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The Foldable Dual-Screen ZTE Axon M

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ZTE claims the Axon M brings nothing less than "a new smartphone category"-- or in the least something rather interesting, since it features a foldable design with two full-size displays.

ZTE Axon MThe Axon M has a pair of 5.2-inch 1920 x 1080 displays, one in the front and the other in the back. A hinge connects the two, allowing users to flip the rear display and slot it next to the front one, creating a single 6.75-inch display. Users can then either stretch apps across the larger display or take advantage of Android split-screen features to run two apps simultaneously, one on each screen. Users can even watch two different videos on the two screens, switching between audio streams as they want.

In addition, one can also "tent" the phone and mirror the displays, allowing two people to look at the same content from the front and back. ZTE promises the "top 100" Android apps work on the Axon M, with the tablet version of the app (if one exists, obviously) running when the it is in "extended" mode.

Qualcomm Readies Windows 10 PCs

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A Hong Kong summit sees Qualcomm further detail what it describes as "Cellular PCs"-- Windows 10 machines running on ARM-based processors promising a "hypermobile experience."

Snapdragon pcsSuch devices were first revealed last summer at Taipei's Computex 2017, where Qualcomm presented "Snapdragon PCs" combining PC functionality with the always-on convenience of mobile devices. The show featured Snapdragon 835-powered laptops running Windows 10 and popular applications, including Office and Photoshop, with the 64-bit ARM-based processor providing enough power for convincing x86 emulation.

As for the aforementioned Hong Kong summit, Trusted Reviews reports Microsoft was in attendance to confirm the existence of such machines. Set for a December 2017 launch, they are still based on the Snapdragon 835 chip, and promise nothing less than multi-day battery life Microsoft claims is a "game-changer.

Microsoft Brings Intellimouse Back

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A surprise listing on the Microsoft hardware website reveals the return of a classic rodent-- the IntelliMouse, in the shape of a modern version inspired by the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0.

Classic IntelliMouseLaunched in 2002, the IntelliMouse 3.0 was the last version of the IntelliMouse, a mouse line Microsoft started way back in 1996. The first version featured a curvy ergonomic design and introduced the scroll wheel to the world. Actual mouse functionality came through a ball before a 1999 update brought optical tracking technology.

The 2017 Classic IntelliMouse is very similar to the original, if updated with a DPI range reaching up to 3200. It also has 3 customisable buttons, BlueTrack tracking for glass use and a 1000 reports per second mouse report rate. Connectivity remains wired, if via USB. In actual changes, the distinctive red tail light is now a "clean, modern white."

HP Claims "Most Powerful Detachable PC"

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HP uses the Adobe Max conference to show off a 2-in-1 tablet-- the ZBook x2, a device the company claims is nothing less than the "world's most powerful detachable PC."

HP ZBook x2Squarely aimed at the professional segment, the ZBook x2 is positioned as a workstation-class machine (thus the "Z" in the name). It comes in a range of technical specifications, topping out at an 8th generation Kaby Lake-R Core i7-8650U, a quad-core, 8-thread CPU running at 4.2GHz. Further details include up to 32GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro M620 graphcs with 2GB video memory, and up to 2TB PCIe SSD storage.

The display comes in two 14-inch 3840 x 2160 resolution flavours-- either regular IPS with reduced glare, or a 10-bit-per-pixel DreamColor panel able to showing the full Adobe RGB colour space. It is touch-capable, and an included Wacom-designed stylus offers 4096 levels of pressure and tilt support, with no battery required.

Gartner: 2% Growth for 2018 Device Shipments

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Global PC, tablet and smartphone shipments are to reach 2.35 billion units in 2018, Gartner reports-- a 2% increase over 2017, the highest growth rate since 2015.

The analyst also has the results of an online survey of users in the US, UK, Germany, China and India. It shows users still do a lot tasks on PCs, with 40% of respondents using PCs or tablets for certain daily tasks (such as reading or writing detailed emails, or watching video), while 34% use a smartphone for the convenience while on the move.

Gartner device market q3 2017

However users continue holding on to PCs for longer, even as they replace smartphones on a more frequent basis. As a result, traditional PC shipments are forecast to decline by -4.4% in 2018, while mobile phones will grow by 2.4%. The PC market does have a bright spot in PC business shipments returning to growth by end 2017, thanks to faster Windows 10 replacements in regions such as W. Europe.

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