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9 Great Gifts That’ll Make Your Cat Hate You Less

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Caption: Imagine a Birchbox of treats for you cat, and you’ve got PurrPack. The monthly goodie box comes with gifts for you and your pet: toys, treats, and owner accessories can all show up on your front porch. $30 a month. purrpacks

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Caption: The GoCat Cat Dreams DVD ($13.50) is basically porno for cats: action shots of birds, mice, butterflies, and other enticing wildlife is shot from the cat’s point of view. A perfect gift for any cat-lover, but you also might need to buy them a DVD player because who has one of those? GoCat

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Caption: This is definitely a gift for the cat owner and not so much the cat. This inflatable horn ($6) turns a cat into a unicorn. Neosporin and Band-Aids sold separately. Archie McPhee

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Caption: The life of a cat is very stressful. There’s sleeping, eating, napping, window-sill sitting, lap-kneading, the list goes on. This wellness center ($25) is like a spa day for your kitty—massages, catnip, self-grooming brushes—the works. Catit

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Caption: Cats are strange creatures whose daily lives are a mystery to most of their owners. The Tagg GPS Pet Tracker ($60) will unveil where exactly it is your cat goes all day. Which, maybe, is really boring? Yep, looks like she slept under the car for nine hours straight. The device also doubles as a means to find your pet should they go missing. Tagg

Caption: Frolicat’s laser toy ($18) plays with your cat so you don’t have to. If the exhaustion of holding a laser pointer has you beat (that elbow angle though), this device will save you. Honestly, it’s probably more fun for your cat to have this machine as its playtime companion. The robot brain inside is smart enough to know not to hold the dot too high on the wall for three minutes straight. Frolicat

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Caption: The Shru ($79) is simultaneously smart and ridiculous—kind of like cats. The “intelligent cat companion” is a smart toy that acts like another animal, in case yours is a solo kitty without an playmates. The toy keeps your cat company and plays with it, responding to its particular movements and sounds. Shru

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Caption: If you have the time to order something from Japan, then Nyan Nyan Nouveau ($3.50) will probably make the cat lover in your life extremely happy. Or maybe a little depressed, who can say for sure? It’s a red wine for cats, so purr parents and their pets can drink together. Life just became a little less lonely (I think). Bitokenko

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Caption: Old Gibby hates to fly—and really, what cat doesn’t? Give him a cabin upgrade with Sleepypod’s Air pet carrier ($160). It meets the carry-on requirements of all the major airlines, so it fits under the seat in front of you. When the plane hits 10,000 feet, the front unzips so the furry boy can stretch out. There’s also an optional warming pad you can slot under the cushy bedding. Fits cats up to 18 pounds, so even a porkster like Gibby can cruise in first-class comfort. Sleepypod

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The Indigan Trail Roller Is Like a Classic Moped, Except It Actually Works

Caption: 1977 Mopeds

Caption: 1977 Mopeds

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Get Email Notifications on Your TV with Comcast and IFTTT

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Yo-Kai Watch Is Engineered to Be Your Kid’s Next Obsession

Caption: Nintendo

Caption: Nintendo

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Updated: 10 Best Chromebooks 2015: top Chromebooks reviewed

Chromebooks are budget laptops that are both odd and brilliant, low-impact and potent.

Running Google’s Chrome OS rather than Windows, they focus on what computing has been all about since the late ’90s, the web browser.

With low-impact processors and barely HD screens starting at 1366 x 768 resolution, most of these machines are also designed to last. Almost every Chromebook claims between 7 and 9 hours of battery life and comes within a few hours of that range, based on our testing. If you’re unclear what specs you should be on the lookout for when purchasing a Chromebook, we’ve developed a nifty little cheat sheet for you.

Prices will start to climb above the budget range, as is the case with the new Chromebook Pixel 2 ($999, £670, AU$1,320), a laptop whose specs put it in direct competition with the new MacBook, especially in the classroom, where Chromebooks are gaining significant market share. Despite the expanding Chromebook market, there should always be something within your spending limit.

At that point, it all comes down to size (and price), with Chromebooks available as small as 11.6 inches and as large as 14 inches. Always updated, here are our top-ranking Chromebook reviews…

best chromebook

The end all, be all of Chromebooks.

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with turbo boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3 | Screen: 12.85-inch 2,560 x 1,700 IPS touchscreen display | Storage: 32GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260; Bluetooth 4.0 LE | Camera: 720p HD wide angle camera with blue glass | Weight: 3.3 pounds Dimensions: 11.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches (W x D x H)

Outfitted with a Core i5 processor, USB 3.1 (and USB-C) ports, a high-resolution screen, and more RAM than it will ever need, the Chromebook pixel sets a high bar for Chrome OS machines for years to come.

Power and performance aside, the Pixel is one of the few Chromebooks that feels like it has itself completely figured out. The build quality of this machine is exquisite and the design has been engineered down to a science. What’s more, its vivid screen – plus the impeccable keyboard and trackpad – all help to round out the Pixel as one excellent, premium package.

It’s impossible not to get hung up on the Pixel’s high price. For the same amount of money, you could buy two or even three Chromebooks or a decent Windows laptop. So before you we suggest you consider all the much more affordable options out there before investing so much money into this machine.

Read the full review: Google Chromebook Pixel 2

best chromebook

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 dual-core processor | Graphics: Intel HD 5500 Graphics with shared memory | RAM: 4 GB, DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 15.6-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080) | Storage: 32GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi | Camera: 720p HD webcam |Weight: 4.85 pounds Dimensions: 1.0 x 15.1 x 10.1 inches (H x W x D)

If you’re considering the Acer Chromebook 15 C910 ($499.99, £249, AU$620) for your next laptop, then you’d better have big ideas. Compared to most other Chromebooks, the C910 has a bigger screen, bigger processing power and it comes with a bigger price tag.

It takes this series of laptops to two new places, as the first with a 15.6-inch screen and the first packing a fifth-generation Broadwell processor.

Specifically geared toward students and teachers – thanks to its rugged design and gorgeous visuals – the C910 is perfectly suitable for any consumer who doesn’t mind lugging around a few extra pounds and inches.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 15 C910

Best Chromebook

Dell’s updated Chromebook is a star in almost every regard

CPU: 2.6GHz dual-core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M N2840 | Graphics: Intel HD for Intel Celeron processors | RAM: 4GB RAM (DDR3L, 1,600Mhz) | Screen: 11.6-inch HD, 1366 x 768 touchscreen |Storage: 16GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0; 802.11ac (B/G/N), dual-band Wi-Fi | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.91 pounds Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.4 x 0.76 inches

Don’t let the understated aesthetics of the Dell Chromebook 11 (starting at $249, £170, AU$320) fool you. Dell packed in features that are typically reserved for more expensive business notebooks into its Chromebook 11 in an effort to create a durable product for the education market. In the Chromebook 11, you’ll find a 180-degree reinforced hinge, rugged design, sealed keyboard and trackpad, and a great typing experience inside a portable package. In addition to using the Chromebook for school, students will appreciate the loud stereo speakers for multimedia and entertainment. There’s a new version of this Chromebook available. We’ve given our first impressions, here.

Read the full review: Dell Chromebook 11 (2015)

Best Chromebook

A flipping premium Chromebook for almost nothing

CPU: 1.8GHz Rockchip 3288-C (quad-core, 1MB cache) | Graphics: ARM Mali T624 | RAM: 2GB LPDDR3 SDRAM | Screen: 10.1-inch, WXGA (1,280 x 800) IPS multi-touch display | Storage: 16GB eMMC | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 720p HD webcam | Weight: 1.96 pounds | Dimensions: 10.6 x 7.2 x 0.60 inches (W x D x H)

The Asus Chromebook Flip isn’t perfect, but it’s an excellent little piece of kit. And for $249 (about £160, AU$337), it’s so temptingly affordable that you might want to pick one up just to have a Chrome OS device on hand – even if you already own a MacBook or Windows laptop.

Aside from the alluring price tag, the Flip is one of the best built Chromebooks to pave the way forward for more convertibles. Touchscreen functionality feels a bit more thought out, with a screen that actually rotates for once.

All the while, the Flip meets all the core tenants of an excellent Chrome OS machine, including stellar battery life. If you’ve been ho hum on Chromebooks before, this is definitely one to … flip out about. (Sorry.)

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip

Best Chromebook

A versatile Chromebook experience for a reasonable price

CPU: 1.83 GHZ Intel Celeron Processor N2930 | Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2GB PC3-10600 DDR3L 1333 MHz | Screen: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) dsplay with 10-point multitouch | Storage: 16GB eMMC storage | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Bluetooth® 4.0, 802.11 a/c WiFi | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.86 lbs Dimensions: 11.6″ x 8.34″ x 0.70″

This is one of the “sexier” Chromebooks available, showcasing Lenovo’s eye for style. However, the best feature is the N20p’s 300-degree hinge, which lets you flip the N20p’s display backward all the way into stand mode (or ‘tent’ mode, whatever you prefer), which lends itself nicely to viewing movies or showing presentations.

The touchscreen controls also work in a pinch for recreational activities such as watching shows on HBOGo viewing or Pinteresting. Still there’s some difficulty when using it as a tablet, as Chrome isn’t entirely tailored to touch as a largely browser-based operating system.

It’s not very tuned for business use, but the Lenovo N20p offers great versatility for a leisure device. Plus with two USB ports (one 3.0), and HDMI port and an SD card reader, this Chromebook delivers a great bang for its buck.

Read the full review: Lenovo N20p Chromebook

Best Chromebook

A gorgeous 1080p screen makes this Chromebook a real contender

CPU: 2.16GHz Intel Celeron Processor N2840 (dual-core, 1MB Cache, up to 2.58GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 4 GB DDR3L | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1090 TruBrite TFT display | Storage: 16GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 72608, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD webcam | Weight: 2.95 pounds Dimensions: 12.6 x 8.4 x 0.76 inches (W x D x H)

More RAM than other Chromebooks

For $329 (about £205, AU$382), the Toshiba Chromebook 2 is a gorgeous and affordable laptop that doesn’t have many weaknesses. It comes with more RAM and a full HD 1080p screen, making it a step up from other models in this class, like theSamsung Chromebook 2 and Acer C720.

But potential buyers should note that the Toshiba Chromebook 2 moves the Chromebook category closer towards the territory of an affordable Windows 8.1 laptop. So you might be overpaying if you’re not purchasing this laptop specifically for the Google ecosystem.

That being said, the 1080p screen is a huge bonus and the laptop speakers made by Skullcandy are booming. Add it all up and the Toshiba Chromebook 2 might be an ideal streaming system for everything from YouTube and Google Play to Hulu Plus and Netflix.

Read the full review: Toshiba Chromebook 2

Best Chromebook

With incredible battery life, the Chromebook 13 is a winner

CPU: 2.1GHz Nvidia Tegra K1 CD570M-A1 (quad-core) | Graphics: Nvidia Keplar | RAM: 2GB DDR3 (1,333MHz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1.920 x 1.080 | Storage: 16GB SSD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 720p HD webcam | Weight: 3.31 pounds Dimensions: 12.9 x 9 x 0.71 inches (W x D x H)

Powered by Nvidia’s ARM Cortex A15-based Tegra K1, this Chromebook packs a lot of punch in a tiny frame. Users will love its 13.3-inch 1080p resolution screen, as well as its portability. At 3.31 pounds, the Acer Chromebook 13 is a relatively light laptop.

This Chromebook does have some minor issues: it doesn’t multitask very well and the laptop itself only comes in one color. But for the price ($279 about £165, AU$300), you’re likely to enjoy the simplicity and productivity, as you learn to overcome the design limitations.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook 13

Best Chromebook

A Chromebook that’s as cheap as it is excellent

CPU: 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 | Graphics: value | RAM: 2GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM |Screen: 11.6-inch diagonal HD LED-backlit IPS display (1366 x 768) | Storage: 16GB eMMC | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: 2×2 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: 720p webcam |Weight: 2.3 pounds Dimensions: 0.69 in (H) x 11.69 in(W) x 7.56 in

The HP Chromebook 11 (starting at $279, £179, AU$399) is smooth and usable. While Chrome OS is limited by definition, between us growing more comfortable in web apps and those apps growing in power – and Chrome OS maturing – we’re bumping into those limitations far less often.

This laptop is punchy enough to make the experience slick, cheap enough for anyone on a budget (or an impulse buy for the well-off), but something that still feels solid. It is a delight to own and use.

Apple and the other premium manufacturers should look at this little gem of a computer and applaud what has been achieved. The Chromebook 11 shows that it’s possible to create a product with a little bit of the magic and joy you get from an Apple laptop without charging four figures for it.

Read the full review: HP Chromebook 11

Best Chromebook

A good budget option at a cheap price

CPU: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i3-4005U Dual-core | Graphics: Intel HD 4400 DDR3 SDRAM Shared | RAM:4 GB DDR3L SDRAM | Screen: 11.6″ 1,366 X 768 | Storage: 32GB | Optical drive: none |Connectivity: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n Bluetooth 4.0 + HS | Camera: 720p webcam | Weight: 2.76 pounds Dimensions: 0.8 x 11.3. 8.0 inches (HxWxD)

In terms of power and endurance, you can’t argue with the Acer C720 Chromebook (starting at $199, £199, AU$399). When you just want to get on the web quickly to answer emails or look something up, the C720 is ideal. For parents, it’s also a perfect “homework machine,” as long as you can get a printer hooked up.

This is a true web appliance, a fine system for families. The Google account log-in gives each user a personalized interface, and just a few keystrokes completely wipe the system. That limits the risk substantially in sharing the system with others.

One key criterion we use in evaluating a device is whether we’d actually want to use it every day. Even taking this laptop’s flaws into account, it’s something we definitely would want to use, for the price. If you’re an educator and buying in bulk, try the Acer C740.

Read the full review: Acer C720

Best Chromebook

A colorful Chromebook that balances price and performance

CPU: 2.16 GHz Intel Bay Trail-M Dual Core Celeron N2830 Processor | Graphics: value | RAM: DDR3L 1600 MHz SDRAM, 2 GB, up to 4 GB | Screen: 13.3″ 16:9 HD (1366×768) | Storage: 32GB | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n Built-in Bluetooth V4.0 | Camera: HD Web Camera | Weight: 3.08 lbs Dimensions: 13.0 x 9.1 x 0.9 inch (WxDxH)

The Asus C300M ($249, £219) is a perfectly balanced device for coffee shop warriors, commuting accountants and peripatetic teachers. With more than nine hours of battery life, this 13.3-inch device will keep you going all day long.

It also performed admirably on all of our benchmarks, and it even features a solid set of ports for those of you needing multiple connections. Like most other Chromebooks, this laptop isn’t winning any innovation awards, but it is a good-looking, steady performer at an incredible price.

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook C300M

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Updated: Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, news and rumors

Update: A new rumor suggests we could see the Samsung Galaxy S7 as soon as January 2016.

Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge reinvigorated the flailing smartphone brand giving it a new lease of life with a fresh design and some brand new features.

Samsung is going to have to do a lot of work to be able to repeat the trick again, but there’s much more that can be improved upon in the new phone.

We don’t expect to see the new handset until early 2016 though – usually Samsung takes time out in early March to announce its flagships at MWC in Barcelona, so we expect it to be the same again this year.

However, rumors are already beginning to roll in for the new phone so here’s everything we’ve heard so far.

What is it? The next flagship phone from Samsung’s Galaxy S line.When is it out? We expect early in 2016, potentially MWC in late FebruaryWhat will it cost? Expect expensive – it’s bound to be one of the more costly phones to buy next year.Samsung Galaxy S7 concept

When it comes to the new Samsung Galaxy S7, we want to see Samsung departing from the usual design of a standard, blocky phone.

What we want now is something innovative, something that pushes the boundaries and takes into account all the awesome technology Samsung keeps promising.

So here’s how we think it should shake down – techradar’s Galaxy S7, complete with all the technology Samsung has talked about… and some of our own desires too.

The main difference is, again, the screen. If Samsung is going to make a success of the Gear VR, it needs a better screen, and leaping forward to 8K will make shoving the phone on your face a pin sharp experience.

The other big thing we’re hoping to finally see is the iris scanning technology that supersedes the fingerprint scanners we’re seeing everywhere. With dual hi-res scanning cameras on the front, with enhanced aperture, simply turning the phone screen on will prove who you are.

The edges of the super sharp screen are now properly pushed to the side of the phone, with the notifications now showing properly either side – the S6 Edge has the curves as decoration, but now they’re actually going to be used.

And bass-rich speakers on the top and bottom will utilise Samsung’s omni-sound technology to make the phone a true media marvel – no more backwards-facing tinny sound here.

Of course, TouchWiz still remains… but hey, there’s only so much we can hope for…

Samsung has recently been unveiling its Galaxy S flagships at MWC and releasing them shortly after, which in 2016 would mean a launch in late February or March. However an analyst at SK Securities reckons the Samsung Galaxy S7 could be unveiled as soon as January for an early February launch.

We’d take that with a grain of salt but it’s not the first time we’ve heard word of an early launch. A rumor from the South Korean website Newsis apparently cites insider sources who claim that Samsung started work on the Galaxy S7 about 2 to 3 months ahead of its usual schedule.

If this is true (and that’s a big if, as the sources of this rumor are unclear and unverified), it could just mean that Samsung is eager to start work on the S7 as soon as possible to give it a longer development period.

Samsung Galaxy S6

However some people are getting excited because it could mean that Samsung is gearing up to launch the Galaxy S7 early, we might see a second Galaxy S flagship handset in 2015. In fact December has already been mooted as a potential Samsung Galaxy S7 release date, while another source points to a more vague late 2015 date – although we reckon that’s highly unlikely.

Traditionally, Samsung usually releases one Galaxy S and one Galaxy Note flagship device a year, so it would be a big departure if it released the S7 in 2015. This rumor could just be a case of getting lost in translation, so we’d recommend caution when taking it at face value.

Given that Samsung has only just overhauled its flagship design for the Galaxy S6 we’re not expecting massive changes in the Samsung Galaxy S7.

One rumour has suggested it’s going to be much bigger than the Galaxy S6 with a 5.7-inch screen – we’re taking that with a big pinch of salt though as it sounds quite out there.

On top of that the Galaxy S7 may be built of a different type of metal. Sources claim the company is experimenting with magnesium based alloy that will make the phone stronger whilst keeping it light and allows the heat out when the processor is working hard.

A slim metal and glass build seems likely and whatever we get it’s likely to be premium, especially as there’s a rumor that the battery won’t be removable specifically because making it so would compromise the design.

Interestingly there’s talk that Samsung could offer the Galaxy S7 in two different sizes. One with a 5.2-inch screen and one with a 5.8-inch one and supposedly at least one of them will have a 4K display. Given there’s already the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ though we wouldn’t hold our breath for a phablet version of the S7.

Then again a benchmark believed to be for the Samsung Galaxy S7 claims it has a 5.7-inch display, so maybe it will be growing. It lists a 1440 x 2560 QHD one though rather than 4K.

Galaxy S6

Another rumor states that the Galaxy S7 may be coming with a curved screen. According to supply chain sources the phone will be launching with a flexible display after Samsung put in some big orders with Taiwanese manufacturers. It may end up being a separate version of the Galaxy S7 much like with the Galaxy S6 Edge, but it’s interesting all the same.

A new trademark filing suggests Samsung is working on its own new super-strong display technology called Turtle Glass. It’s set to replace Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 and we may see it launch on the Galaxy S7.

There’s even talk that Samsung will go further and deliver a foldable phone, but this seems incredibly unlikely. Even if the technology is in place (which is a big if) it’s doubtful that Samsung would risk something so new and untested on its flagship.

In recent years HTC has been a significant rival to Samsung, launching similarly impressive phones at around the same time, so we’d expect the HTC One M10 could be a Samsung Galaxy S7 rival. Very little is known about it yet but it’s sure to be stylish and likely to be very powerful.

Other than that there’s the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, which are likely to still be selling very well by early 2016, while the Sony Xperia Z6 or whatever Sony’s cooking up next could steal some attention away from Samsung too.

An AnTuTu benchmark shows a phone believed to be the Samsung Galaxy S7 as having a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing one. Those are the same camera specs as the Galaxy S6, but that has one of the best smartphone snappers around so that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Another AnTuTu benchmark has also leaked showing a duo-camera on the phone in a similar vein to the HTC One M8.

Galaxy S6

There’s no word on what size the battery will be yet but according to one rumor it won’t be removable as it’s apparently not possible to have a removable juice pack without compromising the design. Given that the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a sealed battery this doesn’t really come as any surprise.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 will almost certainly launch with Android Marshmallow. In fact snaps of supposed internal Samsung documents regarding its Android Marshmallow update have made their way onto social networking site Weibo, and appear to confirm the rumored Galaxy S7 codename ‘Jungfrau’ and a key spec of the upcoming flagship.

That spec is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, which is expected to launch later this year and is set to feature in some of the biggest phones of 2016. That Snapdragon 820 rumor has since been echoed by other sources and in a benchmark.

The fact the Snapdragon 820 chip is being linked to the Galaxy S7 is interesting, as Samsung ditched Qualcomm’s offering for the Galaxy S6, instead exclusively using its own Exynos processor. Samsung didn’t disclose the reasoning as to why it opted to do this, but the current top-tier Qualcomm chip – the Snapdragon 810 – has been plagued by reports of overheating and patchy performance.

Perhaps this is a sign of Qualcomm’s return to form in the chipset market, although it’s too early to confirm either way. However while Qualcomm has been touted as the maker of the Galaxy S7’s chip, other benchmark results have leaked onto the internet that claim to show Samsung’s next SoC, the Exynos M1, could potentially power the new Galaxy.

These benchmarks show the hardware used to make the Exynos M1, and it looks like it uses a series of custom ARM cores. Intriguingly the benchmarks also show that the Exynos M1 is much more powerful than the Snapdragon 820 in almost every aspect.

While we’d advise taking these benchmarks with a pinch of salt it would mean that the Samsung Galaxy S7 could be a more powerful handset if it again shuns Qualcomm’s hardware. Whatever processor we get we’re expecting to see 4GB of RAM, not least because the Galaxy S6 Edge+ has that already.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is bound to have a fingerprint scanner, just like the Galaxy S6. There’s also a rumor that Samsung will add a microSD card slot to next year’s phone, but internal storage may take a hit, with only 32GB and 64GB models currently rumored.

There’s no word yet on what the Samsung Galaxy S7 will cost but we can tell you right now that it will be very expensive. While a price cut would be nice we’d be surprised if Samsung launched it for any less than it initially charged for the Galaxy S6. If we had to guess we’d say it could start at up to around £600 / $650 / AU$1,100.

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Updated: 10 best 2-in-1 laptops 2015: top hybrid laptops reviewed

Hybrid laptops, or 2-in-1s, are devices that are able to serve as both a laptop and a tablet, either in a detachable design that sees the touchscreen doubling as a tablet, or a convertible approach in which the notebook’s hinge rotates 360 degrees for a similar effect.

Hybrid laptops are generally priced in a range between $700 (about £450, AU$800) and $2,000 (around £1,169, AU$2,131). However, some manufacturers, like Acer, make budget hybrids, and there are even 2-in-1s designed specifically for the business user, like the Dell Venue 7000 series.

Now that Microsoft has released Windows 10, expect an even greater selection of these devices to pop up, like the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700, which runs on the new operating system. And Apple even has its own worthy contender in the iPad Pro.

With that, here are the best 2-in-1 laptops that we’ve reviewed:

Best hybrid

CPU: 1.9GHz Intel Core i5-4300U (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4400 | RAM: 8GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 12-inch, 2160 x 1440 multi-touch (ClearType, 3:2 aspect ratio) | Storage: 256GB SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: Two 5MP webcams (1080p HD video) | Weight: 1.76 pounds Dimensions: 7.93 x 11.5 x 0.36 inches (W x D x H)

This is not only Microsoft’s most striking and versatile device to date, but the most convincing poster child for the hybrid category yet. And this ringing endorsement comes from a long-time skeptic of such devices.

This version of the tablet comes in cheaper than the most affordable iPad Air and 13-inch MacBook Air combined, even with the Type Cover, and that’s the point. On paper, this slate is more powerful than either Apple device, not to mention most other comparably priced laptops and tablets. The Surface Pro 3 might not be perfect, but it’s far and wide the brightest shining example of a potential tablet takeover. If you’re not concerned about a downgraded performance, consider the new Surface 3, which doesn’t provide as much kick as the Pro, but is lighter and a lot cheaper.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Best hybrid

CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3 (1600Mhz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD Radiance LED-backlit touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo | Camera: HP TrueVision Full HD WVA Webcam (front-facing) | Weight: 3.26 pounds | Dimensions: 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 inches (W x D x H)

Excellent performance and battery life

Buy the HP Spectre x360. It easily comes as one of my most recommended machines, with an excellent 1080p screen, solid performance, good battery life, and sturdy build quality; all for an excellent deal at $999 (£899, AU$1,899).

If it weren’t for a few missteps with the trackpad and being too hefty for tablet use, this laptop would have easily stood amongst the most highly rated laptops TechRadar has ever reviewed. Despite its flaws, though, the Spectre x360 is one of the best-looking and powerful devices HP has ever produced and well worth a look over many, many other 2-in-1 laptops.

Read the full review: HP Spectre x360

Best hybrid

A versatile hybrid ideal for those who work as hard as they play

CPU: Intel Core i5-5300U (2C, 2.30/2.90GHz, 3.0MB, 1600Mhz) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 1920×1080 | Storage: 180GB SSD OPAL2 | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless – AC 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: HD 720p | Weight: 3.48 pounds (1.5kg) Dimensions: 12..44″ x 8.70″ x 0.74″ (31 x 22 x 1.8 cm)

The Yoga 12 is a versatile bulldog of a device. You can use it as your work laptop. You can use it for play. It won’t be the best pick for either of these tasks, but it won’t stray too far from the upper tier either. At 3.4 pounds and 0.74 inches thick, it’s just light and slim enough to claim portability. With more than seven hours of video playback, its battery is good enough to get through a workday, and it’s affordably priced starting at just $845.

Packing a full HD display that can bend into four different modes, you’ll enjoy this device’s flexibility, even though it isn’t the lightest or sexiest device on the planet. With that being said, it performs on par or better than any of the devices on this list. If you need a larger screen, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 is also a great option.

Read the full review: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12

Best Hybrid

An attractive, versatile package

CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-5500 (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500 | RAM: 8GB DDR3L (1,600MHz) | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD IPS touchscreen | Storage: 256GB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 720p front-facing webcam; built-in dual digital microphones | Weight: 3.68 pounds (1.67kg) | Dimensions: 12.99 x 8.74 x 0.75 inches (W x D x H; 330 x 222 x 19mm)

This notebook features excellent build quality and overall system performance. It’s fast, it’s slick, and it is ideal for students who need to bang out papers and general users who want a fast, compact notebook to tote around.

Read the full review: Dell Inspiron 13 7000

Best Hybrid

Lenovo’s former-flagship Ultrabook is a real stunner

CPU: 1.6GHz Core i5 4200U | Graphics: Intel HD 4400 | RAM: 4GB of DDR3 | Screen: 3,200 x 1,800 IPS multi-touch display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: Intel Wireless-N 7260 Wi-Fi | Camera: 720P front-facing camera | Weight: 3.06 pounds Dimensions: 13 x 8.66 x 0.61 inches

Keyboard complicates tablet mode

With the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro (starting at $1,099, £999, AU$1,599), we can now confirm that 3,200 x 1,800 pixels is delicious indeed. On top of the winning Yoga form factor, we loved the solid performance, backlit keyboard, and the snappy SSD, creating mobile device-like response times.

At the $1,000 price point, you could put the Yoga 2 Pro in just about anyone’s hands and make them quite pleased.

For those of you who crave portability more than anything, Lenovo recently unveiled the new LaVie Z, which the company claims is the lightest convertible on the market. For those who want more power and don’t mind a little heft, you could also check out the Lenovo Yoga 3 2014.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

Best Hybrid

The laptop that will bend over backwards for you

CPU: 1.5 GHz Intel Core i7-3689Y | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 (integrated) | RAM: 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz SODIMM | Screen: 11.6″ HD LED Multitouch 1366×768 | Storage: 128GB DDR SSD | Optical drive: none | Connectivity: Lenovo 802.11 b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 1.0MP 720p HD integrated webcam | Weight: 3.10 lbs Dimensions: 11.73″ x 8.03″ x 0.67″

Tablet mode leaves keys exposed

Yes, another Lenovo hybrid! The 11.6-inch Lenovo Yoga 11S (starting at around $799, £599, AU$1,299) laptop is a flexible machine that can fold over from a typical laptop stance to a stand position, to a position with the keyboard behind the screen, ready for delivering presentations.

It comes with HDMI, SD card and USB ports, and boasts a surprisingly impressive Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for storage. The screen is sharp and bright, though not full HD, and works well with Windows 8. It’s also nicely light and small for portability. You can easily use the Yoga 11S as you would any other laptop, replete with a full QWERTY keyboard.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S

Best Hybrid

CPU: 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735F with Burst Technology 2.0? | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics? | RAM: 2GB DDR3 SDRAM ? | Screen: 8.9-inch, 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD, 16:10 aspect ratio, 10 points multi-touch screen? | Storage: 32GB eMMC Flash Memory? | Connectivity: Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n (up to 150 Mbps) | Camera: 5 MP Full HD rear camera with auto focus (back) and 2 MP Full HD web camera (front)? | Weight: Tablet 1.04 pounds (472g); Tablet with keyboard 2.16 pounds (978g)? | Dimensions: Tablet 9.25 x 0.385 x 6.34-inches (235 x 161 x 9.8mm) (W x D x H); Tablet with keyboard 9.25 x 6.72 x 0.78-inches (235 x 170.6 x 19.9mm)?

Toshiba has created an incredible value full HD laptop that doubles as a tablet. It’s perfect for frequent travelers, students taking notes in lectures, workers in meetings and people on a budget. This machine is well built and it runs smoothly and fast.

Read the full review: Toshiba Satellite Click Mini

Best Hybrid

Another excellent transforming tablet-laptop from Asus

CPU: 1.46GHz Intel® Bay Trail-T Quad Core Z3775 | Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 2 GB LPDDR3 | Screen: 11.-inch 16:9 IPS HD (1366 x 768) with multi-touch screen | Storage: 32GB eMMC With 500 GB HDD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: Integrated 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0 | Camera: Front 2 Mp and rear 5 MP | Weight: 1.71 pounds Dimensions: 12 x 7.6 x 0.47 inches (W x D x H)

If you are looking for a combination of Windows laptop and tablet, the Asus Transformer Book T200 is a very appealing option that offers a fair amount for only $539 (£349, or AU$690).

The T200 is quiet, light, well built and feels responsive during normal usage. Battery life is excellent, so you won’t find yourself hunting obsessively for charging points throughout the day. Its “smart” hard drive bay adds plenty of storage space alongside the speedy 32GB SSD, and despite having a disappointing resolution, the IPS display is at least vibrant with good viewing angles. Good connectivity in the form of USB 3.0 and RJ45 ports are welcome additions, with a reasonable pre-loaded software set finishing off the package nicely.

Read the full review: Asus Transformer Book T200

Best Hybrid

A powerful, small tablet that wants to play in the big leagues

CPU: Intel Core M-5Y71 vPro | Graphics: Intel Gen7 graphics | RAM: 8 GB | Screen: 10.8-inch FHD 1920 X 1080 IPS display | Storage: 128 GB SSD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: Intel 7265 dual-band 2X2 802.11 ac WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 2-megapixel webcam; 8-megapixel rear camera | Weight: 1.6 pounds (0.72kg) Dimensions: 11.01 x 6.95 x .42 inches (27.97 X 17.65 X 1.07 cm)

Modest battery gains over i5 model

At the $700 (£437 and AU$800) entry price, the Venue Pro 7000 offers a nice balance of performance and portability in a travel-friendly size. However, unless you find yourself accessing CPU and GPU taxing apps, you might find more value in an Atom-based convertible. Going with Atom will lower your cost and give you better battery life.

For those who need power and performance, the confines of a 10.8-inch display may be too rigid to maximize productivity. Opening more than a few tabs or windows on the small display will trigger claustrophobia. If you need to be more productive, there are bigger convertible options, like the Surface Pro 3, to choose from that may fit that need better. Or, if you prefer Android OS, and you don’t mind a little less kick, you can go with the Dell Venue 10 7000.

Read the full review: Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000

Best 2 in 1 laptops

This 2-in-1 laptop takes thinness to a new level

CPU: 1.2GHz Intel Core M 5Y71 processor (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 2.9GHz with turbo boost) | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300 | RAM: 8GB DDR3L (1600MHz) | Screen: 12.5-inch, 2,560 x 1,440 (WQHD) capacitive multi-touch IPS display | Storage: 128GB SSD | Optical drive: None | Connectivity: Intel Dual Band Wireless-N 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0 LE | Camera: 2MP 720p webcam | Weight: 3.14 pounds Dimensions: 12.5 x 7.5 x 0.65 inches (W x D x H)

Vibrant display made for media

The Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi is one of the first laptops to finally get the hybrid form factor right. Thanks to the use of a magnet latching system and Intel’s fanless Core M processor, Asus has been able to produce a lighter tablet-laptop hybrid that’s thin to boot.

The detachable Bluetooth keyboard also opens up a few alternative ways to use the device. Over the last few weeks, I propped up the screen while I used the keyboard as a remote for Netflix and stood the screen on its side, using it as a makeshift vertical screen. The best thing about all this is it’s entirely seamless, letting you easily switch between tablet and laptop modes with ease.

Read the full review: Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi

Joe Osborne and Kevin Lee contributed to this article

View the original article here

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When you can buy (or download) Apple’s fall releases

James Martin/CNET

Wednesday morning Apple used its event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco to introduce a whole slew of new products at once.

From new iPhones to an entirely new device for streaming television, the announcements were more expected than surprising.

Most confusingly, however, everything announced is available at different times. Below is when you can expect to get your hands on each pretty new thing Apple introduced, showed off or even barely mentioned today.

Beware though, some dates are just as broad and open-ended as you’d expect from Apple.

Right now iPad Mini 4; new Apple Watch bands and designs Sept. 12 iPhone 6S, 6S Plus preorders open Sept. 16 iOS 9 and Watch OS 2.0 available Sept. 25 iPhone 6S and 6S Plus available in stores October 5 new Apple Watch Hermès edition

Available right now are new Watch colors and new bands, including a new rose gold anodized aluminum Sport Watch.

Coming later this fall are several high-end stainless steel Hermès-branded Apple Watches in four colors (Fauve, Etain, Capucine, and Bleu Jean) and starting at $1,250, AU$1,700.

While we didn’t see complete refresh of the Apple Watch this fall, we do get an update to the software that powers these wearables, as well as a look at some new native apps. Watch OS 2.0 will be a free update for all Apple Watches.

Packed with plenty new features, iOS 9 is a free update for the iPhone 4S and newer; iPad Pro; iPad Air and Air 2; iPad 2; third- and fourth-generation iPad; iPad Mini and newer models; and fifth- and sixth-generation iPod Touch.

With new 3D Touch, Live Photos and a 12MP, 4K video-shooting camera, this iPhone may look very much the same, but it appears to be very, very different.

The phones are starting at $200, £540 on contract for the 16GB iPhone 6S and $300, £619 on contract for the 16GB iPhone 6S Plus. In Australia the full price of the phones begins at AU$1,079 for the 6S and $1,229 for the 6S Plus. For a full run-down on pricing, check out the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus first takes.

Apple’s also offering installment pricing if you want to make payments. Check out the rest of the UK pricing as well.

Shown very briefly during the display of 3D Touch (not Force), Apple let the cat out of the bag about the new operating system’s availability even before their online store was back up to confirm.

This will be a free update for anyone running OS X Yosemite on a Mac computer. For more details on what’s included, head over to CNET’s first look of El Capitan.

Finally, the long-rumored iPad Pro has arrived — along with the Apple Pencil. Yes, seriously.

The iPad Pro starts at $799, £520, AU$1,140 for the 32GB model; for all the details head over to the iPad Pro first take. Check out the rest of the UK pricing here.

While not talked about, the iPad Mini was also released today. Available immediately, pricing for the 16GB models begins at $399, £319, AU$569. You can see more UK pricing info here.

Introducing the new device, CEO Tim Cook said, “It starts with a vision and our vision for TV is simple.” It also has quite the personality, with Siri-integration running deep in this overhaul of the Apple TV.

The Apple TV 2015 edition starts at $149. For more pricing details, head over to CNET’s preview of the new streaming box.

Check out everything that was announced during the show in our roundup. And, you can see all of today’s Apple news right here on CNET.

View the original article here

iPhone 6S Plus in short supply due to production issues, says analyst

Are production issues stalling the iPhone 6S Plus? CNET

Consumers looking to buy the iPhone 6S Plus on its September 25 launch date may have trouble finding one.

At the launch event on September 9, Apple unveiled its next-generation iPhones — the iPhone 6S and the iPhones 6S Plus. Demand has been heavy for the new phones, especially the 6S Plus, according to Apple, leading to long wait times for those who’ve preordered. But another factor may limit availability of the new large-screened iPhone.

The iPhone 6S Plus’s backlight module, which supplies light to the screen, is allegedly suffering production issues, according to a Monday investors note from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, which was picked up by AppleInsider. Kuo apparently didn’t specify the exact nature of the problem but said the slowdown in production rests with Apple supplier Minebea, which has been manufacturing the backlight modules.

Assuming Kuo’s information is accurate, and the analyst is usually on the money, the production slowdown could put a dent in iPhones 6S Plus sales. Buyers who started preordering the new 5.5-inch-screened phone on Saturday are already facing ship times of up to four weeks, compared with a ship date of September 25 for the 4.7-inch-screened iPhone 6S. That delay could dissuade new buyers looking to preorder from opting for the 6S Plus, perhaps leading them to choose the 6S or picking a rival phone if they want a large display. Even further, supply of the iPhone 6S is expected to be limited on the September 25 launch date, again potentially pushing smartphone buyers to consider other options, both Apple and non-Apple.

Apple has reportedly moved more of the production of the module to another supplier called Radiant, with whom Apple has worked in the past to build the backlight modules for the iPad Mini. Kuo said he thinks Radiant may be “more skilled” at making the modules, AppleInsider said.

“We believe Minebea’s (JP) backlight module production issues in supplying iPhone 6S Plus (6S Plus) is one of the main factors in the model’s supply shortage,” Kuo said, according to MacRumors. “To tackle this issue, we believe Apple (US) has been increasingly transferring high-ASP 6S Plus backlight module orders to Radiant, boosting its sales momentum.”

Apple is expected to have somewhere between 1.5 million to 2 million iPhone 6s Plus units for sale on launch date, according to Kuo.

On Monday, Apple announced that preorders for the two phones were “very strong around the world,” and online demand for the 6S Plus was “exceptionally strong,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller. Based on the number of preorders, Muller added that Apple is “on pace” to surpass last year’s initial sales when it moved 10 million units of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus during their first weekend of availability (including more than 4 million preorders during the first 24 hours).

But this year’s launch weekend numbers are likely to get a boost from China, which was not part of last year’s initial launch. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in an investors note on Monday that China is likely to account for around 2 million in iPhone sales during the opening weekend. Overall, Munster predicts Apple will sell 12 million to 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus handsets the first weekend.

The new phones offer one major enhancement over their predecessors, namely the new 3D Touch, which allows the phone to respond differently based on how much pressure you apply. Otherwise, most of the changes entail improvements to the processor, body, camera and several other components.

Beyond China, New Zealand is the only other addition to the list of countries that will be first to get the new iPhones. The other regions are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK and the US.

View the original article here

How to use the Google Docs Research tool on Android

Google

Google just added a new Research tool to its Docs app on Android. The new tool will allow you to place quotes or images in your documents without leaving the app. This is very handy if you’re working on a longer research project, a party invitation, or a worksheet for students. Here’s how to use the new tool:

Tap on the menu (three dots) in the upper right hand corner and choose the Research option. You will see Google Search load within the Docs app.Google Docs Research tool pulling a quote on Android. Nicole Cozma/CNET Search the Web within the app for your subject. Web and Image results are divided by tabs along the top.For quotes, press and hold on text as you would when copying it in another app. For images just tap on the one you want to use.The Insert button will appear in the top right of the research pane to place the quote or image in your document.

Quotes and images will appear in your document at your cursor’s current location.

While this process is similar to copy and paste, it’s a bit more streamlined since you don’t have to leave the app to grab a quote or image. Perhaps Google could integrate this functionality with Google Books as one of the research tools in the future.

What do you think of the new research tool? What would you like to see added? Add your thoughts in the comments.

For more information on recent updates to Google Docs on the Web, check out Google courts classrooms with updates to Docs, spreadsheets by CNET’s Rich Nieva.

View the original article here

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