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Tools of the Trade: August 2021

By Michael Castelluccio
August 1, 2021

1. Lenovo Yoga Tab 13

At the Mobile World Congress Barcelona (MWC21) in June 2021, Lenovo debuted three new tablets including the Yoga Tab 13. A capable Android tablet, the Yoga Tab 13 can serve as an auxiliary screen and flexible home entertainment device as well. The 13″ 2,160 5 1,350-pixel display is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB to 256GB of internal storage running on Android 11. There’s a sturdy steel kickstand to set the tablet alongside your workstation for a secondary screen, or it can be extended to be used as a hanging bar to put it up on the wall in the kitchen or as a display for entertainment anywhere in the house. A micro-HDMI cable is included to connect as a second display. There’s a soundbar at the bottom with speakers running Dolby Atmos. Google Assistant ambient mode enables the tablet as a portable Nest Hub, and Google Entertainment Space is installed as a one-stop, personalized home for favorite movies, shows, videos, games, and books. There’s an 8MP front camera, and an optional Lenovo Precision Pen 2 adds note-taking capabilities. www.lenovo.com

 

2. Nokia G20

Nokia launched the G20 smartphone in the U.S. market in July 2021, and it arrived with a modest $199 price tag. It has a 6.5″ 1,600 5 720 LCD display and what Nokia claims to be its “longest lasting battery, ever.” The 5050 mAh battery provides three days’ power before needing a recharge and was tested with five hours active usage per day, including gaming, video streaming, calling, and texting. There’s a USB Type-C port that provides 10W charging. The processor is a Mediatek G35 SoC with eight ARM Cortex A53 cores, and memory is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. To add more, there’s a microSD slot. On the back, there are four cameras: a 48MP main camera, a 5MP wide-angle, a 2MP “depth,” and a 2MP “macro” camera. The phone runs on Android 11. www.nokia.com

 

3. Kobo Elipsa

With its new Elipsa e-reader, Kobo now has the largest screen on a dedicated e-book reader along with note-taking capability. The 10.3″ glare-free touchscreen has a resolution of 1,404 5 1,872 at 227 PPI with ComfortLight (one-color light with adjustable brightness and dark mode). The e-book features are the same that have made the Kobo Forma 8″, in the opinion of many, the best e-book reader available today. Weighing only 13.5 oz., the 7.6″ 5 9″ 5 0.3″ Elipsa provides weeks of battery life and the capacity to read 15 file formats in 18 languages. With the included Kobo Stylus, you can write, highlight, and erase directly on ePub, PDF, and your own notebooks, and it can convert handwritten notes to typed text. Dropbox support provides easy import and export, and OverDrive support lets you effortlessly borrow from local libraries. www.kobo.com

 

4. Lenovo Smart Clock 2

Lenovo also debuted a small Smart Clock 2 with built-in Google Assistant at MWC21. Though it doesn’t look like much competition for the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices, it does have an optional charging base that you can attach to your clock/assistant. As the smallest smart display, the device is interesting with its 4″ display, 8GB of storage, far-field microphone array, and 1.5″ front-firing speakers. It’s worth noting, there’s no front-facing camera. The unique wireless charging dock that the clock attaches to has fast-charging 10W, 7.5W, and 5W options. Available in September 2021, the clock will start at $89.99. www.lenovo.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the technology editor for Strategic Finance for 26 years. His SF TechNotes blog is in its 23rd year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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