Logitech Z337 Bold Sound Speakers With Bluetooth Support Launched at Rs. 6,995

Logitech on Thursday launched its Z337 Bold Sound With Bluetooth speakers in India at Rs. 6,995. The new 2.1 desktop speakers, which feature support for Bluetooth streaming, will go on sale from Thursday itself. Notably, the Logitech Z337 Bold Sound With Bluetooth desktop speakers can be used with wires or wirelessly as per the user’s preference.

Logitech Z337 Bold Sound Speakers With Bluetooth Support Launched at Rs. 6,995

“The Z337 is Logitech’s first desktop Bluetooth audio solution that builds a convergence of great sound quality and convenience of wireless music for the users.” Ashok Jangra, Logitech Cluster Category Manager for India & South West Asia, was quoted as saying in company’s release. “What’s more, we’ve made it really easy to stream from different content sources. Just pause on one device, and play on another to simply make the switch,” he added.

The Z337 Bold Sound With Bluetooth speakers come with a control pod that provides users with essential speaker controls, such as power, volume, and Bluetooth pairing. There also a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow users to listen quietly. Further, there is a dedicated knob on the back of the subwoofer that allows users to adjust the bass level as per their requirement. Users can pair more than one device at a time (maximum limit not specified) and switch between them via the source devices. It bears a 40W RMS main speaker, two 8W satellite speakers, and one 24W subwoofer.

“With 80 watts peak power, this speaker system brings all your favourite content to life with clear sound and strong bass. In addition to the wireless connection, the users get to use the conventional ways by connecting the Logitech Z337 to your content source via either a 3.5mm or RCA input – so it’s easy to hook up to a monitor, a computer or video game console, while still enjoying wireless connectivity with other devices,” the company said in its release.

Fitbit Acquired Pebble for Just $23 Million, Filing Reveals

In December last year, Pebble finally announced its acquisition by Fitbit. While the financial intricacies were not made public then, a Bloomberg report stated that the company was bought for roughly $40 million. Now, in its earnings statement for the quarter that ended on December 31, Fitbit has confirmed that Pebble was acquired for much less than the reportedly amount. More specifically, Fitbit acquired Pebble for just $23 million.

Fitbit Acquired Pebble for Just $23 Million, Filing Reveals

This amount includes both talent and intellectual property, according to the earnings statement. Bloomberg had earlier reported that Fitbit acquired Pebble for around $40 million – but the actual amount is much lesser than that. This amount is testimony to Pebble’s difficulties in staying afloat last year. Upcoming Pebble hardware, such as the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core smartwatches, have been cancelled, while the further fulfilment of Pebble 2 orders was ceased.

The entire wearables market saw a slowdown in Q4 2016, with Fitbit’s sales at just 6.5 million devices, down from 8.2 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2015. Revenue also dropped from $711.6 million to $573.8 million year on year. However, the report claims that the active users of Fitbit’s wearables increased from 16.9 million to 23.2 million users. The report also confirms that Fitbit paid $15 million to Vector Watch for its assets.

With these acquisitions, Fitbit now has 1,753 employees, with 61 percent in research and development. Fitbit has announced that it will keep the software and services on Pebble hardware running through 2017. That comes as a breather for many Pebble loyalists out there who didn’t want the brand to fade out so swiftly. Pebble was among the early developers of smartwatches, raising money on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. Its 2015 drive raised a record $20.3 million.

Lenovo Yoga 720, Yoga 520 Laptops, Miix 320 Detachable Launched at MWC 2017

Lenovo has launched its new Yoga 720 and Yoga 520 laptops with up to seventh-generation Intel processors and its Lenovo Miix 320 detachable (which doubles as a laptop) at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The Yoga 720 will be available in 13-inch and 15-inch screen variants while the Yoga 520 convertible laptop will be made available with 14-inch and 15-inch screen variants. Notably, both Yoga 720 and Yoga 520 laptops will be available with up to 4K resolution display option. The company also launched its Tab 4 series of Android tablets.

Lenovo Yoga 720, Yoga 520 Laptops, Miix 320 Detachable Launched at MWC 2017

Among the newly-launched laptops, Yoga 720 (specifically the 15-inch variant) is the most eye-catching product. The 15-inch variant of the newly-launched Yoga 720 has been termed as “the most powerful convertible in its class” by Lenovo and apart from the seventh-generation Intel processors, comes with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics. The 13-inch variant of the laptop comes with Intel graphics.

The 15-inch 4K display resolution variant of the laptop offers up to 8 hours of battery life whereas the 13-inch model of the Yoga 720 (with 4K display resolution) offers 7 hours of battery life, as per company’s claims. The full-HD screen options provide additional 1 hour of battery life on the devices.

The Yoga 720 laptops are available with up to 16GB of RAM. The laptops will be made available with up to 1TB of HDD storage or 512GB of SSD storage. Both the screen variants feature support for Lenovo’s active stylus and can therefore be used with Windows Ink features of Windows 10.

lenovo laptops story Lenovo LaptopsThe pricing for the 13-inch variant of Yoga 720 laptop starts at EUR 999 (roughly Rs. 70,600). On the other hand, the 15-inch variant of the laptop starts at EUR 1,099.99 (roughly Rs. 77,700). The laptops will be made available in April by the company. The laptop will be made available in Platinum Silver, Iron Grey, and Copper (13-inch variant only) colours.

As the name Yoga might suggest, the laptops come with a 360-degree hinge that allows users use Yoga 720 and Yoga 520 in tablet, tent, and regular modes according to their requirement.
The Yoga 520 convertible laptop, which comes in two screen size variants, will be made available with up to full-HD screen resolution in 14-inch variants while up to 4K display resolution in 15-inch variants. The Yoga 520 laptop will be made available with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of HDD storage or 512GB of SSD storage. The connectivity options on the laptop include USB Type-C, HDMI port, audio jack, and 4-in-1 card reader.

The Lenovo Yoga 520 laptop comes with fingerprint sensor that provides the device with support for Windows Hello. The pricing for Lenovo Yoga 520 laptops start from EUR 599 (roughly Rs. 42,300) and will be made available in Mineral Grey and Onyx Black colours.

Coming finally to company’s Miix 320 detachable – known as the Flex 5 in the US, the laptop comes with a 10.1-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. The device is powered by an Intel Atom X5 processor and features Intel HD graphics. The Miix 320 packs up to 4GB of RAM and comes with up to 128GB of eMMC storage. It offers up to 10 hours of battery life, as per company’s claims. The device is 17.5mm thin and weighs 1.02kg.

The pricing for Miix 320 (with keyboard, Wi-Fi only without LTE) will start at EUR 269 (roughly Rs. 19,000) and for Miix 320 (with keyboard and LTE) will start at EUR 399 (roughly Rs. 28,200). The Miix 320 will be made available beginning in April from company’s website.

Samsung Gear VR Gets Refreshed at MWC 2017; Comes With Touch Controller

Samsung has launched the latest version of its Oculus-powered Gear VR headset at MWC 2017 and for the first time around, the South Korean company has introduced a VR controller that goes along with the headset. The new controller is aimed at providing users with convenience while interacting with the user interface in VR apps and games with the help of the headset.

Samsung Gear VR Gets Refreshed at MWC 2017; Comes With Touch Controller

The South Korean conglomerate says that the curved design of the newly introduced Gear VR controller offers users with convenient one-hand control and provides better motion interaction with minimised head movement. The touchpad on the motion controller provides quicker selection and interaction within VR apps. With the controller, users get the ability to “point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences,” the company said. The Home, Volume and Back keys located on the controller help users to navigate easily within the interface.

“At Samsung, we are focused on setting and exceeding the standard for VR experiences, making them even more accessible and delivering the highest in quality,” Younghee Lee, executive vice president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, was quoted as saying in company’s blog post. “The Gear VR with Controller expands our VR ecosystem to help consumers get more engaged and immersed in VR content – whether it’s games or videos,” Lee said.

The Gear VR with controller offers 42mm lenses with 101-degree FOV (Field of View) and “advanced distortion correction technology” to minimize users’ motion sickness. The Samsung Gear VR with Controller will support both Micro-USB and USB Type-C port with a converter in-box. Further, the new Gear VR comes with a strap on the headset that allows it to hold the controller when it is not being used.

The new Gear VR with controller is compatible with Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge smartphones. You can find the full specifications of the new Gear VR over here.

PS4-Exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn India Release Date Delayed to March 8

Action role-playing game Horizon Zero Dawn release date is February 28 in the US and March 1 in Europe and India. Or so it was until a few hours ago.

PS4-Exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn India Release Date Delayed to March 8

According to several retailers speaking to Gadgets 360, Sony India has pushed back the release of the anticipated PS4-exclusive to March 8. No reason for the delay was given from Sony to game stores other than March 8 is the new date.

In the past Sony-published games were available day and date with their global counter-parts. The delay is perplexing. More so when you consider that it’s the number one seller on Amazon India right now.

We’ve reached out to Sony India for comment and will update this post the moment we hear back from the company.

As it stands though, if you’re interested in checking out what the makers of Killzone have been up to, you’re better off grabbing it digitally or importing a copy.

We found Horizon Zero Dawn to be a welcome addition to a generation of games that’s seen developers push open-world tropes into many a title, some with barely any reason. The end result is a game that easily surpasses Guerrilla Games’ other works – yes, even Killzone 2. Horizon Zero Dawn is an essential for PS4 owners and role-playing game fans alike.

MediaTek Helio X30 Deca-Core SoC Details Revealed at MWC 2017; Features CorePilot and More

At MWC 2017 in Barcelona, chip maker MediaTek has revealed more details about its most powerful SoC yet. First announced in August last year, the MediaTak Helio X30 is manufactured using a 10nm process, and features a 64-bit deca-core Tri-Cluster setup marking a new beginning for the company and its clients. The first devices running the processor are due in the second half of the year.

MediaTek Helio X30 Deca-Core SoC Details Revealed at MWC 2017; Features CorePilot and More

The MediaTek Helio X30 sports a PowerVR Series7XT Plus GPU at a frequency of 800MHz. The 64-bit deca-core CPU features a Tri-Cluster setup with 2.5GHz dual Cortex A-73 cores, 2.2GHz quad Cortex-A53 cores, and 1.9GHz quad Cortex-A35 cores. Furthermore, with the LTE WorldMode Cat.10 modem integration, the latest CPU supports two uplink Carrier Aggregation (2CA) and three downlink Carrier Aggregation (3CA) as well.

This high-end chipset comes with 14-bit image signal processors (ISP) that can support two 16-megapixel cameras, and also comes with ClearZoom and Total Noise Reduction technologies for better image quality. Additionally, there’s also a new Vision Processing Unit (VPU) to take the load off the CPU and GPU. The MediaTek Helio X30 supports UFS 2.1 storage, and can handle up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM clocked at 1866MHz.

Alongside, MediaTek also announced CorePilot 4.0 alongside, and will make it available with the Helio X30. CorePilot 4.0 claims to deliver up to 25 percent more power savings over the previous version. For those unaware, CorePilot brings in intelligent handling of various tasks and UX on a device to balance out processing power and battery life.

“Just like your heart automatically reacts to numerous tasks your body is doing, CorePilot 4.0 automatically directs power where and when it’s needed to maintain efficiency. Consumers today demand extreme performance from their smartphones, on top of a long battery life. CorePilot 4.0 perfectly balances power and efficiency, and adapts to users’ computing patterns to manage power consumption,” Jeffrey Ju, Executive Vice President and Co-COO of MediaTek said in a statement.

With the Tri-Cluster processing architecture, UX Monitoring, System Power Allocator (SPA), and intelligent task scheduling, CorePilot 4.0 claims to optimise energy efficiency and thermal management. There is no word on which smartphone will integrate the MediaTek Helio X30 first, but details on that should arrive in the coming months.

This chip comes just a month after MediaTek announced the Helio P25 – a mid-level chipset – bringing some premium features to a smartphone like a dual camera setup. Furthermore, MediaTek also announced the Helio X23 and X27 deca-core system-on chips in December.

Apple and SAP to Release Tool to Build Business Apps

Apple and German software maker SAP SE will release a tool aimed at helping developers build iPhone apps for big businesses, the two companies said on Monday.

The software tool, to be released on March 30, is designed to let developers easily feed data between SAP’s business-oriented software systems and Apple’s consumer-oriented iOS mobile platform.

Apple and SAP to Release Tool to Build Business Apps

Currently, most of SAP’s systems are used on personal computers rather than on mobile devices. SAP plans to change that by working directly with Apple on software tools that will make it easier to access data on SAP systems from apps on an iPhone or iPad, an effort that began last spring.

The tool could, for example, let employees log into business apps with fingerprint readers common on iPhones rather than a password, or replace bulky inventory scanning guns used in warehouses with iPhones.

“The collaboration between our two firms is unparalleled from an engineering standpoint,” said Rick Knowles, a senior vice president at SAP. “Every five to six weeks, we’ve put our developers in the room with Apple’s lead engineers to do a code-level review.”

With growth in iPhone sales losing steam, Apple has increased its efforts to sell to large businesses. In 2014, Apple launched a partnership with IBM Corp to help build custom iOS applications for businesses. In 2016, Apple made a deal with Cisco to make iPhones work better on Cisco’s networking gear, and it also partnered with Deloitte & Touche LLP to encourage more businesses to build iOS applications.

The SAP partnership also gives iOS developers a new way to gain revenue in an era when most of the App Store’s growth is driven by downloads in China and by game makers. Apple said earlier this year that developers made $20 billion from the App Store in 2016, an increase of 40 percent from 2015.

But according to App Annie, an analytics firm that tracks App Store metrics, iOS downloads were up only 12 percent in 2016 to 30 billion apps, and 80 percent of download growth for iOS apps came from China. Moreover, 75 percent of revenue generated in the App Store came from games, App Annie reported.

Business apps would represent new territory for many of these developers. And being able to run workplace software could also help Apple compete against Microsoft, whose Windows software still dominates in the corporate world.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 Rugged 2-in-1 Laptop launched at MWC 2017

Panasonic has launched its Toughbook CF-33 rugged 2-in-1 laptop with 12-inch display and an unprecedented 3:2 screen aspect ratio at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. The laptop runs Windows 10 and has been launched in two variants – 2-in-1 detachable laptop (with tablet and keyboard dock) and tablet only, priced at EUR 3,552 (roughly Rs. 2.51 lakhs) and EUR 2,992 (roughly Rs. 2.1 lakhs) respectively. The Toughbook CF-33 will be made available in Q2 this year.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 Rugged 2-in-1 Laptop launched at MWC 2017

The Toughbook CF-33 is available with the option of Windows 10 or Windows 7 Professional as operating system and sports a 12-inch QHD (1440×2160 pixels) anti-reflective high brightness (1200 nits) display. The device is powered by an Intel Core i5-7300U vPro processor coupled with 8GB RAM. It comes with 256GB of SSD storage.

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 comes with an 8-megapixel rear camera and has a 2-megapixel webcam for video-chatting. In terms of connectivity, the tablet variant offers USB 3.0, 4G LTE, HDMI, LAN, microSDXC, and headset ports while the laptop variant’s keyboard comes with two USB 3.0, USB 2.0, LAN, Serial, HDMI, SDXC, and VGA ports. Further, there is an IP55 digitiser pen that provides user with accuracy while writing, working, or giving signatures.

The newly-announced laptop has an IP65-rating for dust and water resistance. The laptop (with detachable keyboard) weighs 2.76kg while just the tablet part weighs 1.53kg.

“Target industries for the device include police, emergency services, government agencies, defense, field service workers, maintenance and service technicians in the utilities and telecommunications field,” the company said in its release.

The seventh-generation rugged Toughbook laptop has been designed for use even in heavy rain or bright sunlight, and company says that its aspect ratio (3:2) is ideal for viewing business applications for mobile field service professionals.

Xbox Game Pass Grants Unlimited Access to Over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 Games for Rs. 699 a Month

Microsoft may have nearly doubled the price of Xbox Live Gold in India, but its also announced Xbox Game Pass. This will allow Xbox One owners access to over a 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 games (playable via Xbox One backwards compatibility) for Rs. 699 a month ($9.99 in the US).

Xbox Game Pass Grants Unlimited Access to Over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 Games for Rs. 699 a Month

“One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One. That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues,” posted Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

“In addition, all Xbox One games in the catalog – and related add-ons – will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members, so you can make the games you love part of your permanent library to play whenever you want. Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly-updating library of games. Xbox Game Pass is your ticket to endless play,” reads Spencer’s post.

Don’t expect to purchase an Xbox Game Pass just yet though. It will be tested by select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview section from today with a limited number of titles. Expect a full roll out later this Spring.

Subscription services have seen a mixed response in the past. Previously, the likes of Indiagames and Zapak have offered similar services for PC gamers to limited success. However with ISPs waking up to the need of more generous data caps this could end up being a master stroke for a company desperately looking for a win, what with few high-profile exclusives on the horizon.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Works With PC Games Rishi Alwani, 01 March 2017

Along with the Nintendo Switch which has a March 3 release date, Nintendo will also be releasing an additional controller. Dubbed the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, it resembles what you’d traditionally expect from a console manufacturer — dual analogue sticks, triggers, a d-pad, and ABXY buttons, all par for the course.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Works With PC Games

And while the PS4 and Xbox One controllers work on the PC, Nintendo usually isn’t known for such a degree of openness. Which is what makes the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller a bit of an oddity, it works on the PC too.

According to YouTuber Drewoof, who managed to get the controller early, it works on the PC via Bluetooth. All that’s needed is to press the button on the top of the controller to allow for pairing which takes around a minute.

Drewoof showed it working on the Dolphin emulator which allows Wii and GameCube games to be played on PC. He also claims it would work in Steam Big Picture Mode.

Nonetheless, he also warns would be users that games which use the Xinput protocol for controller support like The Witcher 3 and Oceanhorn will not work with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller without the necessary drivers or software. Games that use the DirectInput protocol like Duck Game worked fine however.

“If you’re willing to install a DirectInput to Xinput driver, it’s worth it, but if not, it’s worth exploring other options like game patches or different controllers,” he clarifies.

We discuss everything about the Nintendo Switch, its launch line-up, pre-orders and the return of local multiplayer on Transition, our podcast on gaming and pop culture.