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    Microsoft drops Surface Pro X webcam quality to get broken cameras working again / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 30 May - 17:40

Surface Pro X

Enlarge / The Microsoft Surface Pro X. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Microsoft has issued a workaround for broken Surface Pro X cameras following user reports that the integrated webcams stopped working on May 23. The tech giant says it's working with OEM partners to fix the problem permanently.

Microsoft debuted the Surface Pro X in 2019. The tablet, focusing on battery life and mobility, opted for a Microsoft-branded SQ1 processor, based off Qualcomm's first-generation Snapdragon 8cx. An SQ2 version succeeded. In October 2022, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 9 , which includes Arm options and, thus, essentially absorbs the Surface Pro X.

But there are still plenty of people with a Surface Pro X (Microsoft doesn't disclose Surface sales numbers specifically, but the Surface business overall brought in $6.7 billion in revenue last fiscal year), and as of May 23, all of their built-in webcams stopped working.

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    eReader-LCD hybrid gadgets keep coming—and so do the trade-offs / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 10 May - 19:28 · 1 minute

Philips 24B1D5600 monitor

Enlarge / Philips' display connects a QHD IPS monitor to a 13.3-inch eReader via a hinge. (credit: Philips )

For daily productivity, work, web browsing, and entertainment, eReaders can't compete with the crisp colors and high refresh rates of LCD displays. LCDs (and increasingly OLEDs) have and will be center stage for monitors and laptops. But that doesn't mean LCDs can't share some of the spotlight. There have been various attempts to unite LCD and E Ink technology for computer users over the years. But with limited selection and the offerings typically involving sacrifice in other parts of the product, this hybrid display category hasn't become mainstream.

Even as the iPad and other tablets have become common household gadgets, eReaders have maintained value among certain technologists. Analysts say the market's declining, with Statista showing an expected fall from $396.4 million in 2021 to $204.7 million by 2027. But there are still exciting eReader releases, like the Kindle Scribe that came out in November. And as people grow increasingly concerned about preventing eye strain from screens, some are turning to E Ink for reading sessions over bright LCD screens.

But as stated, there are plenty of experiences that suffer on an eReader compared to a traditional computer display. And that's why some products try to offer both.

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    Why it does and doesn’t matter if Google, Microsoft, or Zoom certify your webcam / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 14 March - 10:40

Logitech Brio 500 webcamera docked on a monitor

Enlarge / Logitech really wants you to know that its Brio 500 webcam works with Meet, Teams, Zoom, and Chromebooks. (credit: Logitech/Amazon )

Logitech made a peculiar announcement in January.

It proudly declared that its MX Master 3S wireless mouse, along with some of its other peripherals, had been certified to work with Intel Evo laptops. (Evo laptops are Intel-certified premium ultralights meeting certain criteria , like providing at least eight hours of battery life with a QHD display.) Imagine my shock when I realized I had been using that very mouse with a Dell XPS 13 (an Evo laptop) for almost eight months without Intel's blessing.

Of course, even before the mouse gained Intel's stamp of approval, I had enjoyed hours of problem-free use. The same can be said of every functioning USB webcam I'm ever plugged into a computer. But that hasn't stopped countless peripheral makers from touting that their devices have been certified for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.

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    Dell refreshes XPS desktop, announces updates to XPS 15 and 17 laptops / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 28 February - 18:56

Dell's 2023 XPS desktop on a desk connected to a monitor

Enlarge / Dell's 2023 XPS desktop. (credit: Dell)

Dell has begun refreshing its popular XPS lineup of desktops and laptops with the latest mobile processors and GPUs. These updates mostly focus on chip upgrades, suggesting only mild improvements to the series that shouldn't make owners of last year's models very envious.

Dell's XPS 17 and 15 laptops will be available on March 2, a Dell rep confirmed to Ars Technica. Dell will offer each with up to an Intel Core i9-13900H but also support i5 and i7 options.

Intel's 13th Gen H-series mobile chips don't bring massive upgrades over their 12th Gen counterparts. The i9-13900H has six Performance cores, eight Efficient cores, 20 threads, and 24MB of cache. It supports clock speeds of 1.9-5.4 GHz. The i9-12900H we tested in last year's Dell XPS 15 has similar specs but clock speeds of 1.8-5 GHz.

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    Microsoft Surface Laptop Go review: Goldilocks and the three SKUs / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 7 November, 2020 - 11:00

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

Enlarge / The Surface Laptop Go is made for those who want a smaller and more affordable Surface PC. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

What is the point of a Surface device? The latest model in Microsoft’s line of Windows PCs, the Surface Laptop Go , forces buyers to confront why they want a Surface machine in the first place.

Much like the Surface Go series of two-in-one tablets, the Surface Laptop Go aims for the mainstream side of the market, with a starting price of $550. However, it does so with a more traditional clamshell design.

For that amount, the Surface Laptop Go still provides most of Microsoft’s signatures: an attractive design, high build quality, a comfortable keyboard and trackpad, a display with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio, the proprietary Surface Connect port, and so on.

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    Acer announces several new Intel-powered laptop lines / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 22 October, 2020 - 10:45

Ooo, snazzy.

Enlarge / Ooo, snazzy. (credit: Acer )

Acer announced Intel-powered refreshes of several product lines today at the Acer Next 2020 online event. Notable new or refreshed products include the Swift, Aspire, and Spin general-purpose laptop lines and the high-end ConceptD 7 and Porsche Design laptops.

Aspire 5, Spin 3, Spin 5

The Aspire and Spin product lines get pretty straightforward refreshes with 11th-generation (Tiger Lake) Intel CPUs, but otherwise they remain largely unchanged.

For those unfamiliar with Acer branding, the Spin 3 and Spin 5 are convertible touchscreen laptops featuring a 360-degree hinge. That means they can be used as standard laptops, used in "tent mode" (unfolded 270 degrees, resting on edge of both screen and keyboard—a presentation much like a tablet in a folio stand), or opened a full 360 degrees into tablet mode.

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    MSI buttons up, launches Summit business laptops with Tiger Lake / ArsTechnica · Friday, 4 September, 2020 - 21:10

This week, PC-maker MSI held a "virtual summit" where it announced a plethora of new machines, largely driven by the launch of Intel's 11th-generation CPUs. Much of what was discussed amounts to the usual suspects—various forms and configurations of gaming laptops to compete with Razer and its ilk. But the Taiwanese tech company also introduce the Summit series: slim business laptops that are outside the recent norm for the company.

MSI's existing Prestige and Modern lines will also get a Tiger Lake refresh, with retail availability expected in October.

As a laptop vendor, MSI focuses on the higher end, both in gaming and productivity laptops. Until now, all MSI models we're aware of—including the general-purpose laptops not aimed at gamers—have featured Nvidia discrete GPUs. The Tiger Lake refresh of the productivity-oriented Modern line does away with the Nvidia GPU, relying entirely on Intel's integrated Xe graphics instead. Seeing an OEM who has been all-in on discrete GPUs suddenly drop them in existing product lines is another good indicator that Intel's Xe integrated graphics will likely live up to the hype.

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