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Laptops, Tablets, eReaders

Razer Phone Powers Linda Laptop

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Razer Phone Powers Linda Laptop

Gaming peripheral maker Razer continues its CES 2018 tradition of showing off interesting prototypes with Project Linda-- a laptop dock for the recently released Razer Phone.

Of course, the concept of using a smartphone as the guts of a laptop is nothing new. After all, Motorola had the Lapdock back at CES 2011, a laptop powered via the Atrix 4G handset. What gives Project Linda at least some potential the Razer Phone carries the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the powerful processor behind the Microsoft "Always Connected PC" initiative.

Another interesting feature of the Linda is the smartphone slots on the bottom part of the keyboard, taking the role of either the touchpad or a second screen. The dock is based on the Razer Blade Stealth laptop, and includes a 13.3-inch touchscreen, full-size keyboard, 200GB storage and extra batteries.

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LG Refreshes Gram Laptops

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LG Refreshes Gram Laptops

LG refreshes the Gram laptop range ahead of CES 2018-- all promising to "push the boundaries of portable computing" with bigger 72Wh batteries allowing a "full day" of use on a single charge.

The 2018 Gram laptop range comes in 13.3-, 14- and 15-inch sizes. Specifications vary, with LG offering 8th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and SSD storage (with the option of a second SSD). The IPS touchscreen handles 1920 x 1080 resolution, while connectivity comes through Thunderbolt 3.

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The 13.3-inch eInk eReader-Monitor Combo

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The 13.3-inch eInk eReader-Monitor Combo

The Onyx Boox Max 2 Professional is an interesting eInk device-- one with a 13.3-inch touchscreen complete an HDMI port allowing use as a secondary display, a first according to the company.

The eReader handles 2200 x 1650 resolution with 16-level greyscale, and includes a Wacom digitiser for stylus-based input. Regular finger-based touch input is also supported. Inside are a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage, wireless connectivity comes via wifi and Bluetooth, and a 3.5mm jack provides audio playback.

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Microsoft Presents "Always Connected PCs"

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Microsoft Presents

Microsoft takes the stage at the 2nd Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawai, to further detail Windows 10 notebooks running on Qualcomm chipsets-- now referred to as "Always Connected PCs."

As described at previous events, the Always Connected PCs run on an ARM-based Snapdragon 835 chipset, and promise 20+ hour active use battery life together with mobile device-style instant-on functionality from standby mode (or what Microsoft calls "Modern Standby Mode"). Cellular connectivity is integrated, allowing for low-power, always-on connectivity superior to what is currently available on current notebooks.

The companies stress the notebooks can run all Windows 10 apps, through a choice of either Universal Windows Apps (compiled for ARM directly) or x86 apps run via emulation. Microsoft gives no mention on the performance of x86 emulation, instead announcing an "optimised" version of Office 365 for use on the machines.

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DigiTimes: Cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Yet for 2018?

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DigiTimes: Cheapest 9.7-inch iPad Yet for 2018?

DigiTimes reports Apple plans an "inexpensive 9.7-inch iPad" for 2018-- one with a price of around $259, making it attractive to more budget-conscious customers.

According to unnamed sources from the upstream supply cheain, the price point allows Apple to maintain its current quarterly 10 million unit iPad shipments. It also provides a weapon against the price competition from first-tier players such as Samsung, Amazon, Huawei and Lenovo. It should ship from Q2 2017, and will be aimed at the industrial and service sectors and as well as the consumer market.

As for who is making the tablet, DigiTimes suggests production is being outsourced to Compal Electronics, with Compeq and Unitech Printed Circuit Board taking care of PCB orders.

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TrendForce: Apple Beats Asus in Notebook Rankings

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TrendForce: Apple Beats Asus in Notebook Rankings

TrendForce reports global Q3 2017 notebook shipments total 42.69 million units-- an increase of 0.9% Y-o-Y (or 6.8% Q-o-Q), with peak season performance exceeding previous analyst expectations.

As a result, TrendForce now expects 2017 notebook shipments to reach 162.4m units, a forecast changed from decline to a growth rate of 0.7%. Such growth follows a heightened basis period during H1 2017, as well as HP and Lenovo showing "considerable" growth during H2 2017.

In fact, Q3 2017 sees HP shipments reaching 11m units, a quarterly increase of 17.6%. TrendForce expects the company to have another 0.3% Q-o-Q growth in Q4 2017, before achieving the annual goal of 40m units shipped in 2017, putting it on the top of the annual notebook shipment rankings.

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Asus ROG Presents Strix Hero, Scar Gaming Laptops

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Asus ROG Presents Strix Hero, Scar Gaming Laptops

Asus ROG launches a pair of notebooks catering for the needs of different gamers-- the Strix Hero is aimed at MOBA players, while the Strix Scar promises to be more ideal for FPS games.

The two machines are similar in terms of specifications, with a 2.8GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB NVMe PCIe SSD, 1TB SSHD, 64Wh battery and built-in stereo speakers. Moving to the differences, the Hero is a 15.6-inch number with a 1920 x 1200 120Hz display, GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and desktop-style keyboard with N-key rollover.

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HP Claims "Most Powerful Detachable PC"

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HP Claims

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."

Squarely 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.

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Microsoft Intros Surface Book 2

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Microsoft Intros Surface Book 2

Microsoft cements its hardware ambitions with the announcement of the Surface Book 2-- a sequel to the 2015 notebook featuring 8th generation Intel processors and a 15-inch display option.

The Surface Book 2 looks very similar to the original (not to mention the 2016 update), even if Microsoft insists just about every detail has been tweaked. As the most powerful piece of hardware from the Windows maker yet, it carries 8th gen quad-core Intel Core processors, with the Core i7 models adding GeForce 10-series series graphics.

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