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The second coming: Back in June 2012, Microsoft said that Surface Pro tablet will come just three months after the launch of the ARM-based Surface RT. Now we are getting closer to the promised date and while the company has skipped CES this year, the final design of the device made it to the show-floor in Las Vegas.
One of the main difference from the forthcoming tablet when compared to its sibling, is that it runs a full version of Windows 8, this means that users will be able to run full-blown desktop programs (32-bit and 64-bit). It also includes a ClearType full-HD display for a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, packed inside of a 10.6-inch screen resulting in a more pixel density, making everything look sharper and crisper than the 1366 x 768 pixels screen resolution in the RT tablet.
Surface with Windows 8 Pro is about 4.2mm thicker and 227 grams heavier than its brother. Microsoft was also able to pack a 3rd Gen Intel Core i5 Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000 (just normal Ivy Bridge, not the upcoming upgraded lower wattage chips), and 4GB of RAM. But such powerful processor for such promising device doesn’t come without some sort of trade-off; Surface Pro comes with two tiny fans to cool the CPU, something that Surface RT doesn’t need. Battery life isn’t clear how long will last, but on average is estimated to last around five hours, compared to the 8 hours in the RT version.
The Wacom-powered display is also intelligent enough to realize that you run the pen across, but you didn’t mean to write and no writing will appear. The same is true for the palm rejection technology.
Even though most of the hardware specs are already known, there are some refinements that will make a difference in the final product. Tom Warren from The Verge had a chance to play first-hand with the unit and he says that this time “Microsoft has angled the device at 26 degrees instead of 22 degrees, but if you compared the RT and Pro side-by-side it’s difficult to tell the difference at first glance.”. Tom also points out the microSDXC card slot now has been re-positioned to the side next to the Mini DisplayPort.
He also writes “The kickstand is almost identical, but I did find the snap on it wasn’t as solid as the Surface RT model[…]” and “Microsoft has also made the Surface Pro charging cable slightly longer and implemented a USB port into the charging unit to charge your phone.”
As for the rest of the specs Surface Pro is the same as RT, for more details have a look at the technical specs table below.Surface technical specs
ModelSurface with Windows RTSurface with Windows 8 Pro
Operating SystemWindows RTWindows 8 Pro
SoftwareSurface with Windows RT comes with Microsoft Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote).Runs current Windows 7 desktop applications and integrates with your existing enterprise management infrastructure.
ButtonsVolume and PowerVolume and Power
ColorDark TitaniumDark Titanium
Weight676g (1.5lbs)903g (Less than 2lbs)
Resolution1366x768 pixels1920x1080 pixels
Clear10.6″ ClearType HD Display10.6″ ClearType Full HD Display
Pen InputCapacitive pens available for purchasePen input and pen (included with purchase)
Multi-Touch5-point multi-touch10-point multi-touch
CPU1.3 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 (ARM)1.7GHz 3rd Gen Intel Core i5-3317U Processor with Intel HD Graphics 4000
WirelessWi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
AudioTwo microphones and stereo speakersTwo microphones and stereo speakers
CamerasTwo 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facingTwo 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing
Power Supply24W power-supply48W power-supply (including 5W USB for accessory charging)
SensorsAmbient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compassAmbient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass
ProductivityOffice Home & Student 2013 RT, Touch Cover, Type CoverTouch Cover, Type Cover, Pent with Palm Block
PracticalVaporMg Case & kickstandVaporMg Case & kickstand
Warranty2-years limited hardware warranty2-years limited hardware warranty
Apps (included)Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote); Windows Mail and Messaging, SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music; Video, and Games.Windows Mail and Messaging; SkyDrive; Internet Explorer 10; Bing; Xbox Music; Video, and Games.
Storage32 GB, 64 GB64 GB, 128 GB
SecurityDevice encryption and comes with Windows Defender.Provides enhanced networking and IT management. BitLocker drive encryption, use Remote Desktop, Active Directory, and Client Hyper-V. Compatible with third party applications.
ConnectivityAlways connected, even when in standby mode. Connected standby keeps apps up-to-date.Connectivity off when hibernating/sleeping to preserve battery.
ChargeEnjoy up to 8 hours of battery life.Enjoy up to 5 hours of battery life.
$999 for the 128GB version
It’s difficult to explain but what Microsoft is offering with Surface with Windows 8 Pro is laptop that isn’t really a laptop, that’s also a tablet that isn’t perfect. However, the upcoming device is what it should have been all along, with a mix of hardware and software that will appeal to many users.
This higher end model of Surface is scheduled to launch later this month and it will come in two versions: a 64GB priced at $899 and a 128GB version priced at $999, Type Cover or Touch Cover not included.
Source and Images The Verge
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The date’s set, and the invites are signed, sealed, and delivered: It looks like we’ll get our first glimpse of Microsoft’s second-generation Surface tablets on September 23.
At first glance, the Surface lineup seems desperate for a refresh. Windows tablet sales have yet to take off, and the Surface line alone dealt Microsoft some staggering financial losses over the past year. But don’t let that fool you! Microsoft’s tablets are actually remarkably well-engineered pieces of kit, from their sleek VaporMg exteriors to the Surface Pro’s speedy, Ultrabook-level firepower.
That doesn’t mean the Surface is perfect, though. Here’s what we need to see in the Surface Pro 2 and the second-generation Surface RT.Both models: lower pricing
The original Surfaces just cost too much.
The Surface RT debuted at an iPad-mirroring $500, despite the fact that Windows RT’s app ecosystem is nowhere near as rich as Apple’s. The cheapest Surface Pro, meanwhile, cost a wallet-busting $900—and no, neither shipped with a must-have Touch Cover, which were sold separately for $120. That’s far too rich for mainstream blood, especially now that the Surface RT carries the stench of failure, rather than prestige.
The second-gen Surface tablets should ship with the buyer’s choice of a free Touch or Type Cover included.
All is not lost, however: Surface RT sales have exploded since the slates were reduced to $350. If Microsoft wants the second-generation Surface slates to sell well, the recent price reductions should carry over to the new hardware. If Microsoft really wants Surface RT 2 slates to move, they need to be in the $250-$300 range.
And yes, those prices should include gratis Touch or Type Covers. An IHS iSuppli report estimated it costs Microsoft a mere $16 to $18 to produce one of the keyboard accessories. Unfortunately, most experts and rumors say that second-generation Surface pricing should remain relatively static.Both models: a more flexible kickstand
Image: Robert CardinBe flexible, Surface. And I mean that literally.
The original Surface slates sported a kickstand that locked the tablets at a 22-degree angle. That’s great when you plop the hardware on a standard-height table, but not so great when you’re trying to use it on your lap. Early rumors suggest the second-generation Surface tablets will feature two different kickstand angles; that’s a good start, but I’d like to see a wider range of orientation options.Surface Pro hardware
PCWorld’s review of the Surface Pro called it “the best pure Windows tablet,” thanks to its mixture of killer design and potent PC-grade hardware. But those capable components also worked against the Surface Pro, which was chunky and almost appallingly short-lived compared to Android tablets and the iPad.
“Primarily what I expect to see is hardware that delivers better performance and better battery life, ideally with less weight,” says Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft. “Design-wise, it appears Microsoft is staying the course with the same landscape-based design seen in the first generation of Surfaces.” Microsoft’s first-gen Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro 2 seems like a natural fit for Intel’s Haswell Core processors, which have done wonders for the MacBook Air’s endurance.
Rumors indeed suggest the Surface Pro 2 is getting a Haswell processor, which reportedly adds 2 extra hours to the original version’s 5-hour endurance. Seven hours of battery life still isn’t a full day, but it’s close. A “Battery Cover” keyboard accessory—first hinted at by Surface honcho Panos Panay in a February Reddit AMA—could supply even more juice.
The plastic pen that shipped with the original Surface Pro.
No other hardware elements are really clamoring to be changed on the Surface Pro—though it’d be nice if the included stylus were clad in magnesium instead of plain old plastic.Surface RT hardware
The original Surface RT, while still draped in the same design principles of the Surface Pro, landed on the opposite end of the performance spectrum. Its all-day endurance made the tablet an Office-wielding force to be reckoned with (for some people), but the Nvidia Tegra 3 processor inside made performance feel pokey after a few months of use.
The Surface RT needs more detailed eye candy. The 1366-by-768 display may have been tolerated with netbooks, but it doesn’t cut it in a tablet.
Already thin and trim, the Surface RT 2—or simply “Surface 2,” if the early rumors about the slate’s dropping the toxic “RT” moniker are correct—mainly needs a shot in the arm, hardware-wise. The tablet has been linked to both Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor and Nvidia’s Tegra 4, either of which would provide plenty of pep. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Tegra 4 in the Wi-Fi version and a Snapdragon 800 in a LTE-equipped model, as the Surface RT 2 is just begging for a mobile data connection.
The Surface RT 2 needs some skin-deep beauty, too, and by that I mean a better display. The original Surface RT’s 10.6-inch, 1366-by-768-pixel display is far inferior even to the screens on the $200 Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD. Make it full 1080p to match the Surface Pro, please. (If the resolution were much higher than that, it’d be difficult to use the desktop.)Both models: more refined software
A Surface tablet running the Bing Food & Drink app new to Windows 8.1.
Expect both Surface slates to be released in late October, packing Windows 8.1. Windows 8.1 smoothes over Windows 8’s roughest edges and is a lesson in course correction, but even that isn’t enough to make Windows 8 truly compelling. Windows RT should ditch the desktop entirely, while the Surface Pro 2 should intelligently default to either the desktop or the Modern UI, depending on whether you’ve attached your slate to an external monitor. And could we get some compelling Windows Store apps, please?
But wait! This article is about potential Surface improvements in particular. If you want to read our suggestions for how a new Microsoft CEO could breathe new life into Windows, well, that’s a whole ’nother story.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
2023 is over, and it was an interesting year for camera phones. We saw mid-range devices embracing features like 108MP cameras and astrophotography modes, flagship phones putting ultrawide cameras on almost equal footing with primary lenses, and more camera industry brands teaming up with manufacturers. Even Google updated its hardware with the Pixel 6 series after years of 12MP sensors.
With all of this in mind, what does 2023 mean for mobile cameras? We take a look at a few potential smartphone camera trends to expect in the year ahead.
Related: The best selfie camera phones you can buy
Nevertheless, we’re expecting under-display cameras to get much better in 2023, as some of the big-name manufacturers got to grips with the tech in 2023 and are no doubt improving the hardware and algorithms for new generation efforts. We wouldn’t bet on all the major flagships having this feature though.
Cinematic mode comes to Android
Luke Pollack / Android Authority
One of the big selling points of the iPhone 13 series is Cinematic Mode, which is effectively a smarter portrait video mode. Sure, portrait video isn’t new, as we’ve seen HUAWEI and Samsung offer this option already. But Apple’s take includes automatically focusing on a subject when their face is detected, tracking subjects, and more.
We have no doubt that some Android OEMs will copy Apple’s take on Cinematic Mode. But will everyone have Cinematic Mode by 2023? That’s far from guaranteed. After all, several brands copied 3D Touch, and we know how that eventually turned out.
We’ll see RGBW cameras again
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
OPPO Find X3 Pro
We first saw RGBW camera sensors coming to smartphones in 2023 when HUAWEI launched the P8. OPPO also followed up with phones containing these sensors in 2023 and 2023. Conventional camera sensors have color filters containing red, green, and blue subpixels. But RGBW sensors add white subpixels to the mix, promising better light intake and less noise.
Stabilization to take a step up
Optical image stabilization (OIS) has been a must-have on higher-end smartphones for years now, dating back to devices like the Nokia Lumia 920. But we’ve seen several companies take things even further in recent years, such as vivo with its micro-gimbal stabilization tech and Apple with sensor-shift stabilization.
vivo is expected to continue the micro-gimbal push in 2023, while Samsung is tipped to bring OIS to its mid-range Galaxy A series. OPPO also demonstrated its so-called five-axis OIS tech earlier in 2023, saying it would debut in Q1 2023. In other words, it looks like better stabilization, especially in more affordable phones, could be another big trend this year.
Variable telephoto to be more popular?
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Sony had one of the more notable technical achievements in 2023 when it launched phones with variable telephoto cameras. The feature, found on the Xperia 1 III and 5 III, shows that you don’t necessarily need two separate telephoto cameras if you want great zoom performance.
Typical telephoto and periscope cameras shoot at a fixed zoom factor, with everything in between being hybrid zoom assisted by software. Sony went one better though, featuring a telephoto camera capable of natively shooting at 2.9x and 4.4x for the best quality (although Sony’s implementation wasn’t perfect).
The downside to this solution is that it still relies on hybrid zoom for interstitial zoom factors, but it makes for a higher quality, more flexible zoom experience on paper than relying on one telephoto or periscope camera.
Better 8K video
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
8K video recording first came to phones in 2023, when the REDMAGIC 3 offered pretty disappointing 8K/15fps capabilities. Thankfully, 2023 saw a huge improvement thanks to the Snapdragon 865 series of chipsets, offering native 8K/30fps support. This trend has only continued in 2023, as many flagship phones tout 8K support.
We’re expecting 8K video recording to gain a quality boost in 2023. It’s probably a little too early for 8K/60fps capabilities, but the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset indeed supports 8K HDR for improved picture quality.
Custom imaging chips
Smartphones typically rely on an image signal processor (ISP) within their phone’s chipset to process pictures. For example, phones using Snapdragon chipsets generally use the Spectra ISP. But we’ve also seen a trend in 2023 for brands to use their own custom ISP instead.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen companies offering custom imaging chips, as Google’s flagships from 2023 onwards have offered custom imaging silicon too. And the firm stepped up its game in this regard with the Pixel 6 series. So we wouldn’t be surprised if Google, OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, and perhaps more brands continue this smartphone camera trend in 2023.
The return of object erasing
Google’s Pixel 6 series is also bringing a host of interesting camera features to the table, but it’s the Magic Eraser mode that finds its way onto our list. Yes, Google is joining Samsung and HUAWEI in offering an object erasing mode, allowing you to remove photobombers or specific items in a scene. Oddly enough, Google actually first demonstrated a take on this feature back in 2023, so it’s been a long time coming.
It’s a decent bet that Google’s decision to include this feature could push companies like Xiaomi, OPPO, and OnePlus to implement their own object eraser mode in 2023. After all, Google offered an astrophotography mode in 2023 that’s since been copied by the likes of realme and vivo. Then again, the company offered a Cinematic Pan mode last year that hasn’t been copied by anyone.
The Pixel 6 phones also offer Motion Mode and Face Unblur functionality, adding motion blur to images and deblurring faces respectively. So we could see rival brands adopting these features too.
Compared to last year’s devastating Atlantic hurricane season, it seems this year’s will be a bit of a reprieve. According to the Weather Company’s forecast, released Monday, we’ll have a “slightly less active” Atlantic hurricane season than in 2023. But even this less active season can produce powerful tempests: We’re in store for a projected 14 named storms, including seven hurricanes, of which three are major hurricanes (category 3 to 5). The season starts June 1 and continues until Nov. 30, although tropical storms occasionally strike outside that period.
This year’s forecast is around normal, based on records dating back about 70 years, says Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at the Weather Company. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an average hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones in which winds reach 74 miles per hour, and they’re rated on a category 1 to 5 scale based on wind speeds.
To get the hurricane outlook, meteorologists modeled atmospheric conditions into the future based on conditions in the ocean and atmosphere now. The most important predictor of hurricanes is surface water temperatures in the northwest Atlantic, says Crawford. Right now, these waters are warmer than normal. In fact, the ocean is about as warm as last year, which was an above-average year for hurricanes. “If you look at a map of ocean temperatures this year, it looks almost identical to last year,” says Crawford.
That’s how the forecast ended up just above average, despite warmer-than-normal waters in the Atlantic. “If you look at the Atlantic by itself, our forecast would be a couple storms higher,” says Crawford. “But the impact of El Niño acts as a dampening factor here—those two factors are in opposition.”
Last year, meteorologists also thought El Niño would have this effect, but the phenomenon was slow to arrive in the Pacific and thus failed to buffer storms brewing over the Atlantic. The 2023 season brought 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes, two of which were “major.” Florence and Michael stormed through the southeast, together killing 102 people and causing about $49 billion in damage. 2023 was a bad year for hurricanes, too, with Hurricane Maria devastating Puerto Rico, Irma affecting the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, and Harvey unleashing historic flooding in Texas.
Warmer ocean waters, like those in the Atlantic in recent years, lead to more evaporation, more moisture in the atmosphere, and therefore heavier rainfall. One study from last year looked at how such warm waters supercharged Hurricane Harvey, concluding “Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human-caused climate change.”
But the temperatures in the Atlantic ebb and flow on a multidecadal rhythm, too, with long periods in which temperatures stay a degree Fahrenheit above or below normal. This can obscure the impacts of climate warming. So, the intensity of storms over the Atlantic might not increase linearly with CO2 in the atmosphere. In data going back to 1900, “there’s no real trend in hurricane landfalls,” says Crawford.
There are a few groups that make annual hurricane forecasts. In April, a team at Colorado State University released its outlook, which says this year will be “slightly below average,” with 13 named storms, five hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The main difference between theirs and the Weather Company’s forecasts, according to Crawford, is that the CSU team assumed cooler Atlantic temperatures in their models compared to the Weather Company’s.
Another question is how many of these Atlantic storms will make landfall, and therefore imperil lives and property. That won’t be possible to tell until late in May or June, says Crawford. Around that time, meteorologists will also be able to project whether the atmosphere will skew land bound storms toward the East Coast or Gulf Coast. “In our next update in May, we’ll know about expected landfall.”
So, today’s the day: Apple is expected to unveil its oft-rumored tablet computer to the world. The growing consensus is that this device will run the iPhone OS or something close to it, have a 7- or 10-inch touchscreen, and be geared towards displaying all kinds of media content including newspapers, magazines, and videos. The tablet will supposedly have a persistent 3G connection similar to the Kindle, but there isn’t a firm consensus on whether or not the device will have Wi-Fi, a camera, or Webcam. But you know, I just can’t help thinking that the closer we get to Apple’s event, the more the tablet sounds like it’s going to be a glorified iPod Touch.Product Gap Theory
Many tablet prognosticators rely on the theory that Apple’s product lineup is missing something between the iPhone and the 13-inch MacBook. But before the tech world was talking about an Apple tablet, it was talking about an Apple netbook. Non-Apple netbooks have been around for a while, but it really wasn’t until late 2008 and early 2009 that pundits took notice of netbooks as a growing market segment. People loved these mini-laptops because they were cheap, small, and able to run Windows XP.
Just before netbooks became popular, analysts and reporters started asking Apple CEO Steve Jobs whether his company would produce a netbook as other tech companies were starting to do. Jobs’ answer was a resounding no. “We don’t know how to make a $500 computer that’s not a piece of junk, and our DNA will not let us ship that,” Jobs said in late 2008 during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.
In light of the netbook phenomenon, a lot of people were talking up the product gap in Apple’s lineup and convinced something had to go there. So after Jobs poured water on the Apple netbook idea, rumors of a large iPod Touch started emerging. It didn’t take long before the netbook rumor was gone, and tablet madness had gripped tech writers everywhere.Apple Invasion
The other problem with the tablet is that it’s a big risk for Apple. Well, based on what the tech world thinks it knows about this device anyway. Historically, Apple invades established markets–it does not create them.Content is Big
I’ve said it, Wired has said it, and many others have also said it: content is going to be key for the tablet. Apple is expected to unveil on Wednesday, alongside the tablet, new formats of print media that will supposedly revitalize the publishing industry. Most pundits are saying Apple will deliver these new forms of content via the iTunes Store. But if that’s the case, will this content be accessible on other devices? If content is king it wouldn’t make much sense to restrict new media formats to the tablet, but open them up to as many platforms as possible.Back to Square One
So is there something more to the tablet than all these worn out rumors? Does Apple have a secret up its sleeve that nobody’s been able to discern, leak, or predict? CrunchGear has an interesting breakdown of supposed tablet specs leaked by tech entrepreneur Jason Calcanis.
The most recent Apple events have been ruined by a slew of rumors that leave little to the imagination by the time Jobs & Co. hit the stage. But this time, there just has to be something more to this device than we’ve already heard. Don’t you think so?
Connect with Ian on Twitter (@ianpaul).
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The days leading up to an Apple Spring Loaded event can be fun. It’s a chance to speculate about what products Tim Cook and his work pals have been cooking up for the past few months. This year’s first big Apple even will take place on Tuesday, April 20th. While we’re not expecting it to be a game-changing batch of announcements, there’s likely some cool gear in the hopper. We’ll know for sure on Tuesday, but for now, here are some products that we might see coming out of Apple HQ.iPad
Rumors suggest the new iPad Pro displays will draw on mini LED backlight technology, which is currently the hot thing happening in high-end TVs. It’s unclear if we’ll get any kind of substantive hardware redesign, but we’re fans of the current squared-edge design, which has partially trickled down to the iPad Air as well.
The event could also bring a new version of the Apple Pencil.Apple TV
If you’re running the latest Apple TV 4K, it’s currently equipped with an A10X Fusion processor inside. That dates back to 2023, which is quite old when it comes to this kind of tech. The popular rumors suggest an upgrade to HDMI 2.1 to support higher refresh rates, which is particularly handy when playing games.
Perhaps most importantly, however, the popular gossip also suggests that Apple may finally be ready to replace the easy-to-lose and annoying-to-use Apple TV Remote with something more robust. If any of the rumors are true, a remote with some buttons might be the most exciting.
If you regularly read the gadget blogs, you may very well be sick of hearing about the long-rumored AirTags by now. Speculation about them has literally been around for years. Recently, however, Apple issued an update to its Find My service to include devices from third-party manufacturers. So, if other companies want to build Find My into their own gadgets, you can track them down just like you would with a lost iPhone or iPad.
It makes sense that Apple would release its own tracking hardware around the same time that it starts letting third parties in the door. No one is really sure what they’ll look like, how much they will cost just yet, or if they even actually exist.Airpods
While the excellent AirPods Pro are still relatively fresh, the stock AirPods haven’t changed much in years. There’s very little out there, even on the rumor front, about the possibility of new AirPods, but it feels like time for an update. With so many people possibly headed back to school or work later in the year, a fresh set of white AirPods would probably sell extremely well.M1-powered Macs
This one is a long shot, but it’s not out of the question that Apple could drop more machines powered by its Apple Silicon hardware. The initial wave of M1-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro machines have been extremely well-received, so it’s likely Apple wants to continue updating its line in a timely fashion. Rumors suggest this Spring event may include a new version of the iMac desktop computers. Even if Apple doesn’t drop a new M1 (or better) Mac at this event, we’re only a few weeks away from the company’s big World Wide Developers Conference, which provides another opportunity for big announcements.
Be sure to follow along on PopSci for live coverage of the Spring Forward event happening at 1 p.m. Eastern on April 20th, 2023.
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