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The Canadian Press

The Latest: CDC director: Young people fueling virus uptick

WASHINGTON — A top U.S. public health official says young people are driving the latest uptick in COVID-19 cases, as the increasing rate of vaccination in older Americans is preventing the most serious cases among seniors. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a briefing Monday that “cases are increasing nationally, and we are seeing this occur predominately in younger adults.” She cites the increasing spread of variants, but also a rise in youth sports and extracurricular activities as contributing to the steady increase in cases over the last four weeks. But Walensky pointed to positive developments among the most vulnerable age group, saying senior citizens’ virus deaths have reached their lowest levels since the early fall. Greater than 75% of those aged 65 or older nationally have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 55% are fully vaccinated. “What we’re seeing is both a decrease in emergency department visits as well as hospitalizations associated with that demographic,” Walensky said. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — A pandemic year in the life of seven New Yorkers — Greece reopens stores despite virus surge — India’s daily virus cases soar past 100,000 for first time — Polish hospitals struggle with surge of virus patients — China sees rise in coronavirus cases in city near Myanmar border — Christians observe second Easter shaped by pandemic ___ Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: SKOPJE, North Macedonia — North Macedonia is tightening pandemic restrictions until April 20, as its hospitals fill up following a record high of new COVID-19 infections and deaths last week. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev says the nationwide curfew will be extended for two hours — from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. — from Tuesday. All bars, restaurants, fitness centres and betting clubs will be closed from Wednesday. “Stay at home! Do not go out and avoid grouping!,” Zaev urged Monday. Authorities recorded 50 deaths and 1,320 new confirmed infections Saturday. The country of just over 2 million has reported nearly 135,000 infections in total and about 4,000 deaths. North Macedonia has delayed mass immunization amid vaccine shortages. Health Minister Venko Filipce said hospitals “are overloaded as never before.” ___ ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is joining the growing list of U.S. states that are opening up coronavirus vaccine eligibility to any person 16 and older. Monday marked the start of expanded eligibility under the New Mexico Department of Health’s distribution plan. The timeline for getting more shots out to the general public was sped up under a directive by the Biden administration to make all adults in the U.S. eligible by May 1. State officials also said they opened up eligibility because providers in some parts of the state were no longer able to find people to fill appointments. Still, officials said those who were part of the earlier phases will be prioritized. State data also shows nearly 48% of residents have received their first shot. ___ GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Starting Monday, any adult in Florida is eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. In addition, the state announced that teens ages 16 and 17 can also get the vaccine with parental permission. In an effort to get students inoculated, the University of Florida’s Athletics Department is working with UF Health and the local health department to administer the vaccine at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. University and health officials plan to inoculate up to 5,000 people, starting at 11 a.m. Monday. Officials hope to meet a goal of vaccinating 20,000 per week, a news release said. On Sunday, the state reported that 3,660,880 Floridians had been completely inoculated, and another 2,638,758 had received the first dose of the vaccine, according to the state’s Department of Health dashboard. The opening of vaccine eligibility comes days after Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning businesses from requiring customers to show proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to get service. ___ KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — A coronavirus outbreak at the University of the Nations Kona in Hawaii has been reported by university officials and has forced the campus to close to the public. University spokesperson Johnny Gillespie told West Hawaii Today last Friday that there were 20 recent positive coronavirus tests on campus. The university identified the results through a testing program for students and staff who are preparing to travel out of the country. Students and employees affiliated with the university are required to test negative for the coronavirus before leaving. Gillespie says 64 people identified by contact tracing have been placed in precautionary quarantine. ___ PARIS — France’s health minister warned Monday that the number of COVID-19 patients in the country’s intensive care units could reach levels seen during the first crisis a year ago. France’s hospitals have already surpassed the number of virus ICU patients seen during the second surge in November, and Olivier Veran said on TF1 television that “it’s possible we could approach” the ICU saturation levels of April 2020. At that point, French ICUs held more than 7,000 virus patients, many in temporary facilities because demand far outstripped the country’s pre-pandemic ICU capacity. As of Sunday night, French ICUs held 5,341 virus patients, and Veran said the country has 8,000 beds ready if needed. Veran expressed hope that France’s new infections “could reach a peak this week,” thanks to new partial lockdown measures imposed to relieve hospitals and slow fast-growing cases of the more contagious virus variant first identified in Britain. Even if infections subside, hospitalizations will continue to grow for another two or three weeks, he said. Still, he sought to remain optimistic, insisting, “We will manage.” Internal projections by the Paris public hospitals authority last week suggested that ICUs in the region of 12 million people may soon have to find space for more critically ill patients than ever. ___ KYIV, Ukraine — Authorities in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, introduced tighter lockdown restrictions on Monday following a recent spike in coronavirus cases. For two weeks starting Monday, all schools and kindergartens in the city of 3 million people will be closed, and only those with special passes will be allowed on public transport. According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, only 400,000 people – doctors and rescuers, social, transport and utility workers, law enforcement officers and those involved in retails — will get the passes. In Kyiv, 458 new cases of the virus and 32 new deaths were registered on Monday. Over 10,000 new infections were confirmed over the past 24 hours in the nation of 41 million. Ukraine began vaccinations against the coronavirus in late February. So far only 291,822 people have received the shots, due to widespread reluctance. ___ LONDON — The British government says all adults and children will be able to have routine coronavirus tests twice a week as a way to stamp out new outbreaks as the U.K. emerges from lockdown. The lateral flow tests, which will be available by mail or from pharmacies, give results in minutes but are less accurate than the PCR swab tests used to officially confirm cases of COVID-19. The government insists they are reliable and will play an important role in opening up society. The tests are being introduced as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the next steps in the country’s road map out of its three-month lockdown. Johnson is unlikely to tell Britons when they will be able to go abroad on vacation — currently banned by law — though the government has said it will not be before May 17. ___ LISBON, Portugal — A half-million children are going back to school in Portugal as the southern European country continues to ease more of its pandemic measures. On Monday, children up to 15 years old returned to classes for the first time since the lockdown came into force in January, when Portugal was the worst-hit country in the world by size of population. Mainland Portugal’s 14-day incidence rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people has fallen to 63. At the end of January, it was 1,628. ___ TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s capital is once again facing the highest level of restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus as the country struggles with a new surge in daily deaths. State media say the measure on Monday is the third time Tehran faces a so-called code red since the pandemic began. A code red involves a ban on any travel by personal cars to and from cities, and limits working hours of many business and offices to prevent the spread of the virus. The report comes as Iran’s daily death toll again reached three digits, after months of being under 100. On Sunday, 161 deaths were reported, bringing the registered death toll in Iran to more than 63,000, the highest in the Middle East. Iran has reported some 1.9 million confirmed cases of the virus Also on Monday, Iran said it received the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the Netherlands through the global COVAX initiative. The country’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour says the first batch includes 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. So far, Iran has vaccinated less than 2% of its more than 80 million people with vaccines imported mainly from Russia, China and India. ___ DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh began enforcing a weeklong nationwide lockdown Monday, shutting shopping malls and transportation as authorities try to stop a surge in coronavirus infections and deaths. The decision came after health authorities said that they were facing overwhelming pressure in intensive care units in recent weeks because of severe infections. This is the second time the South Asian nation has enforced a virus lockdown after the first last March. On Monday, authorities suspended operations of all domestic flights, river transport, and trains. Only emergency services will remain operational. The government has asked people not to go out from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Owners and workers of shopping malls in Dhaka’s Elephant Road area took to the streets Monday, demanding that authorities allow them to run their shops. Bangladesh has reported 637,364 virus cases since the pandemic began, with 9,266 deaths. ___ TOKYO — Special coronavirus measures started Monday in Osaka and its neighbouring prefectures as Japan tries to minimize the impact to specific areas where infections are rising ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. Osaka, Hyogo and Miyagi in the north have had sharp increases in daily cases since early March. Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura said he was alarmed by the fast-spreading new variants and urged the residents to use caution and co-operate. Serious cases are on the rise and flooding hospitals and that medical systems in Osaka are under heavy pressure, Yoshimura said. He has proposed cancelling a torch relay scheduled to pass Osaka City on April 14 and is now discussing a route change. Under the measures, effective for one month until May 5, restaurants and bars in Osaka, Nishinomiya, Amagasaki, Ashiya, Kobe and Sendai are asked to close by 8 p.m. Residents are requested to stick to basic safety measures including mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding non-essential outings. ___ NEW DELHI — India has reported its biggest single-day spike in confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, and officials in the hard-hit state home to Mumbai are returning to the closure of some businesses and places of worship in a bid to slow the spread. The Health Ministry on Monday reported 103,558 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, topping the previous peak of 97,894 daily cases recorded in late September. Fatalities rose by 478, raising the country’s death toll to 165,101. India now has a seven-day rolling average of more than 73,000 cases per day and infections in the country are being reported faster than anywhere else in the world. The biggest contributor to the surge has been the western state of Maharashtra, home to the commercial capital of Mumbai. The state has contributed more than 55% of total cases in the country in the last two weeks. ___ COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lankan health authorities on Monday began inoculating thousands of Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka using the Sinopharm vaccine donated by China. Sri Lanka received the donation of 600,000 doses last week but won’t administer it to Sri Lankans until it gets clearance from the World Health Organization. Authorities say more than 4,000 Chinese nationals are in Sri Lanka working in different projects. Sri Lanka has used the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since January to vaccinate more than 903,000 people. It also plans to buy 7 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. ___ MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government extended a lockdown by another week Monday after an alarming spike in coronavirus infections continued to surge and started to overwhelm many hospitals in the capital and outlying regions. President Rodrigo Duterte placed Metropolitan Manila and four outlying provinces, a region of more than 25 million people, back under lockdown last week as daily infections breached the 10,000-mark. Leaders of the dominant Roman Catholic church shifted its Holy Week and Easter events online after all public gatherings, including in places of worship, were temporarily banned. The government-run Lung Center of the Philippines became the latest hospital in the capital region to announce over the weekend that it can no longer accept walk-in patients after its COVID-19 ward reached full capacity while its emergency room was now handling twice its capacity. The Philippines has reported more than 795,000 COVID-19 cases with 13,425 deaths, the highest totals in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. The Associated Press

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U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launches ‘wave’ feature for private chats

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U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launched a feature on Thursday to let users virtually wave at friends inside its audio-only chat app to show they are open to a private chat, in a move to expand beyond public rooms that can have thousands of listeners.

Clubhouse, which pioneered the “social audio” feature that has since been copied by Facebook and Twitter, wants to enable users to have private chats, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Paul Davison told Reuters.

“A lot of people know us for bigger conversations, but the reason people stay so long is they’re finding their friends and meeting new people,” he said in an interview.

Users of Clubhouse, which is backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, can “wave” at friends online in the app and a private audio chat room will open when a person accepts the wave. The user can then invite more contacts into the private room, or choose to open the chat to the public, Clubhouse said.

 

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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iPhone 13 benchmarks — Apple just blew away Android phones – Tom's Guide

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All four of our iPhone 13 reviews are in, as are our benchmark results from testing. Apple promised gains with the new A15 Bionic chip, and while it’s an iterative upgrade over last year’s A14 Bionic in most respects, it crushes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 that powers several of the best Android phones.

From synthetic benchmarks to real-world testing, the iPhone 13 series (especially the Pro models) pulled even further ahead from the best chips Apple’s competitors use. In some cases, the gap is incredibly wide. Qualcomm has its work cut out for it with the next-generation 800-series Snapdragon, not to mention the Tensor chip Google is working on to power the Pixel 6.

Apple even said that the A15 Bionic’s GPU in the Pro models would be 50% faster than the competition. (The best rival graphics engine right now is the Adreno 660 in the Snapdragon 888.) In our testing, that proved true in many cases. The A15’s performance hike over iPhone 12 phones is middling, but Apple upgraded the Neural Engine on its chipset this year. This has allowed for the new Cinematic mode and Photographic Styles, which heavily leverage AI to do their thing.

Measuring a phone’s performance goes beyond raw numbers. It’s more about what the phone can do in a real-world setting, and in that regard, the iPhone 13 certainly delivers. But those raw numbers do tell an important story, so here’s how the iPhone 13 stacks up to what’s already out there, for both the Pro, standard and mini models.

iPhone 13: Geekbench results

Geekbench 5 measures the CPU’s overall performance, broken out into single- and multi-core results.

Geekbench 5
Processor Single core Multicore
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 1733 4718
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 1688 4436
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 1595 3880
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 1593 3859
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 1123 3440
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 1048 3302
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 1107 3418
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 1126 3685
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 1127 3672
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 596 1617

Geekbench 5 scores are arbitrary in a vacuum, but they help measure a device’s performance in context to other devices — even if you get slightly different scores every time you run the test.

As you can see, the iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini models are quite a ways ahead of the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 765G. More than a thousand points separates the iPhone 13 Pro from the two most powerful Android phones we’ve ever tested, the OnePlus 9 Pro and Asus ROG Phone 5. That’s not to mention that the new iPhones pull well ahead of the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3, the best that Samsung has to offer.

And we’ll just skip over that delta between the iPhone 13 and the Pixel 5. Let’s hope the Pixel 6 helps Google catch up a bit.

iPhone 13: Graphics benchmarks

A lot of people play games on their phones, with the iPhones leading the charge. For the following benchmark, we use 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited test, which produces a score and average frames per second. It’s meant to provide a realistic impression of a phone’s gaming performance.

The A15 Bionic pushes the boundaries on mobile gaming, as you’ll see in the results below.

3DMark Wild Life Unlimited
Processor Score Frames per second
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 11,693 70
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 9331 56
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 8619 51
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 8555 51
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 5739 34
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 5805 35
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 5622 34
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 5755 35
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 5806 35
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 1160 7

Like Geekbench, the Wild Life Unlimited score is meaningless on its own and should only be used for comparison to other devices. However, the important metric is the average FPS, which is a real-world benchmark. 

The iPhone 13 Pro with its five-core GPU smokes the competition, even its iPhone 13 sibling and that phone’s quad-core GPU — the extra core seems to really matter, based on these results. But look at how far ahead the A15 Bionic is compared to the Snapdragon 888 phones, which hadn’t caught up to the A14 Bionic from last year. 

The iPhone 13 Pro netted double the Snapdragon 888’s best framerate in our testing, which is insane. The Wild Life Unlimited benchmark is pretty hard on phones. (I didn’t even include the newer Wild Life Extreme Unlimited, which we’ve only recently started using in our testing.) So seeing the iPhone 13 Pro fare so well is a bit mind-boggling.

iPhone 13: Video encoding speeds

Another real-world application to gauge a phone’s performance is our Adobe Premiere Rush test. This tasks a phone to transcode a 4K video file to 1080p. The results below are listed as minutes:seconds.

Adobe Premiere Rush
Processor Time (Mins:Secs)
iPhone 13 Pro A15 Bionic 0:26
iPhone 13 A15 Bionic 0:26
iPhone 12 Pro A14 Bionic 0:27
iPhone 12 A14 Bionic 0:26
Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon 888 1:03
Galaxy S21 Snapdragon 888 1:03
Galaxy Z Fold 3 Snapdragon 888 0:50
OnePlus 9 Pro Snapdragon 888 1:03
Asus ROG Phone 5 Snapdragon 888 1:00
Pixel 5 Snapdragon 765G 2:52

Year-over-year, there’s functionally no difference between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 — maybe a second here or there. However, Apple’s lead over Qualcomm remains, performing the transcode in half the time that most of the Snapdragon 888-equipped phones needed.

Transcoding is a CPU-intensive task, and it makes sense that Apple’s phones would lead the way on this particular benchmark. Apple has said that you can perform a full video workflow from shooting to rendering on the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 can also record in the ProRes format natively, which is what many professionals use.

The poor Pixel 5 needed triple the time required by the other Android phones.

iPhone 13 performance outlook

Another year, and Apple has further cemented its lead over Qualcomm. Not only does the iPhone 13 series have excellent battery life (excluding the mini, which is below average) and stellar cameras, but it’s the most powerful suite of phones you can buy. If having the best performance is a top priority for you, then you’ll want to look at the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max.

Let’s hope Qualcomm’s next high-end Snapdragon or Google’s Tensor can narrow the gap with what Apple has built.

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Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio With Unique Hinge Design Unveiled, Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2 Launched – Gadgets 360

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Microsoft on Wednesday hosted its hardware-focussed event where it unveiled the new Surface range of devices that include the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3 — all running Windows 11 out-of-the-box. The event also brought the anticipated Surface Duo 2 dual-screen phone that is a successor to the earlier Surface Duo. Additionally, Microsoft launched its new accessories, namely the Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, and Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset. The existing Surface Pro 7+ and Surface Pro X also received updates to reach new customers.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, Surface Go 3, Surface Duo 2 price

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio price begins at $1,599 (roughly Rs. 1,18,000). It is identical to the launch price of the Surface Book 3 that debuted last year as Microsoft’s 2-in-1 device. The Surface Pro 8, on the other hand, starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 81,100). It comes as a successor to the Surface Pro 7 that was launched with a starting price of $749 (roughly Rs. 55,200) in 2019. The Surface Go 3 price starts at $399 (roughly Rs. 29,400), which is just the same that we saw with the Surface Go 2 last year. Furthermore, the Surface Duo 2 carries a starting price of $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,10,600). It is $100 (roughly Rs. 7,400) more than the initial launch pricing of the original Surface Duo that started at $1,399 (roughly Rs. 1,03,200).

Alongside the new devices, the Surface Pro 7+ is now coming in the consumer channel with a starting price of $799 (roughly Rs. 59,000) — an upgrade over its earlier commercial-only offering. The Surface Pro X has also received a new Wi-Fi only option that starts at $899 (roughly Rs. 66,300). The LTE variant of the Surface Pro X came with a starting price of $999 (roughly Rs. 73,700) in 2019.

In terms of accessories, the Surface Slim Pen 2 is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,600), Surface Adaptive Kit at $9.99 (roughly Rs. 700), Ocean Plastic Mouse at $24.99 (roughly 1,800), and the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset at $54.99 (roughly Rs. 4,100).

On the availability front, Microsoft said at the event that its new devices would go on sale starting October 5 — alongside the release of Windows 11. We can certainly expect some delay in the availability of the new devices in India as the official sale date is meant for the US and some other developed markets where pre-orders for the devices have already started.

The product listings on the Microsoft India site at the time of filing this story were showing that the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 would come early 2022, while the Surface Go 3 was tagged with a “coming soon” banner. Details about the India launch of the Surface Duo 2 are yet to be revealed.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio specifications, features

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio was one of the biggest announcements at the Microsoft event on Wednesday. The new device is designed as an “evolution of Surface Book” and is touted to be “built on the heritage of both Surface Book and Surface Studio.” The device is targeted at developers, creative professionals, designers, and gamers, who want a creative studio with the portability of a laptop. The Surface Laptop Studio features a 14.4-inch PixelSense display with touch support that is attached to a Dynamic Woven Hinge, allowing the display to move in multiple angles. The hinge allows the device to transform from a traditional notebook to a tablet or a canvas. However, the display is non-detachable — unlike the Surface Book 3 where you could pull the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet.

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio comes with a Dynamic Woven Hinge
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has provided three distinct modes on the Surface Laptop Studio. The first one is a Laptop mode in which you are provided with a full keyboard and touchpad for a regular notebook-like experience. You can, however, move the display to the Stage mode. This comes after pulling the display forward to an angle where the keyboard is covered but the touchpad is exposed to allow gaming, streaming, docking, and presentation in an immersive way. The third mode is called Studio mode where you can move the display on top of the keyboard to use it like a canvas or for writing notes.

The Surface Laptop Studio also includes an area underneath the keyboard where you can place the Surface Slim Pen 2 that magnetically attaches and charges when not in use.

Under the hood, Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio is powered by 11th-generation Intel Core H35 processors, along with Nvidia GeForce RTX GPUs. The device also includes studio microphones and 1080p webcam for an enhanced video conferencing experience. Further, the touchpad on the Surface Laptop Studio also includes haptic feedback.

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 specifications, features

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is essentially Microsoft’s 2-in-1 flagship of this year as the Surface Laptop Studio doesn’t allow users to detach its display from the keyboard. The Surface Pro 8 comes with a 13-inch PixelSense display with touch support and a 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports Adaptive Colour Technology that is designed to adjust colour production on the display as per the ambient environment. The Surface Pro 8 also includes support for Dolby Vision display technology and Dolby Atmos sound.

microsoft surface pro 8 image Microsoft Surface Pro 8

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 features a 120Hz PixelSense display
Photo Credit: Microsoft

For video chats, Microsoft Surface Pro 8 houses a 5-megapixel camera at the front. The tablet also includes a 10-megapixel 4K rear camera.

Microsoft claims that the Surface Pro 8 is more than twice as fast as the Surface Pro 7 — thanks to the 11th-generation Intel Core processors. The 2-in-1 device is also built on the Intel Evo platform that is specifically meant for premium, ultra-slim devices.

The Surface Pro 8 also includes two Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports a new Surface Pro Signature Keyboard as an optional accessory. The new keyboard includes storage and charging support for the Surface Slim Pen 2 — just like the Surface Pro X. Moreover, the Surface Pro 8 is rated to deliver up to 16 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Microsoft Surface Go 3 specifications, features

For consumers who don’t want to spend much on the Surface Pro 8, Microsoft has the Surface Go 3 as an affordable 2-in-1 option. The new Surface Go model is design-wise quite similar to its predecessor. However, Microsoft claims that it is 60 percent faster from the earlier model with up to Intel Core i3 processor. There is also an optional LTE Advanced support for an enhanced connectivity while on-the-go.

microsoft surface go 3 image Microsoft Surface Go 3

Microsoft Surface Go 3 looks quite similar to the Surface Go 2
Photo Credit: Microsoft

The Surface Go 3 comes with a 10.5-inch touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and features 1080p cameras on the front and back. It also includes Dolby Audio and studio microphones. Microsoft also claims that the Surface Go 3 is designed to deliver an all-day battery life.

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 specifications, features

The last major announcement of Microsoft’s hardware event this year was the Surface Duo 2. The new dual-screen phone by the Redmond company comes with a list of improvements over the original Surface Duo that was more like a concept in the market. However, there aren’t many changes at the design level.

Running on Android 11 out-of-the-box, the Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch PixelSense displays that make a larger 8.3-inch viewing experience when the device is unfolded. There is also a glance bar that lets you check all the notifications when the phone is folded. You can also check battery levels when charging through the glance bar — without requiring to unfold the phone. Under the hood, there is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, which is a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 855 powering the first-generation Surface Duo.

microsoft surface duo 2 image Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 features two 5.8-inch PixelSense displays
Photo Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 also carries a triple rear camera setup that houses a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 wide-angle lens and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 telephoto lens and OIS support. This an upgrade over the single rear camera available on the original model. The rear camera setup is also accompanied by a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor and an LED flash. Additionally, the Surface Duo 2 carries a 12-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.

Connectivity options on the Surface Duo 2 include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. The phone also comes with a dedicated cover that can attach the Surface Slim Pen for an enhanced user experience. Further, the Surface Duo 2 includes a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

The dual-screen form factor of the Surface Duo 2 is designed to run two apps simultaneously. Microsoft also claimed that it has worked with developers and game studios to bring 150 optimised games for the dual-screen setup. These games include Asphalt Legends 9, Modern Combat 5, and Dungeon Hunter 5.

Microsoft will bring the Surface Duo 2 in Glacier and Obsidian colour options.

Microsoft Surface Pro X specifications, features

The new Microsoft Surface Pro X is based on the same Microsoft SQ2 silicon that was powering the model launched previously. However, it brings Wi-Fi only connectivity over integrated LTE to deliver the earlier experience with some affordability. It is claimed to come with an all-day battery life and offer Windows 11 out-of-the-box.

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2, Surface Adaptive Kit, Ocean Plastic Mouse, Modern USB-C Headset details

Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2 is an optional accessory that is designed to take the experience on the Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Pro 8 to new levels. The stylus is powered by a custom-designed Microsoft G6 chip and includes a digital ink that is meant to offer tactile feedback when drawing and writing on the screen. Microsoft claims that it has improved haptics and interaction feedback using the digital ink on the new Surface Slim Pen to give users the feel of pen on paper. The stylus can be stored and charged magnetically.

The second interesting accessory that Microsoft unveiled at the virtual event was the Surface Adaptive Kit that is specifically designed for differently abled people who want to use Surface devices. It includes stickers that can be attached to the keyboard, cable, and even the lid of Surface laptops and tablets for ease in their use — specifically for people with low vision, blindness, and/or limited strength.

Microsoft also brought the Ocean Plastic Mouse as a wireless accessory for computing users. It is claimed to be 20 percent recycled and has plastic that came from oceans and beaches. The device also comes in a plastic-free, recyclable packaging.

The last accessory of the event is the Microsoft Modern USB-C Headset that is certified for Microsoft Teams and is designed with a lightweight build to enable hours-long audio and video calling. It includes dedicated meeting controls and USB Type-C connectivity.


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