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Tools of the Trade: April 2020

By Michael Castelluccio
April 1, 2020
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1. SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 ULTRA

 

Samsung’s recently released, 5G-ready flagship features an amazing 108MP camera with 100x zoom and a 6.9″ screen that has a 120 Hz refresh rate. On the negative side, it’s expensive ($1,400), the camera bump is large, and the protruding lens requires a case for protection, adding to the bulk and weight, which is almost a half pound (7.76 oz.). The battery, like the phone, is large, with 5,000 mAh that can provide about 12 hours when you set the default refresh rate for the screen at 60 Hz. The 120 Hz rate for brighter, sharper photographic work brings that back down to about nine hours. The rear camera quad-lens is 108MP wide (f/1.8), 48MP telephoto (f/3.5), and 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2). The camera zoom is 4x optical, 10x when set at hybrid optical and digital, and the 100x zoom is digital. The front camera produces 40MP selfies that are very impressive. Video recording is up to 8K at 24 fps. The specs for the camera systems on board will likely qualify for accolades as the best camera on a phone as the rollout provides wider testing. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, and memory is 12GB or 16GB, with internal storage for 128GB to 512GB. You can also add a microSD up to 1TB. www.samsung.com

 

2. LENOVO FOLDABLE THINKPAD

 

The race to produce the best folding screen for phones is heating up. What comes next might be folding screens for laptops. Lenovo demoed the world’s first foldable PC at its Accelerate partner event in May 2019, and it recently unveiled full details on the PC at CES 2020. It isn’t a phone, tablet, or familiar hybrid; it’s a full-fledged ThinkPad laptop with a folding screen, in development for 2020. It has a single OLED 2k display from LG that can fold in half and reduce its width by 50%. Intel-powered with Windows, the foldable ThinkPad can transition among all the tasks you demand of your laptop, from work to streaming entertainment media. It has a pen and apps for taking notes and a virtual keyboard, or you can open it to double size and use an external keyboard. lnv.gy/38XtKVH

 

3. ACER CONCEPTD 7

 

The Acer ConceptD 7 has won awards for its performance as a laptop with special abilities and software for designing and editing in 2D or 3D. The slim case is aluminum, measuring 0.7″ thick and 4.6 lbs. The 15.6″ 4k UHD (3,840 5 2,160) display has 100% Adobe RGB gamut, PANTONE validated color fidelity, and color accuracy with a Delta E average of less than 2. The screen-to-body ratio is 81%, making for very thin bezels. The processor is a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of internal SSD storage. The NVIDIA RTX graphics card enables accelerated ray tracing with NVIDIA Turing architecture joining real-time ray tracing, AI, and programmable shading. For peripherals and exporting, there are three USB 3.1, one HDMI 2.0, and one Mini DP 1.4. www.acer.com

 

4. MOLESKINE SMART WRITING SET

 

The Moleskine Smart Writing Set lets you take handwritten notes in ink, in what looks like a standard, good-quality Moleskine notebook, and then converts those into digital records in a number of different formats for your cell phone, tablet, or PC. The digital files can be edited and saved or shared with others through the free Moleskine Notes app. The digital pen in the set takes standard ink refills, and the paper notebook is a Moleskine notebook with 8.25″ by 5″ pages that are covered in a dotted grid that indicates to the camera system in the pen exactly where you are on the page. The system is pricey at $179, but the materials are of the high quality you expect of Moleskine journals and peripherals. www.moleskine.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 25 years. His SF Technotes blog is in its 22nd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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