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Amazon's new eero routers add Wi-Fi 6, built-in Zigbee hub
by João Carrasqueira
Amazon held a hardware and services event today, and with it came a ton of announcements on both of those fronts. Some of those announcements came from eero, the mesh Wi-Fi company that Amazon acquired last year, which introduced the new eero 6 and eero Pro 6 routers today.
The new routers come with a couple of notable improvements over the previous generation, the most evident one being support for Wi-Fi 6. With this, the routers not only offer higher speeds, but also support for more connected devices at the same time, with Amazon claiming you can connect more than 75 devices simultaneously. Another big addition is that both routers have a Zigbee smart home hub built in, which can help smart home devices connect to Alexa for smart home control.
The eero 6 is the cheaper of the two, and Amazon says it's designed for homes with internet speeds of up to 500Mbps. It's a dual-band Wi-Fi router and, naturally, it supports TrueMesh technology, so you can couple it with two extenders to cover up to 5,000 feet. A single router can cover up to 1,500 feet. Interestingly, its product page says it's recommended for speeds up to 900Mbps, and it doesn't completely replace the previous eero router, which is a cheaper alternative.
Meanwhile, the eero Pro 6 is a bigger and more advanced tri-band router, also with support for TrueMesh technology. Amazon recommends this option for homes that have gigabit internet connections so you can get more of the benefits of those speeds. You can combine up to three of these to cover up to 6,000 feet, with a single one covering 2,000 feet.
Both the eero 6 and eero Pro 6 are available to pre-order today, with shipping dates for November 2. While Amazon's announcement suggests you can buy a three-pack of either one, not all the bundling options seem to be available on Amazon yet. The eero 6 can be found here, and it costs $129 for a single router, or $199 for a pack of two. Meanwhile, the eero Pro 6 is listed here and costs $229 for one unit. In both cases, you're also given the option to include an Amazon Echo Dot, which is required to make full use of the built-in Zigbee hub.
If you're looking for the three-packs, you can find them on eero's own website, with an eero 6 three-pack costing $279, while the eero Pro 6 adds up to $599 for a pack of three.
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By Abhay V
Microsoft's rumored mid-range 12.5-inch Surface laptop to reportedly cost $699
by Abhay Venkatesh
Surface Laptop 3 A rumor from earlier this month stated that Microsoft is working on a more affordable Surface laptop for launch this holiday. The device – codenamed Sparti – is expected to be powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 in its lowest tier and was rumored to cost anywhere between $500-$600. Now, a new report by WinFuture suggests that the 12.5-inch screen housing Surface could start at $699.99.
The report adds that the company is reportedly packing a 10th-gen Core i5 processor in the laptop. It is also expected to be offered with a minimum of 8GB of RAM, a departure from the 4GB speculation from an earlier rumor. There is no information on what the internal storage specifics are but considering that the price range is said to start at $699, the firm may choose to pack at least 128GB of storage.
Additionally, each tier of the device is expected to increase by $100 while bumping up the storage, RAM, and processor configurations. The most expensive SKU is reportedly slated to cost $1,199. However, it is not known what specs the Redmond firm will offer that top-of-the-line SKU with.
Today’s report also corroborates earlier rumors of a successor to the Surface Pro X powered by a refreshed Microsoft SQ2 being in the works. There is speculation that the company might hold a Surface event on September 30, where it is expected to unveil the Surface Pro X 2 and the rumored 12.5-inch Surface laptop. The latter is said to be slated for an end of October availability.
Source: WinFuture (German)
Google could release a new $99 Wifi router later this month
by Rajesh Pandey
Last year, Google had announced the Nest Wifi with Google assistant integration. The hardware actually consisted of two devices: the Wifi router itself and the Wifi point. The latter featured the same speaker as the Nest Mini, turning it into a Assistant control point. The addition of these features did make the Nest Wifi expensive, with a starting price tag of $169 for the 1-pack model and the three-pack model going up to $349.
Now, it looks like Google is working on a cheaper Nest Wifi hardware that will have a lower price point than its existing Nest Wifi model. 9to5Google has found references to "Breeze" in recent versions of the Google Wifi and Google Home apps which is in all likelihood a Wifi router since Google has referred to its previous Wifi routers as "Whirlwind," "Gale," and "Vento." Other references to "Breeze" found in the apps point to the device being a Wifi router and not just a access point. Retailers Walmart and Home Depot also had listings for a "Google Breeze Wireless Adapter" for a short while for $99.
The report speculates that Google could be reusing the hardware from the original Google Wifi to keep the price of its upcoming Wifi hardware low. It is also unclear if "Breeze" can be used as a Wifi access point or not.
If the leaked $99 price tag turns out to be right, the upcoming Wifi hardware from Google will undercut its existing offerings by nearly $70 compared to the $169 Nest Wifi. The $99 price tag will also allow Google to better compete with Wifi hardware offerings from Eero and others. There's no word on when Google could potentially announce this new Wifi router but the company's upcoming event later this month sounds like a good bet.
YouTube restores Full HD streaming in India on mobile devices but only on Wi-Fi
by Rajesh Pandey
In late March, YouTube restricted the maximum video streaming quality on mobile devices in India to 480p to reduce the strain on mobile networks and network congestion in the country. Over three months later, the company has finally restored the ability to stream full HD content on mobile devices albeit with a catch.
While YouTube users on mobile can finally stream content in 1080p resolution, they can do so only while being connected to a Wi-Fi network. On mobile networks, the maximum video streaming quality is still capped at 480p. The feature is being restored slowly so it is possible that it might not show up on your mobile phone immediately. There's no word from YouTube if it also intends to remove the streaming quality restriction on mobile data or not.
The restriction was only applicable on mobile devices as YouTube users in India were still able to stream content in Full HD or higher resolution on their PC, tablet, or Android TVs.
Netflix, Prime Video, and other streaming services had also announced a reduction in their streaming quality in late March to avoid potential network congestion as millions of people switched to working from home and there was a rise in the usage of video calls and streaming services. However, all of them had restored the streaming quality back to their original levels in June itself.
Purism announces Librem 14 complete with kill switches
by Paul Hill
Purism has announced the Librem 14 laptop, a successor to its security-focus Librem 13 product line. The laptop comes with hardware kill switches to disable the webcam, microphone, and Wi-Fi for additional peace of mind. The firm said these features were popular with Librem 13 customers so decided to retain them on the new laptop.
Similarly to the newly released Librem Mini, the Librem 14 comes pre-loaded with PureOS, an FSF-accredited operating system meaning that it doesn’t contain closed source software, nor encourages its use. It also supports Purism’s high-security boot firmware, PureBoot.
The specifications for the device are as follows:
Processor Core i7-10710U (Comet Lake)
Display 14″ Matte (1920×1080)
Battery Life Roughly 7 to 9 hours (actual times may vary)
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
Memory Up to 32GB, DDR4 at 2133 MHz
Storage 2.5″ SATA + NVMe-capable M.2 slots
Video 1 HDMI Port (4K capable @60Hz max)
USB Type-C Video Out (4K capable)
USB Ports USB Type-A 3.1: 2 Ports
USB Type-C 3.1: 1 Port
Audio 3.5mm AudioJack (Mic-in & Headphone-out combo)
Networking Gigabit Ethernet Adapter with Integrated RJ45 Connector
Atheros 802.11n w/ Two Antennas
Power 1 Power Button, DC-IN Jack
USB-C Power Delivery Port
Dimensions 322mm x 220mm x 17mm;
Weight: 1.4 kg
Commenting on the new device, Todd Weaver, CEO and founder of Purism, said:
If you’re interested in purchasing the device, it’s available for pre-order now at the temporary price of $1,199 and is going to begin shipping in early Q4 2020. It’s not clear when the early bird pricing will end, but the laptop will cost $1,499 when it does.
Gallery: Librem 14