Apple Inc is about to give two product lines much needed upgrades after the gadgets slipped into the towering shadow of the iPhone. On Tuesday, the Cupertino, California-based technology giant will take the stage in Brooklyn, New York, to unveil new Mac computers and iPad tablets. The theme of the event is “making,” and it will take place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music — both clues to how Apple plans to reignite sales of the products.
Macs and iPads have larger screens and keyboards, more versatile software and typically faster processing speeds than iPhones. Those features are particularly useful for people who create graphics, build websites, edit movies, write music, and in the case of Macs, develop their own software. While the iPhone won over consumers, and the Watch is on a growing number of wrists, Apple is pushing content creation for its other major devices.
The main news on Tuesday will be revamped iPad Pros with Face ID and a new charging port, a new laptop destined to replace the aging MacBook Air, and a new Mac mini geared toward professional users, according to people familiar with the plans. They asked not to be identified discussing unannounced products. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
The update to the iPad Pro will be the most significant in the product’s history. The device was originally launched in 2015 in part as a counter-measure to Microsoft Corp.’s Surface Pro, which gained a following with business users seeking large tablets with support for attachable keyboards and styluses. The iPad Pro models, which have larger screens, better cameras, and faster processors, are more expensive, which has sustained revenue growth.
Here’s what Apple is planning for the new iPad Pro, according to people familiar with the plans:
Nearly edge-to-edge screens with slimmer, symmetrical bezels like the latest iPhones. A USB-C connector for charging and syncing data, the first time Apple is bringing this charging standard to its iOS devices. This will leave the iPhone as Apple’s only major product to use the Lightning connector. It will also be the first time Apple has changed the charging port on iOS devices since 2012. Face ID will be used for unlocking the new iPad, and the Home button and fingerprint scanner will be removed. Unlike with iPhones, Face ID will work in both portrait and landscape orientations. Face ID will enable Animojis (and the personalized variety known as Memojis) on iPads for the first time.
The screens will be less expensive LCD panels, rather than the OLED screens on the iPhone XS. The iPad’s external look will be redesigned as well. It will include more squared-off sides like the iPhone 5, 5S, and SE from a few years ago. A faster processor that’s a variant of the A12 Bionic chip recently added to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR. A custom Apple graphics chip, the first time this would be included in an iPad. An updated Apple Pencil, succeeding the original version launched in 2015.
The iPad Pro update comes at an important time for the device, which hasn’t been refreshed since mid-2017. While the tablet market is contracting overall, the iPad has been slowly regaining momentum thanks to new software and lower-priced models, but also because competitors like Amazon.com Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. haven’t wowed the market lately.
For the Mac, Apple is planning its first wide-ranging upgrades since June 2017. The MacBook Air and Mac mini, a small desktop machine without a screen, have gone several years without notable changes. This, combined with interest in larger smartphones and competing PCs, led Apple to report the fewest Mac sales since 2010 in its fiscal third quarter.
Here’s what the company is preparing for the Mac line, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. Some or all of these products could debut at Tuesday’s event.
A new entry-level laptop to replace the aging MacBook Air — the company’s entry level laptop that Steve Jobs originally pulled out of a manila envelope a decade ago.
It will have a higher-resolution 13-inch screen, as well as slimmer bezels around the display. The first update to the Mac mini since 2014, adding new processors and features for professional users. Apple’s also working on refreshed iMacs, iMac Pros, and 12-inch MacBooks with faster processors, and at least some of these updates could be ready for the October launch.
Honor 10 Lite With Dual Rear Camera Setup, AI Scene Detection Tech Launched
Honor 10 Lite was launched in India today at an event in New Delhi. The new Honor phone that was launched in China back in November will be available for purchase in the Indian market through Flipkart and the official HiHonor India store. Honor has provided a 24-megapixel selfie camera that supports artificial intelligence (AI) scene detection technology. The Honor 10 Lite also comes with a HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC and runs Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. There is also a “dewdrop” display notch for the selfie camera. The Honor 10 Lite notably comes as a successor to the Honor 9 Lite ? 9,950 that debuted in the country last year.
Honor 10 Lite price in India, launch offers
The Honor 10 Lite price in India has been set at Rs. 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant, while its 6GB RAM comes at Rs. 17,999. Both models come in Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, and Sky Blue colour options. Particularly, the Sky Blue colour option comes with a gradient finish. The Honor 10 Lite will be available for purchase through Flipkart and HiHonor India store. The sale will begin starting 12 am (Midnight) IST on January 20.
Honor 10 Lite launch offers include a Jio cashback worth Rs. 2,200 and a Rs. 2,800 Cleartrip voucher.
To recall, the Honor 10 Lite arrived in China back in November with a starting price of CNY 1,399 (roughly Rs. 14,700) for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant, CNY 1,699 (roughly Rs. 17,800) for the 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage model, and CNY 1,899 (roughly Rs. 19,900) for 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant.
The Honor 10 Lite comes as a successor to the Honor 9 Lite that was launched in India back in January last year. Honor claims that it has sold more than 1.5 million Honor 9 Lite units so far. The smartphone also debuted among the most popular smartphones of 2018 on Flipkart.
Honor 10 Lite specifications, features
Huawei brand Honor has provided a list of preloaded features on the Honor 10 Lite. There are offerings such as AI Shopping and Calorie Detection that both use the camera sensors of the smartphone to deliver a smarter experience. Further, the smartphone has an AI Enhanced calls functionality to reduce noise during voice calls.
The Honor 10 Lite also includes a Paytm Pay feature to enable one-click payments for Paytm users. There is an AI Smart Face Unlock feature to unlock the screen by recognising user’s facial features. The fingerprint sensor on the Honor 10 Lite can be used to unlock the screen as well as to take photos, videos, answer calls, stop alarms, and show notification panel. Furthermore, the smartphone comes with pre-installed Ride Mode and Party Mode.
The dual-SIM (Nano) Honor 10 Lite runs EMUI 9.0 on top of Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box and features a 6.21-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) display with a dewdrop notch, 415ppi of pixel density, and a screen-to-body ratio of 91 percent. There is also a TUV-certified eye care mode that is designed to reduce the blue light effect from the display panel.
Under the hood, the Honor 10 Lite has a HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC, coupled with 4GB and 6GB LPDDR4X RAM options. The smartphone also comes with a GPU Turbo 2.0 technology that is touted to enable 60fps frame rate alongside reducing lagging and frame drops to enhance the gaming experience.
The Honor 10 Lite has a dual camera setup at the back, including a 13-megapixel primary sensor along with an f/1.8 aperture and a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. For selfies, there is a 24-megapixel camera at the front along with an f/2.0 aperture. The smartphone comes preloaded with an AI scene recognition technology that is claimed to recognise eight different scenes, including sky, beach, plant, flower, stage, night, room, and snow. Further, there are AI-based facial recognition and light fusion technologies.
For storing content, the Honor 10 Lite has 64GB of onboard storage in India that is expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB). The smartphone has dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS/ AGPS, and GLONASS. Sensors on board include an ambient light sensor, compass, gravity sensor, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. Besides, the smartphone packs a 3,400mAh battery and measures 154.8×73.64×7.95mm.
Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera With ‘World’s Fastest’ AI-Powered Autofocus Launched
Sony’s successor to its mid-range A5100 mirrorless camera has some interesting upgrades. The 24-megapixel A6400 comes with features such as 4K 30fps video shooting and AI-powered 425-point contrast and phase-detect autofocus, which Sony claims to be the ‘world’s fastest’ at .02 second AF speed. It also has real-time eye AF and subject tracking, along with a tilt and flip touchscreen, which can be especially useful for video bloggers. The Sony A6400 will go on sale in the US in February 2019 at $900 (around Rs. 63,900) for the body, or $1,350 (around Rs. 95,900) with the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
The Sony A6400 boasts a new 24.2-megapixel Exmor Advanced Photo System type-C (APS-C) sensor powered by Sony’s new Bionz X image processor. It can shoot stills at an impressive 11fps when using the mechanical shutter or up to 8fps when shooting in the silent mode. Continuous autofocus and auto-exposure tracking work when shooting in the high-speed continuous mode, and you can capture up to 116 JPEG images or 46 in uncompressed RAW format before the camera’s buffer fills up.
Its highlight feature however is the camera’s ‘real-time eye AF’ that uses AI to continuously detect the subject’s eyes. This works with multiple subjects as well as animals, keeping everyone in the frame in focus. You also have the option to manually select the eyes you want to track if you’re shooting in a crowd. Real-time subject tracking also detects depth, colour, pattern, and other spatial info to accurately follow your subject around the frame.
The Sony A6400 can shoot at ISO 32,000 or an expanded ISO of 102,400 for extremely low light conditions.
There’s also support for 4K 30fps video shooting, which utilises the camera’s full sensor for the best results. In 1080p you can shoot at up to 120fps. It supports HDR video recording as well with HLG support. The touchscreen tilt and swivel display can turn all the way around in case you’re interested in taking a selfie or want to record a video blog.
Sony also reportedly announced that it’s bringing the AI-powered eye and subject tracking and animal eye AF tracking features to its higher-end models, namely the A9, A7R and A7 III.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55, Mi TV 4A Pro 43 to Go on Sale in India
Xiaomi’s Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch and Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch models will go on sale in India for the first time today via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores. The Xiaomi smart televisions were launched in India last week, alongside the Mi Soundbar. Both Mi TV models run the company’s PatchWall UI as well as Google’s Android TV, with dedicated buttons on the remote to switch between the two. The Mi TV 4X Pro 55 and Mi TV 4A Pro 43 models also share thin bezels, built-in Chromecast support, voice command remote controls, and 20W stereo speakers as common features. Xiaomi is also touting over 700,000+ hours of content from 14 partners.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55, Mi TV 4A Pro 43 price in India
As we mentioned, the two new Xiaomi Mi TV models will go on sale in India via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores today, starting from 12pm IST. While the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch model price in India is Rs. 39,999, the Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch will be available at Rs. 22,999.
Mi TV 4X Pro 55 specifications
The Mi TV 4X Pro 55 sports a 55-inch (2160×3840 pixels) 4K UHD display with 10-bit colour depth and HDR10 support. It is powered by the 64-bit Amlogic quad-core processor with Mali-450 GPU. The 55-inch TV packs 2GB RAM and offers 8GB of internal storage capacity. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth v4.2, three HDMI ports, two USB ports, one S/PDIF port, and one Ethernet port as well. As mentioned, it comes with 20W stereo speakers with DTS-HD surround sound support.
Mi LED TV 4A Pro 43 specifications
The 43-inch Mi TV 4A Pro TV sports a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) 8-bit colour depth display, and packs only 1GB RAM. It comes with 3.5mm audio jack support as well. All the other specifications are identical to that of the 55-inch variant.