Microsoft held a livestream launch event on Wednesday where the company announced three new Microsoft Surface computers, along with some other updates to Windows 11, new AI platforms for creativity, and an Audio Dock that doubles as a USB-C hub.
The interesting offering here is the Surface Pro 9, which comes in both ARM and Intel variants. With this device, Microsoft is solidifying Windows 11’s ARM support, shaking away any doubts you might have about running applications on Windows 11 for ARM.
The Surface Studio 2 Plus is a refreshed version of the Studio 2 that launched back in 2018 with updated internals, more Thunderbolt 4 ports, and beefed-up graphics performance.
Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 5 gets mostly internal updates, and like the Surface Pro 9, there are more colors to choose from including Platinum, Sage, Black, and Sandstone. The 13.5-inch model has an Alcantara keyboard finish.
Surface Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 sees the most significant upgrades this year. In addition to selling both ARM and Intel-based variants of the new Surface Pro model, It also gets new color options, with matching Type Cover keyboards as well. The ARM variant is powered by the Qualcomm SQ3 and it comes with support for 5G connectivity as well.
Both variants will support Bluetooth 5.1 and Wi-Fi 6E, but the Qualcomm version gets plenty more connectivity including GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Beidou positioning systems support, nanoSIM and eSIM support, Sub-6 GHz/mmWave 5G networks (mmWave is US only), as well as support for LTE.
There’s a 13-inch PixeSense Flow Display (2880 x 1920 px; 3:2 aspect) with support for 120Hz refresh rate, compatible with the Surface Slim Pen 2. There’s a place for the Pen to stow away (and recharge) right between the Surface machine where it meets with a Type Cover.
The Intel-powered Surface Pro 9 can be configured with a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U or a Core i7-1255U processor. Storage options start at 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon SQ3 version features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which leverages some new front camera features including Auto framing, Super Resolution enhancement, and there’s also a new noise-reduction implementation akin to those developed by Discord and Nvidia.
Battery life is rated a big differently between the two models. The Intel version is rated for up to 15.5 hours of use while the 5G Snapdragon variant is rated for up to 19 hours of battery. Another difference is USB-C support. While the 5G variant has 2 Thunderbolt 3.2 ports, the Intel version uses two Thunderbolt 4 ports.
The Intel model uses LPDDR5 RAM: either 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB. The 5G variant comes with tiehr 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM. While this model can be configured with up to 512GB of storage, the Intel model gets up to 1TB.
Special Edition Liberty Surface Pro 9
The Surface Pro 9 starts at $999 with an Intel i5, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. The Intel i7 version begins at $1599, and the 5G model will start at $1299. If you want a Type Cover keyboard, you’ll have to add $279 to the price of the Surface Pro 9.
Surface Studio 2 Plus
The last time Microsoft announced a Surface Studio was in 2018 with the Studio 2. A new refreshed model arrives – with mostly the same look externally. Most of the upgrades come from internal hardware.
There’s a capable 11th Gen Intel i7-11370H processor, and the mobile version of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB of dedicated video memory, There are 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of storage built in.
The 28-inch Pixel Sense display supports both sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, and it features an aspect ratio of 3:2 with a resolution of 4500 x 3000 px. There’s also support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
The all-in-one desktop has three USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports supporting up to 3X external 4K displays, two USB-A 3.1 ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a gigabit Ethernet port.
The Surface Studio 2 Plus comes with a Surface Pen, Surface Keyboard, Surface Mouse, and Power cord. There’s only one configuration of the Surface Studio 2 Plus, and that’s a whopping $4499 – targeted towards professional and business customers.
Surface Laptop 5
The Surface Laptop 5 gets a modest refresh with updated processors. The 13.5-inch model comes with either Intel Core i5-1235U or the Intel Core i7-1255U processors. Meanwhile, the 15-inch version only comes in a Core i7-1255U configuration. All models come with 8GB, 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM, and up to 1TB of storage.
The 13.5-inch version is rated for up to 18 hours of “typical device usage” while the 15-incher is rated for 17 hours of the same. Both displays are in 3:2 aspect ratio and are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 (Gorilla Glass 3 if you opt for the Alcantara version of the laptop).
The Surface Laptops are fitted with one USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, one USB-A port, one Surface Connect port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Surface Pro Laptop 5 starts at $999 for the 13.5-inch variant, though only in the Platinum color option. The base model gets 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Meanwhile, the 15-inch Surface Laptop 5 starts at $1299 with the same amount of RAM and storage.
All new Microsoft Surface computers start shipping October 25.
Microsoft Audio Dock
The Microsoft Audio Dock is a speaker system that doubles as a USB-C hub for any laptop. There’s a 20W speaker and a 5W subwoofer. It has powerful omnidirectional microphones so you can take meetings, and there are two huge buttons on top of the unit. One is a dedicated button that launches Microsoft Teams, and the other is a microphone toggle. Even if you don’t use Windows or Teams, the Audio Dock will support MacOS as well and it works with other conferencing apps.
The Audio Dock also has an HDMI-out for external monitor support, two USB-C ports, and one USB-A port. There are also dedicated volume and playback controls on top. The Audio Dock will retail for $250 and like all other Surface hardware, will go on sale on October 25.
I’m not usually all that critical when it comes to battle pass skins–eight completely unique and multi-style skins for 950 V-Bucks is the sort of deal that’s always gonna make me happy. But even by my relatively relaxed standards, the Chapter 4 Season 1 battle pass is a great one, without a bad skin in the bunch.
On top of that, this pass breaks us from the monotony of the past year of Disney/Marvel battle pass collaborations, going instead with a pair of much-anticipated Gaming Legends skins. And for the first time since Chapter 2 Season 6, we have a tier 100 skin that isn’t a collaboration.
It’s not a perfect pass by any means–it could certainly use more diversity, for one thing, and it doesn’t feel like either of the gaming collabs is quite as awesome as the Lara Croft outfit that also came with the Chapter 2 Season 6 pass (more on that later).
That said, this pass features eight outfits that are all worthy of spots in your regular rotation. But they can’t all be the best. So let’s look at which of Fortnite’s Chapter 4 Season 1 battle pass skins are truly the best, in our oh-so-humble estimation.
The brand Xiaomi is quite popular in the Indian smartphone market. Xiaomi Redmi is hyping its new phone series namely the Redmi Note 12 series. This upcoming series will include the Redmi Note 12 Pro and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus. Today, we will be comparing their specs and price. Let’s have a look.
The Redmi Note 12 Pro will be powered by the Snapdragon 732G processor. It will have 6 GB RAM. It will have 128 GB ROM. This will have a 6.67 inches OLED display. The main rear camera will be 50 MP. It will have a 16 MP front camera. It will have a 5000 mAh battery. This will be compatible with 4G network connectivity in India.
The expected price of this phone is INR 14,999 in India.
The Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus will be powered by a MediaTek processor. It will have a 200 MP main rear camera. It will have 8 GB RAM. This will have 256 GB ROM. It will have dual-color LED Flash. It will have a 5000 mAh battery.
The expected price of this phone is INR 25,090 in India.
In comparison to their specs and price, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus definitely wins. Although it is priced higher than the Note 12 Pro, it justifies its price with greater memory space and a stunning camera setup.
Be on the lookout for this upcoming launch as well as keep a tab on introductory offers if any. Stay connected with us for more such tech-related news as well as the latest updates in the world of technology and innovation.
WhatsApp has started rolling out 3D avatars for its users around the globe that can be used as profile photos or custom stickers — months after their debut on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger.
On Wednesday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook that avatars are coming to WhatsApp. The announcement follows a months-long beta testing that was first reported by WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo in June.
In a blog post, WhatsApp said that users could use personalized avatars as their profile photo or choose from one of 36 custom stickers reflecting different emotions and actions. Avatar stickers on WhatsApp look similar to Snap’s Bitmoji or Apple’s Memoji stickers.
“Your avatar is a digital version of you that can be created from billions of combinations of diverse hair styles, facial features, and outfits,” the company behind the popular instant messaging app said.
WhatsApp also said that users would get style enhancements including lighting, shading and hair style textures over time.
Users will be able to create their avatars on WhatsApp — once rolled out — by going to the Settings menu. The messaging app will also get a ‘Use Avatar’ option in the profile photo settings to let users make their virtual lookalike as a profile photo, per the details available on an FAQ page.
In 2019, Meta introduced Bitmoji-style 3D avatars to Facebook and Messenger. The initial rollout was limited to markets including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Canada, though the social networking giant later expanded its presence to the U.S. in 2020. Instagram also received avatars in late January.
WhatsApp confirmed to TechCrunch that, at the moment, you cannot use your WhatsApp’s avatar on Instagram or Facebook, nor can you use your Meta avatar from Instagram or Facebook on WhatsApp. This means that to use an avatar on WhatsApp, you need to create a new avatar within WhatsApp only.
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