Setting its eyes squarely on students, Microsoft unveiled what it calls the “most balanced” notebook, the Surface Laptop.
Microsoft made some bold claims about the Surface Laptop saying it made no compromises with the device. Microsoft Devices Chief Panos Panay kept driving home the point it is balanced and seamless. It’s powered by the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and should last for 14.5 hours. Panay says it has “more battery life than any MacBook,” and is faster than a Core i7 MacBook Pro.
It has a 13.5-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio — not something you’d normally see on laptops, but Panay claims it’s “the thinnest LCD touch model ever created and put into a laptop.” As for ports, it does not come with a USB-C port, but you do get a USB 3.0 port, SD card reader, Mini DisplayPort, and a headphone jack.
Seamless with Windows 10 S, peripherals
Windows 10 S is a version of Microsoft’s operating system that can only run apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store. While that may seem limited, it should also save you some much-needed battery life, which is probably how they are able to claim the 14.5-hour battery life.
Panay demonstrated how the Surface, Office, and Windows worked together on this particular product by showing how the Surface Dial — introduced along with the Surface Studio — quickly adapts to whatever app is currently active on the laptop. From scrolling through pages of Microsoft Word to adjusting the volume on Spotify (yes, it’s now on the Windows Store), the Dial knows what app is running on the laptop and adjusts its functions instantly.
If you’re worried about the laptop being locked to Windows 10 S, fret not. You have the option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro directly. Since this is geared toward students, if you still happen to be transitioning from high school to college, you get to upgrade for free. If not, the upgrade will cost you $49.99.
Sleek and Stylish
Part of the “no compromises” claim is how beautifully designed the Surface Laptop is. It is thin, light, and gorgeous. It comes in four colors: platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue, and graphite gold.
Its keyboard is covered with Microsoft’s Signature Alcantara fabric that looks like it’ll attract dirt real quick, but the company claims it resists spills, stains, and absorption and can be easily wiped clean.
Apple might lower the MacBook Air’s price this year
Will it be worth our money?
For all their grandeur in the smartphone industry, Apple has stumbled in the notebook market. Overtaken by other tech giants, the MacBook last enjoyed a big announcement way back in 2016.
Finally, a new Mac rumor hints that Apple isn’t done with the MacBook just yet. According to known Apple leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple might release a more affordable MacBook Air later this year.
The analyst notes that an updated MacBook Air will launch sometime in spring. However, the report doesn’t indicate if the new model will carry significant upgrades from its current version.
Apple last updated the MacBook Air in the latter half of 2017. Even then, the update only slightly improved the notebook’s specs. The aging Air still barely competes with the latest crop of starting notebook models. Currently, the starting MacBook Air retails for US$ 999.
As of late last year, Apple still hangs around at the top of the notebook market in terms of sales. A new update should breathe some much-needed life back into the MacBook business. At the very least, it will generate enough hype for when Apple decides on a major redesign for the MacBook. The last revamp, which includes the touch bar, opened to controversial reception.
If it launches within the next quarter, the new MacBook Air will likely appear in the rumored Apple event in March. As yet, the unconfirmed event hosts a plethora of rumors including a new iPhone SE, iPad, and AirPods.
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Lenovo unveils powerful Yoga 730 and Flex 14 at MWC 2018
Built for gamers and creators
When Lenovo first introduced the Yoga line of hybrid laptops, most people wrote it off as an ordinary laptop with a novelty feature. Years later, the Yoga laptop has grown into a powerful daily driver that appeals even to hardcore gamers.
At MWC 2018, Lenovo unveiled the latest hybrids to use their unique form factor: the Yoga 730 (13-inch, 15-inch) and the Flex 14.
Lenovo Yoga 730
Introduced with two variants, the Lenovo Yoga 730 offers versatility and performance. You can get the Yoga 730 in either a 13.3-inch or a 15.6-inch variant. Regardless of which variant you pick, the Yoga 730 rocks an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. For convenience, they also offer support for Alexa and Cortana.
Built for gamers, the 15.6-inch Yoga 730 can boost its screen up to 4K resolution. It sports a powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, and the laptop’s memory extends up to 16GB. Meanwhile, onboard storage can go up to a 1TB SSD PCIe. It carries JBL speakers and offers compatibility for Dolby Atmos on headphones. It boasts up to 11 hours of battery life.
On the other hand, the more versatile 13.3-inch variant has an integrated H620 graphics chip. It carries up to 16GB DDR4 and 512GB SSD PCIe for memory and storage, respectively. It boasts up to 11.5 hours of battery life.
Both variants of the Yoga 730 will ship starting in April 2018. They will come in either Iron Gray and Platinum Silver. The 13.3-inch variant retails for US$ 879. The 15.6-inch variant retails for US$ 899.
Lenovo Flex 14
Primed for entertainment and creativity, the Lenovo Flex 14 balances affordability and flexibility. The 14-inch laptop carries an eighth-gen Intel Core i7, up to 16GB DDR4 memory, and 512GB SSD PCIe storage. For graphics, it sports an NVIDIA GeForce MX130 4GB card. Its battery can last for up to 10 hours.
The Flex 14 supports the new Lenovo Active Pen 2 which boasts 4,096 levels of sensitivity. The laptop already ships with the stylus included.
Like the Yoga 730, the Flex 14 will ship starting in April. Available in Onyx Black, the laptop retails for US$ 599.
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