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Want to run a full Linux desktop installation on your Chromebook without leaving ChromeOS? This change will give you access to both full operating systems running side by side so you can switch between them with keyboard shortcuts.

You can already use a “crostini” partition to run different Linux apps with ChromeOS. This method forces users to rely primarily on the command line without the added functionality that a full Linux desktop environment provides. So installing an entire Linux distribution — desktop and all — might be a better option for you.

A few years ago, I used a halfway house to run the KDE desktop on a Chromebook in a Crostini environment. However, that method was buggy. Earlier, I toyed with running GalliumOS from a USB drive to turn a Chromebook into a Linux box without removing ChromeOS.

Crostini, Google’s umbrella term for building Linux applications in ChromeOS, installs a command line version of the Linux OS for running Debian Linux apps on supported Chromebooks.

The built-in Crostini partition lets Chromebook users run Linux apps like Android apps in a virtual-machine-like sandbox running on top of ChromeOS.

An alternative approach involves using croutons. It provides the environment for a full Linux installation, desktop and all. Crouton is a set of scripts that automatically installs the components that make up the Chromium OS-centric chroot generator. The word “chroot” is geekspeak for “change root”.

learn lingo

In theory, Chromebook users should be able to use the chroot utility to install most Linux distributions. However, those Linux communities require someone to create scripts based on where each distro stores its files.

As of now, the chroot utility script available for Chromebook caters to Debian Linux and Ubuntu Linux distros. Installing Linux distros on some Arm-based Chromebooks may not work. Expect better results using a Chromebook running an Intel processor.

Crouton installs the current Ubuntu Xenial release and your choice of four desktops — LXDE, Unity, Xfce, or Gnome — depending on the commands you enter. See details in the Step Four section.

I installed the Xfce desktop and preferred its feature set and configuration options. Although I own several newer and more powerful Chromebooks, I did the installation on the Asus Chromebook Flip model C213S.

First released in July 2017, it runs Intel Celeron CPU N3350 on 4GB of RAM. The unit never bogged down under the stress of running ChromeOS with multiple open browser tabs, Android apps in separate windows, and multiple Linux apps under Crostini.

Set up the preliminaries

It’s safe and reliable to install a full Linux distribution on your Chromebook using the instructions below. It is completely reversible.

Before you begin, we recommend that you back up your existing Chromebook setup. You can restore it with a powerwash or a recovery USB stick. See Google’s help files for details on doing both procedures here.


But generally, all you need to do is go to the Settings menu and toggle off the Linux partition if something unexpected happens. This will remove all traces of the incorrect Linux installation, and there will still be intact ChromeOS waiting for you.

To start, make sure you’re running a current version of ChromeOS. To check the Chrome OS version or update a Chromebook’s operating system, go to Settings > About Chrome OS. Then make sure Linux Partitioning is turned on in the Advanced Settings menu.

Getting Ready for Crouton Alternatives

The built-in Crostini partition cannot handle the Linux desktop. It runs Linux commands through the Command Line Interface or CLI and launches installed Linux apps by clicking on their launcher icons.

Crouton, as in “Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment”, is beyond that limit. Basically, you have to replace Crostini with Croutons.

Don’t rush this process. Double- and triple-check that you’re following the directions exactly.

It’s unlikely that a misstep will harm the core operation of the Chromebook. But a mistake will generate an error message. If it does, redo the failed step until it works.

Be patient while the process progresses. It will take time to download and install the files. The internal hardware of the Chromebook and the speed of your Internet connection are factors.

Chromebook preparing system for developer mode

The installation should take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete, provided you get everything right.

Step 1: Set up Developer Mode

Close your Chromebook. Then turn it back on by pressing and holding the Esc, Refresh, and Power keys simultaneously. Release all three keys once the prompt for powering on appears on the screen.

When the Chromebook screen is fully displayed, it will show the recovery process screen instead of the ChromeOS screen. Select Advanced options and then select Developer mode. Or you can press Ctrl+D.

ChromeOS Alert: OS Verification is Off

Next, you may see a message asking you to verify the operating system. If so, press Enter.

Then use the arrow keys to scroll down to Advanced options and choose Developer Mode or just press the Ctrl and D keys. The Chromebook should now start in developer mode.

note 1: From this point forward, every time you turn on the Chromebook, it will load into the OS verification warning screen. There is no problem. Just wait 30 seconds for the device to automatically start in ChromeOS or press Ctrl+D to boot immediately.

note 2: You can disable a Chromebook’s developer mode state at any time. do this:

  • First of all, turn it off. Then press the power-on button or lift the clamshell lid from its closed position.
  • When the Chromebook boots up and displays the OS verification message, press the Space bar.

Your Chromebook will be factory reset and returned to its standard configuration. Very easy!

note 3: After reset, you will need to go through user setup for the first time. This is where the above mentioned backup files come in handy. If you had the desktop feature enabled in your previous configuration, you’ll need to reset those flags again to access the desktop. But all your Chrome browser tools and settings will be installed.

Step 2: Download Crouton

This part of the process is quick and straightforward. Download the Crouton file to build the Crouton environment. This will create a pure Linux environment on the Chromebook.

Follow this link to download the crouton files.

Be absolutely sure that you point this to your Chromebook’s Downloads folder and not your Google Drive storage.

Step 3: Completing the Installation

Shut down the Chromebook and restart it. Remember, the Chromebook just won’t load into the expected ChromeOS web browser screen. Instead, it will display the Developer Mode screen. Just press Ctrl+D keys. When the screen updates, press Ctrl + Alt + T to open the Chrome OS terminal and press Enter.

Krosh is welcome

Now type the word “shell” (without the quotes) and press Enter.

important: Be sure to enter the command exactly as shown. Omitting or adding spaces not indicated will result in error messages.

Next, enter or paste this command in Terminal to download the Crouton text file to automatically convert it to an executable file:

sudo install -dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton

Press Enter.

Krosh is welcome

You can encrypt the chroot partition with a passphrase for added security. Add -e to the end of the installation command before executing it.

Be aware, however, that this will require that you type in the encryption password you created each time you enter the chroot environment.

Step 4: Choose Your Desktop Pleasure

This is where you have to decide which desktop environment you want to run Ubuntu Xenial. The main command to enter in the terminal is:

sudo crouton -t XXXX

Press Enter. Or, if your Chromebook has a touchscreen, use the following instead:

sudo crouton -t touch, XXXX

Replace XXXX after -t with the desktop you want to install (all lowercase).

As the installation nears completion, you will need to set a password every time you want to enter the Linux distro.

install crosh

Don’t worry about the UNIX reference here. Simply create a password and repeat it at the next prompt.

Croton User Tips

Congratulations! You have successfully changed the configuration of your Chromebook to run a full Linux distribution and desktop. Familiarize yourself with these basic procedures to ensure a hassle-free Linux experience on your Chromebook.

I. To login to the Linux distribution, follow these steps:

  1. When you turn on the Chromebook, press Ctrl+D on the first screen (OS verification off).
  2. press Ctrl+Alt+T
  3. Type: shell and press Enter
  4. Type: sudo enter -chroot startXXXXX and press Enter

important: Do not use XXXXX. Instead, enter the name of the installed desktop in lowercase, with no space after the word “Start”. For example:

sudo enter -chroot startxfce4
sudo enter -chroot startgnome
sudo enter -chroot startlxde
sudo enter -chroot startunity

Linux running on the Asus Chromebook Flip model C213S

Second. Cycle between Chrome OS and Linux desktops without rebooting your Chromebook.

The keys involved differ slightly depending on the architecture of your device:

  • For arm-based machines, use Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Forward and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Back.
  • For Intel-based machines, use Ctrl+Alt+Back and Ctrl+Alt+Forward; Then Ctrl+Alt+Refresh. (I didn’t have to use the refresh shortcut on my Intel-powered Asus Chromebook.)

How to Remove a Crouton Installation

If you decide that having a full Linux installation on your Chromebook isn’t for you, you can easily remove it. One method was mentioned above, hitting the space bar when the OS verification screen appears. Here’s another option:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T to enter the ChromeOS shell. Then enter this command:

cd /usr/local/chroots

Press Enter. then type:

sudo delete-chroot *

Press Enter. then type:

rm -rf /usr /local/bin

Press Enter.

Chromebook restore options

If something goes wrong along the way, you can restore your Chromebook by retrieving backup files stored on Google Drive. But this method only works if you have already configured your device to automatically back up.


Enter recovery mode by pressing and holding the Esc + Refresh keys simultaneously. Then press the Power button and release it.

last note

Many variables can affect the way a Linux distro loads. These include the make and model of your Chromebook and interim updates to the Crouton installation files that interfere with these current directions.

If you’re unable to enter the chroot partition or load Ubuntu, search the Internet for help, as your Chromebook’s manufacturer or even Google’s support won’t be able to answer your questions.

GitHub is the starting point for researching a solution.


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New models of Mac mini desktops and MacBook Pro laptops with upgrades to Apple’s M2, M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, the company announced on Tuesday.

In addition, Apple introduced an entry-level Mini with an M2 processor priced at US$599, $499 for the education market.

“That was one of the more interesting parts of the announcement,” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City.

“It’s not often that you see Apple announce a low entry price point,” Rubin told TechNewsWorld.

“At $599, the price is designed to bring in new users, but even higher configurations can add up in price very quickly,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a research manager at IDC, an international market research company.

Those higher configurations with the M2 Pro chip start at $1,299, $1,199 for the education market.

Ubrani told TechNewsWorld that the muscle that the M2 Pro adds to the mini could potentially cannibalize the market for Apple’s premium desktop, the Mac Studio. “It’s not necessarily a bad thing,” he said.

“The mini may appeal to budding creators or consumers who have started to appreciate desktops a bit more, especially as desktops have seen a bit of an uptick during the pandemic,” he added.

More Video Editing Muscle

The M2 Mini features an eight-core CPU — four high-performance and four high-efficiency cores — and a 10-core GPU. According to Apple, with the new chip, the Mini is up to 50% faster than the previous model.

The maximum configuration for its integrated memory is 24GB with a bandwidth of 100GB per second.

Apple Mac mini M2 rear view of ports

The Mac mini M2 model has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and supports up to two displays. (Image credit: Apple)


With the M2, ProRes acceleration is added to the Mini, giving it some real punch for handling video. Apple says the M2 mini can handle tasks like video editing in Final Cut Pro up to twice as fast as previous hardware models as well as two streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps or 12 streams of 4K at 30 fps Can run till

Overall, Apple claims the M2 Mini is up to five times faster than the bestselling Windows desktop.

The M2 brings a 12-core CPU to the Pro Mini with eight high-performance and four high-efficiency cores and a GPU of up to 19 cores.

Back view of Apple Mac mini M2 Pro ports

The Mac mini M2 Pro model includes four Thunderbolt 4 ports and support for up to three displays. (Image credit: Apple)


The memory in the Pro model can be up to 32GB with a bandwidth of 200GB/s.

The M2 also gives the Pro Mini more video handling power, allowing it to play up to five streams of 8K ProRes 422 video at 30 fps or 23 streams of 4K video at 30 fps.

Apple said the M2 Pro Mini is up to 14 times faster than the fastest Intel-based Mini.

minimize mac studio

“The fact that Apple is allowing these chips in the existing Mac Mini is sobering,” said Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif.

“This makes the Mac mini a more formidable content creator solution than the much higher priced Mac Studio,” Vena told TechNewsWorld.


Rubin said that getting the more powerful chip in the Mini closes the gap between it and the Mac Studio.

“The Mini can do a more professional-level workflow,” he explained, “so it could be a match for people who want to mix and match peripherals but can’t justify the expense on a Mac Studio.”

“It also provides a way for people still on Intel Macs to move to Apple silicon and experience its advantages,” he added.

When he heard that Apple was refreshing the Mini, David McQueen, a research director at ABI Research, an international technology advisory firm, thought the move was designed to satisfy customers already invested in the Apple ecosystem. Will be done. “But performance improvements and price drops could entice new consumers to the product,” he told TechNewsWorld.

fostering leader’s leadership

The new MacBook Pro laptops will also introduce an M2 Pro model and an M2 Max version.

The Max chip has the same 12-core CPU as the M2 Pro but with an expanded GPU of up to 38 cores and a larger L2 cache.

The chip can also address more integrated memory – up to 96GB – at faster bandwidth – 400GB/s.

MacBook Pro prices range from $1,999 for the 14-inch model with the M2 Pro chip to $3,499 for the 16-inch model with the M2 Max chip.

MacBook Pro is available with M2 Pro and M2 Max processors

The new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros feature the M2 Pro and M2 Max, Apple’s next-generation Pro silicon. (Image credit: Apple)


“Adding the new M2 chips makes these new Macs powerful options and, in laptops, they get longer battery life and additional graphics speed,” Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, a technology advisory firm in San Jose, California, told TechNewsWorld. told. ,

Ubrani said the new chips will advance Apple’s position in the market.

“Apple’s previous generation MacBooks were already ahead of many other laptops on the market because they offered productivity and battery life that very few devices could compete with,” he said.

“The new generation is likely to widen Apple’s lead in this perspective, and it puts pressure on Windows PC makers and silicon makers to step up their game,” he said.

ready for prime time

However, those competitors have upped their game, and this announcement, which seems out of sync with the usual Apple calendar, may be a sign that the company is looking over its shoulder with some concern.

“At CES, we saw a number of announcements by Intel and AMD about laptops claiming they were catching up to Apple,” Rubin said. “With this announcement, Apple is answering those processor introductions at CES.”

“It will be interesting to see how these M2 chips compete against the likes of AMD’s new Ryzen offering, which could offer comparable – or even better – performance in terms of battery life and processing speed in the Windows space. “

M2 Pro Photoshop image processing and Xcode code processing compared to M1 Pro and Intel Core i9 chips

image credit: apple


However, Bajarin insisted that the new chips were too cool to keep under wraps until the end of the year.

“The M2 chips are such an improvement over the M1s that Apple wanted to get them to market as quickly as possible,” he said. “That’s why the launch is earlier in the year than usual. The new M2s were ready for prime time.”

Releasing new products when the PC market is in one of the worst declines in its history might make some computer makers pause, but that’s not the case with Apple.

“Apple positions itself differently from its PC competitors,” said Mikako Kitagawa, director and analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory firm based in Stamford, Conn.

“Despite the challenging environment, the market is determined to be conquered,” he told TechNewsWorld. “That’s the message behind the new product release today.”

Often, most of the interesting play at CES is done by firms that aren’t directly participating in the show. That rang true again this year when Lenovo and Nvidia broke away from their peers by aggressively moving in different directions and demonstrating a depth of products largely unmatched in their segments.

Let’s talk about how these two vendors differentiated themselves from their peers at CES last week, and we’ll close with our product of the week, a new monitor from Acer that’s suddenly on top of the products I already own. I am craving this year.

pc oem

Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all came to play at CES this year, and each had some attention-grabbing prototypes on display. However, Lenovo had some of the most interesting products to hit the market, and several caught my eye as potential game-changers.

I’ll break these down by manufacturer.

acer

What was a really interesting look from Acer was its Spatial Labs TrueGame technology, which was designed to provide realistic 3D upscaling for games typically played in 2D. I tried a similar technique from Nvidia about two decades ago. While depth of field was interesting, the objects in the game remained 2D, so it was like walking through a movie set where nothing had depth, and everything was a false front.

What Acer showed was full 3D rendering where objects were 3D, as well, giving games a depth you don’t see today.

Acer also teased an Orion X desktop that looked like it could be revolutionary (they didn’t provide any details) and two large-screen laptops (16″ and 18″) with 13th-generation Intel processors and AmLED displays. With running on 240-. Hz refresh rate, potentially making them impressive gaming and productivity laptops.

Ditch

Dell’s most interesting product was also a prototype, but in this case, a prototype controller that could be used on planes to play PC games on your laptop. This has been a long term annoyance for me as I fly a lot, and I love the game as it makes hours go by like minutes, which is ideal for long trips if the tray table is big enough for a mouse, which it usually isn’t.

I’ve long felt that a game controller designed for PC games would fix this problem, but no one did. Luckily, Dell is looking to make one. Assuming the project gets the green light, it could significantly transform in-flight gaming.

The other thing Dell showed off was the Concept Luna, a significant evolution for its durable laptop. This breakthrough made it possible for a remotely located robot to reconfigure the Concept Luna device, such as in the middle of a Best Buy. Think of a giant robotic vending machine where you insert your laptop and credit card and watch as your device is optimized and upgraded with the latest graphics, processor, battery, case or screen.

This innovation will allow for indefinite upgrades of the laptop, keeping it out of landfill and ensuring that it is uniquely yours and always up-to-date, potentially avoiding premature obsolescence.

Himachal Pradesh

HP has been preloading Nvidia’s GeForce Now gaming platform on its consumer notebooks for some time (I’m noting this because I didn’t know HP was doing this), allowing laptops without discrete GPUs to run high-end games in the cloud. And allows to play PC games.

The company demonstrated prototype 3D-printed keyboard caps, which didn’t make much sense to me as the resulting keys would be awkward to use. Still, it held the promise of a possible future where this same technology could provide custom cases, laptop enhancements, and accessories limited only by your imagination.

HP also demonstrated the most aggressive use of recycled materials in its PCs and continues to lead the segment with active recycling and use of recycled materials.

It’s interesting to note that Dell’s and HP’s sustainability approaches will be interdependent and that both efforts would benefit from deeper collaboration between the two vendors. For example, HP can manufacture 3D-printed parts that Dell’s Concept Luna customization robot will use.

In the future, I expect HP’s true power to emerge once it figures out how to better integrate its 3D printing solutions that now include metal with its PC offerings. This is the first time I have seen that trend materialize.

Lenovo

Lenovo leaves me speechless with a number of products. While the most interesting showcases of its peers were prototypes where final products were not announced or may never materialize, Lenovo came into play with products that will be present in 2023.

The initial product that came across as potentially revolutionary was a laptop with twin screens. Unlike previous offerings that placed the second screen next to the first or a smaller screen next to the keyboard, this one placed the screens one on top of the other.

This design makes a lot of sense because when you’re on a plane with a laptop, you have limited width but very little limited height. By stacking the second screen on top of the first, you raise it to the perfect height for watching movies or playing games on an airplane.

Lenovo is the only PC OEM other than Apple that has a smartphone business, and it just announced a ThinkPad smartphone called the ThinkPhone that solves a problem in the industry since BlackBerry exited the phone business: Like the iPhone, the business A phone with better security, more durability and a more business-oriented appearance.

ThinkPad is as powerful a brand in the business space as Apple is in the consumer space, and I’ve been monitoring requests for phones like this from everyone from banks to governments. This year, Lenovo stepped out with a game-changer.

Finally, Lenovo announces an Android tablet. While we haven’t seen one of these in a while, Android is better positioned against iOS than Windows or Chrome OS, and the result is far more iPad-like.

chip seller

AMD and Intel stayed close to their knitting, showcasing the latest advances in CPUs and graphics. Both firms have made solid progress but are so focused on each other that they’re missing the bigger picture, which Nvidia highlighted again with its keynote on Tuesday before the show.

nvidia shine

Nvidia almost seems to be in a different class in that it demonstrated growing cradle-to-grave potential for anything built in the factories of the future that use AI.

For autonomous electric cars, Nvidia is involved in the conceptualization of vehicles, the design of factories, the design and programming of assembly robots, both the operation and entertainment components of the cars – and their ever more capable embedded brains.

In fact, and somewhat ironically, the firm is more involved in the future of the automotive market than the PC market.

Another tempting announcement was the licensing of their GeForce Now gaming platform by car makers like Polestar, who will be building it into future cars (back seat or parked only), though I wonder if anyone knows of a workaround and some How long will it take before Idiot Driver kills himself gaming instead of driving). Undoubtedly, this approach will become much safer once cars can drive themselves.

Nvidia demonstrated the gaming capabilities with its new graphics cards. What I found even more interesting, however, is how much of its GPU technology is now focused on making us better on Zoom calls, allowing us to use AI to draw like an artist, write like a seasoned writer, or virtually Can do to make the world. Tomorrow.

building the future

Nvidia has evolved from a GPU vendor to a solutions vendor. Next-generation car companies such as Foxconn (the firm that also makes most Apple products) are using Nvidia to break into the electric car market and outdo existing vendors who haven’t been aggressive with this technology.

The company’s work with Omniverse and Avatars promises to remake the TV and film industries, and its advances in robotic design, training and management will revolutionize manufacturing and automation.

In short, while its peers are building parts that fulfill others’ visions, Nvidia is increasingly building parts for the future that its CEO Jensen Huang is envisioning, potentially the company’s making it an ever more important part of our future.

wrapping up

The initial and most pre-CES announcements were huge, and as I write this, CES hasn’t even officially started. Next week I’ll be covering some of the more interesting products coming out of the show, like amazing automotive prototypes, flying cars, ever more intelligent devices, personal robots and robotic pets, 8K TVs, rollable displays, and a few things I can’t wait to see. Didn’t do it.

Until then, Lenovo and Nvidia set the bar as both companies really stepped up and got people thinking about them differently this year.

tech product of the week

Acer Predator X45 OLED Gaming Monitor

For me, monitors can never be big enough or sharp enough. My current primary display is a 49″ monster from Dell designed for stock traders. It’s awesome, but it’s not meant for gaming and lacks the resolution and color range of a gaming monitor.

The Acer Predator X45 is a 45″ curved OLED gaming monitor with .01ms response time, up to 1000 nits of brightness, which makes it effectively viewable outdoor, and an amazing 1,500,000:1 contrast ratio – the advantage of OLED.

Acer Predator X45 is a 45" Curved OLED Gaming Monitor

The Predator X45 sports a 45″ curved Ultra Wide Quad High Definition (3440×1440) OLED display. Image credit: Acer


Typically, OLEDs are not used for gaming but for creators or for simply enjoying entertainment, which means games often lack the brilliant colors that OLED can provide.

It will display 1,078 colors and has a 240Hz refresh rate, which is all lust-worthy. You can also mount it on the wall and it has two 5W speakers. Price has not been announced yet. I doubt it’ll be cheap, but if you want a monitor that will knock your socks off, the Acer Predator OLED X45 Gaming Monitor is worth your lust, so it’s my product of the week.

If you want a different approach to how you approach your online work productivity and gaming in 2023, InnoView makes your upgrade options easy with its recently released 27″ desktop monitor.

InnoView’s new desktop display adds to a range of portable monitors, such as the InnoView 15.6″ 4K HDR Touchscreen Portable Monitor we reviewed last spring.

This 27″ full desktop option offers an FHD 1080p gaming display with an ultra-thin screen that is HDMI and VESA capable, has a refresh rate of up to 100Hz, and a contrast ratio of 4,000:1. It also comes with an adjustable tilt stand and built-in speaker.

InnoView 27-Inch VESA and Base

The InnoView can mount or attach to a 27″ VESA mount on the included base. , Image credit: Inovue


The INVPM701/27” FHD/1080P is available from the InnoView Store on Amazon for US$159.99. There is also a 24” version available on Amazon for $119.99. The models have similar characteristics.

inner workings

This large screen features an advanced, ergonomic design and ultra-wide viewing angles that deliver crisp, clear, detailed images from any angle. Its black metal body, sturdy slim metal stand and ultra-thin frame are simple and elegant.

You can adjust the vertical screen angle from -5° to +20°, which reduces the strain on the shoulders and neck during long screen time for work or play.

The maximum display resolution of 1920 x 1080 combined with the 4,000:1 contrast ratio makes the screen content crisp.

Users will find that the 100Hz refresh rate is an asset for playing games and viewing videos and other graphic images. Picture changes are sharp and smooth due to the graphics card and monitor refresh rate being synchronized to eliminate stuttering.

InnoView 27-inch vertical angle from -5° to +20°

The vertical angle of the InnoView 27″ screen adjusts from -5° to +20° Image credit: InnoView


The result is smooth stitched video and real-time motion in fast-paced action scenes. The monitor’s response speed is 8ms, which contributes to the elimination of blurriness, tearing, and ghosting. Its low blue light and HDR technology help relieve eye fatigue over long periods of use.

What I generally consider borderline weak is a desktop monitor’s brightness rating of 250 cm2 (equivalent to 250 nits). However, its very high contrast ratio makes a big difference in improving the overall display.

Coverage of 99% of the sRGB color gamut is well within acceptable standard norms. 8-bit grayscale for over 16.7 million colors on the 27″ monitor delivers vivid detail and superior image quality.

exterior design

This desktop monitor has a matte finish and a black display screen, and works with most common graphics cards.

An HDMI cable is included in the box, but if you use a VGA cable to connect your current monitor, you can use it with this display. Though for a standard setup, HDMI is the way to go.

On the back of the panel are a VGA port and an HDMI port for connecting to PCs, laptops, Chromebooks, game consoles, and other devices. This monitor also has an audio-out port for connecting headphones.

InnoView INVPM701/27

InnoView INVPM701/27″ Rear Port | Image credit: Inovue


Its On-Screen Display (OSD) menu provides access to various use cases. You can switch settings for screen sharing, image or video editing, watching movies, and games.

poor sound quality

My only disappointment is the monitor’s speakers.

To test the video quality, I first connected the monitor using my existing VGA cable. Obviously, the two tiny internal speakers on the 27″ monitor didn’t work at that point because VGA doesn’t carry audio signals.

To test the sound, I connected an HDMI cable to the HDMI port. Still, the results were less than satisfactory. Even after maxing out the onboard volume setting, the output sounded tinny and flat.

I switched the audio output to the laptop’s internal speakers, which resulted in much better sound quality. But neither compared to the deep, rich sounds produced by external speakers connected to my docking station.

If the monitor’s speakers are the only option, gamers and users needing loud and clear audio for video calls or audio playback will be sorely disappointed.

final thoughts

This 27″ monitor is impressive and well worth the purchase price, and its large display improves my normal computing routine.

My primary desktop is connected to a 24″ monitor. My laptop is connected to another 24″ monitor and several peripherals via the docking station. This combination lets me use the laptop’s 15-1/2″ screen as a second monitor, which comes in handy when I need to work with Windows that displays data I’d otherwise need on the larger monitor. Viewing is required when working with open windows.

The 27″ display makes it very easy to display more and larger windows on an external screen. The extra screen real estate provides better productivity and may eliminate the need for smaller laptop screens.

InnoView 27 Inch Monitor

photo by author


My desktop has a touchscreen, but I rarely reach across the desk to touch it. So, I don’t miss having a touchscreen with this InnoView desktop monitor.

One annoyance, however, is the tiny, hard-to-find OSD buttons under the bottom bezel. The plastic buttons at the top are hard to find when my fingers slide around to find them.

Overall, the 27″ desktop monitor from InnoView is the nearly perfect way to increase productivity with a larger monitor. The big picture delivers a more enjoyable computing experience at an affordable price.


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Every year I look back at my Product of the Week choices and choose what I feel has made the most significant impact on my life as Product of the Year. There were too many contenders this year that I’ll cover, but I want to lead with why I’m calling out BlackBerry.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I’m a big fan of companies doing things right. For example:

  • Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program at the start of the pandemic proved incredibly useful for getting governments and schools to function while we were all locked down in our homes;
  • IBM’s focus on AI ethics may save us from building hostile AI;
  • Nvidia’s work to create world-class simulations to address global warming;
  • HP’s leadership in capturing and reusing ocean plastics; And
  • Dell’s aggressive examples of dismantling misogyny have caught my interest in the past.

But I was really struck by what was happening in Ukraine this year and I felt that we were not doing enough to deal with the terrible conditions in that country. BlackBerry showed massive resources for the Ukraine war effort and was able to effectively battle-train its security (Silence) and employee security applications (ethoc) which are now far more capable of keeping us safe.

Since much of 2022 has been about fear and vulnerability, choosing the product or company that does the most to reduce that fear across the country is a great way to persuade others to step up and help. Seems to be the best course of action.

While I usually point to Cisco as the gold standard for helping with that state security level, for 2022, BlackBerry’s extreme effort to help Ukraine stood out to me, so this is my pick for the product. like.

More on Blackberry later. Let’s look at the other contenders first.

laptop

Three laptops have stood out to me this year:

Alienware M17 R5 Gaming Laptop

If I were more of a gamer than I am, the Alienware M17 R5 would be the easy choice to lead the range, especially once I’ve got the proper drivers loaded and battery life down to something reasonable. When I first fired it up, I got two hours, but after a driver fix, that increased to six. The notebook is good looking, and if I were into first-person shooters where performance really shines, it would rank higher.

Alienware M17 R5 Gaming Laptop Angled Left View

Alienware M17 R5 Gaming Laptop | Image credit: Dell


ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 Laptop

The second was the ThinkBook Plus Gen 3. Again, battery life wasn’t great, but using dual screens and just the wow factor of this notebook make it more than ideal for those of us working primarily at home but don’t want to be locked out. Huh. With a desktop computer in the same room all day.

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus Gen3 17-inch Laptop

ThinkBook Plus Gen 3 17 Inch Laptop | Image credit: Lenovo


The dual screens on this ThinkBook also allow users to do two different things at the same time, such as participating in a Zoom meeting while being power-leveled or watching a video – it’s not always Do it yourself

HP Elite Folio 2-in-1 Notebook PC

The HP EliteBook Folio came out in 2021, but it’s still my favorite laptop. HP came out with a Dragonfly version this year that was Intel- and not Qualcomm-based, but that cut battery life by almost half. HP removed the leather bottom, making the product less comfortable to carry. So, while I would still rank the Folio first for 2022, the fact is that I think the 2021 version is still better suited to the way I work because, sometimes, companies make changes that affect the quality of the product. Not ideal for

hp elitebook folio

HP EliteBook Folio | Image credits: HP


The Snapdragon version of the product doesn’t perform as well as the Intel version, but for how I work — mostly writing, browsing the web, and watching videos while traveling — battery life, weight, and comfort are king. I’ve gone three days on a trip without needing a power supply for this notebook, which is unusual in a good way. Hence, last year’s HP EliteBook Folio was the best used laptop in 2022.

home tech

I have used ChilliSlip products ever since they first came out with ChilliPad. If there’s one solution that ensures I get a good night’s sleep, it’s the ChilliSleep Dock Pro by SleepMe. This product uses water to heat and cool your bed, just like race car drivers and astronauts use it to cool their suits. Whether it’s a hot or cold night, I’m like Goldilocks in the last bed: Perfect.

Chillisleep Dock Pro Large Bed Cooling System

ChilliSleep Dock Pro Control Unit | Image credits: Sleepme


This year SleepMe released a sleep tracker that I haven’t checked out yet that comes with a subscription so that the heat of the bed adjusts appropriately to optimize things like REM sleep. The only recurring problem is that I can’t take this thing with me when I travel. Hotels seriously need something like this because I am always too hot or cold when I sleep in a hotel. Put this product in the “can’t live without” category.

electric vehicles

I haven’t driven these in competition before, but I do drive a 2019 electric Jaguar I-Pace myself. Just before writing this column, I learned about the most terrifying electric car drag race ever. It was between a Lucid Air Sapphire, Tesla Plaid, and a Bugatti Chiron, which cost around $4 million. Oh, they also raced the Lucid against hot-rodded Ducatis (usually because of their high power-to-weight ratio, motorcycles usually dusting cars in these kinds of races).

So far, when it comes to straight-line drag races, Tesla is a winner against almost anything other than Bugatti. Here’s a plaid beating out a track-only dragster:

The Bugatti isn’t that fast, at least not until the quarter mile (top speed is a very different story, but none of us are driving at 250 mph until we’re driving our $4 million car). Do not want to forfeit for life). Long story short, in the race, the Lucid overtook the Bugatti, which beat the Tesla, gaping it, I mean by car lengths – even though the Bugatti has a lot more power.

The reason that electrics can generate a ton more traction is because traction control works better with electrics than with gas cars – and if you can’t put down the power, it doesn’t matter if you have it. how much is Thus, the Lucid Air Sapphire would be my pick for the best electric car in 2022. Plus, the thought of bashing a Bugatti into the lights with a family car brings a huge grin to my face.

processor

The most powerful CPU remains the AMD Threadripper, and the most powerful GPU is Nvidia’s 4090 RTX card. Put those two in the same system and you’ll make your friends drool and your power meter spin like a top.

AMD took the lead in top-end workstations thanks to Threadripper, and I’ve seen people get boosted by their friends for using Intel processors for the first time this year, which is a huge win for AMD.

On graphics, Nvidia’s 4090 RTX is simply a beast which begs the question: why doesn’t AMD make a GPU like Threadripper to match it? Maybe next year, but while Intel is still there as the standard CPU for business, AMD has surpassed Intel in performance.

I’ll be doing a head-to-head on AMD, Nvidia, and Intel GPUs over the holidays, but when it comes to ultimate performance, AMD on CPUs and Nvidia on GPUs lead the pack in 2022.

smartphones

So far, no one has come up with a phone that I like better than the Microsoft Surface Duo 2. a purple iPhone), more people walk in and ask about my phone by a factor of about eight to one.

The thing is, I’m a reader, and I use my phone to read books when I’m waiting in line, when I’m stuck in traffic, and when I’m waiting at a light. am (not when the car is running).

This phone has become something I never take off because I get bored easily. But if I can crack open a book, the wait time goes by in a flash, and I enjoy the extra attention the phone brings me.

So, for how I use the phone, the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 phone ranks highest. It feels and acts just like a book, compared to other foldable phones I’ve tried — and I must admit that having something more distinctive than your typical smartphone is more important to me.

BlackBerry is the 2022 Tech Company of the Year

blackberry logo

The reason I’m spotlighting BlackBerry, rather than individual products like Cylance and AtHoc, is because it was the company that partnered with several companies to protect the people of Ukraine by deploying thousands of experts to defend Ukraine against the Russian invasion. had stepped in to help in the fight. Its main mission.

The result is that Ukraine is safe, but also that BlackBerry’s products are the only ones in their category that are truly battle-tested. Battle testing is important, as Germany found out recently. Its tanks that were supposed to be invulnerable were anything but – something that would have been problematic if they needed them in battle.

A photo from the BlackBerry Network Operations Center in Waterloo, Canada.

BlackBerry Network Operations Center in Waterloo, Canada | Image credit: Blackberry


There are many hostile states and powerful organizations in the world that seek to harm us, and it is my view that only battle-tested security equipment will be up to the task because only those equipment will be truly tested against the highest threat levels.

We all want to feel secure, but I don’t want a false sense of security, and I want to know how my security works. By helping Ukraine, BlackBerry has ensured that its safety and security products will work in the most hostile of conditions. By doing something incredibly cool, BlackBerry has helped itself and its customers by assuring that its devices are up to the job.

I’d like other tech companies to learn from BlackBerry’s efforts because if ever we needed battle-tested capabilities, it’s now. Thus, BlackBerry is my Product/Company of the Year for 2022. Special credit goes to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, who recognized this critical need for battle-tested security tools and stepped in to provide them with his team.

I hope you all are staying safe and have a happy new year. We’ll be back next week with our predictions for 2023.

I just finished a series of CES previews by PC vendors, and I can easily say that with the products I saw, Lenovo is likely to win at CES this year. I can’t tell you why or what they’re announcing, but it got me thinking about why CES might be more important than I thought if Lenovo’s using it like that.

I’ve never been a fan of CES because it comes too early for back-to-school or the next holiday shopping season. In addition, it spoils the holidays for those who have to dress up to attend the event, and with a tri-monster underway, it could affect attendees for the worse. People in my age group (my wife would suggest I add the word “advanced”) should participate remotely, as I would because of the risk of serious illness.

But after watching Lenovo’s pitch for its announcement at CES next month, I realize that for those who truly innovate, CES has the potential to set the bar for the rest of the market and take an undisputed leadership position for 2023. Might be the perfect show for that.

Let’s talk about CES and market leadership this week, and we’ll close with our product of the week, a new two-card line of graphics cards by AMD that’s blowing everything else out of the water at the moment.

problems with innovation

We love to talk about innovation, but innovation refers to finding a problem that we cannot fix using existing approaches and technologies. After decades as an analyst, it seems to me that most innovation is more about trying to fix a problem than an existing tool that generally works better.

When innovation emerges, it is because it solves a problem that existing tools either cannot handle or does it in a better way than traditional tools. In other words, innovation for its own sake is stupid. However, when applied to an unsolved or poorly solved problem, innovation can be disastrous if people are convinced that it brings vastly better results.

resistance to change

This brings up the second problem with innovation: it requires high marketing, because with all the hype around innovation, we don’t like change.

We get comfortable with things and can get upset when faced with change. To some extent, it is related to age. The younger you are, the more likely you are to accept and even inspire change. The older you get, the more you cherish stability and tradition. But regardless of age and tolerance for innovation, if someone can’t show you why the innovative product is better in a compelling way, young people probably won’t buy it either.

risk factor

Finally, innovation is risky. When it comes to long-lasting products, you know a lot about what the market currently accepts because the existing product is selling. But when you innovate, you’re guessing what buyers want that they’re not getting, and the risk that you can be wrong increases astronomically.

This introduces risk because you can be wrong. Your company should be tolerant of risk-taking because, despite being written about the need to take risk, most companies reward risk-taking rather than risk-taking.

For example, I once met with the CEO of Ford, who talked about changing Ford’s culture about risk-taking, but then pointed out that if someone took a risk with Ford’s pickup truck, the F-150, That was Ford’s mainstay, and got it wrong, they would be shot.

Obviously, he didn’t understand the risk-taking at all because the message he was conveying was that Ford really wasn’t willing to support it. The F-150 would stand as an example to others, even if whatever the CEO said, he was not on board with the idea.

In short, you either support risk-taking or you don’t. Granted, risks have to be justified, but if you focus on limiting risk-taking, you will kill innovation. (I should point out that the CEO I met was forced out of Ford several years ago.)

Setting the Bar for Tech Innovation

CES is arguably the place to take the biggest risks because it’s the first major technology show of the year. It set the bar for the year in technological innovation in some markets, including automotive. While we don’t think of it as an auto show, when it comes to technologies like in-car entertainment and autonomous driving, this is where you see those advancements firsthand. Even focused car shows are subject to CES.

Historically, tech vendors haven’t really geared up for their most innovative pushes in January, so it’s not until mid-year that we see the most interesting stuff. As mentioned, this year, I think Lenovo will overwhelm other vendors as much as it did with its Threadripper workstations and aggressive use of water cooling in the professional space. By showing it off at CES instead of later in the year, marketing (which is working impressively) should have the resources to do the heavy lifting.

Used right, a company can put up a tough fight at CES and be the talk of the industry for next year if it rocks hard enough. Granted, it comes with risk because if the market doesn’t agree with where you innovated, you could dig a hole that will take time to dig out. I’m a big believer in swinging for the fences because if you don’t, you’ll never be able to hit that home run.

Lenovo has been moving steadily towards market leadership of late. The shots it’s taking are risky, but it’s shown it can execute, so keep your eyes on Lenovo. I think you will look at the company differently after the show.

wrapping up

I have a newfound respect for CES, and I think about how it could be even more powerful than it currently is. Being the first major tech show of the year, it sets the bar if the presenting vendors aggressively pursue innovative solutions to problems that have not only not been addressed but were not even known to customers that they had.

Done right, a vendor in a variety of markets, including automotive, appliances, personal technology, PCs, and, increasingly, robotics, can tear apart its competitors like Apple did a few decades ago with smartphones and rule the market. Was.

Lenovo is taking that shot this year, and keep an eye out for Lenovo when it gets off the floor at CES. I think it will surprise the market and show how other vendors can use the show to get ahead of their competitors. So just like that, I get to what CES should always have been: the one show to rule them all (Gollum says “hi”).

tech product of the week

AMD RX 7900 XT/XTX graphics card

AMD woke up the gaming world with two graphics cards, the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX, that are priced well above their suggested retail price, which sadly has largely sold out and is going for a hefty premium. have been

They look great in a case and show how far AMD has come in the competitively priced GPU space.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Graphics Card

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX Graphics Card | Image credit: AMD


These are truly impressive graphics cards, enhanced by a software driver solution that makes management easy for both professional and amateur gamers alike.

gamers choice

I’ve been watching gaming forums where the dialogue about AMD (both CPU and GPU) has gone from viewing the company as a value player in the space to being the king of performance. I’m a little surprised on the CPU side, not because AMD’s Threadripper CPU isn’t awesome, but because gaming largely depends on GPU performance these days. But many gamers are making fun of their peers who are no longer running AMD CPUs, which shows how much AMD’s image has changed over time.

Utilizing a balance of absolute performance, plug-and-play installation ease, high color accuracy and advanced chiplet technology, these cards set a new bar for gamers, and gamers love them so much they bought out the existing supply Is. So, you might want to wait a little longer before buying one of these cards as prices are getting worse due to lack of supply.

Unlike some other more expensive competing parts, these do not require special connectors, fit most cases, and consume very little power, which helps us keep our rising energy costs down.

If you love gaming and want the best performance for the money at anywhere close to suggested retail, these new AMD cards are a tremendous deal and represent a potential new era for AMD as a power player in the GPU space. We do. At the same time, they were a wake-up call for Nvidia, which went in a very different direction.

In conclusion, like the market, I’m very impressed with the AMD RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX cards, making them my products of the week.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Social media platform TikTok is now facing efforts from Congress to shut down its operations amid ongoing talks with the Biden administration about data security and surveillance.

Following TikTok’s secretive launch of its retail sales integration in November, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. announced bipartisan legislation on Tuesday to ban the popular China-sponsored app from operating in the United States.

The new bill follows Rubio’s pushback at the White House in May for not addressing concerns over the app’s ties to China-based parent company ByteDance and the Chinese government’s approach to surveillance through technology. Rubio issued a statement urging President Biden to clarify that the TikTok shop would not be allowed to operate in the United States.

The law increases pressure on ByteDance, as the US fears the app could be used to spy on Americans and censor content. If approved, the effect could have far-reaching effects on influencers, social media users, and companies using it for marketing purposes.

Rubio’s bill would block all transactions with any social media company from or under the influence of China and Russia, according to a news release from Rubio’s office. The announcement said Republican Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi sponsored a companion bill in the US House of Representatives.

Cloud Insight can clean up the data flow

Congressional hearings on TikTok may reveal how much security and compliance with data privacy rules is at stake with Oracle, which provides cloud storage services for TikTok’s domestic operations.

Platform executives revealed in June that its US traffic goes through Oracle’s servers, and TikTok executives also said it maintains its own data backups.

Oracle did not respond to inquiries about compliance with its data collection practices with TikTok. But the company could have a significant impact if the congressional hearing pursues clarity about TikTok’s handling of US data distribution and storage, agreed Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Enterprises, a Canada-based digital marketing and social media management company. .

“TikTok poses a real threat when it is collecting and storing more data points about users than any other social media platform. A full audit of Oracle’s data storage is likely to take place to look at the exact agreements and policies between ByteDance and Oracle,” Lintz told the E-Commerce Times.

why worry

The proposed ban law, titled “Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Repressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (Anti-Social CCP Act),” would block and restrict all transactions from any social Will protect Americans by doing so. Media companies in or under the influence of China, Russia and several other foreign countries of concern.

“The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok,” Rubio said in the announcement. It’s not about creative videos — it’s about an app that’s collecting data from hundreds of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it is used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know that this is the answer of the People’s Republic of China. No more time to waste on meaningless conversations with the CCP-puppet company. The time has come to ban Beijing controlled TikTok forever.”

Representative Gallagher called TikTok a “digital fentanyl” that is addicting Americans, collecting their data, and censoring their news.

According to Gallagher, TikTok is also an increasingly powerful media company that ultimately reports to the CCP. He said that China is the biggest enemy of America.

“Allowing the app to continue to operate in the US would be like allowing the USSR to buy the New York Times, the Washington Post and the major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with the slightest interest in its own security, Which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”

The Chinese Communist Party and other adversaries abroad seek any advantage against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance. Noted Representative Krishnamurthy said it is imperative not to allow hostile forces to potentially control social media networks, which can easily be weaponized against us.

“The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP ACT is a strong step forward in protecting our country from nefarious digital surveillance and influencing the operation of totalitarian regimes. Recent revelations about the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the need to protect Americans from these risks before it is too late,” he said in the announcement.

Support for TikTok Ban Widens

Recently, Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Texas have banned the use of TikTok on government equipment, citing potential national security threats. On Monday, Alabama and Utah also barred the use of the TikTok app on state government equipment and computer networks due to national security concerns.

Discussing the expansion and security concerns of TikTok Shops, Laura Perez, Global Director of B2B Communications for TikTok, told E-Commerce Times that the company was in active talks with the US government to address some of their fears. He added that TikTok was transparent about the issues it had with its brand and merchant partners.

As of the writing of this article, neither Perez nor other TikTok officials have responded to our request for comment on the potential banning law. However, an unnamed TikTok spokesperson pointed out elsewhere that the national security review and politically motivated ban of TikTok was troubling and would not advance US efforts to enhance national security.

Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, suggested that despite growing support for banning TikTok’s operations in the US, negative reactions from the platform’s massive user base could become an issue.

Tik Tok owner ByteDance’s reliance on the Chinese government and how the company handles user information has been a concern for years, he agreed. But after the GOP’s below-expected performance in the midterm elections, there is finally growing apprehension among politicians.

“If TikTok users old enough to vote are angry enough, they could voice their displeasure in the 2024 elections,” King told the E-Commerce Times.

possible pushback possible

Banning Tiktok will no doubt affect the growing use of social media marketing. This will be hugely impactful and disruptive, especially for companies targeting the younger consumers who make up the vast majority of Tik Tok users and influencers, King observed.

“It is difficult to predict which alternative platform millions of TikTok users will choose instead,” he added.

Lintz said banning TikTok would have little effect on the trajectory of other outlets. The increasing use of social media year after year will remain unchanged.

“Currently, the average social media user uses 6.6 different platforms, which clearly indicates that users are rarely committed to one platform,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

However, Lintz anticipates a massive backlash, primarily from content creators and companies who have spent hundreds of thousands of hours building their audiences.

“Some businesses and individual brands have paid us hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to build their brands with TikTok-specific videography, daily posting and growth strategies. If they ban it, it will all disappear overnight, leading to extreme resentment,” he offered.

Concerns grow beyond user responses

Matthew Marsden, vice president at endpoint management company Tanium, said some could argue that TikTok is dangerous because of the influence of social media on the younger generation.

“There is an even more real possibility that the popular platform is backed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and used to conduct influence operations and collect sensitive personal and biometric data,” Marsden told the E-Commerce Times.

TikTok’s privacy policy states that they may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints. Marsden said the app can also share the data it collects with others.

“This is incredibly worrying because the CCP can easily coerce China-based companies to share information to support the party’s objectives,” he said. “The Chinese intelligence strategy is focused on long-term objectives and is driven by the continuous collection of data.”

why worry?

TikTok’s vast user data collection now includes commerce and purchase information combined with biometrics and activity tracking. Marsden warns that all this gives detailed intelligence to be used in the operation.

“This data can be leveraged to provide targeted, timely and often personalized psychological operations against individuals or groups of citizens. This has been seen in recent years during election cycles and politically charged events,” he said. Explained.

Perhaps an even more important concern is that TikTok users can no longer trust that an app or website will keep their data secure. Proactive measures are necessary as cybersecurity threats become a pervasive aspect of our daily lives, offered Craig Luray, CTO and co-founder of cybersecurity software firm Keeper Security.

“There are also concerns about who has access to this data, especially when it’s a nation-state,” Luray told the E-Commerce Times.

Need other actions?

Mike Parkin, senior technical engineer at Vulkan Cyber, suggested that two separate issues may be involved. His company provides SaaS solutions for enterprise cyber risk mitigation.

“Opening an online marketplace is a natural evolution of the TikTok e-commerce space and a fusion of marketplace platform and social media influencers. Whether or not social commerce itself and TikTok getting into that market is a good idea is a different question,” Parkin told the E-Commerce Times.

Lintz doesn’t think banning TikTok is the right solution. The impact on American content creators and businesses that make a living from TikTok could be dire. “I believe the right solution is to set guidelines for a US majority stake in TikTok,” he said.

Thanks largely to Nvidia, GPUs have almost eclipsed CPUs as a technology driving advancement. When it comes to AI, especially on the training side, GPUs reign supreme. In general, GPUs make our games and even the most advanced photo and video editing tools work better — and with social media, many people are becoming creation experts.

But while AMD, Nvidia, and, more recently, Intel have played in this highly competitive space, all three have come to market recently with distinct strategies, each with unique benefits, risks, and opportunities. As we here in the US recover from our Thanksgiving food coma, let’s explore these strategies.

Then we’ll close with our product of the week: Microsoft’s new Arm-based Surface Pro 9 that could point to the near future of PC advancement.

Marketing Strategies: The Apple Example

My first degree was in merchandising, which deals with branding, shelving, product placement, and product strategy. As a result, I’m a little fascinated with how different companies approach the PC market.

For example, Apple is old school, vertically integrated, and uses lock-in to mine its base for money. This strategy resulted in massive profits, but the company was no longer able to lead the market with innovation. Granted, public companies are measured by profits, not innovation, and if you had to choose one over the other as a CEO who wants to keep your job, profits would also be your focus.

Except for the Microsoft Surface, other PC companies are more liberal, have higher interoperability, no lock-in, and enjoy far more innovation but face less customer loyalty and smaller margins. But they are also less likely to fail catastrophically because they are not mining their customers for money.

IBM’s near collapse in the early 1990s was largely due to a strategy similar to that of Apple. This happened because the clients usually do not like to stake money or do mining for money for extreme profits. Eventually, a company using this approach goes too far, and its customers leave the platform. This is roughly what happened with IBM and it prejudged the strategy Apple still uses.

For now, the strategy still works for Apple. However, this probably won’t work for Dell, HP, or Lenovo, because none of those companies can afford the Microsoft part of the solution individually and because their enterprise buyers are aware of the tactics used by Apple and have common Normally try to avoid it. Plague – Because it reduces customer power and corporations love buyer power a lot.

Having said that, while Apple’s marketing efforts have declined significantly since the departure of Steve Jobs in both magnitude and execution, Apple still leads the PC market in marketing, indicating that it once was under Jobs. How much was ahead, even though the company was far less profitable. Then.

Marketing goes to the core of the GPU strategies that we will be discussing.

NVIDIA

Nvidia is arguably the segment leader and displays with it’s deepest line, and it’s the only one of the three with a Halo product. It’s interesting because on the CPU side, AMD’s Threadripper spun that market on its ear and allowed AMD to move aggressively on Intel’s workstation opportunity. It usurped key leadership positions for AMD and Lenovo, using it in part to gain segment dominance.

On the GPU side, the closest thing to AMD’s Threadripper is Nvidia’s 4090 RTX card, which is a beast. It performs more than most need and draws so much power that it’s melting power connectors and forcing power supply upgrades to run the part. But, in terms of raw performance, now no one in its segment can touch it.

A halo strategy uses an expensive showcase product to attract people to the brand and, if done correctly, can lead to increased sales of more affordable products that will sell in higher volumes. In the automobile market, it’s like having a Mercedes-Maybach or a supercar (Ford most recently used the Ford GT) to drive people to the dealership.

Since there is no such thing as an Nvidia store, the traffic aspect of the 4090 RTX remains untested and untapped. However, it still gives Nvidia performance bragging rights and solidifies its perceived market leadership, even though most buyers will be buying more affordable and underpowered alternatives.

amd

As mentioned, it’s interesting that, given AMD’s success with Threadripper, it hasn’t come up with a similar strategy, which would be a Threadripper CPU and Threadripper-like GPU in a killer workstation or gaming rig. For now, it’s the Nvidia 4090 RTX card.

Instead, AMD has pulled out two cards in the performance sweet spot. Unlike what Ford did with the Ford GT, GM did with the Corvette, specifically with the new C8. It provides most of the performance advantages that the Ford GT offers in a far more useful and affordable fashion, allowing the Corvette to massively outperform the Ford GT while costing a fraction of what the Ford costs.

The idea of ​​performance at a price you can afford resonates with buyers and doesn’t create some of the image problems that a halo product can create, such as excessive cost and excessive power use, resulting in negative coverage It is possible sustainability.

Buyers love the values, and while you don’t get the same performance bragging rights or visibility as with a Halo product, you also don’t have a problem with a part that’s pushing performance boundaries resulting in meltdowns. There may be problems like connectors (which Nvidia reports are still few in number and may be the result of assembly errors).

intel

Intel is new to this market and has two big problems. The first is that people know and trust GPU parts from AMD and Nvidia, and the second is that those two companies are chasing each other so hard that it’s hard for another firm to catch them from behind. Almost impossible. Intel needs to build market share and performance isn’t up to the top end, but it can deliver on features.

This approach is closer to how Honda entered the car market by creating an affordable part that offers features beyond its price class and where the real volume is, especially during a tight financial market where consumers are more willing to spend their money. are looking.

Right now, people are becoming very frugal, and Intel is working hard for the frugal buyer who only has the budget for an entry-level part. Intel’s cards aren’t performing competitively with Nvidia’s and AMD’s top offerings, but they’re a fraction of the price and have many of the same features typically not in cards in Intel’s sub-$300 price bracket.

Wrapping Up: The Best Strategy

The plan of action that best reflects the seller’s capabilities is the one to implement. The halo product strategy works for Nvidia as it must maintain its mark of the performance leader in the segment.

Given the success of AMD’s Threadripper, I’m surprised AMD hasn’t employed a similar strategy. Still, its approach to providing all the performance you need and creating an impression of superior performance value is in line with the historical brand image AMD has built against Intel, where it was historically the value play.

Intel doesn’t yet have the performance to compete with AMD or Nvidia at the high end, but it has a similar feature set, and the idea of ​​providing value play is the only way it’s open. The timing was fortunate for Intel as the market is looking for higher valuations given current economic conditions, providing a significant boost to Intel’s outlook.

So, Intel’s approach isn’t the only one the company can currently execute. Luckily, it was incredibly well timed, suggesting it will be far more successful this year than it otherwise would have been.

tech product of the week

surface pro 9

The Surface was built to compete with Apple and has many of the same features: a limited, focused line, a design-forward configuration that’s as much art as it is function, and a premium experience.

Microsoft missed out by making its stores Microsoft stores instead of Surface stores, so the stores tend to underperform their Apple counterparts. But Microsoft is a fundamentally different company and needs to keep Dell, Lenovo, HP and others happy, I understand how this decision came about. I think it was wrong, given its aim.

That said, the Surface Tablet was the primary weapon it had, when it first came to market, against the threat the iPad represented: a tablet that had long battery life, was extremely light, and at the time, effectively Was positioned as a laptop killer.

Steve Jobs, who piloted that product, died and since then Apple has decided not to replace the laptop with the iPad. Instead, it wants people to buy both, stalling the replacement effort.

But Microsoft didn’t get that memo. The initial surface was somewhat patchy. It would run Office, but its battery life was poor for a tablet. Over the years, both performance and battery life have improved.

This most recent Surface Pro 9 Arm Edition is the ultimate tablet. It does the best job of providing an iPad-like experience while still delivering PC-level performance. In fact, in some cases, it outperforms PC performance due to its unique AI NPU (Neural Processing Unit).

Microsoft Surface Pro 9

Surface Pro 9 | Image credit: Microsoft


I initially noticed a drop in performance in Microsoft Hello’s facial recognition capability. Normally, it takes a few seconds for a typical PC to recognize you, and this new Arm-based Surface Pro 9 does it almost instantly. My desktop PCs with specialized cameras are not as fast.

The video game I play most often is City of Heroes. On low performing PCs, it has to be scaled back to run on an arm machine, and it crashes or fails to load. However, on this new Surface Pro 9, it loaded and ran and even gave me advanced graphics options that I usually don’t get unless I’m running a discrete GPU (although, I hope , if I turn them on, the frame rate will be unplayable). Still, the fact that the game even loaded and was playable was a first with such a tablet, especially a running arm.

Another interesting aspect of this latest Surface Pro 9 tablet is that it accepts not only the proprietary magnetic Surface charger but also a generic USB-C charger. I really like the magnetic charger because I trip over the power cord, and if you pull on it the cable detaches and doesn’t cause the laptop to fall to the floor. On the other hand, a USB-C charger is much more useful as you can use a third-party charger, borrow a charger or even use it to charge your phone.

The optional pen and keyboard are now nicely nested together (I’m forever losing the pen). While I generally prefer a larger screen and a notebook form factor, this latest Surface was surprisingly usable and incredibly portable. At less than two pounds, with up to 19 hours of battery life, 5G WAN capability, and vastly improved video conferencing camera features (thanks to that NPU), I think the Surface Pro 9 is the future of ultra-portable products.

When Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9 launched, I knew it would be very different, and it is. It’s the first Arm-based product I’ve tested that not only feels compromised but outperforms its x86 counterpart in battery life, connectivity, and conferencing, which begs the question: What will the next generation do?

Ultimately, I think the Surface Pro 9 arm product is a milestone for the next generation of PCs, and it’s my product of the week. Let’s hope Microsoft does the same for the Surface Laptop!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network.

Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor last week. The key improvement is the enhanced AI that will work behind the scenes to improve the user experience on the phone due to launch in a few weeks.

This AI implementation should significantly improve most tasks, from how well the modem works to optimizing both voice and data connections for image capture, viewing, and improving overall power efficiency.

In short, the next generation of Snapdragon 8 premium smartphones should outperform any previous generation and any phone that doesn’t use Qualcomm technology (like, say, oh, iPhones).

Let’s talk about how AI will exponentially improve your smartphone experience, then close with my product of the week, an AMD-based business notebook from HP that’s the new norm in size and capacity for performance-oriented mobile workers. Could

Qualcomm’s coming AI disruption

2020 is likely to be known as the decade of AI. The vast majority of where artificial intelligence is used today is in externally-focused applications for sales and marketing. The AI ​​we deal with most, such as those from Google and Apple, are not really AI at present, but speech front-ends for existing Internet search engines.

This is the reason why the promised experiences of Siri-like interactions on our phones have fallen short of expectations. But just as AI is evolving in the rest of the tech industry, so are the AI ​​capabilities in our smartphones, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 solution is a significant AI boost.

This AI improvement will initially benefit performance and battery life, both of which received criticism in the first generation of the Snapdragon 8.

For graphics performance, AI can be used to allow for real-time upsampling, resulting in better images for things like video and games, with less processing overhead, up to 25% faster GPU performance, 4.35 Up to times faster AI performance (depending on use case), and more efficient power usage for better battery life.

Now moving on to the feature improvements which are also important.

network, camera, sound

Networking improvements include Wi-Fi 7, the latest Wi-Fi technology, which should offer much faster data rates and potentially greater range. However, testing will have to wait for the availability of Wi-Fi 7 routers that are expected to hit the market soon.

AI improvements to the camera include more accurate face and object recognition, including a sharp increase in processor-intensive features like background blue, which has become popular for video calls since the pandemic (since we all share our offices). don’t keep it neat enough to do).

Expect AI camera features to better provide for automatic picture editing, making the resulting image look more professional and all objects in the frame clearer. The new camera capability should include 8K HDR video encoding, which is coming in time for 8K TVs and monitors to ramp up in 2023 and hopefully cost much less than we have today.

For most of us, it’ll just be premature obsolescence protection, assuring that when we finally do get an 8K display, we’ll have something we can show on it.

Improved image segmentation enables the camera to better capture or block out elements at different depths in the picture, allowing the AI ​​to apply custom lighting and contrast to these elements to make them pop out of the image. want to see and more easily allow you to remove whatever you want from the picture, like your cousin photobombing you.

Hear significantly enhanced sound with levels of active noise cancellation that many of us have only experienced. In the demo, turning on this feature seemed to remove all external noise except for the speaker’s voice, which is important for those of us either calling or doing video conference calls in noisy environments Huh. This technology is potentially applicable to both smartphones and laptops.

futuristic mix of smartphone and laptop

Most of the features showcased with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor will also be available on the laptop. With Microsoft removing the need for emulation from the Arm processor, the performance jump on laptops based on this part should be much greater than it would have been for the newer processors.

This opens the door to a new hybrid product potential that allows a single device to meet the needs of both a laptop and a smartphone with accessories for use cases, creating a unique advantage for this superior Qualcomm technology .

Longer battery life, greater performance, and the vastly improved videoconferencing capability that x86-based systems can exceed will go a long way toward turning Qualcomm-based PCs from niche products to mainstream offerings.

Furthermore, the ever-tighter integration of smartphone and laptop use cases could ultimately result in a hybrid solution that renders both existing platforms obsolete and creates something new that is potentially more capable, less expensive, and less demanding. is complex enough to support very different offerings today. ,

Conclusion: Our AI Future

AI applied to our personalized technology that promises far better pictures and sound Automatic, advanced, and more easy-to-use security features such as biometrics Better network and system performance Longer battery life and longer battery life Is.

However, this is only the beginning of the AI ​​revolution, as the changes to come will edit your video image in real time to make sure you look your best in pictures, movies and especially video calls, and make your device look like the real world. Allow problems to be solved better. — Like real-time foreign language translation.

With improvements in head-mounted displays, mixed reality technologies and the coming metaverse revolution, we are at the tip of the iceberg that new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 solutions are anticipated. As amazing as it is, the best is yet to come.

tech product of the week

HP EliteBook 865 G9

There was a time when there was a huge difference in price and performance between Intel and AMD notebooks. Intel-based systems performed better, especially with regard to battery life in laptops, but they cost more. The AMD notebook performed nearly as well, but took a bigger battery life hit and cost less. Those days are essentially over, as shown by this latest HP EliteBook 865 G9.

It’s an AMD-based, high-performance notebook with good battery life and the first notebook with USB 4, matching Intel’s Thunderbolt technology in terms of performance. As you’d expect, a product with performance that potentially exceeds Intel’s with a larger screen and total security will be expensive, so expect a price tag of around $2,000 when fully configured. The admission price is closer to $1,500, depending on the specials available at the time of purchase.

HP EliteBook 865 G9 Notebook PC

HP EliteBook 865 G9 Notebook PC | Image credit: HP


The 16-inch display works well in a coach seat on a plane for movies and is probably the largest display you can reasonably use while in coach, though not comfortably unless you have Don’t have an extended legroom seat. Otherwise the keyboard is too close.

The HP EliteBook 865 G9 also comes with LTE-A Pro if you want WAN network capability on top of its Wi-Fi 6E capability. It’s got integrated AMD Radeon graphics, so it’s no gaming box, but it plays the games I play mostly just fine, and streamed or downloaded movies and TV shows are amazing, which I used it the most while traveling on an aeroplane. ,

Battery life for video playback is an impressive 20-plus hours, with the only downside being the display, which is an adequate IPS panel but would have been better with a 4K OLED option that wasn’t available this round.

Finally, with HP’s pioneering Wolf security package, which is critically important in this less-secure digital world, the HP EliteBook 865 G9 is the perfect offering for the road warrior who also wants a decent-sized screen — and This is my product of the week.

MediaTek’s brand is often associated with affordable, budget, Android phones. However, the company has made incremental inroads into more premium, high-performance models. The launch of the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 chipset is a powerful step in that direction.

Like all smartphone chips, the Dimensity 9200 is a system on a chip (SoC), meaning it has integrated functionality in a single solution for wireless and cellular connectivity, graphics and system performance, among other capabilities.

Similar to Apple silicon or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offerings, this integrated approach facilitates the smaller form factor designs that have always been important in mobile devices, longer battery life and increased power efficiency without compromising speed.

MediaTek is promoting this mobile chip to be the first in the industry to use the Armv9 Gen 2 architecture, which requires new cores. A so-called “big” Cortex-X3 core handles the toughest tasks with the help of three Cortex-A715 performance cores.

In addition, the 9200 includes four Cortex-A510 “low-power” cores to optimize battery life. This combination facilitates performance improvements of up to 10% to 12% compared to the legacy Dimension 9000, but is believed to reduce power consumption by a meaningful 25%.

I spoke with MediaTek GM/Corporate Marketing Finbar Moynihan about the Dimensity 9200 at its launch last week. The following video clip highlights that conversation.

better graphics performance

The attractive element of the Dimensity 9200 is the improvement in graphics performance. The solution is one of the first chips in the industry to take advantage of Arm’s new Immortalis-G715 GPU, which provides hardware raytability, one of the most popular gaming technologies in the PC and laptop arena. According to MediaTek, the Dimensity 9200’s implementation is 32% faster than the Dimensity 9200’s CPU while using a remarkable 41% less power.

Given MediaTek’s legacy strengths in Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, it’s not surprising that the Dimensity 9200 shows improvements in those areas. Unlike previous generations of its mobile chips, the Dimensity 9200 includes both millimeter wave 5G and sub-6GHz connectivity, which will benefit consumers who look for faster cellular data in more parts of the world.

The Dimensity 9200 also offers Wi-Fi 7 support. With Wi-Fi 6 and 6e still trending in routers, smart home devices, and smartphones, MediaTek should be commended for future-proofing the Dimensity 9200 with Wi-Fi 7 capability as it delivers potentially game-changing latency and performance. Provides wireless speed advantages.

Another interesting feature of the Dimensity 9200 is that the chip’s Image 890 signal processor is the first to fully support RGBW camera sensors. These sensors not only provide more brightness and detail in images than native RGB, but they can also blur background images in real-time video. A demo showing this capability was one of the highlights of the announcement event.

analyst comments

During its recent analyst event in Sonoma, California, where it launched the Dimensity 9200 among other announcements, the company took great pains to underline that MediaTek is “more than mobile”. This claim isn’t surprising, as the smartphone market has slowed down dramatically over the past few years. After all, the company has a strong presence in the router, smart TV, IoT, and other device categories.

MediaTek isn’t usually a company to talk about in the US smartphone market, given that Apple and Qualcomm dominate the space with their respective silicon and Snapdragon solutions. But this may change soon as MediaTek is increasing its presence in mid and low-end handsets.

Furthermore, if the US economy slips into a recession in 2023, as many economists predict, the high-end segment of the market is likely to come under tremendous pressure. MediaTek’s strategy to push bleeding-edge technology into the more affordable mid-range segment of the market could pay big dividends as consumers find it challenging to pay $1,500 or more for the highest-end Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. looks like.

Leader in Smartphone Chip Shipments

There are definite signs that this strategy is working. MediaTek has been the No. 1 global smartphone chip shipment provider for the past two years. Industry reports indicate that MediaTek accounts for 37% of global smartphone chips, compared to Qualcomm’s 28%.

Of course, MediaTek’s chips don’t appear in the sexier mobile devices people are used to. Nevertheless, they offer the right mix of performance, innovation, and affordability that increasingly appeals to “mainstream” consumers.

To be clear, MediaTek doesn’t want to walk away from the mobile phone space – and shouldn’t. The “More than mobile” moniker is an effective marketing slogan because it correctly suggests that the company is into more products than casual users beyond smartphones. However, it also allows the company to remind people that it is focusing on future markets, such as VR, automotive, Wi-Fi 7 and 5G.

Apple and Qualcomm get much of the media attention when they release a new chip, but with its Dimensity 9200, MediaTek shows it can play with the big boys. Even if it doesn’t grab all the industry headlines, MediaTek appears to be successful – and the company’s leadership team likes it.