Computex 2019 Every announcement you need to know

first_img Intel’s stunning Twin Rivers and Honeycomb Glacier concept laptops reading • Computex 2019: Every announcement you need to know Next week the tech world will converge in San Francisco for WWDC, Apple’s conference on all things iOS and Mac. But for the past week in Taipei, Taiwan for Computex, we’ve gotten a glimpse into the future of Windows PCs and laptops.The big, long-term takeaway is that single-screen laptops are possibly a thing of the past — or dual-screen laptops are going to be the tech industry’s next spectacular gimmick. Either way, there will be many multiple-screen devices in our future.The chip business is also, ahem, heating up. AMD had a buzz-creating showing at Computex, while Intel introduced its 10th-generation Ice Lake CPUs, among other big announcements. Qualcomm, meanwhile, promises 5G laptops in the not-too-distant future, and Nvidia is expanding its graphics card line to better accomodate creatives.And then there were the cases. Oh, the cases. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know. 17 Photos See All The outrageous computer cases of Computex 2019 9 Photos Now playing: Watch this: And that’s just the beginning, Intel saysAs nifty as Asus’ ZenBook Pro Duo looks, it could be just the first step to a dual-screen future. Intel at Computex showed off two concept laptops, Twin Rivers and Honeycomb Glacier, to demonstrate what it thinks our laptops will look like in the coming years. (Remember, Intel doesn’t make computers, just computer parts, so these are just demonstrations to show what can be made off the back of Intel tech.)Twin Rivers is Intel’s take on thin-and-light, ultra-portable laptops. It’s a dual 12.3-inch display setup, where the bottom screen has an onscreen keyboard, like one you’d find on a tablet. However, this concept also comes with a physical Bluetooth keyboard that fits perfectly atop the virtual one for use in long sessions. Then there’s Honeycomb Glacier. It’s a gaming rig, with a 17.3-inch main display and a 12.3-inch secondary screen. It’s similar to the ZenBook Pro Duo, except that it has an ergonomic lift that lets you game with less shoulder-hunching action. Tags May 29 • The outrageous computer cases of Computex 2019 23 Photos 1 Asus doubles down on dual displaysAsus unveiled the ZenBook Pro 15 at last year’s show. Its star feature was the ScreenPad, a phone-sized second screen that functioned as the laptop’s trackpad. One year later, Asus’ ZenBook Pro Duo became Computex 2019’s star product.In addition to its 15-inch 4K main display, the ZenBook Pro Duo has a 14-inch screen above its keyboard. It’s the same length and resolution as the top screen, but about half as deep. It can serve two different functions: you can either use it as an extension of the main stream, so for instance your Facebook feed will flow from one screen down to the second, or as a completely separate display.The latter option allows you to run three programs on the bottom screen. So, you may be doing your work on the main display and have Spotify, Facebook Messenger and Netflix open on the bottom three. (In which case, you’re probably not getting much work done.)Apart from that, it’s an impressively spec’d high-end laptop. It can be configured with up to an Intel Core i9 CPU and an Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU. There’s also a less expensive version, the ZenBook Duo, that goes up to a Core i7 and an Nvidia MX250 card. The sacrifice here is weight: It’s not chunky like a gaming laptop, but it’s not a thin-and-light device either. Asus is calling the big second screen a ScreenPad Plus. The regular ScreenPad in last year’s ZenBook Pro 15, now called the ScreenPad 2 thanks to improvements in responsiveness and functionality, will be ported to Asus’ less expensive ZenBook line and its less expensive still VivoBook S range. May 29 • The laptops of tomorrow will make us even more productive — and it’s terrifying Share your voice • Computex 2019 Laptops Gaming Asus ZenBook Pro Duo foreshadows our multiscreen future Alienware m15, m17 get a bold new look 2:17 But Intel had a strong showing at Computex, too. Apart from the dazzling concepts shown above, Intel’s two main announcements were its 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs and Project Athena.While AMD focused on benchmark comparisons, Intel promised tangible quality-of-life improvements. Laptops with its Ice Lake chips will be even thinner than already lithe devices like the Dell XPS and HP Envy and their battery life will be improved, too. I was personally most impressed by Ice Lake’s gaming chops: Intel showed an Ice Lake-powered laptop running Destiny 2 on integrated graphics alone, without any discrete GPU.Project Athena, meanwhile, is a new class of laptop. To get the Athena stamp of approval, companies like Asus, Lenovo and Dell need to make laptops that hit certain criteria. These include the ability to wake up within a second, achieve 9 hours of “real-world battery life” and more. Project Athena laptops will hit the market by the end of the year, Intel says.Qualcomm made a similar pitch. Just as its parts power the 5G phones from Samsung, LG and Nokia, the American company wants to fuel the 5G laptop revolution. It says we’ll soon have laptops that are internet connected at all times and location aware — in addition to the usual promises of svelter designs and longer battery lives.Nvidia unveiled RTX Studio, which are laptops powered by its new Quadros RTX GPUs. These graphics cards have similar power to the new RTX GeForce cards (that is to say, a lot), but have much more memory. A high-end GeForce GPU will have 8GB of memory, for instance, while Quadro cards can double that. The average Joe won’t need that boost, but for creatives who work with 3D rendering and high-resolution video editing (think 4K, 6K and 8K), it makes a huge difference.And finally, UK-based Arm announced its Cortex-A77 chip, which it promises will make high-end Android phones 20% faster in 2020.The laptops of ComputexThe Asus ZenBook Pro Duo was the most attention-grabbing laptop at Computex, but it wasn’t the only one worth your attention. Dell pushed meaningful updates to both its premium productivity laptop, the XPS, and its premium gaming laptop, the Alienware m. The XPS 15 gets OLED displays for the first time, as well as Intel’s Ice Lake CPU, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 and 64GB of RAM. The Alienware m15 and m17 laptops got significant facelifts, and the latter can now be configured with a 244Hz display. By the way, if you prefer hulking gaming laptops over thin-and-light-but-less-powerful ones, check out MSI’s newest Titan. It has an RTX 2080 — no Max-Q tweaking needed. The most futuristic feature of this laptop, however, is eye tracking. In the demo we saw the laptop had four windows open, one on the main screen and three on the bottom one. The laptop tracked the demonstrator’s eyes and put him in control at whatever window he was looking at, distinguishing even between the three on the bottom screen. It was wild.Intel says we’ll see devices like Twin Rivers in “one to two years.” However, it gave no timeline on when a Honeycomb Glacier-like gaming rig would hit the market.Processor proselytismOne of Computex’s biggest stories wasn’t about devices, but the parts that power them. Intel and Nvidia have both dominated the CPU and GPU markets, respectively, for the past decade. Since 2015, Intel has held roughly 80 percent of the processor market against its main rival, AMD. Meanwhile, Nvidia has fluctuated from 60 to 80% over its main rival, AMD.But AMD, whose CPU marketshare has jumped 3% in the last year, came out guns blazing at Computex. It officially announced its Navi range of Radeon GPUs, which will power the Sony PlayStation 5, but its main focus was on competing with Intel. The “one last thing” moment of the press conference was the Ryzen 7 3900X CPU. A competitor for Intel’s top-of-the-line Core i9 9920X CPU, the “no compromise” Ryzen 7 3900X features 12 cores and has a boost clock speed of 4.6GHz. It runs on 105 watts, versus the 9920X’s less efficient 165 watts, and more importantly will retail for $499 upon its July 7 release. The 9920X, for comparison, costs $1,199.Notably, AMD stock rose 10% after the announcement. 40 Photos May 30 • Alienware redesigns its thin gaming laptops and offers OLED Comment Luxury trimmings were also displayed at Computex, with Asus revealing a special 30th-anniversary edition of the ZenBook. A 13-inch, ScreenPad-equipped laptop clad in genuine white leather and 18 karat rose gold plating. Then there’s HP’s updated Envy, which comes with a wooden palm rest.Last but not least, Nvidia’s RTX Studio parts are cool — but mean nothing without companies making laptops for creatives. Razer and Acer have stepped up to the plate, with the former committing its Razer Pro 17 to the RTX Studio program and Acer updating its ConceptD with new Quadro parts.And that’s it for Computex 2019! We’ll see you again next year, where we will presumably welcome our new 5G, tri-screened overlords. Computex 2019 Asus ZenBook Pro Duo doubles down on screens 5G Acer Asus Dell HP Intel Lenovo LG Nokia Nvidia Razer Samsung Sony Applelast_img read more

Politics of citizenship flares anew in northeast India

first_imgA man whose name was left out in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, looks at the form he had earlier filled as he stands to receive forms to file an appeal in Mayong, 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Gauhati, India, Friday, 10 August 2018. A draft list of citizens in Assam, released in July, put nearly 4 million people on edge to prove their Indian nationality. Nativist anger churns through Assam, just across the border from Bangladesh, with many believing the state is overrun with illegal migrants. Photo : APThe rice farmer doesn’t know how it happened. Abdul Mannan just knows a mistake was made somewhere. But what can you say when the authorities suddenly insist one of your five children isn’t an Indian? What do you do when your wife and daughter-in-law are suddenly viewed as illegal immigrants?”We are genuine Indians. We are not foreigners,” said Mannan, 50, adding his family has lived in India’s northeastern Assam state since the 1930s. “I can’t understand where the mistake is.”Neither can nearly 4 million other people who insist they are Indian but who now must prove their nationality as the politics of citizenship – overlaid with questions of religion, ethnicity and illegal immigration – swirls in a state where such questions have a long and bloody past.Today, nativist anger churns through the hills and plains of Assam state, just across the border from Bangladesh, with many here believing the state is overrun with illegal migrants.”India is for Indians. Assam is for Indians,” said Sammujjal Bhattachariya, a top official with the All Assam Students Union, which has been in the forefront of pushing for the citizenship survey. “Assam is not for illegal Bangladeshis.””We need a permanent solution,” he added.On Friday, some of the 3.9 million residents left off Assam’s draft list of citizens began picking up forms to file their appeals, wading into a byzantine legal and bureaucratic process that many fear could lead to detention, expulsion or years in limbo.Mannan, his two daughters and two of his sons were all listed on the citizenship list released in July. But his wife, a 17-year-old son and his daughter-in-law were nowhere to be seen. No explanation was given.”We are worried that the names are not there,” said Mannan, who lives with his family in a bamboo-walled hut, supporting them on about $150 a month in farming income. “How will we live? What will we do? How will we stay in Assam?”For decades, fears of widespread movement across the porous border with Bangladesh have triggered tensions between the state’s majority ethnic group, Assamese-speaking Hindus, and its Bengali-speaking Muslims.In the 1980s that erupted into violence, with hundreds of people killed in Assam amid waves of anti-migrant attacks. New Delhi eventually ruled that anyone who could prove their family had lived in India before Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence, which drove millions of Bangladeshis to flee across the border, would be considered an Indian citizen.But proving that can be deeply complicated in a region where basic paperwork – birth certificates, marriage certificates, leases – has only recently become commonplace in many rural villages.State officials insist they have done everything possible to make the procedure fair.”It’s been an extremely exhaustive process,” said Prateek Hajela, the coordinator of the citizenship project that involves 52,000 officials, visits to 6.8 million families and countless hearings to examine the details of family trees.But the politics of religion and ethnicity have been on the rise in India since 2014, when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party was swept to power in national elections. The party quickly pushed to update the citizenship registry in Assam, where politicians have eagerly grabbed hold of the issue.”First our target is to segregate the foreigners. What steps we will take against them will come next,” Assam’s top elected official, Sarbananda Sonowal, told the Times of India in an interview early this year. “They will have only one right – human rights as guaranteed by the UN that include food, shelter and clothing.””For almost 40 years our people have been living in a state of confusion and uncertainty,” he told the newspaper.Today, hundreds of Bengali-speaking Muslims with suspect nationality are already living in a half-dozen detention camps in Assam.Assam has a population of roughly 33 million, with a little over one-third of them Muslims.”The concern over illegal migration is indeed genuine,” said Akhil Ranjan Dutta, a political analyst and professor at Gauhati University in Assam. “But unfortunately, political parties have always tried to score brownie points on the issue purely to gain votes.”Few deny there has been widespread illegal migration into Assam, often by poor Bangladeshis in search of work as farm laborers. The state’s demographics have shifted dramatically in recent decades, with the percentage of Bengali-speakers jumping from 22 per cent in 1991 to 29 per cent in 2011, and the percentage of Assamese-speakers declining. Many analysts, however, say those numbers in part reflect the higher birth rates among Muslims. Estimates on the number of illegal immigrants vary wildly, from a few hundred thousand to many millions.While Muslims appear to dominate the 3.9 million people left off the citizenship rolls, they aren’t the only people now facing a bureaucratic gauntlet.”I don’t know about politics. I am a poor man. I work all day, eat, and sleep at night. I don’t go anywhere else,” said Khitish Namo Das, 50, a rail-thin Hindu farmer who insists he was born in India and whose family of eight – except for one daughter-in-law – are now considered illegal.”When the names did not appear on the list it made me worry,” he said, then reassured himself: “I have the documents so I don’t think I need to worry too much.”It’s not clear what will happen to people who, once their appeals are used up, are still not listed as citizens. Detention is a strong possibility for some, but impoverished Bangladesh insists it will not accept mass expulsions back into its territory. Activists worry many could be left in limbo for years, perhaps decades, stateless wanderers like Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims.Even some of those who support the citizenship survey say the migrants are a significant part of the economy.”Those immigrants play a very important role in supplying your labor economy. So if those people are given work permits, minus political rights, they could be very valuable in Assam,” said Nani Gopal Mahanta, an Assam-based political analyst.But he defends the survey: “It’s a question of sovereignty, it’s a question of the security of this country.”Officials insist that the process will be open and trustworthy.”It’s going to be a fair procedure,” Hajela, the project coordinator, said last week. “We will ensure that no genuine citizen gets left out, and at the point in time, ensuring that the ineligibles don’t find their names there.”last_img read more