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ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo: Truly the laptop of tomorrow?

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ASUS clearly had the creatives in mind when they were conceptualizing the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. Known by ASUS as “the laptop of tomorrow”, the ZenBook Pro Duo is a multitasking machine or laptop as you may call it that was purposely built for you if you are a programmer, video editor, photographer, animator, graphic artists, illustrators, architects, music producer, music artist, or even a Game streamer.

The ZenBook Pro Duo is not just an incredible laptop with powerful and admirable specifications, it’s an exceptional one too, allowing you take your creativity and productivity to the next level. It is designed to give you the ultimate edge in workflow efficiency, the powerful RTX Studio Laptop features a full width 4K ASUS ScreenPad™ that works seamlessly with the main 4K UHD OLED display.

Computing Performance

The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo UX581 is a Windows 10 Home laptop with a 15.60-inch display of 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution. The laptop comes with a 32GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage which is appropriate for a creative’s laptop these days. For the very best graphics experience, ZenBook Pro Duo uses the latest NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2060 discrete graphics powered by the NVIDIA Turing™ architecture. The ultrapowerful GPU with the NVIDIA Studio Driver enables you to enjoy the power of real-time ray-tracing and high-resolution video editing for the ultimate visual realism. Featuring up to a 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 eight-core processor that’s designed to deliver the ultimate multitasking performance, the ZenBook Pro Duo can effortlessly handle all the apps on your main screen and ScreenPad™ Plus, this ultrapowerful combination ensures that ZenBook Pro Duo takes professional-quality tasks with ease, such as multi-layer photo or video editing, 3D graphics rendering or even game live-streaming.

Display

The ZenBook Pro Duo’s primary screen is a 4K OLED display with a base resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. The ScreenPad™ Plus, a 3840 x 1110 resolution matte secondary screen is very different from the glossy primary screen despite having the same PPI and width. Together, these screens are an arresting sight to behold. While both multitouch displays support stylus input, ScreenPad Plus gives you a superbly ergonomic and stable platform for writing or drawing. Take notes, sketch out your ideas, or do precision graphical editing in the most intuitive way ever. ZenBook Pro Duo’s display has PANTONE® Validated colour accuracy and supports an exceptionally wide 100% DCI-P3 colour gamutAdvertisement

ScreenPad™ Plus

The ScreenPad has a matte finish with its own display settings and a dedicated on and off button. This is good for when you don’t want any distractions from that screen or just want to conserve some power.  When you power on the ZenBook Pro Duo for the first time, the ScreenPad Plus offers some hands-on tutorials, which familiarize you with using the Launcher and the Action Menu. The ScreenPad™ Plus is equipped with a series of handy built-in apps to help boost your productivity. Such built-in apps include; Quick Key which allows one-tap automation of complex keyboard sequences, and Handwriting which lets you input text intuitively. There are also useful quick controls such as App Switcher, ViewMax and Task Swap for intuitive interactions between the main display and ScreenPad Plus. Task Group lets you lock into work mode by opening multiple tasks with a single touch. And now you can drag apps or in-app toolbars onto ScreenPad Plus to give you more room to work on the main display, wherever you are.

Connectivity

As far as connectivity is concerned, the ZenBook Pro Duo is powered with a full set of high-performance I/O ports — including the latest Thunderbolt™ 3 USB-C™ port — which gives you dongle-free connectivity whatever you’re doing and wherever you are. The latest Intel Wi-Fi 6 with Gig+ (802.11ax) takes wireless speeds to the next level especially if you are connected to broadbands that are reliable and fast enough in this part of the world. Although the MicroSD reader cannot be found on this laptop, port positioning is otherwise good as they are evenly distributed and easy to reach along the sides.

Audio

ZenBook Pro Duo is equipped with the ASUS SonicMaster stereo audio system with surround-sound; smart amplifier for maximum audio performance. Its array microphone supports Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition. 3.5mm headphone jack. Long-travel voice coils for improved low-frequency response. Certified by Harman Kardon

Power

The machine is powered by a massive battery and is backed up by a 230W charger. On a full battery, the laptop will give a 6-7 hours lifetime without a recharge and when playing movies /games the consumption goes down to 4.7-5.5hours of use.

Features worthy of note

The DCI-P3 colour space — widely used in the motion picture industry — is increasingly the preferred choice of creative professionals for its increased range of possible colours and makes images on ZenBook Pro Duo look simply stunning.
There’s also a separate palm rest in the box, which enhances the ErgoLift tilting keyboard design to give you the most comfortable typing experience ever.
Touchpad & Numberpad: ZenBook Pro Duo features the latest version of the ASUS NumberPad6, an LED-illuminated numeric keypad integrated into the touchpad. The precision touchpad (PTP) technology supports up to four-finger smart gestures
Infra-Red camera for Hands-free login with face unlock even in the dark!
Alexa built-in with light bar
Stylus: The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo comes bundled with a stylus. Both displays support stylus input, although the ScreenPad Plus gives you a stable platform for writing, sketching, or drawing.

In conclusion, the ZenBook Pro Duo is a worthy investment for a creative and daring professional. In as much as you keep an open mind and can deal with its weight, lack of SD card reader and battery life, it’s an excellent glimpse into the future of laptop-based content creation.

Source: https://techpoint.africa/2020/06/29/asus-zenbook-pro-duo-truly-the-laptop-of-tomorrow/

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The Future

The sequel to Sony’s PlayStation Phone apparently leaks, eight years too late

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Cast your mind back, if you can, to the tender world of gadgets circa 2011. Apple had just launched Siri on the iPhone, Google was making its biggest push into social networking with Google Plus, and Sony had decided it was time to release a true gaming smartphone: the much-anticipated “PlayStation Phone,” officially dubbed the Xperia Play.

It was not, by any means, a great success. A 2011 Engadget review praised the phone’s sliding mechanism and gamepad but bemoaned its dim screen and lack of playable titles. The device had its fans, though, many of whom were excited in 2012 by whispers of an Xperia Play 2. This promised sequel never emerged, but eight years after the PlayStation Phone 2 was first rumored, images purportedly showing the device have appeared online.

Pictures of the phone were shared on the Xperia subreddit by a user who found a listing for the device on Idle Fish, a Chinese secondhand goods store operated by Alibaba. The seller says the phone is only a prototype and there’s no way to verify its authenticity. The seller’s shop, though, suggests they have some sources in the world of obsolete tech, with other listings including a PS3 devkit and classic keyboards like the venerated IBM Model F.

The device has left and right shoulder buttons, as well as the usual D-pad and PlayStation buttons. 
Image: via Idle Fish
Yes it turns on! But it’s not clear if it can do more than that. 
Image: via Idle Fish
The rear of the device shows Sony’s old Xperia branding.
 Image: via Idle Fish

The phone certainly looks the part. It’s got the same slide-out mechanism as the original Xperia Play and the PSP Go, a D-pad, a set of standard PlayStation buttons, left and right shoulder buttons, and Xperia branding on the rear. There’s also a mysterious “3D” button, which was perhaps for features similar to the stereoscopic display on Nintendo’s 3DS.

Notably, the front of the phone has capacitive buttons instead of hardware buttons. That’s consistent with changes to the design of Xperia phones from 2012 onward, and it matches a leaked render of the Xperia Play 2 that did the rounds on gadget blogs back in 2012. In other words: this may well be the real deal, but we have no way of knowing for sure.

It’s certainly interesting to think, though, what might have happened if the Xperia Play had found a market. Would gaming smartphones have become mainstream instead of a niche, if persistent, product category? Despite its limitations, the Xperia Play reportedly handled PlayStation games extremely smoothly (check out this video review of the device from 2019 for an in-depth look) and who wouldn’t want to have the PS1’s back catalog in their pocket?

But Sony apparently thought the hybrid approach just wasn’t worth it. Indeed, in 2011, it also released the PS Vita: the successor to the PSP which handily took care of any Sony fans looking for a reliable and portable gaming experience.

And in 2020, it’s hard to imagine a dedicated gaming phone ever making a comeback. Why bother when you can simply stream most console games to your smartphone of choice? If the Xperia Play 2 has finally surfaced, it’s only as a shipwreck of a long-forgotten age.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/23/21452167/sony-xperia-play-2-playstation-phone-prototype-concept-leaked-images

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The Future

First Apple product with miniLED backlighting will be iPad Pro in Q4 – Kuo

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Following Monday’s miniLED report, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a follow-up report out today stating that the first Apple product to use the technology will be a new iPad Pro in Q4 of this year.

Today’s report doesn’t get any more specific than that, but Kuo has previously predicted that the first model to get the improved backlighting system would be the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Kuo at the time thought this would be launched in Q1 2021, but better-than-expected progress has accelerated that timescale …

Background

It had been expected that Apple would gradually transition iPads and MacBooks to OLED screens. Apple first debuted OLED in the Apple Watch before adopting it for flagship iPhones. All four of this year’s iPhone 12 models are expected to have OLED screens.

However, Kuo said a year ago that Apple now appeared to be favoring continuing to use IPS-LCD screens for its larger products, but with miniLED backlighting to improve the quality. By using very many more smaller LEDs for backlighting, it provides greater control over small sections of the screen. This offers many of the same benefits as OLED: higher contrast ratio, increased brightness, deeper blacks, and better power efficiency.

But an LCD screen with miniLED backlighting is actually better than OLED in a couple of respects: it’s less prone to burn-in and has a longer life.

MiniLED technology is expensive, but Monday’s report said that Apple was bringing on board a second supplier, and using competition between them to drive down costs. Kuo thus expected miniLED screens to make it into 30-40% of iPads and 20-30% of MacBooks at some point next year.

MiniLED iPad Pro in Q4

Today’s report says that the first miniLED display will likely be in an iPad Pro. In the context of the earlier report, the smart money would be on a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in Q4, with the 11-inch one lagging somewhat behind. Apple may also see a staggered launch as a way of boosting sales of the more expensive larger model.

Kuo also expands on his earlier prediction of Apple negotiating lower prices. He now expects Apple’s miniLED chip costs to fall by 50% in 2021 and a further 35% in 2022. He says that miniLED has already progressed from the ‘technology development’ stage to ‘economy of scale.’

The analyst says the results of price competition have already been seen in the miniLED television market, with costs falling dramatically as a result. Kuo expects a combination of lower production costs, economies of scale and Chinese government subsidies to continue to drive down the cost to Apple.

Source: https://9to5mac.com/2020/09/23/ipad-pro-in-q4/

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The Future

The first HarmonyOS-powered phone from Huawei to arrive in 2021

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Huawei’s HarmonyOS was unveiled last year during the Huawei Developer Conference and there’s a report claiming that this year’s conference on September 10 will bring the HarmonyOS 2.0. Interestingly, the rumor cites Richard Yu himself, the company’s CEO. And the first phone with the in-house operating system will launch as early as next year.

The first HarmonyOS-powered phone from Huawei to arrive in 2021

A smartphone running the said OS already exists and will likely hit the market next year along with a number of new devices including PCs, tablets, smart wearables and other IoT products. In fact, the first smartwatch running HarmonyOS is expected to make a debut until the end of this year.

Source: https://www.gsmarena.com/the_first_harmonyospowered_phone_from_huawei_to_arrive_in_2021-news-45132.php

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