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1. The weirdest legitimate laptop at Computex: Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

The show floor at Computex in Taipei is now open, and there’s something for every PC enthusiast, from the bleeding edge to the weird.

Andrew Grush, Android Authority’s Managing Editor, is on the ground and passing on insights. While he was keen to talk about how absurdly strong AMD’s announcement looked, and the full details of Intel “Ice Lake” 10nm processors, he also passed on that the 15.6-inch Asus Zenbook Pro Duo is just about the weirdest yet most interesting new laptop he’s seen.

Here it is, the Asus Zenbook Pro Duo:

It’s a little easier to understand in this short video hands on, but yes, that’s a second screen or “Screenpad Plus” as Asus call it, sitting below the normal laptop screen. Both are 4K resolution, and the laptops are true beasts, with all the latest specs. But that screen though, right?

  • The Screenpad Plus is like a giant Touch Bar from the MacBook Pro, or just an overflow from your main monitor, or a way to multitask.
  • There’s also a stylus for using that second screen as a pad to draw or use for creative touches.
  • It makes the keyboard look a little bit awkward, with nowhere to rest your wrists while typing.
  • There’s also a non-Pro Zenbook Duo, a smaller and more economical 15-inch device with a smaller second screen, but the same overall design.
  • Andrew’s hands-on with the device mentions the awkward use and found the unique positioning less useful than the usual double-monitor approach someone might use, with a monitor at the side for example.
  • But it might have unique applications for creatives – one Asus clip showed a musical keyboard being used which might be fun for the DJ and audio crowd.
  • No pricing or availability yet, but the tip is for a Q3 release later this year.

Read more: Everything announced at Computex 2019 so far!


2. The Redmi K20 Pro deserves a moment of your time.

Redmi K20 launch

The Redmi K20 Pro looks like a hit, and while it’s probably not going to make it to the U.S. or North America, it should reach China, India, and Europe. And it’s one of the most packed flagship launches we’ve seen in 2019 – and wait until you see the price.

Why it matters:

  • This is a smartphone enthusiast’s dream.
  • Flagship specs: Snapdragon 855, a Samsung-built 6.39-inch AMOLED display, a triple camera with Sony IMX586 image sensor for 48MP shots, telephoto lens and ultrawide lens, headphone jack, 4,000mAh battery, pop-up selfie camera, in-display fingerprint sensor, and more.
  • The list goes on, but the big deal is that it starts at 2,499 yuan (~$362) for the 6GB/64GB model, and only a small step to 2,999 yuan (~$434) for the 8GB/256GB variant.
  • That’s insane pricing.

Competitors:

  • Even the Asus ZenFone 6, which looks like a beast for $499, is in a clear price tier above this.
  • The OnePlus 7 Pro packs an eerily similar set of specs with additional refinements for $669. Those additional nice features are important, especially the smoother 90Hz refresh rate display, and there’s better software, better speakers, nicer haptic touch, more bands, and wider availability. But the K20 Pro is roughly $300 cheaper.
  • Meanwhile the Pixel 3a XL runs for $479 for much reduced specs, but of course the Google experience and camera quality is what you’re really paying for there.
  • If reviews of the K20 Pro say nice things about the software, and the camera delivers on its potential from Sony hardware, it could be a massive win.

Bonus: There’s also a new Redmi laptop, the RedmiBook 14.


3. HP adds real wood to its latest Envy laptops: sustainable walnut and birch (Android Authority).


4. Also, HP reveals new VR PC backpack and 24-hour laptop for businesses (AA). That backpack will live forever as a marker of the 2019 era.


5. Behind the scenes at Realme’s manufacturing facility, including a drop test repeated 40,000 times (AA).


6. Apple expected to remove 3D Touch from all 2019 iPhones, favoring haptic touch (MacRumors).


7. Also, Apple exec dismisses Google CEO’s criticism over turning privacy into a ‘luxury good’ (The Verge).


8. The “Dark Forest” theory of the Internet: staying out of the spotlight means a less-good internet, but also safety and privacy (Medium).


9. We should opt into data tracking, not out of it, says DuckDuckGo (Vox). Right!


10. Amazon, Walmart, and other stores have too many options. A simple search for clothes hangers on Amazon brings up “over 200,000” results (The Atlantic)


11. A Tesla engineer’s jeep ended up under 10 feet of snow for months and it’s still there (Jalopnik).


12. Here’s a Soyuz rocket being struck by lightning, from a launch yesterday. Russian rockets don’t need clear skies, apparently! (r/space).


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