Author: Dhruvil Pandya

Lenovo Chromebook Duet: The best Chromebook of 2020

If you are looking to purchase a low-cost laptop or tab due to COVID-19, it is worth checking out Lenovo’s new Chromebook Duet. Before getting into the details, we would like to say that there are shortcomings with the device, but it packs a serious punch starting at $279. When the price is that low, you are definitely not looking for a premium device, are you? The point is: “Is the Chromebook Duet better than other laptops you can get for this price?”

Chromebooks available in this price range are clumsy and gaudy, just like Chromebook x360 12b or HP’s Chromebook 14. If you wish to go for a Windows alternative, you’re good to go with Acer Swift or Acer Aspire. But again, there is an iPad mini and other entry level Android tablets. The only catch, these don’t come with a keyboard. Lenovo has tried to get away with a lot of things to bring the Chromebook Duet down to this price. The look and feel is more like a Surface Go than a budget laptop.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet Specifications

Comparing the Lenovo Chromebook Duet with higher-end Chromebooks like the Pixelbook Go isn’t the smartest thing to do. These devices are pricey, especially when you consider the keyboard covers. Coming to the specs, Chromebook Duet has a base model available with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. It comes with a keyboard and kickstand unlike Surface Go or any iPad. The next model up comes with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is a better option and extra $20 won’t hurt you. 

The Chromebook is cute and how, at 10.1 inches, it is similar to a normal tablet but a bit cramped for room when you use it as a laptop computer. The display comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio, as opposed to the usual 16:9 ratio on a 13-inch laptop.

Weight and Battery Life

The Lenovo Chromebook Duet is extremely compact and portable. The tablet just weights 449g and with the keyboard and kickstand it comes to about 921g, which is a steal. Despite slacking in some parts, Lenovo has done a fairly good job, the tablet is made up of Aluminium alloy which gives a sturdy look and feel. The outer cover is made up of gray fabric which gives a rich feeling when the laptop is closed.

If you are planning to use a range of peripherals, please ensure that you have splitters and dongles. The Chromebook Duet comes with a single USB-C port which will take up the charging port. It would be a bonus to include a headphone jack, however Lenovo has included a cool headphone dongle. The next place where the Chromebook Duet is excellent is its battery life. Lenovo claims the battery life of 10 hours, however early users admit that it is way over 11 hours. It is like a breath of fresh air when a low-cost laptop battery runs for 10+ hours at a stretch.

Chromebook Duet Price and Availability

The Chromebook Duet is modestly priced at $279 for the basic version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage capacity. The next version is priced at $299 with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage capacity.  Lenovo Chromebook Duet is now available in store and on Best Buy. If you are looking to buy a laptop for kids or to watch Netflix and sending emails or work on the go it would be perfect. That being said, it is one of the best midrange laptops/chromebook you can get from a trusted brand like Lenovo.

 

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s – Carbon Fiber e-bike for the future

Majority of commuter e-bikes are bulky and difficult to carry. Almost all trending e-bikes have steel or aluminium frames hence requiring a large battery to move and a robust motor. These bikes are a treat to ride as battery support overpowers the weight. The drawback, however, is the difficulty to carry up a flight of stairs. Gogoro, a Taiwanese brand known for their electric scooters has come up with its first e-bike with carbon fiber. Due to carbon fiber, it is extremely lightweight and should not require as much power to ride.

There are a number of e-bikes available today like Cowboy , VanMoof and a variety of other manufacturers. So, the initial thought would be “What is so special about the Gogoro Eeyo 1s?”. We will cover Gogoro’s balance between weight, motorised power and smart-bike specifications. The CEO of Gogoro was the former head of design at HTC and hence we can expect Gogoro to deliver a solid punch.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Design

Gogoro’s Eeyo 1s isn’t the first bike that removed the seat tube. However, the curvature and incessant lines of the frame makes Eeyo 1s a commendable beast. It has a slim carbon fiber frame devoid of a chunky down tube to hide the battery. The 123 WH battery is placed inside a metal cylinder located in the center of the back wheel. This design is what we would call a masterstroke to keep a slim frame. The Eeyo 1s is available in only one colour currently: warm white. If you wish to go for a swankier Lobster Orange or Cloud Blue, you will have to purchase the clunkier Eeyo 1. Gogoro has gone with “riser” handlebars that curve upwards from either side of the clamp. The grip too bends slightly towards the rider and hence provides a sportier position when riding.

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Performance

The metal cylinder which contains the battery as well as a 250W motor and the sensors required to monitor the speed and exertion. Gogoro Eeyo 1s has a max speed of 25Km/hr in Europe and 31Km/hr in the US. This is very similar to top speeds provided by other e-bike manufacturers. In Europe, there is no requirement of a license or a number plate and insurance provided it is 250W and driven below 25Km/hr. Folks in the US, though the top speed is advertised as 31Km/hr, it is best to drive between 24-27Km/hr. The Eeyo 1 has been designed for cities where there’s a lot of traffic lights hence the riders need to be agile and proactive. Gogoro has confirmed that the range of Gogoro Eeyo 1s is 64-89Kms on a single charge. 

Gogoro Eeyo 1s Pricing and Availability

That handsome weight reduction comes at an exorbitant price. The Eeyo 1 with a carbon frame and fork with an alloy seat, handlebars and rims cost US $3,899. Eeyo 1s, the lighter model (complete carbon fibre) is priced at US $4,599. It is not too expensive for a carbon fiber bike but a lot more than the competitors VanMoof and Cowboy. The Eeyo 1s went on sale in the US early this week and will start delivering to other parts of the world by August 10.

Wrapping Up

The Gogoro Eeyo 1s has been specifically designed for a niche market. For people wishing to have an e-bike that is easy to carry on one arm. In doing so, these customers are happy to let go some of the smart features like an alarm or integrated lights. This e-bike will be a boon for people looking for a smart and sleek bike which is extremely lightweight and superfast. However, the only con is that it is super expensive, even by e-bike standards. It will be good to see such smart bikes on the city roads rather than smoke producing, environmentally harmful cars and motorbikes. If you would like us to write more about the latest trends in technology, you can comment below or contact us.

Sony’s Wearable Air Conditioner for the new Normal

When you live in a humid or subtropical region, you would understand the pain of never ending summers. Especially people living in the asian subcontinent can agree. Amidst soaring temperatures and suffocating humidity, stepping outside during the summer and monsoon months feels like being slowly cooked like a lifeless vegetable in a hot pot. Due to the current pandemic situation, you would not need more encouragement to stay at home and summer is the perfect reason.

Sony has decided to collaborate with Reon Pocket via First Flight startup-crowdfunding source. First Flight is responsible for amazing products like Huis Smart Home universal remote and FES E Ink watch. They have now come up with a unique product – Reon Pocket which can be well known as a wearable air conditioner.

What is Reon Pocket?

Reon Pocket is a tiny palm-sized sleek white device which works as a wearable air conditioner. The device can be charged over USB-C and can be paired with your Android or iOS smartphone with Bluetooth. Now, this gadget certainly looks a lot more like an Apple mouse but with that signature Sony feels. A silicone pad on the back of the device can be pressed against your skin and it uses the Peltier effect for cooling or heating itself up by absorbing/releasing heat. Although you can use it as a handheld device, the correct use is with Sony’s specially designed V-neck undershirt with a slim pocket on the back to keep the device in place between your shoulders. So cool, right? 

Reon Pocket Specifications

The Reon Pocket device weighs only 80 grams and hence beyond cooling and warming effects there is no noticeable difference when you wear it in the undershirt, also it doesn’t come out under another clothing layer. That being said, it is difficult to insert the device when you are already wearing the undershirt. It is best to insert the device and then wear an undershirt or it gets better with practice. According to Sony, the wearable device can reduce your body temperature by 13 degrees and in winters, you can use it to elevate your body temperature by 8 degree celsius.

How to use the Reon Pocket app?

The Reon Pocket device can be readily paired with your smartphone via Bluetooth. It is fairly easy to use the mobile app and control temperature settings. It has a basic three model cooling and warming function along with an extra boost mode limited to two minutes which comes with a different speed fan. By default, it will automatically choose your saved mode when you switch on the device. By doing this, you don’t need to worry about using the app every now and then. The run time of the device is around 2-3 hours on full charge and can vary depending on the intensity of your settings.

Reon Pocket Pricing and Availability

The Reon Pocket is available currently only in Japan. The price of the device is 13,000 yen (approximately $122) and the undershirts are roughly $20 each. There are only two undershirt colours available at the moment – white and beige. 

Wrapping Up

When you are using the Reon Pocket wearable air conditioner, it will not work exactly like an air conditioner cooling your entire body temperature. This will work more on a surface contact basis, so you will still sweat but there is some relief. We are hoping to see more enhancements for it to be used in a country like India where temperatures can go upto 50 degree celsius in western and central states. If you would like to read about such exciting technology articles, please visit our blog and leave a comment below.

Galaxy Unpacked : What to expect from Samsung’s first Online Event

Samsung’s most awaited product launch event is finally happening on 5th August, 2020. As expected, this event will happen online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The star of the event is definitely going to be the next phone in Samsung’s Galaxy Note series. It is important to note that the Galaxy Note series is top of the range smartphone that pairs some of the most advanced hardware with a huge screen and its coveted S Pen Stylus. 

Along with Note 20, Samsung could also launch new earbuds and wearables to foldables. Rumour has it that Samsung could reveal the most recent Galaxy Z Flip handset with 5G support. Earlier this month, we did a write up about Motorola Razr 2 being the first smartphone to launch with 5G.It is exciting to note that Samsung could also reveal Galaxy Watch 3 and a new wireless earbuds named Galaxy Buds Live. Samsung also launched a new smartwatch and a laptop in 2019. Going by the 2019 event, it is highly possible that these things will be featured in the event next month. Let’s see the list of expected announcements by Samsung on Aug 5:

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Series

Just like August Unpacked event 2019, this year’s event may see a major focus on Galaxy Note 20 series. However, this year we expect Samsung to release two Notes, including a standard Note 20 along with a bigger Note 20 with a curved display. If we are to believe some rumours, this year we could witness a Note 20 Plus with a 6.87 inch display but speculations suggest that this and the Ultra could be the same. The first speculation came when Samsung accidentally posted a picture of S20 on its russian website. The new Note 20 confirms that it will have three cameras along with a fourth sensor that could be a 3D ToF sensor for portrait shots and focus speed. We must say, Note 20 looks promising on paper and we cannot wait to witness this mystic copper beauty.

Samsung Galaxy Foldables

Coming to Foldables, it is almost certain that we are going to witness two main devices: Galaxy Z flip with 5G support and Galaxy Fold, a tablet that folds and takes the shape and size of a smartphone. Talking about Galaxy Z Flip, it is slated to have a faster Snapdragon 865 Plus processor compared to the 4G model. However, it is believed that the remaining specifications might remain the same.

Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 is currently in development but it might not be unveiled in the August Unpacked event. It will also support 5G and will have an impressive 8-inch display, a 108 megapixel camera and an S Pen stylus. The Galaxy Fold 2 beast will also be powered by a Snapdragon 865 processor.

Samsung Wearables

Going by the trend, a new Galaxy Watch announcement is a must. It seems that Samsung might be skipping the Galaxy Watch 2 completely and jumping to Galaxy Watch 3. The most notable thing is a physical rotating bezel which did not make it to last year’s Galaxy Watch Active and Active 2. The physical bezel provides a smooth physical control for the smartwatch. The new smartwatch will be available in 41mm and 45mm sizes and LTE and Wi-Fi-only watches. Reports suggest that Samsung might also bring back a fitness tracker to the ecosystem just like Galaxy Fit from last year.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live

In early 2020, Samsung launched the Galaxy Buds Plus, a pair of true wireless earbuds which became the best wireless earbuds released in 2020. However, the August 5 event could see another pair of wireless earbuds the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live which is packed with active noise cancellation. Along with active noise cancellation, the Galaxy Buds Live has a weird bean shaped design. The new Galaxy Buds Live will only have a six hour battery life compared to eleven hours for Galaxy Buds Plus.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus

If you are an ardent fan of Samsung, you must know that there are very few companies that take Android tablets seriously but Samsung still manages to launch new variants in its Galaxy Tab lineup each year. If reports are to be believed Samsung will unveil Tab S7 and Tab S7 Plus at August Unpacked event. The new Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus will have an 11-inch and 12.4 inch screens and will run on Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. Additionally, both tabs will work well with Samsung’s S Pen. The specifications of S7 and S7 Plus suggests that it will be a 6 or 8 GB RAM and 128/256 GB data storage. It is important to see whether both S7 and S7 Plus will have 5G support.

Wrapping Up

With these exciting products lined up for the August Unpacked event, it would be greedy to expect Samsung’s Galaxy Home to be featured too. On August 6, we will be doing a follow up article on Samsung’s most awaited first online event in case you miss out. 

Motorola Razr 2 rumoured to release with 5G

Motorola was one of the first leading companies in the smartphone market to announce the foldable smartphone segment by invigorating the once dead Razr phones. The next version of Motorola’s revived Razr flip smartphones will support 5G connectivity and boast a 48 megapixel camera with a 6.2 inch screen. The highly rumoured sequel to Motorola’s quintessential smartphone is anticipated to be released in North America in September 2020. In 2019, Motorola released Razr which was the first vertical foldable smartphone in the market. Eventually, the Razr went on sale in February 2020.

The Motorola Razr earned the reputation of being a slick and foldable smartphone but the durability was still a question mark. The new Moto Razr 2 is intended to solve the problems of the first installment of foldable Razr smartphones. Motorola made a great deal about the custom hinge design that bends the screen in a U-shape when closed. The new Razr smartphone has a 6.2-inch foldable screen and many people found the hardware a big fail for the price of $1500.

Specifications

A Motorola trusted executive reaffirmed that a second generation Razr was coming soon and a different source suggested technical specifications. The new phone has a codename “Smith” with a model number XT2071-4. According to a leaked source, the second generation Razr phones will have a clamshell-style folder with a large internal OLED screen and a miniature display on the outside. The camera is supposed to get a big stimulus from 16MP primary and 5MP selfie camera to an astonishing 48MP and 20MP selfie camera. For the price of $1500, the existing Razr has a midrange Snapdragon 710 ARM chip which is a shortcoming from Motorola. However, Motorola Razr 2 will be equipped with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage along with a Snapdragon 765 chip.

Possibility of 5G?

The inclusion of a Snapdragon 765 chip means that 5G is on the cards for the Motorola Razr 2. Now, a 765 Snapdragon chip can do a millimeter-wave 5G but it is not as swift as the Snapdragon 865. Also, the biggest concern is the foldable display. It is not clear if the existing millimeter-wave antennas can fit in a folding smartphone like Motorola Razr 2. However, it will be able to support sub-6 GHz 5G signals using an integrated X52 modem.

Is it worth it?

We still remember the time in 2004 when Moto Razr was launched and due to the slick design and foldable screen it was an instant hit among tech-savvy youth. The previous generation Razr launched in 2019 had a disappointing battery life due to a 2,510mAh cell. This new Razr 2 will supposedly increase the size to 2,800mAh. That being said, 5G technology will also use up more power and hence it will be interesting to see.

Now, the source didn’t provide any information about pricing or carriers but looking at the trend of previous Motorola Razr phones, this new phone would also be an expensive phone. For a long time, foldable phones have been a lavish product and it will continue this tradition for some time.

Top 5 Announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2020

Apple’s keynote speech by CEO Tim Cook commenced their first ever digital Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020). The address covered a whole lot of software updates including iOS 14, iPhone, iPad, WatchOS and Apple TV etc. WWDC 2020 was highly anticipated as Apple decided to go online due to the current COVID-19 scare. We know many of you didn’t have the time to watch the live stream but we’ve got you covered. Apple made many major announcements to iOS, macOS, WatchOS etc and also a break up with Intel. We have got the 5 best announcements from WWDC 2020 for you to look at:

Make way for iOS 14

iOS 14 is now available in preview mode to developers from today. Important to note, a public beta version is expected to roll out in July shortly. Lots of software updates are coming to iOS 14 and some of the best are covered by us. iOS 14 will feature an App Library or a new home screen page. This will help to classify your apps and will keep you informed about the apps that you use the most. Along with this, Widgets will now be available on home screen and not on Today screen like previous iOS versions. Moreover, iOS 14 will have a picture-in-picture feature on iPhone to switch between different apps while watching a video or during Facetime. This feature has been on the iPad since iOS 9 but now you can use it on the iPhone too.

Siri has been revamped in iOS 14 too. Now, Siri will no longer take the fullscreen and can do speech to text translation with privacy and speed. Also, you can now pin your most important conversations to the top of the list for ease of use and Memojis will now don a face mask. Because, why not?

MacOS Big Sur

The new version of macOS will be called the Big Sur. MacOS Big Sur will have some modifications to make it look and feel like iOS. Just like iOS, macOS will now feature a dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen to control volume, display brightness, dark mode, WiFi controls etc. It will now be easier to use a revised Notification Center to clear more notifications in one go. Safari will now have a Privacy Report function which will show you what data has been captured by the site. Moreover, Apple Maps has been revamped in macOS Big Sur. It will now support functions like in-door maps, guides, favourite locations etc.

Changes for iPadOS

Though iPadOS will be able to use most of the features from iOS14 along with a few new features. Apple has revamped the iPad search – it will no longer be full screen. The iPadOS can now go into apps like Messages, Mail, Keynote and Files. Moreover, handwriting recognition is now enabled in any text field which allows you to scribble a quick note without putting the pencil down to type. It is very convenient to draw rough shapes like squares, arrows etc and convert them automatically into neatly designed shapes by holding your pencil for a few more seconds. iPadOS comes with the ability to understand different languages with ease too.

WatchOS 7

You can now set up your Apple Watch face according to your liking with the new WatchOS 7. Compared to earlier versions, you can also share your watch face set up with your friends via messages or email/safari. If the receiver doesn’t have proper set up, they will be guided how to access it easily. Sleep tracking is much better with WatchOS 7 and helps to keep a track of your sleep schedule periodically. The most relevant feature of WatchOS 7 is handwash detection. Your Apple Watch can now detect your hand motions through the accelerometer and sound of water to detect that you are washing your hands and it will start a 20 second timer to remind you.

Homekit

Homekit is now enabled to automatically change the brightness/temperature of your smart bulbs all throughout the day. Like user cooler lights during the day and warm lights during the latter part of the day to help you sleep. Homekit doorbell cams can now recognize your friends and relatives and notify you via Homepod/Apple TV. With Homekit, it is now possible to select activity zones for security cameras. With that, you can limit alerts to only a certain number of activities/ movements throughout the video and not every time when a car passes by your house.

Along with the above changes in multiple OS, there are other changes to improve security and enable a premium user experience. These changes will also change the landscape of mobile app development in 2020-21.

Fitbit Flow: A low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 Patients

Fitbit, the wearable giant has joined NASA and Dyson to manufacture low-cost ventilators to help during COVID-19 crisis. NASA had been approved to manufacture and sell their ventilators late last month. Now, Fitbit comes with a $5000 ventilator which has been given a green signal by the FDA for emergency use. This means that it can only be used during COVID-19 crisis and not after that. According to The Verge, Fitbit Flow would be sold around $5000, which is considerably lower than conventional ventilators and the production is expected to begin this month.

Comparison between traditional Ventilator and Fitbit Flow

According to the American Thoracic Society, a ventilator is a life support system that assists people to breathe when they are unable to breathe on their own. The ventilator helps to get oxygen into the lungs and get rid of carbon dioxide out of the lungs. It is important to note that the Flow isn’t a traditional ventilator, nor it is designed to be a replacement. According to FDA, it is only to be used when an FDA cleared ventilator isn’t available during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this, Fitbit explained that the Flow has been developed to act as a makeshift ventilator to be used during the COVID-19 crisis as healthcare establishments are running out of ventilators. It doesn’t mean that it could be used in hospitals after the pandemic resides, for that it would need further testing and approval from FDA.

Fitbit has expressed that it proposed to use the pre existing infrastructure to quickly manufacture “large volumes” of these easy to use and low-cost ventilators to keep COVID-19 patients alive until they are shifted to a traditional ventilator. Fitbit also suggested that this is a provisional shift in focus and there are no plans to continue manufacturing Flow once the pandemic resides.

Fitbit Flow Concept and Engineering

Fitbit says that the Flow is engineered around resuscitator bags generally used by healthcare professionals/ paramedics but it has supplementary sensors and alarms to assist patient monitoring efficiently. The company approached medical experts and practitioners while developing the Flow and expects it will be easier to use than conventional ventilators. The design is intended to inspire confidence. The machine is built from laser cut aluminium, it is devised to be user-friendly and insightful which reduces the burden on highly specialised healthcare professionals who are usually expected to operate a conventional ventilator. The hardware is designed to have a transparent viewing window for medical staff to examine the automated pumping from a distance and the Flow can be used with a stand or can stand firmly on a table top for ease of use. The stand is also modular and has the capacity to accommodate different sizes of oxygen tanks.

Fitbit CEO and co-founder remarked in a statement that the wearable company saw an opportunity to showcase their competence in advanced sensor development, manufacturing and their efficient global supply chain to address the dire and continuous need for ventilators and help make a contribution in the worldwide fight against COVID-19. Fitbit confirmed its intentions to produce a ventilator last month after concerns surfaced that there aren’t enough ventilators to handle all the patients who will need them during the ongoing crisis against coronavirus. The Wall Street Journal reported that in April, the United States government had been struggling to purchase thousands of ventilators to deal with the virus outbreak but the demand was lower than expected. Nevertheless, the ventilators may be needed if COVID-19 spreads beyond or due to factors such as the start of the influenza later this year. Only time will tell.

Kokoon Headphone or SLEEPOPHONE

Kokoon Headphone

Sleeping is vital for a person’s personal health and wellbeing. It helps relax the muscles in our body and rejuvenates our brain cells. Continue reading

CELEBRATING 200 DAYS OF NIMBLECHAPPS

Nimblechapps

It fills me up with immense pride and pleasure that I have been given this opportunity of a write up for this special day as this time our CEO is damn busy with other commitments, not that he wasn’t busy at that time when he wrote the article for 100 days celebration but now he has a lot on his plate which I will be mentioning through the course of this article. Continue reading

Video Calling – The Latest Feature in Facebook’s Messenger App

Facebook Messenger Video Calling

Facebook Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said that Messenger accounts for “more than 10% of all mobile VoIP calls globally”, and although Facebook doesn’t profit from these calls, they help in keeping Facebook at the center of its user’s communication habits.

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