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Tools of the Trade: July 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
July 1, 2019
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1. ASUS ZENBOOK PRO DUO

 

The design of the laptop has been frozen for a long time, but at the June 2019 Computex Taipei expo, ASUS showed up with a format that was significantly different. The ZenBook Pro Duo combines three work surfaces—a main screen, a large full-width secondary screen, and a keyboard—in what ASUS called the world’s first ScreenPad plus laptop. That isn’t a touchpad—it’s a sizeable screenpad that’s also touch-enabled. The main display is a 15.6″ OLED 4K (3,840 × 2,160) 16:9 touchscreen, and below it is the 14″ 4K ScreenPad Plus UHD touchscreen that expands and enhances the interactive capabilities of the main screen. It integrates with the primary display, and the built-in Screen­Xpert software has several apps and tools to simplify multiscreen window and app management. The Pro Duo is available with an i9 or i7 Intel Core processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage. Even with the additional computer work surface of the Pro Duo, the laptop is a manageable 5.5 lbs. The ZenBook Pro Duo and a smaller 14″ version of the Duo with a 12.6″ ScreenPad Plus will be available in the third quarter of this year. www.asus.com

 

2. APPLE MAC PRO AND PRO DISPLAY XDR

 

The new Mac Pro is completely redesigned, and the companion Pro Display XDR is a 32″ Retina 6K display with a super-wide viewing angle. The Pro workstation offers configurability and expansion with eight PCle expansion slots, twice what was in the previous Mac Pro tower, and extreme performance with the power of Xeon processors up to 28 cores and 1.5TB of memory. A new accelerator card called Apple Afterburner can enable the simultaneous playback of three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video. The unusual design of the tower in­cludes a stainless-steel frame with an aluminum housing that lifts off for 360-degree access to the entire system. The lattice pattern maximizes airflow and quiet operation. The XDR Pro Display has the largest Retina display with a 6,016 × 3,384 6K resolution. Tower and display will be available to order in fall 2019. www.apple.com

 

3. DELL INSPIRON 27 7000

 

The new Inspiron 27 7000 is Dell’s refresh of its all-in-one desktop, now with an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and Nvidia 10-series graphics. Starting at $1,000, the PC is being marketed as an all-in-one entertainment powerhouse featuring CinemaStream and CinemaSound and a virtually borderless Infinity Edge 27″ IPS display. The 4K UHD display comes in touch and nontouch options. There are four USB ports (2x USB2, 2x USB3.1) for various devices and an HDMI in port and HDMI 1.4 out. The bottom bezel of the computer houses a front-facing speaker. The overall dimensions are 17.9″ × 24.2″ × 2.3″, and it weighs 23 1/2 lbs. www.dell.com

 

4. APPLE iPOD TOUCH

 

The price for the recently released Apple iPod Touch begins at $199 for the 32GB model. For those who are not only interested in its music capabilities, but also all the other iOS applications without having to purchase an iPhone or pay service fees (it’s Wi-Fi powered), the new iPod has several major improvements. The A10 fusion chip doubles the performance and improves the graphics up to three times, and there’s support for games, messaging, group FaceTime, and augmented reality apps. It will house the Apple Arcade subscription service, launching in fall 2019, which will bring more than 100 new games. The operating system is Apple’s most advanced mobile system, iOS 12. www.apple.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 24 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 21st year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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