It’s all heating up. One week after Apple’s big fall event, Microsoft held its big hardware event where it announced a bunch of new laptops, tablets and a new foldable Android smartphone. Amazon gave us a new Kindle. Nintendo announced a bunch of new games coming to Switch. And there was so much more.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon announced an all-new Kindle Paperwhite this week. Compared to the previous Paperwhite — which was three years old — the new model has a bigger display (jumping from 6″ to 6.8″) that also gets brighter and allows you to adjust its color temperature (just like the Kindle Oasis). It has a faster processor, significantly longer-lasting battery (up to 10 weeks on a single charge) and now charges via USB-C. Amazon also announced a “Signature Edition” of this new Paperwhite, which adds Qi-wireless charging, more storage (32GB vs 8GB) and a sensor that automatically adjusts display brightness — but it costs an extra $50.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio
The Surface Laptop Studio is a completely new device for Microsoft. It’s essentially a laptop version of the company’s all-in-one desktop, the Surface Studio, as its display folds flat — over the keyboard — making it a form-factor that’s easier for creators and illustrators to draw on. It packs Intel’s latest processor and can be configured with NVIDIA’s high-end graphics card.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio will be available on October 5.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 is the company’s newest “Pro” 2-in-1 laptop that comes decked out with a couple new-age upgrades, including Intel’s newest 11th-generation processor, an near edge-to-edge display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and USB-C charging with support for Thunderbolt 4. There’s also a new stylus, the Slim Pen 2, with haptic feedback, so it feels more like your writing/drawing (but it costs an extra $130).
The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 will be available on October 5 (the same release date as Windows 11).
Microsoft Surface Duo 2
The Surface Duo 2 is the second-generation version of the company’s folding phone with a hinge — and it’s quite the upgrade. Microsoft gave it larger and better displays (now with a 90Hz refresh rate). It added a slender display on the outside hinge of the Surface Duo 2, so that you can see things like time and notifications without opening the smartphone up. It also upgraded the rear-camera system so that it’s actually flagship quality; it has ultra-wide, wide and telephoto lenses.
The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is available for pre-order now and will hit stores on October 21.
HP Spectre x360 16 Laptop
HP announced its newest 2-in-1 laptop in its Spectre x360 line. The brand-new Spectre x360 16 is the first in the line with a 16-inch display. It’s also the first that you can configure with an OLED display, which will give you a more beautiful picture with far superior contrast. The new 16-inch model comes with a few more obvious upgrades, like Intel’s latest 11-generation chipsets, improved battery performance and a large port selection (including Thunderbolt 4).
Audeze is a California audio company that specializes in planar magnetic headphones. This week, it announced its newest pair flagship headphones, the LCD-5 (replacing the 2015-released LCD-4), which have a newly-designed driver, a new sloped leather earpads and improved carbon fibre headband. According to company, the LCD-5 set a new standard for accuracy when it comes to planar magnetic headphones. As you’d probably expect, this “new standard” comes with a true audiophile price tag.
Roku Streaming Stick 4K
Roku announced a new $50 streaming stick that replaces the company’s old Streaming Stick Plus. The big upgrade with the new Streaming Stick 4K is that it has a faster processor and now supports Dolby Vision HDR, which most new-age 4K TVs now also support. Like previous streaming dongles, the Streaming Stick 4K plugs directly into your TV’s HDMI port and works with the major smart home ecosystems (Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple’s HomeKit). It also comes with the Roku’s voice remote.
The Roku Streaming Stick 4K will be available in October.
Plugable Thunderbolt 4 Hub
Plugable announced a neat new hub for USB-C laptops. It adds a number of useful ports and is compatible with many of today’s most popular USB-C standards — most significantly being Thunderbolt 4. The big thing with Thunderbolt 4 is that allows for faster data transfer (up to 40Gpbs), 60-watts of power deliver and support for up to two 4K displays (both over USB-C).
The nicely named “TBT4-HUB3C” hub is available now and is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers.
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