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Daily Authority: 💻 Laptops adding sidekick connections
👋 Good morning! Coming live from Barcelona — keep an eye on what the team is up to on the ground via our live blog…
New laptops want to work with your other devices too
New laptops from Samsung, Lenovo, and Huawei were some of the early MWC 2022 fare as the show warms up. But it’s not just another laptop year: these represent the companies’ latest efforts to get into the hot PC market that’s been unfolding over the past two years of the pandemic.
- What we’ve seen: a big push to improve battery life on Windows laptops, upgrade webcams, and bring added new tricks to Windows functionality across devices, from tablets and screens to sidekick accessories.
- There’s plenty of hope to be found in Intel’s 12th-gen CPUs: the P-series and U-series of the Alder Lake release are being talked up for battery life and performance, with Intel and PC-makers desperate if not extremely hopeful to catch up to Apple M1 Macs.
- Samsung put up the big numbers with its Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360: claiming 21 hours battery life. These are part of Intel’s Evo program, meaning Intel is certifying the devices, and hoping to add a layer of trust. That’s a slight risk for Intel too.
- Anyway: that 21 hour number for the battery life is going to be in the sights of many reviewers who’ll want to see how it holds up through proper use across work, entertainment, on the go connectivity, and so on.
- The other big feature is webcams gaining importance: 1080p is now the standard, and Huawei launching a new laptop stuck on a 720p webcam resolution on something that costs about $2,000 is a bummer.
- I mentioned new added tricks coming to Windows earlier. Well, these are being introduced by specific brands.
- Once it was that your Acer or HP or Dell PC came loaded with extra apps and features, some questionable, some bloat, some useful.
- But now it’s more of the wider connectivity play that’s being amped as the useful thing people should want.
- Samsung’s new Galaxy Book 2 range, for example, adds a “Multi Control,” feature which fairly easily lets you set up a Samsung Galaxy tablet, such as the Tab S8, as a secondary screen alongside a new Galaxy Book 2 Pro, for example.
- In a similar way, Huawei made a big show of its updated “Super Device” technology in its launch of PCs and devices yesterday. Super Device makes it simpler to take a photo off a Huawei phone and put it onto, say, a Huawei Windows PC, or tablet. It seemed simple enough while on display yesterday.
- Windows and Android are cosying up more to do things on a platform basis.
- And developers, of course, are trying to add more ecosystem-agnostic features like this all the time via apps. I’ve used the app Duet Display to run an iPad as a second screen next to my Windows PC, for example.
- Brands are much less ecosystem-agnostic. There’s just too much money in trying to keep people within a walled garden.
- That immediately leads you to think of Apple, of course, the standard for being inflexible.
- But others are joining in. Samsung is pushing in this direction more and more: its Galaxy Buds support aptX but only for Android users with a Samsung phone. The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag is a Samsung device exclusive, and so on.
- Adding features that boost the ecosystem is a natural benefit and we’re all working off more than once device these days. It’s just more of a problem when accessories are limited by device…
Now, on with the show and everything that’s launched so far at the time of writing, in the Roundup…
⚡ The Realme GT 2 series has now launched into global markets. The 6.7-inch Realme GT 2 Pro is the star of the two devices, coming with top-specs including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and a 1-120Hz 1440p LTPO OLED display, fast charging, and starts at €649 (~$725). Really interested to see how this holds up under testing and review (Android Authority).
💻 Samsung’s event yesterday unveiled four new Windows laptops, with the Galaxy Book 2 Pro line getting upgrades to Windows 12th-gen CPUs, with the premium Galaxy Book 2 Pro 360 convertible model starting at $1250. Both Pro models are available in 13-inch and 15-inch sizes. Aside from promises of better battery life than ever, the upgrade to 1080p webcams will be welcome for video calling (Android Authority).
💻 Huawei launched “smart office” gear, including new laptops, plus an all-in-one PC, E-ink tablet that was pretty popular at the Huawei booth at MWC, and more (Android Authority).
👀 Sony’s next flagship phone just leaked big time: The Xperia 1 IV just saw renders drop, and it’s sticking with the 3.5mm port (Android Authority).
⚡ Specs leak for OnePlus phone with 150W charging (Android Authority).
🍎 It’s years away but Apple is apparently working on a device with a 20-inch folding display (The Verge).
🎮 ICYMI: The Steam Deck properly launched with full reviews: it seems like it’s really fun and it’s super early still, with some messy problems, but people are loving it at the same time (The Verge).
👉 Russia, Ukraine and tech links: On Google Maps, tracking the invasion of Ukraine(WashPo) details the movements of soldiers followed in real time by their smartphones- which Google later disabled, though basic navigation is still possible (Reuters). Apple Pay and Google Pay has stopped working for those with Russian banks (Insider). Google stopped Russian-language YouTube channels of media outlets RBC, TV Zvezda, and Sputnik in Ukraine and “paused a number of channels’ ability to monetize on YouTube (PCMag). Ukraine’s government is raising money via crypto, which may be becoming more viable for certain people escaping without bank accounts or money (The Verge). The Elon Musk-Starlink efforts in Ukraine sound good but it’s far from certain that’s going to help: the Ukrainians need the Starlink receiver boxes…
🤔 “How can smartwatches measure blood pressure?” (r/askscience).
There’s a world of memes out there surrounding the war in Ukraine. It’s remarkable how it works so fast in response to news and event.
- As a researcher of memes in a media psychology department told Vox: memes are as valid a response as any other to overwhelming events beyond our control.
- Reckoning with the memes of war (Vox).
And a simple meme for complex times:
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor