Tech Last Week Issue #008: Samsung announces new laptop lineup, Google Pixel 7 series leaks, and more

It feels odd to talk about tech news right now, given the threat of nuclear war in Europe.

Samsung announces new Galaxy Book2 series at MWC 2022.

Samsung’s revealed four new lines of laptops at MWC 2022: Galaxy Book2 Pro, Galaxy Book2 Pro 360, Galaxy Book2 360, and Galaxy Book2 Business. All four lines of laptops will pack Intel’s 12th generation processors. The Galaxy Book2 Pro and Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 have 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch variants. The Galaxy Book2 Business will have a 14-inch anti-glare screen. The Pro models of the 360 line will include an s-pen in the box.

Samsung’s laptops have piqued my interest over the years. The lineup this year is no different. My biggest gripe with their laptops is that I struggle to differentiate them from the laptops of other companies. The only selling point I can see is the tighter Samsung ecosystem integration. The s-pen and AMOLED screen is also good selling points. But they are not exclusive to the Samsung line.

Read more about the Galaxy Book2 ProGalaxy Book2 Pro 360, and Galaxy Book2 Business.

Huawei MateBook Paper

Huawei announces a new MateBook X Pro and MateBook Paper.

Huawei also showed off some new devices during MWC 2022. The MateBook X Pro is getting its most significant update yet. The screen of the device will go from 13.9 inches to 14.2 inches. The new screen is the first to support the P3 color gamut and a 90hz refresh rate. A new 90w fast charger will give the laptop 3 hours of juice with 15 minutes of charge. The USB-C ports on the device will also provide any devices 50w of charge when plugged in. The audio includes significant upgrades as well. Huawei added six speakers and four microphones to provide a better audio and video conference experience. The device will ship with Intel’s 11th generation CPU initially. Expect a 12th generation model sometime later this year.

Huawei also unveiled a 10.3-inch e-ink device called the MateBook Paper. This device will be a direct competitor to devices from Onyx Boox, Supernote, and reMarkable. The MateBook Paper runs HarmonyOS and includes support for apps in Huawei’s ecosystem. It also supports pen input and has a textured screen similar to Supernote and reMarkable devices. No word yet on availability or pricing.

Read more at Engadget, here and here.

Image from @OnLeaks

Google Pixel 7 series renders

A slew of Google Pixel 7 leaks was leaked by Steve of @OnLeaks last week. Steve gave us new 3D renders of the Pixel 6A, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro. In addition, we also got some information about the dimension of the three devices.

I am not a fan of the design of the Pixel 7 series. Google’s new design aesthetic has not resonated with me from the Pixel 6 series onward. Android 12’s new UI is also not something I like. I will likely pass on this phone for those reasons, but I am still interested to see what camera advancements Google has in store. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Read more about the Pixel 6aPixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro.

Image from @thebookisclosed

Microsoft tests desktop watermark for unsupported hardware.

It looks like Microsoft is up to its usual antics again. According to The Verge, Microsoft is experimenting with the idea of watermarking your desktop if you install Windows 11 on an unsupported device. Microsoft already watermarks your desktop when Windows is not activated. For inactivated versions of Windows, Microsoft also disables some features like dark mode, themes, etc.

This new addition will rub users the wrong way. Microsoft already has plans to require users to use a Microsoft account for Windows. I can only see this further alienating a small portion of users and causing them to flock to an alternative OS.

Read more at The Verge.

Sony Playstation “Spartacus”

Sony’s answer to the Xbox Game Pass could be more expensive.

Rumors are swirling around the upcoming Sony Xbox Game Pass competitor. Based on reports from VentureBeat, the new streaming service, codenamed “Spartacus,” will be added to the existing PS Plus offering. There will be three tiers to the new PS Plus: Essential, Extra, and Premium. The Premium tier, which will cost $16/mo, will be the only tier that includes the streaming service. In addition, the Premium tier will have a game trial feature and classic PS games. The new streaming service will begin testing this week.

Read more at VentureBeat.

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