Announced at CES this year, Lenovo’s Miix 630 is the third Windows 10 on ARM device, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset. Lenovo was one of the three launch partners to be in the first generation of Windows on ARM devices. Like both of the other devices in its class, it ships with Windows 10 Pro in S mode, meaning that you can only run apps from the Store unless you switch out of S mode for free.
Of course, this isn’t Windows RT all over again. Announced in 2016, Windows 10 on ARM can emulate x86 apps to run on Qualcomm’s Mobile PC Platforms. There are some limitations, such as x64 emulation and lack of Pro features like Hyper-V, but this is meant to just be Windows, and the average user shouldn’t even know the difference.
The Miix 630 isn’t cheap. Coming with 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, it will run you $899. The real value proposition is 4G LTE connectivity and the additional battery life that comes with an ARM processor. The Snapdragon 835 uses big.LITTLE architecture, using four powerful cores to handle the heavy tasks, and four efficient cores to handle the tasks that don’t require as much power, such as background notifications. Because of this, an ARM processor can deliver much better standby time than an Intel chip.
The Snapdragon X16 4G LTE modem is built into the Snapdragon 835 chipset, so every Windows 10 on ARM PC can support up to gigabit download speeds over cellular, assuming your carrier supports it in your neighborhood (it probably doesn’t). The ability to not have to worry about connecting to Wi-Fi is an extremely freeing feeling although to be fair, there are Intel-powered Always Connected PCs as well, and some of those even use the same Snapdragon X16 modem.
Check out our unboxing of the Lenovo Miix 630 below:
PIXEL SLATE’S $200 PROBLEM: ITS ‘MUST-HAVE’ KEYBOARD IS SOLD SEPARATELY
I watched Google’s reveal of the much-leaked Intel Celeron processor — but I firmly believe Chrome OS can be premium and doesn’t have to be restricted to only budget PCs.with great interest. This was a sharp-looking Chrome OS device, with a great screen and the promise of excellent front-firing speakers. Sure, $599 felt like a lot for a quasi-Chromebook (unless you’re the even-more-expensive PixelBook), especially one that starts with an
Almost every shot of the Pixel Slate showed it connected to its folio keyboard, itself a great example of high-end design with its round keys and big touchpad. It was not until the very end of Google’s Pixel Slate announcement that the ugly truth was revealed. That $599-and-up price didn’t include the keyboard, which runs an extra $199 (or a 33 percent premium).
And if you want a stylus, that’s an extra hundred bucks on top of that. All-in, for just the lowest-end configuration, it’s a minimum of $899. That’s dangerously close to premium Windows laptop territory, where you could swing a MacBook Air or . Want to go to the top-end Core i7 model? That will take you to $1,599 before you add those accessories, per Google’s extended price list:
- $599 (4GB RAM, 32GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® Celeron processor)
- $699 (8GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® Celeron processor)
- $799 (8GB RAM, 64GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM m3 processor)
- $999 (8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM i5 processor)
- $1,599 (16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 8th Gen Intel® CoreTM i7 processor)
But Google isn’t the only offender padding your bill with sold-separately keyboards. I’ve reviewed nearly every Microsoft has ever released, and , I bemoan the $129-and-up clip-on keyboard, which is even more of a must-have. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Surface Pro in the wild without a keyboard.
Apple is another habitual offender. If there’s any doubt that the iPad Pro is primarily pitched as a screen-and-keyboard laptop replacement, just recall the company’s own “What’s a Computer?” TV spot.
The Smart Keyboard for the current iPad Pro is $159, plus $99 for the Pencil stylus, making the full package price just north of $900. Having used iPads of various types for productivity and content creation tasks many times previously, I can safely say a keyboard is a must-have for anything more involved than Tweeting.
I’ll even give all these companies a break on the stylus issue. Not everyone needs or uses one, and even though they shouldn’t be $100 a pop, it’s one place where you can cut a corner and still feel like you’ve got an all-day, every-day machine.
The end result is an online or real-life shopping trip that can end up being a lot more expensive than you bargained for after falling in love with an advertisement for one of these two-in-one devices. Until these companies wise up and put their keyboard accessories (often the most impressively designed part of the ecosystem) in the box with the product itself, we should all look at these starting prices as having a huge asterisk next to them.
Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL: What you need to know about Google’s new smartphones
Google’s Oct. 9 event: Pixel 3, new Chromecast, Pixel Slate and more
THE NEW PIXEL 3’S CAMERA WILL LET AI PICK OUT THE BEST PHOTOS FOR YOU
Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones were just unveiled this morning at an event in New York City. As expected, both phones are coming with a near-identical set of front-facing and rear-facing cameras that are powered by artificial intelligence. That allows them to do all sorts of algorithmic work behind the scenes, all powered by what Google calls its new Pixel Visual Core chip.
Among the new AI features built into the Pixel 3 camera are two new shooting modes called Top Shot and Photobooth. Top Shot uses Google’s work in image and object recognition and computer vision to analyze photos and pick the best shots in a given batch. With Top Shot, you’ll be able to capture a number of photos before and after the moment you press the virtual shutter button, while the software will pick out the best shot.
It’s similar to Google’s Motion Photos feature that creates GIFs from short snippets of video. You can still browse through the alternates to pick out others, Google says. Photobooth, on the other hand, takes a bunch of photos of you or your friends using the front-facing camera, but only when it recognizes that the subjects of the photo are making a funny face or smiling. You don’t need to even press the shutter.
Google also announced a feature called Super Res Zoom, which uses a burst of photos to amp resolution when you zoom into a subject, and Night Sight, which uses machine learning to artificially brighten dark spots in photos. For Pixel 3 XL owners, you’ll be able to access a wide-angle lens for a feature Google is calling Group Selfie Cam.
Some of the AI-powered software here, specifically a feature like Photobooth, was built initially for Google Clips, the company’s square-shaped photo and video capturing device that automatically operates on its own to let parents capture moments of their kids. Now, it appears that Google has taken a lot of the knowledge there and integrated it into its Pixel devices to help ease the pain of picking a photo or tinkering with all the settings to capture the perfect shot.
Since the original Pixel, the defining feature of the device line has not been its design or the relatively spartan stock Android it runs, but the camera. Using its advancements in artificial intelligence, Google was able to achieve a staggeringly capable camera that has only improved with last year’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. So it makes sense that Google has put more resources toward improving the Pixel 3 camera and positioning it as one of, if not the most important, reason why you’d pick its device over an iPhone XS or a Samsung Galaxy S9 / Note 9.
APPLE IS RETHINKING THE HEARING AID — AND NOW ANDROID IS, TOO
Google is making life a bit easier for people affected by hearing loss — with official hearing aid support in Android.
On Thursday, the company announced that it’s working with GN Hearing to bring low-power hearing aid streaming support to future versions of Android. This means people will be able to connect, pair and monitor their hearing aids from their Android device.
This follows Apple’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program, which allows people to connect and control their hearing aids from iOS devices. You can read more in.
Although Apple was first, Google’s move has potentially bigger impact since 85 percent of the world’s smartphones run Android (compared to 14.7 percent for iOS).
A World Health Organization statistic from March says that around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, meaning a lot of people could potentially benefit from Android’s support.
Apple and Android aren’t alone in bringing cutting-edge tech to hearing aids. Manufacturers like Bose, Oticon and Harman are alsowith app support, built-in sensors and communication between connected smart devices.
Android’s hearing aid support is designed to have a low impact on battery life while keeping audio quality high. The nitty-gritty details about the hearing aid support can be read on Android’s spec page here.