit the market by the end of the year, likely rebadged by other OEMs, followed by devices powered by the Snapdragon 8cx platform next year. See NotebookItalia’s video of the event below: Source: Wave of low-cost Windows 10 on ARM laptops finally coming (pictures) (MSPoweruser) (To view the article's image slideshows, please visit the above link)
  16. want a little 5G with your wi-fi 6? — MediaTek and Intel team up to bring 5G networking to laptops and PCs MediaTek and Intel aim to bring 5G communications to a laptop near you. Enlarge / The new partnership will be Mediatek's first venture out of the ARM world and into x86. MediaTek In April of this year, Intel cancelled its 5G-modem building plans. This week, it's announcing that they're back on the table—but this time, with system-on-chip vendor MediaTek building the hardware. The partnership has Intel setting the 5G specifications, MediaTek developing the modem to match, and Intel optimizing and validating it afterwards. Intel will also lend its marketing and integration muscle to convince OEMs to use the new hardware and help them make sure it works well in final products. This also means Intel will be writing operating-system-level drivers for the modems. The partnership looks like a sensible one for both parties: Intel has been struggling to get its own 10nm hardware out the door on time, so getting this hardware design task off its plate may relieve some pressure there, while still keeping the company in an emerging market. MediaTek, on the other hand, can definitely benefit from Intel's software development expertise and deep integration with OEM vendors in the PC space. Specifically, the companies will be adapting MediaTek's existing Helio M70 5G modem for use in PC hardware. The M70 modem is already being built into MediaTek's Dimensity family of ARM System-on-Chip (SoC) designs; the new partnership gives MediaTek a whole new platform to market to and gives Intel a foot back into the door in 5G. It also may represent a way for Intel to push back against ARM-based Windows hardware like Samsung's Galaxy Book S, built on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx platform. The Helios M70 is a 5G FR1 modem only—meaning sub-6GHz communication, which shares RF characteristics (and, in a broad sense, most performance characteristics) with existing 4G technology. 5G FR2, which operates in the millimeter-wave spectrum, is where the most jaw-dropping performance improvements come from—but it's also where the most operational problems come from, since it requires a very clear line of sight from transmitter to receiver. The Intel/MediaTek collaboration is a long-term project, and we expect to see the resulting hardware shipping some time in 2021. Source: MediaTek and Intel team up to bring 5G networking to laptops and PCs
  17. Nvidia could be striking back at AMD with rumored RTX 2080 Super-equipped laptops Get ready for some Super gaming laptops If the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q is real, laptops like the Razer Blade could be more powerful (Image credit: Future) At CES 2020, AMD came out swinging with a group of GPUs, like the Radeon RX 5700M, for laptops that should see it compete in the market for the first time in years. However, Nvidia's not going to take that lying down. We've seen a leaked Geekbench result, spotted by renowned leaker Tum Apisak, that suggests that we'll be getting a Max-Q Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super in the near future – however there are some details that are suspect. The specs reported in the Geekbench leak are a little fishy, which we'll get into later, but it could just be due to early drivers and misreported system information. This isn't the first time we've heard rumors suggesting that Nvidia could be working on a GeForce RTX Super mobility lineup, so this just helps paint a picture of what the lineup could look like. At the end of the day, we won't know whether or not these leaks are accurate until Nvidia deems it necessary to actually announce its Super Mobility lineup – if it ever does. Until then, all we can do is take these leaks and tear them apart to see what we can potentially learn. Getting our hands dirty The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q appears in a laptop equipped with an Intel Core i9-10980HK. But, the 10980HK in this Geekbench result only has a maximum frequency of 4.92GHz, short of the 5GHz promised at CES 2020. We did see a leak from Tum Apisak earlier that suggested that the maximum frequency is 4.8GHz, so the sample in this leak is the slowest one we've seen – which suggests it may not be real. The specs for the actual graphics processor seem legit, however. With 48 streaming processors, it matches the spec of the desktop-class RTX 2080 Super. Clock speeds see a massive dip, however, which is to be expected: down to 1.23GHz boost from the 1.815GHz that the desktop card features. That's only to be expected – because of the power constraints of the thin-and-light gaming laptops that Max-Q graphics are found in, GPUs simply cannot reach the same clock speeds, and thus result in lower performance overall. If this mobile GPU is actually real, it should lead to improved performance over the vanilla RTX 2080, though if it mirrors the bump seen when we moved from the RTX 2080 to the RTX 2080 Super on the desktop side, it'll be a very minor upgrade. Until Nvidia actually details what the RTX 2080 Super Max-Q can do (if it actually exists), we're just going to have to keep digging into these leaks. As it stands, because today's information features hardware that's either unannounced or is announced with no specific specs, it's hard to actually trust these leaks. Either way, because the RTX 2080 Super was such a slight upgrade over the original card when it launched back in July 2019, if you're looking to buy a high-end gaming laptop, we'd just jump on it now. If real, the RTX 2080 Super will be faster, but it likely won't be so much faster that waiting a few months will be worth it. Via Wccftech Source: Nvidia could be striking back at AMD with rumored RTX 2080 Super-equipped laptops (TechRadar)
  18. Covid-19: Firms scramble for laptops as work-from-home regulations take effect Some IT firms are keen to procure refurbished systems, thinking that this norm won’t last long But the trend is likely to stay and firms should brace for long-term shift, say experts Mumbai/New Delhi: The rush among companies to meet the new work-from-home norm amid the Covid-19 outbreak has led to a spike in demand for laptops, especially of refurbished leased ones of every kind. There was already a shortage of devices in the market due to the disruption in supplies from virus-hit China. Now, the additional demand has worsened the shortage, said Jaipal Singh, associate research manager (client devices) at IDC India. “The current demand that enterprises have is an immediate one, whereas normally they would place these orders over some time. Given that the supply side is also recovering, enterprises are certainly looking for refurbished devices as an option to maintain business continuity," said Singh. Smaller IT firms are keen to procure refurbished devices in the expectation that the current work-at-home norm won’t last long, which means using these products would keep expenses down. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, which covers everything from desktops and workstations to laptops and tablets, forecast a considerable decline in PC shipments in H1 2020. Its research was published in late February, after which the epidemic has expanded rapidly. Many critical components, such as panels, touch sensors and printed circuit boards, come from the badly-hit regions, which will cause a supply crunch heading into Q2 (April-June quarter). As a result, companies are reaching out to the refurbished computers market to meet demand. Nakul Kumar, co-founder and chief operating officer of Cashify, said dealers offering laptops on lease are running out of systems as there is a growing demand for laptops in Delhi by companies urging their employees to work from home. “If it is a long-term contract, they provide new laptops but in case of short-term requirements, they lease out refurbished laptops," added Kumar . Delhi-based SIG Systems which gives out laptops on lease has seen a surge in demand in last few weeks. “We are getting more than 1,000 requests every day from Delhi NCR [National Capital Region]. Earlier, we used to rent out 15 to 30 laptops on a daily basis, but now, we are doing 300-400 laptops every day. The duration of the lease is minimum one month," a SIG Systems spokesperson said. According to a personal computing (PC) industry person, demand for new laptops, including the cost-effective Chromebooks from leading vendors like HP, has spiked significantly in the last few weeks from both individual users as well as enterprise clients. To be sure, most IT companies have protocols on the extent to which teams are authorized to work from home and many client-specific projects would not allow it normally. On Monday, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Praveen Pardeshi asked private firms in Mumbai to function “only at 50% of their staff capacity or face action under section 188 of the IPC" following a large number of positive cases in Maharashtra. So, in addition to laptops, companies are also trying to procure interim digital collaboration tools to enable employees to work remotely, ensuring security controls and network support are in place, said research firm Gartner Inc. “We see remote working is likely to become a mainstream mode of working after the event, and organizations should expect this to be a permanent and persistent pattern in their workplace and prepare for this long-term shift. This would mean demand for remote working tools, laptops and network bandwidth over a period is going to grow," said D.D. Mishra, senior director analyst at Gartner. Source
  19. (Reuters) - Dell Technologies Inc, HP Inc, Microsoft Corp and Intel Corp on Wednesday opposed U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposal to include laptop computers and tablets among the Chinese goods targeted for tariffs. Dell, HP and Microsoft, which together account for 52% of the notebooks and detachable tablets sold in the United States, said the proposed tariffs would increase the cost of laptops in the country. The move would hurt consumers and the industry, and would not address the Chinese trade practices that the Trump administration’s office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) seeks to remedy, the four companies said in a joint statement posted online. Implementing the proposed tariffs would increase U.S. prices for laptops and tablets by at least 19%, or around $120 for the average retail price of a laptop, the companies said, citing a recent study by the Consumer Technology Association. “A price increase of that magnitude may even put laptop devices entirely out of reach for our most cost-conscious consumers,” the companies said, noting that the price hikes would occur during peak holiday and back-to-school seasons. In a separate statement, Microsoft, along with video game makers Nintendo of America Inc and Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC said the tariffs on video game consoles could stifle innovation, hurt consumers and put thousands of jobs at risk. The USTR kicked off seven days of testimony from U.S. retailers, manufacturers and other businesses about Trump’s plan to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with tariffs. The hearings will end on June 25 and the tariffs will not come into effect until after July 2, when a seven-day final rebuttal comment period ends. Source
  20. This just in: The Pixel Slate won't get a younger sibling, and Google's future self-made computers will revolve exclusively around the laptop form. Here's an interesting little nugget of info to chew on: Google's decided to step away from its self-made tablets and focus instead on the laptop form. To be clear, Google hadn't actually announced any tablet-specific products this year; the last such item that made its way to the market was the Pixel Slate in 2018. But, as I learned today, the company did have two smaller-sized tablets under development — and earlier this week, it decided to drop all work on those devices and make its roadmap revolve entirely around laptops instead. A couple of clarifying points here: First, none of this has any impact on Pixel phones. Pixel phones and Pixel computers are two different departments, and the roadmap in question is related exclusively to the latter. (The same applies to the various Google Home/Nest products. What we're talking about today has absolutely zero impact on any that stuff.) And second, when Google talks about a "tablet," it means a device that detaches completely from a keyboard base or doesn't even have a physical keyboard in the first place — not a swiveling two-in-one convertible like the Pixelbook. The Pixelbook, with its attached keyboard and 360-degree hinge, falls under Google's definition of "laptop." Blurred lines, baby. A Google spokesperson directly confirmed all of these details to me. The news was revealed at an internal company meeting on Wednesday, and Google is currently working to reassign employees who were focused on the abandoned projects onto other areas. Many of them, I'm told, have already shifted over to the laptop side of that same self-made hardware division. As for the cast-aside tablets, the only details we know for sure are that they were smaller in size, compared to Google's existing products, and that they were standalone slates without keyboards. They weren't even far enough along in their development to have names beyond the codenames used for internal reference. So ultimately, what we're saying here is that Google was working on some stuff that it hadn't discussed publicly, and it's now decided to move away from those projects. So, yeah: "Unannounced products won't be announced," in other words. Nothing too earth-shattering, I realize. It's noteworthy, though, mostly because of the history here — with reports earlier this year that Google was planning to pivot and "scale back" on its self-made hardware efforts — and because of what the move reveals to us about the future of the company's homemade computers. As for that future, a Google spokesperson tells me it's quite possible we'll see a new laptop-oriented Pixelbook product before the end of this year. The existing Pixel Slate will continue to be supported and to receive regular software updates all the way through June of 2024, meanwhile, as had initially been promised — nothing's changing there. And the Chrome OS team in general will continue to focus on both laptops and tablets with its software development, as regardless of Google's plans for its own self-made hardware, plenty of other manufacturers still create Chrome OS devices with all types of forms. The real news, again, is simply that Google is refocusing its own computer-making efforts to laptops — the nondetachable variety, with or without swiveling screens in place — and away from tablets for the foreseeable future. And now you know. Source
  21. The publication by WikiLeaks of documents it says are from the CIA's secret hacking program describe tools that can turn a world of increasingly networked, camera- and microphone-equipped devices into eavesdroppers. Smart televisions and automobiles now have on-board computers and microphones, joining the ubiquitous smartphones, laptops and tablets that have had microphones and cameras as standard equipment for a decade. That the CIA has created tools to turn them into listening posts surprises no one in the security community. Q: How Worried Should Consumers Be Who Have Surrounded Themselves with These Devices? A: Importantly, the intrusion tools highlighted by the leak do not appear to be instruments of mass surveillance. So, it's not as if everyone's TV or high-tech vehicle is at risk. "It's unsurprising, and also somewhat reassuring, that these are tools that appear to be targeted at specific people's (devices) by compromising the software on them -- as opposed to tools that decrypt the encrypted traffic over the internet," said Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania computer scientist. The exploits appear to emphasize targeted attacks, such as collecting keystrokes or silently activating a Samsung TV's microphone while the set is turned off. In fact, many of the intrusion tools described in the documents are for delivery via "removable device." Q: Once Devices Are Compromised They Need To Be Internet-Connected in Order To Share Collected Intelligence with Spies. What Can Be Done To Stop That? A: Not much if you don't want to sacrifice the benefits of the device. "Anything that is voice-activated or that has voice- and internet-connected functionality is susceptible to these types of attacks," said Robert M. Lee, a former U.S. cyberwar operations officer and CEO of the cybersecurity company Dragos. That includes smart TVs and voice-controlled information devices like the Amazon Echo, which can read news, play music, close the garage door and turn up the thermostat. An Amazon Echo was enlisted as a potential witness in an Arkansas murder case. To ensure a connected device can't spy on you, unplug it from the grid and the internet and remove the batteries, if that's possible. Or perhaps don't buy it, especially if you don't especially require the networked features and the manufacturer hasn't proven careful on security. Security experts have found flaws in devices -- like WiFi-enabled dolls -- with embedded microphones and cameras. Q: I Recently Began Using WhatsApp and Signal on my Smartphone for Voice and Text Communication Because of Their Strong Encryption. Can the Exploits Described in the WikiLeaks Documents Break Them? A: No. But exploits designed to infiltrate the operating system on your Android smartphone, iPhone, iPad or Windows-based computer can read your messages or listen in on conversations on the compromised device itself, though communications are encrypted in transit. "The bad news is that platform exploits are very powerful," Blaze tweeted. "The good news is that they have to target you in order to read your messages." He and other experts say reliably defending against a state-level adversary is all but impossible. And the CIA was planting microphones long before we became networked. Q: I'm Not a High-Value Target for Intelligence Agencies. But I Still Want To Protect Myself. How? A: It may sound boring, but it's vital: Keep all your operating systems patched and up-to-date, and don't click links or open email attachments unless you are sure they are safe. There will always be exploits of which antivirus companies are not aware until it's too late. These are known as zero-day exploits because no patches are available and victims have zero time to prepare. The CIA, National Security Agency and plenty of other intelligence agencies purchase and develop them. But they don't come cheap. And most of us are hardly worth it. Source
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