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Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro announced as alternative to MacBook Pro

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Xiaomi announced their own line of Windows-powered laptops last year, but those models mainly target casual users who want something portable. This time around, the company wants to attract power users with the Mi Notebook Pro.

Before launching their new bezel-less flagship and a larger Mi 6, Xiaomi announced a new laptop that’ll battle the latest MacBook Pro from Apple (no surprise). We see the design of the Mi Notebook Pro as a hybrid between the MacBook and Surface Book with its minimalist industrial design.

It sits as a multimedia notebook with its 15.6-inch narrow-bezel display topped with Gorilla Glass 3. It’s powered by an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and 256GB NVMe SSD. It also comes with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 as its dedicated graphics card.

The body is made out of magnesium alloy with a symmetrical cooling system, which allows double inbound and outbound air flow. The keyboard area has backlighting and is larger compared to the MacBook Pro’s (Xiaomi likes to compare during the presentation).

As for ports, the Mi Notebook Pro doesn’t lack any. It has two full-size USB 3.0, two USB-C, HDMI, and an SD card reader.

This premium notebook doesn’t come with a high price tag despite its premium features. The highest-end model with a Core i7 processor and 16GB memory is priced at CNY 6,999 (US$ 1075), while the lower 8GB memory model costs CNY 6,399 (US$ 980). A Core i5 variant with 8GB memory will also be available for CNY 5,569 (US$ 855).

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 improves on predecessor in every way

Computers

Microsoft’s new patches may be harming your PC

The Meltdown and Spectre patches are duds!

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The Meltdown drama continues. Days after researchers confirmed the existence of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, big firms like Microsoft and Apple started issuing patches against the bug. Microsoft’s fixes, however, might be doing more harm than good.

Microsoft’s series of patches have been causing issues among those who installed it already. Users are reporting that the patches have caused their PCs to run slower than usual.

Surprisingly, Microsoft themselves have confirmed the reports. A wide range of devices are indeed slowing down because of the patches. The firm has also listed down the affected PCs, as described below.

First, PCs that run Windows 10 on newer processors like Skylake and Kaby Lake show “single-digit” but hardly noticeable slowdowns. Meanwhile, PCs that run Windows 10 on fourth generation or earlier chips will suffer from noticeable slowdown. Finally, those that run Windows 8 or 7 on older chips will be most hit by the performance issues.

The chaos doesn’t even stop there. Some users have even reported that their PCs have stopped booting entirely. In an open thread on Microsoft’s support forums, a user suffering from a bricked PC has been joined by a torrent of users who are suffering from the same issue.

As with the performance issues, Microsoft has issued a statement regarding the unbootable state. This time, they have pinpointed that AMD processors are to blame for the issue, citing a lack of documentation on AMD’s part.

Microsoft has since halted distribution of the erring security patch to AMD processors. Their support team is working to resolve the issue among those already affected by the issue. Meanwhile, Microsoft and AMD developers are working to put out a more stable fix for the Spectre flaw.

Despite the lack of workable fixes for the issue, Microsoft is assuring its users that harmful exploits have not been discovered out in the wild. Not yet, that is.

SEE ALSO: Newly discovered bugs leave two decades of devices vulnerable

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CES 2018

ASUS ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition first ever hardware to tap into eSports

It looks to be a good start!

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ESports has been kicking up and getting its long overdue attention. To support fans of the community, ASUS aptly teamed up with SKT T1 to make a special edition of their new iteration of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix gaming laptop line. And, it’s a mouthful of a name: ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition.

The ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition sports a RGB backlit keyboard, a 15.6-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) LED display with a wide-viewing angle of 178 degrees, a refresh rate of 120Hz, and an anti-glare panel. It runs on an Intel Core i7 7700HQ processor, coupled with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics. It has 16GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD, and 256GB SSD.

This special edition of the ROG Strix has a USB Type-C port, four USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, an audio jack, a mini-DisplayPort, and an RJ45 jack.

It’s the first time that ASUS has created custom units for eSport professionals and it looks to be a good start. A nice touch to the laptop is the team’s logo plastered on the lower-left part of the cover and sick accents on the chassis, but the highlight of it all is SKT’s Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s signature on the bottom-right side of the keyboard palm rest.

SKT T1 is one of the world’s most successful League of Legends teams earning multiple World Championship titles. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok is no-question the most popular League player, winning Best Esports Player at the The Game Awards in early December last year.

The ROG Strix SKT T1 Hero Edition comes with posters, a jersey, and a mouse pad with SKT T1 and ROG logos. The laptop costs US$ 1,700 and will be available early this year.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Strix GL503 Review: Too little or too much?

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CES 2018

Razer Project Linda transforms Razer Phone into Android laptop

It’s plug and play!

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We didn’t think Razer could top the concept they unveiled at last year’s CES, but here we are, turning a smartphone into a full-fledged Android laptop.

Project Linda is a legit plug-and-play solution: Insert your Razer Phone into the compatible laptop’s slot and enjoy a multi-display setup complete with a keyboard and mouse!

Like Project Valerie, this is purely a prototype so far, but the possibilities are plenty at this point. You could turn the phone’s display into a trackpad, utilize the handset as a Nintendo DS-style secondary display, and make full use of the phone’s loud speakers for the entire system’s audio.

All the specs of the Razer Phone get adopted by the laptop — all except the battery and 200GB of additional storage, which live under the keyboard. It carries its own weight, too, by charging your phone while it’s docked.

Whatever Android version you have on the connected Razer Phone is the software the laptop will run, as well. Everything from productivity apps to games will be upscaled to a more tablet-like resolution, but we haven’t seen any true utilization of the dual displays outside of the Vainglory split-screen setup shown above.

On the sides, you get a USB-C port, full-sized USB port, and — something the actual phone lacks — a 3.5mm audio port. There’s still a webcam on top of the 13.3-inch display to make up for the loss of your phone’s cameras.

Razer hasn’t revealed any pricing or availability as of writing. Considering the Razer Phone itself already costs US$ 700, it would be smart for the company to lower the laptop shell’s cost as much as possible to keep this within a realistic price range below actual Windows laptops and Chromebooks.

But then again, this is the same company that lost a triple-monitor laptop right under their noses.

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