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By Rich Woods
Microsoft announces five laptops for education that support 4G LTE
by Rich Woods
Acer TravelMate Spin B3 Today, Microsoft announced five new laptops from Acer, ASUS, and JP-IK. Touted as the most affordable 4G LTE PCs ever, they start at $185. Of course, you won't actually get 4G LTE at that price, because four out of these five PCs use an Intel processor, meaning that cellular connectivity is an option, and will come at a premium.
The most inexpensive options are made by JP-IK, and they include the Leap Connect T304 and the Leap T304, the former of which includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c processor with integrated cellular connectivity for $229. The Leap T304 costs $185 and comes with an Intel Celeron with 4GB of RAM.
From Acer, we have the TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3. Starting at $239 and $329, respectively. They come with Intel's new 10nm 'Jasper Lake' Pentium Silver processors, USB Type-C, and more. Finally, ASUS has its new ExpertBook BR1100 for $279, which is meant to be rugged and has an anti-bacteria C cover, adding protection for if the device needs to be shared.
One other thing that Microsoft is announcing, and that's the new Classroom Pen 2. Microsoft only said that it has a longer enclosure, but it also costs just $19.99. Finally, there's Reflect integration in Teams, which lets teachers check in on students and just sort of see how they're doing. That's available in Teams now.
Purported ROG Phone 5 photos show a customizable display on the back
by João Carrasqueira
Image credit: Mukul Sharma (Twitter) ASUS was quick to jump on the gaming smartphone bandwagon when those devices started to show up a few years ago, and the ROG Phone has actually been a fairly impressive family since it first showed up. It's not unexpected that the company would work on a successor to last year's ROG Phone 3, and now, leaked images appear to show what the device will look like. The images were posted on Twitter by Mukul Sharma (via TechRadar).
Some images had first leaked earlier in the week, but the most recent leak shows a notable change - the addition of a display on the back of the phone. The display looks like a small strip, and based on the screenshots, you can customize what's displayed on it, but it doesn't seem to have much of a surface area to have any kind of user input on the display itself.
The display is where you'd usually find the backlit ROG logo, and for users that like customizing the look of their phone with different colors, having a full-blown screen does offer some additional options. nubia allowed for something similar with its nubia Z20 back in 2019, though the rear display was also meant to be used as a typical smartphone screen. As for ASUS, we've seen similar customization in laptops such as the Zephyrus G14, which had a series of programmable LED lights on the lid that could show different images created by the user.
Another notable change with this device is that there doesn't appear to be a vent anywhere on the backplate, which ASUS has typically used to help exhaust hot air. Whether that means the vent is now on the metal frame (similar to the RedMagic 5G) or gone entirely is not yet known.
Based on the writing on the phone's backplate, it's expected to be called the ROG Phone 5, and as we've seen with other companies with a strong presence in China, this is likely because the number 4 has a negative connotation in the country. Other brands such as RedMagic and even OnePlus back in the day have followed similar strategies. Typically, ROG Phone models have arrived in the summer and leaks don't show up this early in the year, so we may be looking at an earlier launch this time around.
By Abhay V
ASUS refreshes its ZenBook Duo family with pen support, tilting secondary displays, more
by Abhay Venkatesh
ASUS had a bunch of announcements as part of its CES 2021 lineup, and the list of updates includes refreshes to almost the entire laptop lineup. The devices as part of the announcement include the ZenBook Duo family – the laptops that sport dual displays. The updates to these unique offerings not only include spec bumps but also bring a few new features.
The refreshed ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED houses identical display sizes and resolutions as that of its predecessors. However, the 14-inch secondary display – called the ScreenPad Plus – now features an auto-tilt function that raises the display to 9.5 degrees. The firm says that the angle allows for fewer reflections and improved readability. It also aids in cooling the devices better. The device adds support for a stylus that ships alongside the laptop and features 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. As for custom software, the firm is touting improved multitasking capabilities with its ScreenXpert 2 upgrade.
ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED The internals of the device are being updated to Intel’s 10th-gen Core i9 Comet Lake H-series processors, Nvidia’s latest RTX 3070 GPU, and the option to max out RAM and storage configurations to 32GB and a 1TB SSD, respectively. The laptop now features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port – specifications of which were not mentioned –, and supports Wi-Fi 6 for connectivity. The main 4K OLED panel is PANTONE Validated and VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certified.
The smaller of the two, the ZenBook Duo 14, is now an Intel Evo verified laptop and is also receiving a bunch of updates. The secondary display on this device too features the auto-tilt function that raises the display, but just to 7 degrees. The internals have been bumped to Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake offerings with Iris Xe graphics. It also comes with a dedicated Nvidia MX450 GPU. The laptop offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports Wi-Fi 6 for improved connectivity.
ZenBook Duo 14 The ZenBook Duo 14 offers dual FullHD LCDs, with the main display bearing the “NanoEdge” moniker. The panel is PANTONE Validated and covers 100% of the sRGB color gamut. While the company does not mention anything in the way of battery figures for the larger of the two devices, it boasts of an impressive 17 hours of battery life for the 14-inch variant.
The company’s press release does not mention the prices or availability of both devices.
By News Staff
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Having just moved house, I noticed the wifi in my study was patchy. I therefore invested in a TP Link Powerline (TL-WPA4220) to run from my router to my study.
It works perfectly on all my personal devices (Windows, Apple, Android etc) with them all getting the full wifi speeds promised by my ISP (Vodafone), both over wifi and ethernet.
The main reason I installed this, however, was for a fast reliable connection to my work computer. But whether via wifi or ethernet I'm getting much slower speeds on my work laptop than my personal devices connected to the same powerline - even slower than before I installed it when I was working at the far edge of my router's range. I'll be getting 70mbps download and 25mbps upload speeds on my personal devices and 2mbps download and 5mbps upload on my work computer.
I called my work IT, they suggested my ISP was throttling my use (when testing the connection on my work laptop we found that when I connected to my ISPs network / server the speed was as expected, but any other server was very slugglish, which led them to think this).
I contacted by ISP who insist they're not throttling my use and it must be something to do with my employer's IT policy. They did give me a static IP address suggesting this might help (but it hasn't).
Any ideas why this might be happening?My main suspicoion is that it's something to do with the VPN on my work laptop (zscaler), although when I tried installing a VPN on my own persional laptop it had no effect on speeds. How could my laptop / VPN even recognise that my internet is coming from a different source? Are there any known issues with powerlines accessing secure VPN networks?
I'm being bounced around to different people none of whom have a clue, so any advice would be gratefully received!