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Less is more: 9.7-inch iPad Pro now official

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As expected, Apple just announced a new iPad Pro tablet alongside a new iPhone, because making things smaller and cheaper without compromising on performance seems to be the overarching mantra guiding the company’s latest product keynote — and we’re on board with it.

It makes sense for Apple to bring the pro features of the 12.9-inch iPad to the most popular size in Apple’s tablet lineup, especially at a time when iPad sales are tanking. And while it’s too early to tell if a more compact design and lower price points are enough to make people go out and buy a new iPad, the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is by no means a less interesting product than anything Apple is trying to sell right now.

Apple new iPad Pro

The device has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from its larger sibling, including an A9X processor that delivers console-quality graphics, a four-speaker system, a 12-megapixel rear camera that shoots 4K video, and support for the Apple Pencil stylus ($US99) and matching keyboard cases ($US149 each), among others. It’s a fancier version of the iPad Air, minus a fancy name.

The Retina display is the best you’d get on an iPad; it is said to be 25 percent brighter and 40 percent less reflective than the iPad Air 2’s. Apple even went as far as to say that it is the brightest and least reflective tablet screen on the market, something we’re taking with a grain of salt until more information is available.

Apple new iPad Pro with keyboard cover

The Pro also incorporates sensors and adaptive display software to dynamically adjust the screen’s color temperature based on ambient lighting, making for a more comfortable viewing experience.

Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver, space gray, gold, and rose gold, starting at $US599 for the base configuration with 32GB of storage and WiFi-only connectivity. Storage options go up to 256GB, while pricing reaches $US899 for the said WiFi-only model. Adding 4G LTE connectivity adds $US130 to the price.

The tablet will be up for preorder on Apple’s website and in select Apple Stores on March 24, with a release date set for March 31.

[irp posts=”1761″ name=”9.7-inch iPad Pro hands-on: Apple’s best tablet yet?”]

 

India

Netflix announces nine new originals from India

2019 is going to be even more entertaining!

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India is among the most content-hungry markets in the world right now. Thanks to an extensive network of 4G connections and cheap data tariffs, a massive boom is underway and every Internet-centric company wants to be a part of this revolution. While telcos are busy luring more subscribers, content-focused companies have massively increased their investment in this region.

One of these is Netflix, one of the top streaming services in the world. It is expanding its India slate of original content by announcing eight new original films and a new original series. These will include many A-list Bollywood and Hollywood talent on camera as well as off-camera. After the success of Sacred Games this year, the service is even more confident about its investment.

The eight films include Chopsticks, Bulbul (produced by Anushka Sharma’s production house Clean Slate Films), Upstarts, Cobalt Blue (based on a popular Marathi novel), 15th August (a Marathi film produced by Madhuri Dixit), Music Teacher, Hotel Mumbai (starring BAFTA-winning actor Dev Patel), and Firebrand (another Marathi film produced by Priyanka Chopra).

The original series is called Typewriter and it’s about a haunted house and a haunted book that attract a young group of ghost hunters. Netflix has already released four original movies and two original series this year from India while one series is scheduled to release in December.

While Netflix is ramping up its presence in the country, local studios and production networks have been trying to evolve as well. Voot (Viacom18), SonyLiv (Sony Pictures), and Hotstar (Star India and 21st Century Fox) are just a few of these services that already enjoy good public recognition.

Even Amazon is trying to make it big here and has been aggressively pushing its Prime service that has Prime Video and Prime Music bundled along.

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Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XZ Premium now have Android Pie

Hoping this will put Pie on the charts

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Sony Xperia XZ Premium | GadgetMatch

Sony might not be doing well in phone sales, but they keep loyal customers happy by giving the latest software update possible. True to their promise, Android 9 Pie is now available to more Xperia phones.

After the Xperia XZ2 lineup, Sony is now updating the older Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact phones. Also, the Xperia XZ Premium joins the group. The rollout is quite later than expected, but Sony still managed to push Android Pie earlier than other major phone manufacturers.

The over-the-air update brings all the goodness Android Pie has to offer (except for new navigation gestures), plus a few touches from Sony including cool features such as 960fps super slow-mo recording in Full HD and HDR video modes. Not only that, the update also bumps the security patch to October 2018.

As with any other rollout, it’s done by batches. Some users already confirmed the update on their phones, while others will have to wait a few days or weeks.

SEE ALSO: Sony announces which Xperia phones are getting Android 9 Pie

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Xiaomi has officially hiked prices for some of its products

A very non-Xiaomi thing to do

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Xiaomi has been immensely successful in establishing a market of its own. The brand is known for selling quality products at affordable prices. This year, it has launched a plethora of Redmi-branded phones along with the expansion of its Mi Home offerings. In fact, competing brands often launch new products to specifically take on Xiaomi’s devices.

But Xiaomi has announced price hike for five of its products: Redmi 6A, Redmi 6, Mi LED TV 4C Pro, Mi LED TV 4A Pro, and the 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i. When these products were launched, the company had said the prices were “introductory” and could change in the future depending on market fluctuations.

Since the last few months, the Indian Rupee has consistently weakened against the American Dollar which has in turn significantly increased operating costs for the company. The company says the local currency has depreciated nearly 15 percent since the beginning of the year and hence price adjustments are a need of the hour.

Even though the transactions are between India and China, the equipment and parts are globally offset in American Dollar. Xiaomi isn’t the only one affected, though; OPPO’s sub-brand Realme has also announced similar price hikes on its products.

The Redmi 6A has received an INR 600 price hike, so the 16GB option will now be available for INR 6,599 (US$ 91) while the 32GB option will retail for INR 7,499 (US$ 103). The Redmi 6 32GB variant will now cost INR 8,499 (US$ 117).

The Mi LED TV 4C Pro 32-inch will now cost INR 15,999 (US$ 220), up from its initial price of INR 14,999. The Mi LED TV 4A Pro 49-inch has received an INR 2,000 hike, making the new selling price INR 31,999 (US$ 441).

Lastly, the 10,000mAh Mi Power Bank 2i Black is now available for INR 899 (US$ 12.5), up from INR 799. The new prices are already applicable and official rates have been communicated to offline sellers, as well.

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