Author: Matt Burns

Anker’s new phone sized charger can power a laptop and costs just $30

This charger needs to be in my life. It’s tiny. The new Anker PowerPort Atom PD 1 offers 30w charging in a package the size of a phone charger. It’s basically a 1.5-inch cube — if the plugs are ignored, of course. And it’s only $30. Even with the small size, the Atom PD1 offers the same power delivery found in Apple’s much larger 30w USB-C charger: 5V @ 3A, 9V @ 3A, 15V @ 2A, 20V @ 1.5A. That’s good enough to recharge any phone, tablets including the new iPad Pro and small laptops including the new 13-inch...

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Toyota turns to AT&T and KDDI for in-vehicle 4G connectivity

In a new deal Toyota, AT&T and KDDI are bringing 4g connectivity to Toyota and Lexus vehicles. This will start with the 2020 model year vehicles that are slated to hit dealers in late 2019. Previously, Toyota worked with Verizon to offer a similar connectivity package to vehicle owners. The deal today, however, seems to be focused on bringing even more connectivity services to Toyotas and Lexus vehicles. The AT&T and KDDI deal will lean towards Toyota’s Global Communications Platform initiative the auto maker and Japanese communication giant KDDI formed in 2016. Under this banner, the companies are developing a future where vehicles are connected throughout the world. This deal puts AT&T as the carrier to connect vehicles in the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “This is just the beginning. With this type of connected technology, we’ll be delivering new, convenient and predictive experiences to our customers,” said Steve Basra, Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. “This Global Communications Platform, together with Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform, will also help us drive and achieve our vision of Mobility for All.” For drivers, feature will include remote car start through a smartphone app, remote diagnostics, and the ability to send navigation information from a smartphone to a vehicle’s navigation unit. Disclosure: TechCrunch is a Verizon Media...

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AT&T is lying to customers with 5G marketing

After a recent update some AT&T phones now have a 5G E icon. This icon replaces the one indicated the phone is running on a 4G network. But here’s the thing: The phone is still on a 4G network. AT&T has played these games before, too. This nonsense is a marketing ploy by AT&T. The so-called 5G E (5G Evolution) network is just a beefed-up 4G network and not true 5G, which is still far from being ready for general consumption. AT&T used the same deceptive tactics before launching its LTE network. Right now only select phones in a...

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I used VR in a car going 90mph and didn’t get sick

VR headsets make me queasy. I’m not alone. It’s a common complaint about virtual reality content but this startup might have solved the problem in the most unlikely way. Holoride wants people to use VR in the backseat of the family sedan. My stomach is happy to report it works as advertised. Yesterday, after strapping on an Oculus Go, I was flung around a race track outside of Las Vegas at speeds approaching 90 mph and I didn’t get sick. In fact, after the ride was completed, I was shocked to find out we were going faster than 35...

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Ikea’s smart window blinds leak, to be compatible with Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant

Meet KADRILJ and FYRTUR. They’re Ikea’s upcoming smart window blinds and they look great. The two product lines are battery-powered shades that can open and close through a dedicate app. They also interact with IKEA’s TRÅDFRI lighting gateway allowing homeowners to control the shades through Alexa, HomeKit and Google Assistant. Pricing is aggressive: 99 to 155 euros (about $113 to $181). The shades have yet to be officially announced by Ikea, but according to the company’s site, they will be available in Europe on February 2nd. It’s unclear when they’ll be available in different markets. These products are joining...

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QLED is finally available in a glass display with the HP Pavilion 27

HP today announced the Pavilion 27 and it looks spectacular. This is the first display that offers a QLED screen — HP calls it by it’s official name Quantum Dot — that’s on glass instead of film. The differences should be clear. When offered on glass, the images are sharper and cleaner — though so is the glare. I like glass displays. This is a big step forward in the display world and should open up opportunities for additional products both larger and smaller. This screen offers over a billion different colors. The Pavilion 27 is also HP’s thinnest...

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The good news and bad news of HP’s new AMD Chromebook

Good news: HP made an AMD Chromebook. Bad news: It uses an old chipset. Meet the new HP Chromebook 14. This is one of the first Chromebooks powered by an AMD processor. But don’t get too excited. This isn’t the AMD-powered Chromebook a lot of people were waiting for. This Chromebook is powered by a really old AMD chipset. Traditionally, Chromebooks use Intel chips. But in the summer of 2018, word spread that Chromebooks would eventually be offered with Qualcomm and AMD chips — both offering unique advantages over their Intel counterparts. The Qualcomm models, in theory, could offer always-on connectivity options with stellar battery life while the AMD could, in theory, bring better graphic render capabilities to Chromebooks. This HP Chromebook offers neither. The new HP Chromebook 14 packs a AMD Dual-Core A4-9120. This chip was released in June 2016. Compared to the chips in other Chromebooks announced at CES 2019, this chip is slower and has less power management capabilities. On the upside it packs Radeon R4 graphics, but again, when paired with the older silicon, the net result will not likely be a impressive as it could be. Hopefully, this model will lead to another AMD Chromebook but one with a modern...

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HP releases a monster $5k, 65-inch gaming display

The HP Omen X Emperium is not meant to watch reruns of The Office. Though it can. This display is one of the first in Nvidia’s family of Big Format Gaming Displays. Unlike traditional large displays, these are certified by Nvidia and are said to deliver the best gaming experience through the smoothest motion. This doesn’t come cheap. The Omen X Emperium is $5,000 and will be available in February. Last summer Nvidia announced its intention to work with several manufacturers to produce these displays. This is one of the first to be announced and, though it costs significantly...

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