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Tools of the Trade: November 2019

By Michael Castelluccio
November 1, 2019
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1. MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 7

 

At the October 2019 Surface press event, Microsoft introduced three new 2-in-1 laptops along with new wireless Surface Earbuds. The Surface Pro 7 has a number of upgrades and is the company’s most popular laptop-to-tablet convertible. A new detachable tablet, the Surface Pro X, also was announced. It’s the thinnest 2-in-1, and there’s also the Surface Laptop 3, now faster with better performance and fitted with an all-day battery. A tool on the microsoft.com website lets you compare all six Surface computers side by side. The latest Surface Pro 7 has an Intel 10th generation Ice Lake CPU that boosts performance over the previous model, and you can choose among Core i3, i5, or i7 configurations. The memory in the base model is 4GB of RAM and 128GB of on-board storage with options up to 16GB RAM and 1TB available on an SSD drive. Also new is the USB-C port and the dual far-field Studio Mics. The 12.3″ PixelSense high-resolution display has ambient light sensors that adjust to light different conditions. Touch input includes writing and drawing with the Surface Pen. Available in platinum or black, the basic Pro 7 weighs 1.7 lbs. www.microsoft.com

 

2. MICROSOFT SURFACE LAPTOP 3

 

Among the improvements to Microsoft’s clamshell notebook line, the Laptop 3 now comes either with a 10-point multitouch 13″ screen or a 15″ model, both Surface Pen-enabled. The 13″ is a very light 2.89 lbs., while the 15″ version measures 13.4″ × 9.6″ × 0.57″ and weighs just 3.4 lbs. The battery life has been improved over the Laptop 2 from 9.25 to 11.5 hours on a charge. The glass trackpad is 20% larger, and there are new colors for the 13.5″ model, including black, sandstone with a metal finish, and platinum or cobalt blue with Alcantara material. The CPU is a 10th generation Intel Core processor, and memory is from 8GB up to 32GB RAM and 128GB to 1TB on a removable solid-state drive. Exterior ports include USB-C and USB-A. www.microsoft.com

 

3. LG G8X THINQ PHONE

 

One of two dual-screen Surface devices shown at the Microsoft press event was a phone called the Surface Duo. It has two 5.6″ screens connected with a central hinge that folds open. It will be available at the end of 2020, but if you would like a dual-screen folding phone a little sooner, LG has added a second screen to its G8X ThinQ smartphone, which will be available in the fourth quarter of this year. The two screens are distinct, so they can’t flow a single large image. Instead, they let you multitask with perhaps a stock market feed on top and your email on the bottom, or you can load a game on the top screen with a display of the controls on the screen below for some Android games that support the Android controller API. For now, the specifications for the single-screen G8X ThinQs are available. www.lg.com

 

4. LANGOGO POCKET AI TRANSLATOR

 

The Langogo Pocket AI Translator is a 4-oz., pocket-size device that translates 70 languages, responding to what it hears in a second or less. It uses eSIM technology that’s built in so you don’t need a SIM card for its mobile hotspot, which provides a Wi-Fi internet connection in 72 countries for up to five devices. With access to 24 translation engines, the pocket translator utilizes AI and an on-board bilingual streaming technology to reach 30 translator servers positioned around the world. The device also provides local information on lodging, attractions, and weather. It has a 3.1″ retina display. langogo.ai

 

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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