Microsoft Modern Keyboard With 'Hidden' Fingerprint Scanner Launched

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New Microsoft Modern Keyboard comes with a fingerprint scanner
  • It has been priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 8,500)
  • The fingerprint scanner is embedded inside the right Windows key

Microsoft on Thursday silently unveiled a new keyboard, called the Microsoft Modern Keyboard. Priced at Rs. $129.99 (roughly Rs. 8,500), the new Modern Keyboard is listed as “coming soon” on the company’s US website with no word when the accessory will go on sale. The highlight of the keyboard is that it comes with a fingerprint scanner that just looks like any other key on the keyboard.

“Our vision was to blend the Fingerprint reader into a keyboard, so it would appear to be any other key. We iterated relentlessly to improve each layer, making sure they came together to create a flawless typing experience that felt like any other key,” Microsoft says on the product page of the Modern Keyboard.

Microsoft Modern Keyboard With 'Hidden' Fingerprint Scanner Launched

The keyboard comes with aluminium frame and Microsoft claims it sports “highest quality” and is “virtually indestructible.”

The Modern Keyboard will allow Windows 10 users to enable Windows Hello fingerprint authentication on their devices. The fingerprint scanner has been placed on the second Windows key on the right side of the keyboard, and can be used for signing in to the system or any website using Windows Hello.

The Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint Scanner will work will Windows 8 and above devices, macOS 10.10.5 and above devices, Android 4.2 and above, and iOS 8 and iOS 9. Users need to make sure that the device should support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher for the Microsoft Modern Keyboard to work. Microsoft will also let users choose between using the Modern Keyboard with wireless/ wired interface.

It comes with dimensions 420.9×112.6×19.3mm and weighs roughly 420 grams. The wireless Microsoft Modern Keyboard runs on two AAA alkaline rechargeable batteries. Microsoft claims a battery life of up to 2 months on full charge. The Redmond giant will be offering one-year limited warranty on the keyboard.

Intex FitRist Cardio With Heart Rate Sensor Launched at Rs. 1,499

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The fitness tracker can also display message and call notifications
  • Intex FitRist Cardio is available to buy exclusively via Amazon India
  • Activity tracking band is compatible with both Android and iOS phones

Intex on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its FitRist activity tracker, called FitRist Cardio. Adding heart rate tracking to the fitness band’s capabilities, Intex has made the FitRist Cardio available to buy exclusively via Amazon India in Black colour variant, with a price of Rs. 1,499. At its price, it takes on the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, which was launched at Rs. 1,999 last year with a heart rate sensor and OLED display.

The Intex FitRist Cardio fitness band sports a 2.18cm OLED display with a 96×32 pixels resolution, and it weighs about 26 grams. The company boasts of Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity on the activity tracker, with which it connects to Android (v4.4 and above) and iOS (v7.0 and above) smartphones. It can also receive OTA updates via a connected smartphone. The FitRist Cardio bears a 80mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 7 days of battery life. It is water resistant, and features a heart rate sensor, sleep monitor, hydration alarm, and a step/ calorie counter.Intex FitRist Cardio With Heart Rate Sensor Launched at Rs. 1,499

The company adds that the FitRist Cardio can provide Facebook, WhatsApp, and SMS message notifications. On Android phones, the fitness tracker will display incoming calls with caller ID, however, on iPhone models, the band will display the call icon if the contact is stored on the phone, and will display the phone number if the contact isn’t stored. The Intex FitRist Cardio also has an ‘anti-lost’ function that will help locate the fitness band if it gets lost.

Finally, Intex is also boasting of a couple of other features on the FitRist Cardio. Users can control their smartphone’s playlist with the MP3 control feature, while a remote shutter feature lets users control the camera of their connected smartphones to remotely click pictures.

Commenting on the launch,. Nidhi Markanday, Director & Business Head, Intex Technologies, said, “Since our entry into the wearable segment in 2015, with iRist Smart watch and FitRist band, Intex has been well received by the market and to enrich our bouquet of offerings, Intex FitRist Cardio has been designed to fulfil the needs and become a one-stop solution for those who take their fitness seriously.”

Acer Nitro 5, Iconia Tab 10, Iconia One 10, Spin 1 Refresh Launched Ahead of Computex

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Acer Nitro 5 is a budget gaming laptop releasing in July
  • Acer Spin 1 has also been upgraded with better specs
  • Two Iconia-branded Android 7.0 Nougat tablets also launched

Just ahead of Computex in Taipei, Taiwanese company Acer has launched a host of new devices. This includes a new laptop, an upgraded 2-in-1, and fresh Iconia-branded Android tablets. The Acer Nitro 5 is a budget gaming laptop, while the Spin 1 convertible gets upgraded processors and more. The addition to the tablet lineup brings Android 7.0 Nougat software with one variant sporting a quantum dot display.

Acer Nitro 5

Starting with the laptop, the Acer Nitro 5 is a gaming laptop with multiple configurations. It includes Intel and AMD processors – up to seventh generation Core i5 and i7 processors for Intel with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics, and seventh generation A-Series FX, A12, and A10 APUs along with up to a discrete Radeon RX 550 graphics chip from AMD. To take care of heating, Acer has introduced a Coolboost technology that delivers heightened fan speeds and cooling ability, and allows users to manually control the cooling process when heavy use requires an added boost. It boasts of a 15.6-inch full-HD display with up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, and 2TB HDD storage. The keyboard has red back-lighting, and ports include USB 3.1 Type-C, USB 3.1 Type-A, Gigabit Ethernet, two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and HDMI 2.0. The Nitro 5 will arrive in North America in July with prices starting at $799 (roughly Rs. 51,500).

Acer Nitro 5, Iconia Tab 10, Iconia One 10, Spin 1 Refresh Launched Ahead of Computex

Acer Spin 1
Coming to the upgraded Spin 1 convertible, it now packs new hardware and a sleeker metal design frame. It brings support for up to the latest Intel Celeron and Pentium processors, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 32GB/ 64GB/ 128GB storage. It sports an 11.6-inch full-HD display with a 360 degree hinge, and weighs only 1.25 kgs. It is rated to offer up to 8 hours of battery life, and ports include USB 3.1 Type-A (gen 1), USB 2.0 Type-A, HDMI, and microSD card slot for memory expansion. It comes with a stylus support on the touchscreen display, and also supports Bluetooth version 4.1. The updated Spin 1 will also arrive in North America in July with prices starting at $329 (roughly Rs. 21,200).

 

acerspin main Acer

Acer Iconia 10 and Iconia One 10
Lastly, but importantly, the new 10-inch Android tablets that runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. The more premium variant is called the Acer Iconia Tab 10 (A3-A50), and the other is known as the Acer Iconia One 10 (B3-A40FHD). Both the tablets are powered by a MediaTek quad-core processor, and are rated to offer up to eight hours of battery life. Starting with the Iconia 10, it sports a quantum dot display, four speakers, and a built-in sub-woofer for better media consumption. The Iconia One 10 brings more connectivity options with two micro-USB ports. Both the tablets support DTS-HD Premium Sound, and Wireless AC connectivity. Acer did not reveal full specification details of these tablets, and also refrained from announcing pricing and availability.

acertblet main Acer

Nokia 6 Launched, iPhone's 10th Birthday, Lenovo P2 Launch

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nokia 6 looks good, but has middling specs considering the price
  • Apple could be coming up with three new iPad, no small sized ones
  • Lenovo P2 packs a massive battery, set to launch in India this week

CES 2017 is now officially over, and we can return to our normal pace of consuming tech news. Monday was a very momentous day because of important milestones for Apple and Nokia (no, not the one you knew, the new one). Read below to know the day’s top stories.

Nokia 6 Launched, iPhone's 10th Birthday, Lenovo P2 Launch, and More: Your 360 Daily

Nokia 6 launched, available only in China
As we mentioned above, HMD Global, the company that’s taken control of the famous brand name from yesteryears, has launched the Nokia 6. Well, technically the launch happened on Sunday, but it’s big enough that we wanted to make sure you don’t miss the development.

The Nokia 6 will be sold only in China at approximately Rs. 17,000 (when converted). It is a mid-range Android phone built out of premium materials and a typical feature set. We think it’s going to have a hard time competing with more value-for-money Android phones, but clearly there’s more to a phone than just specifications so let’s see how things pan out. In related news, a ‘Nokia E1’, which looking at the rumoured specs appears to be positioned lower than the Nokia 6, was seen in rough sketches and leaked images.

iPhone celebrates 10th anniversary
On 9th January 2007, ten years ago, Steve Jobs showed the world the first iPhone. It changed the smartphone industry massively – stylus-bound screens were replaced with finger-friendly, intuitive user interfaces. The need to buy a separate digital camera lessened as smartphones doubled up as our point-and-shoots. The concept of app stores made app discovery easy, and created many new business in the process. The ‘10th anniversary iPhone’ is supposedly going to be special, if you go by rumours or even what Tim Cook hinted today. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait.

Samsung Gear wearables will now work with an iPhone
In 2013, the original Samsung Gear smartwatch restricted to work only with Samsung phones. Subsequent Gear wearables added support to Android phones made by other manufacturers. Now, the Tizen operating system-based Gear S3, Gear S2, and Gear Fit2 will also work with an iPhone. The Gear S app already available on the iOS app store will enable this. Google’s Android Wear platform have been working with iOS devices since 2015. Whereas the Apple Watch, expectedly, only works with the iPhone.

Lenovo phone with 5100mAh battery to be launched on Wednesday
The Lenovo P2 is slated to launch on Wednesday exclusively on e-commerce platform Flipkart. First seen at IFA 2016, this phone promises a good battery life thanks to a massive 5100mAh battery pack. Other specifications include Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, 3 or 4GB RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage. Check out more details.

Xiaomi’s Mi Bunny is a voice assistant for kids
Other than the razor-thin Mi TV 4 and the white edition of the Mi Mix, Xiaomi also announced a voice assistant in the form of a kid’s toy – the Mi Bunny. It comes with the Chinese company’s in-house voice assistant service, that can send and receive messages on WeChat, a popular instant messenger in China. It’s also priced reasonably at just $29 (roughly Rs. 2,000).

 

Nokia’s virtual assistant may be called ‘Viki’
In a bid to compete with Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, Amazon Alexa and Samsung Bixby, Nokia has registered the name ‘Viki’ as a trademark in the European Union with the following description – “software for the creation and monitoring of mobile and Web digital assistants working with knowledge and combining all data sources into a single chat and voice based interface”. Sounds pretty much like a digital assistant to us.

We had spoken of how Google’s Pixel phones are going to cause more software fragmentation in Android, and it is very apparent now. Here’s hoping the newly-launched Nokia 6 and other Android phones can get this feature via a software update, whenever HMD intends to launch it.

HTC’s U series phones to be revealed on January 12
HTC has decided to let the CES 2017 buzz settle down, as it’s hosting the ‘For U’ event on 12th January, where it is expected to launch multiple smartphones. The HTC U Ultra, U Play, and X10 are rumoured to be the handsets launched at this event, as well as a HTC Vive branded smartphone, which was seen in a leaked promotional video. The flagship U Ultra is said to be a thin device with a metal body and rounded edges, and will come with record-breaking camera performance. HTC is also the equipment manufacturer for Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which also have been praised for their camera quality.

Three iPads could come Q2 2017, but no iPad mini refresh?
Information from the supply chain suggests Apple could be launching three new iPad models in the second quarter of 2017. It is said that along with an updated 12.9 inch iPad Pro, Apple will be bringing out new iPad Pro models with screen sizes between 10 and 10.5 inches. The company will keep a 9.7 inch iPad as the entry level option, potentially suggesting the end of the road for the iPad mini.

In other Apple news pertaining to India, the company is said to be meeting top officials from the IT and finance ministries in January, to discuss demands for setting up a manufacturing unit in the country.

Nintendo Switch may cost $250
A report from Japan’s financial newspaper Nikkei suggests that the much-anticipated portable and home gaming console, Nintendo Switch, may end up costing $250 (roughly Rs. 17,000) for buyers, when it is officially unveiled on January 12. The price may have been decided owing to the same price point of previous Nintendo consoles. In related news, pricing of compatible accessories has leaked too.

Nokia smartphones launched in India for Rs 9,499 onwards

HMD Global, which holds the global rights to market the iconic Nokia brand, today unveiled three smartphones in the Indian market that will compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

The Android-based devices will be available from June 16, priced Rs 9,499 onwards.

“Nokia is a people’s brand and has had a phenomenal legacy. The brand is based on reliability and trust and that is what the new smartphones promise to deliver,” Nokia India Vice-President Ajey Mehta told reporters here.

Last month, HMD had introduced its iconic 3310 feature phone in a new avatar in India.

HMD has an exclusive 10-year brand licensing agreement with the Finnish telecom giant for mobile phones and tablets globally.

Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 smartphones will be available only in retail stores for Rs 9,499 and Rs 12,899, respectively. Nokia 3 will be available from June 16 while Nokia 5 will be up for grabs for pre-booking from July 7.

Nokia 6 — the flagship — is priced at Rs 14,999 and will go for pre-booking from July 14, exclusively on Amazon.in.

 Nokia

“These phones are based on three principles — real life experience, world-class design and regular Android updates that ensure we continue to deliver on the promise of quality and reliability that Nokia is known for,” said Pranav Shroff, Nokia Director Global Portfolio Strategy and Planning.

In India, HMD has partnered with 400 exclusive distributors reaching over 80,000 retail points.

India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally. As per IDC, According to research firm IDC, sales grew 4.7% to 27 million units in January-March 2017 compared to the previous quarter.

Samsung continued to dominate the market with 28.1% share. Xiaomi followed with 14.2% while Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo had 10.5%, 9.5% and 9.3% share, respectively.

Previous Nokia smartphones were based on Microsoft Windows operating system.

In 2014, US-based Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s handset business for $ 7.2 billion.

Adobe Scan App With Text Recognition Launched for Android and iOS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Adobe Scan app is free to download and use
  • The app is already available on both Android and iOS
  • Adobe Scan offers text recognition feature

Adobe on Wednesday launched its document scanning app called Adobe Scan. If you are wondering why you should opt for Adobe’s app over the existing scanning apps available on Google Play store or Apple’s App Store, the new scanning app comes with Adobe Document Cloud integration. While the app is free to download and use, users will need an Adobe ID to get access to its features. It’s available for Android and iOS.

While the Adobe Scan works like almost every other scanning app, it offers the option to sharpen the scanned content and touch up scans or photos from your camera roll. Users can scan multiple-page documents and then save the scans as PDF files with the help of Adobe Scan app. One of the key features offered by the Adobe Scan is text recognition, just like the one offered by Microsoft Lens, which allows users to scan images into editable documents and can come in handy for working professionals as well as students.

“The free Adobe Scan app turns your device into a powerful portable scanner that recognises text automatically (OCR). Turn anything – receipts, notes, documents, pictures, business cards, whiteboards – into an Adobe PDF with content you can reuse,” the company says in the app description on Google Play.

Adobe Scan App With Text Recognition Launched for Android and iOS

“Adobe Scan represents a radical re-imagination of how to capture your most important document content,” Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe, was quoted as saying in the company’s release.

“Adobe invented PDF creation for PCs, and with Adobe Scan we’re doing the same for a mobile-first world. As part of Adobe Document Cloud, new apps like Adobe Scan integrate with services in Adobe Sign and Acrobat DC, offering a modern document experience with unprecedented value to our customers,” Lamkin said.

Microsoft Planner Collaboration Tool Launched for Android and iOS

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The app is eligible for Office 365 work and school subscription only
  • Planner was launched last year in June
  • It competes with services like Trello and Asana

Microsoft Planner that was first only available on the Web, but it has now arrived on mobile as well. The Microsoft Planner app for Android and iOS has also been launched, making managing tasks and planning teamwork activities easier on the go.

The Redmond giant had launched Planner last year in June as part of its productivity suit of apps for Office 365 business and school users. Planner is a collaboration tool aimed at organising team activities, and works similar to apps like Trello and Asana. It is bundled along with the Office 365 suite for free, and allows management of projects, teams, workflows, assign tasks, chat with members, and much more.

Microsoft Planner Collaboration Tool Launched for Android and iOS

Now, the apps are available as a free download as well for all eligible Office 365 users. The app however doesn’t bring all the features that are available on the Web. On its blog, Microsoft explains, “Current Planner users can use this companion app to view and update their plans on the go, addressing feedback we’ve heard since the launch of the Planner Web app. For people who are new to Planner, you can first get started by visiting tasks.office.com. Once you’ve created your plans in the Web app, you can view and update those plans in the mobile experience.”

The Microsoft Planner app is fairly easy to use and lets you see all your tasks in one place. It lets you update the board when plans change by just dragging and dropping tasks between columns, and chat with members on the go. The app works currently only for Office 365 work or school subscription users only, and if you’re eligible, you can download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store for free.

Sony WS623 Walkman launched for Rs 8,990

Sony is a water and dust proof headphone. It will be available in stores from June 15, 2017

Sony India has launched the new WS623 Walkman headphone with Bluetooth Wireless Technology for Rs 8,990. It will be available from 15 June 2017 at all Sony Centres and electronic stores across India.

Apart from the  Bluetooth Wireless Technology, its has an option of streaming music via  Near-field Communication (NFC), or through data stored in 4GB microSD card. WS623  has built in Mic to help you make or receive calls.

Sony  WS623 Walkman launched for Rs 8,990

The company claims it has a battery life of  12-hour battery life with the device. It terms of design it looks sturdy headphone and weighs around 32grams.  It has an IP65/68 certification which makes it water and dust proof. As per the release, one can swim with it underwater to a depth of two meters with up to 30 minutes of submerged time, and it can be taken to beaches and sand dunes without any worry. It has been optimised for sound levels for underwater listening and can endure extreme temperatures ranging from 5°C to 45°C.

WD Blue 3D, SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs With New 64-Layer 3D NAND Technology Launched

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The drives offer 250GB to 2TB storage options
  • Both the SSDs sport 64-layer 3D NAND technology
  • The prices of the SSDs start at $99.99

Western Digital and its subsidiary SanDisk have launched two new solid state drives that boast of 3D NAND technology that essentially allows the company to offer more storage space at less cost. The two SSDs are called WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD, and the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD, and are the first to boast 64-layer 3D NAND technology. The prices of both the SSDs start at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,500), and they come with a three year warranty as well.

Other existing 3D NAND SSDs include the Samsung 850 Pro, Samsung 850 Evo, and Crucial MX300, but they all use 32-layer 3D NAND, and not 64-layer. WD claims that its new SSDs are the first to be built with a 64-layer 3D NAND that allows it to reduce costs even further. To elaborate, 3D NAND technology stacks up flash memory cells in multiple layers to allow more cells in the same number of wafer bits. This density increase allows for more storage space at a reduced cost. Both the SSDs sport identical storage spaces and speeds.

The WD Blue 3D and SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs are offered in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage denominations. Both the drives are rated to deliver up to 560MBps of sequential read speeds, and 530MBps of sequential write speeds respectively.

WD Blue 3D, SanDisk Ultra 3D SSDs With New 64-Layer 3D NAND Technology Launched

The only difference between the two drives is that the WD Blue is designed for system builders and general computing, while the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD is meant for gamers and creative professionals. While there is no tangible timeline announced, WD says to expect the shipping to begin sometime in the third quarter.

“Delivering 64-layer 3D NAND-based SSDs into the PC segment marks a critical step in our ongoing conversion to this new technology, as well as offers long-term benefits for our customers,” said MIke Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital. “Between our two, strong brands in SanDisk and WD, and their respective loyal customer bases and distribution channels, these advanced SSDs will appeal to a very broad footprint of the computing population that are seeking the benefits of today’s newest technologies.”

Asus ROG Zephyrus Launched as 'World's Slimmest Gaming Laptop With GeForce GTX 1080' at Computex 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Oppo F3 is priced at 19,990
  • It was launched earlier this month in India
  • The Black Edition will be launched on June 4

Apart from a host of laptops and tablets, Asus has also amped up its Republic of Gamers product lineup at Computex 2017 in Taipei. This includes the “world’s slimmest gaming laptop with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080”, the Asus ROG Zephyrus (GX501VI), and a new ROG Swift PG35VQ gaming monitor as well. At the ROG Computex event, Asus also unveiled a colourful Strix Fusion headset and a slick USB monitor called ZenScreen as well.

Asus ROG Zephyrus Launched as 'World's Slimmest Gaming Laptop With GeForce GTX 1080' at Computex 2017

Starting with the big news, Asus’s ROG Zephyrus is a laptop built for gamers and is thinner than all the ROG laptops launched before. It boasts of high-end gaming hardware with support for Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics, seventh generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, an optional 120Hz wide-view display, and it ships with the latest Windows 10 Creators Update. During intensive gaming sessions, Asus claims the ROG Zephyrus maintains its temperature with a new ‘Active Aerodynamic System’ air-flow design crammed into a 16.9 -17.9mm chassis. Asus claims that this new flexible system allows for 20 percent more airflow than before. The laptop weighs only 2.2kgs, and sports of a RGB keyboard as well.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p01VA7qZnfE?ecver=2]

The ROG Zephyrus’ display is at 15.6-inch (1920×1080 pixels) and supports up to 24GB of DDR4 RAM. The laptop offers 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD storage options. Ports include a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C, four USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI 2.0 (for VR), and a 3.5mm headset opening. With respect to the keyboard design, the buttons are moved up front for better cooling management and make it feel more like a desktop system. The keyboard, as mentioned, has RGB lightning, and features anti-ghosting keys that can support up to 30 keys pressed at the same time.

 

Asus has launched two variants of the ROG Zephyrus, however, it does not properly specify the differences in the two, though one variant is speculated to downgrade the graphics to a GeForce GTX 1070 card. The ROG Zephyrus GX501VI variant is priced starting at $2699 (roughly Rs. 174,200) and the ROG Zephyrus GX501VS variant is priced starting at $2299 (roughly Rs. 148,400). Both the variants will be available at the end of June in the USA and Canada.

At the ROG event, Asus also launched the ROG Swift PG35VQ gaming monitor that has a quantum dot 3440×1440 pixels LCD display with HDR support. The refresh rate is pegged at an impressive 200Hz and it comes with G-sync support. There’s no word on pricing or availability. Alongside, Asus also launched the Strix Fusion headset with lights that can be configured to blink in sync with your fellow gamer. This is expected to ship sometime in the third quarter.

Lastly, it also launched a 15.6-inch 1080p USB monitor called ZenScreen. It comes with a pen to prop up the monitor, but do note that the ZenScreen does not have a touchscreen display nor does it support stylus. The ZenScreen is priced at $249 (roughly Rs. 16,000), and will launch in Taiwan first, with other markets to follow eventually.