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Microsoft Surface Tablets, Tablet , iPad & Notebook News, Reviews and Accessories


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July 20 , 2017

Xplore releases Xslate R12 rugged tablet with PCIe SSD integration; Refreshed mobile PC now more powerful than ever
International Business Times AU

Xplore Technologies announced on Wednesday that its powerful Xslate R12 rugged tablet PC now Xplore Xslate R12 rugged tabletincorporates Intel PCIe solid state drives. The Windows-powered machine boasts of more-than-potent specs and features, and is built to withstand the most demanding working conditions.

Xplore is a distinguished name in the rugged computing industry. The Texas-based company has made a living churning out award-winning reinforced business solutions over the years. Now it sets yet another milestone as it becomes the first rugged tablet maker to integrate Intel PCIe SSDs into its roster.

The R12, which was first launched in October of last year, now comes with PCIe SSDs as a standard feature on its Intel Core series i7 variants, with a new 1 TB configuration option to boot. The tablet now enjoys a significant boost in disk performance thanks to the drives, and even boasts of a 48 percent improvement in overall system performance when they’re put together with the i7 vPro processor.



July 19 , 2017

Microsoft Surface Book 2 and all there is to know about it
Blasting News

microsoft Surface Book

The technology giant is reportedly working on launching its latest Surface Book 2 device towards the end of this year.

If reports are believed to be true, then the upcoming device will most probably sport a 13.5-inch display with 3,840 x 2,160-pixel resolution and support for 4K-viewing as well. Microsoft is also apparently working on a technology that will enable its fans to experience different trends such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and others. The upcoming device won’t fall anywhere under the $1,000 price-tag for sure. The next big highlight in Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Book 2 is its motherboard. It appears like the device will be powered by the latest version of #Kaby Lake processor. Moreover, the Kaby Lake architecture will necessarily be based on quad-core processors as well.



Windows 10 Creators Update rollout remains slow, and there's bad news for Surface Pro 3 owners

The Windows 10 Creators Update rollout began in April, but unless you took it upon yourself to manually update your PC, there’s a good chance you won’t have been offered it, especially if have an older system. In June, according to AdDuplex, just 35.7 percent of Windows 10 users were running the latest feature update.

AdDuplex has just updated its figures for July, and this shows that 50.1 percent of Windows 10 users now have the update. That might seem like a big jump forward, but to put the speed of the upgrade into context, three months after its rollout began, the Anniversary Update was already on 3/4 of all PCs.




July 18 , 2017

It's now easier to find apps compatible with Microsoft's Surface Dial on the Windows Store

Last October, alongside its Surface Studio all-in-one desktop PC, Microsoft introduced the Surface Dial, describing it as "a new tool for the creative process". Priced at $99.99, the rotary controller offers new ways to interact with a range of software - but it requires app-level support to be able to do so.

Microsoft has now made it easier to find apps on the Windows Store that support the Surface Dial. Microsoft's Jen Gentleman (@JenMSFT) revealed that the company added a new Apps for Surface Dial collection to the Store over the weekend, more clearly signposting such apps to users.

Apps for surface dial




Apple Has A Grand Plan Of Giving An iPad To Every Hospitalized Patient
CCT News

Apple has been pushing heavily into the healthcare sector and it seems that its latest endeavor involves making sure that every hospitalized patient has access to an iPad.Apple

Apple already kicked off the process of distributing iPads in hospitals across the U.S. It started in 2016 with various hospitals including the MetroSouth Medical Center in Chicago, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and the Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego. The Cedars-Sinai hospital has a pilot program which allows patients to access to view their health data as well as other educational tools using iPads.

Apple wants its product to play a part in improving health care

The latest idea revolves around giving patients access to their medical information and this is something that has not been done before. However, it comes with some concerns, especially about security. However, it still offers a lot of advantages to patients and doctors making it quite an appealing option.

“It’s a lot easier now to communicate. Opening up API’s and adding data standards so [the information] is accurate,” stated Michelle Williams, a nurse at Cedars.

According to a recent TechCrunch report, Cedars has also deployed iPads to allow mothers to keep an eye on their newborn babies especially when they are born sick or premature. In such cases, mothers are usually not able to see their babies for a few days but having live feeds on iPads makes it easier.




July 17 , 2017

Some New Surface Pro Owners Complain About Light Bleed

All portable PCs suffer from some level of light bleed, so there’s that. It all comes down to individual PC designs, variances in individual build quality, and other factors. More to the point, I review a dozen or so portable PCs every year. And I see some level of light bleed on virtually every PC I use. Heck, I see it on iPhones too, along with other weird issues related to screens being jammed into ultra-thin form factors.

So when I look at my own 2017-era Surface Pro, I see no light bleed at all in normal usage. Which explains why I am so “Microsoft biased” and didn’t mention it in my review. But you can contort things to see a bit of light bleed by hiding the taskbar and using a solid color as the background image. It’s there, a little bit. Just like it is on other PCs.

Surface Pro Light Bleed


I struggled to take a photo that would show light bleed on my own Surface Pro, but I’m just not seeing it as worse-than-usual or notable in any way. Is there technically “some” light bleed? Yes. But it doesn’t bother me. And I do not notice it. In fact, the light bleed is worse on my Surface Book; in fact, it’s on the top and bottom. Which also doesn’t bother me.

Anyway, I’ve tossed aside my normal Microsoft bias—cough—to report on this issue. I hope that the customers bothered by this get a resolution from Microsoft. And that, in many ways, is the real story: How, and if, Microsoft responds to this issue. Whether its real, exaggerated, or just imagined.

And if you are seeing a light bleed, here’s an idea. Just sign-in to Windows and use the computer. It goes away when you do that.




July 14 , 2017

This could be Microsoft's future USB-C Surface connector
The Verge

Microsoft is creating a Surface USB-C dongle for existing devices, but the software giant also appears USB-C Surface connectorto be preparing a USB-C Surface connector for its future laptops and tablets. In a patent filing, spotted by MSPoweruser, Microsoft reveals it’s working on a version of its Surface connector port that will work with existing USB-C devices.

The patent, filed by Surface designer Jan Raken, describes a solution that will maintain Microsoft’s magnetic connector for power, while keeping the port on the device USB-C. Unfortunately, Microsoft’s patent does say the connector will only support USB 2.0 speeds. This could render the port a little useless, especially as most USB-C implementations use USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 capabilities. However, Microsoft may have managed to implement USB 3 speeds on the Surface device port itself, and simply restrict the Surface connector to USB 2




July 13 , 2017

Apple will toss in a pair of Beats headphones for students who buy a Mac or iPad Pro

Starting today, Apple’s sweetening its education discount program by tossing in a free pair of Beats Beats headphonesheadphones for qualified students. The deal is timed to coincide with the looming back-to-school season, wrapping up on September 25.

The company will comp a pair of Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3 or BeatsX headphones for students (or teachers) who pick up an iMac, Mac Pro or any of the various flavors of MacBook. Those who pick up the 10.5- or 12.9-inch versions of the iPad Pro will either get a free pair of BeatsX headphones or a $150 discount on the pricier Solo or Powerbeats — non-Pro versions of the tablet don’t qualify for the deal.

The educational discounts themselves aren’t huge, capping out at $300 on the Mac side and $20 for the iPad Pro — but given that the Solo3 Wireless retail for around $300 themselves, this does sweeten the deal for those in the market




July 12 , 2017

New Surface Pro 4 firmware adds support for the new Type Cover

If you thought that Microsoft's new Type Covers and Signature Type Covers that launched alongside the new Surface Pro are the same old keyboard in fancy new colors of Alcantara, apparently you'd be mistaken. Today, the company released a firmware update for the Surface Pro 4 that enables support for the new covers, which is available for devices that are running all versions of Windows 10.

Obviously, the accessories should already work with all of Microsoft's existing Surface devices, as all Type Covers already do. The update should improve reliability and compatibility though.

Interestingly, there hasn't been an update for the Surface Pro 3, which would be the only other device that fits the new Type Covers properly. We'll be keeping an eye out for that one. There should also be an update coming for newer Surface devices to bring additional support for the new Surface Pen.

You can grab today's firmware via Windows Update, or you can download it manually here.




July 11 , 2017

Microsoft's One Day Sale: Huge savings on Surface Pro 4, Xbox One S and more

Microsoft Store US has just announced its one day sale to attract customers who are looking for good deals online on the Amazon Prime Day.

The best deal available from Microsoft Store’s sale is on Surface Pro 4. You can now get Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with Intel Core i5 and 256GB SSD for just $849 (was $1,199). You also get 3 months of Groove Music free with the purchase. Find the deal here from Microsoft Store.




July 10 , 2017

HP Spectre x2 vs Surface Pro: Which 2-in-1 Wins?
Laptop Mag

HP Spectre x2 vs Surface Pro

HP's impressive Spectre x2 is a clear sign that it's looking to seize the detachable 2-in-1 laptop throne from Microsoft’s Surface Pro. But while the Spectre x2's got the look down pat, how do its performance and endurance stack up?

HP Spectre x2 Microsoft Surface Pro
Price with Core i5/Keyboard and Pen $1,149 $1,559
Processors Intel Core i5 and i7 Intel Core m3, i5 and i7
Geekbench 4 score 8,633 (Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM) 8,652 (Core i7-7500U, 16GB of RAM)
Battery life 5:01 7:30
RAM 8GB, 16GB 4GB, 8GB, 16GB
Weight/With keyboard 1.7 pounds/2.5 pounds 1.7 pounds/2.8 pounds
Thickness/With keyboard 0.31 inches/0.54 inches 0.29 inches/0.54 inches
Ports 2x USB Type-C ports, with included Type-A adapter, microSD reader, headphone jack USB 3.0, microSD reader, Surface Connect, headphone jack, Mini DisplayPort
Battery Life

Let's keep this short, like the Spectre x2's battery life. The Surface Pro wins an easy knockout-victory here, turning in a runtime of 7 hours and 30 minutes, beating the Spectre x2's 5:01.

Winner: The Surface Pro doesn't last all day, but its life looks lengthy in comparison to that of the Spectre x2.

Value and Accessories

Sure, the Surface Pro starts at $799, but that model is just the tablet, skimping on the $159 Alcantara-covered keyboard and $99 Surface Pen,. And this is for the weaker Core m3 processor.




HP Spectre X2 (2017) review: A more refined Surface clone

The HP Spectre X2 is, in many ways, the ideal way to counteract Microsoft's Surface lineup. It retains HP Spectre X2the slick, high-end style that we loved from the original model, while improving things a bit to make it much more user friendly. Its unique design is a way for HP to show it can make premium devices on par with the likes of Apple. But while it's a better Surface Pro competitor than before, there's still plenty of room for improvement.

HP wisely chose to include the X2's keyboard cover and stylus inside the box, which gives it a leg up over Microsoft. (Surface Pro shoppers will have to purchase both accessories separately this year, tacking on at least another $230.) The X2's keyboard shares the same black-and-copper aesthetic as the tablet, and it sports an extra-wide touchpad. While it's pretty slim, it also features a layer of aluminum, which makes it more rigid than the Surface and other hybrid laptops. HP significantly improved the magnetic connection between the keyboard and stylus too — we had no problem holding up the entire system by the keyboard alone.

The X2's stylus offers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, and there's a convenient holster for it right alongside the keyboard. That's not as slick as the Surface's ability to magnetically pin its stylus next to the screen, but it's far more secure, so you won't end up losing the X2's pen in your bag.




July 7 , 2017

Windows 10 becomes more tablet-friendly with new thumb and pen support
Windows Report

Microsoft Research team is currently testing

After two months of announcements, hardware reveals and conferences, Microsoft has released news regarding new thumb and pen interaction testing. This follows the YouTube video the team released detailing what these interactions could look like in Windows 10. The whole idea is to compliment the current pen support with a more natural users flow. The team is currently testing drawing capabilities, as well.

Thumb and pen interaction on tablets addresses the use of pen and touch for interaction in laptop scenarios. These scenarios include using a Surface tablet on the couch, for instance, because in this case the nonpreferred hand must hold the device. In this particular case, the thumb is available and mobile enough to manipulate controls, enabling a whole new space for thumb and pen interactions.

For instance, you would be able to allow the use of a pen between annotation and cell-selection on a spreadsheet. You would also be able to select cells and copy them to another location on the sheet, illustrating how the pen and touch can afford a simpler form of productivity through the thumb usage.




July 6 , 2017

The new 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the best tablet there is – but is it too good?
City A.M.

In the hand, it feels barely bigger than the old version: it’s slightly heavier (30g) but it gets most of the extra screen real-estate by shrinking the frame around the edges to around 1cm at the sides and under an inch at the top and bottom.Apple iPad Pro

Beyond that, it’s aesthetically-speaking the iPad you know: it has the same physical Touch ID home button, the same aluminium chassis (available in the same gold, silver, rose gold or space grey), the same slightly extruding camera on the rear, the same beautifully bevelled edges. You could hand it to your mother who hasn’t seen an iPad since the first iteration, and within two minutes she’d be emailing you chain letters like it was 2010.

There are more striking differences, but you probably won’t notice them – at least not yet. It’s vastly more powerful, with a frankly ludicrous amount of hardware packed in. The screen is outstanding, with a wider colour gamut, incredible sharpness and the best brightness yet, making it just about useable in direct sunlight.

The A10X chip is a third faster than the previous model, which was already more powerful than most people needed. It’s able to multi-task seamlessly and run the most graphically intensive games. The battery, meanwhile, is brilliant, comfortably getting me through two day’s use before needing a charge. It’s also designed to get the best out of the new iOS 11 (coming in the autumn), which will make use of more intensive multi-tasking, as well as incorporating new augmented reality features.




July 5 , 2017

Lenovo Miix 510 review

While the new Surface Pro is the latest in the line, the Miix 510 is more comparable with the Surface Pro 4 as well as Acer’s Switch Alpha 12.

The Miix 510 follows up on the Miix 700 (yes, we know, confusing) with a new latest-gen Kaby Lake version of the Core i5 and a strong central pairing of 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. As we’ll explain, Lenovo Miix 510there are cheaper variants available, but this is the one to go for in our book.

The Miix design language centres around two watchband-style hinges that enable you to have more control and flexibility than Surface when it comes to the angle to the kickstand and therefore the screen. Another plus is that the keyboard cover is included with the device – unless you nab a deal you don’t get that with Surface Pro.

Like previous iterations, the latest Miix hybrid comes with an active pen. Pens have a lot more functionality these days thanks to the new Windows Ink feature in Windows 10, and they’re an essential add-on for any tablet that takes itself seriously. However, Lenovo’s stylus doesn’t attach to the device via a magnet, although there is a pen loop on the included slipcase.




July 4 , 2017

Happy 4th of July




July 3 , 2017

The New HP SPECTRE x2 – Amazing Power with Potent Artistry

The HP Spectre X2 is a beautifully crafted PC with performance capabilities that make you want to use it every day.HP SPECTRE x2

This laptop is PC provides excellent portability with its thin form factor and light weight.  Coming in at 13.2mm thin (with keyboard attached) and 12.3” diagonal display, this tablet PC is ready to move when you are.
The included HP Active Pen gives you freedom of input with sharp detail on all of your creative projects. This pressure sensitive input device lets your navigate menus, write, and draw with precise accuracy and control.

The power of Spectre x2 resides in the 7th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. The Intel Iris graphics 640 with a 300MHz base frequency easily handles high-end graphics demands.

Audio is provided by Bang & Olufsen and has been a staple with HP products.  These speakers are finely tuned and deliver crisp clear authentic sound.



June 30 , 2017

2017 Microsoft Surface Pro review
Tech Advisor

2017 Microsoft Surface Pro


The original Surface Pro marked Microsoft’s entry into the tablet market and the 2-in-1 has been refined and improved over the years. We were impressed with the Surface Pro 4 and now, 18 months later, we’re just as bowled over by the Surface Pro.

You’ll have noticed the absence of the expected ‘5’ – this is just Surface Pro. Why did Microsoft change the naming scheme? We don’t know for sure, but the 2017 Surface Pro is such a slight iteration that perhaps it didn’t deserve the suffix.

This isn’t to suggest the new Surface Pro is in any way sub-par. Far from it: it takes a great product and makes it excellent.




5 Reasons To Buy Microsoft's Surface Laptop

I’m still working my way through my full Surface Laptop review, but here’s a teaser: it’s good. Surface laptop

So good, in fact, I’m reasonably certain that Microsoft should’ve started its foray into hardware here, rather than arriving at the Laptop after the more usual Pro and Book. 

In any case, there are a few good reasons to make the Surface Laptop your next computing purchase - and few solid reasons not to. Here are my top 5.

A Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, combined with a stripped down OS, means the Surface Laptop boots-up in roughly 20 seconds, which is approaching Chromebook levels. Obviously this is a new computer, so it’s going to be quick either way. But a laptop that's running Windows, booting up this quickly, is impressive.

Microsoft says that it will remain that fast, no matter how long you’ve had the device, which is thanks to the new Windows 10 S. I haven’t had the device long enough, or will have it long enough to test that properly. But early results are positive.

Battery life

Constant and intermittent use of the Surface Laptop throughout a work day meant I didn’t need to reach for the charger by the time I closed the lid at 7pm. That’s 10 hours of (not constant) use, on medium performance and medium brightness.




June 29 , 2017

Huawei MateBook line of Windows 10 devices available for pre-order starting tomorrow

My favorite Windows 10 device of 2016 was the Huawei MateBook. Much like the Surface Pro, it is a Huawei MateBooktablet that can become a laptop with an optional keyboard purchase. While it was less powerful than Microsoft's offering, it was also less expensive. For basic needs, such as web surfing and word processing it was an absolutely fabulous value. Despite the meager internal specs, Huawei made the device feel premium with a beautiful outward design and the addition of USB-C (something no Surface has).

Last month, Huawei announced that it would expand the MateBook line beyond a single tablet to a total of three distinct machines -- MateBook X, MateBook E, and MateBook D. The "E" variant is the successor to the aforementioned tablet (which now comes with the keyboard), while the X and D are traditional 13 and 15.6-inch laptops, respectively. Sadly, exact availability and pricing for the USA was unknown. Today this changes, as Huawei not only reveals cost and pre-order date, but configuration options too.

"Since we unveiled the new MateBooks in May, we've received positive feedback about our PC designs, portability and build quality. We are excited to expand our device lineup in the U.S. with the addition of the latest MateBooks. We pushed the limits of what's possible to deliver all-in-one devices that could do everything customers need, seamlessly -- from sun up to sun down. Creating the best user experiences that result in long-term customer satisfaction is our priority," says Robin Zhu, President, Huawei Device USA.




June 28 , 2017


Microsoft Surface Pro review: very nearly almost the future of Windows PCs
The Guardian

Though held back by the lack of USB-C and barely acceptable battery life, the expensive Surface Pro is the finest example of the tablet-laptop hybrid

Microsoft’s vision of the future of a Windows 10 PC comes in the form of the new Surface Pro.

The Surface Pro – Microsoft dropped its numbering scheme – follows on from last year’s Surface Pro 4, which was an excellent computer plagued by heat and battery life issues. So with longer battery life and laptop-level power is the new version ready for prime time?

The screen is brilliant. It’s pin-sharp with excellent viewing angles and a new “enhanced” colour option that really makes the display pop. You can toggle between enhanced colours and sRGB, which will be useful for anyone needing to edit photos for colour accuracy. The display is more reflective than the best on the market, but with the full range of tilt through the kickstand it was easy to avoid glare from flourescent strip lights in an office.

Microsoft’s computers tend to have the smoothest, fastest Windows experience out of the box, as unlike most other PC manufacturers they’re not bundled with any software other than Office, meaning start-up times are fast. The Surface Pro also has one of the fastest Windows PC resume from standby responses I’ve ever tested, with Windows Hello facial recognition detecting me and logging me in before I’ve brought my hand back from the keyboard or power button.




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