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Microsoft Introducing Surface Pro 7 in India

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The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is now iconic, with a design that hasn’t changed much since the very first model came out. It was meant to show off all the touch-friendly features of Windows, and kick off a whole new generation of ultraportable, compact PCs. The Surface line of hardware is unapologetically premium; meant to act as “halo” devices for Windows itself. By controlling the hardware as well as software, Microsoft can try to approach the level of integration that makes Apple’s Macs stand out. Interestingly, few other companies seem to think there’s much demand for Windows-based tablets with detachable keyboards.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the latest in a long line of 2-in-1 tablets, and not much has changed in terms of design since the original. You get a large 12.3-inch 3:2 screen that works well in landscape or portrait and supports stylus as well as multi-touch input. The trademark kickstand allows for a wide range of positions. The Surface Pro 7 is expensive and you’ll most probably need to spend more for a Type Cover keyboard attachment.

The entry-level variant seems underpowered but performance for the high-end unit that we reviewed was very good thanks to the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD. Windows ran very smoothly. Productivity won’t be a problem but don’t expect serious gaming power.

The Surface Pro 7 is extremely portable, but so are modern laptops that cost less, which makes it tough to recommend outside of a niche audience.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 design and usability

Nothing major about the design of the Surface Pro has changed since the very first model,

although there have been calls for Microsoft to change things up to keep pace with general trends. The tablet itself is about as thick as today’s smartphones, at 8.5mm, and weighs between 775g and 790g depending on the hardware you choose. The Type Cover, which is a fairly essential accessory, will add another 5mm and 310g.

The screen measures 12.3 inches diagonally, with a 3:2 aspect ratio that works well for a device that can be held in portrait or landscape orientation. The borders around the screen are pretty chunky by today’s standards but there’s space for a 5-megapixel front-facing camera as well as infrared sensor for Windows Hello face recognition. The border space at the bottom of the screen has magnets so the type cover can be folded and inclined a little to make typing more comfortable. The tablet will also recognise when the cover is flipped shut and go to sleep, but there aren’t magnets to hold the two together when closed.

The body is made of a magnesium alloy, and you can buy this generation in the popular Platinum or Matte Black. The most iconic thing about the Surface Pro’s design has always been its kickstand. It lies flush with the back of the body when folded, and stays stiff enough for you to jab the screen with a stylus or rest your hand on it when drawing. It can open far enough for the Surface Pro to lie nearly flat on its back, which is a comfortable position for drawing or writing with a stylus.

You’re really meant to use this 2-in-1 either as a tablet in your hands or with the Type Cove on a table – using it on your lap while sitting or reclining isn’t really practical. Setting up the kickstand is also an extra step compared to working with a laptop, and you need more room because of the extra footprint required. That said, the Surface Pro 7 is still extremely portable and convenient.

With the Surface Pro 7 in its default landscape orientation, you’ll find the power and physical volume buttons on the upper left, with a 3.5mm headphones socket just around the corner. This is a little inconvenient, as the wire will dangle from the upper corner if you have earphones plugged in. On the right, you’ll find one USB Type-A and one Type-C port, and Microsoft’s proprietary Surface Connector slot. A MicroSD card slot is tucked away behind the kickstand and is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.

This is the first Surface Pro model with a Type-C port, which has been a popular demand. You can use it to charge the device and drive an external display, which is handy since it replaces previous models’ Mini-DisplayPort video outputs. Microsoft hasn’t gone with the faster Thunderbolt 3 standard, which it says was a deliberate choice because of data security. The charger that ships with the device still uses the Surface Connect slot but has a USB port on it to let you plug other things into charge, such as a phone.

The Type Cover is sold separately, in various colours, priced upwards of Rs. 12,299 each. There are regular plastic versions and the more expensive Signature versions with Alcantara fabric, which you might or might not like the texture of. The keyboard keys are well-laid out and the white backlighting with three levels is a pleasant surprise. You can lay the cover flat or prop it up at an angle, but doing so means it will flex and bend quite a bit when you’re typing. The keys themselves are comfortable, with a surprisingly good action by tablet accessory standards. The trackpad also works well, but it’s plasticky and is very loud when pressed.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 specifications and price

The seventh incarnation of the Surface Pro has suitably modern components, starting with Intel’s 10th Gen Core processors. These are the versions based on the 10nm ‘Ic Lake’ architecture, featuring integrated Gen11 graphics and AI acceleration.

The base variant is somewhat disappointing – for Rs. 72,999 you get only a Core i3-1005G1 CPU with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. At the top of the range, you can get a Core i7-1065G7 CPU with 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, which will cost Rs. 1,41,999. Microsoft does not offer variants with a 512GB or 1TB SSD in India, though these are available abroad. It’s also worth noting that the RAM is soldered down and not upgradable.

The 12.3-inch 3:2 screen has an uncommon resolution of 2736×1824 and of course, it supports multi-touch as well as the Surface Pen and other styluses. The battery capacity isn’t specified, but battery life is rated at 10.5 hours of “typical usage”. One thing that’s missing is an option for integrated cellular data, which could have been much appreciated considering the portability on offer.

Being a tablet, you get an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Other specifications worth noting are the 5-megapixel front-facing and 8-megapixel rear-mounted cameras, dual mics, stereo speakers, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. Retail versions of the Surface Pro 7 ship with Windows 10 Home.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 performance

I’m reviewing the top-end version of the Surface Pro 7, and performance is just as good as I had hoped for considering the price. The UI was fluid and responsive, with no hiccups during my review period. I was able to have multiple programs open, stream video, and work between dozens of browser tabs without any trouble. The tablet woke from sleep pretty much instantly when opening the cover or tapping the power button.

The only thing that requires a slight pause is rotating the UI from portrait to landscape or vice versa, which is something Microsoft could work on. Speaking of which, Windows 10 has plenty of touch-friendly gestures and stylus accommodations, but it’s pretty much up to you to figure them out. The UI is set to 200 percent scaling by default which is good for touch input, but I preferred it at 150 ­– 175 percent.

Everyday usability turned out to be very pleasant. The screen is a little smaller than most people used to mainstream laptops would prefer, and it’s very reflective, but colours are vibrant and the motion is smooth enough to enjoy videos. The speakers benefit from their placement at ear height, firing forwards. They’re very loud and produce a surprisingly open sound, though it does lack bass and can get scratchy at high volumes.

I ran several real-world and synthetic tests on Surface Pro 7, starting with an SSD speed test. CrystalDiskMark reported NVMe-class sequential read and write speeds of 2333.6Mbps and 1567.2Mbps respectively, with even random reads and writes coming in at 1006.1Mbps and 406.1Mbps respectively. Compressing a 3.24GB folder of assorted files took 4 minutes, 58 seconds while transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took 3 minutes, 11 seconds.

PCMark 10 managed to score 3,476 points in its standard run and 2,705 points in its Extended run. Cinebench R20 put up scores of 1,100 and 311 in its multi-core and single-core tests respectively. POV-Ray ran its default ray tracing benchmark in 4 minutes, 28 seconds.

Intel’s current naming scheme is a little confusing, but the ‘G7′ at the end of ‘Core i7-1065G7′ indicates that this CPU features the company’s Iris Plus integrated graphics subsystem, which is the highest tier within the segment. The Surface Pro 7, therefore, has enough graphics power for productivity, light creative work and simple games. You’ll even be able to play somewhat older games, but you shouldn’t expect great quality.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider took a long time to load and was only able to put up an average of 10fps at 1280×720 using the Lowest graphics setting, making it unplayable. 3DMark managed 564 in the Time Spy test and 491 in Fire Strike Ultra. The back of the tablet did get quite hot when running heavy tests, but this shouldn’t affect usage — the keyboard, being an entirely separate unit, didn’t get warm at all.

Battery life was quite good, and I managed to cross 8 hours of usage with a fair bit of video streaming and multitasking thrown in. You should be able to get through a long flight or at least a full day at the office on a single charge – and Type-C charging makes it easy to top the Surface Pro 7 up on the go. The heavy Battery Eater Pro test ran for a respectable 2 hours, 55 minutes.

 

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WhatsApp End-to-end Encryption rolled out for backups

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WhatsApp recently made an announcement related to the end-to-end encryption to the cloud backups on both Android and iOS. As you may be aware like WhatsApp itself has been end-to-end encrypted by default,  and now if you chose to backup your chats history to Google Drive (Android) or iCloud (iOS), those data is also encrypted. Now,  you can enable end-to-end encryption for your backups. It’s an announcement from WhatsApp, and it won’t be on by default option but the user has to choose to enable it by going to Settings > Chats > Chat Backup > End-to-end Encrypted Backup.

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Apple Unleashed event today at 10.30 PM IST

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After the release of the iPhone 13 series and a new smartwatch, Apple is ready to host another launch event today. Users can expect to see the launch of new Macbooks running on Apple’s in-house M1 chipsets on the Apple ‘Unleashed’ event.  Apple fans eagerly waiting for the new MacBook Models and a new mini version of the same. Also, we can expect a new or upgraded version of AirPods in the event. The event will begin at 10:30 PM IST today and we can watch the event on the Apple website and on the YouTube channel. If you have an Apple TV, you can open the TV app and look for the ‘Apple Special Event’ section. It lets you stream today’s Apple unleashed event and rewatch old ones if you are interested.

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Oppo F19s Launched, Specifications

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oppof19s

Oppo recently launched Oppo F19s mobile on 27th September 2021. This one also has a 6.43-inch touchscreen display. This display is equipped with a resolution of 1,080×2,400 pixels at a pixel density of 409 pixels per inch (PPI) and an aspect ratio of 20:9. F19s comes with 6GB of RAM and packs 128GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 256GB). The Oppo F19s runs Android 11 and is powered by a 5,000mAh battery.
Also, the Oppo F19s supports proprietary fast charging. Dimensions of the Oppo F19s measures 160.30 x 73.80 x 7.95mm (height x width x thickness) and weighs 175.00 grams.

On the camera department, the Oppo F19s on the rear packed with a triple camera (has autofocus) setup featuring a 48-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.7 aperture; a 2-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture, and a 2-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front a single camera (has autofocus) setup for selfies, featuring a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. The Oppo F19s runs on ColorOS 11.1 is based on Android 11. This phone is available in Glowing Black and Glowing Gold colors. On the connectivity section, the Oppo F19s is a dual-SIM (GSM and GSM) mobile that accepts two Nano-SIM cards. Connectivity options on the Oppo F19s include Wi-Fi, GPS, USB OTG, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and in-display fingerprint sensor.

oppof19s

Connectivity options on the Oppo F19s include Wi-Fi, GPS, USB OTG, USB Type-C, 3G, and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, compass/ magnetometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and in-display fingerprint sensor. Oppo F19s price in India starts at Rs. 19,990. The Oppo F19s can be ordered from Oppo’s official store.

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