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May 28, 2021

☕ Good morning! I just booked to go to a museum for the first time in more than a year — exciting!

Today’s daily hop into the world of tech is brought to you by OnePlus! All Memorial Day weekend long, save a healthy 5% off the OnePlus 8T and get a FREE case to protect your new device. Click the link below for more details, but do know that this offer only lasts until Monday!

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First 17-inch Chromebook
Acer Chromebook 317 rear logo
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

This week my colleague Eric Zeman went hands-on with the Acer 317, which is a Chromebook. But not just any Chromebook, it’s the world’s first 17-inch Chromebook, and that deserves some attention.

Why 17-inch:

  • It’s somewhat surprising that this is a first, given how long Chromebooks have been around.
  • It’s possible that Chromebook uptake is now so significant that brands like Acer feel they can revamp the form-factor and just try things like a bigger form-factor, given just how many are being sold for so many purposes.
  • Dell brought back its 17-inch XPS line in 2020 after a decade-long hiatus, as laptops went smaller and portable, before becoming standard tools for more people.
  • Apple still hasn’t brought back a 17-inch MacBook Pro, last sold in 2012 after debuting in 2006.
  • Acer says it believes the 17.3-inch Chromebook 317 is ideal for multitaskers, hybrid workers, and parents with kids, thanks to the extra-large canvas it affords for getting things done.

Is it any good?

Take it away, Eric:

  • “It’s massive. Like most 17-inch laptops I’ve encountered, the Acer Chromebook 317 really floors you with its sheer size. It measures a backpack-stretching 401.2 x 267.1 x 22.5mm and weighs in at a back-straining 2.35kg. It utterly dwarfs the 13- and 15-inch Chromebooks I have in my office, such as the Acer Spin 311.”
  • “The screen is impressive due to its size, but I’ve seen much higher quality displays in my day. Stretching 1,920 x 1,080 pixels across a panel this big means you’ve got a screen that isn’t as sharp as it could be.”
  • “It’s a huge workspace, which means running multiple windows side by side doesn’t leave you feeling cramped. Thankfully, Acer kept the bezels respectably thin. It doesn’t have an all-screen look, but you’re not saddled with overly thick framing around the screen, either.”
  • One of the difficult details to decide on is the configuration you’ll want to try. It starts at a really accessible $379, but that is a CB317-1H model, with non-touchscreen, Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a single microphone
  • That’s fair, especially at the size, but limited if you want more productivity.
  • And if you want to add useful things like a webcam, dual-mic setup, backlit keyboard, or touch-screen, you’ll be adding extra costs. 
  • It’s on sale in most parts of the world in June.

Not just this Chromebook:

  • Acer also released a few other new Chromebooks, including an update to the well-known Acer Spin 713, now with 11th Gen Intel processors, USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, and the same 3:2 design.
  • It’s the classic workhorse that looks like it’s better than ever, but the 17-inch marks a first.

🆕 OnePlus will launch two new Nord phones soon, but neither is the Nord 2, though one is the Nord N200 5G (Android Authority).

🎧 More Sony WF-1000XM4 feature details spill in extensive new leak (Android Authority).

💻 Acer’s new Predator gaming laptops pack mini-LED displays (Android Authority).

💍 The fastest-growing categories in wearables are ones Apple hasn’t even touched yet: rings, audio glasses, and wearable patches, though the Apple Watch category is faaaar bigger (Ars Technica).

🐤 Oops: Twitter is launching a $2.99 p/m in-app purchase called Twitter Blue, with details of the subscription leaking via the App Store (MacRumors).

💰 So there’s going to be a new most expensive car ever: the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail is a custom stunner, three of which will be built, and it’s all very ridiculous (there’s a car fridge set to the chilling temperature of a very specific champagne) and ridiculously expensive (CNET).

🎳 One man’s amazing journey to the center of the bowling ball, to help revolutionize the sport (Wired).

🧊 Zero-gravity space fridge (normal fridges need gravity!) could keep astronaut food fresh for years (TechCrunch).

🥽 New tech makes real-time 3D holograms an actual reality (Interesting Engineering).

🚁 The Mars copter survived an in-flight anomaly: what happened on Ingenuity’s sixth flight


Friday Fun
Charlie bit my Finger
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

The 2007 video Charlie Bit My Finger is great. It’s a universal fact. The NFT world, on the other hand, is considerably trickier.

In short, here’s what happened:

  • The Charlie Bit My Finger video on YouTube has 800 million views.
  • But then it was sold as an NFT, with one of the rules of the sale that the video would be taken down off YouTube. That would’ve made the NFT seem more “valuable” and different to other NFT memes that were sold and still exist everywhere.
  • So, the Charlie Bit My Finger video went for auction, and sold for $761,000 and this was very newsworthy because taking down one of the storied videos on the web was really something.
  • But the winner had a change of heart, and left the video on YouTube.

And as The Verge writes: Charlie bit us all, if you really think about it:

I guess it’s not all that surprising that a blockchain-related product might overpromise and then under-deliver, but I’m fairly certain this last-minute switcheroo will just encourage ever more ridiculous stunts for people to get coverage and buyers for their NFTs. Which will probably result in less coverage in tech media because no one wants to get burned — or in this case, bitten — by a story that doesn’t live up to the hype.

Your editor still buying NBA TopShots,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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