Posts with «author_name|daniel cooper» label

The Morning After: Latest iOS beta supports FaceID with a mask

Using your face to unlock your phone is great in normal times, but less than ideal when you’re masked up and avoiding germs. Apple already has a workaround in place if you own a new enough Apple Watch, and now it’s working on a fix for the rest of us. The most recent iOS developer beta enables users to open their device with just the geography of their eyes. The feature, which is currently being tested, will work with glasses users, although if you’re wearing sunglasses, you might have to take them off first.

At the same time, Apple has also reportedly been looking into enabling iPhones to work as standalone payment terminals. That way, it would be easier to settle bills between friends and, more importantly, enable small businesses to accept payments. That might pose a problem for companies like Square, who have made a name for themselves building external payment hardware for phones. But it would also give Apple a way to corner a big chunk of the payment processing market without breaking much of a sweat.

- Dan Cooper

The biggest news stories you might have missed

Strange Milky Way object sends radio bursts a minute at a time

Someone call Jeff Goldblum.

ICRAR

This next story works better if you imagine William Shatner circa 1979 is reading it out to you. Researchers out of Curtin University have found something… odd, out there in space, a spinning object 4,000 light-years away. It’s been sending out a giant burst of polarized radio energy for a full minute, every 18 minutes, and keeps… appearing and disappearing every few hours. It’s a curiosity that the researchers think might be a magnetar, a theoretical neutron star spinning so slowly that it causes everything to look… strange. This discovery may have… implications for how we understand… the universe.

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Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance confirms plans to build 35 new EVs by 2030

Cars!

Nissan

The gang over at Renault Nissan Mitsubishi has revealed a plan to invest around $26 billion in order to bring 35 new electric vehicles to market by 2030. Five new platforms will be built, with the crew pledging that technology and components will be shared to reduce waste. That will run from super-compact all-electric city cars through to beefy battery commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, California has unveiled a $10 billion plan to increase EV adoption, including cash to build out charging networks in low-income neighborhoods and discounts for low-income buyers.

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Shure Aonic 40 review: Decent ANC headphones with impressive battery life

But otherwise? Ehhhhh.

Bllly Steele

Your friend and mine Billy Steele has been road-testing the new Shure Aonic 40 ANC cans for a while, and now his verdict is out. The headphones, which are priced at $249, are designed to sit in that tier just before you start shelling out serious money for your ears. Sadly, while the price is right and the battery life is great, everything else is just a bit lukewarm for Billy’s trained ears. He also lamented the lack of comfort for bigger heads, and an overall lack of polish in the rest of the feature list.

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Squarespace is getting into video subscriptions

Squarespace is taking on Patreon, YouTube and the safe-for-work segment of OnlyFans with the launch of its new video offering. The web host is enabling its users to upload video directly to their Squarespace site and sell access on a one-off or recurring subscription basis. These clips will be hosted natively on the platform itself although users can route in videos from YouTube and Vimeo where necessary. The company added that it has built a new native video player with “slick playback” and “deep integration into the Squarespace platform.”

This is very much an extension of the work Squarespace took to enable its users to earn subscription revenue back in 2020. Much as it did back then, the company said that its new paywall and membership features are targeted toward chefs, instructors, wellness providers and educators. While the company has conceded that it will not be proactively moderating content uploaded on its platform, it does say that the material has to abide by its terms of service, which currently prohibit violent conduct and hate speech.

Creators will get the opportunity to upload 30 minutes of video content for free, with users needing to sign up for a Member Areas plan to get more. On the low end, the basic plan offers five hours of video space, while the Pro tier offers 50, with the promise of lower transaction fees as you grow.

This is part of a broader push that many sites are making into taking a slice of the aforementioned platforms’ pie. Just yesterday, Substack announced that it was expanding into video as a way of keeping creators within the same ecosystem.

Intellidash Pro is an easy way to get CarPlay in older vehicles

There are plenty of cars that lack the technology to leverage CarPlay or Android Auto, including my own 2012 Toyota Scion iM. And there are plenty of people who lack the desire or ability to swap out their own head units to something that supports the new standards, including myself. So it’s me, really, that sits in the middle of the venn diagram of consumers that Car and Driver is targeting with its Intellidash and Intellidash Pro standalone head units.

Hardware wise, the Intellidash and Pro are both chunky, 7-inch displays which are designed to sit on your dashboard. (They are both rebranded versions of Coral Vision’s own display). The major difference between the two is that the vanilla edition requires a wired connection to your phone, while the Pro can operate wirelessly. Now, I’ve been driving around with the Intellidash Pro in my car for the bulk of the holiday season, and I like it a lot.

But, despite that, it’s probably worth launching head-first into the downsides before talking about why I like it. The most obvious of which is that the Intellidash Pro looks like a piece of farm equipment, or worse. It resembles the sort of low-cost GPS units you’d find on sale for three or four times the going rate in the back of a gas station two decades ago. In fact, there are no-brand Android tablets from 2013 that are better-looking than this thing, and thinner, too.

Partly, it’s this size because there’s a lot of gear packed inside, like a microphone, speakers, Sirius XM receiver, FM transmitter and Bluetooth. It’s also got a whole host of jacks for an aftermarket reversing camera, audio out, USB-C and USB-A (for a flash drive). But if you’re just connecting this wirelessly to your phone, you won’t need any of this.

Then there’s the fact that, at the least, you’ll need to route the power and aux-in leads around your dashboard. I didn’t bother, given this was just a short-term loan, but I suspect that fans of cleaner dashboard setups might find it a bit grating. You can tune it to broadcast over FM to your car which is better for cable management but isn’t ideal for audio quality.

Daniel Cooper

It’s also unfortunate that the manufacturers didn’t spend a little more time polishing the default UI. For instance, the home screen icons only run along the bottom quarter of the display, and there’s enough of them that you’d need to scroll to the next page to see the rest. Given the risk that you may need to use this screen when you’re driving, needless busywork is a bad thing.

Jump into the settings menu and you’ll feel like it was previously a Chinese-language original that has been hurriedly localized. Icons are muddy, fonts are hard-to-read and the whole thing needs a good, hard polish to make its UI feel less agrarian. Setting the night mode, for instance, means you’re diving into the last pane of display settings, despite its obvious importance.

I am, of course, nitpicking, and it’s easier to focus on these negatives because the one clear positive is so simple: Stick this in your car and after about two minutes of setup, you’ve got CarPlay (or Android Auto). No longer do you have to relegate your iPhone to the windshield mount, and now you can control your audio and navigation from the homescreen. That’s priceless when you’re on a long solo drive and you haven’t made yourself a playlist of podcast episodes you want to listen to. It’s the convenience you’re paying for, the ease of having to do very little to get this slice of the future into the ossified technology of history.

As for the price, well, the Intellidash Pro is $400, while the non-wireless Intellidash is $350. You’d spend that much, sometimes more, on a unit from Best Buy, albeit with fitting thrown in. Certainly, while it’s another widget on your dashboard, if you’re not sure how long you’re keeping your car, or have multiple cars, then having something you can take from vehicle to vehicle isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Washington DC's AG sues Google for 'deceiving users and invading their privacy'

Google, no stranger to lawsuits about its practices these days, is facing a fresh legal broadside from Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine. Racine (pictured) has launched an action claiming that Google has violated the Consumer Protection Procedures act in the state, specifically about location tracking. Essentially, Racine believes that while Google says its users can opt-out of having their whereabouts identified, such tracking remains in place.

BREAKING: My office is suing Google for deceiving users and invading their privacy.

Google claims that changing your device and account settings protects your data. The truth is, since 2014, Google has systematically surveilled users no matter what settings they choose.

— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) January 24, 2022

Much of this controversy was first publicized back in 2018 when an Associated Press report identified that location tracking remained active regardless of the user’s choice. The claim says that between 2014 and 2019, despite these promises, tracking data was stored in a Web and App Activity database. As our deep dive on the subject explained, Google did enable users to go in and erase their location from this file, but the process was slow and laborious.

We're leading a bipartisan group of AGs from Texas, Indiana, & Washington, each suing in state court to hold Google accountable.

We're seeking to stop Google’s illegal use of “dark patterns” & claw back profits made from location data. Read the complaint:https://t.co/KQCPiZSYxA

— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) January 24, 2022

“Google leads consumers to believe that consumers are in control of whether Google collects and retains information about their location and how that information is used,” says the complaint. “In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location.” It added that the use of dark patterns to nudge a user to consenting to data collection is harmful to consumers.

This breaking news story is developing, please refresh for more information.

Oura’s third-generation Ring is more powerful, but not for everybody

The wearables business is hard, especially if you’re a small startup with a device you could, perhaps uncharitably, call “niche.” Oura, which makes activity-tracking rings worn endorsed by a numberof celebrities, recently released its third-generation model. This new hardware is a technical marvel, packing many of the features that most wrist-worn devices take for granted. But the need to keep the cash rolling in has seen Oura, like Fitbit, Apple, Wahoo and others, pivot to a recurring-revenue model. Oura says that this is key to shift from the idea of buying a device that never changes, to supporting its broader goals of building an evolving fitness ecosystem.

Hardware

Daniel Cooper

Before we get into the specifics of this new Oura ring, let’s take a moment to remember that this device is still a marvel of engineering. Taking the sensors from a smartwatch or fitness tracker and shrinking them into a ring is worthy of enormous praise. For all of its imperfections, it’s amazing to see Oura push the limits of what is capable in such a small form factor. And there’s much more tech crammed in this time around, despite the size and weight remaining the same as the second-generation version. The headline features these new sensors enable include continuous heart-rate tracking, temperature monitoring, blood oxygenation and period prediction.

The sizing process is the same for pretty much every smart ring I’ve ever tried: The company sends you a set of plastic dummy rings you have to wear for a couple of days. Once you’ve determined the correct fit, which is tight and secure around the base of your index finger, but not to the point where it’s uncomfortable, you can order the real thing. This actually was the most stressful part of this review, since I felt that one size was too loose, the other too tight, but I opted for looseness rather than sacrificing a digit to the gods of fitness tracking. Oura says that the index finger is the best place for its ring, but you can stick it elsewhere if you prefer.

Unfortunately, the one thing you can’t do much about is the size of the ring itself which is a bit too big. I’m a big-ish guy with big-ish hands, but it feels a bit too ostentatious on my fingers, enough that people notice and ask me what it is as soon as they spot it. If you have more slender hands, I’m sure you might have a similar issue with folks pointing it out. I suspect that the smart thing to do is visit Parts Of 4 to get some more adornments to balance out the look.

Software

Without a screen, Oura is yoked tightly to the iOS or Android app where all of this data will be displayed. The Oura app is clean and tidy, only giving you the deepest data when you go looking for it. The app breaks down all of the information generated from your finger and compresses it into three scores, which are shown on the homescreen. These are for Readiness, Sleep and Activity, representing how prepared you are to face the day, how well-rested you are and how much exercise you’re doing.

The only other thing you’ll find on the homescreen is a breakdown of your heart rate across the day, showing you where the peaks and troughs are. You’ll also get advice on your ideal bedtime, which is useful when you’re working late nights and need to juggle sleep with getting things done. You’ll also get periodic reminders to move if the app detects you’ve been still for a while, and advice when it’s time for you to wind down for the day.

Go into one of the categories, like Readiness, and you’ll get scores for your recovery index, sleep, as well as your HRV balance, body temperature and resting heart rate. You can also see that my figures dropped quite substantially during a three-day period when I got food poisoning from a New Year’s Eve takeaway meal. During that period, I was given plenty of warnings telling me I wasn’t rested or well enough to do much else – not that I felt like I was gonna go for a run or anything.

As part of Oura’s plan to add extra value to its platform, the company is adding a series of video and audio guides for meditation, breathwork and sleeping. These guides, which are essentially guided meditation audio tracks, can be backed with a white noise option of your choice. You can pick the hum of a train station, the crunch of a forest stroll, the sound of the tide lapping at the land or rainfall, amongst others. These are a thing for people who find those things useful to fall asleep and feel restful but I, personally, do not find them that great.

That said, where Oura differs from its rivals in this space is that it’ll break down your vital signs during your meditation. If you’re wondering how to get better at meditating then you’ll be guided to more appropriate tracks that’ll help prod you toward nirvana.

Oura is working on adding more features to the Ring v3 over the next year, including more content as well as more accurate sleep and period tracking. These will not actually appear as new features so much as they are behind-the-scenes improvements in the underlying systems. Finally, at some point this year, the ring will be able to identify your blood oxygenation (SpO2) while you sleep in order to help detect disorders like sleep apnea.

In use

Daniel Cooper

The best thing about the Oura ring is that, once you’ve worn it a few days, you quickly start to ignore its presence. And while you’re not paying attention, it begins worming its way into every corner of your life, learning your working patterns and getting ready to make helpful suggestions. If you feel like crap in the morning but don’t have the mental wherewithal to comprehend why, you’ll be told as soon as you look at your phone. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing here that other platforms don’t do as well, but this is certainly an elegant implementation of the idea.

Sleep tracking is generally fine, by which I mean it works by tracking movement and therefore can’t tell when you’ve been rudely awoken but haven’t moved. As part of this new pivot, however, Oura is promising that the sleep tracking will soon become vastly more accurate as a consequence of behind-the-scenes changes. This will not be readily visible to users, however, since all you’ll get is a pop-up telling you that things just got more accurate. Still, it offers a fairly good indicator for how the night went, although I find the activity tracking to be a little more on the generous side. Yesterday morning, for instance, it told me that my morning shower was a strength training workout with plenty of burned calories for my trouble. Similarly, it’ll tell me around lunchtime that I need to take a half-hour brisk walk to finish my activity for the day, and then by early evening, having done nothing more than stand at my desk, make dinner and put my kids to sleep, it’ll tell me I’ve completed my goal.

One of the features that Oura is tempting its users with is Workout Heart Rate, which I find inadvertently amusing. Because the ring is so chunky, and it has such a hard edge, that I really don’t find it comfortable to wear during workouts. For instance, if I’ve got a pair of free weights, or I’m doing an incline push up on a Smith machine bar, the ring just pushes into the fleshy parts of my hand. For most of the proper “gym” workouts I’ve done, the ring has had to come off, lest I tap out too early or draw blood from the chubby parts of my fingers. But for more ring-friendly jobs, like running, walking, or cycling, you should find this to be a big help.

In terms of vital-signs tracking accuracy, I think it’s always wise to remember that wearables will not be as inch-perfect as a clinical-grade device. But in a number of random spot-tests, the Oura offered the exact same figures as the Apple Watch on my wrist. In fact, Oura’s reputation for accuracy has always been pretty high, and one of the reasons that the company hasn’t released some of these features is to ensure they’re ready to go when they do arrive.

Oura quotes battery life at seven days, although I rarely managed to get past five without having to drop it on the charging plate. Certainly, real-world stamina is a bit far from what the company is saying, but then it’s hardly a deal breaker since you can charge it full in two hours. It’s become common for me to take the ring off while I’m standing at my desk on Monday and Friday mornings and let it re-juice while I’m working.

Economics

The third-generation Oura ring will set you back $299, which gets you the ring in one of four finishes: Silver, Black, Stealth or Gold. In the box, you’ll receive the charging plate and a USB-C cable, and as part of the deal, you’ll get a six-month trial of Oura’s subscription service. Membership, which costs $5.99 a month for new users, will entitle you to “daily health insights,” “personalized recommendations,” as well as more video and audio sessions. Any existing Oura user who upgrades to the new ring will get a lifetime membership thrown in for free.

I want to be fair here and say that I understand why Oura is pivoting to this recurring revenue model. It’s not as if other companies in this space, like Fitbit, aren’t doing the same in the hope of bolstering their bottom lines. And that’s before we get to talk about how much lock-in the Apple Watch gets as a consequence of Fitness+. But I also think there’s a difference between the sort of product that those rivals are offering compared to Oura’s product.

After all, Apple and Fitbit can both offer coaching both on their devices and on bigger screens, which Oura can’t. Not to mention that Oura is really only able to offer guided audio clips (and short videos) through its app. And that while Apple and Fitbit are selling their devices as (having the potential to become) Capital-F Fitness gear, the Oura really isn’t. But, then again, that’s not what Oura is pitching here – it’s for the meditator, the runner, the cyclist, who doesn’t want to strap something beefy to their wrist.

Wrap-Up

Here’s the problem with reviewing Oura: It’s not a device that every fitness person will love. If you want something with more versatility, you’d buy a smartwatch and have done with it. Oura is more of a subtle product, for people who want to be less ostentatious about their health, or simply want something that slips into their lives and does the job. Honestly, since I’m not a gym bro, I really like the data the ring offers me without any fuss or muss.

As for the subscription, it’s likely that Oura will have to keep squeezing as many new features and insights as possible out of this new hardware. Between that, and vastly improving its currently slender content library, it’s worth it if you’re a paid-up member of the Oura family. But, and this is more a comment on the industry as a whole rather than a slight against Oura itself, I do find this need for every company to squeeze some rental income out of their users to be a little bit grating.

Lenovo updates its ThinkPad X1 and Yoga models with Intel's 12th-gen chips

Shortly after Intel tells the world that Alder Lake for laptops has arrived, that all the laptop makers show off the products to take advantage of the new silicon. Today, it’s Lenovo’s turn, busting out a refreshed range of ThinkPad X1 and Yoga machines with new, 12th-generation Intel Core chips and plenty of razzle-dazzle.

The flagship X1 range is welcoming a 10th-generation X1 Carbon, seventh-generation X1 Yoga and a second-generation X1 Nano. Those high-end machines are targeted at professionals currently caught between the office and working from home, like so many of us are these days. That means the big focus is making sure you don’t look completely awful while you’re sat in yet another endless Zoom meeting.

That’s why these new models all get a redesigned “communications bar,” which is a fancy way of describing the webcam housing. Nestled inside you’ll find a “superior camera,” with a number of options, including a standard HD camera or an FHD + IR camera, paired with quad-array microphones. You can also opt for a Computer Vision bundle that, Lenovo promises, will be able to automatically detect which person is in front of the machine for a faster log-in experience.

You can also spec these machines with OLED displays, a 2.8k option for the X1 Carbon and a full 4K OLED for the X1 Yoga. Plus, there’s WiFi 6E, options for 4G or 5G modems and support for Tile’s finding features to help you never misplace your machine. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon (Gen 10) and Yoga (Gen 7) will be available in March, with prices starting at $1,639 and $1,749, respectively. The X1 Nano (Gen 2), meanwhile, will turn up a month later in April, with the base model due to cost $1,659.

Lenovo

At the same time, Lenovo also wants to talk about its not-X line of Yoga machines, including the Yoga 9i, Yoga 71 and Yoga 6. The 9i is the flagship 2-in-1 for the year, which comes with the option of new 12th-generation Intel Core chips paired with Iris Xe graphics — making it an Intel Evo-certified machine. Lenovo says that this new model has vastly-improved (Bowers and Wilkins’) audio which is much louder than before, too. You’ll also be able to get the 9i with a 16:10, 4K OLED IPS touchscreen with 100 percent DCI-P3 color accuracy.

Meanwhile, the 7i gets the option of a 2.8K OLED touchscreen (for the 14-inch) or a 2.5K LCD 60Hz display (for the 16-inch model). Both get the option of a Intel Core i7, paired with Iris Xe graphics, rapid charging and screens optimized for graphics professionals. The Yoga 6, meanwhile, is designed to burnish Lenovo’s environmental credentials, with its recycled aluminum cover or fabric-wrapped cover made with 50 percent recycled plastics.

You can expect to get your hands on the Yoga 9i at some point in Q2, 2022, with the base model available for $1,399. The 16-inch Yoga 7i will retail for $899, while its smaller sibling will set you back $949 before you’ve started speccing it up, and both arrive in Q2 this year as well. Finally, the Yoga 6 with a Ryzen 5000 will require you to hand over $749, and if you guessed that these would also drop at some point in Q2, you deserve a cookie.

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2022 right here!

Ring's new Glass Break sensor does exactly what you think

Ring is today beefing up its homesecurity portfolio with a new Glass Break Sensor which does the job you already guessed it does based on the name. Compatible with both the Ring Alarm and Alarm Pro, this 3.78-inch puck sits close to the frontier of your home and monitors the sound in your home. An AI will be able, apparently, to tell the difference between a window being smashed in and other noises that sound a bit like it.

If it does detect the sound of something sinister, you’ll get a notification on your Ring app, letting you take additional action. Alternatively, you can change the settings to automatically trigger a siren or, if you have a professional monitoring partner, can get them to give you a call. 

Its scanning range is around 25 feet, and the company hopes that it will be able to run for three years on a single set of three AA batteries. 

The Glass Break Sensor is available for pre-order today, and will begin shipping to customers on February 16th, priced at $40.

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2022 right here!

John Deere says its autonomous tractor is ready for production

Agricultural hardware giant and scourge of right-to-repair advocates everywhere John Deere is ready to show off its finished, fully-autonomous tractor. Here at CES, the company is saying that this unit is going to be put into large-scale production, and will be made available to farmers later this year. When in use, a farmer can set the hardware to work and then leave it running, allowing them to tend to vital work elsewhere. The idea, so the company says, is to help make farming more efficient and more robust in the face of ever-increasing demand and dwindling resources.

A progress video from John Deere's autonomous team from the start of 2020.

John Deere’s ambitions in this space have been running for some time, and the company was showing off an autonomous tractor at this show in 2019. Back then, it said that its technology — which combine land-based sensors and GPS — was accurate to around 2.5 cm, or 0.9 inches. This new model has six pairs of stereo cameras around the vehicle to help with object detection, which is then processed by a local neural network. This, combined with the aforementioned GPS technology, enables it to maintain its position within a geofence around an individual field.

John Deere

The model that Deere is showing off combines a Deere 8R Tractor, a TruSet-enabled chisel plow and the secret sauce contained within its navigation technology. It says that all a farmer needs to do is drive it to the start of a field, configure it for autonomous operation and then “swipe from left to right to start the machine.” Its progress can then be monitored from a mobile device, which can receive live video, data and metrics, allowing a farmer to adjust speed and drill depth from their phone.

We don't yet know how much the hardware is going to cost, but we can imagine that there will be plenty of interest from major farming companies both in the US and abroad as they look to cut costs on labor and search for efficiencies any way that they can. 

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2022 right here!

Acer’s new, 16-inch Swift X is its first with Intel Arc graphics

Acer’s flagship line of Swift X notebooks is going to be one of the first to tote around Intel’s new Arc graphics. The 16-inch model, at least, will be Acer’s first with Intel’s attempt at toppling NVIDIA’s leadership position in the mobile graphics space. That comes with a handful of other quality-of-life improvements, including a 400-nit (up from 300 nits last year), 100 percent sRGB, 16:10 display. You can choose either a WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) or WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution screen to cram inside, too.

Build-to-order options include a new 12th-generation Intel Core processor paired with the new Arc graphics. That will be paired with up to 32GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 2TB SSD storage, as well as WiFi 6e. In person, it’s a little lighter than its immediate predecessor although if you were walking past it in a hurry you’d barely know the difference. The webcam is now FHD, too.

I wasn’t able to take any benchmarks on the pre-release hardware I was able to see in the flesh, but Acer is feeling bullish about the performance here. It says that its new dual fan design, bigger air vents (and they are beefy) and bigger inlets on the keyboard should expel up to 10 percent more heat than previous versions. You’ll also be able to switch to silent running should the need arise, albeit at the cost of much of your performance.

Acer also made it clear that the existing Swift X, which is currently shipping with the option of an RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti, will remain on shelves for the foreseeable. That way, should you find Intel’s new silicon not to your taste, you can still get the upgrade you crave.

The 14-inch model, meanwhile, gets all of the other hardware bumps, including the better display options, the 12th generation Intel Chip, up to 16GB RAM and Windows 11. But graphics-wise, you’re left with the RTX 3050 / 3050 Ti, which is probably enough for most users who aren’t yet ready to jump feet-first into Intel’s new ocean.

We don’t have US pricing or availability for the Swifts just yet, but in the UK we’re expecting them to arrive by the end of February or the start of March for around £1,000 (around $1,350).

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2022 right here!

Acer updates the Nitro 5 with AMD’s Ryzen 6000

Often, the laptops that are announced at CES aren’t as exciting as the silicon that’ll be nestled inside them. Acer’s Nitro 5 is one such example, where less attention will be paid to the more refined design, since everyone will be talking about its new brains. Like the fact that it’ll be able to use both AMD’s Ryzen 6000 and Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors. That will be paired with anything up to NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070 Ti, 32GB DDR4 3200 RAM and, depending on chip options, either a FHD 144Hz or QHD 165Hz panel.

Naturally, Acer has made a big effort to refine the chassis, despite it being a tiny bit thicker than its immediate predecessor. Rather than lots of chunky accents, the system goes for a more refined striped design, dialing down the more aggressive elements of its design. In addition, several ports are now sat on the back of the chassis since Acer knows that lots of people will use the Nitro 5 as a desktop replacement.

Sadly, I wasn’t able to do much beyond touch the new Nitro 5 and certainly there’s nothing too dramatic about the exterior changes. Acer was in no mood to allow me to run benchmarks, so all we can say for now is that we’re hopeful that it’ll do what AMD's other 6000 systems have been doing for a while.

In terms of when you can expect to be able to get your hands on one of these things, Acer says that the Intel edition will drop at some point in March, with the base model priced at $1,050. The AMD-toting version, meanwhile, will drop in April, with prices running from $1,099 up to whatever your budget and heart will allow.

Follow all of the latest news from CES 2022 right here!