Computers

Microsoft to unveil Lumia 950, 950XL and Surface Pro 4

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This year’s arrival of Windows 10 brings with it a great promise, a universal operating system that will run across all devices in the Windows ecosystem, plus every other device that Microsoft builds.

Theoretically one operating system means a seamless computing experience across devices, and one shared app store.

When the rollout is complete, Windows 10 will run on Windows-powered smartphones, tablets, and computers, as well as the X-Box One gaming console and Microsoft’s upcoming augmented reality headset HoloLens.

Last August’s release of Windows 10 already brought the new OS to tablet, notebook, and desktop computers. On October 6th, in New York, Microsoft is set to unveil the first smartphones to run Windows 10, and later this November Windows 10 will come to the X-Box One. 

GadgetMatch will be in New York to bring you live updates from “Windows 10 Devices” event. Here’s what to expect:

Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL

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Leaked Lumia 950 product photo (@evleaks)

It’s been a while since Microsoft announced a flagship smartphone. In fact, the last Lumia flagship, the Lumia 930, was released in early 2014 prior to Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s smartphone business. The long wait can be attributed to the impending arrival of Windows 10 (on smartphones it will be referred to as Windows 10 Mobile).

Like most other top smartphone manufacturers this year, Microsoft’s upcoming flagship is reportedly coming in two sizes…a 5.2-inch standard model, the Lumia 950, and a 5.7-inch phablet variant the Lumia 950XL.

The phones will come with top of the line specs including Quad HD screens, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 20 megapixel cameras with Zeiss lenses, USB Type-C connectors, and Qi wireless charging.

The Lumia 950 will be powered by a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor, while the 950XL the more powerful Snapdragon 810, and 3000mAh and 3300mAh batteries respectively.

Both phones will run Windows 10, and as promised, transform into PCs once connected to an external monitor and bluetooth keyboard. Expect them to also support Hello, a Windows 10 feature that allows users to log-onto their devices using facial recognition.

The larger Lumia 950 XL is also expected to support the Surface Pen stylus allowing it to go head-to-head with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 phablet.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 (Microsoft File Photo)

Surface Pro 4

It’s been a big year for convertible tablet/notebook devices. Just a month back Apple announced its  12-inch iPad Pro that comes with an optional keyboard dock and stylus (the Apple Pencil), Google is also set to release a similar device called the Pixel C. But the mother of this form factor is Microsoft’s Surface Pro – now going on its 4th update.

There are fewer leaks pertaining to the 12-inch Surface Pro 4, but the new hybrid device is expected to have a better display, possibly 4K or 5K, and an improved Surface Pen. There are also rumors suggesting that Microsoft is also planning a larger 14-inch variant.

The Surface Pro 4 will run Windows 10 and will probably run on Intel’s Core M Broadwell processors (unlike last year’s Core i5 and i7 variants) with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage.

Microsoft Band 2

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Microsoft Band (Microsoft File Photo)

In case you didn’t know, Microsoft also makes a wearable fitness tracker.

While it’s first attempt wasn’t hugely successful, expect its second try to be better. The Microsoft Band 2 will have a curved display that wraps around your wrist, and will be redesigned to fit more comfortably.

The Band 2 should also run on a variant of Windows 10, and will most likely be also compatible with Android and iOS smartphones.

[irp posts=”7256″ name=”Microsoft Surface Studio is the all-in-one PC of our dreams”]

Computers

ASUSPRO D340MC is designed with budget-conscious workers in mind

Prioritizes security and endurance

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ASUSPRO is known for producing reliable laptops, but did you business-grade desktop computers are part of its portfolio, too?

The D340MC is an example of this, and it delivers on several fronts. It may seem like a standard boxy PC at first, but most of the features are on the inside.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this is how it looks:

It definitely has a strong presence on any desk

Check out that port selection and DVD drive

The keyboard and mouse are part of the package

There’s lots of ventilation for cooling

Here’s a closer look at its ports

It’s easy to upgrade as needed

This is certainly a no-frills, get-the-job-done type of PC. Fortunately, it comes with good specs to show off: an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, up to 32GB of memory, 1TB of HDD storage, and a simple GeForce GT 720 graphics card to get you going.

But should really interest you are the reliability and endurance. The company claims the unit goes through rigorous quality tests in diverse environments, uses solid capacitors to lengthen lifespan, and produces little noise thanks to the thermal design.

The ASUSPRO D340MC starts at around US$ 600, but with its upgradability, it’s easy to give it more power when needed.

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Computers

Microsoft says you need a real computer, not an iPad

‘Don’t run out and buy an iPad’

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You’re probably familiar with Samsung teasing Apple and its iPhones through humorous commercials. But did you know Microsoft does the same against iPads?

Like Sammy, Microsoft loves to promote its products while humiliating those of close competitors. The latest attempt comes with this short holiday ad for the Surface Go.

Check it out:

The very first line — “Grandma, don’t run out and buy an iPad” — is already a clear dig at Apple. The little girl’s lyrics continue with, “It was fine when I was six, but now I’m 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer to do all the amazing things I know I can.”

Yes, a real computer. If you’ve been following Apple’s promotions for the recently launched iPad Pro, you’d know that they tout it as a laptop replacement in a sense. Consumers and techies have since been debating whether the claims are true or not.

Well, Microsoft doesn’t think so, and instead believes that you need a Surface Go to cater to all computing needs. It runs desktop-class Windows 10 and is quite flexible productivity-wise when used together with the stylus and keyboard.

It seems like Microsoft’s goal here is to take away some of Apple’s strong younger market for iPads. Kids traditionally choose an iPad because of its portability, ease of use, and strong library of apps.

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Computers

Samsung 860 QVO SSD offers up to 4TB storage for your laptop

Available beginning January 2019

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Solid-state drives (SSD) have always been the faster storage option compared to hard disk drives (HDD), but it was only recently when SSDs caught up in terms of storage capacity. Samsung in particular is pushing for more digital space in its latest model, the 860 QVO.

Using a high-density 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash architecture, this SSD is able to go up to 4TB in capacity, which is great for a mainstream product.

Samsung claims 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds for the 860 QVO, thanks in part to the integrated Intelligent TurboWrite technology and MJX controller.

Because of its 2.5-inch form, it’ll fit perfectly inside any laptop or desktop setup.

The Samsung 860 QVO will go on sale beginning January 2019 with a starting price of SG$ 299 for the 1TB variant. You may also spend SG$ 659 for the 2TB model or SG$ 999 for the top-end 4TB model.

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