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Laptops & Tablets

April Reveal for New iPad Pro?

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April Reveal for New iPad Pro?

Apple plans an "early April" launch for the rumoured 10.5-inch iPad Pro, DigiTimes reports-- with the date chosen to "mark the inauguration" of the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

Apparently the tablet was initially slated for a May/June release, but DigiTimes says Apple "moved ahead the production" for the aforementioned inauguration. Earlier rumours suggested the event would take place in March, but since the month is already halfway through with no sign of an event in sight, the thought of such an can be safely scrapped.

Further collaborating on the DigiTimes story is Macrumors, whose "reliable supply chain source" says Apple will announce products some day between 20 and 24 March.

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Porsche Design Presents Book One Hybrid

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Porsche Design Presents Book One Hybrid

Porsche Design unveils a premium 2-in-1 device at Mobile World Congress-- the Book One, a Windows 10 Pro hybrid with a more than slight resemblance to the Microsoft Surface Book.

As a Windows device the Book One has all the expected features, including touchscreen and stylus support via Windows Ink, the Corta voice-controlled assistant and Windows Hello facial recognition. It features a 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 resolution display and carries an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. Connectivity comes through x2 USB-C and x2 USB 3.0 ports, as well as wifi and Bluetooth.

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Samsung Intros Galaxy Tab S3, Book at MWC

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Samsung Intros Galaxy Tab S3, Book at MWC

Samsung launches a pair of tablet offerings at Mobile World Congress 2017-- the Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book, with the first designed for media consumption while the other is aimed at professionals.

Both tablets feature HDR video support, as well as Samsung Flow biometric authentication and improved S Pen support, together with 13MP rear-/5MP front-facing cameras, expandable storage via microSD card, fast-charging capability and support for Pogo keyboards with no separate charging or pairing required.

The 9.7-inch Tab S3 is an Android Nougat-powered number promising a "cinema-like experience" with a Super AMOLED 2048 x 1536 resolution display and a quad-stereo speaker setup tuned by Harman's AKG. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and includes 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, integrated 4G connectivity and a 6000mAh battery. A next-generation S Pen stylus is included in the package.

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Chuwi Presents Hi13 Windows Hybrid

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Chuwi Presents Hi13 Windows Hybrid

Chinese tablet maker Chuwi announces the Hi13, a 13.5-inch Windows-powered hybrid device one can safely describe as a Microsoft Surface rival

The Hi13 features a 13.5-inch 3000 x 2000 resolution touchscreen, and is powered by an Intel Celeron N3450 CPU with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD slot). It handles stylus input via HiPen H3 stylus, while a detachable keyboard turns it into a notebook.

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Yoga Book Gets Budget Version With Yoga A12

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Yoga Book Gets Budget Version With Yoga A12

Lenovo presents a budget version of the Yoga Book hybrid device-- the Yoga A12, an Android tablet featuring the same touch-based Halo keyboard.

Described as an ideal laptop replacement for customers in emerging markets, the Yoga A12 has a 12.2-inch display and carries an Intel Atom x5 CPU, 2GB RAM and 32GB storage. It is 5.4mm thin, weighs around 1kg and claims "immersive cinema-like sound" through the addition of Dolby Atmos technology.

As mentioned earlier, the Yoga A12 also includes the Halo keyboard-- essentially a touch surface with a virtual QWERTY keyboard. Lenovo says the keyboard offers haptic feedback to help users improve their typing, but the version found in the Yoga A12 lacks the Yoga Book's pen-based input.

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IDC: Tablet Woes Continue on Holiday Season

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IDC: Tablet Woes Continue on Holiday Season

Consumers do not want to spend on tablets, IDC remarks-- Q4 2016 is the 9th consecutive quarter of tablet decline, with shipments dropping by -20.1% Y-o-Y to 52.9 million units.

Full year 2016 also sees declines, as shipments total 174.8m, down by -15.6% compared to 2015. This marks a second straight year of declining tablet shipments.

"The sentiment around the tablet market continues to grow stale despite a lot of talk about vendors pivoting their product portfolios toward the detachable segment," the analyst says. "Typical tablets without a dedicated keyboard, which IDC refers to as slate tablets, are continuing to lose relevancy across all regions and, as a result, we see the decline happening globally. We do see future growth in some emerging markets like the EMA as well as CEE with the sole catalysts being simplicity and low cost. Unfortunately for the industry these are the devices that don't equate to large revenues."

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Delayed Launch for Next iPads?

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Delayed Launch for Next iPads?

According to DigiTimes Apple is working on 3 iPad models for 2017, but the new tablets "may not be announced or even released in the market until the second half of 2017."

The tablets were supposed to be announced during Q2 2017, but "lower-than-expected" yield rates for the 10-nanometer manufacturing process apparently led to launch delays. As a result Apple will also be looking into getting components for secondary suppliers.

DigiTimes adds the 3 iPads set to launch this year are a 9.7-inch model with a "friendly price range," a 10.5-inch model armed with the A10X processor and an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple supposedly plans to have the 10.5-inch model replace the existing 9.7-inch line, with the 9.7-inch iPad becoming an entry-level device aimed at the education sector.

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A Laptop Dock for the Compute Card

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A Laptop Dock for the Compute Card

NexDock, the maker of a laptop dock for Windows 10 smartphones and mini-PCs, announces plans to launch a similar device powered by the Compute Card, Intel's credit card-size computing platform.

Recently the company start shipping self-titled laptop docks for use with Windows 10 smartphones, mini PCs and tablets. The result of an April 2016 crowdfunding campaign, the NexDock offers a Bluetooth keyboard, 14-inch display and 10000mAh Li-ion battery, and works best with devices using the Windows 10 Continuum feature (although the company says it can also act as a second display for iOS and Android devices).

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Feel Fabric on a Touchscreen With Tanvas

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Feel Fabric on a Touchscreen With Tanvas

Tanvas has an intriguing demo at CES 2017, where it shows off surface haptics technology allowing one to feel the texture of different materials through a touchscreen.

Seen in the shape of a repurposed Nexus 9 tablet, TanvasTouch technology simulated a number of surfaces, including wood, cobblestone and grass. Another demo allows one to drag their finger through a virtual pool with a pebble floor, and a partnership with apparel maker Bonobos offers the chance to check the difference between cotton and corduroy fabrics by rubbing the touchscreen.

How does Tanvas touchscreens work? Reportedly the result of 10 years of research at Nortwestern University, the technology involves “real-time control of the electrical forces between your fingertip and the touch surfaces.” Essentially the display has a TanvasTouch layer on top of the touchscreen acting as an electromagnet. The magnet physically pulls the tips of users' finger as they move across the screen, creating a "sense" of touch.

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An eReader One Can Draw On

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An eReader One Can Draw On

The reMarkable might look like an unremarkable ePaper tablet, but it hides an interesting trick up its sleeve-- one can draw on the 10.3-inch "Canvas" display, making it a combination of electronic device and paper notepad.

According to the makers the display has a paper-like surface and a low latency of 55ms, meaning it can handle writing or drawing with the included Marker stylus without noticeable delay. This makes it superior to similar devices seen in previous years, whose displays failed to handle the capabilities of a regular piece of paper and a pen.

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IDC: Premium Drives Q3 Tablet Market

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IDC: Premium Drives Q3 Tablet Market

According to IDC Q3 2016 tablet shipments reach 8.2 million in W. Europe-- a -6.7% Y-o-Y decline, with the quarter trending towards the expansion of hybrid/detachable devices and tablets aimed at the commercial market.

In fact, hybrids see solid 48.4% Y-o-Y growth, while the commercial segment is up by 13% Y-o-Y. Hybrids tend to have higher prices, and as a result the number of devices in the €600+ price band sees 66.7% Y-o-Y growth, making 10.6% of the total Q3 2016 market. It also lead to revenue growth of 4.8% Y-o-Y to €2.5 billion, despite the aforementioned shipment decline.

"The increasing penetration of detachables, particularly in the commercial space, is sustaining tablet market value despite the contraction in volume," the analyst says. "The offer available in the market continues to grow, along with enterprises' increasing interest in technologies that fit their mobile strategies. As a result detachables, particularly those with the performance and security to meet enterprise standards, are continuously gaining traction and this is boosting demand for premium devices."

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