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The Apple Pro Display XDR

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Let’s be real: the excitement that greeted the new Apple Pro Display XDR during its announcement in the WWDC 2019 keynote wasn’t the same enthusiasm that welcomed the price point. Sure, it’s another Apple product priced at $4,999 for the base model; is it just another regular hardware plastered with a bitten apple to birth another year’s hype? The simple answer is no, and if it hasn’t been introduced well by Apple yet, it’s more than what its price tag appears to be.

The Apple Pro Display XDR is no successor to its 2011 Apple Cinema Display or its 2016 Apple Thunderbolt Display, nor is it a fancier 5K display version of the latest iMac. This 32-inch 6K display is yet another heavy competitor to Sony’s and Flanders Scientific’s $30,000 to $40,000 “reference displays” as it boasts its brightness that reaches 1,600 nits and its groundbreaking color accuracy that gives, by far, the most justice to professionally curated media.

How the Pro Display XDR came around

The drafting of a new Mac Pro and a pro display alongside in April 2017 was also the drafting of a new “Pro Workflow” team that’s all ears to the needs of creative professionals. During the brainstorming phase, one of the biggest challenges to digital creators was realized – most have no monitors that produced images or videos the way they were captured and nothing to accurately match their brightness, contrast, nor colors. On most occasions, one person at the end of the process owns one of the pricey reference monitors from Sony or Flanders Scientific to detect issues with videos or photos for reshoots or corrections. The problem, however, is that these ultra-high-end monitors are only capable of maintaining color accuracy for 30 minutes maximum. Hence, the Pro Display XDR was chalked out to support full-color accuracy at up to 1,000 nits of the brightness all day and peak at 1,600 nits when called for. To better picture this, iMac’s 5K Retina display has 500 nits of brightness and is already recognized as a high-end consumer monitor.

What’s with the matte, anyway?

While professionals mostly opt for a matte display over a glossy one for low reflectivity and consistency under various lighting conditions, its coating has quite a downside – it causes loss of contrast and sharpness to the display, thus resulting in slight blurs.

Apple then resolved this issue by reducing the Pro Display XDR’s standard glossy version to 1.6% from most glossy monitors’ 3% reflectivity and by “nanotexturing” its matte display. Instead of topping an anti-reflective coating on the glass screen, micro edges are etched into the surface to scatter light rather than reflect it. This $1,000 upgrade can also only be cleaned with a special polishing cloth that comes with the purchase.

The controversial $999 stand

The professional stand that comes as an option to the Pro Display XDR has made the headlines for its $999 sticker price. This “Pro Stand”, however, is a thick, heavy piece of metal that sturdily mounts the XDR; it has a tilting function to switch the hardware into portrait mode, and adjusts the XDR’s height and angle. Although built solely to support the weight of the XDR, consumers are expected to go for a separate purchase of cheaper third-party mounts.

Not a Mac Pro exclusive

It’s relatively advisable to run the Pro Display XDR with a Thunderbolt 3 “Titan Ridge” and powerful graphics card and the new Mac Pro is capable of powering up to six XDRs. The earlier models can drive up to two, such as the 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018), the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019), and the high-end 27-inch iMac (2019). Moreover, the 21.5-inch iMac and lower end 27-inch iMac models can power one. To connect a Pro Display XDR to other Macs, it is recommended to use a Blackmagic eGPU (worth $700) or a Blackmagic eGPU Pro (worth $1,200).

An Apple game-changer

Being the breakthrough that it is, the Pro Display XDR can be seen as another huge leap for laying the foundations of high-end future displays. If Apple was able to invest enough carefulness into the specifications of the XDR, there surely is enough high hopes for future releases. Albeit skepticism regarding the applicability and workability of the matte coatings on other surfaces, tools, and oleophobic coatings is still in question, we all know how farther up such an outstanding beginning could reach.

December 10, 2019, marked the Pro Display XDR’s official launch and sale, with ship dates slipping into February. 

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Good Quality For A Good Price: Best Phones Under $500

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You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a high-quality phone. You might be thinking, the better the phone, the higher the price. That isn’t necessarily true. There are plenty of different options out there of budget phones that can do everything an expensive phone can do. Here are some of the best phones under $500.

11 Of The Best Phones Under $500

iPhone 8 (Apple)

Apple released the iPhone 8 in 2017 but is still one of the best iPhones out there. It has features like that of the newer models, but you can buy it for $449 on their site. It has a great camera, is water-resistant, and can charge wirelessly.

Galaxy A50 (Samsung)

At $249 on Amazon, you can get the Samsung Galaxy A50. It’s great for taking pictures with three rear cameras. One of which is a wide-angle lens and another lens is for dramatic background portraits. It also comes with a display of 6.4 inches and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

Galaxy S8 (Samsung)

Like the iPhone 8, the Galaxy S8 was released quite some time ago but is still one of the best phones on the market. Its curved OLED screen gives it a classy but contemporary look. Some of its great features include expandable storage and wireless charging.

Moto Z4 (Motorola)

One of this phone’s distinct features is its ability to connect to 5G. It’s one of the few that can. The phone itself is $500 flat, but if you want to use the most out of it, you will need to pay extra for the Moto Mod modular accessory.

Moto G7 (Motorola)

This Motorola smartphone does look not only cool with its sleek style but also has dual rear cameras. Its battery life is its best feature as it charges quickly and lasts long.

G7 Play (Motorola)

This is cheaper than the Moto G7 but still has a lot of great features. It’s water repellent and smaller with a 5.7-inch display. With a single 13 MP back camera and a camera flash in its front camera, taking pictures will be awesome with this phone.

Moto G7 Power (Motorola)

The great thing about this phone is its battery. With 5,000-mAh, it can last around 23 hours.

Pixel 3A (Google)

For $399, you can have a phone with a great camera. It can take beautiful pictures in the light. It can also capture great photos in the dark with its Night Sight camera.

Pixel 3A XL (Google)

The Google Pixel 3A XL is a slightly improved Pixel 3A. With all of its amazing features, it also has a bigger 6-inch display (Google Pixel 3A has 5.6 inches). It also has a big battery that has 3,700-mAh.

G8 ThinQ with Alexa (LG)

This phone is not only water-resistant but also has a bright, sharp screen. With a fast processor and dual rear cameras, taking pictures is a dream. Especially since one of the cameras has a wide-angle lens.

Razer Phone 2 (Razer)

This phone is perfect for gaming. It has a bright and sharp 120Hz display and a great quality speaker. To make things better, it has a lot of extra storage. It’s compatible with 2TB microSD cards. It’s also water-resistant and can charge wirelessly.

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Trying Out The G3 15 3590, Dell’s Entry-Level Gaming Laptop

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At first glance, the G3 is flimsier and thinner than the larger Dell G5 and its display panel could still use some work. However, when it comes to performance, however, looks can be deceiving – in a good way, for this case.

Weighing about 5.5 pounds (2.5kg) and 0.9-inch in thickness (21.6mm), the G3 15 welcomes Intel’s and Nvidia’s newer processors that run cooler than their old chips in this thinner body.

The G3’s slimmer bezels on the sides of its 15.6-inch full-HD display make it more modern-looking while reducing its overall footprint. The display is up to par, but again, could benefit from a higher quality panel. Its brightness peaks when plugged in but dims as the battery power lowers.

It does, however, have both a full-size HDMI port, a USB-C port, and a built-in SD card slot to easily connect an external display. Additionally, if the display’s color is a critical setting for you, this, frankly, is just passable.

What makes it a considerable option, you ask?

This review G3 15 sample was running on a ninth-gen Intel Core i5-9300H and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1650. With the former chip performing at almost the same capacity as its eighth generation, the GTX 1650 excels in terms of better frame rates than its older version. Although gamers are advised to look for at least a GTX 1660 Ti or ideally a GeForce RTX 2060 in their gaming laptops, what you’re getting with the G3’s GTX 1650 is over 30fps at a 1,920×1,080-pixel resolution.

The price gap may not be as big as expected, but investing in the G3 can leave you a little extra for upgrades, such as more storage or memory.

See below its summarized specifications:

Dell G3 15 3590

Price as reviewed                                                $949

Display size/resolution 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display

CPU                                                                        2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H

Memory                                                                   8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2667MHz

Graphics                                                                  4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650

Storage                                                                    128GB SSD + 1TB HDD

Networking                                                             802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0

Operating system                                                    Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

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Google Businesses Predicted To Climb In Near Future

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A number of Google businesses are predicted to propel GOOGL stock higher. In the next couple of years, Fitbit, Google Cloud, and driverless cars are going to grow at an enormous rate. This forecast is already making investors excited about the possibilities. 

Waymo, the driverless car unit of the company is getting ahead of the competition. The autonomous vehicles of Waymo already have driven 20 million miles which is an impressive feat. It has also provided ride-hailing services for the public around the Phoenix area for more than a year now. 

Plans for expanding this service to more people is set this year. However, the scope of this expansion is not yet definite. So far, the reception of the public on driverless cars is showing that they’re confident about the technology.

None of Waymo’s competitors like GM, Baidu, and Uber are currently offering the public true driverless services. And it seems like expanding this service is not in their plans yet. 

As for Google Cloud, it is growing at a fast rate and is gaining share. This growth may be attributed to the leadership of Thomas Kurian who has been heading the unit since 2018. He has been able to bulk up the global sales muscle of the unit. There were also several high-profile acquisitions and partnerships that helped in attracting more customers onto the cloud platform. 

Kurian also pioneered pricing that is tied to successful outcomes as well as industry-specific solutions. They are also providing ways of helping companies to figure out different ways that Google Cloud can be used to solve problems. Google Cloud is predicted to generate about $10 billion in revenues this year. 

With Fitbit, it is becoming more popular as well as extremely profitable. It allows users to easily, cheaply and quickly identify health issues such as low glucose levels, heart issues, and sleep apnea. Fitbit devices are appealing to employers as well as health insurers. Fitbit is much more affordable compared to the Apple Watch, too. 

More developments are on the way for Fitbit. And with Google acquiring it, there will be plenty of resources to conduct research and development. A huge number of sales teams can also be hired to market the device to employers and insurers. Another is that health professionals can be recruited to be able to interface with the FDA for the approved sleep apnea detector and other features. Google’s resources will allow Fitbit to reach its full potential. 

Lastly, 5G can be a great boost for Fitbit. With 5G, location sensors will be more accurate. This will allow Google to be able to serve effective and relevant location-based ads. Stores will soon be able to advertise their products before the Fitbit user will walk past them. It’s going to be a kind of advertising that’s effective for businesses and will be lucrative for Google. 

Waymo, Fitbit, and Google Cloud are rapidly growing. At this rate, these businesses will definitely raise Google’s profits. Investors should take advantage of this and buy their GOOG stock as early as now. 

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