HP's new Spectre 13 is the world's thinnest laptop

HP's new Spectre 13 guns for Apple's MacBook Air

Apple’s MacBook Air for the last 8 years has set the standard for what one defines as a great laptop. It created the ultrabook category, but nowadays, it is showing its age as Apple hasn’t refreshed its design in a couple of years. HP is taking this as a window of opportunity with its new Spectre 13 notebook, which it unveiled on Monday.

It doesn’t come with ancillary bells and whistles, but HP’s new machine is the world’s thinnest notebook at 10.4mm. It is a good deal thinner than Apple’s MacBook Air which measures at 13.2mm.

HP focusses on the essentials. So it has managed to outfit the laptop with a powerful Intel core i7 processor coupled with 8GB RAM. Most Windows machines of this class normally come with Intel’s Core M processor which is more power efficient but also less powerful. Even the new MacBook with retina display has an Intel Core M processor.

HP hasn’t even opted for a touch-screen or an outlandish 4K resolution on the display. Instead, it has a standard 13.3-inch Full HD display.

HP has focussed on design and used a combination of aluminium and carbon fibre in its construction to keep things light. It also gets a large bronze element along its edge for the sake of aesthetics that HP is hoping will lend the device a level of panache that’s not seen on most notebooks.

It also manages to pack three USB-Type C ports of which two double as a ‘Thunderbolt ‘ connectors too. So, there are no Retina MacBook like trade-offs.

HP claims 9.5 hours of battery life which will be lesser than the MacBook Air’s 12 hours, but still close enough. The company is also adopting leanings from smartphones in the device. It has added a heat pipe in the notebook for insulation as it has a powerful processor. Heat pipes have off-late propped on smartphones like the Galaxy S7 and the Microsoft Lumia 950.

The Spectre 13 will be launched in the US for $1,169.99 or Rs 78,000 approximately. Currently, there is no word when the notebook will be launched in India.

Huawei may launch smartwatch in India on Monday

Huawei may launch smartwatch in India on Monday

Chinese tech giant Huawei is likely to launch a wearable in India on Monday. The company is hosting a press conference in New Delhi for the same and sources suggest that the company intends to launch a wearable product. It is also worth noting that this will be a launch under the Huawei branding and not the Honor sub-brand, which the company uses to sell products online.

While details of the product are sketchy, it is known that the company makes an Android wear based smartwatch called the Huawei Watch. That is the product the company may launch on Monday. The company also makes a fitness tracker called the TalkBand 2, which can also make calls.

In all likelihood, Huawei will probably launch the Watch which was announced way back in September at the IFA trade show in Berlin. We say this because Huawei only a day ago globally announced the TalkBand 3 alongside the P9 and P9 Plus smartphones, so it wouldn’t make much sense for the company to launch an older product. That said, stranger things have happened.

The Huawei Watch is considered to be the prettiest Android Wear based smartwatch. It has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 400×400 pixels which makes it the most pixel dense smartwatch display with 404 ppi.

It is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. The wearable also has 512MB of RAM coupled with 4GB ROM. It has a 300mAh battery.

The Huawei Watch has a circular display dial and it comes with stainless steel watch bands like premium wristwatches. It is also available in models with classic leather watch buckles. The models with the leather bands starts at $349 in the US, while the one with the steel band starts at $399.

Considering it is based on Android Wear, it will not only work with Android but will also add limited support for iOS which powers iPhones.

Huawei Watch launched in India, exclusive to Flipkart

Huawei Watch launched in India for Rs 22,999, exclusive to Flipkart

On expected lines, the Huawei Watch has been launched in India for Rs 22,999. The Android Wear based smartwatch will be available exclusively via online retailer Flipkart, however, at a later date the product will be available even in offline retail channels.

The Huawei Watch was globally unveiled more than  6 months ago at the IFA trade show back in September 2015. The wearable is considered to be one of the prettiest smartwatches in the market.

Interestingly, Huawei is currently just launching the model with the leather strap. It will also bring the model with steel watch band at a later date.

It is has a 1.4-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 400×400 pixels which makes it the most pixel dense smartwatch display with 286 ppi. The display is also made out of sapphire glass like premium swiss watches.

It is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.4GHz. The wearable also has 512MB of RAM coupled with 4GB ROM. It has a 300mAh battery.

As the smartwatch runs on Android Wear, it not only works with Android smartphones, it will also be compatible with iOS devices albeit in a limited capacity.

Huawei emphasises that the smartwatch is a premium offering which has been made more like a watch than a typical gadget. The company claims that over 160 elements in the manufacturing process are manually done.

Huawei executives also said that they intend to bring the TalkBand 3 to India.

“When we launch, we will probably look at launching an entire portfolio of products,” said P Sanjeev, VP for sales at Huawei India, hinting at a possible launch for the P9 smartphone which was announced globally last week.

Oculus Rift pre-orders get free shipping, but its Terms of Service raises eyebrows

Two new pieces of Rift-related news today: First, the company has acknowledged it’s been hit by an “unexpected component shortage,” which delayed some of its shipments. Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe took to Twitter to address the problem. According to Iribe, Oculus will provide free shipping on all preorders, including international ones, as a way to apologize to its most dedicated fans.

OculusShipping

A later tweet clarified that all preorders made between January and April 1 will be free, regardless of when they were placed. There’s been some concern from Rift backers and pre-orders over when devices would actually ship and the company has been criticized for being largely silent on these issues — it’s good to see some clarification on the topic. That said, Oculus is still apparently struggling to process orders; a number of Twitter users claim not to have received confirmation emails days after placing an order.

The current shipping date for an Oculus Rift is July 2016 if you haven’t placed an order, but there’s no harm in letting the ecosystem firm up a bit. While we’re excited about the long-term potential of virtual reality, current reviews suggest the hardware and software suites are both first-gen products with the promise and pitfalls that entails.

Oculus’ Terms of Use raise eyebrows

Oculus’ shipping issues aren’t the only potential cloud on the horizon for the VR company. Gizmodo read through the Rift’s Terms of Use and pointed out some verbiage that’s likely to concern the privacy-minded. Some of the language is boilerplate-standard for a social company like Facebook, which grants itself the right to use any content you upload to the service for any purpose it wishes without acknowledgement, compensation, or expectation of privacy.

Oculus also states that it collects information about your specific system, IP address, and other device identifiers, data on the games, content, and applications installed on your system, your location information (including your exact location if you are using a mobile device), and your physical movements and dimensions while using VR.

The privacy policy notes it may receive information about you from companies that are related to Facebook and Oculus, and that it may purchase additional information about you from third parties that specialize in data collection. That information will be used to provide you with Oculus Rift services, but can also be used explicitly for marketing, as shown below:

OculusMarketing

Oculus notes that it can share your information with Facebook and its related partners, as well as “vendors, service providers, researchers and other partners, who work at our direction to support the Services (such as hosting our Services, fulfilling orders, facilitating payments, analyzing the way people use our Services, processing credit card payments, providing customer service, or sending electronic communications for us).”

Finally, the company notes that it can share anonymized data at any time, with anyone it pleases, and that it may partner with third parties to provide content, marketing, and functionality within the Oculus Store. “These and other third parties may collect information about your use of our Services, including through the use of cookies, device IDs, local storage, pixels and other technologies, and this information may be collected over time and combined with information collected on different websites and online services.”

Kudos to Oculus for at least being honest and open about what it collects and what it intends to do with it. The company’s data collection plans probably aren’t much different than what other companies suck down these days, and at least Oculus is being open about what it wants to gather and what it does with it.

On the other hand, Terms of Service like this are going to be read as confirming the worst fears of VR enthusiasts who were unhappy when Facebook acquired the service. However common the total hoovering of user data may be these days, it still sits badly with individuals who aren’t willing to accept handing over all of their personal information simply because they purchased a product. The fact that Oculus is open about using such information for marketing while buying more data about its users from third parties is commendable, but it also highlights how we’ve been collectively commodified.

Companies like Facebook can get away with saying that users of a free service should expect to be marketed too — user data is the currency FB relies on to offer its product. At what point does a customer pay enough money to actually receive privacy when they purchase something? Evidently $600 isn’t enough.

Google's New Chromecast, Chromecast Audio May Launch Soon in India

When Google unveiled the refreshed Chromecast alongside the Chromecast Audio in September last year, the Mountain View giant was expected to bring the devices to India as well, as the first-generation Chromecast was already officially available in India. Seven months have passed however, and there’s no update from Google on the availability of its new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.

Now, in a glimmer of hope, Android Police reports that Google has finally refreshed its official hardware availability page adding countries including India and Taiwan to receive the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio – this usually signals availability via the country-specific Google Store. Unfortunately, either Google has since updated the page, or the details are not visible in India, as at the time of writing the page only showed the old list.

Launched in September, the second-generation Chromecast saw a complete departure from the original’s design. The all new design saw looped inside a circular Chromecast logo-shaped unit. The company also upgraded the internal components to make the new Chromecast more capable and added three antennas inside the device. The device supported 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi for stutter-free high quality streaming. It comes with a new feature called “Fast Play,” allowing the Chromecast to start a video or audio streaming much quicker to start, once users press the Cast button. Notably, Google maintained the same $35 price point as the original.

 

 

new_chromecast_black

Google’s Chromecast Audio streaming device, also priced at $35 (roughly Rs. 2,300), allows one to stream music to their regular speakers directly from a smartphone or laptop. Chromecast Audio is said to not compress audio, assuring the audiophile inside you that the device wouldn’t compromise on audio quality. It works with Android and iOS devices, apart from PCs. The device supports high-quality audio, 2 watt RMS, and an optional optical digital out that sits in the hybrid port. It additionally includes a feature called guest access, allowing others to stream even if they are not connected to the user’s Wi-Fi network.

 

 

source- NDTV

A closer look at the Microsoft HoloLens (pictures).

Microsoft’s HoloLens is one of the most magical pieces of technology I’ve ever seen. It could change the world. But if you bought one today, for your own personal use, I guarantee you’d hate it.

For over a year, journalists have written breathless descriptions of the amazing things they’ve seen inside the HoloLens headset, but they’ve never been able to give you the full picture. Microsoft planned it that way. The first time I tried HoloLens, I actually had to surrender my camera and phone, only to walk through a set of scripted experiences in a secret bunker underneath Microsoft’s Redmond campus.

It was exciting stuff. And still is, honestly. Have you seen our video yet?gggggggg

But this week, Microsoft let us see what it’s actually like to use HoloLens for real. I spent 90 minutes with an actual $3,000 Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition on my head, watching as computer-generated objects popped into existence in my real world. I walked around an ordinary hotel suite, with no Microsoft supervision, and saw what these holograms were capable of. It made my mind swirl with the possibilities

It also made me very, very glad that Microsoft has no intention of ever releasing the current developer kit to regular, non-developer people. It’s not even close to ready.

 

 

source-cnet