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  • HP ProBook 5320m Battery

    Among the firms that have committed to adopting Surface Pro 4 are BNY Mellon, AstraZeneca, The Carlyle Group and USI Insurance Services. Educational institutes Brighton College International, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Central Lancashire have also pledged to buy a stack of tablets.

    "Of course these customers have different requirements and are choosing Surface Pro 4 for many different reasons," said Belikoff. "But for all of our business customers, the value of Surface Pro comes down to cost savings when removing the need for both a laptop and an iPad, ability to run full Office and desktop apps and the strongest security and management with Windows 10."

    06/10/2015: Microsoft officially unveiled the Surface Pro 4 at its 6 October launch event in New York, confirming the new hybrid device's release date as 26 October (pre-orders from 7 October).

    The 12.3-inch tablet is much thinner than its predecessor at 8.4mm, with the 267-ppi display using PixelGlass technology and supporting 1024 levels of pressure.The top-end version also sports a fairly impressive 16GB RAM and 1TB storage, with a 6th generation Core i7 Intel processor.At the event, Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro 4 is actually 30 per cent faster than the Surface Pro 3, and 50 per cent faster than its direct competitor - the MacBook Air.

    There's a new Surface Pen, too, which has been redesigned with an eraser and magnetic storage. It also has all-year battery life.With the pen comes a revamped Type Cover, which will be thinner and lighter as expected, with a larger precision glass trackpad and integrated backlit keyboard.

    The Type Cover also comes with fingerprint authentification for Windows Hello.04/09/2015: According to this report from Digitimes, Microsoft is planning to release the Surface Pro 4 in two screen sizes; a 12-inch and one that is 13- to 14-inches in display size. This would put the hybrid tablet in a better position to compete against the rumoured iPad Pro.

    According to a tweet from WinRumors website founder Tom Warren, the Surface Pro 4 will be unveiled on 4 October. In other tweets, Warren said the new device would be thinner and lighter than its predecessor, the Surface Pro 3.

    Surface Pro 4 release date & price
    The release date for the Surface Pro 4 has been confirmed as 26 October, with pre-orders starting from 7 October.

    It will retail for $899 in the US, which matches many predictions made ahead of the event.

    It has been widely assumed that the Surface Pro 4 would be priced in line with its predecessors, placing it at the high-end of the market and thus making it unlikely we would see anything resembling a price cut for the new version.

    Surface Pro 4 specs/features
    Thinner than the Surface Pro 3 at 8.4mm, the 12.3-inch tablet will have a 267-ppi display with PixelGlass technology - supporting 1024 levels of pressure.

    The top-end version of the tablet will come with 16GB RAM and 1TB storage, powered by a 6th generation Core i7 Intel processor.

    At its 6 October event, Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro 4 will be 30 per cent faster than the Surface Pro 3, and 50 per cent faster than direct competitor MacBook Air.

    A new Surface Pen and Type Cover were also unveiled, with an eraser and updated precision glass trackpad, respectively. The new Type Cover will also be thinner and lighter.

    It was rumoured ahead of the launch that Microsoft could have been planning a mini Surface Pro tablet, yet anything of the sort failed to materialise.

    Any mini version of the Surface Pro may have sported an Intel Atom 64-bit chip or a Core M processor. Intel said these Cherry Trail processors have twice the graphic performance of previous Atom chips. But the use of such processors could well mean this is more likely to come out as a Surface, rather than Surface Pro tablet.

    Another widely circulated rumour was that the Haswell dual core i5 and i7 processors could be replaced by Broadwell chips, giving the Surface Pro 4 30 per cent more battery life over the previous generation. It would have also meant the Surface Pro would have no need for fans to cool it down, making it much quieter than previous versions.

    The Lenovo Yoga 900 is arguably one of the best and most expensive 2-in-1 laptops ever made, and if it's just too rich for your blood, the pricing for the comparable Yoga 700 has just been announced.Starting at €899 or $799 (about £522, AU$1,126), the 14-inch Yoga 700 offers even more power than the Yoga 900. Filled to the gills with the best components, this convertible notebook can be equipped with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, an optional Nvidia GeForce 940M graphics chip plus up to 256GB of SSD storage space and 8GB of RAM.

    Yes, those intrepid techies over at iFixit have pulled apart Microsoft's latest tablet, and come up with a "repairability" score based on how easy it is to fix – and sadly, the Surface's performance is pretty woeful.Indeed, iFixit awarded the Surface Pro 4 a score of 2 out of 10, indicating some major problems, the main issue being the amount of glue employed inside the device.

    Adhesive is used to stick down many of the components, and even given the proper tools, getting some of these glued bits out is a battle and a half. Both the display and battery proved to be particularly troublesome in this respect – although despite still using non-standard connectors, at least the display proved slightly easier to prize out in comparison to the Surface Pro 3.

    The battery, on the other hand, is clamped down with "very strong adhesive" making removal not only difficult, but somewhat hazardous.The bright point in iFixit's write-up was that the SSD is easy to remove and replace.However, all this is unlikely to put anyone off the Surface Pro 4 given the sort of critical reception the tablet has been graced with – in our review, we concluded that this hybrid can replace your laptop without considerable compromise.

    The display has also been singled out for high praise in terms of its sharpness and colour accuracy, and at DisplayMate they called it one of the "very best and most accurate" tablet displays ever made.

    If bigger truly is better, Samsung has just taken the wraps off the best tablet we may have ever seen. Its name is the Galaxy View and this hefty goliath has a whopping 18.4-inch display. You read that correctly -- 18.4 inches from corner to corner of its widescreen display. It'll cost you $599 when it arrives on November 6 (UK and Australia availability and pricing are not yet confirmed, but that converts to £391 or around AU$830).

  • HP EliteBook 2740p

    So it’s back to the good old days of Windows and Apple Mac fighting it out for the business base – though with the critical difference that Microsoft is making its own hardware rather than relying on its PC OEMs. Just as one of the problems for Windows Phone was the conflict of interest between the Microsoft/Nokia alliance and the bid to create a broad device ecosystem, so Microsoft risks the same effect in the emerging market for tablet/notebook hybrids.

    That form factor, with its assorted variations from Intel Ultrabooks to Surface Pro tablets, will be vital to propel Windows 10 growth, but despite the latter-day success of the Surface family, Microsoft cannot dominate the post-PC territory all by itself. To fend off MacBooks, iPads, Chromebooks and Android devices, it needs to have a broad base of OEMs making innovative Windows 10 products. If it confines its Surface launches to a leadership role – demonstrating to OEMs, developers and users what can be done with W10, as Google does for Android with Nexus – that should be possible. But if it competes with its own partners, it risks driving them towards Linux.

    The Surface Book sports a 13.5-inch touchscreen which detaches to work as a standalone tablet. It claims up to 12 hours of battery life and comes in flexible configurations, with choices of memory (up to 16GB of RAM), hard drive size (up to a terabyte) and processor speed. The device runs on sixth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel HD graphics, and there is an optional Nvidia GeForce GPU. All that comes at a price - $1,499 for the entry level model, up to $2,699 for the top end.

    The Surface Book has a decent chance of becoming a successful device in its own right, and not purely as an accelerant for new W10 form factors – though that will be a double-edged sword for Microsoft, whose PC partners still have to pay for Windows licences for larger gadgets, and which have Chrome and Linux alternatives in their sights too, if they feel squeezed out of the post-PC segment. On the other hand, a successful Surface could help keep Windows relevant and in-demand, proving to the OEMs that there is still a good reason to stay loyal to the old platform.

    The new Lumia smartphones
    The situation is very different for the Lumia smartphones, which are not defending a dominant position, like Surface, but struggling with single-digit market share and no obvious role in life except to ensure that W10 options are available across all form factors.

    The first Lumia smartphones designed specifically for Windows 10 made their debut with all the genuinely strong attributes of former Nokia products - the innovative Windows Phone user interface, now the basis of the whole W10 experience: the top class imaging. But they launched without US carrier support and with the usual challenge of a far smaller apps base than Android or iOS.

    Since Nadella slashed into the former Nokia business and pulled smartphone activities back to fewer models and markets, the main focus is the enterprise space, and the idea that W10 smartphones can be companions to their more successful tablet and PC stablemates – an argument often used by Apple, of course, which believes that adoption of one of its devices nearly always leads to the uptake of others. It is a cornerstone of the W10 strategy – and another borrowing from Apple – that the new Microsoft OS should do the same, providing a sufficiently enticing user experience for customers to want it on all their screens, and offering the simplicity of a single set of apps and interfaces on each one.

    "These devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem," claimed Nadella in a statement, while devices chief Panos Panay went further, claiming that the W10 handset would be a natural extension of the huge in-stalled base for the operating system on other products.

    "Now, we want to put Windows in your pocket," he said. "110 million people using Windows 10 right now. If you haven't thought about these phones, wake up! Spend a minute, with the universal apps coming. 110 million users in eight weeks - the opportunity is unbelievable."

    Microsoft has been gradually moving towards a unified experience across all screens, building on the Universal Apps platform that first appeared in Windows 8. Facebook, Instagram and Uber were among those announcing Universal Apps which work in the same way across different W10 devices. Also, with a new Display Dock, users can connect a Lumia to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, turning the smartphone into a small desktop PC.

    Like Apple again, Microsoft has announced a flagship smartphone in two screen sizes. Both the 5.2-inch Lumia 950 and 5.7-inch Lumia 950 XL have 20-megapixel cameras with high level imaging functionality (a key Nokia strength), including 4K UHD video capture. The handsets run on Snapdragon 808 and 810 processor and cost $549 and $649 respectively. They are due to go on sale in November.

    While other Chromebooks scream "cheap," the Dell Chromebook 13 makes a great impression even before you turn it on. Its sturdy magnesium-alloy design and soft-touch carbon-fiber finish on the lid inspire business-notebook-class confidence. When you power it up, you're greeted by a full-HD display, and it will stay lit for a very long time, thanks to more than 13 hours of battery life. (No, that's not a typo.) With a starting price of $429, this Pentium-powered laptop is not cheap -- and other machines are slightly faster -- but based on our testing, the Chromebook 13 is a great buy.

    When opening the lid, you'll notice the webcam, two microphones and an activity light above the display, and Dell's logo is in silver beneath it. The magnesium-alloy deck has a nice feel to it, but I would have preferred the same soft-touch material found on the lid.

    On the underside of the Chromebook 13, you'll find its speakers just above the bottom left and right corners. There is also a battery-charging indicator light on the front edge of the notebook's base.
    Measuring 12.93 x 9.03 x 0.72 inches, Dell's Chromebook is thinner than the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)(12.6 x 8.4 x 0.76 inches) and the HP Pavilion x360 13t (12.89 x 8.8 x 0.89 inches), but it's thicker than the Acer Chromebook 13 (12.87 x 8.96 x 0.71 inches).

    A light 3.23 pounds, the Dell Chromebook 13 won't add much strain to your luggage. While the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2.97 pounds) is even lighter, both the HP x360 (3.77 pounds) and the Acer Chromebook 13 (3.31 pounds) are heavier.

    Keyboard and Touchpad
    Google Docs aficionados should be happy to hear that Dell has equipped this Chromebook with an excellent keyboard. I was able to type my way to 68 words per minute in the 10FastFingers typing test, with 100 percent accuracy, nearly tying my high score for words per minute.
    Dell gave this Chromebook 13 a nice, responsive touchpad that feels firm and reliable to click. Both the touchpad and the keys make very little noise when clicked. Multifinger gestures like scrolling worked very well on the touchpad.

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