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Laptops, Tablets, eReaders

Microsoft Brings Surface Book 2 to Europe

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Microsoft Brings Surface Book 2 to Europe

Microsoft announces the 13- and 15-inch Surface Book 2 notebooks are now shipping in a number of European markets, following an initial US launch back in November 2017.

Customers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK can preorder the Surface Book 2 now. The notebook will also be available in Bahrain, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, S. Arabia, Spain and UAE from March-April 2018.

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GDP Presents Win 2 Pocket Gaming Laptop

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GDP Presents Win 2 Pocket Gaming Laptop

Chinese laptop maker GDP returns to the  handheld console-stye gaming laptop concept with the Win 2-- a sequel to the first Win device promising more powerful specification for better game performance.

Like its predecessor, the Win 2 is a Windows 10 laptop with built-in gaming controls (namely two analog sticks, d-pad and four face buttons).  It offers 6-inch 1280 x 720 resolution display, an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor with integrated HD Graphics 615, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage and two 4900mAh batteries promising 6-8 hours of power on a single charge.

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No "Major" MacBook Pro Upgrade for 2018?

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No

DigiTimes reports Apple has no plans to release any "major" MacBook Pro upgrades in 2018-- the result of a shift in manufacturer from Quanta Computer to Foxconn (aka Hon Hai Precision Industry).

As the news story puts it, "Foxconn had been aggressively working to land more MacBook orders from Apple during the past few years by offering attractive quotes. Since Apple has not had a major upgrade to its MacBook product line since the releases of its new MacBook Pro devices at the end of 2016 and has no plan for one in 2018, the US-based vendor is planning to shift orders for models that are already in mass production to Foxconn to save costs and reduce risks."

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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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