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Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra gets a mediocre score on DxOMark

The S20 Ultra scored better

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Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra

The DxOMark team tested the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra’s cameras, and the results are lukewarm. The flagship phone scored an average of 121 points, giving it the tenth spot on the leaderboard.

The Note20 Ultra is Samsung’s best-in-class offering so far, and the company has built a solid reputation for delivering excellent results over a period of ten years. However, this year’s flagship couldn’t match the competition.

There’s no doubt that the phone is equipped with a very capable sensor array. But the results are underwhelming with inconsistent zoom, higher noise in low-light shots, and unreliable autofocus.

However, DxOMark has noted that the pictures have high saturation, making them vibrant. The wide-angle performance is excellent and portrait shots are also very accurate. The telephoto lens has some loss of detail beyond 4x zoom, while night shots were average with balanced exposure and color.

From DxOMark

The phone sports a 108-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor. For the average Joe, the phone won’t disappoint. But, when stacked against other flagships, the Note20 Ultra loses its edge.

Coming to video, the phone does a great job with exposure, color, stabilization, and fast autofocus. On the flipside, texture and noise levels aren’t accurate enough and lose the most points. The phone can record the best video in 4K at 30fps.

Surprisingly, the S20 Ultra scored 122, one point more than the Note20 Ultra, despite being an older phone. Currently, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra leads the charts with an aggregate score of 130, followed by Huawei P40 Pro at 128 and Vivo X50 Pro+ at 127.

CES 2021

Kingston launches new NVMe SSDs, Workflow Station and Readers

Featuring blazing fast speeds and large storage capacities

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For CES 2021, Kingston has launched new SSDs designed for content creators and everyday consumers. There are also brand-new Workflow Station and Readers introduced that should simplify data management and storage.

The biggest change to the upcoming SSDs is the switch to the faster NVMe interface. All of Kingston’s recently-launched SSDs will come with faster read and write speeds as a result of this change, greatly benefiting the users.

Headlining the new SSD portfolio is Kingston’s Ghost Tree SSD. It features a claimed read and write speed of 7GBs made possible by switching to the newer PCIe 4.0. It will come in different capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB. Professional content creators should benefit greatly from the blazing-fast performance that this SSD affords.

Meanwhile, everyday consumers can also reap the benefits of NVMe with the NV series. Kingston touts it as an entry-level series utilizing PCIe 3.0 with storage capacities reaching up to 2TB.

There’s also a new external storage solution from Kingston — the X200 external drive. Like the newer external SSDs in the market, this one comes with USB Type-C that allows for transfer speeds of up to 2GB. It comes in different capacities ranging from 500GB to 2TB.

Finally, there’s an SSD designed for enterprise. The DC1500M is a substantial update to DC1000M, adding support for multi-namespaces. It also connects via U.2 interface, which is a newer interface designed primarily for the enterprise sector. Geared towards data-intensive workloads, Kingston touts its needs primarily in cloud computing, web hosting, and virtual infrastructures.

New Workflow Station and Readers

Rounding up Kingston’s CES 2021 announcements is the Workflow Station and Readers. One of its highlight features is the ability to customize the file offload setup allowing for greater flexibility in transferring files, audio, images, videos, and more from multiple sources. It can also simultaneously connect to USB hubs, SD, and microSD card readers.

Alternatively, users can use it as a standalone reader by connecting it to their laptops via a USB Type-C cable.

Price and availability

Kingston hasn’t announced the prices for the newly launched SSDs. However, all of these should come later in many markets globally. Interested users should follow Kingston for updates on prices and availability o their markets.

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Laptops

Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

But MagSafe will make a comeback!

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Apple could be planning a major revamp of the MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s expected to go official in the third quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the redesign will include removing the Touch Bar and the return of the MagSafe charging port.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, this will be the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since 2016. Furthermore, it’ll have square-off sides like the iPhone 12, flatter top and bottom panels, and brighter screens.

It’ll be available in two sizes — 14-inch and 16-inch. And yes, they’ll feature Apple’s in-house processors that leverage Arm architecture. There will not be an Intel option, and Apple’s next-generation chipsets will power it. They’re expected to feature more cores and enhanced graphics.

At the end of November 2020, a MacBook Pro 16-inch with 12-core Apple M1X processor was tipped to be even more powerful than the M1 processor. Earlier that month, a MacBook Pro 14-ich model with Apple’s M1 processor was also tipped.

A report by TechRadar suggested that the 16-inch MacBook Pro model looks a bit slimmer. This could be due to the processor’s efficiency since it doesn’t need aggressive cooling like Intel-powered options.

Most importantly, though, Apple is going old-school and bringing some of the features we’ve always loved. The pill-shaped MagSafe charging connector could make a comeback, and physical function keys could replace the digital Touch Bar. Kuo has also hinted that Apple could provide ports generously to reduce dependence on dongles.

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Gaming

Bravely Default II preorder final demo now available

A must-play!

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Bravely Default II is a Japanese fantasy RPG with lovely art styles reminiscent of a refined version to early Final Fantasy releases. The series gameplay uses the usual turn-based battle system and job system. But, the series is more notable for integrating options to combine and customize job abilities, battle speed, and enemy encounter rates.

Bravely Default II is the newest addition to the Bravely series. So, what’s new? Bravely Default II lets you step into a brand-new world with four new heroes, new stories, and new job roles.

This iteration features a young sailor, Seth, who washes up the shores of one of the five mighty kingdoms of the continent. He encounters an escaped princess, Gloria of Musa, and they both venture out to meet more travellers seeking the truth to their world.

If you’re into RPGs or a fan of the Bravely series, this is the game release to look forward to. The game keeps its charming mechanics while piling on new features so if you want or need a taste of the game, the final demo is out now. Although, you won’t be waiting much longer for the game’s full release because it looking to be released on February 26 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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