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05/11/2020 19:05:08  

Gaming hardware makers have been diversifying their laptops recently, and Razer is the latest to join that trend. From a report: The company is announcing the Razer Book 13 today, which it's calling a "hyper focused productivity laptop." It's not just a subtler version of a Blade laptop, either. The emphasis on productivity means Razer also strove to include a generous array of ports, as well as interesting lighting features that could help highlight keyboard shortcuts. The Book 13 is also the company's first Intel Evo-certified notebook, meaning it meets certain requirements for performance, battery life and wake time. As its name indicates, the Book 13 has a 13.4-inch IPS display that comes in touch or nontouch configurations. If you opt for the matte nontouch version, you'll only get Full HD+ resolution, while the touch models also come in UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400). The touchscreens are also covered in Gorilla Glass for better durability and you can add an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare. All configurations feature a 16:10 aspect ratio, which is new to Razer's family of laptops and lets you see more on the screen at once than older 16:9 devices. The Book 13 also houses a 720p webcam in its slim bezels, and it's Windows Hello-compatible. There isn't a fingerprint scanner here, though. That's understandable -- Razer's already crammed a lot into the Book 13, which is impressive for a device thatâ(TM)s 0.6 inches thick and weighs 2.95 pounds. Plus, despite that sharp profile, the company managed to offer two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a USB-A socket (at USB 3.2 speeds), a microSD card reader, a 3.5mm audio jack and an HDMI 2.0 slot. [...] The slim, lightweight package is something Razer fans are already accustomed to, and they'll also appreciate some other familiar features. The most prominent of these is Razer Chroma integration which allows users to customize the colors of individual buttons on the keyboard. Starts at $1,199. Pre-order starts today, with shipping to be followed later this month.

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21/10/2020 03:04:04  

Last month, Amazon announced a gaming platform called Luna that lets users play games via the cloud. The company is rolling out early access today, starting with a library of 50 games and support for Mac, PC, Fire TV, and iOS devices. The Verge's Chaim Gartenberg shares what it's like so far and how it compares to other streaming services out there like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia. Here's an excerpt from his report: The biggest question for Luna -- like any cloud gaming service -- is performance. For cloud gaming to work well, companies like Amazon need to rapidly deliver compressed video frames that respond to your button presses even if internet bandwidth dips and even if your house isn't located right next to an Amazon server farm. Amazon recommends a minimum connection speed of 10 Mbps for Luna, but your home's internal network also matters. We tested Luna on a variety of devices in two different Verge editors' homes across two different coasts with a variety of internet speeds and connection types. So far, 10 Mbps doesn't seem like nearly enough. We found that we needed a connection of at least 25 Mbps in order to have a consistently playable stream, with more bandwidth obviously being better. My colleague Sean Hollister limited his router to 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps, and 20 Mbps, but he'd still get stretches of choppy video. The best performance (of course) came from a PC with a wired Ethernet connection and controller, with no other family members streaming video in the house. Playing Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on that solid of a connection was virtually indistinguishable from the game running natively. (Switching back and forth, you can tell it takes oh-so-slightly longer to swing a sword, but it felt perfectly playable.) Admittedly, there are few benefits to actually using Luna to stream the game on a capable PC. On the other hand, Metro: Exodus, one of the most graphically intensive games available to stream, looked and played decidedly worse streamed to a web browser than it does on a capable gaming PC. Honestly, it doesn't look great in either Luna or Stadia, but at least Stadia could keep up with a mouse and keyboard. Luna's mouse was extremely laggy. Using wireless connections introduces a lot more variables into Luna's performance. If you have a steady, strong Wi-Fi connection, Luna works pretty well, with little to no lag, smooth HD video, and responsive enough gameplay to enjoy even fast-paced platformers like Sonic Mania on an iPhone with a paired Bluetooth controller. But when Luna has a bad connection, it's rough. For some reason, Amazon doesn't seem to degrade the quality of video streaming when connection speeds are bad; it just tries to power on through by dropping frames until speeds pick up. I also ran into issues where audio started to lag behind what was otherwise smooth gameplay, presumably due to a sluggish connection. Right now, it seems that Luna's performance is almost entirely dependent on having good internet. Further reading: iOS Web App, Game Library, and App Functionality

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16/10/2020 06:00:34  

Its new chair says the decision to scrap its HD channel was an "enormous strategic mistake".
12/10/2020 20:04:23  

Razer has unveiled its fall lineup of gaming products for its base of hardcore gamers, including new laptops and an ergonomic gaming chair. The company unveiled the gear at its first annual RazerCon weekend-long event, a virtual festival filmed at the company's Las Vegas store. The event includes concerts with artists such as Deadmau5, DragonForce and Friends, Sabaton, and Speaker Honey. From a report: More than a million people were watching at the outset of RazerCon as Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan took the stage. He noted that Razer donated more than a million masks during the pandemic and that fans donated 75,000. He said Razer also created a $15 million COVID-19 relief fund and the company is supporting green product design with its products and packaging. Tan also announced a partnership with Conservation International to fund the protection of trees worldwide. Razer announced the latest version of its Razer Blade Stealth 13 laptop with an "ultrabook" design. It has an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor running at up to 4.7GHz (base performance of 2.8GHz), a full HD OLED touch display option, and THX Spatial Audio. It also has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics chip (the same as the prior model with 4GB GDDR6 memory, which gives it 10% faster graphics performance) and is 2.7 times better at content creation than the previous version. The display has an option for operating at a 120-hertz refresh rate. Razer marketing manager Eugene Kuo said in a press briefing that the laptop is the company's first to combine the OLED screen with the faster refresh rate. The laptop runs at 28 watts and can produce darker images and contrast ratios. Razer acquired THX, which was founded by filmmaker George Lucas, and is now adding the THX Spatial Audio technology to its peripherals and computers. For gaming, Razer claims the spatial audio offers a competitive edge, as you can hear which direction enemies are coming from. The Razer Blade Stealth 13 will be available this month at $1,800 on Razer.com, as well as through select retailers this fall.

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08/10/2020 09:03:09  

shirappu writes: AI technology is getting better and better at improving old video footage by adding new frames to improve smoothness and adding color to black and white footage (a great explainer for the techniques can be found here). Now, YouTube channel DutchSteamMachine is applying the same techniques to the moon landing in 1969. The AI-restored footage stabilizes the shaky old footage, adds frames, and motion smooths the whole thing to essentially bring the footage into the present. Though it can be difficult to improve these videos because high-quality source footage is a necessity, it's still a good example of how improved these technologies are becoming with the development of AI support. The actual improved video of the moon landing can be found here.

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05/10/2020 18:03:00  

As promised, the Apple TV is finally starting to play YouTube videos in 4K -- with caveats. From a report: Users on Reddit and elsewhere are starting to see YouTube 4K support enabled on the media hub when it's using at least tvOS 14. However, you can only watch in Ultra HD at 30 frames per second, and without HDR. Don't expect to make full use of that posh new TV just yet, although 60FPS video will play at up to 1440p. It also said current iPads and iPhones should support 4K video with 60FPS and HDR, although support looks to be be inconsistent at this stage. Apple TV support also isn't universal, at least not yet. YouTube appears to be delivering the update remotely rather than tying it to an app release.

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01/10/2020 16:02:50  

Microsoft today unveiled the Surface Laptop Go with a 12.4-inch touchscreen for $549, its cheapest and lightest (2.45lbs) laptop yet. The company also updated the Surface Pro X with SQ2 -- Microsoft's second-generation custom ARM chip co-engineered with Qualcomm -- for $1,500. Both are available for preorder today and ship on October 13. From a report: Those are the highlights. But a single sentence in Microsoft's announcement stood out to us. "What started as a vision for a PC in every single home has now evolved to the need for a PC for every single person," Panos Panay, head of engineering for all of Microsoft's devices, said in press briefing. For decades, Bill Gates' vision was "A computer on every desk, and in every home, running Microsoft software." That's why even in 2020, Windows 10 is running on 1 billion devices. [...] Surface Laptop Go is powered by Intel's 10th generation i5 QuadCore processor, up to 16GB RAM and 256GB storage, and up to 13 hours of battery life. Microsoft is also touting a full-size keyboard with 1.3mm key travel and a fingerprint power button for one touch sign-in. Then there's a 720p HD camera, Studio Mics, Omnisonic Speakers, Dolby Audio, USB A, USB C, audio jack, and the Surface connector.

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