Samsung Gets Laptop That Converts to Tablet; Repositioned Sensors on iPhone 7 Mean New Cases

Samsung is getting in on the growing market for laptops that convert to a tablet, thanks to a bendy hinge. Lenovo has had success with their convertibles, and Mashable.com reports that now Samsung had dropped the Notebook 7 Spin in 13.3 and 15.6 screen sizes. They run Windows 10 with Intel’s Core i5 or i7 processors, and start at $800 for the 13 incher and a grand for the 15. The Notebook 7 Spins should be in Best Buy stores the 26th.

Besides moving the antenna bands, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus should be indistinguishable from the 6S models…that is, unless you are a case or screen protector maker. According to appleinsider.com, Apple has moved the ambient light and proximity sensors, on the front panel. Those, in addition to the larger camera openings needed will make present case models and screen protectors obsolete. I will probably go for the larger phone model anyway, but for those who aren’t…thanks a lot, Apple….you’ll have to buy new cases when you upgrade.

Advertisements

When Will That ‘Baby Tesla’ Be Available?

Elon Musk Tweeted yesterday that the Model 3, the smallest Tesla, will go into production in 2017. Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that pre-orders will start next March when the car is unveiled. It’s expected that the Model 3 will sell for around $35,000, nearly half the price of the current top line Model S, and have a 200 mile cruising range. Musk said the 2017 date is because demand for the cars will mean the giant battery producing factory will have to be up and running. It will come in both sedan and crossover suv models.

Intel has rolled out it’s new 6th generation core processor, Skylake. The advanced chip has 2-1/2 times better speed, 3 times the battery life, and 30 times the graphics power of an average 5 year old PC. According to businessinsider.com, it will enable cutting the weight and thickness of a PC in half, and for some laptops to go fanless…great news if you’re looking at a laptop, but a blow to the struggling tablet market. Expect the Skylake chips to start showing up in laptops late this year.


Nokia Is Going to Build An Aluminum Body Tablet

Nokia is jumping back into the tablet business. Slashdot.org says they’ll launch a one piece aluminum bodied tablet running Android Lollypop in China  on January 7th.

Legendary film company Kodak is going to roll out a smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show. According to engadget.com, the Android phone will be made for them by British firm Bullitt, who make the ruggedized Caterpiller phones.

LG and Mercedes-Benz are partnering to make a system to power self driving cars. Techcrunch.com says the system is based on LG’s Advanced Drive Assist Program. LG’s entertainment systems are also slated to go into Mercedes cars.


A Clip On Rival to GoogleGlass

Sony has unveiled a clip on unit that turns any eyewear into smart glasses like GoogleGlass. Thenextweb.com says the concept will go into production later next year, and be out in 2016…hopefully with a better name than “SmartEyeglass Attach!”

For Crackberry addicts pining for old school, Blackberry has rolled out the Classic. According to cnet.com, it’s based on the Bold, but with straighter rows on its physical keyboard.

Fujitsu has launched a pair of business oriented Windows 8.1 tablets. Zdnet.com says the Stylistic Q555 combines a tablet and a laptop…the Q335 is a straight tablet. They’re being positioned as semi-rugged under military specs, and both will be out early next year.


Amazon Tablets & E-Readers On Fire

Geekwire.com says Amazon Fire tablet sales tripled and e-reader sales almost quadrupled on Black Friday. Amazon was the #3 tablet seller last holiday season, but then fell off to 5th. No word on the hapless Fire phone’s sales.

Speaking of e-readers, gizmodo.com reports that 95% of US public libraries now carry e-books. This is according to a survey by Library journal, and it’s an increase from 89% that checked out e-books last year. Most carry a little over 20,000 e-titles.

Apple’s tablet sales have slowed up to now, and 9to5google.com says Google sold more Chromebooks to US schools third quarter than Apple sold them iPads. Chromebook’s $199 price is given as the primary reason.