Mobile Devices

Qualcomm Presents Snapdragon 821

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Qualcomm announces an update on the flagship Snapdragon 820 mobile processor-- the cleverly named Snapdragon 821, a chip around 10% faster than its predecessor.

QualcommDescribed as "designed to complement and extend the competitive strengths" of current Qualcomm technology, the quad-core 821 is, essentially, an in-between option for high-end devices launched the company presents an actual next-gen processor. As such, it offers clock speeds of 2.4GHz (up from the 2.1GHz of the 820) while promising battery life and app performance.

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Panasonic Updates Toughpad Tablet

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Panasonic launches the 4th generation of Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet-- one featuring improved battery life and an OS update to Windows 10 Pro.

Toughpad FZ-G1The ruggedised tablet also gets a CPU ugrade with a 6th generation Intel Core i5-6300 vPro processor complete with built in Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU. The battery promises up to 14 hours of use on a single charge, with an optional larger battery extending the number to 28 hours.

Connectivity comes through wifi and Bluetooth, and an 8MP rear-facing camera is also included.

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The Flexible Holographic Smartphone

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Researchers at the Queen's University Human Media Lab show off a smartphone first-- the HoloFlex, a device featuring a flexible body and a holographic display allowing for bendable glasses-free 3D.

HoloflexSeen in early prototype form, the Holoflex features a novel display with a microlens array on top. The lenses disperse light in multiple directions to create 3D images multiple users can simultaneously see, all without need for head tracking or 3D glasses.

The bendable aspect of the device is also interesting, since it provides a means for interaction with on-screen images in the 3rd dimensions. One example shown by the researchers is a 3D version of Angry Birds with users bending the screen in order to pull the elasic rubber band making the bird fly.

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Preorders Open for First Ubuntu Tablet

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Spanish electronics maker BQ opens preorders for the Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition-- the first tablet on the market running on Ubuntu OS, specifically version 15.04 Vivid Vervet.

Ubuntu tabletWhile the Linux-based OS is unique enough, the Aquaris M10 is even more interesting through a Continuum-style convergence features. Essentially the tablet can switch from mobile to traditional Linux through connection on peripherals such as keyboard, mouse and external display.

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Apple Bucks Trend With iPhone SE, Smaller iPad Pro

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The current reasoning in mobile device design might be "big is beautiful," but Apple appears to go in the opposite direction with its most recent device offerings, the 4-inch iPhone SE and a 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

iPhone SEUnveiled during an uncharacteristically short March event, the iPhone SE is identical in size to the iPhone 5s-- making it fully compatible with cases designed for older iPhone models, bringing some good news to both customers and accessory makers. However the internals are similar to those of the iPhone 6s, since it features the same A9 CPU, M9 motion co-processor and a 12MP rear-facing iSight camera.

Also included are Touch ID capability, LTE support, 802.11ac wifi, new microphones, always-on "Hey Siri" voice activation and improved battery life.

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