Samsungs Galaxy S8 BOGO deal is weirdly competitive


first_imgSamsung hasn’t been slow in selling Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ phones, but if you’ve been holding off buying the new Android flagship then it may have the deal you’ve been waiting for. Although its curved AMOLED touchscreen, slimline glass and metal construction, and speedy Snapdragon 835 processor have meant the Galaxy S8 isn’t cheap – especially if you buy it unlocked – Samsung itself is running a BOGO deal in the US that’s worth considering. Best of all, it appears Samsung could teach the carriers something about being user-friendly. Now buy one, get one free deals aren’t unusual. They’re not even rare when it comes to brand new flagships, like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. We’ve seen several carriers already offering the chance to get a pair of the new smartphones and only end up paying for one of them. What sets Samsung’s deal apart, though, is just how straightforward it is. Basically, you choose your phone – you can have two Galaxy S8, two Galaxy S8+, or a combination of S8 and S8+ – and what colors you want, and then decide how you want to pay. Either you can cough up the cash for each upfront, or use a 0-percent payment plan and spread it out over 24 months.When the phones reach you, you have to activate one on T-Mobile USA. Then, Samsung will refund up to $750 – or the cost of the cheaper of the two devices, if you mixed-and-matched on S8 and S8+ – within 7-10 days. It’ll go back to your original purchase method, too, rather than in the form of annoying rebate vouchers or preloaded credit cards.The surprise comes from the fact that, despite this being a promotion with T-Mobile, this is so much easier than the carrier’s own BOGO deal. To take advantage of that, you’ll need to set up a new, second line – which Samsung doesn’t appear to be requiring – and be on a certain qualifying plan. T-Mobile will issue the refund on the second device in the form of a prepaid MasterCard, too. NOW READ: Samsung Galaxy S8 ReviewBest of all, Samsung will include two of its Entertainment Kits with the phones. That consists of a Clear View standing cover which props the S8 and S8+ up for hands-free viewing or gaming, along with a Samsung 64GB MicroSD EVO+ memory card, and a 6-month Netflix subscription. In short, if you’ve been on the fence about the Galaxy S8 or S8+, and you’re willing to go with T-Mobile as your carrier, Samsung’s deal is probably the best around for the moment. MORE Samsungcenter_img Story Timeline5 million Galaxy S8 units sold in less than a monthGalaxy S8 and S8+ will get Google Daydream support this summerGalaxy S8 claimed faster than iPhone 7 in battery of testsThis could be what the Galaxy S8 Active looks likelast_img read more


Xiaomi Mi 6 Mercury Silver Edition doubles as a mirror


first_imgAnd how much more will this reflective edition cost you? The base price for a Xiaomi Mi 6 is 2,499 RMB, roughly $370. And the Mercury Silver Edition? 3,999 RMB, around $595, which also includes fingerprint smudges.VIA: MIUI Forum Do you remember that rumor that the iPhone 8 will have a new “color” that puts a very reflective metal coating on its back? Would it surprise you that a Chinese manufacturer tried to beat Apple to the punch? And would it be a shock to find out that said Chinese manufacturer is Xiaomi? If you’ve been keeping tabs on smartphone news all over the world, you probably wouldn’t be surprised at all. At the press event where it unveiled the Mi 5X, MIUI 9, and Mi AI smart speaker, the company also revealed the Mi 6 Mercury Silver Edition, a.k.a. the MirrorBack edition. Mercury, if it doesn’t remind you of the planet, might call to mind images of viscous silver liquid metal, like that seen in Terminator 2. Don’t worry, this Mi 6 won’t try to kill you, even if your name is John Connor. It won’t even look like liquid metal. Unless yo place it beside shiny bent, curved, and wavy metal.That’s because this Mercury Silver Edition will reflect that. Actually it will reflect everything, even the face of that person you’re covertly trying to photograph. It’s very shiny and, because it’s silver, it acts pretty much like a mirror. Not that the other Mi 6 aren’t shiny, but their varied hues fail to give an accurate reflection.Other than that, the Mi 6 Mercury Silver Edition is pretty much like all other Mi 6 editions. That means being a 5.2-inch Full HD screen on top of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 or 6 GB of RAM, 64 or 128 GB of storage, and dual 12 megapixel cameras.AdChoices广告last_img read more


iOS 11 developer beta 7 public beta 6 now available


first_imgOf course, the final release won’t be happening until around September at the earliest, but Apple’s bug squashing frenzy is at an all time high as that date approaches. It has just been a week since the last beta and users might haven’t had enough time to enjoy that version. Then again, given some of the bugs there, they might have not enjoyed it in the first place.Beta 6 or 7, for public and developers, respectively, fixes some of the outstanding pain points from last week. At the top of that list is the SOS feature, which apparently didn’t cancel the 911 call even when you tell it not to, much to the annoyance of 911 operators. iTunes metadata were once lost and now found again and Siri has learned to sound less artificial. Well, as much as it can.Developers are once again reminded that the end of support for 32-bit apps is nigh and to make the switch now. That call has been made a few beta releases back but, you know how developer try to hold off until the last minute. If they don’t want to be left out of the iOS 11 party, it’s time to get off their posteriors.iOS 11 naturally has a lot in store for users on whatever device, but Apple itself has placed a huge emphasis on what the release means for iPad Pro owners. It makes a lot of changes in the user interaction that Apple had to make videos to showcase and explain them. Of course, much of the changes in iOS 11 are under the hood and many of them, like Face ID, have been made with the iPhone 8 in mind.SOURCE: Apple This week isn’t just for eclipses and oreos. While it still isn’t a final release, iOS users and developers are also getting a bit of a treat. Apple has just rolled out a new beta version of iOS 11 not just for developers but even for users brave enough to tread the waters. And at the rate that Apple is pushing out these betas, users can only expect one thing: that iOS 11 is almost ready for prime time.last_img read more


Hulu will spend about 25 billion on content this year


first_imgThe figure is a huge one, but in no way does it sit at the top of the pack. Netflix, for example, will have spent around $6 billion this year on content and it recently revealed plans to increase that number to around $7 billion in 2018. Amazon isn’t far behind: it is thought to have a content budget sitting around $4.5 billion, though exact figures are less certain.That puts Hulu in third place, a position that is still pretty great, all things considered. The $2.5 billion is more than double the $1 billion Apple is reportedly dedicating to content next year, though it should be noted that Apple’s budget is said to be for original content specifically, whereas Netflix’s, for example, is for total content (licensed and original).Hulu hasn’t revealed what it will spend on content next year, nor what percentage of this year’s budget has gone to original content versus licensed content. Hulu, though in the top three video services alongside Netflix and Amazon, differs from both in significant ways that can, in some cases, give it an edge. Hulu avoids Netflix’s content dumps in favor of weekly episode releases; it also offers live TV.SOURCE: Variety Hulu is set to spend around $2.5 billion on content this year, company CEO Mike Hopkins revealed yesterday at the Paley Center for Media in New York. The company introduced some big changes to the service year with the introduction of its live TV product, and it is also seeing growing success with its original shows like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Harlots.’last_img read more


Walmart robot scans shelves to find items and check inventory


first_imgWalmart has a new robot that is helping do the hard work typically reserved for store employees. This robot is shaped something like a carpet cleaner with a tall tower on it, but it is designed to roll around shelves while scanning the items they contain. The robot is only being tested in a small number of Walmart stores for now, but it could become a permanent fixture for the company. In most cases, tracking inventory and finding items requires store employees to manually scan the shelves, counting items and taking note of what may be missing or misplaced. The new robot Walmart is testing, though, does all of this automatically. According to the company, the robot is able to automate repeatable tasks, including finding what is out of stock, missing labels, and incorrect prices. The robot was initially being tested at some stores in California, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. Those tests were successful enough that Walmart is rolling the robot out into another 50 stores throughout the US, though the specific locations weren’t provided. The company is gathering feedback about the robots from customers as well as employees.Vision technology and data are used to equip the robots with their abilities, though Walmart doesn’t go into many details about the technology. It isn’t clear which company has produced the robots, nor whether these robots are being used throughout the day or only later at night when customers are less likely to be around them.SOURCE: Walmartlast_img read more


Samsung Gear Fit2 Fit2 Pro update makes it easier to track things


first_imgThe update introduces two new functions to the smart fitness trackers. Weight Management lets you keep tabs on how much calories you take in from food consumption and how much you burn through activities. The new Fitness Program, on the other hand, gives you access to exercise video content by connecting the Gear Fit2 to your TV.After the update, the Gear Fit2 and Fit2 Pro will also have a different way of showing information. The Workout Screen, for example, will now show three pieces of information at a time and you can choose which ones to show from a selection of stats like distance, calories burned, exercise duration, and heart rate. The Health Summary widget gives you a total overview of that day’s exercise while the new Multi-workouts widget lets you access your favorite exercises faster.The fitness tracker market is seen by some as on a downhill slope, causing some companies like Fitbit to place their eggs in the smartwatch basket. That said, the dedicated functionality of trackers like the Samsung Gear Fit2 still appeal better to some consumers who prefer to keep their wearables simple and focused on doing just one thing and doing it well. Smartwatches are complex (but small) beasts with multi-faceted functionality. Fitness trackers, in contrast, are streamlined to do only one thing: keep track of your activities. Well, actually two things. They also display that information, provided they have a screen of their own. Following the fitness-centric update to the Gear S2, Samsung is rolling out a similar refresh to the Gear Fit2 and Gear Fit2 Pro, making it easier to see your fitness stats and goals with just a few taps and swipes.last_img read more


Amazon Fire TV Recast is the new DVR to beat


first_imgThe Fire TV Recast is a DVR broadcast device first introduced this week by Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices Dave Limp at an Amazon devices event on September 20th, 2018. This device looks like a box. And really, what else would it need to look like? It’s going to be hidden in your home and it’ll do all its work silently. Television show recordings can be made with the Fire TV Recast, and each of these recordings can be seen on Amazon Fire TV devices – and Echo Show – like normal TV broadcasts. This device can record 2-4 shows at one time and can stream video to multiple devices at once. Soon we’ll see a full list of devices to which this DVR can broadcast. For now, courage.AdChoices广告The Amazon Fire TV Recast will be available in a couple of different iterations. The smaller is a 2-tuner version with 500GB internal storage, and it’ll be available for $230 USD. The other version is a 4-tuner machine with 1TB storage, and we do not yet know the price – but you can surmise already that it’ll likely be between $230 and $300 – or thereabouts. UPDATE! Right in the middle! The price of the 4-tuner version of the Fire TV Recast is, in fact,$280! Now, if only they’d sell it with a fabric cover, so I know none of my devices are just plastic, that’d be super duper. Story TimelineTablo Dual Lite OTA DVR lets cord-cutters save videos to the cloudSling TV Cloud DVR now supports Chromecast and Xbox OneDirecTV Now cloud DVR goes live for all customersAmazon live TV DVR tipped to battle TiVo, Slingboxcenter_img Today Amazon tapped into the DVR business with Amazon Fire TV Recast. This is a device that connects to an antenna on one end and broadcasts TV networks through Amazon Fire TV devices on the other. It’s simple, and it’s about to do some real damage to companies like TiVo and Dish, quite likely. last_img read more


Cadillac Super Cruise First Drive Trusting the machine


first_imgProblem is, while there’s no shortage of hype around self-driving vehicles, there are plenty of people who aren’t convinced that they’re anywhere near reaching the market. The most ambitious estimates suggest some sort of retail availability by 2020 – there are plenty of naysayers about that, and other companies estimating 2025 or even later – and even then they’re expected to be low-volume and limited-deployment. The tech may be getting better, but the laws and infrastructure have to catch up too. At times, it seems like every car company – and every company tangentially related to the auto industry – is working on autonomous vehicles. If you’re an car manufacturer, and you haven’t set up a swish geek-lab in the Valley, you’re almost guaranteed to get laughed out of whatever auto show you dare show your face at next. Self-driving cars, so the story goes, are the Next Big Thing. Your kids may as well ditch Drivers’ Ed, since they won’t need a license. That leaves us with semi-autonomous systems, for the most part effectively adaptive cruise control paired with active lane-keeping. Initially the preserve of expensive luxury sedans, they’ve begun trickling down into more affordable price brackets. Some of them – and I’ve tried most – are pretty darn good. That is, until they’re not. Lane-keeping that suddenly loses the lane. Radar-controlled cruise control that hee-haws and lurches as traffic moves around it. Sudden deactivations and disengagements. The momentarily bowel-loosening experience of the car deciding to give up on driving itself, and unexpected throwing the reins back to you. I’m a geek, and a believer in the potential of autonomous driving, but I have limited patience – and trust – for most driver-assistance technology out there today. Even when they work consistently, I find it’s oddly more stressful for me – my foot poised over the brake; one hand hovering near the wheel – than just driving on my own. That’s why the speed at which Cadillac’s system convinced me proved such a surprise. Super Cruise won’t be commercially available until later in the year, but the automaker invited me down to Palo Alto to try out a pre-production version on public highways. It’s been a major point of investment over the past few years for Cadillac, atop an aggressive product roadmap that, starting from the end of 2018, will see a new product launched every quarter until 2020. Once a byword for classic luxury, Cadillac’s goal is to reinvent itself as “a more contemporary, progressive interpretation of luxury,” Johan de Nysschen, president of the GM marque, explained. Technology like Super Cruise “resuscitates our reputation, our heritage for innovation,” de Nysschen argues. “I think that it’s going to capture peoples’ imagination. I think for many people, for whom Cadillac isn’t at the center of their radar screen, I think it’s going to open their mind as to what this brand is capable of.”So just what is Cadillac capable of? Super Cruise starts from the existing adaptive cruise control, true, but it upgrades it to the point that the automaker – and their lawyers – are willing to describe it as “the first hands-free” system. While the adaptive cruise keeps pace with traffic ahead, Super Cruise handles the car’s lateral movement within the lane. They call it the “Blue Line” and it’s basically the semi-autonomous equivalent of the groove a slot-car runs down. On the one hand, there are forward-facing cameras in the CT6 which track where the left and right lane markings are, and figure out an estimate of the center line and the car’s current heading. On the other, there’s a supercharged GPS sensor, 4-8x more accurate than what’s typically fitted to a vehicle; that works hand-in-hand with a high-accuracy map which has details of road curvature, the number of lanes, where on- and off-ramps are, and any other pertinent information Cadillac has baked in.Such a map didn’t exist, and so Cadillac had to create it. In fact, it’s had all the divided, limited-access highways with defined on- and off-ramps in the US and Canada scanned with LIDAR laser scanners, 160,000 miles down to a resolution of under 4-inches. The GPS checks the map while the cameras check the road, and if the two agree then the CT6 clings to the “Blue Line” like a train on rails. There’s an extra part to Super Cruise, though, and that’s the attention tracking system. At some point, in every car with driver-assistance aids, the vehicle is going to want to check that the person behind the wheel is still paying attention. How they verify that, exactly, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they usually demand the application of some sort of torque to the wheel, or contact with pressure or capacitive sensors embedded into it. The result is an odd cycle of hover-tap-tug, as you periodically reassure the car that you are, indeed, awake and aware. In contrast, Cadillac’s approach is completely hands-off. An IR camera mounted on the steering column watches the driver’s face, tracking in which direction they’re looking. Should you not pay sufficient attention to the road ahead, a light embedded into the upper portion of the steering wheel starts flashing. To reset that alert, all you need do is look back at the road. “You and Super Cruise are partners,” Barry Walkup, chief engineer on the project, explains, and the light bar is the system’s primary method of communication. When you activate Super Cruise, it turns solid green. If you don’t pay enough attention – a length of time which varies according to how fast you’re going, so you get longer in stop-start traffic but less when you’re cruising at speed – it flashes at you until you look. Continue to ignore the situation, and you get red flashing and a choice of seat vibration or warning chimes; eventually, Super Cruise disengages and the car coasts, albeit with the lane-keeping still active. Finally – and Cadillac suggests this is most likely because of a medical or other issue which has incapacitated the driver – there’s a loud, spoken “Please take control” warning and the brakes are applied. If you still don’t react, the onboard OnStar connects an operator and can even provide the emergency services with the car’s exact location. Out on the road, nosing the not-inconsiderable CT6 onto Highway 280, I watch for the grey steering wheel icon in the digital instrumentation that means Super Cruise is available. It appears just as I’m pulling out of the slow lane, and when I press the Super Cruise button on the wheel, after a few seconds the light bar glows green. That’s my cue to let go of the controls altogether. As the first corner approaches, I brace myself for the usual ping-ponging between the lines that I’m familiar with from rival semi-autonomous systems. Instead, the Cadillac simply sweeps imperiously around, dead-center in the lane. I look across to where one of Cadillac’s engineers is sitting, watching my reaction, then catch the green blink of the light bar and immediately glance back at the road. My first instinct is to grab the wheel, or nudge it to prove my presence, but to Super Cruise my eyes are enough. Less than a mile later, and I’m testing the attention-tracking system. Turns out, at 65 mph you can look away for about 5 seconds before the car demands your gaze. Later on, with the adaptive cruise set to 75 mph, I get about 4 seconds. Super Cruise will operate at speeds up to 85 mph, and in stop-go traffic at the other extreme. However it also only works on certain roads: namely the divided, limited-access highways that Cadillac has had mapped. That’s mainly down to just how predictable such roads are. There’s no uncertainty around pedestrians or bicycles, and the system knows where vehicles will be entering and exiting. It’s also, Walkup says, where drivers report the most potential value is to be had. “Most customer benefit was going to be on the interstate system, particularly during their commutes,” Cadillac’s consumer research found. “You get some time back during your commute, and that’s what people told us they want.”I can buy that. After the initial “the car is driving itself!” surprise, you quickly get used to the sensation, even blasé about it. I felt confident with Super Cruise in a way that I haven’t with any other semi-autonomous system I’ve tried, and that comes down to how the car communicates its status with you, and how hands-off you can be. The light bar – which also includes IR emitters, to light your face at night so that the attention camera can still see you – leaves you in no uncertainty as to what’s going on. It’s conspicuous enough that you’re not searching through the instrumentation to find an icon or graphic. When you want to overtake, for instance, you take the wheel and turn; there’s a little opposing torque, just to make clear you’re assuming control, and the light bar turns blue. When you’re safely into the right lane, after a moment’s reacclimatization the bar goes green again, and you’re free to let go.“The system was designed to be hands-free, so there are mechanisms in place to make you feel comfortable letting go of the wheel,” is how Pam Fletcher, Executive Chief Engineer of GM’s Global Electric & Autonomous Vehicles, describes it to me. “All of these confidence factors that are in there: knowing you’re on a road; knowing that this great system is capable of smooth, precise operation; knowing that if you’re not checking in at a great enough frequency, it doesn’t leave you to figure out ‘is this working okay, am I checking in okay?’”It’s surprisingly liberating. During my miles on the 280, I only have one unexpected deactivation to deal with. The light bar goes red, and a warning message appears in the display notifying me I should resume control. There’s an urgency to it, yes, but it’s on the right side of panic. The CT6 didn’t drift out of the lane, or suddenly slow. Hands back on the wheel, I wait a moment for the grey icon to reappear, then tap the Super Cruise button and the car takes over again.If there’s a system Super Cruise is reminiscent of – and will inevitably be compared to – it’s Tesla’s Autopilot. The two aren’t exact equals: Autopilot will change lanes for you with the tap of a stalk, and can be activated outside of just highways. Cadillac, meanwhile, brings its LIDAR maps to the party, unlike Tesla which uses a combination of regular mapping and onboard sensors. Cadillac prefers not to mention its rivals by name, but get the team talking about its relatively slow roll-out of Super Cruise and it’s not hard to read between the lines. “You cannot even contemplate a scenario where you let your customers do your beta testing for you,” de Nysschen says, when asked about expanding the system beyond highways. “Time will come when we’re able to broaden it, but we’ll decide when that time comes.”“GM is a titan in our industry. We’re not a small player. And what GM does has a profound impact on changing the landscape,” the Cadillac president argues. “If you are capable of changing the landscape, it also means you need to act in a responsible way. We are taking a very systematic, conservative approach to this technology. Because it’s not only a matter of wanting to claim the marketing credits for innovation, but also transforming the landscape that lies ahead for full autonomy at some point in the future. Because it’s not just a technological transformation, but a regulatory transformation.” Even so, Cadillac is counting on Super Cruise being a significant differentiator between it and other luxury automakers. Comprehensive dealer training is underway, making sure salespeople know just how to explain what’s a fairly complex system, and the general feeling within the company is that Super Cruise is as important to the brand as a new engine might be. Meanwhile, how the technologies that enable it might also benefit GM’s ongoing fully-autonomous projects is also under consideration. “We look at this as very much a core technology, we developed this all in-house, ourselves, for our products,” Fletcher points out. “With that, we continue to do what we think are the best, most intuitive systems that we can grow over time. We have a lot of autonomous projects going on.” MORE: 2017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD ReviewRight now, one of the biggest questions remaining is just how much Super Cruise will cost. That’s not been decided: it’s looking likely that it’ll be an option on the model year 2018 CT6, though for how much and whether it’s part of an existing package are up in the air. The suggestion is that it will be well under the $5,000 that Tesla charges for Enhanced Autopilot, though, and while the CT6 is a niche model – Cadillac sold 1k of them in May 2017 – it’s expected that Super Cruise will see a high take-rate among buyers. Personally, were I in the market for a big, luxury sedan, and had a regular commute that saw me stuck on the highway for extended stretches, I suspect Super Cruise would be my pick of the driver-assistance systems. How much of a halo it’ll represent for the brand depends on how well Cadillac communicates its advantages – and how many test drivers it can get behind the wheel. That’ll kick off around October, when the first cars are expected to reach dealers. It was, conservatively, 90 seconds before I was satisfied Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system wasn’t going to kill me. By that point, a combination of cameras, super-accurate maps, and a fancier-than-usual GPS system were keeping me dead-center at 65 mph on California’s 280, headed north toward San Francisco. As the CT6 eased its way around the corners, I spent a few moments considering that the car of the future apparently communicates not with the voice of Mr Feeny from Boy Meets World, but with a glowing green steering wheel instead. Story TimelineCadillac V2V goes live: What you should know about “talking cars”Inside Cadillac’s early bet on Vehicle-to-Vehicle techCadillac’s answer to Tesla Autopilot won’t activate off highwaysWhy Cadillac Super Cruise out-Autopilots Tesla’s autonomous techCadillac is testing V2I cars that talk to traffic lightslast_img read more


2019 Cadillac CT6 VSport is a glorious 550hp AWD beast


first_imgCadillac has revealed its newest car and engine pairing, a monstrous twin-turbo V8 that will be the 550 horsepower heart of the upcoming 2019 CT6 V-Sport. The automaker’s first ever twin-turbo V8, and indeed the first of the CT6 sedans to go through the V-Sport tuning process, the combination sits atop a revamped 2019 CT6 line-up. 20-inch V-Sport wheels will be exclusive to the car, and shod with summer-only performance tires that were specifically developed for the car. They’ll get a new 19-inch Brembo brake system, also custom, with a mono block, fixed-opposed, four-piston setup, performance linings, and air deflectors. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control will be standard, complete with V-Sport damper calibrations. AdChoices广告 Cadillac will also customize the steering setup, and the suspension tuning is also V-Sport specific for better roll control, steering response, and cornering capabilities. The new V8 should sound the part, too, courtesy of an active valve exhaust system that has a more boisterous note and “more sound character,” according to the automaker. A mechanical limited-slip rear differential is also included. As you’d expect, there’s a Track Mode added to the driving modes available. That maximizes the active dampers and re-maps the steering for more dynamic feedback. The Active Rear Steer system – which turns the rear wheels slightly to shorten the turning circle and increase lane-changing stability at speed – will be track-tuned, and there’s a revised AWD torque split. In short, it’s something of a beast. While power might be down versus the CTS-V – which has 640 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque – the CT6 V-Sport’s punch will arguably be more usable, given its all-wheel drive versus the tail-happy rear-wheel drive existing car. And, although the engine may be smaller, Cadillac says turbo lag is minimal thanks to the positioning of the twin-turbos atop the engine, in the valley between the cylinder heads. Unfortunately there’s one big downside. The 2019 CT6 V-Sport gets almost all of Cadillac’s gadgetry and luxury niceties, including an updated 10-inch touchscreen for the infotainment, cloud-connected navigation option, second-gen Rear Camera Mirror with frameless design and zoom/tilt support, and 360-degree Surround Vision with optional recording. You can have Automatic Parking Assist with Braking, front and rear pedestrian detection and braking, and even night vision. What you can’t have on the new V-Sport is Cadillac’s best feature in recent years: Super Cruise. That adaptive cruise control system, which allows complete hands-off driving on highways and confidently rivals Tesla’s Autopilot in its rock-steady stability, will only be offered on the 2019 CT6 non-V-Sport versions, sadly. Certainly, the focus on the CT6 V-Sport will be driver involvement. All the same, not every journey is an Instagram-worthy road trip, and it would’ve been nice to have the car (almost) drive itself to the track before we took over for the fun stuff. The rest of the CT6 range get new horizontal, high-lumen headlamps and a revised taillamp design, again echoing concept cars like the Escala. They also debut a new infotainment system, with 4G LTE, update support, and a new rotary controller for common commands. There’s also a new 5W Qi wireless charger bay with space for larger phones.No word on pricing or availability at this stage.center_img Story TimelineThe Technology of the Cadillac CT62017 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD Review: Luxury, reinvented While it may not be the CT6-V enthusiasts have really been clamoring for, the 2019 CT6 V-Sport should be more than enough to hold its own against Caddy’s beastly (and brilliant) CTS-V. The new 4.2-liter V8 is expected to deliver 550 horsepower and 627 lb-ft. of torque, and will be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. There’s no word on just how fast the CT6 V-Sport will be at this stage, unfortunately. Still, we’re guessing the answer is “darn fast” and it certainly looks the part too. The front has been darkened down with a mesh grille and new, horizontal LED headlamps with bold vertical signatures, borrowing liberally from recent Cadillac concept cars. Much of the external chrome has been replaced with gloss black trim, and there are new lower aero components. last_img read more


Pixel 3a and 3a XL renders wont win design awards


first_imgStory TimelinePixel 3a could come with “Iris” Purple color, 64GB storagePixel 3a, 3a XL specs seemingly revealed by Google PlayPixel 3a, Nest Hub Max outed by Google Store and we’re simply shocked Smartphone users these days are easily wowed by gorgeous-looking phones that take equally gorgeous-looking photos. While having both style and substance in one product is ideal, there are some that may be willing to sacrifice a bit of glam for more muscle, especially if the price is right. That might be the appeal that the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL will make because, at least based on this latest image, they’re not exactly going to be that memorable in terms of design. Granted, we’re only seeing the front view of the phones but, as far as faces are concerned, they’re not exactly that remarkable. These two would be the iPhone 8 or even the iPhone SE to Google’s Pixel 3. Less fuss about appearances and materials and more about what’s inside.While Google is expected to cut back on the two phones’ design, it hasn’t held back on the specs. They may use a lower Snapdragon 600 or 700 series chip but RAM is expected to be at 4 GB, same as the more expensive Pixel 3. The 5.6-inch and 6-inch displays, for the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, respectively, will at least go as far up as FHD+. Strangely, the larger model will have fewer pixels than the smaller one. Neither, however, will have a notch.The Pixel 3a and 3a XL could give what some Android users might want even from Google. A pure Android experience at an affordable price tag and with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The latter is something that Google turned its back on in 2017.AdChoices广告Unlike the Pixel 3, there have been little authoritative leaks about the Pixel 3a. Android Headlines, however, is confident these renders are the real deal. If so, then that May 7 date on their screens also mark when they will finally be revealed to the public.last_img read more


Your next 3 iPhones


first_imgThis week a pair of leaks and/or insider analysis reveals essentially made the case for Apple’s next several major iPhone releases. What’s different about these bits of information from the normal day-to-day leak is their relative un-interesting nature. The tipped iPhone changes don’t seem very far-fetched, and not particularly world-shaking in the grand scheme of things – which makes them all the more likely to come to pass. Over the next several years, here’s how Apple’s next few iPhone lineups will likely look. Story TimelineThese iPhone 11 pictures just changed my mind on absurd designChrome OS USB iPhone tethering is in the pipelineYour iPhone has been compromised, (and how it really hasn’t) Some of the information included in today’s set of leaks and tips comes from MyDrivers and a note from Ming-Chi Kuo. That’s notoriously accurate mostly-Apple-based analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, take note. Additional information was provided by China Times and a Credit Suisse Securities Technology Industry Analyst by the name of Su Houhe. The year 2019In the year 2019 we’ll likely see another LCD model and at least two AMOLED displays with notches and bezels that are largely the same as previous models, with new technology mainly on the backsides – in the camera arrays. Standard Face ID will still be in play.More of what you see above – in images and in detail – can be found in our recent article These iPhone 11 pictures just changed my mind on absurd design. Look at all the color!In 2020…In the year 2020, we’ll likely see a change in Apple’s several-seasons-long central design feature: the notch! There’ll still be iPhones with the notch, but the most expensive model will feature an under-display frontside camera and the ability to use Touch-ID (fingerprint scanning) through the display, much like what’s out on the current OnePlus 7 Pro now.**UPDATE: It would seem that there’s also a possibility that the 2020 iPhone (the most expensive of the three) will have a full-screen fingerprint scanning solution, like in 2021. Touch anywhere and enter.Two new iPhones will come with more slight bezels and smaller notches, while the third will have a notch-less display. It is unclear whether this device will have any front-facing camera at all – or if it’ll consist of an under-display unit. Fast-forward to 2021In the year 2021, it’s been suggested that three new notch-less iPhones will be released (again with no word on their frontside cameras). These devices will almost certainly all be using “full-screen fingerprint authentication.” This will be a strange move for Apple, going back to Touch ID when they seem to have switched to Face ID with higher-end model iPhone units – but stranger things have happened! Have a peek at the timeline below, and see if you can predict what Apple will bring to market in the next five years. Can you predict what they’ll have in a decade? Will the age of screens be over by then? Will Apple be making steam-powered cities?last_img read more


Ford SelfBraking Trolley applies driver assistance tech to shopping


first_imgWhile there are people who’d readily admit being addicted to shopping, few of those will probably look forward to doing groceries. It’s one of life’s necessary evils that has created a market for online groceries and deliveries. Not everyone can afford to escape regular trips to the supermarket, which parents with toddlers may look to with dread for fear of trolley accidents. Putting its driving expertise to work, Ford has designed a new trolley that intelligently step on the brakes to prevent kids from colliding with people or shelves. Unlike adults, tykes look to doing groceries as an adventure or at least a chance to get candies or sweets. Unfortunately, their attention span means they easily get bored and their imaginations latch on to the most interesting object they could find. That usually means a trolley that sparks dreams of being a race car driver of some sort. And then the accidents happen. Unless you have Ford’s new cart, that is.This hi-tech cart, which looks more like an art piece than a piece of utilitarian equipment, practically uses the same concepts as many driver assistance technologies found in cars today, including Ford’s The basic idea is to use sensors and software that stops cars from colliding into people to stop child-driven trolleys from colliding into anything.As part of its Interventions series, Ford has put that Pre-Collision Assist Technology found int its cars on supermarket carts. Those carts basically have a camera at front and bottom part of the trolley. When it detects that there is an object in front of it, it will put on the brakes and stop the cart from moving, either on its own or with the kid in tow. Of course, these Self-Braking Trolleys will probably never be a common sight in supermarkets. Not only would they be expensive to make, they also don’t seem to have enough room for groceries as well. Of course, that’s not their point anyway. It’s simply an example of how, in Ford’s mind, advancements in automotive technology can help inform and improve the design of even the most mundane of things, like a dangerous shopping cart.last_img read more


Bare carbon fiber Porsche 935 needs no stinkin livery


first_imgIt’s unclear what the price of the car is or if the bare carbon fiber version adds to the limited run of 77 units. It’s unclear if the carbon fiber version is stand-alone production. We’ve already talked about the Porsche 935 back in September of 2018 that was limited to only 77 units made. The car isn’t street legal and is meant for racing on the track. The ride is intended for track days and for private training. The original 935 used carbon fiber in its construction, those bits were hidden under the livery painted on the car. Porsche has unveiled the 935 in an even more exclusive version that has no livery and is covered in bare, exposed carbon fiber. The car also ditches the aero wheels in favor of more modern looking wheels all around. Porsche says that the regular steel and aluminum body of the 935, which is based on the GT2 RS, was replaced and supplemented by carbon fiber reinforced composite. Porsche says that the result of the CFRP bits is improved stability and a weight of only 1,380kg. The racing car has 700hp and is meant to look like the Porsche 935/78 racing car of the past. The vehicle is 4.87 meters long and 2.03 meters wide. It has wheel arch vents to increase downforce on the front axle.Inside the car, everything is presumed to be the same as the 935 racer unveiled last year. The racing car has a shift knob made of laminated wood. An integrated roll cage with a racing bucket seat and a 6-point racing harness. The vehicle comes with a single seat, but buyers wanting a second person to go along can get a second seat as an option, and the car has AC.AdChoices广告last_img read more


Ind Bid For Medicaid Waiver Extension Denied Managed Care Contracts Make News


first_imgIn Indiana, officials are denied an extension on a Bush-era Medicaid waiver just as New Mexico seeks to revise its Medicaid overhaul plan.CQ HealthBeat: CMS Tries To Let Indiana Down Gently On Bush-Era Coverage ExpansionIndiana officials are expressing disappointment with the Obama administration’s handling of a Bush-era Medicaid expansion plan that covers thousands of previously uninsured residents in the state while charging them premiums in an effort to promote personal responsibility. A July 31 letter from Cindy Mann, the director for the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, denies the state’s request for a multi-year extension of the plan, which in technical jargon is known as a Medicaid waiver and was approved by the George W. Bush administration in 2007 (Reichard, 8/17).The Associated Press: New Mexico Revises Medicaid Overhaul PlanGov. Susana Martinez’s administration asked the federal government on Friday to approve a revised plan to overhaul a program providing health care for a fourth of New Mexico’s population. The Human Services Department’s latest Medicaid proposal comes nearly six months after the administration initially unveiled a blueprint to improve health care for needy New Mexicans while slowing the growth rate of a program costing nearly $4 billion a year. About a fourth of the money comes from the state budget, with the federal government paying the remainder (Massey, 8/17).Managed care contracts are also making news in West Virginia, Kansas and Wisconsin –The Associated Press: W.Va. Health Services Contracts Spur QuestionsWest Virginia lawmakers say last week’s interim study meetings raised several red flags about multimillion-dollar contracts awarded through the Department of Health and Human Resources. A House-Senate oversight committee learned that the department has spent millions on a nonprofit firm, the Delmarva Foundation, to monitor the performance of three companies that help provide Medicaid services. Those three companies also have received multimillion-dollar contracts (Messina, 8/19).Kansas Health Institute News: KanCare MCOs To Take On Case-Management RoleState officials are encouraging people currently employed as case managers for physically disabled and elderly Medicaid enrollees to apply for similar jobs with the three insurance companies chosen to implement KanCare, Gov. Sam Brownback’s Medicaid makeover plan. The insurance companies are expected to take over Medicaid services on Jan. 1, pending federal approval of the governor’s plan. Earlier this week, officials at the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services sent a memo to managers of local agencies that provide Medicaid case management services, urging them to have their workers apply for jobs with the KanCare managed care companies (Ranney, 8/17).Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: UnitedHealthcare Ends BadgerCare Plus Contract With StateAfter seeing the state cut payment rates in 2011 and then again this year, UnitedHealthcare has opted to end its contract with the state to oversee care for 174,000 people insured through the BadgerCare Plus program in southeastern Wisconsin. UnitedHealthcare will end its contract on Oct. 31. The health insurer is the largest of the four managed care organizations that won contracts in 2010 from the Department of Health Services for six counties in southeastern Wisconsin (Boulton, 8/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Ind. Bid For Medicaid Waiver Extension Denied; Managed Care Contracts Make Newslast_img read more


Anthem Proposes DoubleDigit Rate Hikes In Calif Prompting Insurance Commissioner Outcry


first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Anthem Proposes Double-Digit Rate Hikes In Calif., Prompting Insurance Commissioner Outcry California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is calling a recent double-digit rate hike proposal and reinsurance fee by Anthem Blue Cross in his state “unreasonable,” though he doesn’t have much power to change it.Marketplace: Are Insurers Hiking Rates Despite Health Care ReformCalifornia’s insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, is upset about the latest rate hikes for health insurance. And he’s using the only real power he’s got: Stepping up to a podium and scolding the insurance companies. In particular, he has called out Anthem Blue Cross of California for an 11 percent premium increase for some customers. But Anthem’s double-digit rate hike is consistent with new 2013 rates being rolled out all over the country. Not exactly what the architects of health care reform had in mind. “We are seeing an unexpected spurt of premium increases for small employers and people who obtain policies directly from the insurance company,” says Robert Field, a professor of law and health policy at Drexel University. Insurance companies are claiming the rate increases are due to higher health care costs. But Field, who notes that health care costs are leveling off, is skeptical (Horwich, 1/9). California Healthline: Anthem, Jones Spar Over Premium Rate Hikes, Reinsurance FeeCalifornia Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones [Tuesday] said a recent rate submission by Anthem Blue Cross was “unreasonable” and took particular issue with Anthem’s plans to charge a reinsurance fee which Jones said forces small businesses to pay for a 2014 fee a year early, in 2013. Anthem Blue Cross officials said Jones’ numbers are off and that the reinsurance fee is a benign and standard business practice which has been used for many years without complaints from government or advocates (Gorn, 1/9).last_img read more


First Edition March 25 2013


first_imgToday’s headlines include reports about the continuing outlook for progress on the federal budget as well as a variety of stories related to the health law’s implementation. Kaiser Health News: Connecticut Races To Reach Uninsured, Open Health Insurance MarketplaceKaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz, working in collaboration with The Boston Globe, reports: “In the nation’s insurance capital, the hunt to find uninsured people and get them enrolled in the state’s new online health insurance marketplace has already begun. Officials working for Access Health CT, created under the federal health law, have collected names of more than 1,300 people needing coverage at recent town-hall meetings across the state. This spring and summer, they plan to use booths at festivals and street fairs to gather thousands more. Come fall, they’ll also pay community groups and small businesses, such as barbers and beauticians, in New Haven, Bridgeport and other cities with high uninsured rates to reach out to people and sign them up for coverage on the spot” (Galewitz, 3/25). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: IOM Panel Raises Concerns About Lowering Medicare Pay For High Spending AreasKaiser Health News staff writer Jordan Rau reports: “An Institute of Medicine panel on Friday panned an idea that has been raised in Congress to pay Medicare providers in some areas of the country less if their regions are heavy users of medical services” (Rau, 3/22). Read the story.Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Officials Unveil More Details Of Colo. Exchange Funding; Doctors Eager For Evidence About Integrated Health SystemsNow on Kaiser Health News’ blog, Colorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney reports on developments related to how the state’s exchange will be funded: “A week after approving a tax on health insurance policies, Colorado officials are offering more details of their plans to fund the state’s health insurance exchange after federal backing runs out in 2014” (Whitney, 3/22).Also on the blog, Ankita Rao reports about doctors thoughts on integrated health systems: “Doctors say they are finding more opportunities in the integrated health systems that have been touted in the federal health law, such as accountable care organizations, which are groups of health providers and hospitals that work together to improve patient care and lower costs. But they are still hesitant to change their practices without more evidence that these systems will work” (Rao, 3/22). Check out  what else is on the blog.Kaiser Health News also tracked weekend health policy headlines, including coverage related to the emerging lobbying strategies related to the health law as the measure turns three (3/24).Los Angeles Times: Senate Narrowly Approves Democratic BudgetMore than 600 amendments were filed on the bill, from the lofty to the parochial. They included proposals to de-fund new healthcare laws, to restrict potential surveillance by domestic drone aircraft, and to prevent a Western bird called the sage grouse from being listed as an endangered species. Like some members of the Senate, it is known for its strutting displays. … Senators dispatched with several key amendments. They tossed aside the House GOP budget drafted by Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, which calls for deep cuts to the social safety net, including Medicare, and in an effort to achieve balance in 10 years. Five GOP senators defected on their party’s defining document (Mascaro, 3/23).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Analysis: Balance Is In The Eye Of The Congressional Beholder When It Comes To BudgetsWell before then, on April 8 in fact, Obama will present a budget of his own. It is long overdue, to the disappointment of Republicans who had hoped to make it an object of ridicule in the just-completed budget debates in the House and Senate. It gives Obama the chance to align himself entirely with his Democratic allies, or possibly to edge away when it comes to government benefit programs that have largely escaped cuts in earlier compromises. Republicans will watch to see what steps, if any, the White House is willing to recommend to slow the growth of Medicare or perhaps Social Security. Given Obama’s recent series of meetings with Republicans, some GOP lawmakers say privately it would be a positive sign for him to include a proposal curtailing the rise in cost of living increases in benefit programs (3/25).The Wall Street Journal: Congress Set To Alter Focus After Passing Two BudgetsAfter the Senate passed its budget this weekend, Congress is expected to pivot to issues such as immigration and guns before attempting a broader deal on taxes, spending and the national debt later this year. … Mr. Obama has indicated a willingness to support bigger changes in Medicare and other entitlement programs than the Democratic budget called for, but only as part of broader deficit-reduction deal with Republicans that includes tax increases. The president isn’t likely to detail such entitlement cuts as part of his formal budget request (Hook, 3/24).Politico: An Obamacare Rerun: Senators Target Health Law In ‘Vote-A-Rama’Proving that the Obamacare wars are far from over, the health reform law was one of the favorite targets of amendments during Friday night’s “vote-a-rama” on the Senate floor. Dozens of amendments were filed to the budget resolution picking apart various elements of health care policy: whether employers should provide contraceptives in their insurance policies, whether a tax should be imposed on medical device-makers, whether Medicare can adjust payments based on the state (Haberkorn, 3/23).Politico: Democrats Join Push To Dump Obamacare TaxThirty-four Senate Democrats joined Republicans on Thursday night in a nonbinding but overwhelming vote to repeal a key tax in President Barack Obama’s health reform law. The Senate voted 79-20 to get rid of the law’s 2.3 percent sales tax on medical device-makers (Haberkorn, 3/22).The Wall Street Journal: Medical-Device Tax Repeal Faces Uphill Climb In SenateThe push to repeal the 2010 federal health-care law’s tax on medical devices got a boost in the Senate this week, but the search to replace the nearly $30 billion the levy provided to fund other parts of the law will impede efforts to unwind it. Intense lobbying from the medical-device industry helped nudge the Senate to vote 79-20 Thursday night to repeal the 2.3% tax on sales of pacemakers, surgical tools and a swath of other devices. Strikingly, 34 lawmakers who caucus with the Democrats signed onto the repeal, including many who created the tax by voting for the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Peterson and Weaver, 3/22).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Republicans’ Firm ‘No’ On Medicaid Expansion Is Shifting Toward “Let’s Make A Deal”A new “no, but …” approach is spreading among GOP states in which officials are still publicly condemning the Democratic president’s Medicaid expansion yet floating alternatives that could provide health coverage to millions of low-income adults while potentially tapping into billions of federal dollars that are to start flowing in 2014 (3/24).The Wall Street Journal: Medicaid-Expansion PuzzleDeciding whether to expand Tennessee’s Medicaid program as part of the federal health-care law should be easy for Republican Gov. Bill Haslam and the GOP leaders of the state legislature. All of them oppose the health law. They watched the state significantly extend eligibility in the 1990s for its Medicaid program, TennCare, only to see costs eat into the state budget and prompt lawmakers a decade later to kick several hundred thousand people off the rolls (Radnofsky, 3/24).The New York Times: Tennessee Race for Medicaid: Dial Fast and Try, Try AgainTwo nights a year, Tennessee holds a health care lottery of sorts, giving the medically desperate a chance to get help. State residents who have high medical bills but would not normally qualify for Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor, can call a state phone line and request an application. But the window is tight — the line shuts down after 2,500 calls, typically within an hour — and the demand is so high that it is difficult to get through (Goodnough, 3/24). Los Angeles Times: Outreach Effort Aims To Get Uninsured Enrolled In HealthcareThe goal is to hold ongoing enrollment events throughout the county in the lead up to the healthcare overhaul, which begins Jan. 1. … The county Department of Health Services has partnered with OneLA, an organization of churches, synagogues and nonprofit groups, to conduct the enrollment sessions. Volunteers are identifying people through the church parishes and doing pre-screening so the enrollment can occur on the spot. Some of the people are eligible for Medi-Cal, and others are being enrolled in Healthy Way LA, a temporary coverage program until the Medi-Cal expansion takes place in 2014 (Gorman, 3/25).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Maryland House Advances Measure To Pay For Health Care ExchangeThe House of Delegates has advanced a measure to expand Medicaid eligibility and create a funding stream for Maryland’s health benefit exchange as part of the federal health care overhaul. The House gave the bill initial approval on Saturday. A vote is expected early next week (3/23).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Wash., An Abortion Rights Trailblazer, Weighs Passing Nation’s 1st Abortion Insurance MandateWith 21 states having adopted bans or severe restrictions on insurance companies from paying for abortions, Washington is alone in seriously considering legislation mandating the opposite (3/23).The Wall Street Journal: State Weighs Mandate On Abortion InsuranceWashington state may be on the verge of passing the nation’s first mandatory abortion-insurance law, which would require all insurers to reimburse women for abortion procedures as part of their maternity-care coverage. Legislation known as the Reproductive Parity Act has passed in the state House of Representatives but still must clear the Senate (Millman, 3/24).The New York Times: Justices To Look At Deals By Generic And Branded Drug MakersJust about anyone who has gone to a pharmacy and paid for a prescription knows that a generic copy costs much less than the brand-name drug. The makers of those two versions of a drug, therefore, usually compete fiercely for market share and profits. But at the Supreme Court on Monday, the generic and the brand-name drug companies will be on the same side, arguing against the federal government in the legal equivalent of a heavyweight title bout (Wyatt, 3/24).NPR: Supreme Court Hears ‘Pay-To-Delay’ Pharmaceutical CaseThe U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on Monday in a case worth billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies and American consumers. The issue is whether brand name drug manufacturers may pay generic drug manufacturers to keep generics off the market. These payments — a form of settlement in patent litigation — began to blossom about a decade ago when the courts, for the first time, appeared to bless them (Totenberg, 3/25).The Associated Press/Washington Post: High Court Weights Drug Companies’ Payments To Delay Release Of Cheaper Generic DrugsThe Obama administration, backed by consumer groups and the American Medical Association, says these so-called “pay for delay” deals profit the drug companies but harm consumers by adding 3.5 billion annually to their drug bills (3/25).The Washington Post: Nurses Can Practice Without Physician Supervision In Many StatesFor years, nurses have been subordinate to doctors — both in the exam room and the political arena. But aided by new allies ranging from AARP to social workers to health-policy experts, nursing groups are pressing ahead in a controversial bid to persuade state lawmakers to shift the balance of power (Aizenman, 3/24).The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Town Eyes Hospital Reopening Months After SandyOf the more than half-dozen hospitals in the New York area forced to close because of damage from Superstorm Sandy, only one has yet to reopen, idling hundreds of workers for months and forcing thousands of residents to travel farther for emergency health care (3/23). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. First Edition: March 25, 2013last_img read more


First Edition April 5 2013


first_imgToday’s headlines include reports about how President Barack Obama’s budget proposal — to be released next week — will handle Medicare and Medicaid. Kaiser Health News: Immigrant Docs Help Ease California’s Primary Care ShortageKaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, working in collaboration with NPR, reports: “When Jose Chavez Gonzalez moved to the United States from El Salvador, he took any job he could get — stocking warehouses, construction, cleaning houses and working in a meat processing plant. But unlike most of the other immigrants he worked alongside, Chavez, 38, was a doctor with eight years of medical training. He came to the U.S. in the mid-1990’s to be with his family, but like all doctors from other countries, he still had to pass the U.S. medical boards and go through at least three years of residency in order to practice here. The process can be both expensive and time consuming, so during the day he worked various menial jobs and at night he studied for the boards” (Gold, 4/4). Read the story.The New York Times: Obama Budget Reviving Offer Of Compromise With CutsPresident Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say (Calmes, 4/4).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama’s Budget Will Avoid Deep Cuts In Medicaid As He Presses States To Expand Aid For PoorPresident Barack Obama’s budget next week will steer clear of major cuts to Medicaid, including tens of billions in reductions to the health care plan for the poor that the administration had proposed only last year. Big cuts in the federal-state program wouldn’t go over too well at a time that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is wooing financially skittish Republican governors to expand Medicaid coverage to millions who now are uninsured. That expansion in the states is critical to the success of Obama’s health overhaul, which is rolling out this fall and early next year (4/4).The Washington Post: Obama Budget Would Cut Entitlements In Exchange For Tax IncreasesPresident Obama will release a budget next week that proposes significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security and fewer tax hikes than in the past, a conciliatory approach that he hopes will convince Republicans to sign onto a grand bargain that would curb government borrowing and replace deep spending cuts that took effect March 1. When he unveils the budget on Wednesday, Obama will break with the tradition of providing a sweeping vision of his ideal spending priorities, untethered from political realities (Goldfarb, 4/5). The Wall Street Journal: Common Ground On Medicare EmergesA long-standing idea of combining what consumers pay for their portion of Medicare hospital and doctor treatment costs is gaining new attention as lawmakers search for ways to slow the growth of what the government pays for the programs. The concept of merging the deductibles for Medicare Part A insurance, which covers hospital stays, and Part B, which covers doctors’ services, is one of the few ideas that appeals to both parties (Radnofsky and Hook, 4/4).The New York Times: Paper Offers Options On Limiting Higher Health RatesState regulators are looking for ways to protect consumers against increases in health insurance rates that they expect to occur next year as major provisions of the new health care law take effect. A paper drafted by a panel of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners analyzes steps that states can take to “mitigate expected premium increases” (Pear, 4/4).The Wall Street Journal: Small-Business Insurance-Shopping Feature Is DelayedThe Obama administration plans to delay a piece of the federal health law designed to help small businesses shop for insurance policies, citing the need for additional time to prepare. The Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, is supposed to provide small employers with an insurance marketplace, or exchange, that offers multiple plan options starting in 2014. But the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed that for the first year, businesses that use the 33 state exchanges run fully or in part by the U.S. will be able to offer only one plan to their workers (Needleman and Radnofsky, 4/4).The Wall Street Journal: Probes Launched Into Leak of Health-Care Policy ShiftA federal agency and a senior senator Thursday launched separate probes into whether news of an important government announcement was improperly leaked to traders about 30 minutes before it was made public. The leak, which was the subject of a Page One story in The Wall Street Journal, caused a run up in stocks of major health-insurance companies in the final few minutes of trading Monday (Mullins, 4/4).The Texas Tribune/New York Times: Turning Away Federal Dollars, Once AgainProponents are emphasizing what it might do for the state’s gigantic uninsured population. Opponents stress the dangers of a new federal entitlement program. A governor who might or might not have future political plans in mind is opposed. Go back to 1997. The federal government offered to send piles of money to states to start a new health care and insurance program. In Texas, a majority of the state’s officeholders and lawmakers were skeptical, worried about creating new entitlements and wary of creating a program that started with attractive federal enticements but could end up draining the state budget (Ramsey, 4/4).Los Angeles Times: Alabama Legislature Oks Abortion Limits; Kansas Clinic ReopensAlabama this week moved to tighten the regulation of clinics and of medical personnel who perform abortions, the latest step in what abortion rights advocates argue is a campaign to use the regulatory power of government to limit a woman’s right to an abortion. … Meanwhile, a Kansas abortion clinic that closed in 2009 after one of its doctors was murdered by an anti-abortion activist, reopened this week. The Wichita clinic has been closed since Dr. George Tiller was slain in a church in May 2009 (Muskal, 4/4).The Washington Post: Abortion Debate Riles Virginia General AssemblyThe Virginia General Assembly’s decision Wednesday to prohibit insurers from offering abortion coverage in federally managed health-insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act has reopened an emotional debate along familiar partisan divides. But members of both parties agree that the measure’s biggest impact will likely fall along class lines, landing hardest on some of the people the federal health-care overhaul was designed to help: working women who barely get by on their incomes (Kunkle, 4/4).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Jury: Health Management Group Liable For $24M In Las Vegas Hepatitis C Outbreak CaseA Nevada state court jury found the state’s largest health management organization liable Thursday for $24 million in compensatory damages to three plaintiffs in a negligence lawsuit stemming from a Las Vegas hepatitis C outbreak that lawyers called the largest in U.S. history (4/4).The Wall Street Journal: St. Jude Hit By SuitsA raft of lawsuits filed Thursday against St. Jude Medical Inc. over an implanted heart device could challenge the broad liability protection that medical-device makers have enjoyed since a key Supreme Court ruling in 2008. The lawsuits, filed both in Los Angeles Superior Court and federal court in the Central District of California, claim that problems with the manufacturing and oversight of Riata defibrillator “leads” injured or killed more than 30 patients (Weaver and Smith, 4/4). Check out all of Kaiser Health News’ e-mail options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page. First Edition: April 5, 2013 This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more


Theres A Big Asterisk In Bernie Sanders Claim That Medicare For All


first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press Fact Check: Sanders Spins Savings In Medicare Plan Meanwhile — There’s A Big Asterisk In Bernie Sanders’ Claim That ‘Medicare For All’ Plan Saves $2 Trillion In Health Spending The Associated Press fact checks Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) spin on the report that analyzed the cost of the senator’s “Medicare For All” plan, which is gaining steam in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Sen. Bernie Sanders is skimming over the facts in claiming that his “Medicare for all” plan will lead to big reductions in what Americans spend for health care. In a recent tweet, the Vermont independent insists the plan will cut $2 trillion from the nation’s health care bill. But that’s based on a scenario in which hospitals and doctors accept significantly lower payments for many patients. It’s a big asterisk, and one that Sanders fails to disclose. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 8/8) Bernie Sanders is sputtering. Two years after his defeat in the 2016 presidential primary, the Vermont senator has amassed a growing string of losses in races in which he has intervened. Beginning last year, Sanders-backed candidates faltered in an Omaha mayoral race and a nationally watched House race in Montana. (Siders, 8/8) Politico: Bernie And His Army Are Losing 2018 last_img read more


Best Laptop 2019 15 notebooks for every budget


first_img6. LG Gram (14Z980)The 14-inch LG Gram is an excellent – if expensive – laptopPros:An ultra-portable machine weighing just 1kgSpeedy processing powerSuperb battery lifeCons:256GB storage isn’t plentifulSome might expect a dedicated GPU at this priceThe LG Gram 14Z980 is the best ultrabook out there right now. It manages to cram three USB 3.0 ports (including USB-C), a microSD card reader, and an HDMI port into a tiny, lightweight frame. Despite the name, the LG Gram 14Z980 weighs a fraction less than 1kg.Despite the slender build and lightweight frame, battery life, processing power and overall performance is exceptional.The LG Gram 14Z980’s display is also impressive, offering decent maximum brightness, and respectable colour space reproduction. Netflix and YouTube looks fantastic. With the LG Gram covering 94.9% of the sRGB gamut, designers ought to be able to work easily on this too, though the low Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 colour gamut scores of  67.5% and 70.6% mean this isn’t one for photographers.The only area where we feel the LG Gram is a letdown is internal storage. There’s only one option and that’s to pick a 256GB SSD. If you’re primarily after a laptop for work and streaming media, this will likely not be an issue, but others might find themselves running out of space sooner than they’d like.Read our full LG Gram review Best list If you’re looking for the best laptop to suit your needs, whether you’re a creative, gamer or a Netflix addict, we’ve assembled a list of the greatest portables currently on offer.Before we get started, we should mention that even more powerful laptops than these, are going to ship later in the year following Intel’s recent reveal of the 10th Generation Intel Core processors.The Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 is the first confirmed laptop to rock Intel’s next-gen chip, with more expected to hit stores before Christmas. There’s also some very interesting laptops on the horizon, including the bonkers twin screen Asus ZenBook Pro Duo and the the creator-focused Acer ConceptD range.Can’t wait until then? Not a problem, as the Intel’s 9th Gen mobile processor that can currently be found in laptops still provides an outstanding performance.Here to help you get the perfect laptop for your specific needs and budget we’ve created a definitive list detailing the best laptops we’ve currently tested. We’ve listed our top 10 here, but find our full assessments of the best 16 below.Our overall winner: Dell XPS 15Best all round ultrabook: Dell XPS 13Best budget laptop: Asus VivoBook E200 HABest MacBook: MacBook Air 2018Excellent high performer: Asus ZenBook 15Best ultrabook: LG GramGreat value: Lenovo IdeaPad 720SBest 2 in 1: LG Gram 2 in 1Best for style: Surface Lapotp 2Best Windows convertible: Surface Pro 6Also check out our Laptop Deals and Tablet Deals articles for round-ups of the latest offers, bundles and bargains. Best value laptopDell XPS 13Still as stylish as the day it came out, Dell’s swish XPS 13 laptop is now cheaper than it’s ever been.Now £1,070.00View deal 2. Dell XPS 13 (2019)The best all-round Windows 10 ultrabook you can buyPros:Quality design and displayImproved performance and battery lifeWebcam moved back to topHuge range of configurationsCons: Still no full-sized SD card reader or USB portsSSD slow at saving dataScreen not ideal for artistsThe Dell XPS 13 is the best 13-inch laptop money can buy right now, especially after its 2019 refresh. Since last year’s model it features an improved Whiskey Lake processor and has moved the webcam back to its rightful place above the screen.There are a lot of customisation options here too. Plump for the 4K resolution (which includes a touchscreen), and coupled with Dell’s Cinema optimisations and the laptop’s new quad speaker setup, you’ve got the perfect setup for Netflix binging.Under the hood you’ll also get your pick of i5 and i7 Intel 8th gen CPUs and be able to load it with up to 16GB of RAM. The top-specced Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM version we tested blitzed through our synthetic tests and earned the XPS 13 a place as one of the fastest laptops currently available, in most situations.The only slight issue is that you’re limited to Intel HD graphics. The lack of Iris, or dGPU options mean it won’t be able to enjoy even moderate gaming, or edit video in 4K. But considering the fact its cheaper than other laptops with these options, this omission is more than forgivable.Read our full Dell XPS 13 review 11. Lenovo Yoga 730Lenovo’s Yoga 730 is a cheaper alternative to the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1Pros:Decent power for applications and gamesExcellent exterior designComfortable ergonomicsSolid screen and speakersCheaper than its key rivalCons:Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 has more speedScreen could be a little betterBattery life inconsistentThe Lenovo Yoga 730 is the latest addition to Lenovo’s hybrid laptop line-up, boasting a 15.6-inch screen, Intel Core i7-8550U processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics.It’s a powerful and literally quite flexible machine, that’s a compelling (not to mention cheaper) alternative to our current favourite, the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 – connections-wise, you get two full-size USB 3.0 ports, a Type-C Thunderbolt port and a full-sized HDMI port, which for some, will beat the XPS 15 2-in-1’s twin pairs of Type-C USBs.A 4096-point active stylus comes includes, and there’s a slot for that too, and the aforementioned Nvidia GPU (plus 4GB of vRAM) suggests that this is a shoe-in for creatives, too. Unfortunately, the display covers just 84.1% of the sRGB colour gamut, 61.5% of the Adobe RGB gamut, and 68% of the DCI-P3 gamut, which compares poorly to rivals.Battery life also varies wildly depending on what you’re doing. In our looped video test, the Lenovo Yoga 730 gave us an impressive 15 hours of power, which would see you right through most Netflix and iPlayer binges no sweat. When doing something intensive, like gaming, we saw between 1-2 hours.Read our full Lenovo Yoga 730 review How we test laptopsWe put every laptop listed below through a set of benchmark tests to gauge its GPU, CPU and SSD performance. We then test its screen using a colorimeter, which measures the intensity of colours, and DisplayCal, which tells us how accurate those colours are.Finally, we run a battery test by looping 10 minutes of web browsing and five minutes of video playback, until it runs out of juice. Afterwards the reviewer uses the device as their primary work and personal laptop for at least a week, before giving it a final score. You’ll find a link to each full review below each of the following summaries.How much should I spend on a laptop?What you decide to spend on a laptop will be determined by what you’re likely to want to use the laptop for. If you simply want to do a bit of web browsing and send and receive a few emails then a cheap 11-inch netbook or Chromebook for under £200 will do the job.Most Chromebooks run on low-powered CPUs, and, while they will handle most common PC tasks with ease, don’t expect to be able to do anything too intensive, like photo editing, on a Chromebook.Want something a little bigger? You can pay between £300 and £500 for a 15.6-inch laptop powered by an Intel Core i3 processor that’s powerful enough to carry out the basics without slowing to a crawl. It will even handle a little Minecraft and photo editing.If you want something thin and light, expect to spend upwards of £500 for a sub-1.5kg laptop. Powered by more efficient dual-core and quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, these machines are far more suitable for light photo and video work and should last all day on a single charge if they’re not pushed too hard. If you want premium build and a great screen, expect to pay at least £1,000.You’ll need to spend at least £700 on a gaming laptop, and considerably more if you want to future-proof it. Look for “discrete” or “dedicated” graphics from AMD or Nvidia, and check online benchmarking figures to see how well your favourite games will play. A laptop with a dGPU, as opposed to a laptop running on the integrated graphics of a CPU, will be far more capable of handling games and photo editing.There are alternative form factors, too. Two-in-ones have reversible screens that can be versatile in small spaces, while tablet hybrids are great for drawing and taking notes. The latter often come with attachable keyboards for when you want to get typing work done.What’s the best operating system?Windows: Windows 10 remains the most versatile operating system around, and you’ll find it on the vast majority of laptops sold in the UK.Chrome: However, if you’re buying a cheap laptop and don’t need to run Windows software, then Google’s ChromeOS is likely to be a better bet. It’s lightweight – it’s essentially a glorified web browser – but with so many excellent web-based applications now available, most people on a budget will be able to get by with just that.MacOS: is tied into MacBook laptops, so you’ll always pay a premium to get Apple’s operating system. It’s undeniably slick, smooth and reliable, so if you have the money then it offers a better experience than Windows for many people.Don’t want to pay the ‘Windows tax’? Some laptops now sell with Ubuntu Linux installed. This free OS is powerful if you know what you’re doing, and it has the advantage of costing next to nothing.With all that out of the way, here’s our rankings of the laptops we’ve tested recently.1. Dell XPS 15 2-in-1Winner of the ‘PC of the Year’ gong at the Trusted Reviews Awards 2018Pros:Excellent performance, even when gamingSolid build qualityFantastic keyboardAmazing screenCons:Very loud when running intensive processesBattery life could be betterIf you’re after a power-house 15-inch laptop that can do everything from video editing to lightweight gaming, then you’ll want to check out the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1.The convertible is one of the first laptops to run one of Intel’s G-series chips. The chips are the result of an unprecedented partnership between Intel and its arch-rival AMD. Specifically, the chip combines Intel’s CPU architecture with AMD’s Vega graphics.The combination works a treat and means the XPS 15 2-in-1 is a powerhouse machine that can match laptops with discrete Nvidia 1050 graphics on performance.Add to this its top notch 4K screen and foldable, Yoga-like, hinge mechanism and the XPS 15 2-in-1 justifiably earns its place as one of 2019’s best availble laptops.Read our full Dell XPS 15 review This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. 5. Asus ZenBook 15 (UX533F)An excellent, high performance laptopPros:Solid performanceFantastic battery lifeErgoLift shape makes for easier typingDedicated graphics cardCons:Trackpad issuesLow Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 coverage on anti-glare versionThe Asus ZenBook 15‘s colourful and lightweight style is complemented by exceptional battery life and excellent performance, thanks in part to it being powered by an Intel Core i7-8565U, an Intel processor that’s designed specifically of high-end laptops. It features a nifty ‘ErgoLift’ design, which makes for a more comfortable typing position, and also lets warm air escape from the main vent more easily. As well as that, the ZenBook 15 gives you plenty of ports – two Type-A USBs, Type-C USB, HDMI, and SD card slot. The only real downside here is the lack of an Ethernet port, but that’s mitigated by the fact that you get a USB-A-to-Ethernet adapter in the box.This means if you need a laptop primarily for writing reports, essays and articles on, you won’t have to shell out for multiple dongles in order for you to your work done, and the long lasting battery means you can work for over ten hours without having to reach for your charger. The Asus ZenBook 15 isn’t cheap, but it’s a solid investment.There’s a dedicated graphics card too, an Nvidia GTX 1060, and up to 16GB of RAM, which means you can get some video editing and gaming done on the side. The ZenBook 15 isn’t a star performer here, and if you’re after a laptop primarily for wasting fools on Apex Legends on, then you’re better off looking at our Best Gaming Laptop round up, or waiting for machines featuring Nvidia 20 Series cards like the RTX 2080 to hit shelves. If gaming’s of secondary import though, and you want a performance Windows 10 laptop, the Asus ZenBook 15 is worth a look.Read our full Asus ZenBook 15 review 12. Apple MacBook Pro (2018, 13-inch)The MacBook choice for people who need power on the movePros: Outstanding design and buildHigh res display with excellent colour, contrast and brightnessThunderbolt 3 portsCons:Cramped and uncomfortable keyboardTouchpad depresses awkwardlyYour port options are Thunderbolt, buy an adapter, or go homeExpensiveApple’s recently refreshed range of MacBook Pro’s covers a lot of bases, from the 13-inch entry level versions, aimed at photographers and anyone who wants a powerful laptop for general work, to the 15-inch versions that are more geared towards editing and exporting video on the the go.We’ve reviewed the highest-end 13-inch MacBook Pro 2018, which features an Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU (i7-8559U), 16GB of LPDDR3 (2133 MHz) RAM and a 2TB SSD.The 2560 x 1600 Retina display is incredibly impressive in terms of detail (227 ppi), colour temperature (6514K) and colour gamut, covering 100% of the sRGB gamut, 84% of Adobe RGB and 98.9% of DCI P3.Overall performance is excellent, something that’s reflected in the high Geekbench scores of 5378 (single-core) and 18885 (multi-core) and Blackmagic read and write speeds of 2631.2MB/sec and 2281.1MB/sec, but not Cinebench (594cb). Real-world testing showed that the 13-inch MacBook Pro could render 4K video quickly in Final Cut Pro, but it took a sizeable chunk out of the battery.Downsides include a lack of any ports besides Thunderbolt 3 and the overall price of the series. While you do get a level of basic support from Apple’s high street stores, and the option of buying these direct from Apple on 0% finance, they’re still priced very highly.Read our full Apple MacBook Pro 2018 9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2The Surface Laptop 2 is a stylish and powerful daily driverPros:Excellent displayBattery that’ll easily last you a dayLightweight and attractive designNicely spaced keyboardCons:No USB-C portsExpensiveThe Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a svelte, alcantara-covered aluminium that boasts an impressive 2256×1504 resolution display and  a very durable battery life. Most days, we’ve been able to get ten hours of power out of the Surface Laptop 2.While it’s not a high-performing gaming laptop – and therefore is unsuited to high-end gaming and video work – it’s got more than enough processing and graphical power to get you through the day and have enough left over in the tank to binge through your favourite Netflix show or play some Fortnite.As with a lot of slimline laptops, you don’t get many ports. You get a mini DisplayPort, USB-A, and a proprietary Surface Connect port, and that’s it. No HDMI, no USB-C, no SD card reader. There are adapters available if you need more connectivity, but having to embrace the dongle life after stumping up, in most cases, over £1000, is a bit of an ask. If this is a stumbling block for you, then maybe the LG Gram would be a better choice.But, if you’ve ever wanted a Windows 10 laptop that can match the Apple MacBook Air in terms of looks and style without compromising on performance, the Surface Laptop 2 is for you.Read our full Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 review  Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor 8. LG Gram 2 in 1The best value 2 in 1 laptop aroundPros:Fantastic versatility with touchscreenSuper-fast CPU performancePlenty of portsLong-lasting batteryCons:Design awkward in tablet modeLow GPU performance will scare away artists and creativesLid is easily scuffedMost convertible laptops are either incredibly expensive or restricted to a Chromebook performance. The LG Gram 2 in 1 hits the sweet spot, offering a quality ultrabook and a decent tablet bundled into one product.With a high-speed CPU performance, long-lasting battery and a plethora of ports, the Gram 2 in 1 is a fantastic option for office workers. By day its a powerhouse portable ready for your spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentation, and by night it can be flipped into a tablet for Netflix in bed and Microsoft Paint doodling thanks to the boxed stylus.Mind, with a low-performing integrated graphics card and low-latency touchscreen, this isn’t a 2-in-1 laptop aimed at creatives. Plus, the design does feel awkward once in tablet mode, with the keyboard sitting at the back and the absence of a volume button. If you can forgive these flaws though, then you’re getting incredible 2-in-1 value with the Gram.Read our full LG Gram 2 in 1 Review 15. Acer Swift 5One of the best sub-£1000 Windows 10 laptops out therePros:Solid performance, quiet runningPleasingly slim and lightCons:A couple of keyboard issuesIntegrated graphicsAffordable ultrabooks are normally, at best, a mixed bag. That’s why the Acer Swift 5 is such a pleasant surprise. It’s one of a select few ultrabooks that delivers in nearly every area, despite costing less than £1000.Featuring a lightweight design, the Swift 5 comes with a wealth of solid hardware that’s sure to meet most users’ needs. Highlights include a choice of Intel 8th Gen CPUs, plus an above-average 1080p display.If you’re on the market for a swish, portable, reasonably powerful laptop that won’t break the bank, then you should definitely check out the Acer Swift 5.The only minor issues stopping it from earning our top score are its complete lack of graphics upgrade options, and the keyboard, which doesn’t have the best key travel.Take note, though, a new edition of the Acer Swift 5 – which is rocking Intel’s Whiskey Lake CPU – will be launching in Europe in early 2019 with a starting price of €999. While there’s no UK price or solid release date just yet, it may still be wise to wait that little bit longer for its inevitable arrival.Read our full Acer Swift 5 review Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.center_img We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. 13. LG Gram (15Z980)The 15-inch LG Gram is bigger, more powerful (and more expensive) than its 14-inch counterpart 10. Microsoft Surface Pro 6Lightweight, flexible and powerful, the Surface Pro 6 is one of the best Windows 10 convertibles we’ve testedPros:Great screenGood battery lifeSolid performanceLightweight and portable hybrid designCons: Pricey accessoriesKeyboard dock may be too small for someThe Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is lightweight, flexible and pretty powerful. As a convertible 2-in-1 Windows 10 device, it’s got a foot in both the tablet and laptop camps.Our review model ran full fat Windows 10 out of the box, not the safety scissors Windows 10 S version Microsoft sometimes installs on its Surface devices, like the Surface Go.An excellent 12.3-inch screen, solid performance and a battery which gives you around 7-8 hours of use on a single charge mean that the Surface Pro 6 is ideally suited to office work, giving you enough power to get through the working day. The high quality screen means that it’s also perfect for streaming media on at the end of the day (or during the day, if your job really is that bad).A downside is the small number of ports and the absence of USB-C. While it’s normal for tablets and convertibles not to have much in the way of physical ports, there are few dongles available from Microsoft’s store. On that note, TypeCover keyboard dock, which is sold separately, costs £150. While it allows for excellent, fast typing (especially considering its size), it’s on the pricey side.However you skin it, you’re going to have to drop some extra cash in order to turn the Surface Pro into a fully-fledged work laptop. If you don’t mind splashing out, then the Surface Pro 6 will no doubt delight.Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 6 review Cons:Integrated graphicsBottom-mounted speakers 16. HP EliteBook x360 G2A high-end laptop aimed at business usersPros:Attractive designLots of security featuresGood performanceDecent battery lifeCons:Slower SSD on this modelStylus costs extra in UKThe HP EliteBook x360 G2 is one of HP’s finest laptops to date and was shortlisted for Best Laptop of 2017 at the Trusted Reviews Awards.It’s very much a business machine, but its price isn’t totally out of reach of someone who just wants a premium Ultrabook. Weighing in at just 1.29kg, it’s super light. And with its 13.3-inch form factor, you’ll have no problem chucking it in a bag to take home from work. It’s loaded with security features, too.Performance is good – although, for the money, the Dell XPS 13 offers more power – and the screen is ready for Windows Ink if you buy it with the optional stylus. The whole package is expensive for a plain laptop, but given its premium design, sturdy hinge and draw-ability, it doesn’t seem quite so extravagant.Read our full HP EliteBook x360 G2 review 4. Apple MacBook Air (2018)This is the upgrade MacBook Air fans have been waiting forPros:A classic design, refreshed for 2018Lightweight, premium-feel bodyRetina Display screenPro features for a lower priceCons:Two USB-C portsThe MacBook Air 2018 is a long-awaited refresh of Apple’s line of lightweight laptops, which, since 2015, had only seen tiny, iterative updates instead of big leaps forward.The 2018 line-up brings a 2560×1600 Retina Display screen, which boasts fantastic levels of colour accuracy and decent levels of brightness and contrast. There’s Touch ID, which lets you unlock the MacBook Air with a tap of your finger, and the T2 security chip, which encrypts your files on the go. The stereo speakers also offer sound quality that’s among the best of any laptop we’ve seen recently. For everyday use, the battery gave us 9-10 hours of power, too.Downsides include the fact that you get just two USB-C ports. They support the Thunderbolt 3 standard, so you’ll be able to charge and transfer files quickly and hook your Air up to all manner of monitors, drives, eGPUs and other accessories, but, when you’re working on the go, this will be very limiting.Pricing for the range starts at £1199, which is a good for a premium laptop of this pedigree, but the higher up in the MacBook Air range you go, you’ll start to see prices equivalent to what you’d pay for a (much more powerful and versatile) MacBook Pro – so if you’ve got the cash to splash, you may want to consider picking one of these up instead.Read our full MacBook Air 2018 review 14. Asus ZenBook 13 UX331USlim and stylish, the ZenBook 13 is ideal for everyday office workProsVery slim and lightStrong usabilityWell-designed screenConsPriceyWeak audioThe Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U is being marketed as ‘the thinnest laptop on the planet’. Measuring in at a meagre 13.9mm thick it’s certainly one of the smallest we’ve tested, only losing out to the even dinkier 9mm Acer Swift 7.Despite being super thin it packs some solid hardware. You’ll have a choice of 8th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 CPUs, both of which’ll come with 8GB of RAM. Whichever CPU you opt for the combo will power through most everyday offices tasks.It’s 13-inch, FHD screen is above average at this price and coupled with the ZenBook’s stellar keyboard and trackpad make the laptop a great choice for any buyer looking for a device that neatly balances portability and performance.The only downside is that its super thin dimensions mean you only get integrated graphics, which will be an issue for gamers and people that want to edit video or photos on it.Read our full Asus ZenBook 13 UX331U review 7. Lenovo IdeaPad 720S2017’s laptop of the year, now for a lower pricePros:Slim, stylish, all-metal exteriorGreat screenExcellent overall performanceGood connectivityCons:Nvidia graphics not necessary for all14-inch form factor adds weightThe Lenovo IdeaPad 720S is a model from last year – it won Laptop of the Year at the Trusted Reviews Awards 2017 – meaning you can now pick this up for less if you shop around. For your money you get a laptop with a 14-inch Full HD screen. Battery life is solid, giving us around nine hours in testing and the all-metal jacket gives it a premium feel.Processor options include an Intel Core i5-7200U or Core i7-7500U, along with an Nvidia GT 940MX dedicated graphics from Nvidia, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. This isn’t anywhere near enough to play latest games at the highest settings, but it’ll handle older titles easily, and those specs will give you plenty of power if you just want something for regular work. In terms of ports, you get two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Thunderbolt, and an SD card reader, which is pretty generous – not every laptop will pack in as many connections.While it’s a 2017 laptop, the IdeaPad 720S still has plenty going for it.Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad 720S review  What’s the best laptop for most people? best overall laptopDell XPS 15 2-in-1 15.6-inch FHD Laptop (Silver)As the winner of Trusted Reviews’ ‘PC of the Year’ award 2018, the the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 is everything you could want a laptop to be and more.Now £1,249.99View deal 3. Asus VivoBook E200HAThis is the best budget laptop available right nowPros: Super-cheapAttractive designSlim and lightGood keyboardCons: Screen is fairly basicA little slowSmall amount of storageThe Asus Vivobook E200HA is a brilliant little netbook that weighs less than a kilogram but still manages to pack all the features you could want from a budget laptop. With 12 hours of battery life in normal usage and a dinky footprint, this is the most baggable laptop we’ve ever tested.With that crazy low price and weight come performance compromises – but if you only use a few browser tabs at a time, you’ll be right at home.Since we reviewed this lovely little netbook, the price has dropped to below £200 at most retailers, although it varies week by week.Read our full Asus Vivobook E200 HA review The new LG Gram 15Z980 notebook is a solid choice for mobile professionals always on the move.It boasts a seriously lightweight chassis, despite its 15.6-inch size. It doesn’t compromise on the specs or build quality, either.The 15.6-inch IPS panel is as strong as expected from LG, who obviously know a thing or two about eye-pleasing visuals. For a start, the Full HD resolution keeps everything pin-sharp. High-definition movies look great, photos are packed with detail.Performance is certainly reliable enough for everyday tasks, even at that base clock level. 16GB of DDR4 RAM helps to keep everything running smoothly, even when you have a half-dozen or more apps all active at once.You get three full-sized USB 3.0 connections, plus a Type-C USB for fast data transfer. There’s an HDMI port and a microSD card reader, providing plenty of options for hooking up to peripherals and managing your data. For such a slim laptop, that’s seriously impressive.The LG Gram is tougher than a tank, while packing some premium components to boot. It’s impressive in terms of performance, battery life and build quality. And if you’re happy to sacrifice a little bit of power in favour of improved portability, then the LG Gram 14Z980 is a solid choice too.Read our full LG Gram 15Z980 review Pros: Lightweight build Impressive display Long battery lifelast_img read more


Check Out National Drive Electric Week


NATIONAL DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK IS TEEMING WITH TESLAS [GALLERY]National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) runs from September 8th – 16th this year and serves as a nationwide celebration to heighten awareness around electric cars. There are over 300 events scheduled all across the US, Canada, and New Zealand. After speaking with EV owners all across the US — it’s official, NDEW events are teeming with Teslas!Check Out These Stories: Images: EVANNEX*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Above: Zach pulled up early in his BMW i3 with a “shout-out” to CleanTechnica right next to the charge port (Image: EVANNEX)So I decided to make the trek across Alligator Alley stopping at the Fort Myers Supercharger along the way. I also juiced up right in Sarasota at an amazing Supercharger station (with 20 Supercharger stalls) right behind the local Whole Foods. When I attended the NDEW event, I was taken by the number of Teslas — especially the Model 3s — proudly showcased by new owners. I also had the pleasure of chatting up a Chevy Bolt owner who admitted his next car would also be a Model 3. 2017 National Drive Electric Week Breaks Records Tesla Model 3 Event: Hundreds Of Cars Delivered, More Stock Inbound Above: A Tesla Model S and Model 3 make friends with some BMW i3s at the Chargepoint charging stations at Sarastoa’s NDEW event (Image: EVANNEX)Yearly NDEW events are presented by Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association. We’ve been intimately involved with NDEW events for about five years now — we even threw our own event a few years ago here in South Florida. Now, we send gift bags full of cool swag to NDEW events all over the country. Above: My favorite license plate at the event “ELON WON” says it all (Image: EVANNEX)This year, I personally decided to travel to Sarasota, FL to check out a local NDEW event at the University Town Center. Sarasota has such a vibrant EV community, they’ve even scheduled another event (a week later) at the Florida House Institute. Sarasota also happens to be the home of Larry Chanin, President of the Tesla Owners Florida, an official Tesla club which boasts over 600 members. And Zachary Shahan, director/editor of CleanTechnica and founder of EVObsession and SolarLove, is also based in Sarasota. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 14, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Above: Chris holds an EV Proclamation with local city officials right in front of Tesla’s test-drive area (Image: EVANNEX)A big thank you to Zach and Larry for making me feel at home in Sarasota — and also kudos to Chris Sharek of Sharek Solutions who put on such a fun event. Chris had some local officials venture out to the event in order to present a special EV Proclamation along with commitments (on record) for more charging stations. Tesla also had an official display and was offering test drives. Above: Another fun license plate “NOMO GAS” on a Tesla (Image: EVANNEX)In any case, if you haven’t been to a NDEW event yet, I highly recommend you check one out — here’s the list of events. Be sure to check out the gallery below to see some of the cool electric cars showcased at the NDEW event this year in Sarasota…Gallery Source: Electric Vehicle News Check Out This Soirée For The Tesla Model 3 At Aventura Mall In Miami *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. 8 photos read more