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Microsoft announces its smallest and most affordable Surface yet

Portable and affordable

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Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has just announced new hardware under its Surface line of devices. As you know, Surface tablets, laptops, and desktops are on the premium side, but the new Surface Go is shifting gears by being the most affordable of the bunch — and also the smallest.

The Surface Go from Microsoft is a full-blown Windows 10 tablet aimed at schools, kids, and even the enterprise market. It’s been three years since the last non-Pro Surface tablet, so the introduction of the Surface Go comes at a bit of a surprise for us.

Image credit: Microsoft

The smallest Surface tablet has a 10-inch PixelSense touch display with a resolution of 1800 x 1200, 3:2 aspect ratio, and pen support. It’s powered by a seventh-generation Intel Pentium Gold processor (haven’t heard about Pentium in a long time) with up to 8GB of memory and up to 256GB of storage.

The tablet itself has a single USB-C port for 4K video out and data, microSD card reader, a proprietary Surface Connect port, and a headphone jack. It also has an 8-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with support for Windows Hello.

The body of the tablet is still made of magnesium and is designed like other Surface tablets, including the adjustable kickstand. It also has front-facing stereo speakers and Dolby Audio. The tablet’s battery is rated to last for nine hours on a single charge.

The new Surface Go will be available in early August 2018 starting at just US$ 399 for the tablet and US$ 99 for the detachable keyboard. It’s now available for pre-order in North America, Europe, and Australia, while Asia will follow suit in the coming weeks. An LTE model will arrive later this year.

Microsoft’s new tablet practically battles Apple’s newest and cheapest iPad, and it’s definitely more affordable than any of the iPad Pro tablets. Compared to the iPads though, the Surface Go runs a full version of Windows 10 (in S-mode) and not just a mobile operating system.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft Windows April 2018 patch adds Timeline, Focus Assist

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Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

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Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

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Xiaomi confirms 10GB RAM and 5G connectivity of the Mi Mix 3

Are we ready for these advancements?

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Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S | GadgetMatch

Xiaomi is set to announce their latest flagship phone — the Mi Mix 3. While the phone has been leaked a number of times already (but not as much as the Pixel 3), there are some features we’d like to get early confirmation for. Thankfully, Xiaomi gave us two teasers than confirmed not just one, but two major features of their upcoming smartphone.

When Xiaomi announces the Mi Mix 3, it’ll be the first phone to officially have 10GB of memory. OPPO did try to make a 10GB version of the Find X, but it’s probably sitting in their office at the moment.

To be honest, we’re not sure if it’s logical to have a phone with 10GB of memory, but we’re already at that stage. The Mi Mix 3 will probably have a lot more memory to spare than most standard laptops people currently own.

The second confirmed feature is something we’re already expecting — 5G connectivity. The Mi Mix 3 is one of the world’s first 5G-capable phones. It could even be the first widely available 5G phone if Xiaomi will release the Mi Mix 3 to its key markets immediately.

A lot of users probably won’t be able to take advantage of 5G for now, but this will make the Mi Mix 3 future-proof.

Other than these two, not much has been revealed yet about the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi is teasing the phone as a device wherein art meets technology. Well, the existing Mi Mix series is already proof of that, but the Mi Mix 3 will surely bring something new to the table.

The Mi Mix 3 will be officially announced on October 25 in Beijing, which signals that the phone will be available in China first. We’re expecting the phone to retail internationally shortly after, just like the Mi Mix 2S.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi teases Mi Mix 3 in full, reveals pop-up mechanism for cameras

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Malaysia

Vivo Y81i arrives as affordable full-screen smartphone

Notch and all

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Vivo may be becoming more aggressive in the midrange and premium segments, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting go of the budget range just yet.

The Y81i is a testament to that, and it just unveiled itself in Malaysia. It’ll retail for MYR 599, which converts to around US$ 144.

It’s similar to the recently launched Y81 in a lot of ways, including the notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The main differences — and reason why this model is cheaper — is the lower-end MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

There’s no fingerprint scanner on board, but it does come with face recognition for quick unlocking.

The available colors are black and red. No word yet when this will reach other countries.

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