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Tools of the Trade: July 2018

By Michael Castelluccio
July 1, 2018
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1. ASUS ZENBOOK PRO 15

 

At Computex 2018 in Taipei, Asus unveiled 14″ and 15.6″ versions of its ZenBook Pro with a touchpad that’s actually a second screen. Called a ScreenPad, it measures 5.5″ on the 15″ model and is a full HD display. It runs apps, independent of what’s on the big screen, like Asus calendar, calculator, or music player, but it can also run the Microsoft Office suite. It’s a second display, so you can play a video while you’re working. When you turn it on, you get a menu with drop-down options including icons for launching all the apps you have on the laptop. For now, there are a limited number of companies, like Microsoft, developing for the ScreenPad, but Asus is working hard to bring others on board. When turned off, the ScreenPad looks and functions like any other glass touchpad. One drawback is that it does drain battery resources when running. The specifications for the ZenBook Pro qualify it as a powerful alternative to your desktop. There’s a six-core Intel Core i9 processor, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card, 16GB of RAM, a solid-state drive that providing 1TB of on-board memory, and much more. www.asus.com

 

2. UNIHERTZ ATOM SMARTPHONE

 

The Unihertz 4G Atom ruggedized smartphone is designed as a secondary phone with quite a list of features and a top price under $300. It’s rugged and very small: 3.8 × 1.8 × 0.7 inches and 3 oz. The Atom is dual-SIM, so you can house your work and personal SIM in a phone that fits in the palm of your hand. The Gorilla Glass LCD screen is 2.45″, and the phone is encased in black rubber with IP68 dust- and water-resistance ratings. The accessories include a belt clip, armband, and bike mount. Other specs include: an octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal memory, 16-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front-facing camera, Android 8.1, fingerprint sensor, and a 2,000mAh battery. The Atom is a Kickstarter project, so you can support it at www.kickstarter.com (search for Unihertz in the search bar at the top). Delivery is scheduled for October 2018. Crowdfunded projects include risk, so read the About Us and Our Rules at the bottom of the home page. Or you can follow the project and wait for public resale in the fall.

 

3. WORDPERFECT OFFICE X9

 

In the beginning there were Bank Street Writer, WordStar, WordPerfect, and MS Word. Now there are hundreds of specialized writing apps and Word and WordPerfect. The latest version of WordPerfect Office X9 includes a wide variety of tools for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in many formats, including PDFs, ebooks, and more than 60 different file types. Along with the basic WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, and Presentations programs, there are the Lightning digital notebook, eBook Publisher, and AfterShot 3 photo editing program. Add to that 900 TrueType fonts, 10,000 clipart images, more than 300 templates, the Pocket Oxford English Dictionary, a bitmap editor and drawing app, the XML Project Designer, and more—all good reasons for WordPerfect’s longevity. www.wordperfect.com

 

4. SONY WIRELESS EARBUDS

 

The new Sony WF-SP700N earbuds are wireless and feature adjustable noise cancellation and customizable sound with EXTRA BASS™. Each earbud has a large button with functions divided between audio playback and phone calls on the right and noise canceling on the left. They are splash- and sweat-resistant with an IPX4 rating for more rigorous gym workouts. Available in black, white, yellow, and pink with two-tone metal inserts. The case has a built-in battery. http://bit.ly/2MMsdYC

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 23 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 20th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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