Official certification for brand packaging verifies post-consumer plastics as recyclable into Trex composite deckingWINCHESTER, Va., April 05, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As consumers become increasingly eco-conscious, more and more brands are committing to investing in sustainable improvements for their products and packaging. One simple solution is labeling products to inform consumers whether – and how – the product or packaging may be recycled. To help retailers clarify the recyclability of their packaging content, Trex Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing – and one of the largest recyclers of polyethylene plastic film in North America, is rolling-out a free package labeling initiative as part of its NexTrex® Retail Recycling Program. Unlike other recycling labels, the NexTrex label is available at no cost to brands whose packaging has been tested and verified as acceptable for recycling into high-performance Trex decking, which is made from more than 95% recycled material. Trex also will work with brand owners and companies to encourage promotion and participation at the retail level by positioning NexTrex bins and signage in stores to drive awareness and engagement in the plastic drop-off program. “This new labeling option brings our NexTrex recycling initiative full-circle by allowing brands that sell products in recyclable packaging to inform consumers about how to easily and responsibly dispose of packaging material, while also promoting their commitment to sustainability and involvement in the largest store drop-off program in the country,” explained Dave Heglas, senior director of supply chain excellence for Trex Company. “With the NexTrex label, consumers know exactly where their recycled plastic is headed and that it will one day be transformed into beautiful Trex decking.” To qualify for the certified NexTrex label, product packaging must first be tested to ensure that it meets the criteria for use in the Trex manufacturing process. Packaging designers, producers and brand owners can simply send in a packaged product sample and Trex will provide them with a comprehensive report assessing three areas for acceptance: (1) package/film recyclability, (2) affect/risk of product contamination and (3) affect/risk of non-recyclable “look-a-like” package contamination, so that they can make adjustments as needed to meet recyclability standards and/or select appropriate recycling methods. Once packaging is validated by Trex, a Certification of Acceptance will be issued to the brand owner and the brand will be authorized to use the NexTrex Recycled Packaging Label. “By giving recycled plastic film a second life as high-performance, low-maintenance composite decking, Trex is providing a solution to manufacturers’ plastic waste concerns,” said Heglas. “Our free package testing and labeling initiatives are intended to encourage more manufacturers to participate in the NexTrex program, while ensuring that the plastic material we are collecting meets our high standards for production.” Each year, Trex diverts more than 450 million pounds of polyethylene plastic film, bags and wrap from landfills in the making of its world-famous decking. Among its largest sources are grocery chains and other retailers who partner with Trex to responsibly dispose of shopping bags and polyethylene film used to wrap products and pallets. Recycling with the NexTrex program is easy for manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike. Trex provides partners with recycling bins, instructional videos, promotional materials and a list of qualifying recyclable materials that qualify for the NexTrex program, including everyday items such as: Grocery and retail bagsPlastic mailer bagsBread bagsCase overwrapsDry cleaning bagsNewspaper sleevesIce bagsZiploc and other resealable bagsProduce bagsBubble wrapSalt bagsCereal box linersWood pellet bags For more information about the new NexTrex Packaging Label or how to participate in the NexTrex Recycling Program, visit Trex.com/Recycling. About Trex CompanyTrex Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of high performance wood-alternative decking and railing, with nearly 30 years of product experience. The #1 brand in outdoor living is proud to be to Fortune magazine’s 2020 list of the world’s 100 Fastest-Growing Companies and to Forbes’ 2021 List of America’s Best Mid-Sized Companies. Stocked in more than 6,700 retail locations worldwide, Trex outdoor living products offer a wide range of style options with fewer ongoing maintenance requirements than wood, as well as a truly environmentally responsible choice. For more information, visit trex.com. You also can follow Trex on Twitter (@Trex_Company), Instagram (@trexcompany) Pinterest (trexcompany), or Houzz (trex-company-inc), “like” Trex on Facebook, or view product and demonstration videos on the brand’s YouTube channel (TheTrexCo). Contact: Anna Figy or Lindsey LucentaL.C. Williams & Associates 312-565-4634 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. social audio app Clubhouse launches ‘wave’ feature for private chats
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)
iPhone 13 benchmarks — Apple just blew away Android phones – Tom's Guide
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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio With Unique Hinge Design Unveiled, Surface Pro 8, Surface Duo 2 Launched – Gadgets 360
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 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.
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.
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 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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