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Laptops

HP’s affordable convertible is coming to Lazada PH

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We’re entering an age where traditional laptops just don’t cut it anymore. They’ve matured so much that there’s nothing to offer other than lowered prices. On the other hand, 2-in-1 convertibles with their multiple usage modes are becoming the norm, but with their newer technology comes less attractive price tags. HP wants to change all that with the highly capable yet affordable Pavilion x360.

In case you’re wondering: Yes, the Pavilion x360 has been around for some time already. What’s different this time around are the updated specs, pricing, and availability, which we’ll cover later.

There’s not much to write about the Pavilion x360 at first glance, but fold the convertible using its 360-degree hinge and you’ll see why it’s special. Turning it all the way back deactivates the keyboard, letting you use it like a full-fledged Windows 10 tablet. Leaving it in laptop mode turns off the touchscreen display, so you’ll be reliant on the touchpad for navigation. You also have the option of going into Tent mode if you simply want to watch some flicks.

There’s a choice between 11.6-inch (1366 x 768-pixel resolution) and 13.3-inch (1920 x 1080-pixel resolution) screen sizes for the Pavilion x360. As for ports, they’re all found around the full-sized keyboard, including two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a single HDMI, card reader, and the usual headphones/microphone jacks. Rounding out the features is preinstalled Windows 10.

Pricing depends on what configuration you’re interested in. The cheapest 11.6-inch build has an Intel Celeron N3060 processor and costs PhP 20,990, while the most expensive 11.6-inch model is equipped with a slightly faster Celeron N3710 and is priced at PhP 24,990. The 13.3-inch unit is obviously the priciest of the selection, and comes with far more capable Intel Core i3 chip and a price tag of PhP 29,990. All of them have 4GB of memory, 500GB of storage, and modern gold as the sole color option.

Selecting the right configuration isn’t rocket science: Go for one of the smaller models if all you want to do is type and browse the web while away from home, and opt for the 13.3-inch model if you’re looking to use it for multimedia entertainment and some light gaming.

Lazada will be carrying the refreshed Pavilion x360 beginning September 22, 2016. For those looking for something a lot more powerful, HP will also be offering the consumer version of the Elite x2 starting on the same day next week.

The Elite x2 is a different type of 2-in1, wherein you can detach the keyboard and use the tablet portion on its own. This is made possible with the built-in kickstand, which is made of the same sturdy aluminum as the tablet itself. With the included Wacom-based HP Active Pen and 12-inch touchscreen, you could actually forget about using the keyboard for a while.

The whole thing is really quite premium. There are Bang & Olufsen-tuned stereo speakers, durable Gorilla Glass 4 for the display, and a fanless 8.1mm physique that rivals the thinnest Windows 10 tablets in the industry. Prices for the Elite x2 begin at PhP 59,990 with Intel’s sixth-generation Core M processors and a handy fingerprint scanner for secured logins.

Laptops

Acer announces new Chromebook Spin 11 for a cheaper price

Fully compatible with a Wacom pen

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It’s a case of déjà vu. A year after the first one, Acer has announced the Chromebook Spin 11 for a second time. This time, it has better parts, a cheaper price, and more consumer-friendly availability.

Previously, the Spin 11 was launched exclusively for the education sector, offering the needed durability and flexibility for a student. The new Spin 11, however, packs more punch for a lower price. The announcements comes only a few weeks removed from Acer’s other announcements at CES 2018.

The new Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H/CP311-1HN) comes in three flavors of processors — Intel Pentium quad-core N4200, quad-core Celeron N3450, or dual-core Celeron N3350. It’s a bit more than the previous model which came only with the N3350.

Acer also offers variability with storage and memory. It is available in either 4GB or 8GB LPDDR4 for RAM. Meanwhile, it offers 32GB or 64GB variants for internal storage.

It also comes with a 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution. Like the previous model, the notebook is fitted with a 360-degree hinge that allows for laptop, tablet, display, and tent modes.

The Spin 11 pushes the emerging trend for USB Type-C charging. While it does reduce variability, it will boast of an uptime that lasts “all day.”

Besides charging, it sports two USB-C 3.1 ports, two USB-A 3.0 ports, and a microSD reader for connectivity. Likewise, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 round the laptop out for wireless connectivity.

However, the new notebook’s biggest upgrade is its compatibility with a Wacom EMR stylus, which comes packaged with the CP311-1HN model. It doesn’t require a battery and is resistant to trauma. Before the Spin 11, only a handful of hybrid notebooks came with a stylus.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 will start shipping out in March. It’ll come with a price tag of US$ 349.

SEE ALSO: Acer’s new Swift 7 is thinner than ever

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Laptops

Google lead designer reveals prototypes of Pixel 2, Home Mini, Pixelbook

A touch of human

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It’s not too often that we get a behind-the-scenes look at the drawing boards of premium hardware products, but when we do, it’s magical.

Ivy Ross, who’s the lead designer of Google’s latest devices, revealed the ideas and executions she and her team put into making their gadgets.

Published on The She Word (a series featuring the women of Google on the company’s blog), Ross discussed a variety of topics ranging from her early beginnings as a young designer to the aesthetics of Pixel and Home devices.

When asked what the most important design principle of Google’s hardware is, she had this to say:

Human. By that I mean friendly, emotionally appealing, and easy to fit into your life and your home.

She goes on to explain that three-dimensional and tactile aesthetics are important after spending so much time in front of flat screens. That’s why her design team puts so much emphasis on fabric materials.

Through images, the blog post also showed off the progress from multiple prototypes to finished product for Google’s most important items:

The visual progression of the Pixel 2 XL’s design is arguably the most interesting. You can see how the flagship phone went from a squarish panda to a more rounded one.

Ross became the head of design for Google’s hardware team in mid-2016, and has since made her mark as the company’s most human designer to date.

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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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