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

Lenovo unveils new Eyesafe-certified ThinkVision monitors

For those who wish to manage their screen time while working

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For those working from home, you often find yourselves glued to your screens for more than eight hours a day. Whether it’s your work laptop or your phone, you proceed to work on your tasks or scroll through social media through a screen. Of course, if you do it for too long, it has the potential to damage your eyesight in the long run. Now, Lenovo unveiled a new set of displays that might just help you address that.

The company has launched its latest ThinkVision monitors that are now Eyesafe-certified. In essence, both monitors come with technologies designed to ease off the harmful blue light emitted from the display. Furthermore, they received a TUV Rheinland Eye Comfort certification to ensure maximum eye comfort and protection.

Also, these two monitors — the ThinkVision T24i-2L and ThinkVision T27h-2L — come with color accurate displays and phone holders on the base.

For the ThinkVision T24i-2L, it comes with a 24-inch FHD display with flexible connectivity options for all kinds of devices. Meanwhile, the ThinkVision T27h-AL comes with a 27-inch QHD display for a much larger workspace.

These monitors are now available for the price of PhP 8,850 (ThinkVision T24i-2L) and PhP 15,499 (ThinkVision T27h-2L). You will find these through Lenovo’s authorized partner sellers.

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Computers

All new iMac with M1 chip, 4.5K Retina display now official

Long overdue update!

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The iMac has remained largely untouched for what felt like forever. Now, the curse appears to have been lifted as Apple finally introduces the new iMac that’s powered by the M1 chip and has a 4.5K Retina display.

What’s up with the M1 chip?

Well, it’s only Apple’s latest and greatest chip for their MacOS machines. It brings forth a leap in power, performance, and efficiency previously unheard of in MacBooks and iMacs of the past. Some performance improvements include a faster more fluid overall feel, no slowdown despite opening hundreds of tabs on Safari, smoother image editing, and a better Apple Arcade experience.

For a full breakdown of the performance improvement, watch this M1 MacBook Air review.

That display tho

24 inches. 4.5K Retina. 11.3 million pixels. P3 wide color gamut and over a billion colors. 500 nits of brightness. Put them all together and what you get is a computer display that will be a blessing to your eyes.

Apple is promising vivid and brilliant images with a color temperature that adjusts to your environment thanks to True Tone tech. Sweet.

OMG those colors

This one’s a nice callback to the iMacs of old that didn’t shy away from a splash of color. From a singular choice of Silver (which is still available, by the way), Apple is now also giving us the following color options: Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Blue.

Could a PRODUCT (RED) option be in the horizon? We don’t know yet, but we also wouldn’t completely rule it out.

Cameras, mics, and speakers

You’ll likely attend a few more video conferences as we navigate this new normal setup most of us are in. You’ll be happy to know that the all new iMac now has a 1080p FaceTime HD Camera. FINALLY.

Supporting the brand spanking new HD camera is what Apple claims to be a studio-quality three-microphone array and six-speaker sound system with Dolby Atmos.

What else is here?

You get two Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers and support for up to 6K displays. The 8-core iMac models have two more USB-C ports.

TouchID also comes to the iMac with the color-matching Magic Keyboard. The Magic Mouse and Magic TrackPad are also available in colors that match the iMac. You can also buy more than one and mix the colors up. You do you.

Price and availability

The new 24-inch iMac is available to order beginning Friday, April 30. It will begin arriving to customers and be available in select Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorized Resellers beginning in the second half of May.

Available on apple.com, apple.com/sg, and in the Apple Store app

iMac with 7-core GPU is available in green, pink, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Mouse.

  • US: Starts at US$ 1,299 and US$1,249 for education
  • Singapore: Starts at SG$ 1,849 and SG$ 1,779 for education

iMac with 8-core GPU is available in green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver. It features an 8-core CPU, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB SSD, two Thunderbolt ports, two additional USB 3 ports, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID, Magic Mouse, and Ethernet.

  • US: Starts at US$ 1,499 and US$1,399 for education
  • Singapore: Starts at SG$ 2,149 and SG$ 2,009 for education
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Computers

The global chip shortage could last till 2023

Put your plans for a PC build on hold!

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The Coronavirus pandemic prompted everybody to leave the “normal” behind and adopt a completely new lifestyle. With everyone moving to the work-from-home model, the demand for new computers, phones, and other gadgets skyrocketed, bringing another crisis to our doorstep — global chip shortage.

The world’s largest chipmaker TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), announced its quarterly results this week, posting a profit of almost US$ 5 billion. This marks a 19 percent rise in profit when compared to the previous quarter. The announcement is good news for the investors, but it also highlights how long the shortage will continue.

TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said that the company hopes to offer more capacity and meet the demand by 2023. That’s two years away. And that’s after gearing up to spend a whopping US$ 100 billion in the next three years to ramp up production.

American chipmaker Intel has been plagued with production issues for the last few years and recently disclosed that it would spend US$ 20 billion to set up two new facilities in Arizona, US. However, these production sites take time to come up and can’t be just switched on in a few months.

Things aren’t looking good

Even Nvidia isn’t very optimistic about a recovery from the chip shortage anytime soon. “Overall demand remains very strong and continues to exceed supply while our channel inventories remain quite lean,” the company said in its press release. “We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year.”

Nvidia also has a brand new challenge — the demand for GPUs has skyrocketed ever since Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies started their bullish run in 2020. Cryptocurrency evangelists are constantly on the lookout for new gear, further amplifying the chip shortage.

The current state of component availability looks grim, affecting everything from the availability of new graphics cards to processors to next-gen PlayStations and Xboxes. The ripple effects of the shortage are being felt by every technology company, including giants like Apple.

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