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Tools of the Trade: May 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
May 1, 2019
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1. iPAD MINI 5

 

Apple has added two new tablets to its iPad lineup. With the new iPad Mini and the 10.5″ iPad Air, there are now five tablets: two iPad Pros (11″ and 12.9″), the iPad 9.7″, the 10.5″ Air, and a fifth-generation iPad Mini (7.9″). Neglected for four years, the Mini finally has some serious upgrades within an essentially unchanged exterior. The wide top and bottom portions of the bezel of previous Mini generations are still there, and the start button with fingerprint sensor is in the same place. Apple even kept the headphone jack. What’s new, however, is the digital power generated within by an A12 Bionic chip with a neural engine that drives real-time machine learning. With the A12, you can multitask and run augmented reality (AR) apps as well as those such as Adobe Photoshop CC. It’s up to three times faster than the Mini 4. The 7.9″ Retina display has more than three million pixels that adjust white balance with True Tone in any light conditions. The tablet is now compatible with Apple Pencil for note-taking and sketching, and the HD cameras are 8MP (back) and 7MP (front). The battery lasts 10 hours. www.apple.com

 

2. GALAXY S10

 

According to Android Central, the Galaxy S10 is the best smartphone of 2019. The fact that it isn’t very different from last year’s S9 indicates the soundness of Samsung’s flagship line. There are two S10s: the basic 6.1″ Galaxy and the larger 6.4″ S10+. Both have the bright 1,440 × 3,040-pixel AMOLED display that’s readable in direct sunlight yet has low reflectivity. The fingerprint sensor is in the display, and it’s ultrasonic rather than optical. The screen is Gorilla Glass 6, and the back glass is Gorilla Glass 5. The operating system is Android 9.0 (Pie), and the internal memory includes 8GB RAM and 128/512GB storage. There’s also a microSD slot for an additional 512GB. The battery size on the S10 models is larger (Li-Ion 4100mAh) and features fast battery and fast wireless 15W charging. www.samsung.com

 

3. GOOGLE PIXEL 3

 

The Google Pixel 3 smartphone comes in two screen sizes, 5.5″ and 6.3″ in the XL configuration, and it also boasts several new AI capabilities. But what really sets it apart are the three cameras and their feature sets. There are two rear cameras, a 16MP ultra wide-angle and a 12 MP telephoto, and a 10MP front-facing camera. A feature called Top Shot uses AI to offer a choice of takes. Google’s Super Res Zoom is a computational adjustment that removes graininess when you zoom. A photobooth mode follows your expression and decides when to take the photo, and the Playground function adds animated stickers or captions, even characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Pixel 3, you get free photo and video storage. store.google.com/pixel_3

 

4. RAVPOWER FILEHUB PLUS

 

The RAVPower Filehub Plus provides three functions in a pocket-size device that measures 2.13″ × 3.82″ × 1.06″. It has USB and SD card slots so you can transfer and store files between cards, hard drives, and devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. With its onboard N300 wireless travel router, it can connect to your Wi-Fi and act as a hub or bridge that will allow wireless transfer of files between your devices and even share those files with friends with connected devices. It can read SD cards, hard disks, and USB flash drives, and with its 6700mAh battery, it can recharge your devices. It works with Android, Apple, and Windows. www.ravpower.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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