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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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Realme C15 Launched in India; Price, Specifications

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Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition has been launched in India and it comes with the same specifications as the MediaTek variant, except of course, the processor. While the Realme C15 that launched in India back in August alongside the Realme C12 was powered by the MediaTek Helio G35 SoC, this new Qualcomm variant is powered by the Snapdragon 460 SoC. It is offered in the same two RAM and storage configurations and the same colour options as the previously launched, MediaTek powered, Realme C15

Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition price in India, availability

The Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition is priced at Rs. 9,999 for the 3GB + 32GB variant and Rs. 10,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant. The phone is offered in Power Blue and Power Silver colour options. The Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition is priced at Rs. 500 more than the current pricing for the MediaTek variant and will go on sale starting October 29 at 12pm (noon) via Flipkart, Realme.com, and mainline stores.

Realme is also offering introductory pricing for the two configurations with the 3GB+ 32GB model going for Rs. 9,499 and the 4GB + 64GB variant going for Rs. 10,499.

Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition specifications

As mentioned earlier, the specifications of the Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition are the same as the Realme C15 with a MediaTek SoC. The dual-SIM (Nano) Realme C15 runs on Android 10-based Realme UI. It features a 6.5-inch HD+ (720×1,600 pixels) display with 20:9 aspect ratio and 88.7 percent screen-to-body ratio. The phone is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 460 SoC, paired with up to 4GB LPDDR4x RAM.

The Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition comes with the quad rear camera setup that includes a 13-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.2 lens, an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle, a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor with an f/2.4 lens, and a 2-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 “retro” lens. For selfies and video calls, you get an 8-megapixel camera sensor at the front, housed in the notch.

The Realme C15 Qualcomm Edition comes with up to up to 64GB of onboard storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) through a dedicated slot. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a Micro-USB port. Sensors onboard the Qualcomm Edition include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The phone is backed by a 6,000mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging.

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Realme Watch S to be launched on 2nd November, will come with 1.3 inch round screen

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Realme Watch S is set to make its global debut on November 2. The smartwatch, which boasts of features such as heart-rate and blood oxygen monitors, 16 sports modes and a 15-day battery life, will be launched first in Pakistan. Realme Watch S will have a circular dial and be available in multiple watch faces and strap colors. The Realme Watch S Pro is also expected to be launched in the next few months, but the company has so far not revealed a set date for the same.

The unveiling of the smartwatch will take place through a live event that can be watched from Realme’s Facebook and YouTube page on November 2. Realme had shared a teaser announcing the upcoming launch of the Realme Watch S on Twitter. It is possible that more information about the Realme Watch S will be revealed closer to its launch.

Realme Watch S specifications

The Watch S will feature a 1.3-inch auto-brightness circular display and will also pack a battery which will bring 15 days of battery backup. It will come with 16 sport modes and will have sensors that will measure heart rate and blood oxygen level, similar to the recently-launched Apple Watch Series 6.

The watch was earlier teased at the IFA where Realme had revealed its plans to launch a bunch of new products starting with a TV, a smart bulb, smart cam 360, and more. We should find out more about the Realme Watch S as we inch closer to its November 2 launch.

While the feature set of the Realme Watch S looks similar to what companies like Apple and Fitbit are putting in their top smartwatches, it is similar to the Galaxy Watch from Samsung and Xiaomi.

Just like Xiaomi’s watch, the Realme Watch S too may have a more affordable price tag compared to what the Apple or Fitbit watches carry. The current smartwatch that Realme sells in India looks similar to the Apple watch and costs Rs 3,299. The Watch S is likely to be priced closer to Rs 10,000 given its design and a more rounded feature set.

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Philips launches New Urban Living Series Air Purifiers in India ahead of Diwali

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It’s that time of the year again when most of us are out hunting for the best air purifier in order to stay prepared during Diwali. While there are many options already out there, Philips in particular is trying to get an upper hand by revamping its range of air purifiers. And this is being down with a new ‘Urban Living’ series range.

The new series of air purifiers from Philips come with AeraSense and VitaShield Intelligent Purification System technology and they promise to remove 99.97% indoor air pollutants. The company also revealed that these new series of air purifiers will be effective against PM2.5, smoke, dust, pollen allergen, bacteria and will also remove 99.9% viruses from the air.

New Urban living series air purifiers are suitable for room sizes ranging from small to medium bedroom and living room area and will be available in three series: 3000i, 2000i and 1000. Series 3000i and 2000i are smart purifiers that can be controlled through the Clean Home+ app, Alexa and Siri.
As mentioned above these air purifiers come with AeraSense technology that scans pollutants 1000 times per second and digitally displays the real time PM2.5, allergen, and gases level in the room. The same is indicated through colour rings as well, blue colour giving assurance of a healthy breathing environment.

Philips Air Purifier New Urban Living Series starts at Rs. 17,500.

Speaking about the new range of air purifiers, Gulbahar Taurani, vice- president, Personal Health, Philips Indian Subcontinent, said, “At Philips, we believe in delivering meaningful and accessible innovation in personal health, and we understand that in the current scenario, consumer focus is shifting more aggressively towards health and hygiene. Air purifiers today have moved from being a seasonal product to a year-long necessity. The new urban series air purifiers cater to this demand for pure and healthy air at all times of the year and incorporate state of the art innovation. The air purifiers are equipped to automatically sense pollutants 1000 times per second in the air and remove pollutants 800 times smaller than PM 2.5, thus providing superior filtration, speedy purification while giving assurance of a healthy breathing environment to our consumers.”

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