Posts with «author_name|billy steele» label

Microsoft's redesigned Surface Laptop is a Copilot+ PC with over 22 hours of battery life

To kick off Build 2024, Microsoft announced new Surface devices at its hardware and AI event. Among the new gear is the new Surface Laptop : a redesigned PC with thinner bezels in 13.8- and 15-inch sizes and Qualcomm’s Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite chip. Of course, AI plays a key role on the new device as this is one of the newly-named Copilot+ PCs that run over 40 models locally thanks to updates to Windows 11.  

To go along with the thinner bezels, and upgraded PixelSense touchscreen display offers HDR and Dolby Vision IQ. Microsoft says this is the brightest display it has ever shipped at 600 nits and it offers a wide color range supporting the P3 gamut. What's more, new Studio Cameras are now in the bezel, to there's no visible notch. As expected, there's now a dedicated Copilot key and the touchpad is equipped with haptics, plus there are two new colors: Sapphire and Dune. And it sounds like Microsoft has decided to drop the numbers as it's referring to this new machine simply as Surface Laptop. 

Microsoft says the new Surface Laptop is over 86 percent faster than the Surface Pro 5. In an onstage demo, this new model was batch processing photos almost twice as fast as a MacBook Air. Adobe's flagship apps — Photoshop, Lightroom and Photoshop Express — are coming to Copilot+ PCs today, so they'll also work with existing Arm Windows machines. The company says the 15-inch Surface Laptop lasted "far longer" than the Surface Laptop 5 and MacBook Air with over 22 hours of local video playback. 

This is actually the second "Surface Laptop 6." Microsoft revealed the first one back in March, but that model is basically a Laptop 5 with updated internals for business use. Intel's Core Ultra CPUs deliver AI smarts though, and the 13.5- and 15-inch models are available with with up to 64GB of RAM and a 1TB. There's also a dedicated Copilot key like we've seen on machines from other companies, aiming to get you to use Microsoft's AI more easily and more often at work. Since these are meant for enterprise customers, they aren't available in stores, leaving everyone waiting for the proper Laptop 6 the company unveiled today. 


Catch up on all the news from Microsoft's Copilot AI and Surface event today!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Samsung HW-Q990D soundbar review: A small but significant update

Samsung’s HW-Q990C was the best overall soundbar I tested last year, mostly due to its stellar audio and the fact that a subwoofer and rear speakers came with it. The company didn’t change much for the 2024 version, the HW-Q990D, but one tweak delivers a feature last year’s model should’ve had: HDMI 2.1. There are some new audio modes too, but you can find those on other Samsung soundbars. The Q990D is as powerful as ever, but it’s still pricey at $2,000. If you already bought a Q990C, the company hasn’t given you a reason to upgrade just yet.

What’s new on the Samsung Q990D?

The biggest addition on the Q990D is HDMI 2.1. With this, Samsung addressed my main criticism of the Q990C, which debuted last year at a time when much of the competition had already adopted the standard. HDMI 2.1 delivers 4K passthrough at 120 frames per second, which will improve the visuals if you connect your PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X directly to the soundbar.

The Q990D also arrives with new audio modes. Private Listening turns off all of the front-firing drivers and uses only the rear satellite speakers. It’s basically an expanded version of the night mode a lot of companies offer on soundbars, aimed at reducing boomy bass when family or roommates might be asleep. My house has an open floor plan and my TV faces towards the hallway to the bedrooms, which means any soundbar will beam noise in that direction. Private Listening sends the audio the opposite way, and while you have to sacrifice some overall quality, it’s good enough for all the times you need to be quieter.

There’s also a new Party Play mode that provides more balanced sound between the soundbar and rear speakers for a better experience when you’re hosting a rager. When this is active, you get the full audio range rather than just the channels specifically programmed for the speakers behind you. I actually turned the speakers around and faced them out of the living room to project the re-tuned audio into other communal spaces. This makes a bigger difference for movies and TV because music already plays from the rear speakers with more balanced levels.

These two modes aren’t unique to the Q990D; the rest of the 2024 Q-series lineup will be able to use them too. This is the first time I’ve tested them though, and it’s notable that they actually work well on Samsung’s most expensive soundbar.

What’s good

Billy Steele for Engadget

The combination of a driver-packed soundbar, large subwoofer and more-robust rear speakers produces immersive sound that envelops my living room. Whether you’re listening to music or the soundscape of Dune, the Q990D retains the sonic prowess of its predecessor. Dolby Atmos content from Disney+ is as immersive as ever. I could hear the finer details of Knowhere in the opening scenes of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, including the life-like reverb of Radiohead’s “Creep” playing over a loudspeaker. The directional sounds of the town, including the hustle and bustle of people moving around, make it seem like you’re standing right there.

For music, there’s deep, boomy bass when a track calls for it, and that crisp detail that I heard in movies is here too. Justice’s Hyperdrama shows off the Q990D’s range, with driving low-end tone on songs like “Neverender” accompanied by textured synths. Quieter genres like jazz are a blanket of sound too, with albums like Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue offering subtleties that make you feel like you’re in the studio.

The thing I like most about the Q990D is that everything you need for a complete surround sound setup is included in the box. The subwoofer and rear speakers come with the soundbar and don’t require an additional purchase. Those satellite speakers also house up-firing and side-firing drivers, which isn’t always the case on comparable accessories from the competition. And the setup is as easy as plugging everything in because pairing with the rest of the system happens automatically.

What’s bad

Billy Steele for Engadget

An all-in-one setup is great, but that also means the Q990D is expensive. At $2,000, this is a considerable investment even if you’re getting everything you need in the package. The Q990D is currently on sale for $1,750, but we don’t know how long that discount will last. For comparison, Sony’s upcoming Bravia Bar 9 is $1,400. The cheapest subwoofer and rear speakers you can get for it are $400 and $350 respectively, which puts your total cost at $2,150. Of course, with Sony you have two options for subs and rears, and you don’t have to buy all of them. LG offers some respite if you want to go that route, with its S95TR coming in at $1,500 and including the subwoofer and rear speakers with up-firing drivers.

The overall size of the soundbar is something else you’ll need to consider. The Q990D houses 11 front-facing speakers, two up-firing drivers and a subwoofer. All of those components need space, and accommodating them means this soundbar ends up being quite large at 48.5 inches wide. While that’s not a deal-breaker per se, it does require some planning, so just know you’ll need ample room.

Like soundbars from other companies, the Q990D has some handy features that are reserved for Samsung TVs. For example, Q-Symphony, which uses your TV speakers in addition to the soundbar to expand the audio capabilities, requires a compatible 2020-2024 Samsung TV. The Q990D sounds great without this, but just know you’re not getting the full bag of tricks unless you also have a supported TV.


Unless you care for the latest HDMI standards, the Q990D doesn’t offer a huge upgrade over last year’s model. Their design and features lists are nearly identical, except for two new sound modes and 4K/120 passthrough. And some of those additions are available on more-affordable Samsung soundbars. So if you already sprang for last year’s Q990C, there’s probably not enough reason to make another sizable investment. If you don’t already own a Samsung flagship soundbar, the Q990D offers boomy, immersive sound in an all-in-one package that now has all the modern conveniences it should.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Sennheiser's Accentum True Wireless earbuds have an all-new design and ANC for $200

Sennheiser's Accentum line is meant to offer flagship-quality features at more affordable prices. So far, the company has debuted two sets of headphones with that moniker, the Accentum Wireless and Accentum Plus Wireless, but it has now added true wireless earbuds to the group. The Accentum True Wireless have a different shape than the pricier Momentum 4 True Wireless, but still pack in several handy features — including hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC). 

The company explains that the ergonomic shape of the Accentum True Wireless was developed in collaboration with hearing aid manufacturer Sonova (Sennheiser's parent company). Analyzing "thousands of ear models," the pair created earbuds that offer "the ideal balance of stability, comfort and sophistication." The curves of the Accentum True Wireless should lead to a more comfortable fit for more ear shapes and four sizes of ear tips will help you find the best seal for both acoustic and ANC performance.

Inside, 7mm transducers offer "powerful and engaging bass, natural mids and crisp treble," according to Sennheiser. The company says beamforming microphones for the ANC setup can reduce low-frequency distractions, even airplane cabin noise, to the point they're barely noticeable. There's also a transparency mode when you need to be aware of your surroundings. The Sennheiser Smart Control app offers EQ customization and Sound Check, a feature that builds a unique audio preset based on your preferences. The app also allows you to reconfigure the earbuds' touch controls as needed. 

The Accentum True Wireless will last up to eight hours on a charge with another 20 hours in the wireless charging case. When topping off the set via a USB-C cable, a 10 minute plug-in will give you one hour of use. These earbuds also support Bluetooth 5.3, which delivers LE Audio and Auracast broadcast sound in public spaces or from privately-hosted sharing sessions. 

The Accentum True Wireless is available for pre-order now for $200 and is set to arrive on May 21. The new model comes in black and white color options for now, but according to the company's website a navy version is also on the way.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Apple Pencil Pro adds squeeze, roll and haptic feedback to its bag of tricks

Alongside its lineup of new iPads, Apple revealed an overhauled Pencil today too. The Apple Pencil Pro has a new sensor in the barrel that accepts your squeezes. This action can do things like bring up tool palettes so you don't have to manually tap into them with your free hand. Apple says you can also use the gesture to activate shortcuts or and other actions. What's more, haptic feedback lets you know when the squeeze was accepted or when something you moved has snapped into place. Apple also added a roll gesture "for precise control" of whatever tool you're using, powered by a new gyroscope.

The new Apple Pencil works with Find My, so you'll have some extra assistance when you lose it. And, as always, the new version still pairs, charges and stores magnetically on iPad Pro. Apple says developers can make their own actions with the new gestures, so you can expect to see customizations based on the iPad apps you're using. Apple Pencil Pro works with the new iPad Air in addition to the new iPad Pro, so you have multiple Pencil options for the more affordable iPad. 

Apple Pencil Pro is $129 and is up for pre-order today. It will ship next week. 

Follow all of the news live from Apple's 'Let Loose' event right here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The best noise-canceling earbuds for 2024

Whether it’s blocking the noises of your daily train ride, trying to be productive at a coffee shop or just needing to tune out the world for a while, noise-canceling earbuds can provide solace. But, as is the case with all audio gear, the effectiveness of active noise cancellation (ANC) can vary greatly from model to model, even with products from the same company. We test dozens of sets of wireless earbuds every year, and I’ve shortlisted a selection of the absolute best in terms of pure ANC performance. You might find better sound quality or all-around choices elsewhere, but if blocking out unwanted sounds is your primary concern, this list has everything from high-end to budget options, in addition to those with the best battery life.

Looking for new ANC headphones but don't like the feeling or style of earbuds? Check out our picks for best noise-canceling headphones, which focuses on full-size models.  

How to choose the best noise-canceling earbuds for you


Most true wireless earbuds these days have a “traditional” design that’s a round bud that fits in your ear. However, there are some variations on the formula in terms of shape, size and additional fitting elements. Some companies include fins or fit wings to help hold their earbuds in place while others opt for an over-the-ear hook on more sporty models. You’ll want to pay attention to these things to make sure they align with how you plan to use them. Also consider overall size and weight since those two factors can impact the fit. A less-than-ideal seal due to a weird fit will affect the performance of active noise cancellation.

Type of noise cancellation

Next, you’ll want to look at the type of ANC a set of earbuds offer. You’ll see terms like “hybrid active noise cancellation” or “hybrid adaptive active noise cancellation,” and there are key differences between the two. A hybrid ANC setup uses microphones on the inside and the outside of the device to detect ambient noise. By analyzing input from both mics, a hybrid system can combat more sounds than “regular” ANC, but it’s at a constant level that doesn’t change.

Adaptive ANC takes the hybrid configuration a step further by continuously adjusting the noise cancellation for changes in your environment and any leakage around the padding of the ear cups. Adaptive ANC is also better at combating wind noise, which can really kill your vibe while using earbuds outdoors. For this best wireless earbuds list, I’m only considering products with hybrid ANC or adaptive ANC setups because those are the most effective at blocking noise.


You’ll also want to check to see if the ANC system on a prospective set of earbuds offers presets or adjustable levels of noise cancellation. These can help you dial in the amount of ANC you need for various environments, but it can also help save battery life. Master & Dynamic, for example, has ANC presets that either provide maximum noise-blocking or prioritize energy efficiency. Other companies may include a slider in their companion apps that let you adjust the ANC level.

How we test noise-canceling earbuds

The primary way we test earbuds is to wear them as much as possible. I prefer to do this over a one-to-two-week period, but sometimes deadlines don’t allow it. During this time, I listen to a mix of music and podcasts, while also using the earbuds to take both voice and video calls.

Since battery life for ANC earbuds is typically 6-10 hours, I drain the battery with looping music and the volume set at a comfortable level (usually around 75 percent). When necessary, I’ll power the headphones off during a review without putting them back in the case. This simulates real-world use and keeps me from having to wear them for an entire day.

To test ANC performance specifically, I use the earbuds in a variety of environments, from noisy coffee shops to quiet home offices. When my schedule allows, I also use them during air travel, since plane noise is a massive distraction to both work and relaxation. Even if I’m not slated to hop on a flight, I simulate a constant roar with white noise machines, bathroom fans, vacuums and more. I also make note of how well earbuds block human voices, which are a key stumbling block for a lot of ANC setups.

I also do a thorough review of companion apps, testing each feature as I work through the software. Any holdovers from previous models are double-checked for improvements or regression. If the earbuds I’m testing are an updated version of a previous model, I’ll spend time getting reacquainted with the older set, and revisit the closest competition as well.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Bose's SoundLink Max is its largest portable Bluetooth speaker with 20-hour battery life

Bose may be best known for its noise-canceling headphones, but the company makes solid portable Bluetooth speakers too. In fact, the company's SoundLink Flex made our best Bluetooth speakers list as a great option among contenders in its price range. Today, the company is adding to the SoundLink lineup with its largest portable Bluetooth speaker yet: the SoundLink Max ($399). While the overall design is similar to previous Bose devices, this model packs bigger sound and longer battery life into that expanded frame. 

Inside the SoundLink Max, three transducers and two passive radiators power "a spacious stereo experience" that includes bass performance that sounds like an even larger speaker, according to Bose. The company says this portable unit employs tech typically used in its soundbars and pairs that with digital signal processing to reduce distortion for "full, natural sound" across genres. Bose is promising that you'll be able to hear every aspect of a song clearly, no matter the musical style and no matter where the speaker is located. You'll also be able to adjust lows, mids and highs via the Bose app if the stock tuning doesn't suit your preferences. 


Bose opted for a powder-coated, silicone-wrapped steel enclosure for the SoundLink Max, which the company says offers a more refined look. The speaker is also IP67 rated, so dust, water, rust and dropping it shouldn't be an issue. This all makes the Max well-suited for outdoor use, and when you do take it on the go, you won't have to worry about recharging often. Bose says the SoundLink Max will last up to 20 hours, plus it can juice up your phone via a USB-C cable if needed. A removable rope handle will assist with transport, but Bose also makes a carrying strap if you prefer over-the-shoulder hauling. 

The SoundLink Max is equipped with Snapdragon Sound, which offers more consistent connectivity with recent Android devices, and aptX Adaptive that provides improved audio quality over Bluetooth. The speaker also supports Google Fast Pair and Bluetooth 5.3. 

Pre-orders for the SoundLink Max start today from Bose, and the speaker is schedule to ship on May 16. In addition to being the company's largest portable Bluetooth unit, it also ties the Bose Portable Smart Speaker for being the most expensive at $399. If you're looking for something smaller, the SoundLink Micro ($99), SoundLink Flex ($119) and SoundLink Mini II ($149) are also available from Bose. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Beats announces Solo Buds, $80 wireless earbuds with 18-hour battery life

Beats has a solid track record when it comes to wireless earbuds. The company consistently offers good audio performance with a comfy fit and a nice list of features for both Android and iOS users. In fact, the Beats Fit Pro are our current top pick for best workout earbuds. The one thing the company doesn't have in its lineup is a budget-friendly option, but that will change soon. Today, Beats revealed the Solo Buds: an $80 set of wireless earbuds that offer 18 hours of use on a single charge. There are some caveats on the spec sheet, but you might be willing to overlook them for that battery life at that price. 

The Solo Buds have the longest battery life on a set of Beats earbuds ever. 18 hours is way more than you'll probably ever use in one go, but there's a catch. The Solo Buds case doesn't have a battery, so the earbuds won't top up when you're not using them. The case is essentially a dock and will only charge the buds when it's plugged in with a USB-C cable. You'll be able to charge it with your phone, laptop or tablet though, and Beats' Fast Fuel feature gives your an hour of use in five minutes. The upside to the non-charging case is that accessory is significantly smaller since it doesn't hold a battery. 

Beats has designed the Solo Buds to be worn for long periods of time. More specifically, ergonomic acoustic nozzles and vents assist with audio performance while relieving pressure. Four sizes of ear tips are included in the box so you can find the best option for your ears in terms of both comfort and passive noise isolation. There's no active noise cancellation (ANC) here, so a secure fit will be your only defense against environmental distractions. 

Inside, dual-layer transducers are designed to reduce distortion across the frequency curve which should lead to "uncompromising clarity and detail," according to Beats. The company describes call quality as "exceptional," thanks to the combination of a custom-designed mic and a noise-learning algorithm. Onboard controls are customizable, putting music, call and voice assistant functions a press or multiple presses away. Beats also includes the option for volume controls on the Solo Buds with an optional press-and-hold action. 

Native compatibility in Android and iOS delivers one-touch pairing, automatic setup and support for Find My and Find My Device. Everything you'll need on iPhone is built into iOS while Beats offers a standalone app on Android for things like onboard control customization. 

The Solo Buds will be available in June in black, gray, purple and transparent red color options for $80.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Beats Solo 4 review: Upgraded audio, extended battery life and familiar design

When Beats introduced the Solo 3 in 2016, the headline feature was the inclusion of Apple’s W1 audio chip. This delivered seamless pairing with Apple devices, which made life much easier for iPhone, Mac and iPad owners. Besides the noise-canceling Solo Pro in 2019, Beats hadn’t updated the Solo line in nearly eight years, and it’s now bringing its popular on-ear headphones up to today’s standards. Beats announced the Solo 4 today, a $200 set of familiar-looking cans with significant updates to audio quality and battery life. But as it has done on other devices, the company has chosen its own audio platform over Apple’s AirPod chip.

What’s new on the Beats Solo 4?

Beats says it re-engineered the audio on the Solo 4 for “incredible, high-fidelity acoustics.” This includes new, custom-built 40mm transducers that it says offer “extraordinary clarity and range” due to minimal latency and distortion. The company explained that the change also led to improved high-frequency response compared to the Solo 3. Beats says the Solo 4 is its only passively-tuned headphone, so you’ll get the same audio quality when listening wirelessly as you do when your battery dies and you have to employ the 3.5mm jack.

Spatial Audio was available on the Solo 3, but Beats took things a step further on the Solo 4 by adding Personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking. This is the process Apple developed for its AirPods that uses your iPhone’s camera to create a custom audio profile tailored to the shape of your ears. The effectiveness of head tracking in enhancing Spatial Audio might depend on your personal preferences and the content, but the addition brings the Solo 4 up to date with other Beats (and Apple) audio products.

Billy Steele for Engadget

Another big upgrade is battery life. The Solo 3 already offered 40 hours of play time on a charge, but Beats managed to squeeze another 10 hours out of the Solo 4. Of course, that’s with a volume level of about 50 percent with Spatial Audio off (45 hours with it on). The quick-charge feature, Fast Fuel, now gives you up to five hours of use in 10 minutes. That’s two hours more than the Solo 3.

Like Apple has done with most of its products, Beats made the switch to USB-C for charging on the Solo 4. That wired connection also delivers lossless audio, so long as you’re listening to compatible content with a supported device. Similar to other recent Beats products, the Solo 4 swaps Apple’s chips for the company’s own platform. In this case, the W1 on the Solo 3 has been replaced, but there’s still deep integration with iOS, macOS and iPadOS. And the company’s recent efforts to better cater to Android users continues on the Solo 4.

Beats upgraded the microphones on the Solo 4, though they’re used solely for calls since there’s no active noise cancellation (ANC) here. Specifically, the company says it swapped out analog mics for digital, beam-forming MEMS ones, leading to increased quality when it comes to voice capture across various environments. Beats also added a noise-learning algorithm that can target your voice while combating background roar and wind.

What’s good

Billy Steele for Engadget

The steps Beats took to improve the sound quality on the Solo 4 truly delivered. The company has employed a more even-handed tuning for several years now, ditching the overly bass-heavy EQ that dominated the sound on its early headphones. I can also hear the added clarity in tracks like Justice’s “Neverender,” where details like synth sounds had brought an atmospheric texture that enhanced the song. This is most prominent when you have Spatial Audio activated, and in my experience, the Solo 4 were at their best with Dolby Atmos content in Apple Music.

The 50-hour battery life claim holds out, too. After 37 hours of testing at around 50-percent volume, macOS was still showing the Solo 4 had 35 percent left in the tank. That’s pacing ahead of Beats’ stated figure. During my test, I was streaming spatial Dolby Atmos content from Apple Music, mostly from a MacBook Pro.

Beats says the Solo 4 has the same memory foam ear pads as the over-ear Studio Pro headphones, but with a new cover material for that component to further boost comfort. I do feel like there’s less of a vice-like pressure when I’m wearing the Solo 4, but after a couple of hours, each passing minute felt more laborious.

What’s bad

Billy Steele for Engadget

While we’re on the topic of comfort, I’ve never been a fan of the on-ear style of headphones. Most of them, the Beats Solo included, feel like they’re clamping down on my head. GrantedI have a large dome; I take my New Era caps in 7 ⅝. But I can appreciate that this design is very popular, so this is less of a con and more of an observation for my fellow large-domed homies. The slight changes to the ear pads definitely help make it more comfortable, but it’s still too snug a fit for me.Clearly, though, the Solo line is a hit: Beats says it has sold over 40 million pairs of these on-ear cans.

I also wish the company did a bit more with the Solo 4’s design. I understand “if it ain’t broke” and all that, but this feels like a missed opportunity. Beats opted to keep almost entirely the same look from the Solo 3, except that the “Solo” branding on the headband is now just a “4.” The company changed things up a bit on the Solo Pro, but that model isn’t around anymore, so a design update on the non-ANC Solo headphones would’ve been a welcome change.

While there are some obvious updates to the audio profile, the Solo 4 sounds a bit thin at times. When listening on an iPhone, audio performance is consistent across genress, but there’s a noticeable difference when listening to the same songs on Apple Music on a Mac. That Justice album, Hyperdrama, doesn’t have the same oomph streaming from my MacBook Pro as it does from my iPhone.

The Solo 4 is also missing multipoint Bluetooth support on iOS. It isn’t the first Beats audio device that lacks this, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The ability to automatically switch between your computer and your phone when you get a call is a handy feature most headphones offer these days. And if you’re used to having it, it’s something you’ll miss on the Solo 4.


There’s no denying the updates Beats made on the Solo 4 in terms of sound quality and battery life. The company also made tweaks to modernize it, including the switch to USB-C. Small changes to the ear pads make the Solo 4 more comfortable for those of us with big heads, but the fit is still far from ideal. And overall, the familiar design could use a refresh, especially now that we’re nearly eight years on from the Solo 3. Still, the Solo 4 is a clear upgrade from the Solo 3, but it’s likely not significant enough to entice more than the Beats faithful. 

The Beats Solo 4 is available today for $200 from Apple. The headphones come in black, blue (pictured) and pink color options. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Wacom's first OLED pen display is also the thinnest and lightest it has ever made

Wacom displays and tablets have been handy tools for artists and designers since the 1980s, offering to swap a mouse for a pen for drawing, photo editing and more. That lineage includes pen displays: screens that connect to your computer that you draw on directly with a stylus. But, Wacom says it has created something entirely new just a few weeks before Apple is set to upgrade its iPad displays. The latest pen display model is called Movink, and it's the company's first with a OLED screen. It's also Wacom's thinnest and lightest option ever, while still offering 13 inches of work space.

Inside, a Samsung-made OLED panel offers full HD resolution with 10-bit color and a 100,000:1 contrast ratio. Thanks to the qualities of OLED, you can expect "perfect black point," according to Wacom. Since color accuracy is paramount for artists, the Movink covers 100 percent DCI-P3 and 95 percent of Adobe RGB, with a Delta E difference of 2 or less. The company says the pen display is factory calibrated to industry standards and stores up to two custom color profiles. It's also validated by both Pantone and Pantone SkinTone, with further calibration available in the Wacom Color Manager.

The OLED panel has benefits besides just appearance. Wacom says Movink has the fastest response time of any of its pen displays and offers increased pen detection height. The company promises no ripples or light leakage and the device runs cooler and quieter than other models. Movink is a touch display too, with two customizable buttons on its thin bezel for quick access to your most-used tools.


Wacom says Movink is the thinnest and lightest pen display it has ever made, weighing in at just 420 grams and measuring 4 millimeters at its skinniest point. The company explains that this is 66 percent thinner and 55 percent lighter than the Wacom One 13 Touch, a comparably-sized option designed more for beginners. The screen is covered in Corning's Gorilla Glass and the body is made of magnesium alloy, so you can carry it around in a bag with your laptop without worry. 

Of course, the pen is a crucial part of this setup. The Movink comes with a specially designed version of the Pro Pen 3, which Wacom says provides the same experience as the one on the Cintiq Pro line of displays. More specifically, the Pro Pen 3's sensitivity and tilt detection assists with everything from detailed digital painting to fine line work. Wacom refined the pen nib design to increase visibility, which should improve the overall drawing experience. The nib remover and replacement nibs are stored inside the pen, so you can quickly fix any issues even if you're working outside of your normal studio space. 

The Movink is also the first pro-grade pen display to support Wacom's Dual Pen tech, allowing you to use styli from other companies. The list of supported devices includes pens from Samsung, Staedtler, Lamy, Dr. Grip and more. Plus, you can use Wacom's UD pens from the One line of devices as well as older versions of the Pro Pen with the Movink. The display is compatible with Windows, macOS, ChromeOS and Android, connecting to your laptop or desktop machine via a single USB-C cable (15-watt power delivery required). 

Wacom Movink is available now from the company's online store for $750 (€850 and £730). The company will also offer a foldable stand for $80 and for $45. However, both of those items are currently listed as out of stock. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Formula E debuts Gen3 Evo race car: All-wheel drive unlocks 0-60 mph in 1.82 seconds

Formula E is halfway through its Gen3 car cycle and plans are in motion for the upcoming Gen4 racer. However, the series isn't waiting until that all-new electric car is ready to hit the track to debut some significant upgrades to the current model. Ahead of the Monaco E-Prix this weekend, Formula E debuted what it calls the Gen3 Evo, the fastest accelerating FIA single seater in the world by current standards. The series is also introducing body changes aimed at improving aerodynamics and durability, particularly to the nose, along with all-wheel drive (AWD) for the first time on a Formula E car. 

Formula E says the Gen3 Evo is capable of accelerating a full second faster than the Gen3 version, going from 0 to 60 mph in 1.82 seconds (0-100 kph in 1.86 seconds). It explained that that time is 30 percent faster than a 2024 Formula 1 car and 36 percent faster than the Gen3 EV currently used in races. Those numbers aren't theoretical either: the series has already achieved the benchmarks on track in Misano, Italy. 

"It's not simulated, it's real," Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds told Engadget. "It was really timed by the FIA at that speed." Dodds added that there were some "slight tweaks" in some areas, but the Gen3 Evo should still hit 60 mph in under two seconds when it debuts on track for races next year. 

A key aspect of this unlocked acceleration is the use of AWD on a Formula E car for the first time. The series debuted dual powertrains with Gen3, but until now, the one up front was only being used for battery regeneration. AWD will only be used during the later rounds of qualifying (head-to-head duels), the race start and when a driver has activated Attack Mode during the race. Besides the boost to acceleration, drivers should have better control and more grip when AWD is active. Plus, it entirely changes team strategy and could lead to even more exciting racing. 

"One of the occasional criticisms I hear is Attack Mode doesn't have a big enough difference," Dodds said. "I think with all-wheel drive, that will make a difference." He also noted that when you have 22 cars that are all capable of 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds barreling towards turn one, "that makes for a high jeopardy, exciting start of a race." 

The redesigned front wing on the Gen3 Evo.
Formula E

One frustration of Gen3 that Formula E is addressing with the Gen3 Evo is the fragility of the front wing. As part of a larger overhaul to the body that includes new side pods, rear wing and more, the new car has a redesigned, slightly pointier nose and a strengthened front wing. With the Gen3 car, front wing damage is common, and it often gets stuck under the car, which becomes dangerous for a driver trying to make his way back to the pit lane. In addition to being "stronger" and "more robust," according to Formula E, the body changes also improve aerodynamics, which could contribute to more wheel-to-wheel battles on track. 

Another key change is to the tires. Formula E is still working with Hankook on the all-weather compound used for its races, but the updated version offers 5- to 10-percent more grip compared to the current spec. Dodds explained that this increase in traction is essential since Gen3 Evo employs the front powertrain for AWD. 

"If you haven't got the increase in grip on the tires, that's pretty challenging to control," he said.

In total, Formula E says the performance upgrades on the Gen3 Evo equate to a two-second drop in qualifying lap times around the tight, twisty Monaco street circuit. Since the series stipulates qualifying time in that estimate, that means AWD and a higher power mode would be active to achieve it. But, it also means Formula E is unlocking the full potential of what Gen3 has been capable of since its debut last season. 

Formula E

Indeed, the bulk of the Gen3 car is still intact. That includes an all-electric race car that's incredibly efficient, converting 90 percent of its energy to mechanical power. By employing 600kW regenerative braking, the cars produce almost 50 percent of the energy they need to complete a race while on track. Like its predecessor, the Gen3 Evo remains capable of a top speed of 200 mph. And just like before, teams will make performance updates to the cars via software changes in search of any on-track advantage. 

Formula E says there has already been some driver testing of the Gen3 Evo behind closed doors, and the feedback has been very positive. Dodds explained that Tag Heuer Porsche's Pascal Wehrlein and DS Penske's Jean-Éric Vergne both drove the car in test sessions with rave reviews. Vergne, who is one of the more outspoken drivers on the grid, specifically noted how much better it drives than the current car. 

"The sooner we can get to [Gen3 Evo] in season 11, the better, as far as he's concerned," Dodds explained. "It's lovely to get that feedback, because happy drivers often create happy races." 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at