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Tools of Trade: September 2021

By Michael Castelluccio
September 1, 2021

1. HP Spectre x360

The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 is an exceptional convertible laptop that combines beautiful design with many custom features. The high-definition display has adaptive color that automatically adjusts its hues and intensities to your current environment. The 3:2 aspect ratio is 14″ diagonal available with resolutions from 1,920 5 1,280 to 3,000 5 2,000, with edge-to-edge touch-enabled glass in FHD or OLED. Storage options include 512GB SSD up to 2TB. The selection of 11th Generation Intel Core processors include four options from i5 to i7 all coupled with Intel Iris Xe Graphics. A camera shutter key turns your camera off, and there’s a dedicated mute-mic button as well. HP QuickDrop makes sharing data effortless between your laptop and Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows PCs and Macs. A stylus is included for using the Spectre as a tablet. The full-size island-style keyboard is backlit, and the long-life battery supports fast charging which provides a 50% charge in about 45 minutes. The Spectre is available in natural silver, Poseidon blue, and nightfall black. www.hp.com

 

 

2. Apple MacBook Pro

The Apple MacBook Pro 13″ is powered by the new Apple M1 chip that adds up to 2.8x faster CPU performance and 5x the graphics speed and that features Apple’s 16-core Neural Engine to speed up machine learning tasks such as voice recognition and image processing. The M1 system on a chip has 16 billion transistors. The 256GB of basic SSD storage is expandable up to 2TB, and the base 8GB of memory is configurable to 16GB. If you haven’t looked at MacBooks in a while, the old keyboard has been replaced by a Magic Keyboard—a scissor mechanism with more travel, defined strokes, and a Touch Bar with convenient shortcuts. The 13.3″ LED Retina display has resolutions from 1,024 5 640 up to 1,680 5 1,050. Apple rates the battery at up to 17 hours on wireless web and 20 hours Apple TV app movie playback. Weighing 3 lbs., the Pro 13 measures 11.97″ 5 8.36″ 5 0.61″. www.apple.com

 

3. WaterField Cargo Laptop Bag

WaterField designs and makes its wide variety of quality gear bags and cases in San Francisco, Calif. The new Cargo laptop bag has built-in padded laptop and tablet compartments and numerous pockets. With space for a 16″ MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15 and a tablet that can be up to 13″ 5 9″, the overall dimensions are 12″ 5 16″ 5 4″. The main compartment contains the laptop and tablet pockets, two wallet-size pockets, pen pockets, and a waterproof zipper. The front flap has a zippered compartment with pockets for phone and papers, and the back has a zippered space with several pockets. There are double handles and a wide carry strap. The bag is available in black, chocolate, or grizzly leather. www.sfbags.com

 

 

4. Logitech Powered 3-in-1 Dock

The Logitech Powered 3-in-1 Dock is a 10W-powered dock for simultaneous wireless charging of your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. It delivers 7.5W for fast charging your devices. It also supports Qi-enabled devices from Google, LG, and Samsung. Qi-enabled Samsung phones will wirelessly fast-charge at 9W. You can check the compatibility of your Apple or other devices on Logitech’s website. You can plug in the dock and set it up almost anywhere. It measures 4.61″ 5 9.29″ 5 3.98″. An indicator light on the side tells you when your device is charging, and you can use your phone while it charges. Available in black or white. www.logitech.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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