Laptops & Tablets

Apple Adds Skylake CPUs, Rose Gold to MacBook

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Apple Adds Skylake CPUs, Rose Gold to MacBook

Apple updates the 12-inch MacBook with Retina display with a couple of additions, one internal and the other external-- the thin-and-light notebook gets 6th generation Intel Skylake CPUs, as well as a rose gold colour option.

The dual-core Intel Core M CPUs come at speeds of up to 1.3GHz (and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1GHz), bringing a 10-20% improvement in processing power. Also included is faster 1866MHz memory, Intel HD Graphics 515 promising a 25% improvement on the graphics side and a bigger battery adding 1 hour of use over the previous model.

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Next Amazon Kindle Goes Oasis

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Next Amazon Kindle Goes Oasis

Amazon announces the latest entry in the Kindle eReader family-- the Oasis, a model with an flared design featuring one edge thicker and heavier than the other.

According to the company such a design makes the device "perfectly balanced for one-handed reading," since it is weighted to feel like the the spine of a real-life magazine or book.

The Oasis also has a 6-inch Paperwhite display promising more a more crisp reading experience, with a 60% increase in LEDs improving reading in both low light and bright sunlight. Weight totals 131g while thickness is 3.4mm at the thinnest point, since the thicker wedge houses the battery and motherboard.

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Preorders Open for First Ubuntu Tablet

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Preorders Open for First Ubuntu Tablet

Spanish electronics maker BQ opens preorders for the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition-- the first tablet on the market running on Ubuntu OS, specifically version 15.04 Vivid Vervet.

While the Linux-based OS is unique enough, the Aquaris M10 is even more interesting through a Continuum-style convergence features. Essentially the tablet can switch from mobile to traditional Linux through connection on peripherals such as keyboard, mouse and external display.

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MSI Claims First VR-Ready Laptop

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MSI Claims First VR-Ready Laptop

MSI announces what it claims is the first VR-ready laptop-- the WT72 a bulky "mobile workstation" featuring graphics prowess powered by the latest Nvidia mobile GPU, the Quadro M5500.

Described as a pro-level device designed for "maximum performance," the WT72 comes in multiple configurations complete with 17.3-inch display, Intel Core-i7 or Xeon processors, up to 64GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Dynaudio speakers, Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 ports, and a dual-fan design promising "efficient heat dissipation."

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IDC Points Out Detachable Opportunity

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IDC Points Out Detachable Opportunity

According to IDC, while 2016 global tablet shipments are to drop, the market retains a bright spot in detachable devices-- so much so, the category is set to help tablets return to positive (if single digit) growth post-2017.

The analyst forecasts detachable tablet shipments will grow from 16.6m units in 2015 to 63.8m in 2020, with 2020 market share reaching 30%, up from 8% in 2015.

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Huawei Takes on Win 10 Hybrids at MWC 2016

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Huawei Takes on Win 10 Hybrids at MWC 2016

Huawei presents a first take on the Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrid at MWC 2016-- the MateBook, a 12-inch number featuring a sleek metal unibody and a companion Portfolio Keyboard accessory.

Weighing 640g and being 6.9mm thick, the MateBook carries a 6th gen Intel Core M CPU (ranges up to 3.1GHz), 4/8GB RAM and 128/256/512GB SSD. The 12-inch IPS LCD handles 2160x1440 resolution, the battery promises to power 9 hours of video playback (or 13 hour of lighter use) and the device should remain cool during use via heat dissipation technology.

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Spro Plus Combines Tablet With Projector

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Spro Plus Combines Tablet With Projector

ZTE is no stranger to Android-powered projectors, but its latest takes an even bigger form factor-- featuring an 8.4-inch AMOLED touchscreen, the Spro Plus is essentially a tablet grafted on top of a projector.

Announced at MWC 2016, the Spro Plus combines a 500 lumen projector with a Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3GB RAM, 128GB storage (expandable via SDXC card) and 12100mAh battery. Connectivity comes through wifi, Bluetooth and optional LTE. As such, one can easily describe it as a chunky mid-range tablet able to beam 80-inch images on walls or screens.

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Digitimes: iPad Shipments to Reach Record Low

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Digitimes: iPad Shipments to Reach Record Low

Global iPad shipments are set to total 9.8 million units in Q1 2016, Digitimes Research predicts-- a -20% Y-o-Y (or -39.1% Q-o-Q) decline and a historical low for the Apple tablet.

Meanwhile overall Q1 2016 tablet shipments are forecast to fall by -8.6% Y-o-Y to 46.65m. The analyst says Apple accounts for 21% of shipments, followed by Samsung (14%), Lenovo (7.2%), Amazon (5.8%), Huawei (4%), Asus (2.7%), Microsoft (2.6%), TCL (2.6%), LG (1.8%) and Acer (1.2%).

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Apple Starts USB-C Cable Replacements

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Apple Starts USB-C Cable Replacements

Apple launches a global replacement program for the USB-C charging cables for with the 12-inch Retina MacBook from June 2015-- the reason being such cables can fail "due to design issue."

According to the company the cables may cause the MacBook to not charge or only charge intermittently when connected to a power adapter. Customers can identify potentially faulty cables through the label saying "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China." The labels of redesigned cables add a serial number to the text.

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IDC: Detachables Grow as Tablets Decline

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IDC: Detachables Grow as Tablets Decline

IDC brings bad news on the state of the Q4 2015 tablet market as global shipments total 65.9 million units, a -13.7% Y-o-Y decline, while overall 2015 shipments are down by -10.1% to 206.8m units.

However the analyst's report does have a silver lining-- detachable/hybrid devices are "in full swing," with Q4 2015 shipments reaching a record of 8.1m devices, double the amount from the previous year. In comparison "pure" tablets see a greatest annual decline to date of 21.1% Y-o-Y.

"This quarter was unique as we had new detachables in the market from all three of the major platform players," IDC says. "Despite lukewarm reviews, the iPad Pro was the clear winner this season as it was the top selling detachable, surpassing notable entries from Microsoft and other PC vendors. It's also important to note that the transition towards detachable tablets has presented positive opportunities for both Apple and Microsoft. However, Google's recent foray into this space has been rather lackluster as the Android platform will require a lot more refinement to achieve any measurable success."

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A Braille Tablet for the Blind

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A Braille Tablet for the Blind

Researchers at the University of Michigan might have a tablet solution for blind users-- a display using microfluidic bubbles to produce the bumps making the Braille alphabet on demand.

Braille displays and keyboards already exist but, being based on motorised pin systems, such systems tend to be heavy and expensive. The University of Michigan solution uses liquid or air to fill bubbles forming Braille symbols, making it both smaller (around tablet-size) and capable of showing more complex information than traditional devices.

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