Laptops

Fake ASUS update installs viruses on laptop, ‘1 million’ affected

On the bright side: It’s already patched

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Yesterday, Kaspersky Lab discovered “one of the biggest supply-chain incidents ever.” According to the report, a malicious party hacked into the official ASUS server. The trojan-based attack — named Shadowhammer — installed backdoors into “about 1 million people,” disguising itself as a sanctioned update.

The attack also affected “more than 57,000 users of Kaspersky Lab’s products,” prompting the company to detect the attack. To the worried, Kaspersky asserts that the hackers only sought after “600 specific MAC addresses.” Regardless, the attack’s wide scope is a huge concern for all those affected.

According to Kaspersky, three other vendors were affected. However, the company hasn’t named any of them. Regardless, ASUS’s blunder seems to be the most critical.

Today, ASUS has issued an official statement addressing the problem. According to the official press release, the company has already released an official patch coursed through the ecosystem’s ASUS Live Update. The patch — named ver. 3.6.8 — is available now for ASUS users. It increases the amount of verification measures, preventing fake patches from installing. Additionally, ASUS has also released a small diagnostic tool specifically made for the attack.

In their defense, ASUS has claimed that “only a very small number of [a] specific user group were found to have been targeted.” Additionally, “it is extremely unlikely that your device has been targeted.”

On the back end, ASUS has improved its server-to-end-user software to prevent any further attacks from happening.

The company’s solution leaves the three other vendors in a state of uncertainty. Likewise, ASUS’ assurances do not offer a lot of comfort. Check your laptop’s status as soon as you can!

SEE ALSO: ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 Review: Another big-screen option

Computers

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

Lenovo expands ThinkBook, ThinkVision lineup

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Lenovo has been rather busy recently updating their entire product portfolio. So this ThinkBook and ThinkVision refresh was absolutely inevitable and most definitely welcome.

We’re going to go through all the ThinkBooks and ThinkVisions real quick. Ready? Take a breath. Let’s go!

ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i

This was co-engineered with Intel and meets the requirements of the Intel Evo platform. That’s true across hardware specifications and key experience targets for device responsiveness, instant wake, battery life and fast charge.

It has a high resolution 13.3-inch display with a new 16:10 aspect ratio that offers 90% screen-to-body ratio with ultra-narrow bezels and is available with optional touch.

You’re also getting Thunderbolt 4 port and optional PCIe Gen 4 storage.

We’ll be going on virtual meetings for the foreseeable future. Taking that into account, the ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i features microphones that has three audio modes: private, shared, and environmental.

  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $829
  • ThinkBook 13s Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $729.

ThinkBook 14s Yoga i

Need something flexible? Well, here you go. The popular Yoga form factor means this thing can bend and a different number of ways.

For performance, it’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core processors. It also comes with the Lenovo Smart Pen to really help you let your creativity run wild.

It’s available in Mineral Grey with an Abyss Blue version added to the mix.

  • ThinkBook 14s Yoga is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $879.

ThinkBook 14/15 Gen 2 i

If working smart is your think then it doesn’t get any smarter than this. It’s powered by 11th Gen Intel Core Processors (will also come in AMD variants) with flexible storage options: HDD + SSD or dual SSD.

Working remotely and need support? The service hot key helps users reach Lenovo support at the press of a button, automatically including device details such as serial number for a fast track support experience.

But here’s the kicker. It comes with ThinkBook wireless earbuds that can be stored within the laptop. The earbuds charge automatically when stored and connect to the laptop audio instantly when taken out. Double tapping toggles the mute function, and it has dual mics and environmental noise cancellation.

  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkBook 15p i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $939.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 i is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $569.
  • ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkPad E15 Gen 2 is expected to be available from November 2020, starting at $699.
  • ThinkBook 15 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.
  • ThinkBook 14 Gen 2 AMD is expected to be available from October 2020, starting at $549.

ThinkVision T27hv-20

This single cable USB-C Hub monitor is designed to to meet the collaboration requirements of a hybrid working model. The 27-inch display features a 1080p IR/RGB webcam, noise cancelling microphones and integrated speakers that help users conference with confidence

It has Smart Guard that blurs the screen the moment you look or move away or detects someone peeking over your shoulder. Meanwhile, Smart Energy will turn off the screen when it senses that you have moved away from your desk, saving power and protecting data.

  • ThinkVision T27hv-20 is expected to be available from December 2020, starting at $549.
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Laptops

Lenovo launches ThinkPad X1 Nano, pre-order for ThinkPad X1 Fold

Two ThinkPads that deserve your attention

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If the Yoga lineup is any indication, it’s that Lenovo has never been shy about experimenting with form factors. They doubled up on that when they unveiled the ThinkPad X1 Fold at CES 2020. Now, they’re following it up with the ThinkPad X1 Nano.

Here’s a refresher on the ThinkPad X1 Fold in case you forgot what it was.

So yeah, it’s a PC but not exactly. Lenovo is calling it a new device category. It starts at US$ 2,499 and is now available for pre-order.

ThinkPad X1 Nano

The ThinkPad X1 Nano is being billed as the lightest ThinkPad ever. At less than 1kg, it’s hard to argue against that claim. It promises a complete laptop package all while being ultra freaking light.

It comes with up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and Intel Iris X graphics. That combo promises 20% faster office productivity and over 2x faster gaming plus streaming.

It has Thunderbolt 4 for fast, single cable connection to power, monitors, storage, as well as other external devices.

It’s the first ThinkPad to feature an updated suite of AI and biometric ThinkShield security features. These include new voice recognition and human presence detection.

It has a 13-inch Dolby Vision 2K display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has 100% sRGB for clarity and color accuracy. It also comes in touch display options.

This notebook also has four speakers with Dolby Atmos support for immersive sound. It also has four 360-degree microphones to ensure you are loud and clear during virtual meetings.

The ThinkPad X1 Nano starts at US$ 1,399. It is expected to be available Q4 of 2020.

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Laptops

Samsung is working on a 65W charger

But with a twist

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Who doesn’t want fast charging? With charging technologies finally making some headway, tech makers are engaged in a free-for-all sprint on who can charge devices the fastest. The current leaders, OPPO and vivo, can already go up to 125 watts, charging a phone in no time at all. Brandishing their own devices, Samsung obviously wants to catch up. Spotted in Korea, Samsung is working on a 65W charger.

Dutch Samsung outlet GalaxyClub spotted the device passing through a South Korean certification agency. Though the filing does not state the charging rating, the model number holds clues to the device’s capabilities. The explicitly stated “Travel Adapter” carries the model number EP-TA865. Samsung’s standard 45W adapter has the model number EP-TA845.

Other than that, the filing does not reveal much about the upcoming device. If anything, a wall charger indicates a persistent focus to bring the best of wired charging, instead of going all-out on wireless charging.

If you’re hoping to grab one for your smartphone, you might be out of luck. Commenting on their own platform, renowned Samsung leaker Ice Universe confirms that the device will mainly power notebooks. The leaker cannot confirm if the charger will make its way to smartphones — specifically, the Galaxy S21 series — at this point.

Currently, Samsung has a full slate of devices lined up for the next six months. Recently, the company launched the Galaxy S20 FE, a lighter version of this year’s flagships. They are also gearing to release the Galaxy S21 series early next year.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Philippines Smartphone Price List

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