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MicFlip Is A Fully Reversible USB-A To Micro-USB Cable

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Indiegogo and other such crowdfunding websites are home to a large number of ambitious projects, hoping to pique consumer-investor curiosity and turn dreams into entrepreneurial ventures. Not all such projects are feasible, nor all such projects funded. But some projects do stand out of the crowd.
This is the MicFlip.



Overlooking the cringeworthy YouTube ad, MicFlip is a rather interesting take on the first world problem of plugging in the cable the wrong way.
As the Indiegogo project page states, MicFlip is the world’s first fully reversible USB-A to Micro-USB cable. Featuring “an ultra-strong braided nylon lead, a robust aluminum shell and gold-plated plugs to prevent corrosion”, the MicFlip tries to improve upon traditional cables by giving us what we need: reversibility on existing products.
So far, all the Android smartphone flagships that have been released, have come along with the familiar micro USB port. On the other end of the spectrum (or cable, as you may), USB Type A ports have been the de-facto way of how “host” devices have communicated with smartphones and other accessories. Such is their ubiquity, that there is a good chance that you, as a reader on XDA Developers, may be in possession of at least two USB (A) to Micro USB cables.
The annoying part of both USB Type A as well as micro USB is that both have a fixed orientation of the port, in the sense that you can not mindlessly plug in a cable and have it fit correctly, without any damage. MicFlip aims to fix this, as it allows reversibility on both ends of the cable.
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The Indiegogo project page does not detail the exact mechanism of how this is achieved. However, taking a guess from one of the product images, this reversibility may have been achieved by thinning the plastic tongue inside the plug and allowing the electrical contacts to be present on either side of the tongue. The tongue may operate on a hinge-like mechanism, thereby allowing “reversibility” in connecting the plug into the usb receptacles.

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As a plus point, the MicFlip also uses braided nylon for the cable, giving extra durability to the cable. Not a standing point in its entirety, but such durability would be a decent addition to a product that aims to provide convenience.
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Granted, USB Type C is just round the corner, featuring reversible plug connectors. Even the new OnePlus Two will come with USB Type C. However, the fact is, wide scale adoption of USB Type C is still quite some time away. In the meanwhile, MicFlip aims to serve your needs.
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The project has already raised 528% ($31,698) of its $6,000 funding goal within 5 days, so there is no doubt that the MicFlip is indeed a product needed by many. Shipping is expected to start in August, with the official deadline being September 1st, 2015. The product will retail for $20 after its campaign, but you can early bird pre-order one for $15 now.

MicFlip as a product is an innovative way to tackle a problem which was one of the reasons that eventually led to the development of USB Type C. It makes the tinfoil hat totting conspiracy theorists in us to think of USB Type C as a way of achieving planned obsolescence in today’s money oriented world.

Source:XDA


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Karbonn Titanium S5i listed online for Rs 7,999

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Indian smartphone vendor Karbonn is readying a new variant of the Titanium S5 smartphone, called the Titanium S5i. The smartphone is listed on certain Indian e-commerce websites with a price tag of Rs 7,999.
Karbonn Titanium S5i comes with a 5-inch TFT display with a 480×854 (FWVGA) pixels resolution. The smartphone is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor paired with 512MB of RAM. The handset comes with a 4GB in-built storage, and can be expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. The Karbonn Titanium S5i offers dual-SIM (GSM-GSM) support, and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The smartphone sports an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash and a VGA front camera. Connectivity options include  3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, and GPS. It is backed by a 2000mAh battery, and is currently available in Deep Blue colour variant at HomeShop18. The smartphone was first spotted by New Gyaan.


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Sony launches Vaio Flip hybrid laptops in India, starting at Rs 94,990

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Sony has launched its new VAIO Flip range of hybrid notebooks in the Indian market. The company has launched four variants of the Flip laptop in the country with prices starting from Rs 94,990. Sony today introduced The new VAIO Flip aims to suit the computing needs of everyone and is available in 13-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch sizes.
According to Sony, the VAIO Flip’s design is based on the essence of ‘sharing with others’. As name suggests, the display can be flipped in three different angles. The first is the laptop mode which is used for highly productive work, the same way as conventional notebook PCs. The second is called the viewer mode, wherein one can slightly lift the display and flip over it so that you can share the experience of watching a video or movie with another person or give instant presentation anytime. The last is the tablet mode wherein the display can be completely flipped over and it rests on the keyboard like a conventional tablet. It is best utilized for touch, browsing the web, taking pictures etc.  Its chassis is constructed with brushed aluminum hairline finish.

The Sony Vaio Flip F13N1A features a 13.3-inch full HD touch display. It is powered with Intel’s fourth-generation processors (up to i7 clocked at 1.6GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 4400 paired with upto 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB SSD storage. Vaio Flip F13N1A also includes a battery that lasts for up to 7.5 hours, an 8-megapixel rear camera and connectivity options like HDMI, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and NFC. The Vaio Flip F13N1A is priced at Rs 99,990.
The Vaio Flip F14N16 features a 14-inch full HD touch display. It is powered with Intel’s fourth-generation processors (up to i7 clocked at 1.8GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 4400 paired with upto 8GB of RAM and up to 750GB hybrid drive. Other options include HD camera, a battery that lasts for up to 6 hours and connectivity options like HDMI, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 and NFC. It is priced  at Rs 94,990 which is lower than the 13-inch variant as it uses a hard disk instead of an SSD.
The 15-inch Vaio Flip is available in two variants — the Vaio Flip F15N12 priced at Rs 104,990 and the Vaio Flip F15N17 priced at Rs 119,990. In terms of specifications, the Vaio Flip F15N12 features a 15.5-inch full HD touch display, 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, 4GB RAM, 1TB flash storage, HD camera and a battery that is said to last up to five hours.
The Vaio Flip F15N17, on the other hand, features Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M and 8GB of RAM, in addition to the above mentioned specs.
The touchscreen notebooks come with Opti-contrast panel and with a Triluminos Display for mobile also features Sony’s BRAVIA expertise and all the three notebooks sport a full HD resolution. There is also a presence of X-Reality for mobile which optimizes the quality for the sharpest videos.
The laptop comes with a VAIO Paper which is a digital notebook and handwriting app that replicates the feeling of natural writing with pen and paper. You can write on your VAIO Flip PC with your finger or the optional Active Pen to add images and sound that enhance your creative writing and express yourself in ways that you can’t with just pen and paper. It’s easy to use, organize and share your creation via email and other apps.
Vaio Flip laptops include backlit keyboard which allows for work in low-light conditions. All these notebooks come with great audio quality like Clear Audio+TM, xLoud, Clear phase, VPT, Voice Zoom and S-FORCE front surround 3D to offer soul-shaking clarity.
Sony is also offering buyers with a free headphone worth Rs 12,990, accidental breakage insurance and unlimited free music downloads via Sony Music.


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Acer Iconia W4 8-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 launched in India

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After launching the Iconia W3, Acer has launched its successor called the Iconia W4 in India. The 32GB variant is priced at Rs 24,999 and the 64GB variant is priced at Rs 26,999.
Acer Iconia W4 features an 8-inch IPS (1280×800) display which is slightly smaller compared to its predecessor. It is powered by a fourth-generation Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 32/64GB of internal storage that can be expanded using a microSD card.
Tablet sports a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It packs a 4,960mAh battery which can last up to 8 hours. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro-USB port, micro-HDMI port. Iconia W4 runs on Windows 8.1 operating system. The tab also comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, for creating and editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
Acer is also offering optional accessories like the Crunch Keyboard, which is an external keyboard that connects via Bluetooth 3.0 or micro-USB. Crunch Cover, a slim-fit cover for the tablet also serves as a tablet stand.
Acer Iconia W4 tablet key specifications
  • 8-inch IPS (1280×800) display with Zero Air Gap technology
  • 1.8GHz Intel fourth generation (Intel Bay Trail series) Atom processor
  • 32GB/ 64GB inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
  • Windows 8.1
  • 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 4,960mAh battery

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Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 coming to India in January

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Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Grand 2 in November this year. Today, at an event in Mumbai, the South Korean company launched the device in India and will make it available across the country from first week of January. The phone is likely to be priced between Rs 22,900 and Rs 24,900.
The Galaxy Grand 2 is successor to the Galaxy Grand with an improved set of features compared to its predecessor. It now features a bigger 5.2-inch 720p display compared with the 5-inch WVGA display on the former. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor paired with 1.2 GB of RAM. It offers 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 64GB using a microSD card.
Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and support for 1080p video recording, 2-megapixel front camera, and a 2,600mAh battery with up to 10 hours of playback and 17 hours of talktime. Connectivity options include 3G (HSPA +) support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v 4.0, and GPS.
The Galaxy Grand 2 is a dual-SIM device with support for GSM+GSM and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box. It also brings Samsung apps like ChatON, Samsung Hub, S Health, Group Play, S Travel, S Translator, Samsung Link, and Story Album.
The Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 will be available in Black, Pink and White colour variants in select regions. Here’s a comparison between Galaxy Grand and Galaxy Grand 2.


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Surface Pro 2 : Hands-on preview

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Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Pro 2, a new version of its flagship 10.6-inch Windows tablet at an event in New York City. It’s a 10.6-inch tablet with enough specs that can turn it into a laptop or even a PC replacement.  Microsoft has bumped the specifications to the latest Intel Haswell processor, extended the battery life, and generally improved what was already a fast tablet. According to Microsoft it received constant feedback that business customers were interested in the Surface Pro, but could not bear its underperforming battery life. So, instead of changing the device externally, Microsoft redefined the unit into what it calls the Surface Pro 2, which will have around 60% better battery life, a figure that it claims can skew higher in certain use cases.
Hardware upgrade for new OS update
The Surface Pro 2 looks all but exactly like its predecessor, but sports the new Intel Haswell chips, more ram and SSD options, and the improved kickstand. The new Surface Pro 2 is timed for the release of Windows 8.1, a major update to the current Windows OS.
The Pro 2 keeps the best features of the original Surface Pro, adds new internal hardware and new accessory options, and is supposed to fix one of the primary problems with the original Surface Pro, mediocre battery life.
It upgrades the processor to Intel’s newer fourth-generation Core i5 Haswell generation running at 1.6 gigahertz and sometimes known by the code name Haswell. These new chips offer only modest boosts to system performance, but based on our prior testing on other laptops and hybrids with Haswell chips, serious battery life improvement can be expected. It includes front and read 720p cameras, as with the Surface Pro. The Surface Pro 2 does not have the low light upgrades that are part of the Surface 2, as a warning.
The Pro 2 will be available in 64GB and 128GB versions with 4GB of RAM, and 256GB and 512GB editions with 8GB of RAM. Microsoft is calling it the “most powerful, professional, and productive tablet ever made.”
The screen remains the same at 1080p resolution, but Microsoft claims that the new display offers 46 percent more color accuracy. The Surface Pro 2 still comes in a slatelike “dark titanium” color, the Windows RT Surface 2 is now a lighter, silver color called magnesium.
The body of the Surface Pro 2 looks and feels just like the original version, and Microsoft says the chassis measurements are the same. The logo branding on the back panel is swapped, reading “Surface” rather than “Microsoft,” and the built-in kickstand now adjusts to two different angles, making the screen easier to see from different positions. MS says the new angle is 40 degrees, while the original was about 24 degrees.
The keyboard covers
The other half of the Surface Pro 2 story is the new power cover keyboard and docking station. The Touch Cover is about one third thinner than the original version, but at the same time, more rigid for easier typing. The Touch Cover has flat keys that work, but offer less tactile feedback than serious typists need, while the Type Cover has island-style keys that are shallow, but still very usable.
The old system of one sensor under each key has been replaced with a full array of sensors that allows partial keystrokes to be counted more easily and accurately, plus support for a handful of gestures.
The Type Cover, with its full separate-key keyboard, is thinner as well, and remains one of the things people like best about Surface.
Microsoft has also shown off a second kind of Type Cover which is slightly thicker than the standard Type Cover because of an integrated battery. The power cover offers a 30 watt-hour battery that gives the Pro 2 two and a half times the battery life of the original Surface Pro, according to Microsoft. This would allow the systems to run even longer by combining the internal battery and the secondary keyboard battery, a idea already used in a handful of Windows 8 laptop/tablet hybrids.
Both the Touch Cover and Type Cover are now backlit. Especially in a system intended for frequent travel, as a tablet is presumed to be, a backlit keyboard is practically required. A Bluetooth adapter for the keyboard covers is also in the works and that will snap onto the top of the keyboard and allow you to use it remotely as a Bluetooth keyboard.
The new Docking Station accomodates the Surface Pro 2 with the power cover attached, and offers three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, audio in and audio out, a Mini DisplayPort, and an ethernet jack.

An evolutionary update

Anyone shopping for a new Windows 8 system right now should demand Intel’s fourth-gen CPUs, available since June, if only for the increased battery life and power efficiency. The Surface Pro 2 gives you that, and the new second angle on the kickstand does make it more convenient to use the Surface Pro 2 in your lap. Microsoft is pushing the Surface Pro 2 as a complete replacement for your main computer, so the Docking Station helps get it there.
With no major new features or design changes, the Surface Pro 2 still relies heavily on its accessories to stand out as the market leader. But, with few new slate-style Core i5 tablets coming out, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 manages to maintain a leading position in its small corner of the market.
Overall, the Surface Pro 2 is a welcome improvement over the Surface Pro — it’s faster, lasts longer, and is more flexible than before. Paired with the updates coming in Windows 8.1, the Pro 2 might not only be the Windows tablet to get this holiday season, it is likely the laptop to beat, too.

Pricing and availability

The Surface 2, with Windows RT, starts at $449, but the previous model Surface RT, will still be available for $349. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899, but the RAM can be upgraded from 4GB to 8GB, and the internal storage can be upgraded up to a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), with a full 8GB/512GB configuration costing $1,799. Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available starting October 22.

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Surface 2 unveiled : first impression

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Today Microsoft announced the specifications and price points for its new Surface tablet hybrids. Microsoft’s Surface tablet was supposed to usher in a new generation of Windows RT products, targeted to compete more with iOS and Android tablets than full-featured laptops. The Surface 2 is a more holistic refresh of the Surface RT tablet, including new cameras, an updated screen, better audio, a faster processor, and longer battery life.

Surface 2 : Hardware and Design Refreshed

This updated Windows RT version of the Microsoft Surface features a slightly slimmer body than its predecessor. Surface 2 comes with an updated 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor coupled with 2 GB RAM and a higher-resolution screen than the original Surface. Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 share the same 1,920×1,080-pixel-resolution screen now, and it’s been color-tuned for greater accuracy.
Surface 2 also has improved front (3.5 MP) and rear (5.0 MP) cameras for Skype and other Webcam use. Refreshed Surface delivers up to 10 hours “active use” battery life. Microsoft claims around a 25% improvement in the Surface 2.
While the Windows 8 Surface Pro 2 still comes in a slate-like black, the Windows RT Surface 2 is now a lighter color and body is made of a silver and magnesium that resists fingerprints.
Today Microsoft announced the specifications and price points for its new Surface tablet hybrids. Microsoft’s Surface tablet was supposed to usher in a new generation of Windows RT products, targeted to compete more with iOS and Android tablets than full-featured laptops. The Surface 2 is a more holistic refresh of the Surface RT tablet, including new cameras, an updated screen, better audio, a faster processor, and longer battery life.

Surface 2 : Hardware and Design Refreshed

This updated Windows RT version of the Microsoft Surface features a slightly slimmer body than its predecessor. Surface 2 comes with an updated 1.7GHz Nvidia Tegra 4 processor coupled with 2 GB RAM and a higher-resolution screen than the original Surface. Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 share the same 1,920×1,080-pixel-resolution screen now, and it’s been color-tuned for greater accuracy.
Surface 2 also has improved front (3.5 MP) and rear (5.0 MP) cameras for Skype and other Webcam use. Refreshed Surface delivers up to 10 hours “active use” battery life. Microsoft claims around a 25% improvement in the Surface 2.
While the Windows 8 Surface Pro 2 still comes in a slate-like black, the Windows RT Surface 2 is now a lighter color and body is made of a silver and magnesium that resists fingerprints.
The Type Cover, with its full separate-key keyboard, is thinner as well, and remains one of the things people like best about Surface.
Microsoft has also shown off a second kind of Type Cover which is slightly thicker than the standard Type Cover because of an integrated battery. This would allow the systems to run even longer by combining the internal battery and the secondary keyboard battery, a idea already used in a handful of Windows 8 laptop/tablet hybrids.
Both the Touch Cover and Type Cover are now backlit. Especially in a system intended for frequent travel, as a tablet is presumed to be, a backlit keyboard is practically required. A Bluetooth adapter for the keyboard covers is also in the works and that will snap onto the top of the keyboard and allow you to use it remotely as a Bluetooth keyboard.
The only real downside here is that the keyboard covers are not included with the $449-and-up Surface 2, and remains an expensive add-on.
Surface 2 Makeover
In our hands-on sessions with the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, both come off as modestly improved versions of what we had seen before, although the new, thinner body for the Surface 2 has more of a version 2.0 feel. Microsoft is betting that for the average PC purchaser, the Surface 2 is the correct blend of mobility, touch-capability, and Office.
The Surface 2, with Windows RT, starts at $449, but the previous model Surface RT, will still be available for $349. The Surface Pro 2 starts at $899, but the internal storage can be upgraded to a 512GB SSD. Both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will be available starting October 22.


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Celkon RahmanIshq AR45 Android smartphone launched

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Celkon has launched its first AR Rahman-themed smartphone named the AR45 under its newly introduced RahmanIshq series, which is dedicated to the Indian music maestro AR Rehman. As the name suggests the company is promoting this smartphone as a music-oriented handset with dual speakers, and has priced it at Rs 7,999. AR45 will be available from October.
“I always believe that technology is very important in the world of music. RahmanIshq stands testimony to this and is a concept dedicated to spreading awareness of how technology needs to blend seamlessly with music for optimum output. It is wonderful to partner with such an innovative brand for my first road tour. Thank you for all the support extended.” AR Rahman said at the launch.
The Celkon AR45 will sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA display with 480X854 pixels resolution.It includes a MediaTek 6572 dual-core chipset clocked at 1.2GHz and is coupled with 512MB of RAM. There is a 4GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 32GB using a microSD card. The device runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and supports dual-SIM with dual standby.
The RahmanIshq AR45 also comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera alongside an LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera. Other features in the phone include dual speakers with K class amplifier, wireless connectivity support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G network and GPS. The device also includes a 2000mAh battery.
Commenting on the launch, Y Guru, Chairman and Managing Director, Celkon Mobiles, said, “Partnering with the Mozart of Madras for RahmanIshq is a noteworthy achievement for the company. We are proud to share that our customers can also enjoy the special tune composed by the veteran himself for RahmanIshq that will be used extensively for the RahmanIshq smartphones.”
Celkon RahmanIshq AR45 key specifications
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display
  • 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex A7 MediaTek processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera
  • 4GB of internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 2000mAh battery
  • Dual SIM (GSM+GSM) dual standby
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/AGPS, Micro-USB and 3G

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ACER ASPIRE S7-392 :REVIEW

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Acer recently released an update to the S7, aptly called the S7-392. With the launch of Intel’s new 4th-Generation Core (Haswell) CPUs, Acer is revisiting the device in the form of the S7-392, bestowing not only a new processor, but also a bigger battery and twice the RAM. Available with a 13-inch screen, a larger battery promise of seven-hour runtime. Additionally, Acer retooled its cooling setup so that the fans supposedly operate much more quietly.
Does an injection of new and improved internals, as well as a slightly tweaked keyboard help this Aspire achieve ultraportable excellence? We check out the finer points of this $1,450 system, and discover a few things that could still do with some improvement.

Design


To those of you who’ve been waiting for an S7 refresh, this new model barely needs an introduction. The S7-392 looks every bit as good as its predecessor, from the glossy white, glass-covered lid to the anodized aluminum frame and wrist area, which is much more rigid than the carbon fiber chassis of Sony’s Vaio Pro 13. At 2.87 pounds (up slightly from 2.86 last year), it’s still one of the lightest 13-inch touchscreen laptops you’re going to find.
While the S7-392 mostly looks and feels like a premium laptop, it still has a few unsightly blemishes. For starters, the gap between the system’s 1080p touchscreen and the aluminum frame of the lid is still noticeable. The sides are cut in a clean, blunt sort of way, they never feel too sharp. The corners, in particular, have been ever-so-slightly rounded so that they never dig into your palms when you’re carrying it with two hands. Making an easy-to-hold laptop is about more than just using the lightest materials.The screen fits snugly against the left corner and widens along the right edge of the screen.
The dual speakers are also situated on the bottom side — one on the left and one on the right, each with some discreet “Dolby Home Theater” branding written nearby.

Though the S7 has mostly the same selection of ports as last time (two USB 3.0, an SD slot and a headphone jack), except the HDMI socket is now full-sized. For starters, rather than have both USB connections on the right, there’s now one on either edge, which seems like the more convenient setup to us. The SD slot has moved to the left edge, while the HDMI and headphone ports now sit on the right side. Not much to say here except that the power button is unusually difficult to push, to the point where it’s not always obvious that the machine has registered your finger-press. Hopefully Acer will loosen that key up just a bit when it comes time to design the follow-up product.

Hardware

With its brand-new 4th-Generation Core Intel Core i5-4200 CPU clocked at 1.6GHz, 8GB of RAM, 1080p IPS screen, Intel HD 4400 graphics  and a 128GB solid-state drive, the Aspire S7-392 is well equipped to handle most common computing tasks, aside from gaming at high resolutions and high in-game settings. But those looking for more storage space and CPU muscle can step up to a $1,650 model with 256GB of solid-state storage and a Core i7-4500U processor.

Acer moved the small power button back by the power jack where it isn’t as easy to accidentally press. And there’s a full-sized HDMI port this time around. For the most part, Acer has improved the port layout on the new S7. There’s now one USB 3.0 port on each side of the laptop.

But what looks like a ThunderBolt or Mini DisplayPort jack on the right edge of the Aspire S7-392 is actually a proprietary “Acer Converter Port” that’s meant to work with specific Acer-branded accessories.

Display and Speaker

The 1080p touchscreen that ships with all U.S. models of the updated S7 looks good. But as we saw in the previous model, the glass over the touchscreen is exceedingly glossy, making glare and reflections an issue when working in a room lit by sunlight or harsh overhead lighting.

The screen generally seems plenty bright, unless you’re in direct sunlight. Screen uniformity and contrast is good, and the panel was able to render 72 percent of the sRGB scale, which is solid, if not stellar.
In our testing, the S7-392’s screen maxed out at just 114.9 nits, which is low, especially for a premium laptop, and just about half the maximum brightness we saw with the original S7.
We are also a bit disappointed to see that the WQHD (2,560 x 1,440) panel, which Acer mentioned would be available in some markets which isn’t available as an option yet in the U.S. And Acer wouldn’t say for sure if a model of the S7 would ever be available with the higher-resolution panel or not.
If Acer does add a WQHD option, we also hope the company can cut down a bit on the glossy nature of the glass over the LCD, and crank up the brightness, as well.
Unfortunately, the audio quality doesn’t nearly match the visuals. We never did get comfy with the speaker setup: even set to 50 percent, the volume is too weak, but crank it up and the sound gets uncomfortably distorted. We finally settled on 75 / 100, but even then the volume wasn’t quite loud enough.

Keyboard and Trackpad

One of the biggest downsides of Acer’s original Aspire S7 was its keyboard. Sure, its pastel-green backlight was pleasing enough, but the keys themselves had very little travel and were frustratingly smooth and flat.

With the updated Aspire S7-392, Acer says they’ve increased key travel from 1mm to 1.3mm. That may not sound like much, but it definitely makes a difference. The keys are still smooth and flat, but they no longer feel egregiously shallow and devoid of appreciable feedback.
Still, we wouldn’t call the keyboard great. Key travel is still a bit shallower than we’d like. Most of the buttons are actually big enough to hit without looking keys like Escape and Caps Lock are oddly vertically squished, and the left and right arrow keys are mushed with the Page Up/Down keys, making them difficult to hit without looking.
The new S7 still comes standard with a touchscreen, but the touchpad here works well for many Windows 8 gestures, as it’s nearly flush with the wrist area. Just like the original S7, though, there are no dedicated buttons, and it could do with a different texture than the wrist wrest, so your thumbs can more easily find their way around.
The trackpad here is leaps and bounds better than the one on the old model. It handles pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolls reliably, along with all the usual Windows 8 gestures. Best of all, though, it now does a much more precise job tracking single-finger navigation and smooth experience.

Performance and Battery Life

In everyday use, the S7 feels exceptionally fast; it’s quick to launch apps, switch between them and handle all manner of transitions.
Acer’s been loading its flagship machines with solid-state drives arranged in a RAID 0 configuration. That doesn’t leave any redundancy in terms of data security, but it makes for some unbelievably fast I/O speeds, which is a pretty good selling point, indeed. In particular, we saw a huge rise in write speeds over the last-gen models, with writes regularly topping out over 1 GB/s. Read speeds were almost as fast, at 975 MB/s, though we saw similar performance even in last year’s S7.

That fast SSD setup was enough to help lift all the other benchmark scores too. As promised, the fan noise has been improved so much that you’d have to put your ear up against the keyboard to hear even the slightest purring. Then again, the trade-off to having a meek set of fans is that they don’t seem to do quite as good a job at keeping the system cool: the underbelly here can get quite hot, even if all you did was leave the system idle for a while.
So while the S7 is a whole lot quieter now, it also runs hot, particularly when pushing the graphics chip. With its integrated Intel graphics, we wouldn’t recommend the S7 as a serious gaming machine anyway. But if you do plan on playing moderately demanding games on your new machine, you’ll probably want to look to something other than the new S7, unless you don’t mind using a laptop cooler.
with a relatively small 6,280mAh battery, the S7 still lasts for much of the day, even under a taxing workload. The new CPUs, combined with an internal battery that Acer says is 33 percent larger than that found in the original S7, makes a big difference when it comes to battery life. Our review unit of the S7-392 managed to keep going for 2 hours and 3 minutes on demanding Battery Eater test. The previous model lasted just 1 hour and 34 minutes in  the same test which is an increase of about 30 percent. In our less-demanding Reader’s Test, the S7 managed to run for a quite reasonable 11 hours and 12 minutes.
The Acer Aspire S7 ran for 7 hours and 14 minute sin our video playback battery drain test. Considering this system’s half-inch thickness, the new S7’s battery life is pretty impressive. For most users, though the updated Aspire S7’s battery should be sufficient.

Software and Warranty

If you buy the S7-392 from the Microsoft Store, it comes completely free of any crapware or pre-installed utilities. In case buying it through Microsoft isn’t an option, you will get a handful of extra software programs, though we promise the bloat isn’t that bad. On those non-Microsoft-Store models, pre-installed apps include: Amazon Kindle, Netflix, newsXpresso, Social Jogger, Nero BackItUp Essentials 12 and CyberLink MediaEspresso. Also on board: trials of Microsoft Office and Norton Internet Security, along with Norton Online Backup. Meanwhile, there are also a few Acer-branded apps, including Acer Power Management, Acer Recovery Management, Acer Theft Shield and Acer Crystal Eye.
If you buy the S7-392 through the Microsoft Store, it comes with a one-year warranty. Buy it off Acer.com, though, and you get two years of coverage.

Conclusion

For the most part, Acer’s updated S7 is a triumph of improved design and internals. Battery life is a lot better, the keyboard’s travel no longer feels as shallow as a reflecting pool, and fan noise is no longer all that noticeable.
But, while a new fan design helps keep the noise down, Acer has mostly played a game of whack-a-mole when it comes to heat and fan noise. The previous model of the S7 was loud but remarkably cool under load. The update swaps fan noise for a big bump in temperatures under heavy graphics performance.
So if gaming is important to you, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere. It’s still not perfect, but with a bigger battery, a better keyboard, and a new Haswell CPU, Acer’s updated S7 manages to be ultra-thin without many major sacrifices.

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HTC One Max to come with Sense 5.5 and Android 4.3

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New rumor regarding the HTC One Max phablet has arrived hailing from China. HTC’s first ever phablet is expected to be unveiled in the coming months, there have been conflicting reports about its launch.
According to the new leak, the Taiwanese manufacturer’s phablet will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with its custom Sense 5.5 UI on top. The changes that Sense 5.5 UI is expected to bring have not been revealed as yet.
 On the hardware side, HTC One Max is now rumored to have a 2.1 megapixel front cameraand a rear UltraPixel camera. According to previous rumors, the One Max is expected to have a 5.9 inch 1080p Super LCD3 display, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery. The device is also said to come with support for TD-LTE, which is China’s homegrown version of the high-speed standard, but there’s little doubt that the international version of the device will also sport 4G LTE support. A dual-SIM, dual-standby version of the HTC One Max will be also made available to target Asian customers.
Pricing of the phablet remains unknown, but the official launch of the device could arrive in the next few weeks.

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Samsung Announces colorful Galaxy Tab 3 kids for children

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Samsung aims to change the kid’s tablet market with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, a brightly colored variation of the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 that comes preloaded with apps and content for children.
The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids has a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 screen, and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. It comes with 8 GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot. It features a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a 1-megapixel camera on the front. There’s no network connectivity, but the tablet connects to 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi on the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. It comes loaded with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), but that will likely be unrecognizable beneath all of Samsung’s software customizations.
The case offers better gripping for kids, as well as the outside protection which makes it easier for young hands to hold. Samsung is planning to offer a number of different stand options, like the grip/kickstand combo pictured above. Most interesting is the included C Pen, which, much like an S Pen, lets children draw on the tablet’s screen without fear of damage.
Samsung has also preloaded a number of apps for education, gaming, entertainment, and e-book reading. The tablet allows parents to select the apps they want to allow their kids to use through the Application Manager. Samsung has also loaded a child-friendly app store on the tablet. Samsung is including a time management feature that allows parents to set specific time periods during which the tablet can be used. To do this, a password-protected lock screen appears, requiring an adult to unlock the device.

Samsung hasn’t announced a price, but you can probably expect the tablet to retail somewhere around the $199. The Galaxy Tab 3 Kids will be available in early September starting in Korea, but will make its way to the U.S., Europe, China, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia shortly thereafter.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids specs

  • 7-inch 1024×600 display
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 3 MP rear camera, 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 8 GB of internal storage, micro SD (up to 32 GB)
  • 4,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1

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Moto X unveiled,Takes customization to a new level : Hands on review

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 It’s been a long time coming, but today, we finally got our hands on the Moto X, the first phone Motorola co-designed with Google. With the fresh announcement of the $199.99 Moto X, Motorola, plans to rewrite history and put its rivals on the defensive. it’s a nimble, compact handset that targets ordinary phone users with advanced abilities. Backed by its corporate parent Google, the Moto X boasts many of the skills its new Verizon Droids flaunt, plus a few slick extras. Better yet they’re all crammed into a highly customizable design built for maximum comfort. The phone itself is great, but the real selling point is how customizable it is.

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Available in more colors than any other phone
  • Powerful specs

Cons

  • Standout features also present in Verizon Droids
  • No MicroSD slot

Moto X Design and Feel


 Motorola has taken a lot of time to choose the right size, shape, and button layout for its phone. With a 4.7-inch screen, it pushes no screen size boundaries, but it’s one of the most comfortable phones we’ve ever held. A Googorola executive told us that the phone has been designed to fit the shape of your palm perfectly. The body is made of polycarbonate plastic that bleeds right into the Gorilla Glass on the front, and the back of the phone has an arc to it.
The Power and Volume buttons are placed on the right side so that they can be easily pressed right alongside the Home, Back, and Recent Apps navigation buttons on the bottom of the X. It’s this attention to detail that makes it a thrill to hold the X. The phone is fantastic to hold and use, but Motorola’s custom manufacturing process is what sets it apart from anything else on the market. Instead of just buying a black or white phone, you can order it on Motorola’s new “Moto Maker” website.
It allows you to completely customize your phone in 2,000 different combinations.
There are 18 different backplate colors, seven accent colors (the color of your power, volume, and camera ring), two front plate colors (white or black), two different types of cases, two storage size options, 16 wallpapers, and many other options. You can even put a written message on the back and buy Sol headphones that match your device.

Wood backplates will also be available soon, and Motorola plans to continue rolling out new designs after launch.

Moto X Screen

By contrast the Moto X’s 4.7-inch 720p (1,280 by 720 pixels) OLED screen is quite large. The Moto X’s OLED screen technology produces vivid colors, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles.
Of course a display’s impact isn’t based on just resolution, brightness, and color quality. Case in point: the Moto X’s screen has an extremely thin bezel that lovingly hugs the front edges of the handset. This helps the X’s display appear larger than life and command your attention.

Moto X Hardware

Since Google owns Motorola now, the Moto X’s interface mostly sticks with the standard design and feel of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. On the inside, the specs are pretty good. It has a 1280 x 720 pixel AMOLED screen (and we swear, it pretty much looks as good as 1080p), 2GB of RAM, a 10-megapixel camera, 16GB of internal storage (32GB for extra $50), and Motorola’s fancy new X8 chipset, which includes a Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor, a quad-core GPU, a language processor, and a “contextual computing” processor. Those last two chips are specifically designed to help it hear your voice and understand what’s going on around it via an array of sensors.

Moto X Software and Interface



The phone runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean rather than latest flavor of Android Jelly Bean (version 4.3). .Motorola has teamed up with Google to add plenty of neat tricks, the most notable of which is contextual computing, which company refers as the Touchless Controls, which utilize Google Now to answer questions for you. What’s different here is that you don’t even have to wake the Moto X from sleep mode to use Google Now. You can yell at it from across the room. It’s now possible to wake your phone up using voice commands. And it recognizes your voice thanks to three microphones, active noise canceling, and a voice profile that you help it create by saying some words for it a few times in a row.
Active Display mode also caught our eye. It shows you the time and some recent notifications every time you move your phone. Execs told that the average smartphone owner presses the Power button and looks at their screen 60 times a day. With this feature, the information you need may pop up faster. Aside from these slick voice capabilities, the Moto X’s interface essentially remains the same as stock Jelly Bean. The five home screens, application tray, and widgets are pretty much identical to what you’d see on Google-approved machines.
The Moto X will softly pulse important notifications and alerts on the screen, even when asleep, as they occur. Motorola says this will help users conserve battery life since they won’t have to power up the display each time the notification light flashes. Holding your finger on the center of the screen (and notification) causes the X to display additional details for the alert. Dragging your finger upward takes you directly to the corresponding message if you decide more action is required.

Camera

Equipped with a 10-megapixel “Clear Pixel” RGBC sensor and LED flash, Motorola says its new device can snap pictures with speed. It goes on to tout the Moto X’s ability to grab 75 percent more light than competing smartphone cameras. That should result in lower shutter times and clearer images under dark conditions.
The camera app, called Quick Capture, has also been revamped to be cleaner and more efficient. With it, the Moto X will go from pocket to image capture in under 3 seconds. Just grab the phone, turn it twice in your hand horizontally, and the camera launches without pressing a button.

Moto X Round Up

The handset certainly packs in plenty of interesting abilities and functionality. When you add up the specs, though, this really is a midrange phone. Hard-core Android enthusiasts likely won’t find the Moto X awe-inspiring. Expect the device to hit stores in late August/early September for a suggested price of $199.99.
More impressive is that your custom phone will arrive on your doorstep within four days and is assembled in Ft. Worth, Texas. Yes, this is the first smartphone to be made in the U.S.
We need to spend a few more days with the Moto X before we know how we feel about it, and we wish we could actually try out Moto Maker for ourselves, but one thing is for certain: Motorola is finally making some moves with its unique blend of capabilities and design will prove valuable to ordinary consumers.



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