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Tools of the Trade: May 2022

By Michael Castelluccio
May 1, 2022

1. APPLE IPAD AIR 5

With the latest release, Apple’s iPad Air Generation 5 becomes the most powerful Air tablet yet. Now with M1—the same processor chip as the iPad Pro—an improved videoconferencing camera, and 5G connectivity as an option, the Air 5 is a possible alternative for the more expensive iPad Pro tablets. The M1 chip is an 8-core CPU that has 60% faster performance than the performance of Air 4. The added power supports running multiple apps, AAA gaming, and sketching and rendering in 3D, and the 16-core Neural Engine accelerates machine learning tasks. The display is the same as the Air 4, a 10.9″, 2,360 5 1,640-pixel (264 ppi) Liquid Retina screen, but the FaceTime now has a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera with the Center Stage feature, which keeps a moving subject centered and in focus. The front camera supports 4K video, and the primary camera is the familiar 12 megapixel from the Air 4. Sign-in is through Touch ID built into the top button, which also supports Apple Pay. The USB-C outlet provides twice the transfer speed. The Air 5 comes in five colors and has either 64GB or 256GB of storage. www.apple.com

 

2. APPLE IPHONE SE

The new budget iPhone SE has the design of iPhone 8 with the same body, familiar interface, and home button for Touch ID, all for $429. But the list of improvements is significant, including tougher glass on the touch screen, longer battery life, 5G support, and the same Apple A15 processor that’s in the 2021 flagship iPhone 13 series. Onboard storage can be 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB. The Retina HD display is 4.7″ with 1,334 5 750 pixels at 326 ppi. There are two cameras: a main 12-megapixel wide camera with an f/1.8 aperture and a 7-megapixel front camera with f/2.2. The battery provides up to 15 hours video playback and fast charging of up to 50% in 30 minutes. The overall size of the SE is 5.45″ 5 2.65″ 5 0.29″, and it comes in three colors: midnight, starlight, and red. www.apple.com

 

3. LENOVO TAB P11

The Lenovo Tab P11 is a flexible school tablet that supports Google Kids Space with more than 10,000 teacher-approved apps plus hundreds of free books and a modest base price of $259. You can add an optional keyboard with built-in trackpad and shortcut keys, and the optional Precision Pen 2 with 200 hours run time on a charge. The high-resolution 8-megapixel front camera enables clear video calls to learn or work from home. The bright 11″ LCD display features narrow bezels and is certified to stream Netflix in HD. The 7,700 mAh battery offers up to 15 hours on a charge. The processor is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, and memory is up to 6GB, with 128GB onboard storage and an additional MicroSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 and also includes a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera. www.lenovo.com

 

 

4. RYBOZEN USB HUB

The Rybozen seven-port USB 3.0 hub is for PCs, laptops, and tablets. The ports are plug and play and support hot-swapping—no special setup or driver is needed. The compact design of the silver-brushed aluminum and white housing has a small footprint and a nonslip base to keep it where you locate it. Just plug in your peripherals, mouse, keyboard, thumb drive, card reader, or whatever you need. The hub includes a 20-watt power adapter with a 4.9 ft. cable. The transfer speeds are fast: USB 3.0 ports transfer photos, videos, and music at up to 5 Gbps and are backward compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.0. www.amazon.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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