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MSI GF63 8RD gaming laptop review: Power in a light chassis

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MSI GF63 8RD gaming laptop review: It is something consumers have been asking for a while and finally, we are seeing thin-and-light gaming laptops make their way into the market. Nearly every major company, including MSI, has realised that a super thin gaming laptop will drive volumes though the market segment is limited to serious and professional gamers.

MSI GF63 8RD is positioned as a lightweight gaming laptop with decent graphics and latest processor inside. But then quite a few gamers might not mind paying the Rs 99,990 price for portability. Here’s is what I like, and don’t, about the MSI GF 63 8RD.

MSI GF63 8RD specifications: 15.6-inch FHD (1920×1080) display|Intel Core i7 processor (8th gen)| Windows 10 Home|Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design, 4GB GDDR5|DD4 8GB RAM/128GB SSD+1TB SATA storage|1.86kg|2-year warranty

MSI GF63 8RD price in India: Rs 99,990

MSI GF63 8RD review: Design, build

If you have already visited MSI’s website and seen the laptop, you already know that the GF63 8RD is a beautiful machine. The notebook has a black brushed aluminum lid with a familiar dragon emblem logo embossed on near the top. In fact, the notebook’s chassis is made from metal, including the lid and keyboard deck. The bottom part of the laptop has a mix of plastic and metal. Personally, I think it looks sophisticated, but with a fun factor to it.

Though what makes this laptop different from other gaming laptops is its portable nature. The MSI GF63 8RD weighs 1.86kg with the thickness of 0.85-inches. It fits in my laptop bag with ease, and it never feels heavy. I wish all gaming laptops would feel the same.

MSI GF63 8RD review: Connectivity, ports

While slimming down the laptop, MSI has not forgotten to add plenty of ports. On the right-hand side, you get two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, Ethernet, jacks for a microphone and a 3.5mm headphone jack and a security lock slot. On the left-hand side of the MSI GF63 8RD, you will find another USB 3.0 port, the power input, and a battery gauge which shows the charge level. And on the rear of the notebook, you get to see an HDMI port. Unfortunately, the notebook does not feature the standard microSD card. Also, missing is another USB Type-C port.

MSI GF63 8RD review: Display

The MSI GF63 8RD’s 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixel) IPS screen (non-touch) has an 82 per cent screen-to-body ratio with 4.9nm ultra-thin bezels. The screen offers impressive brightness and is colorful and capable of producing sharp details. When I watched Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the colours impressed me. I could see fine details, such as the wrinkles on the face of Tom Cruise. What I didn’t like about the 15.6-inch display is that it only has a refresh rate of 60Hz. This is pretty disappointing in my opinion. Given that we are talking about a gaming laptop, I think most gamers would expect a panel with a 120Hz refresh rate but that is something missing out here. Also, the 15.6-inch display used in this laptop is not Nvidia G-Sync compatible for smooth gaming.

MSI GF63 8RD review: Performance, battery

Performance-wise, the MSI GF63 8RD is a perfectly capable machine. Our review had the highest configuration: a Core i7-8570H CPU,8GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU, 128GB SSD, and 1TB SATA drive. Be it surfing the web, watching movies, or writing and editing stories or intensive gaming, I had never faced any issue during the course of my time spent with the laptop. With the integrated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti GPU coupled with Intel Core i7 processor, the laptop can handle any AAA-title you can think of. I tested this year’s high-profile Far Cry 5 in 1080p on the highest setting, it managed a decent 51 frames per second. If you need to do some video editing, or coding this laptop can certainly get the job done.

My review unit stayed cool throughout the testing. After a long session of FarCry 5 and an hour of movie streaming, the laptop does get warm. Not to worry, though, it’s fine gaming laptops do get warm after an intensive usage.

We found the laptop’s speakers powerful enough to fill any mid-sized room. What’s good about them is that they work well whatever you are doing – a long gaming session, streaming a movie on Netflix, or listening to music on Saavn. Our review unit also came equipped with a 720p webcam, which works well for attending skype calls.

Most gaming laptops have one big issue: the terrible battery life. However, I am happy to report that this laptop isn’t one of them. MSI claims the GF63 8RD lasts more than seven hours of battery life on a single charge. Well, in my testing battery on this laptop lasted about 4 and a half hours. That’s pretty decent battery life for a 15.6-inch gaming laptop and a good reason to consider MSI’s GF63 8RD. Keep in mind that when you game on the go, the battery life will take a hit.

Speaking of software, MSI has introduced a revamped version of Dragon Center. The software shows most of the important elements of the laptop such as the CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD, and Internet usage. As you might expect, the GF63 8RD runs on Windows 10 Home. It’s a standard affair and does not need any explanation.

MSI GF63 8RD review: Keyboard, touchpad

The full-sized keyboard is a pleasure to type on. Just to make it clear: I’m writing this review on it. While it works well enough for most users, it can’t be customised. Simply saying, the RGB lighting effect is missing, but the keyboard comes complete with red LED backlighting. The touchpad is good, though I found it cramped. Thankfully, the left and right click areas provided just the right amount of tactile feedback.

MSI GF63 8RD review: Conclusion

There’s a lot to love about the MSI GF63 8RD. Perhaps what makes this gaming laptop shine is the way it has been packaged. It can both be used a general purpose laptop and a dedicated gaming machine. The combination of portability, performance, long battery life and classic design, makes the MSI GF63 8RD worth checking out. And that should be seen as an achievement and the credit goes to MSI. All this does come at a cost though, with the MSI GF63 8RD costing a cool Rs 99,990.


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Microsoft Confirms Edge Is Switching to Chromium, and Coming to Windows 7, Windows 8 as Well as macOS

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Microsoft has officially announced that it is bringing Chromium engine to Microsoft Edge. The open-source Web rendering engine is already available to the masses through Google’s Chrome browser. The Redmond-based giant also wants to become a “significant contributor” to the Chromium project. Alongside switching to Chromium engine, Microsoft has revealed that it is expanding its Edge to Apple’s macOS. A Chromium version of the Edge browser is also reaching previous Windows platforms, including Windows 7 and Windows 8.

“Ultimately, we want to make the Web experience better for many different audiences,” says Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Windows, in a blog post. “People using Microsoft Edge (and potentially other browsers) will experience improved compatibility with all websites while getting the best-possible battery life and hardware integration on all kinds of Windows devices. Web developers will have a less-fragmented web platform to test their sites against, ensuring that there are fewer problems and increased satisfaction for users of their sites; and because we’ll continue to provide the Microsoft Edge service-driven understanding of legacy IE-only sites, Corporate IT will have improved compatibility for both old and new web apps in the browser that comes with Windows.”

By switching to Chromium, Microsoft is finally ditching the existing EdgeHTML browser engine. The company is set to align Microsoft Edge simultaneously with Web standards and with other Chromium-based browsers. This will help Web developers easily test their new projects, without making any tweaks to make them compatible with the Edge browser. Microsoft is also committing to improve the Chromium project by working on features such as ARM64 support, Web accessibility, and touch support.

For the end users, the switch is vital as it will help Microsoft Edge address the ongoing compatibility issues with a large number of websites. Support for browser engines such as Blink and V8 JavaScript will also come to the Edge as these are a part of the Chromium project that has Adobe, Google, Intel, Opera Software amongst its key contributors.

“Over the next year or so, we’ll be making a technology change that happens ‘under the hood’ for Microsoft Edge, gradually over time, and developed in the open so those of you who are interested can follow along,” adds Belfiore.

Aside from opting for Chromium engine, Microsoft is set to bring the Edge browser to other platforms including macOS. This is something big if you’re among the developers who want to have the Edge browser on your Mac machine to test your Web projects. Microsoft hasn’t announced any specific schedule around the Edge support for macOS, though it’s likely to be sometime next year.

Microsoft has also revealed that it is bringing the Edge browser to Windows 7 and Windows 8. This means the browser will no longer be exclusive to Windows 10.

The arrival of Microsoft on the board of supporters of the Chromium project could indirectly help Google bring new changes to Chrome, which is currently the most popular Chromium-based browser. Also, it will give the Windows maker a chance to once again attract the open source community.

A preview build of the Edge browser based on Chromium engine is expected to debut in early next year. Meanwhile, you can join the Microsoft Edge Insider community to receive updates around the new development and continually get new preview builds to set the stage for the refreshed Edge experience.

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Xiaomi Phone With 48-Megapixel Camera Launching in January, President Confirms

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Xiaomi is looking to launch a new smartphone that will sport a 48-megapixel camera sensor. Xiaomi’s President Lin Bin has shared a photo on Weibo confirming this new development. At the Qualcomm 4G/5G summit in October, Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain had said that the company will launch a new smartphone with the Snapdragon 675 processor next year, and this new processor supports up to 48-megapixel sensor as well. It is likely that Jain and Lin Bin are talking of the same smartphone, and a device equipped with a Snapdragon 675 processor and a 48-megapixel rear lens is in the offing soon.

Lin Bin posted an image on Weibo, showing only a portion of the upcoming smartphone. The photo confirms that the rear lens will sport a 48-megapixel camera sensor. In his post, he also adds that he has been testing it since a few weeks, and that the smartphone will release in January. There is no name attached or rumoured for this upcoming smartphone, but we expect more leaks running up to the launch.

In July, Sony launched the Sony IMX586 sensor with effective 48-megapixels with minute 0.8 micron pixels. Sony started shipping samples to OEMs in September, so it is likely that Xiaomi could be integrating the same sensor in the upcoming device.

Furthermore, this new smartphone could also be powered by the Snapdragon 675 processor that was launched by Qualcomm in October at the 4G/5G summit in Hong Kong. Made from the 11nm LPP process technology, the SoC integrates octa-core Kryo 460 CPU, enhanced AI Engine, and an Adreno 612 GPU. On the imaging front, the Snapdragon 675 has Qualcomm Spectra 250L ISP for 14-bit image signal processing along with support for up to 48-megapixel snapshots, single 25-megapixel at 30fps with Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) and dual 16-megapixel cameras at 30fps and ZSL.

Also, at the summit, Jain had confirmed that a new device with the Snapdragon 675 will be launched next year, and it is possible that Lin Bin and Jain are talking about the same device.

If the January launch date is true, then we should hear more about the Xiaomi smartphone very soon.

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Huawei said to debut 3D camera phone powered by Sony sensors

The Kashmir Monitor

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Huawei Technologies Co is planning to unveil a new phone with a camera capable of taking three-dimensional pictures, people familiar with the matter said. The phone, code-named Princeton internally, will be announced this month and go on sale within a few weeks, according to one of the people who requested anonymity discussing private plans. The technology uses sensors developed by Sony Corp that can accurately measure distances by bouncing light off surfaces, another person said.

The new feature — dubbed “3D Camera” at Huawei — comes at a critical juncture for the smartphone industry, which is facing cooling global demand as consumers find fewer reasons to upgrade to new phones. Huawei is aiming to boost sales and win market share from competitors such as Apple Inc by offering users the ability to generate 3-D models of themselves and the environment in real-time, and share it with others.

“This is technology that has never been seen before and, at the extreme, has the potential to change how we view the world,” said Yusuke Toyoda, a sensors analyst at Fuji Chimera Research Inc in Tokyo.

A Huawei spokesman did not immediately provide comment, but said the company does not normally respond to speculative reports. Sony declined to comment. Besides generating pictures that can be viewed from numerous angles, Huawei’s new camera can create 3-D models of people and objects that can be used by augmented-reality apps, according to one of the people. The new camera will also let developers control apps and games in new ways, such as hand gestures, the person said, who added that some of the details may change as developers work with the technology.

Huawei will probably feature the camera in more than one phone model, including some slated for later in 2019, according to the people, who said the specific plans could still change. For Sony, the world leader in image sensors used in regular cameras, 3-D cameras could generate billions in additional revenue from the sale of its new components. The company accelerated the development of the technology after buying Brussels-based Softkinetic in 2015, combining the Belgian startup’s time-of-flight technology with its own semiconductor manufacturing prowess to create 3-D chips small enough to fit inside smartphones.

While Apple’s FaceID facial-recognition feature is also powered by 3-D sensors, it relies on a different technology called Structured Light, which can measure depth at shorter distances. Sony’s time-of-flight sensors can do so at longer distances. The Tokyo-based company last year showed off its own Xperia phone that lets users take 3-D pictures and models, but that technology was not powered by its new time-of-flight sensors, according to one person familiar with the matter.

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