Computers

Microsoft Surface Studio is the all-in-one PC of our dreams

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Microsoft today unveiled its first all-in-one desktop PC, the Surface Studio — and it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Based on Microsoft’s onstage demos, this machine is geared toward creative professionals and visual artists. We certainly wouldn’t mind one (magically) landing on our desk, though.

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It actually reminds us of Apple’s iMac G4.

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And, to a much lesser degree, the ASUS Zenbo.

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The Surface Studio has the “world’s thinnest LCD monitor ever built” at only 12.5mm thick, just a bit thicker than your average tablet.

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The 28-inch, 4,500 x 3,000 multi-touch monitor looks impossibly sharp and vibrant, making images and videos seem to jump off the screen.

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Not that way, obviously, but you get the picture.

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It even supports the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color profiles, something professional photographers will appreciate. You can switch between profiles in the Windows 10 taskbar.

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Those tiny bezels add to the “wow” factor and are meant to sink you into the screen and what you’re doing on it. There’s no ugly chin to be found here, like that of current iMac models.

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Apple iMac

There’s a special hinge that props up the screen at an angle that’s most comfortable for you and beneficial to the work that you’re doing. Microsoft says the Studio uses a zero-gravity hinge system, so the display can be pushed down with one finger.

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This PC supports the Surface Pen, plus the optional Surface Dial accessory. The Pen can stay magnetically attached to the side of the display so you won’t lose it.

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Really, the Dial looks like a silver puck. It can be placed on the screen to access menus and custom features depending on which app you’re using. When you’re using Word, for instance, it can help you format documents; in Paint, it can summon a virtual ruler or a paint palette.

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The Studio also has a mic array so you can talk to Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, from across the room.

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Despite all the impressive technology built right into its aluminum enclosure, the only cord you’ll see coming out of the Studio’s back is the one that connects it to a power source.

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This all-in-one PC will go on sale in time to ring in the holidays. The price: $2,999 for the base model with an Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics chip.

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$4,199 will get you the latest Core i7 CPU, alongside 32GB of RAM and GTX 980M graphics. If you’ve got a good chunk of disposable income lying around, it might be worth the expense. But don’t quote us on that.

[irp posts=”992″ name=”Microsoft Surface Book Hands-On”]

Computers

Early build of next-gen Windows leaked to the public

Might end up as Windows 11

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next-gen Windows

It seems like that the next generation of Windows can’t come soon enough. Just recently, an early build of the OS leaked to the public, containing many UI and under-the-hood changes that have been speculated for months.

A lot of publications covering this next-gen Windows have already published their hands-on with the leaked build. The most apparent changes to the next-gen Windows are the ones people will see every day. The taskbar, for a start, is now centered by default, although it can be set to align left in the settings. It also includes new icons for the Start button, search button, and Task View.

The Start menu is radically different too, and it is the same one found on the cancelled Windows 10X. There’s a new button that sits on the taskbar by the way. This toggles the widget panel which is also new for the next-gen Windows. Meanwhile, the Task View gets a revamp. Along with this revamp comes a new window snapping experience — users can now snap according to different configurations.

Overall, the leaked build feature a lot of rounded corners. Microsoft is really gunning for a modern look with their next-gen Windows. Also, gone are the days of straight corners in context menus and buttons. It is worth noting that since this is an early build, some UI elements are still inconsistent with the overall design refresh. The bundled apps, for example, seem to be unchanged though the File Explorer has newer file icons.

There’s a lot more changes coming to the next-gen Windows, though. The out-of-the-box setup experience, for example, is new. And apparently, there’s a new start-up sound to boot too.

Windows 11 is here

One of the biggest things to come out of the build, however, is a direct confirmation that the next-gen Windows will simply be called Windows 11. The teasers for the next-gen Windows posted by Microsoft first hinted about this. Now, the builds directly confirm that indeed, Windows 11 is that next-gen Windows.

To make matters more interesting, Microsoft seemed to acknowledge the leaked build, teasing that there’s more to come:

There’s definitely more to come with the next-gen Windows, and it is definitely interesting what it will look like when Microsoft announces it on June 24. That said, ordinary users shouldn’t wait too long to see the evolution of the beloved OS that has been around for more than a decade.

Source: The Verge, Windows Central

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Computers

AMD unveils new Radeon PRO workstation GPUs

Based on the same architecture as the next-gen consoles

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PRO W6000

AMD may be facing some shortages in their chips for the remainder of this year, but it’s not stopping them just yet. Within their GPU lineup, Team Red looks to launch a more powerful AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation graphics. This time around, they’ve integrated a familiar and powerful type of RDNA architecture to boost your workstation’s graphical performance.

See, AMD designed the new Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation GPUs for heavier, more complex workloads. From demanding architectural design to 4K video rendering, these new GPUs will ideally handle all of these with ease. One of the big reasons behind this is that these GPUs are built using the RDNA 2 architecture. Yes, it’s the same architecture behind the GPUs of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S!

Apart from graphical performance boosts, the Radeon PRO W6000 series also offers realtime ray-tracing for faster renders. Essentially, the GPU has more enhanced compute units that boost design renders by up to 46 percent compared to previous generations. Along with AMD’s Smart Access Memory, you can even unlock higher performance for supported AMD Ryzen CPUs.

AMD will roll out their Radeon PRO W6000 series of GPUs in this fashion, along with their SRPs:

  • Now Available: AMD Radeon PRO W6800 (US$ 2,249)
  • Starting July 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600M (in select countries and mobile workstations)
  • Q3 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600 (US$ 649)
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Apps

SmartThings by Samsung unveils new interface

Better, more optimized

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A new generation for SmartThings is about to release. A revamped version of its mobile and Windows desktop app. The new design, which is part of SmartThings’ continued effort to simplifying the connected home experience. Additionally, it provides a simpler, more robust user journey and faster load times with a whole new interface.

The new interface makes it easier to identify connected home experiences while also maintaining a smooth transition from the previous version of SmartThings. The design that was improved for SmartThings divides the app into five sections: Favorites, Devices, Life, Automations, and Menu.

Favorites are the new home screen within SmartThings and gather the devices, scenes, and services used most for quicker access.

Devices let users monitor all devices, connecting TVs, light bulbs, appliances, and many more.

Life is a part where customers discover new services. As a matter of fact, this transforms physical objects into meaningful user experiences as they explore the expanding world of linked life. Users may learn about new features that will better their entire living experience, such as SmartThings Cooking. It is an all-in-one service that will offer seamless kitchen and meal preparation experiences.

Automations link devices, allowing them to collaborate and respond to certain situations in the home, such as a door opening and a light switching on.

Additional functions, such as Labs, Notifications, History, and Settings, will be housed in the Menu.

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Availability

The new interface is available for Android devices starting today, and iOS will follow. This update follows SmartThings’ recent announcement of its Windows application, which offers a similar experience right from a Galaxy Book and any other Windows PC.

Samsung continues to invest in enhancing its technology, they also announced the incorporation of the Matter protocol into its ecosystem. SmartThings claims to be in the leading spot as the platform with the most flexible ways to connect devices. This includes Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Matter. 

Finally, you can see more information about SmartThings here.

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