Lenovo Tab 4 Series Android Tablets Launched at MWC 2017; Goes on Sale This May

Lenovo at its Sunday launch event, as promised, unveiled the new Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus smartphones. The Chinese company also unveiled the all-new Tab 4 series Android tablets which includes four models – Lenovo Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus, and Tab 4 10 Plus.

Lenovo Tab 4 Series Android Tablets Launched at MWC 2017; Goes on Sale This May

The new Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 have starting price of EUR 169 (roughly Rs. 12,000), and EUR 179 (roughly Rs. 13,000) respectively. The Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus, on the other hand, have been priced at EUR 259 (roughly Rs. 18,500) and EUR 299 (roughly Rs. 21,200) respectively. The Chinese company has revealed that the Lenovo’s new Tab 4 series will go on sale globally from May with pricing and availability to vary from country to country. The tablets were unveiled in Barcelona at the side-lines of MWC 2017.

The company promotes that the Lenovo Tab 4 series tablets have been built for both kids and adults. All the tablets features stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos. Lenovo’s new Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus sport what the company calls a “head-turning dual-glass design” with full HD displays, and powerful processors. All the Lenovo Tab 4 series tablets are claimed to offer up to 12 hours of battery life, and run on Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. The new Tab 4 series tablets also feature multi-user mode. Lenovo is also heavily promoting the optional Kid’s and Productivity packs with Tab 4 series tablets.

The Lenovo Tab 4 8 and 10 tablets feature HD displays and are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. Both the tablets will be available in 16GB and 32GB storage models. They will be featuring Micro-USB port for charging. The Lenovo Tab 4 8 packs a 4850mAh battery while the bigger Lenovo Tab 4 10 tablet packs a 7000mAh battery.

Coming to the larger variants, both the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and 10 Plus tablets feature a full-HD display, and are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. Both the tablets pack 32GB storage. The company has also announced another variant featuring 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage. They will come with USB Type-C port for charging. Much like regular variants, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus packs a 4850mAh battery while the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus packs a 7000mAh battery. Both the tablets sport a fingerprint scanner.

All the four tablets will come with an optional kid’s pack which features a dedicated kids’ zone featuring built-in kids content, safety tools, and advanced parental controls. The company claims that the kid’s pack comes with a shock-resistant bumper, a blue-light filter, and a pair of colourful 3M stickers. Additionally, the Lenovo Tab 4’s dedicated Kid’s account features curated kid-friendly content. Lenovo adds that the curated and white-listed content is hand-picked by KIDOZ – the kids’ content discovery platform. The productivity pack for the Lenovo Tab 4 10 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus can transform into a 2-in-1 Android tablet with a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard.

Spotify Debuts in Japan, Complete With Karaoke Lyrics

Spotify Debuts in Japan, Complete With Karaoke LyricsSpotify Ltd. is bringing its popular online music service to Japan, a large and lucrative market where fans have demonstrated a continuing fondness for CDs and even vinyl records.

Spotify, the world’s largest music-subscription business, will offer a free, advertising-supported service as well as an ad-free version for JPY 980 ($9.70 or roughy Rs. 650) per month starting Thursday, the Swedish company said at a Tokyo news conference. Reflecting the country’s predilection for karaoke, Spotify also introduced a new feature that shows lyrics while tracks are playing.

Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek is betting that Spotify can carve out a piece of the world’s second-largest music market. Music sales in Japan total about JPY 300 billion (roughly Rs. 19,758 crores), mainly because consumers have continued to buy CDs and other physical media. Apple. and Japanese messaging service Line Corp. already market digital music services in Japan for a monthly fee, but Spotify will be the first major service available for free on an ongoing basis.

“We want to make sure Spotify here is long-lasting,” Ek said at launch event in Tokyo. Spotify will bring “two million artists around the world to Japan and bring the Japanese artists we all love to the rest of the world,” he said. The service will also be available on Sony’s PlayStation consoles.
Earlier this month, Spotify said it had topped 40 million paying customers, with another roughly 60 million users taking advantage of the free service. The number of paid subscribers is more than double the total at Apple.

Spotify is attempting to negotiate new licensing contracts with the world’s biggest record companies as it heads toward an initial public offering by the end of next year. The company isn’t profitable even though it generated more than $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,379 crores) in revenue last year, in part because it pays the vast majority of the money back to music companies and publishers. Spotify is now in advanced talks to buy rival service SoundCloud, the Financial Times has reported.

Panasonic Launches Lumix FZ2500, Lumix LX-10, and Lumix G85 at Photokina 2016

Panasonic Launches Lumix FZ2500, Lumix LX-10, and Lumix G85 at Photokina 2016

  • The Lumix FZ2500 gets a new lens and is priced at $119.99
  • The Lumix LX10 supports 4K video and is priced at $699
  • The Lumix G85 has 5-axis Dual IS and costs $899 for the body

Panasonic kicked off Photokina 2016 in Cologne, Germany, by launching three new cameras. The Lumix FZ2500 is the successor to the FZ1000 and starts shipping in November for $1199.99 (approximately Rs. 83,999). The second one is the Lumix LX10, a premium compact camera with a 1-inch sensor that will also start retailing around November for $699 (approximately Rs. 48,930). Last but not least, there’s the Lumix G85 – a rugged interchangeable lens mirrorless camera with 5-axis stabilisation that’s priced at $899 (approximately Rs.62,930) for just the body and $999 (approximately Rs. 69,930) with the 12-60mm kit lens.

The Lumix FZ2500 boasts of 20x optical zoom, aperture of f/2.8-4.5, variable ND filters and a 1-inch 20.1-megapixel sensor. Unlimited 4K video recording is one of the big advances in the new model over the previous one. The camera captures raw images, burst shooting up to 12fps and features an OLED EVF with a 2.3million dot resolution. There’s a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, Wi-Fi connectivity and professional-grade V-LogL video recording.

The Panasonic Lumix LX10

The Lumix LX10 is a premium compact camera, similar to Sony’s RX100 series. It boasts of a 1-inch MOS sensor, f/1.4-2.8 aperture, maximum ISO sensitivity of 12,800 10fps burst shooting. The camera features a 20.1-megapixel sensor that’s capable of 4K video recording at 30fps. The LX10 also boasts of a 180-degree tiltable, 3-inch LCD display but no EVF, so you’ll be relying on the rear screen for all your framing needs. The camera also supports shooting in raw, built-in Wi-Fi and charging over USB.

The Panasonic Lumix G85

Finally, we have the Lumix G85 which boasts of a 5-axis dual image stabilisation system, which combines OIS and BIS (Body Image Stabiliser) to give you the best stabilisation performance while shooting. The camera has a rugged design which makes it splash and dustproof. It has a 16-megapixel sensor, fully articulating touchscreen LCD, Wi-Fi and an Oled EVF.

Panasonic also teased its upcoming Lumix GH5 camera, which is the world’s first interchangeable lend mirrorless camera that’s capable of shooting 4K video at 60fps. It will also be able to capture ‘6K photo’ or 18-megapixels equivalent of stills from a video. Full specifications and availability details are yet to come.

 

Apple Watch 2 Video Leak Tips Thinner Form Factor, Larger Battery

Apple Watch 2 Video Leak Tips Thinner Form Factor, Larger Battery
The Apple Watch 2 is tipped to sport a 1.35Whr battery
It will be integrated with GPS-based location tracking
The smartwatch will launch on September 7
While iPhone 7 leaks have been aplenty, the Apple Watch 2 hasn’t been subjected to as many regular leaks. However, today we get a look at all the new things that are being housed inside the Apple Watch 2. According to the fresh leak, the Apple Watch 2 will be thinner and sport a bigger battery.

This isn’t something that we haven’t heard before, as past leaks suggest the same thing. However, Byte.co.uk provides more credibility by showing us what it claims to be genuine parts of the Apple Watch 2. The firm makes service parts of iPhone and Samsung devices, and it has uploaded a video demoing the innards of the new smartwatch.

The video shows us the LCD screen, the Force Touch gasket, and the battery. The display LCD panel seems to be significantly thinner than the original Apple Watch. The components of the original Apple Watch are placed right beside the new components of the Apple Watch 2 to show the comparison. The Force Touch gasket also sees a lot of upgrade, and the chips are placed differently, when compared to the current model. What upgrades the Force Touch gasket brings, can only be determined once it is torn down further.

Coming to the battery, it looks much thicker than the one integrated inside the current model. It shows the torn down Apple Watch 2 with a larger 1.35Whr battery. The current 42mm Apple Watch comes with a 0.94Whr battery. It is rumoured that the larger battery is incorporated to accommodate GPS.
While Apple was earlier touted to bring cellular connectivity with the next Watch model, the latest reports assert that Apple isn’t ready with low-power consuming cellular chips. The biggest issue is the battery consumption of these cellular chips, and reports claim that while Apple is developing a low-power chip, it won’t be ready for launch next week.

The Apple Watch 2 is rumoured to be will be unveiled in two sizes – 38mm and 42mm – just like last year, and will sport minimal changes design-wise. Apart from GPS-based location tracking, Apple will also introduce improvements in health tracking. It is adding a new app that will track breathing, and new watch faces which also give health summaries.

Apple Watch apps could get zippier with new requirement for app makers

Dear iPhone, I love you, but I think I just need to be alone for a while. Yours, Apple Watch.

Could your Apple Watch and iPhone soon be going their separate ways for good?

This week, Apple gave third-party developers of Apple Watch apps a new requirement. Come June 1, apps submitted to the company’s App Store must be built for the more recent versions of the software that runs the Apple Watch: watchOS 2 or later.

Yeah, so? Well, Apple unveiled watchOS 2 in October. Among other things, the upgraded operating system added more Wi-Fi support, which meant you could run apps, make calls and issue voice commands without the need for an iPhone nearby. As of June, new App Store apps will have to, well, support that beefier Wi-Fi support, by running the newer OSes. That suggests a faster, better app experience on the Apple Watch.

Apple released incremental updates with watchOS 2.2 last month. It could also unveil new features and improvements to the OS at its WWDC developers conference, which begins June 13. We may also see a second-generation Apple Watch sometime this year.

The new watchOS 2 requirement comes as the Apple Watch celebrates its first birthday. The gadget first began shipping on April 24 last year.

Apple didn’t respond to a request for more information.

Sony PS4K ‘Neo’ will target 1080p minimum resolution, upcoming titles universally compatible

PS4

New surrounding the PlayStation 4’s upcoming update (codenamed Neo) continues to surface, and our understanding of what the new platform will offer is rapidly firming up. While these unofficial leaks should be treated as rumors until formally confirmed by Sony itself, the fact that multiple publications are willing to speak firmly on-record suggests that high-level sources are deliberately feeding information to the press (and yes, this is absolutely a thing that happens).

Eurogamer has a full breakdown of the latest details, but here are some of the major highlights:

All games will target 1080p as the minimum resolution: While there are no mainstream televisions that target 1440p as a native resolution, game developers will have the option to render internally at higher resolutions and down-sample the game to 1080p output. Done properly, this provides a visual quality boost that’s quite similar to smooth-screen antialiasing. Both Nvidia and AMD have provided technologies that can perform this task in-driver on PCs; it’s one way to play older titles at 4K levels of fidelity even if you’re stuck on an older monitor.

Game saves and online play are both cross-platform: All applications are supposed to be capable of saving games that can be played on either console, both consoles must be able to play together online, and the operating system will be identical across both platforms. Backup data will be accessible on either console, though you can only have one primary console and one PSN ID logged in at any given time.

No Neo-specific or PS4-specific titles: Older games can be patched for the Neo to offer forward compatibility, new titles must include such support from Day 1. All games will be available in unified binaries; the CPU binary is common to both platforms while the GPU binaries will come in up to three flavors: Neo-specific, PS4-specific, and a shared binary for both GPUs. This suggests that the CPU is a straight port of the earlier Jaguar APU, with a 500MHz clock speed bump.

Presumably developers are allowed some leeway regarding higher resolution assets and textures for the Neo, so long as these changes are not significant and do not alter the experience in ways that would disadvantage the PS4. Apart from the 1080p minimum mandatory resolution, Sony hasn’t given many rendering guidelines. Games must be at least as fast on the Neo as on the PS4 and can offer enhanced versions of PS4 features but not entirely new features. The example Eurogamer gives is that a game that supports two-player split-screen gaming on the PS4 can offer four-player split-screen on Neo. A PS4 game without split-screen at all, however, cannot offer split-screen as a Neo-only feature.

How much can Sony improve performance?

Without knowing more about Polaris, we can’t say for certain what the PlayStation 4’s upper performance boundary is, but we can take a rough guess at what the minimum performance improvement looks like. While the comparison is not exact, the GPU inside the PlayStation 4 closely resembles a trimmed version of AMD’s HD 7870 / R9 270. It so happens that AMD sold a Hawaii-class GPU with exactly 2x the R9 270’s core count — the R9 290. Eyeballing the performance improvement from the R9 270 to the R9 290 should give us a very rough idea of what to expect (Anandtech’s Bench tool is extremely useful for this).

AnandTech-Bench

If the minor bump from GCN 1.0 to 1.1 shown above was capable of nearly doubling frame rates, as shown above, the more significant jump from the PS4 to the Neo should offer larger gains. The one exception to this would be if the PS4’s CPU or memory bandwidth prove to be significant bottlenecks, and that’s still possible. Even so, however, we see a number of games running well above the 60 FPS mark in 1080p.

The worst-case improvement for the Neo over the base PS4 would be a 20-30% jump where a game is entirely CPU-bound or memory bandwidth-bound. Best-case improvement could be more than 2x. Hopefully Sony will allow developers to target 1080p/60 on at least some titles, even if the base PS4 game runs at 1080p/30.

The PS4 is expected to remain in-market alongside the Neo, possibly with a price cut or an updated slim model. Microsoft is still remaining mum about its own upgrade plans, but the company must have a solution of its own coming through the pipeline.

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series quad-core gaming laptop for $700

Amazon launches the Kindle Oasis, a premium $290 e-reader with a love handle

amazonoasis-100655857-orig.jpg

Amazon is turning the e-reader into a luxury item with the new Kindle Oasis.

Starting at $280, the Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s most expensive e-reader since theKindle DX from 2010. Amazon says its mission with Kindle is to “make the device disappear so you can lose yourself in an author’s story,” and in this case, that means making the device more book-like.

To wit: One side of the Kindle Oasis sports an extra-wide, extra-thick bezel, which seems like a nod to the spine of a paper book. Users can hold it in either hand, and the screen will flip around accordingly.

Amazon is also including a leather cover with the Oasis. Aside from just making the package look classier, the cover includes its own battery, which combines with the e-reader for up to eight weeks on a charge. Plugging in the Kindle Oasis with the cover attached will charge both devices, and the e-reader is smart enough to deplete the cover’s battery before tapping into its own reserves.

amazonoasiscovers
A choice of Kindle Oasis battery cover is included in the $280 price.

Those flourishes aside, the Kindle Oasis is similar to 2014’s Kindle Voyage, with a 6-inch 300 dpi display and 4GB of storage for holding thousands of ebooks. The Oasis should be brighter, however, with 10 LEDs compared to 6 LEDs in the Voyage. Its 0.29 lb. frame (without the cover) is also much lighter than any other Kindle. (Attaching the cover brings the weight up to 0.53 ounces, which is still lighter than most small tablets.)

Amazon hasn’t given a precise release date for the Kindle Oasis, but is taking pre-orders now for shipping in the “coming weeks.” As with other Kindles, Amazon charges an extra $20 to remove “Special Offers” ads from the device’s lock screen. A 3G model (for downloading books without Wi-Fi) is also available for $70 more.

Meanwhile, Amazon still sells a basic Kindle for $80, the higher-resolution Kindle Paperwhite for $120, and the $200 Voyage with adaptive lighting.

Why this matters: For years, Amazon had been racing to the bottom on e-reader pricing as it tried to edge out rivals like Nook, Kobo, and Sony. Although the company still sells readers for cheap, it’s also trying to appeal to ebook diehards at a premium. Amazon must have enjoyed some success on that front with the Kindle Voyage, given that the company is now charging even higher prices for the Kindle Oasis.