Samsung is a technology giant and as such is always busy on several fronts. If on the one hand you have to manage the arrival of the Galaxy S10 family , on the other you have to innovate in more sectors. With this in mind, the Korean company has created a new display for the notebook market .
Samsung has officially unveiled the first 15.6-inch panel made with OLED technology and equipped with a 4K resolution . The screen, thanks to OLEDs, allows an unprecedented visual rendering of the n as each pixel emits its own light . For the black color instead the pixel turns off completely thus obtaining absolute blacks.
OLED panels have an accuracy in color reproduction superior to the classic LCDs. For this reason the management of HDR is better and therefore the use of multimedia content is unparalleled, as emphasized by the certification DisplayHDR 600. The panel is able to achieve a brightness of 600 nits , which ensures perfect visibility even under the direct sunlight.
The only problems of OLED panels are those inherent in their nature. Burn-in problems can occur if the same image is displayed for a long time. In this case the PC security systems should intervene and avoid the problem with screensavers or turning off the display after a few minutes.
Samsung’s large-scale production is expected to start in mid-February. The main devices that will use the Korean solution will be the new Dell XPS 15, Alienware m15 / G15 and HP Spectre x360 OLED . Marketing times vary for each individual producer, but all these laptops will be presented by the summer.
IN TEST – Strengths and limits of Acer Swift 7 (SF714-51T), with integrated 4G connectivity, very thin, and real weight, qualifies as an ideal laptop for travel
For the 2019 version of Acer Swift 7 in Italy we will have to wait a few more months but it is already at the starting point. Just as it is in mainstream Acer Swift 7 ‘2018 edition’ (we try the model SF714-51T) , in fact, the update of the thinnest laptop that has been presented at CES 2019 in Las Vegas and so it is even more interesting now the comparison between the new version and the current one we are testing with its lights and shadows.
Certainly, at first glance, it seems that Acer has completely corrected (in the edition 2019) at least one of the elements that we least liked the model under test, and that is a lot of space wasted for a 14 “display (touch) that is surrounded by balanced frames on the upper profile and on the side profiles, but which ruins the elegant overall balance of Swift with a bottom edge of 4 cm. Really not very elegant, although in the lower frame, in the lower part, are housed brightness sensor and Webcam.
Acer Swift 7
It’s a shame this bad first impression, because the one proposed by Acer as a whole is an elegant laptop, very thin and very very light, with a record thickness of just 8/9 mm, which almost gives the idea of having done a miracle to host the thinner interfaces such as the two USB Type-C 3.1 . Swift 7 weighs then just 1.2 kg, this is a fact that we must take into account, able to close a blind eye, compared to the choices related to the display.
We review Swift 7 and note with pleasure: on the right profile the power button and the compartment for a nanoSim that will always remain connected with the 4G, possibly also enter the SIM of the phone or tablet, given the choice of format sim smaller. Not only that, eSim is also supported.
Only the two interfaces mentioned USB Type C 3.1 and the single socket for combined headphones and microphone (mini jack) can be found on the left profile. Acer is equipped with a small and very thin mini-dock that can provide a USB 3.1 Type A port, USB Type C replication and an Hdmi port. Unexplainable, however, the absence also on this port of an Ethernet connector.
Acer Swift 7
On the rear edge you can see two discrete and elegant status LEDs, while the keyboard piano shows a five-line keyboard with the fingerprint reader on the left.
We appreciated the particularly generous touchpad (12 cm wide), sensitive and smooth, profiled with a metal wire, as well as the display, even if the touch pad does not have the right button, whose features are clearly obtainable with double touch contemporary of two fingers. For us, the best choice. The dissipation of heat, however, spread even to the area of support of the palms of the hand.
Acer Swift 7 (SF714-51T), the specifications that matter
Swift 7 measures 32.8 × 23.7 × 0.9 cm, just to be clear, you can put it in its elegant folder where you put the same A4 sheets, the thickness so small is a real plus. The display, protected by Corning Gorilla glass, with a 14 “diagonal, unfortunately simply boasts the Full HD resolution (in 16: 9 aspect ratio), also to reduce consumption, considering the necessarily limited space available to host the polymer battery of lithium which has the capacity of 4580 mAh (with two cells).
This is an IPS panel with multi-touch LEDs. The laptop, however, can not be used as a tablet because the rotation allowed by the two hinges is just 180 degrees. Acer has worked well even if, with the laptop almost closed, the hinges tend to give way until the complete closure of the shell even when it is not desired.
The model we are testing uses an Intel Core i7 -7Y75 CPU . We say so now, it is not a cpu able to ensure top performance, but combines consumption and performance just enough to make it usable for a long time a laptop designed for extreme mobility, more than for graphics performance. The CPU is accompanied with integrated graphics Intel HD 615 , a level just below, the budget that we can consider standard for mainstream laptops, that is, with other CPUs, Intel HD 620.
Acer Swift 7
The user will have at his disposal the memory of a 256 Gbyte SSD disk (removed the space reserved for OS Windows 10 Pro and applications) and 8 Gbytes of Ram. Probably a 16 Gbyte module would have ensured better results in the performance tests that, we will see, have not amazed.
Asus Swift 7 supports WiFi Ac and Bluetooth connectivity, does not support NFC connectivity. The strength of 4G connectivity remains, so that the laptop can actually be a true travel companion for the business. Promoted with flying colors for this use. Satisfaction, considering the available space the audio sector. Without particular claims, it is appropriate to the device and the purpose of its use.
The model announced a few days ago in Las Vegas, Swift 7 2019 in addition to correcting the imperfection of the lower frame exaggerated weighs even less, just 890 grams, will feature Intel Core i7 of the eighth-generation Y series (this model 2018 is stopped at the seventh) and Bluetooth 5.0 (compared to 4.2 of this model).
Acer Swift 7 (SF714-51T), our experience and judgment
Acer Swift 7 (ed 2018) will remain our 14-inch diagonal portability champion for sure until mid-2019, when the new version recently presented at CES in Las Vegas 2019 will enter mainstream. The strong points are the extreme portability and 4G connectivity, all with a very small footprint and weight.
However, the expense for this model is very high. Swift 7 we talked about costs around 1900 euros. Really an excessive price. The choice of a laptop like the Swift 7 model under test must be guided above all by the search for usability everywhere and by maximum portability, less by performance. In fact, the PCMark 10 benchmarks did not return an exhilarating score, despite the adoption of Intel Core i7.
We are indeed in front of a cpu of the previous generation (1.3 GHz the standard clock frequency) compared to that now in mainstream. PCMark 10 records 2240 of total score. 5157 in Essentials tests , 3784 in those related to Productivity and just 1565 in those related to the creation of digital content. This is due to the lack of discrete graphics. The overall ergonomics is more than satisfactory, the keyboard has behaved very well in our tests. Overall, therefore, the laptop should be promoted with full marks, but undoubtedly at another price.
Asus, Acer and Dell presented the new gaming laptops for 2019 at CES 2019 and innovative solutions were not lacking: here they are
Some might call them strange. Others simply too heavy. But they are perfect for professional gamers . What are we talking about? Gods of gaming computers . Precisely laptops designed to play. At CES 2019 , the technology fair that takes place every year in Las Vegas, the most important manufacturers of laptops have presented new models dedicated to gaming . And there were no surprises. Companies have brought innovative and very often extravagant solutions . Compared to previous years where they tried to “normalize” gaming PCs and make them much thinner,in 2019 companies have completely changed strategy . In Las Vegas , massive gaming PCs have been shown , which can hardly fall into the category of laptops.
Let’s take as an example the Asus ROG Mothership : it is a laptop that if necessary turns into a 2-in-1 PC: you can detach the screen from the keyboard to increase the distance between the device and the display. A solution designed specifically for professional gamers who travel a lot to play international tournaments. Dell , on the other hand, brought a completely different solution. The Alienware Area 51m is a gaming laptop that can replace internal components, as if it were a desktop computer. Acer, on the other hand, presented a unique gaming laptop of its kind: the Predator Triton 900allows the user to change the screen position as if it were a convertible PC.
Solutions that are all different, but at the same time current. If the design of the three gaming PCs is different , they have one thing in common: the graphics card. All three are fitted with Nvidia’s new GPUs: the RTX 20XXs. These are the most powerful graphics cards on the market and also integrate real-time ray tracing . This new CPU should offer much higher performance than before and allow gamers to set the maximum graphics settings in any video game.
Alienware Area 51m
Alienware is Dell’s gaming computer family . SI is always characterized for high performance laptops with a particular design. But the 51m Alienware Area is something you’ve never seen before. It is a laptop with a 17-inch screen and weighs almost ten kilos . What is the particularity of this laptop? It offers the possibility for users to change internal components. As if it were a normal computer, you can decide to replace the CPU, the graphics card, the RAM and the hard disk when they become too old. Area 51m can be the gaming laptop that professional players have always dreamed of.
Another 17-inch PC, another innovative solution. This time, Asus presents a very special design gaming notebook. The Rog Mothership is a 2-in-1 PC: if necessary the keyboard can be disconnected from the screen. All the components of the PC are located under the screen, which increases (and much) the thickness of the notebook. Attached to the screen there is also a stand that keeps the display locked when we unplug it from the device. Needless to say, the performance of the PC is a real top of the range and inside we find the Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card.
Acer Predator Triton 900
A gaming computer that offers the possibility to change the position of the screen. This is the peculiarity of Acer Predator Triton 900 , the latest model presented by the Taiwanese company at CES 2019. In addition to the possibility of changing the position of the display, the computer offers unique performances. On board we find an eighth-generation i7 processor with six cores, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. The IPS screen is 17 inches with 4K resolution. Needless to say, the graphics card is the Nvidia RTX 2080
If this is the case of video games, pay attention, because Dell says it has released at CES 2019 in Las Vegas the laptop that will banish the PC to play, and that comes in a “convenient” transportable format. We talked about the new Dell Alienware 51m, which simply seemed to me from another planet.
This new computer is simply colossal: it weighs 3.87 kilograms, or what is equal to 20 iPhone XS Max -approximately- although it does not surprise you, everything makes sense: it incorporates high technology and a special cooling system, so you can develop your games of video games with all the stability and comfort you need.
The screen of this device is 17.3 inches and its quality varies depending on the different versions you acquire, however they are all Full HD with an update rate of 60Hz or 144Hz, depending on your preference. It has two speakers and a digital command center so you can configure every detail to have a good experience.
There were smartphones with the sides that are squeezed, those with the curved screen, with the notch and with the hole . Now we are preparing for the loading of folding devices. Here’s who’s working on it and who’s ready to launch.
Royole FlexPai: the first one
The first was a not very well-known brand: FlexPai by Royole, launched at the end of last October, looks like a cross between smartphones and tablets. It bends in two along the central axis. And, once opened, it has a diagonal of 7.8 inches. Price starting from 1318 dollars. To make a (and a lot) of the thousand dollars will be a constant. There is the cost of technology, but also the belief that no manufacturer hopes to invade the market with its own folding. Two good reasons not to launch, right away, in a race to the bottom.
Samsung will also be “F”
Samsung already has several certainties. The folding device (it will be called Galaxy F, as “foldable”?) Has already been unveiled in November, even if it was not an official launch. The South Korean group also assured that it will arrive in 2019, probably within the first half. On February 20, Samsung has set the event in which it will present its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S10. Will the folding also be there? Probable, even if you do not know in what capacity. Samsung could launch it or (more likely) reveal some more details.
The acceleration of Huawei
Huawei suddenly accelerated. That the Chinese group was working on a folding smartphone was not new. But it was far from obvious a launch during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. This was confirmed by Richard Yu , CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, during an event in Beijing. It will be “the first 5G folding smartphone”.
The details are not known yet, neither on the specifications nor on the price. But it is a signal: two of the largest three manufacturers per unit sold (Samsung and Huawei) will soon launch a folding device. And when the leaders push, for others it is difficult to stand out. Also because Android, the most widespread operating system on the planet, has already opened up support for collapsible devices to developers.
The Xiaomi video test
On January 23, Xiaomi also confirmed his folding smartphone. The information, in this case, is void. No characteristics and launch date are known. There is only one video, published on Weibo by Bin Lin, founder and president of the Chinese company. It was a sort of spot to understand the reactions of users: if they prove interested, Xiaomi would consider turning the prototype into a commercial product.
Motorola, back to the future
Motorola (historic brand today controlled by Lenovo) would like to marry past and future. The folding smartphone closes “shell”, like the cell phones of the Razr line of the early 2000s. The only official track, for now, is the design present in a patent. But the smartphone could also be very different. And to be revealed in February.
LG: from TV to smartphone
LG has always been one of the companies most interested in flexible screens, as evidenced by the rolling TV presented at the CES in Las Vegas. Until a few months ago, it was thought that at the American event LG could also present itself with a folding smartphone. So it was not. Many rumors that they would like it in Barcelona, but no certainty.
The big absentee: Apple Among the big producers, Apple does not seem ready at the moment. Even Cupertino is exploring technology, as shown by some patents of 2017. But there is no reliable trace that can make a launch hypothesis. Recent rumors of the Wall Street Journal have suggested a line 2019 of the iPhone very similar to the current (an LCD and two Oled) and some more innovation in 2020 (three smartphones, all Oled). It’s true: given the sales anemia, the smartphone market needs a shock. What the leaflets could represent. But Apple must also reckon with the house: it is probable that the biggest victims of the leaflets can be (more than the current smartphones) the tablet. Would the cost-benefit balance sheet be favorable?
Home Hub is a novelty of the last Google conference where the first smart display from Google was unveiled together with Pixel 3 . The company had already launched its platform for home automation for companies, which had therefore already realized their smart display , all based on SmartThings and Android. This Home Hub is apparently identical, but it is not essentially based on Google Cast (Chromecast technology). At the moment it is only a very technical and not very concrete premise and we will only discover in the future if this means something.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M is the successor of the almost homonymous ROG Zephyrus, from which it inherits the idea of performance and compactness. But it declines in a really convincing and almost devoid of defects, but not of slight compromises. So let’s see how and where this second generation is better than the first.
ROG Zephyrus M is not your usual gaming laptop. It can be seen from the contained thickness , from the squared but not aggressive lines and from the particular opening mechanism of the screen, which also raises the base. There is obviously a high-sounding name for this: Active Aerodynamic System (AAS), widely illustrated with the necessary big words on the company website .
What you need to know in practice is that a good half of the bottom of the notebook is lifted when you open the screen. This favors the recirculation of air and therefore the cooling (we’ll talk more in detail soon), and thanks to the two red LEDs on the sides also creates a nice visual effect. But there are also a couple of contraindications. The first is the noise of the fans , which at maximum speed becomes pronounced, with a particularly acute sound. The second is that the raised part is not rigid, given the low thickness, and takes away a bit ‘of stiffness to the entire notebook. However, this is not a major flaw, in the sense that it does not compromise the user experience of the laptop.
After the insanity of CES 2019, where we could meet some cell phones like the Huawei Nova 4 or the Honor View 20 , the rumors change course to focus on the next big event, the Mobile Devices World Congress (MWC, for short) in English), although with one caveat: Samsung has decided to break the mold this year and will launch the future Galaxy S10 in San Francisco on February 20, just a few days before the appointment in Barcelona.
With this in mind, the rumors do not stop. The Galaxy S10 – if that was its official name – is the most important phone that we hope to date and everything seems to indicate that its power will be higher. We had the opportunity to test the Snapdragon 855 processor that will be released in this device, and the truth is that it is expected to provide performance up to 45 percent faster than the Snapdragon 845, which is the one that incorporated the Galaxy S9 in some markets.
It is expected that the Galaxy S10 and also the Galaxy S10 Plus can have up to 12GB of RAM and that it opens a small hole in the screen for the front camera, something similar to two phones already launched by Huawei.
Among other leaks, this week we have also been able to know that the future LG phone, probably called LG G8 , will have an accessory that will be able to add a second screen. This would be a panel that can show additional information or the same but in a larger format.
Bose Home Speaker 500 Review
Bose is definitely one of those brands with the highest perception. When you hear that a product brings Bose in the name you already know two things: it will sound good and it will cost a lot. But when a product survives for many years thanks to its brand, it is clear that it is not just a litter. And indeed it is. Bose is one of those companies that focuses heavily on the final result, leaving aside technical cards and high-sounding names. Bose Home Speaker 500 is the maximum expression of this: a simple name, a high price and a lot of power to sell.
The speaker of Bose shows an extremely simple design, almost a bit ‘austere in its black color. It stands out a little if you do not have other dark furniture objects, but at the same time try to blend in with an extremely simple and no frills design. The lower part is perforated at 360 ° and allows the sound to be output in stereo mode. Then we have a small color screen and above the touch controls, surrounded by a ring of small holes for the 8 microphones. The first installation is very simple and requires the use of the application for Android or iOS, to bridge and connect it definitively to the Wi-Fi network at home. At that point the application becomes accessory, but still useful. You can send tracks from your smartphone via Bluetooth or an aux cable , but these are not the easiest methods. The Wi-Fi connection allows you to send music quietly from the apps of compatible services, or directly from the Bose software after the first synchronization. The work of integrating third-party services into the Bose app is really well done. We tried Spotify and TuneIn, but you can also use Deezer and Amazon Music. During 2019 it will also become compatible with Apple’s AirPlay 2 technology that will allow you to send any music source from iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Sony once again renews its excellent noise canceling headphones with the new WH-1000XM3 model . Apparently this is not a revolution, also because we are talking about a product that was already of very high quality. (In this regard, we invite you to reread the review of the XM2 .) Do not be fooled by appearances, because the experience of use is also superior to the past, and the price of launch is not increased. Will the definitive noise canceling headphones ?
The packaging of the Sony WH-1000XM3 also offers you a practical storage case , which leaves behind the fake skin of the past, in favor of a fabric matching the same headphones. Inside are also the other accessories present. In fact, we have a matching audio cable , without a microphone or other controls along the wire. Then there is a very short Type-C / Type-A cable for charging and also an adapter with double audio jack for the aircraft.