Lenovo unveils world’s slimmest laptop – the Yoga 900S

Lenovo’s line-up at CES 2016 on the showroom floor was impressive to say to the least with offerings across almost every category that they have a presence in from smartphones to notebooks.

YOGA 900S in Gold_Using Windows 10 in Laptop Mode

Standing out of the entire array of offerings they have on display was their ultra slim Yoga 900S notebook that’s currently the world’s slimmest, lightest convertible notebook on the planet. The notebook is breathtakingly slim and hewn from carbon fiber for lightness. When put on the scales, it’s a hair under 1KG, 999g to be exact and 12.8mm thin, currently putting it at the top of the charts for slimness and weight.

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A close-up of the keyboard of the Yoga 900S

Like other Yoga notebooks, the 900S has a 360-degree watchband hinge that lets you deploy it into one of four different modes: a traditional notebook, flipped all the way around into a tablet, a tent-style display and with the keyboard face down as a monitor.

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A close-up of the elaborate 360-degree Watch hinge on the Yoga 900S

 

The display itself is a 12.5-inch QHD touchscreen display with 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and has Active Pen support with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity so artists and can use it for their trade though it seems that the Active Pen stylus itself is an optional accessory.

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The Yoga 900S deployed in Tent mode.

The notebook runs Windows 10 on a 2nd generation Intel Core M7 processor with 8GB DDR3 RAM and a 512GBSSD. Configurations can vary by region though so a local offering may vary slightly. Battery life is slated on paper to be an impressive 10.5 hours of video playback.

There’s no word on when or if the Yoga 900S will reach Malaysia or what specifications it will pack but the stated configuration below will cost US$1,099 (MYR4,789) and will be available globally in March. In the meantime, check out this official animated run-through of the Yoga 900SYOGA 900S Product GIF_12FPS_800x450_2MB

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Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headphones mean business

Christopher Thompson (Left), Ching Lai Kwan (Centre), Alvin Kiew (Right)2
From left: Christopher Thompson, Vice President of Enterprise Product Marketing at Plantronics, Ching Lai Kwan, Senior Country Manager, Malaysia & Indonesia at Plantronics, Alvin Kiew, Director of Sales & Marketing for South-East Asia at Plantronics

If you’re working in an office, you’ll likely be familiar with some of the annoyances that go with it when it comes to ambient noise be it nattering colleagues, clacking keyboards or some oblivious janitor using the hoover even when you’re attempting to get work done. Plantronics’ latest business oriented headset the Voyager Focus UC aims to address all these annoyances with noise cancelling tech and quite a bit of comfort too.

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The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC with its charging dock

 

The Voyager Focus UC has a mostly conventional design though it has several refinements to make it more comfier to use and more intuitive as well. The ‘UC’ stands for Unified Communication and the headphones have Class 1 Bluetooth to pair seamlessly via with up to eight compatible devices like your smartphone or tablet though it has a Bluetooth dongle if you aim to use it with a PC.IMG_0276 (Custom)

What makes it interesting is that the Voyager Focus UC packs Dynamic Mute Alert tech that mutes itself when the headphones were taken off and unmutes it when you put it back on. You’re also able to answer calls by wearing the headphones and it intelligently mutes any media you’re listening to when you make and take calls.

Plantronics Voyager UC boom mike
The boom mike rotates, allowing you to don it on either your left or right ear as you see fit
Rather than the usual metal, the Voyager Focus UC has an elastic leatherette headband that helps to suspend the headphone on your bonce comfortably

The boom mike lets you make calls and depending on orientation lets you wear it on your left or right ear as you see fit. The headband is aluminium though it’s suspended by means of an elastic headband on your head to avoid the usual feeling of donning a vice on your bonce while the swivelling leatherette padded headphones are cushioned for both comfort and passive noise insulation.

The Voyager Focus UC’s Active noise cancelling tech helps to mute external noises and the built-in battery offers up to 12 hours of talk time before needing a recharge via a micro USB port. It ships for RM1,518 along with a charging dock though it’s currently not sold in any retail stores as it’s intended for enterprise use. To find out more about the Voyager Focus UC you can swing by their official website here

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Christopher Thompson showcasing the new Voyager Focus UC headphones at a recent launch in Kuala Lumpur

HTC unveils their latest A9 phone. Looks rather familiar

HTC’s recent exclusive event in New York unveiled their latest addition to the One family, the One A9. Its model designation indicates that it’s not related to the earlier M7, M8 or M9 series smartphones or its subvariants like the locally released One M9+ and E9+.

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The One A9 in Topaz Gold

The One A9 externally also bears an aesthetic departure from the design of the One M-series smartphones. Dubbed ‘metalmorphics’, the new design comes in four different colours – Carbon Gray, Opal Silver, Topaz Gold and Deep Garnet. As per the usual drill, not all colours may necessarily be released in any given country.

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The One A9 in Deep Garnet
HTC One A9_Aero_3V_CarbonGrey
The One A9 in Carbon Grey
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The One A9 in Opal Silver

On casual inspection, the A9 bears a slight similarity to the latest iPhone 6S’s design language with its curved edges and rounded design. It’s the same weight at 143g though it’s slightly larger all around.

HTC One A9 _lifestyle_2 (Custom)

Aesthetics aside, the One A9 has an interesting spec sheet that puts it somewhere between a middling to high-end midrange phone, depending on which subvariant you get. While the One M9+ and E9+ sported MediaTek’s Helios processors, the One A9 instead has gone back to a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octacore processor that pairs a 1.5GHz quadcore with a 1.2GHz quadcore processor running Android 6.0 Marshmallow with their HTC Sense user interface overlay.

The front display of the A9 comes with a 5-inch Full HD display sheathed in Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for survivability against scratches. Like the M9 series, the A9 has a home button that doubles as a multi-directional fingerprint sensor up front at the base of the phone to unlock it and for payment purposes though the latter feature is not featured in Malaysia.

In terms of memory and storage, the A9 comes in two possible alternate memory configurations depending on which market it’s destined for. One configuration has 32GB of onboard storage and 3GB RAM while the other has 16GB of built-in storage and a more modest 2GB RAM, marking it out as a midrange configuration. Both have microSD slots that can support, according to HTC, up to 2TB microSD cards though the largest you can score in the market is 128GB at the moment.

HTC One A9 _lifestyle_3 (Custom)

The rear camera on the A9 has a 13-MP sensor with a sapphire cover lens, an f/2.0 aperture with autofocus, a BSI sensor, and a first for HTC – optical image stabilisation. The front camera is HTC’s proven 4-MP UltraPixel snapper that has an f/2.0 aperture for selfies and good low light performance. Both rear and front cameras are capable of 1080P video recording. Additional features include Hyperlapse time lapse tool to speed up your videos up to 12 times faster to take those epic sunrise and sunset shots. Like earlier HTC phones, you can upload vignettes and snippets to their HTC Zoe service for sharing with friends and family.

Rather than a top and bottom grille design like that seen on the One M-series phones, the A9 instead opts for a subtler look like that seen on the earlier released Desire Eye with hidden front facing grilles that contain HTC’s front facing BoomSound speakers. This time around, the phone has been enhanced with a built-in DAC and Dolby Audio surround tech to allow for 24-bit, 192KHz quality audio playback.

HTC One A9 _lifestyle_1 (Custom)

The biggest downfall to any phone – battery life – has been addressed on the One A9 with a more proactive approach by  turning off power hungry or unused apps to prolong the life of its 2,150mAh battery. On paper, it offers up to 18 days of standby time and up to 9 hours of Internet use on Wi-Fi. The battery is also able to support Quick Charge 2.0 and is also forward compatible with Quick Charge 3.0.

While no firm dates have been set, the One A9 is set to hit retailers the world over in November. More details when HTC Malaysia announces a local launch.To recap, here’s the One A9’s specifications below. You can also check it out at HTC’s website here There’s no word on local pricing as yet but it’s retailing for US$400 (RM1696.97)  in the States for the 32GB/3GB RAM version and, oddly enough an eye watering £430 (RM2,800) for the lower end 16GB/2GB RAM version in the UK .

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Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 edge now in cool Topaz Blue and Green Emerald

If you’ve been hankering to get your hands on Samsung’s Galaxy S6 or their unique looking S6 edge but weren’t too keen on the existing colours available- white, black and a blinged up gold – , you’ll be rather pleased to discover that they’ve made the signature colours, glimpsed earlier on this year at MWC in Barcelona now available for sale with the S6 now coming in an iridescent  Blue Topaz and the S6 edge in a lustrously dark green and shiny Emerald Green.

 

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The signature colour unique unto the Galaxy S6 edge is their newly launched Emerald Green that comes in 32GB and 64GB sizes
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The Galaxy S6 comes in the original three colours as well as the new Topaz Blue with only a 32GB capacity

 

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The rear 16-Mp camera on the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge boasts of optical image stabilisation for better shots
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The display on the S6 edge is one seamless sheet of tempered glass curved to each edge with said edge allowing for ticker tape style notifications

The S6 only comes with a 32GB option locally for RM2,599 for all colours including the newly launched Blue Topaz while the S6 edge comes in 32GB and 64GB sizes for RM3,099 and RM3,599 in the new colour as well as the existing ones. To refresh your memory, both the S6 and S6 edge come with a 64-bit 2.1GHz Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB RAM and, as mentioned earlier 32GB of non expandable storage with the option of a 64GB variant for the S6 edge.

The screen for both is a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution and 577 ppi though the S6 edge has the addition of two edge displays, hence the name on each edge of the display to show notifications for easier reading. Both the S6 and S6 edge have a 16-MP camera capable of taking 4K video and the optical image stabilisation has so far made it one of the best cameras on offer this year. The front is a 5-Mp selfie camera with a software based Wide Selfie mode. Swing by Samsung’s Malaysian website here for more details.