CES 2017: HP Announces EliteBook x360 1030 G2 Convertible Notebook

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: x360, tablet, notebook, laptop, hp, elitebook, convertible, CES 2017, CES, business, 2-in-1

HP's EliteBook x360 1030 G2 is "the world’s thinnest business convertible", with a sleek aluminum unibody design, the latest 7th-generation Intel Core processors, and a 360-degree hinged design for laptop/tablet functionality.

HP_EliteBook_x360_Front_Left.jpg

"With 360° of versatility across five modes, unmatched security, and up to 16 hours and 30 minutes of battery life, the thin and light HP EliteBook x360 1030 is the perfect PC for highly mobile professionals. Wherever business or pleasure takes you, set a new benchmark for work and fun."

The optional HP Active Pen provides "a natural inking experience" on the Gorilla Glass-covered 13.3-inch display, which is available with a resolution of up to 3840x2160 (UHD). As to power, HP claims that this new EliteBook lasts up to 16.5 hours on a single charge with its 3-cell, 57 Wh battery.

HP_EliteBook_x360_Tablet_Mode.jpg


Specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7600U, Intel Core i5-7300U, Intel Core i5-7200U
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Maximum Memory: 16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM
  • Internal Storage
    • 128 GB M.2 SSD
    • 256 GB up to 512 GB M.2 SATA TLC SSD
    • 256 GB up to 512 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe TLC SSD
    • 360 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Display Options
    • 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
    • 13.3" diagonal UHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (3840 x 2160)
    • HP Sure View integrated privacy screen 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA eDP ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
    • 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080);
    • 13.3" diagonal UHD UWVA ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (3840 x 2160)
    • HP Sure View integrated privacy screen 13.3" diagonal FHD UWVA eDP ultra slim with Corning Gorilla Glass touch screen (1920 x 1080)
  • Wireless Technologies
    • HP lt4132 LTE/HSPA+ 4G Mobile Broadband; HP hs3210 WW HSPA+ Mobile Broadband; Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (non-vPro)
    • Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo; Intel 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (vPro);
    • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo (vPro and non-vPro) (Compatible with Miracast-certified devices.)
  • Communications
    • NFC (optional)
  • Expansion Slots
    • 1 microSD
  • Ports and Connectors
    • 1 USB Type-C with Thunderbolt; 2 USB 3.1 (1 charging); 1 HDMI 1.4; 1 external micro SIM; 1 AC power connector; 1 headphone / microphone combo (base)
  • Input Device
    • Spill-resistant backlit keyboard with drain and DuraKeys
    • Clickpad with image sensor and glass surface, multi-touch gestures enabled, taps enabled as default
  • Touch Fingerprint Sensor for fingerprint authentication with Windows Hello
  • Camera: 720p HD webcam, IR camera for face authentication with Windows Hello
  • Security Management
    • HP BIOSphere; HP SureStart; HP Secure Erase; Preboot Authentication; Security lock slot; HP Client Security; HP Security Manager; HP Password Manager; Absolute Persistence Module; TPM 1.2/2.0; Microsoft Defender; HP Spare Key; HP Device Access Manager
  • Power
    • HP Long Life 3-cell, 57 Wh Li-ion
    • Up to 16 hours and 30 minutes
    • Battery is internal and not replaceable by customer. Serviceable by warranty.
  • Operating System
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 – HP recommends Windows 10 Pro.
    • Windows 10 Home 64
    • Windows 10 Pro 64 (National Academic only)
  • Dimensions: 12.48 x 8.6 x 0.59 in / 31.69 x 21.85 x 1.49 cm
  • Weight: Starting at 2.82 lb / 1.28 kg

HP_EliteBook_x360_Tent_Mode.jpg

At less than 3 lbs and a hair under 15 mm thick, the EliteBook x360 is a very attractive business convertible option, though pricing and availability were absent from the press release.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: HP

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces new ThinkPad X1 Carbon Laptop

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: x1 carbon, wigig, thunderbolt 3, Thinkpad, notebook, LTE-A, Lenovo, laptop, ips, CES 2017, CES, 14 inch

Lenovo's 2017 version of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is “the lightest 14-inch business notebook” on the market at 2.5 lbs, and fits its 14-inch IPS display into a compact 13-inch laptop form-factor.

ThinkPad X1 Carbon.jpg

"Featuring a carbon-fiber reinforced chassis, the X1 Carbon is as durable as its predecessor, and features a smaller footprint—making it the lightest, thinnest X1 Carbon. Yet it’s power-packed with: Windows 10 Pro, 7th generation Intel Core processors, lightning-fast Thunderbolt 3, and a 14” Quad-HD display. All that—plus our legendary ThinkPad heritage and support."

Lenovo still left room in the slim chassis for plenty of battery capacity, as they claim “more than 15 hours of battery life” from this new X1 Carbon, which is available in both the traditional “ThinkPad Black” and a new metallic silver color. Another new addition to the X1 Carbon is Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, with wireless options including LTE-A and WiGig.

X1 Carbon black silver.jpg

Specifications from Lenovo:


  • Display
    • 14” WQHD IPS (2560 x 1440) 300 nits
    • 14” FHD IPS (1920 x 1080) 300 nits
  • Processor: Up to Intel Core 7th gen
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Memory: Up to 16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3
  • Storage
    • 128GB SSD SATA
    • 180GB SSD Intel® SATA
    • 256GB SSD Intel® PCIe TLC OPAL2 256GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD Intel® PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 1TB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
  • Connectivity
    • I/O Ports
      • 2 x Intel® ThunderboltTM 3, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI,
      • native RJ45, microSD, microSIM
    • WLAN
      • Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265
      • 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2
    • WWAN
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7430
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7455
    • WiGig
      • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 (WiGig +
      • WiFi 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2
    • NFC option
    • LTE-A (4G)
  • Security
    • dTPM 2.0 Display
    • Touch fingerprint reader option
    • Windows Hello
  • Audio: Dolby Audio Premium
  • Webcam: HD 720p, IR camera option
  • Battery: Up to 15.5 hours
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 323.5 x 217.1 x 15.95 mm / 12.7 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 2.49 lbs / 1.12 kg
  • Colors: Black, Silver

ThinkPad X1 Carbon 1.jpg

As to pricing and availability, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon will start at $1,349, and will available in February.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2017: Lenovo Introduces new ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2-in-1 Notebook

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: x1 yoga, Thinkpad, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, convertible, CES 2017, CES, 2-in-1

Lenovo is announcing their 2017 ThinkPad lineup today, and on the convertible side of things the new ThinkPad X1 Yoga is “the only 14-inch notebook with an OLED screen”, and though that particular panel type is optional, having seen last year’s OLED model in person the pure blacks and infinite contrast make IPS options pale in comparison (literally).

ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3.jpg

"Also available in the new metallic silver, the updated ThinkPad X1 Yoga is flawlessly flexible and adapts to its users’ needs offering true multi-mode capability and can deliver stunning colors and absolute blacks on the only 14-inch notebook with an OLED screen. A redesigned rechargeable pen and improved ‘rise and fall' keyboard complete the improved experience."

The improved 'rise and fall' keyboard appears to operate differently from the original 'Lift 'n Lock' design, as the keys themselves (rather than a panel surrounding them) are raised and lowered depending on orientation of the Yoga's 2-in-1 design.

ThinkPad X1 Yoga keyboard.jpg

The specifications are very similar (with the exception of that OLED panel option) to the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which makes sense considering the X1 Yoga is essentially the convertible version of that notebook:


  • Display
    • 14” WQHD OLED (2560 x 1440), Touch, 300 nits
    • 14” WQHD IPS (2560 x 1440), Touch, 270 nits
    • 14” FHD IPS (1920 x 1080), Touch 270 nits
  • Processor: Up to Intel Core 7th gen
  • Graphics
    • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 or
    • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Memory
    • Up to 16GB 1866MHz LPDDR3
    • Up to 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 (for Intel Iris only)
  • Storage
    • 128GB SSD SATA
    • 180GB SSD Intel SATA
    • 256GB SSD Intel PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 256GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD Intel PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 512GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
    • 1TB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2
  • Connectivity
    • I/O Ports
      • 2 x Intel® ThunderboltTM 3, 3 x USB3.0, HDMI,
      • native RJ45, microSD, microSIM
    • WLAN
      • Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265
      • 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2
    • WWAN
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7430
      • Qualcomm® SnapdragonTM X7 LTE-A EM7455
    • WiGig
      • Intel® Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265 (WiGig +
      • WiFi 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth® 4.2)
    • NFC option
    • LTE-A (4G)
  • Security
    • dTPM 2.0 Display
    • Touch fingerprint reader option
  • Audio: Dolby AudioTM Premium
  • Webcam: HD 720p, IR camera option
  • Battery: Up to 16 hours (OLED version up to 10.5 hours)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 333 x 229 x 17.05 / 13.1 x 9.0 x 0.67 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 3.13 lbs / 1.42 kg (OLED version starting at 2.99 lbs / 1.36 kg)
  • Colors: Black, Silver

ThinkPad X1 Yoga 10.jpg

The new ThinkPad X1 Yoga will be available in February with an MSRP starting at $1499.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Legion Y720 and Y520 Gaming Laptops

Subject: Systems, Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: Y720, Y520, nvidia, notebook, Lenovo, Legion, laptop, gtx 1060, GTX 1050 Ti, gaming, CES 2017, CES

Lenovo has announced a pair of new gaming notebooks with the Legion Y720 and Y520, powered by NVIDIA GeForce graphics and the latest 7th-generation Intel processors.

Lenovo Legion Y720 1.jpg

First we have the Legion Y720, a 15.6-inch gaming laptop that is also the “the world’s first Dolby Atmos PC” for immersive surround audio using the latest Dolby home theater standard. Graphical duties are handled by a GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, with CPU options up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 (i7-7700HQ).

“Enter a breathtaking world of sight and sound with the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, the world’s first PC featuring Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos audio technology. VR Ready, this gaming laptop combines powerful processing, graphics, hardware and integrated Xbox One Wireless Support for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience.”

Lenovo Legion Y720 2.jpg


Lenovo Legion Y720 Specifications:

  • Display
    • 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS or
    • 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Anti-Glare
  • Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i7-7700HQ Processor
    • 7th Generation Intel CoreTM i5-7300HQ Processor
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2 x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2 x 2W JBL Speakers and 3W Subwoofer, Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity:
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: Up to 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt (USB Type-C), Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 5-Hour 4 Cell; 60 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 277 x 29 mm / 14.96 x 10.9 x 1.14 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 7.05 lbs (3.2 kg)

Next we have the slimmer (and lighter) Y520 laptop, which pairs up to an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU.

Lenovo Legion Y520 1.jpg

“Lean and mean, the Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop comes with the latest in processors, graphics and hardware, providing gaming function while a lightweight and smudge-free design deliver a portable form. This laptop is perfect for those who like to game on-the-go, online or with their friends in the same room.”


Lenovo Legion Y520 Specifications:

  • Display: 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9; IPS; Anti-Glare
  • Processor: Up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4; 2x SODIMM Slots
  • Storage:
    • 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB PCIe SSD or
    • 500 GB / 1 TB / 2 TB SATA HDD
  • Audio: 2x 2W Harman Certified Speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
  • Connectivity
    • WLAN & Bluetooth: 1x1 WiFi 802.11ac or 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 Combo
    • LAN: 10/100/1000M Gigabit Ethernet
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, Audio Jack, Mic Jack, LAN
  • 4-in-1 Card Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Battery Life: Up to 4-Hour 3 Cell; 45 WHr Li-Polymer Battery
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 380 x 265 x 25.8 mm / 14.96 x 10.43 x 1.01 inches
  • Weight: Starting at 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)

Lenovo Legion Y520 4.jpg

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces the Miix 720 2-in-1 Detachable

Subject: Mobile | January 3, 2017 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: tablet, notebook, Miix 720, Lenovo, laptop, detachable, CES 2017, CES, 2-in-1

Lenovo's Miix 720 combines a compact 12-inch form-factor with some powerful components to provide a compelling 2-in-1 detachable laptop/tablet.

Miix 720 Black 10.jpg

“The ultra-chic Miix 720 Windows detachable includes the features needed to work smarter, combining an ultra-crisp 12-inch QHD+ display and precision touchpad-enabled keyboard with up to 7th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and Thunderbolt 3, the fastest port available on a PC today. When it’s time to hit the road – or your next meeting – you can simply remove the keyboard to instantly transform the Miix 720 into a feature-rich touchscreen tablet. Paired with a multifaceted Lenovo Active Pen 2, the Miix 720 is ideal for effortless note taking or bringing creative concepts to life.”

Processor options up to a 7th-generation Intel Core i7, memory up to 16GB, and storage up to a 1TB PCIe SSD make the Miix 720 stand out among the ultra-portable Windows options.

Miix 720 Black 4.jpg


Specifications:

  • Display: 12" QHD+ (2880 x 1920), 400 nits, Gorilla Glass
  • Processor: Up to 7th Generation Intel Core i7
  • Graphics: Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620
  • Memory: Up to 16 GB DDR4
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home
  • Storage: Up to 1 TB PCIe SSD
  • Connectivity: 2x2 WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Connectors: 1x USB 3.1 (Type-C), 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, audio combo jack, microSD slot
  • Camera & Microphone
    • Front: 1 MP with IR Camera, Supports Windows Hello
    • Rear : 5 MP Auto-Focus; Dual-Array Microphone
  • Dimensions (W x D x H)
  • Tablet: 292 x 210 x 8.9 mm / 11.5" x 8.27" x 0.35"
  • With Keyboard: 293 x 216 x 14.6 mm / 11.53" x 8.5" x 0.57"
  • Weight:
    • Tablet starting at 1.72 at lbs (780 g)
    • With keyboard starting at 2.42 lbs (1.1 kg)
  • Keyboard / Pen
    • Full-sized Backlight Keyboard Inbox;
    • Lenovo Active Pen Inbox on 1st Wave,
    • Lenovo Active Pen 2 Inbox on 2nd Wave

Miix 720 Black 1.jpg

The Lenovo Miix 720 with keyboard included starts at $999.99, and will be available beginning in April.

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at https://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Announces Updated ThinkPad Lineup Ahead of CES

Subject: Mobile | December 28, 2016 - 12:01 AM |
Tagged: yoga, update, Thinkpad, Refresh, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, kaby lake, Intel, convertible, CES 2017, CES, 7th generation, 2-in-1

Lenovo has unveiled their new ThinkPad notebook lineup ahead of the upcoming CES 2017, with refreshed models featuring the new 7th-generation Intel (“Kaby Lake”) processors, among other new features.

Yoga 370.jpg

ThinkPad Yoga 370 (Image credit: Lenovo)

New models include the newly-designed ThinkPad Yoga 370 2-in-1 convertible, refreshed T Series (T470, T570, T470s, and T470p) and L Series (L470 and L570) models, the new X270, and an updated version of the ThinkPad 13.

Thinkpad_13.jpg

ThinkPad 13 (Image credit: Lenovo)

In addition to the move to 7th-generation Intel CPUs, there are number of features across the board with the new ThinkPads, including:

  • Microsoft Signature: All ThinkPads comes loaded out of the box with the Microsoft Signature Image (clean install, no bloatware)
  • Precision TouchPad: Microsoft’s PTP standard supported across all devices
  • USB-C “Anti-Fry” Protection: Systems with USB-C have equipped with protection circuit to protect from improperly designed/malfunctioning USB-C power supplies
  • dTPM 2.0 security support: Universal implementation of discrete TPM 2.0
  • ThinkPad Intelligent diagnostic codes: Intelligent Diagnostics with musical tones from notebook interpreted by companion smartphone app
  • Intel Optane Performance: Non-volatile storage medium in the PCIe M.2 format for significant improvements in endurance, performance, and power consumption

Thinkpad X270.jpg

ThinkPad X270 (Image credit: Lenovo)

** Edit by Allyn **

Digging further into the model options / specs, it appears that some of these models will have an optional 16GB (smaller of the two) variant of Optane storage installed as a Storage Accelerator. This accelerator appears to be configurable with either an NVMe (NAND) SSD *or* a HDD. Intel will most likely overlay this cache using their RST Driver, as that infrastructure was put in place way back in 2011 when they introduced Z68 RST Caching. The 2011 version of this caching was an attempt to overlay a small SATA SSD onto a HDD, and while it was effective, the rapid adoption and sales of low-cost MLC SSDs quickly outweighed the need for such a cache as a boot volume.

intel-optane-memory-8000p.jpg

XPoint should offer enough of a performance boost (particularly for very small random access) to make for effective performance gains even over NVMe SSDs. Depending on how Intel tunes their RST driver to employ XPoint, we might see some impressive benefits, especially if the non-volatility is taken advantage of. Near instant wake from hibernates if the hiberfile is mostly cached on wake/boot, as an example.

Something else worth considering, that is not present in the above leaked specs, is that Optane will very likely be able to handle <4KB random accesses extremely well (XPoint is byte / word randomly writable / addressable). The key question is if that is possible in its first generation implementation, which we should know more about shortly after CES.

** End edit **

We won’t have detailed information about hardware (specific CPU models, etc.) until CES, so stay tuned!

Coverage of CES 2017 is brought to you by NVIDIA!

PC Perspective's CES 2017 coverage is sponsored by NVIDIA.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

Lenovo Unveils ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C Docks

Subject: Mobile | December 28, 2016 - 12:01 AM |
Tagged: usb type-c, thunderbolt 3, ThinkPad Type-C Dock, ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock, Thinkpad, notebook, Lenovo, laptop, dock, CES 2017, CES

Lenovo has teased a pair of new docks for their upcoming ThinkPad refresh at CES, with both Thunderbolt 3 and USB Type-C options. We don’t have a lot of details but the photos from Lenovo show the available ports on these two docks.

ThinkPad Docks.jpg

ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 (left) and USB Type-C (right) docks (Image: Lenovo)

The ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock supports up to 3 displays, with a pair of DisplayPort outputs along with a full size HDMI. The front panel offers a Thunderbolt 3 port, USB, and 3.5 mm audio, and the rear offers four more USB 3.0 ports (one charging), LAN, and a VGA output.

ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock 3.jpg

Back view of Thunderbolt 3 Dock (Image: Lenovo)

The Type-C dock supports up to 2 displays via DisplayPort, and has three USB 3.0 ports between the front and back panel (plus a front panel Type-C port), along with legacy USB 2.0 ports for peripherals. The smaller dock retains VGA and LAN ports as well.

USB-C Dock 1.jpg

Back view of USB Type-C Dock (Image: Lenovo)

Expect full specifications after the official launch of these products, presumably at CES 2017.

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Source: Lenovo

Cyanogen Shuts Down

Subject: Mobile | December 26, 2016 - 02:39 PM |
Tagged: cyanogen, Android

Seemingly out of nowhere, Cyanogen, an alternative distribution of Android, begun laying off its employees last month, shutting down their Seattle office with the option to relocate to Palo Alto. At the same time, the founder, Steve Kondik, left the company. Then, on the last business day before Christmas Eve, they announced that “all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued no later than 12/31/16”.

valve-nope.jpg

At this point, I don’t really know what’s left of the company, which makes me wonder, if anyone did relocate from Washington State to California, whether they will still have a job there. The project will continue on as an independent, open-source operating system, called Lineage OS. As far as I can tell, the company doesn’t actually do anything else, so I can’t really see what they would restructure into. I'm guessing it's just done.

Source: Cyanogen
Subject: Systems, Mobile

Vulkan 1.0, OpenGL 4.5, and OpenGL ES 3.2 on a console

A few days ago, sharp eyes across the internet noticed that Nintendo’s Switch console has been added to lists of compliant hardware at The Khronos Group. Vulkan 1.0 was the eye-catcher, although the other tabs also claims conformance with OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES 3.2. The device is not listed as compatible with OpenCL, although that does not really surprise me for a single-GPU gaming system. The other three APIs have compute shaders designed around the needs of game developers. So the Nintendo Switch conforms to the latest standards of the three most important graphics APIs that a gaming device should use -- awesome.

But what about performance?

In other news, Eurogamer / Digital Foundary and VentureBeat uncovered information about the hardware. It will apparently use a Tegra X1, which is based around second-generation Maxwell, that is under-clocked from what we see on the Shield TV. When docked, the GPU will be able to reach 768 MHz on its 256 CUDA cores. When undocked, this will drop to 307.2 MHz (although the system can utilize this mode while docked, too). This puts the performance at ~315 GFLOPs when in mobile, pushing up to ~785 GFLOPs when docked.

You might compare this to the Xbox One, which runs at ~1310 GFLOPs, and the PlayStation 4, which runs at ~1840 GFLOPs. This puts the Nintendo Switch somewhat behind it, although the difference is even greater than that. The FLOP calculation of Sony and Microsoft is 2 x Shader Count x Frequency, but the calculation of Nintendo’s Switch is 4 x Shader Count x Frequency. FMA is the factor of two, but the extra factor of two in Nintendo’s case... ...

Yup, the Switch’s performance rating is calculated as FP16, not FP32.

nintendo-2016-switch-gpu.png

Snippet from an alleged leak of what Nintendo is telling developers.
If true, it's very interesting that FP16 values are being discussed as canonical.

Reducing shader precision down to 16-bit is common for mobile devices. It takes less transistors to store and translate half-precision values, and accumulated error will be muted by the fact that you’re viewing it on a mobile screen. The Switch isn’t always a mobile device, though, so it will be interesting to see how this reduction of lighting and shading precision will affect games on your home TV, especially in titles that don’t follow Nintendo’s art styles. That said, shaders could use 32-bit values, but then you are cutting your performance for those instructions in half, when you are already somewhat behind your competitors.

As for the loss of performance when undocked, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue if Nintendo pressures developers to hit 1080p when docked. If that’s the case, the lower resolution, 720p mobile screen will roughly scale with the difference in clock.

Lastly, there is a bunch of questions surrounding Nintendo’s choice of operating system: basically, all the questions. It’s being developed by Nintendo, but we have no idea what they forked it from. NVIDIA supports the Tegra SoC on both Android and Linux, it would be legal for Nintendo to fork either one, and Nintendo could have just asked for drivers even if NVIDIA didn’t already support the platform in question. Basically, anything is possible from the outside, and I haven’t seen any solid leaks from the inside.

The Nintendo Switch launches in March.

5G might be a hard cell

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | December 19, 2016 - 12:19 PM |
Tagged: 5G, cell phones, predictions

At least one expert is predicting that the roll out of 5G mobile service will either be delayed or poorly implemented.  Over at The Register Professor William Webb offers his insight as to why this will be.  He predicts that the physical upgrading or replacing of existing signal stations from 4G to 5G will be significantly more expensive than the upgrade to 4G was and that a hybrid option will result in an insignificant increase in network speeds.  He also suggests that total mobile data usage is starting to plateau and we may not even need this extra bandwidth.  That is a contentious claim, with mobile usage seemingly increasing thanks to more and more streaming apps and the ever expanding market of mobile users.  Any slowdown in total usage could instead be caused by pricing, many simply can't afford the overage charges incurred by heavy data usage but would gleefully slurp up more the moment their data caps increase.

_69624718_69624577.jpg

"THE 5G WIRELESS VISION is flawed because technological advances are insufficient to deliver it, users won't pay extra for the higher data rates and don't need the greater capacity it is expected to provide - and because mobile operators can't afford to implement it anyway."

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Source: The Inquirer