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Microsoft Surface Go Tablet Announced, Starts at $399

Today, Microsoft has announced it’s new Surface Go tablet, a smaller, portable, and affordable Surface product yet. The new Surface Go tablet features a 10-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio display (1800 x 1200 pixel resolution), the signature built-in kickstand, a front-facing camera with facial recognition login, and Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connector port for charging and connecting to a desktop dock. The company has also added a USB-C 3.1 port, capable of charging the tablet or outputting video and data to external devices.

The Go weighs 1.15 lbs, which is about half a pound lighter than the Surface Pro. Like the Pro, the Go has rather large bezels surrounding the screen, which seem even larger with the Go’s smaller display. Inside, Microsoft Surface Go has Intel’s Pentium Gold 4415Y processor with either 4 or 8GB of RAM and 64 or 128GB of storage. The processor is a dual-core seventh-generation model. According to the company, this processor is chosen because of its balance between performance, battery life, and thermal properties that allow for a thin, fanless design with up to nine hours of battery life.

https://youtu.be/krRRskzHWFE

Out of the box, the Surface Go runs Windows 10 with S mode enabled. However, owners will be able to switch to the full version of Windows 10 for free if they want. Microsoft will initially release Wi-Fi versions of the Go, with an LTE equipped model to come later this year.

The Surface Go has an optional keyboard cover and Surface Pen. Adding the keyboard will bump the price of the Go up $99 or $129, depending on color, while the Pen will add another $99. Rounding out the accessories is the new $34.99 Surface Mobile Mouse. It is available in silver, red, and blue color options to match the keyboard cover and pen.

Surface Go tablet is available for pre-order starting at $399 and will ship in August.

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Latest

ASUS announced ZenBook Pro 15 with ScreenPad and Intel Core i9

ASUS today announced ZenBook Pro 15 featuring a 15-inch 4K UHD display, up to an Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics, 16GB of high-performance 2400Hz DDR4 RAM, up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD and Windows 10. You can enjoy immersive multimedia on its 15.6-inch 4K UHD NanoEdge PANTONE validated display with 100% Adobe RGB color gamut, ∆E (Delta-E) < 2.0 color accuracy and powerful Harmon Kardon certified audio system.

However, the main feature of the new ZenBook Pro 15 is ScreenPad. It is a Windows Precision Touchpad (PTP) combined with an interactive 5.5-inch FHD touchscreen that can intelligently adapt to what you’re doing, making it easier and quicker to multitask and get things done. A simple press of the F6 function key toggles ScreenPad between touchscreen mode and touchpad mode or you can use Screen Extender mode to use ScreenPad as an extension to the main display. Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint offer even closer integration with ScreenPad, with adaptive menus and editing controls on ScreenPad that change automatically according to the app and what task is being performed.

ASUS announced ZenBook Pro 15 with ScreenPad

ZenBook Pro 15 top features:

  • Comprehensive connectivity includes up to gigabit-class 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, and standard HDMI output.
  • Up to the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i9 hexa-core processor, with up to 16GB of high-performance 2400Hz DDR4 RAM and up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD
  • Up to gaming-grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU for graphics performance
  • Fingerprint sensor support for signing in effortlessly with Windows Hello
  • 15.6-inch NanoEdge 4K UHD ultraslim-bezel touchscreen with PANTONE validation for professional color accuracy

The ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 will be available globally starting July 2018.

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Latest

Microsoft Announces Xbox Adaptive Controller for accessible gaming

Microsoft today announced it’s new Xbox Adaptive Controller for accessible gaming. With the new controller, gamers can create a setup that works for them in a way that is plug-and-play, extensible, and affordable. In addition to working with common adaptive switches that gamers with limited mobility may already own, it has two large buttons built in. These buttons can also be reprogrammed to act as any of the standard controller’s button inputs via the Xbox Accessories app.

Microsoft Announces Xbox Adaptive Controller for accessible gaming
Microsoft Announces Xbox Adaptive Controller for accessible

According to the company, for gamers with limited mobility, finding controller solutions to fit their individual needs has been challenging. The solutions that exist today are often expensive, hard to find, or require significant technical skill to create. A number of individuals and organizations are creating custom solutions, but it has been often difficult for them to scale when most rigs need to be so personalized.

The new Xbox Adaptive Controller was created to address these challenges and remove barriers to gaming by being adaptable to more gamers’ needs. It was developed in partnership with organizations around the world, including The AbleGamers Foundation, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged.

The new Xbox Adaptive Controller will cost you $99.99 USD and available exclusively through Microsoft Store later this year. Microsoft will share more about the Xbox Adaptive Controller in a few weeks at E3.

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Latest

Microsoft announces Surface Hub 2 with 50.5-inch Multi touch 4K Display

Today Microsoft announced its upcoming Surface Hub 2. The new Surface Hub 2 will feature a 50.5-inch 4K display with 3:2 aspect ratio as well as extremely thin bezels. In comparison, the original Surface Hub was shipped in 2016 with 1080p 55-inch and 4K 84-inch options. Microsoft isn’t providing many specifications for the new Surface Hub 2, or even a release date or exact pricing, but the new device will be available in 2019.

https://youtu.be/7DbslbKsQSk

The Surface Hub 2 will allow multiple people to walk up to the Surface Hub 2, log into the device using the built-in fingerprint reader and then each pull their own work into a single collaborative document. Most of the software will be optimized for Microsoft Teams, and far-field microphones and 4K cameras will allow you to make video calls in portrait mode that make it feel like you’re standing next to a colleague.

Microsoft says pricing will be in line with similar competitive devices, which could mean we’ll see a more aggressive price point to counter Google’s own digital whiteboard. Microsoft has already sold Surface Hubs to more than 5,000 businesses in 25 countries. More than half of Fortune 100 companies already own a Surface Hub, and it’s the most popular Surface device for enterprise customers.

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Windows

Apple iTunes for Windows 10 comes to Microsoft Store

Apple iTunes for Windows 10 is finally available in Microsoft Store. The app was announced during the BUILD 2017 event. The app is ported from the Win32 program. The app will now receive updates directly from the Store. However, if you already have the iTunes desktop app installed, the Microsoft Store version will remove the older install and migrate your settings the first time you run it.

According to the official description, iTunes is the easiest way to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, and more on your Windows 10 PC. iTunes is also home to Apple Music, where you can listen to millions of songs and your entire music library, online or off — all ad-free. Also, get new music first, radio in every music genre, handpicked playlists, and Beats 1 live or on demand.

iTunes for Windows 10 in Microsoft Store by sihmar
iTunes for Windows 10 in Microsoft Store

Download iTunes for Windows 10

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Gaming

Xbox One April Update Released, Read What’s New and Fixed

Xbox One April Update is now available for download. The new Xbox One version 1804 comes with a bunch of new features and improvements. Today’s update also added new video features like Auto Low-Latency Mode (or ALLM for short).

Auto Low-Latency Mode enables the family of Xbox One devices to notify your display when you’re playing a game, so a TV that also supports ALLM will know to switch to its low latency video mode. Many displays refer to low latency mode as “game mode.”

Xbox One April update added support for variable refresh rate output to AMD Radeon FreeSync and FreeSync 2 compatible displays. AMD Radeon FreeSync is a form of variable refresh rate which helps to reduce input latency and minimize display stuttering, delivering a buttery-smooth visual gameplay experience in your favorite games. The entire Xbox One family of devices will work with FreeSync-certified displays. Xbox One S and Xbox One X will also support high dynamic range with AMD Radeon FreeSync 2.

Xbox One freesync by Sihmar
Xbox One freesync

In addition, Xbox One X and Xbox One S now support output at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) resolution for games and media. With over a million and a half more pixels than 1080p, this resolution offers even more choice between Full HD and 4K displays. This feature should be especially appealing to Xbox One owners who use a 1440p display for PC gaming. Media apps can now add an option for 1440p output for on both Xbox One X and Xbox One S.  Developers can also now enable games to run at native 1440p resolution on Xbox One X.

You can enable all these video options from the Settings menu on your Xbox One.  Just navigate to “Display & Sound,” then “Video Output.” Note that you’ll only be able to turn on these settings if your TV or monitor supports them.

Streaming & Captures

This month, we’re also introducing a new Mixer Interactive feature called Share Controller. Mixer streamers on Xbox One can now share control of their game with a viewer on Mixer.com. Just turn on the “Share Controller” toggle from the Broadcast & Capture section in Guide and your viewers will be able to share control through a virtual controller in their web browser, or by plugging a physical controller into their PC.

You can also now start Mixer broadcasts from anywhere on Xbox One, making streaming easier than ever. If you decide to switch games or exit to the dashboard, your viewers will see a pause animation until you jump back into a game. You will also see a pause animation on your broadcasting status bar on your screen.

In addition, you can now share captured screenshots and clips directly to Twitter, after authenticating your account, from the Broadcast & Capture tab of the Guide. Shared captures will now display and play directly in your Twitter feed instead of showing up as a link. We’ll also help you get your content discovered by suggesting a hashtag for the title of the game. Want to follow clips shared by Xbox gamers? Track clips with the #XboxShare hashtag!

Xbox Insiders have seen this option for a while, but now everyone can choose to switch between light and dark themes on your Xbox One based on the time of day. You can also personalize your theme to automatically transition from dark to light based on sunrise and sunset in your location. We’ve also added a new high-contrast light theme option, which makes on-screen elements easier to see.

Audio & Ease of Access

Based on fan feedback, we’re making additional improvements to Narrator on Xbox One. Narrator volume can now be adjusted independently from system audio volume. We’ve also introduced a new input learning mode to the Narrator menu. With input learning mode enabled, the Narrator on Xbox One will say the name of whatever button you press on an attached input device. High contrast light theme and narrator options can both be adjusted in the Ease of Access menu in Settings.

If you love to stream music while gaming, you will be happy to hear that you can now selectively balance game audio against background music within the Guide. Simply navigate down to the app that is playing background music in the Guide. Press “A” to open a new flyout with additional music controls, including a new slider that will allow you to adjust the balance of background music and game audio.

We’ve also made audio enhancements in the Xbox One dashboard itself. System sounds on Home and in the Guide have been completely revamped to support spatial audio, so the audio cues from your surround sound system will match the actions you see on-screen.

Apps

The Microsoft Edge browser on Xbox One has been updated to a more modern look and feel. Enhancements to history and favorites make it easy for you to get back to your favorite sites. Other new features include tab muting, read aloud and autofill. You can also now download and upload pictures, music, and videos from Microsoft Edge on Xbox One; your downloaded content can then be browsed with the File Explorer app.

Clubs, Game Hubs & Tournaments

Community tournaments are now available directly in Game Hubs for supported games. This means you no longer need to own or be the admin of a club to create a tournament.  To get started, open the Game Hub for a game that supports tournaments.  Head to the “Multiplayer” tab and select “Community tournaments” then choose the option for “Create tournament.”

Club feeds have also gained new filters to show you “what’s new,” “what’s hot” or “top posts.” Additionally, you can now lock the comments on your feed posts across clubs, Game Hubs, and Community, so the only person in control of the narrative is you.

If you’re a club owner or admin, you can now filter invitation requests based on several criteria, including Gamerscore, play time, reputation, Xbox Live Gold status, and recommendations from club members. Club invitation filters will persist until the administrator changes them, so if you set or edit club invitation filters, they will still be there the next time you sign-in.

Check your Xbox One update and download the latest version 1804.

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Latest

New HP Pavilion Notebooks and HP Pavilion x360s Convertibles Announced

Today, HP introduced its next-generation HP Pavilion Notebooks and HP Pavilion x360s convertibles. The new HP Pavilion x360s comes with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with NVIDIA MX130 Graphics option on select 14-inch models and an AMD Radeon 530 Graphics option on select 15-inch models. Whereas, HP Pavilion Notebooks features up to 11.75 hours of battery life with 8th Gen Intel Core processors or the latest AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics on select models. Check out more details below.

HP Pavilion x360s convertibles Specs and features

  • Windows Hello with a fingerprint reader on select models for a safe, secure, and quick logon experience.
  • Chrome-plated hinge allows you to switch your device into four different modes, while simultaneous pen and touch functionality with Windows Ink allow you to turn the convertible into a canvas for drawing on photos or marking up webpages in Microsoft Edge.
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 dual and quad processors with discrete graphics options
  • A NVIDIA MX130 Graphics option on select 14-inch models and an AMD Radeon 530 Graphics option on select 15-inch models.
  • Narrow bezel design allows a 14 and 15-inch diagonal HD or FHD IPS display to fit in 13-inch and 14-inch chassis, respectively.
HP Pavilion x360s with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 Sihmar
HP Pavilion x360s with 8th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 Sihmar

HP Pavilion x360 14-inch starting price is $499 and HP Pavilion x360 15-inch starting price is $579. These new convertibles will be available on May 9, 2018.

HP Pavilion Notebooks Specs and features

  • A rainbow of rich, new colors and options for HD and FHD IPS displays with micro-edge bezels.
  • The lift hinge supports a more comfortable typing experience and improves airflow to keep the device running cool.
  • Up to 11.75 hours of battery life depending on the model, and 8th Gen Intel Core processors or the latest AMD Ryzen Mobile Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics on select models.
  • Up to 512 GB of SSD or up to 2 TB HDDs on the 15-inch device. Dual storage options are available providing plenty of hard drive capacity with the added speed and responsiveness of an SSD. In addition, Intel Optane memory for storage acceleration is offered on select models.
  • Dual speakers custom tuned by B&O Play with HP Audio Boost for rich, authentic audio
  • Fingerprint reader option on the 14-inch Pavilion model facilitates safe, secure, and quick login with Windows Hello.
HP’s new line-up of Pavilion 14 and 15-inch notebooks sihmar
HP’s new line-up of Pavilion 14 and 15-inch notebooks sihmar

HP Pavilion Notebook 14-inch starting price is $369 and HP Pavilion Notebook 15-inch will start at $629. Both notebooks will be available on May 30, 2018.

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Surface USB-C dongle will be available later this year

According to the new report, Microsoft Surface USB-C dongle will launch by the end of 2018. Microsoft first revealed a Surface USB-C dongle nearly a year ago and was supposed to release before the end of 2017. Unfortunately, the software giant missed its deadline.

The dongle will support the new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices, and provide USB-C support for accessories. It slots into the Surface Connector on existing devices.

Microsoft Surface USB-C dongle Sihmar
Microsoft Surface USB-C dongle (Image by @h0x0d)

Currently, only Surface Book 2 natively supports USB-C. It’s likely that future refreshes of the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop will be updated with USB-C support.

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Windows

Windows 10 build 17122 (10.0.17122.1) info

Microsoft is now testing Windows 10 build 17122 internally. The new Windows 10 Spring Update build 17122 (10.0.17122.1 rs_prerelease.180312-1352) was compiled on March 12, 2018.

Windows 10 Spring Update preview build 17120 is now available for Insiders with various changes. The latest build also includes the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) improvements. Users will notice an improvement in the launch time for Application Guard. The start process is now lighter and faster.

In addition, users can now turn on a feature to download files from their WDAG browsing session onto the host file system. Once the feature is enabled, users will be able to download files into a folder created in their Downloads folder and open all files on the host.

The ISO files for Windows 10 build 17120 are also now available for download. You can download it from the link below.

Download Windows 10 build 17120 ISO
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Windows

Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 17110 now available for download

Microsoft Windows 10 SDK Preview Build 17110 is now available for download. The latest SDK contains bug fixes and changes to the API surface area. This build works in conjunction with previously released SDKs and Visual Studio 2017. The Windows SDK will now formally only be supported by Visual Studio 2017 and greater. You can also download the Visual Studio 2017 from here.

NEW

  • C++/WinRT Now Available: The C++/WinRT headers and cppwinrt compiler (cppwinrt.exe) are now included in the Windows SDK. The compiler comes in handy if you need to consume a third-party WinRT component or if you need to author your own WinRT components with C++/WinRT. The easiest way to get working with it after installing the Windows Insider Preview SDK is to start the Visual Studio Developer Command Prompt and run the compiler in that environment. Authoring support is currently experimental and subject to change. Stay tuned as we will publish more detailed instructions on how to use the compiler in the coming week. The ModernCPP blog has a deeper dive into the CppWinRT compiler.

You can read more details here.