Thurrott Daily: CES Day 0 Special Edition

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile with 23 Comments

Thurrott Daily: CES Day 0 Special Edition

CES, here we come.

Brad and I are flying to Las Vegas tonight for CES, but things are starting without us. So here are some CES tidbits from around the web.

1/4/2017 11:22:52 AM

Brydge 12.3 Keyboard Makes Your Surface Pro a Real Laptop

I’ve always wondered why no one has created a “real” keyboard for Surface Pro. Well, now someone has. Laptop Magazine explains:

Brydge, known previously for its iPad keyboards, is releasing a 12.3-inch keyboard for the Surface Pro 3 and 4 this spring for $150 that gives the Surface a more lap-friendly design for when you need to type.

The Brydge 12.3 is made of aluminum, is 0.7 millimeters thick and uses a custom hinge to open and close just like a laptop. This completely eliminates the need for the Surface’s kickstand when typing, as you can adjust it to any angle, just like a notebook. The Brydge keyboard is backlit and also includes a trackpad (a first for Brydge, as iPads don’t use mouse inputs).

Samsung Galaxy S8 said to include Windows 10 Mobile Continuum-style ‘Mobile Workspace’

It’s happening, and it will be interesting to see whether Android can, as a platform, outdo Windows in the 3-in-1 space. That said, I don’t think this makes sense unless Google does it right in the platform. Neowin reports:

A leaked slide published by All About Windows Phone suggests that Samsung is preparing to introduce its own version of the Continuum experience on its upcoming Android-based Galaxy S8 flagship phones.

Referred to as Samsung’s “Next Mobile Workspace”, the slide promises a “desktop experience” including multi-tasking, and support for an external monitor, mouse and keyboard. The image on the slide indicates that Samsung’s implementation would require a wired connection from the phone to the secondary display, along with a wireless connection from the mouse and keyboard to the phone.

The slide is said to be part of a wider presentation about the Galaxy S8.

Asus’ new 14-inch business laptop is even lighter than Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon

You can always tell when a writer doesn’t understand the topic, in this case, what makes a business PC a business PC. Anyway. The Verge:

Asus has unveiled a handsome-looking 14-inch “business notebook” that it claims is the world’s lightest — weighing in at just 2.3 pounds. That’s lighter than even Lenovo’s 2017 ThinkPad X1 Carbon (2.5 pounds) which also has a 14-inch display and is one of our favorite new laptops around.

In terms of specs, you get the choice of 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, while storage maxes out at a 512GB M.2 SSD. The display is full HD and there’s also a fingerprint sensor to keep your super secret business files safe. All in all, not a bad package, and we look forward to testing it out. At business.

The AsusPro B9440 will be available to buy starting at $999 in May this year.

Lenovo’s new VR headset is coming for less than $400

Engadget gets a peek at one of the first Windows Holographic headset prototypes.

Lenovo has been working on a relatively inexpensive VR headset for Windows machines, and we got the chance to strap one on and take it for a spin … Lenovo has said the device will cost less than $400 when it goes on sale.

So, what exactly will you get for the money? A surprisingly comfortable headset that manages to do room-scale VR on the cheap … I only got to wear it for about a half hour, but I felt none of the fatigue that long play sessions with the Vive can leave people with.

Beyond that, you’re looking at a pair 1,440 x 1,440 OLED screens floating in front of your face — too bad the version I played with didn’t actually turn on.

So, hands on. But no display. 🙂 Ah boy.

Dell intros the $799 Inspiron 7000, details Alienware CPU upgrades

I’m surprised we haven’t seen an all-up Dell announcement yet, but Engadget brings word of a single new laptop.

At first glance, the Inspiron 7000 looks like the inevitable union of Dell’s consumer laptops with the Alienware lineup. Its plastic case doesn’t have the many visual flourishes of its premium gaming counterpart, but the red accents around the front and rear fans make it seem like much more than a typical Inspiron. And yes, it’s really strange seeing elaborate heatsinks on this product line.

Hardware-wise, you can choose between Intel’s seventh-gen i5-7300HQ or i7-7700HQ processors, and NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti GPU, for the Inspiron 7000. You can also opt for 1080p or 4K screens in 14-inch and 15-inch variants, as well as up to 32GB of RAM. Of course, going crazy with specs will definitely rocket you past the $799 base price, but even with its most basic hardware it’ll still be a decent gaming machine.

As for the refreshed Alienware hardware upgrades, you’ve got the option of using Intel’s i7-7700HQ CPU or the i7-7820HK. And, for the first time, the massive Alienware 17 can fit in NVIDIA’s GTX 1080 mobile GPU.


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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Thurrott Daily: CES Day 0 Special Edition”

  1. 5510

    Other tech companies doing "Continuum" like features is exactly what I predicted. It's so obvious, that I really shouldn't pat myself on the back for this, because it was obviously coming. It's just so funny and unsurprising that Samsung is in the conversation. If there is a company that can do it, it's them. Think, just think about it. Samsung sells smartphones, Windows PC, Chrome OS PCs, Android tablets, Smartwatches, Televisions, Washers and Dryers, Refrigerators, etc... Imagine all of them connected and networked to a single PC,...the one in your pocket. For a tech geek, how the idea of that not blow his or her mind away?

    It's just not this, that Microsoft needs to worry about. There is also the situation regarding Augmented Reality. Paul, oddly, stated some time ago, that Microsoft was the leader of augmented reality, which may in turn be another "iPad" moment for him. If I read correctly, Lenovo is coming out wiht an augmented reality device that will cost around $500 and will soon go to market. If Lenovo makes decent money out of this, you can surely bet that other companies will follow suit (like Continuum), thus forcing a price reaction. Then, what will Microsoft's $3,000 product do? If you were a consumer, which one would you buy? A handheld AR device for $500 or a $3,000 computerized glasses, that makes you look like a space cadet?

  2. 5842

    Impression about Lenovo VR headset made me laugh.  "too bad the version I played with didn’t actually turn on." Did you sit for half an hour with VR headset off? What kind of impression is that :)))


  3. 442

    That Brydge keyboard is long overdue, and why don't they do one with extra battery, like the old battery keyboard that MS did for older Surfaces?

    • 1377

      In reply to Narg:

      Why no extra battery? Perhaps because Brydge wants to gauge how much demand there may be. I figure everyone who bought a Surface Pro 3/4 already has a keyboard cover, and some (maybe most) may not want to spend more money on a new keyboard cover.

      • 289

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        If most already have a keyboard cover then wouldn't it make sense for Brydge to offer one with a battery base option since that is something that most SP owners *don't * have (and might need given decreased battery life on a potentially older device)?

        • 1377

          In reply to Chris_Kez:

          The Brydge keyboard gives laptop-like lapability, which is something Surface keyboard covers don't.

          From the linked article, the real point may be: 'Unlike the Type Cover, the Brydge can’t use your Surface’s Connect port. Instead, it connects to the tablet via Bluetooth.' Can you tell me how to connect a battery in the keyboard base to to the Surface Pro via Bluetooth?

  4. 5539

    I only got to wear it for about a half hour.......didn’t actually turn on.
    So, hands on. But no display. 

    And he still wore it for a half hour with no display. What a trooper. 

    • 2532

      In reply to SvenJ:

      So 30 minutes of walking around in the dark??!?!? Using a non functional VR headset is like using a non functional phone. It looks nice but that's it.

  5. 5721

    It's never made sense to me why Microsoft has never made accessories like this, they would make huge money if they did, I would own one, especially if it had an extra drive and battery.  They need to start the same thing with the surface book, sell the base and clipboard separately, but if you buy a clipboard you have to buy a base, maybe sell these in black as well. 


  6. 5394

    "Well, nothing really, apart from the fact it has a magnesium-alloy chassis to keep it lightweight as well as durable"

    Yes, you're right, they don't know the subject.

    Business computers require the following, which is likely why they go with HP. Service, durability, spare parts, configurations, lead time, compatibility. You actually have to review the company instead of merely the computer. Will they stay in business?

  7. 5161

    Kind of interested in Samsung's take on Continuum. Would make a lot of sense to bring to the next Note I would imagine. I'm more interested in their rumored Chromebook Pro however. Ever since Bad mentioned it about a month ago I haven't heard anything since.  

  8. 2015

    For the Brydge, I think the source article writer doesn't know the difference between millimetres (mm) and centimetres (cm).

    From the pictures it looks not far off the thickness of the Surface Pro itself, which for the fourth iteration is 8.45mm thick (or 0.845cm), so I'm guessing the article writer actually meant 0.7cm NOT 0.7mm?

  9. 5234

    How heavy is the Brydge keyboard?

    I'd reckon it'd be pretty heavy to keep the tablet from falling over backwards, which kind of defeats the purpose of a thin-and-light tablet.  If the thing is going to be weighty, why even bother with this and instead get a 2-in-1 that includes a more traditional hard keyboard included, or a convertible?

  10. 8121

    vaporware 2017, wait I mean CES sorry