Gadgets and gizmos


Replacing desktop computers

A new era for the Apple tablet is set to begin with the release of the big-screened iPad Pro, sparking a revolution in the personal computer market. The tablet features a 12.9-inch retina display with 5.6 million pixels – the most ever in an iOS device. It is joined in the company’s eco-sphere by the Apple Pencil, which can be used for “fine art illustration and detailed 3D design” according to Apple, while the new smart keyboard takes the product into laptop territory. Apple chief executive Tim Cook reinforced the view that the new device is a threat to the future of PCs. “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?” He added, “the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones.”

With ‘force touch’

The Mate S is probably Huawei’s best-designed smartphone to date. It shows the Chinese manufacturer’s growing confidence in the high-end smartphone market, by delivering a premium device at a more affordable price point. It wants you to touch it in a variety of strange ways. It also happens to be a decent high-end to mid-range phone that aims to take on the iPhone 6 Plus. With Force Touch, the Mate S will be able to sense how hard you are “touching” the display. Different types of force can be used for quicker zooms when looking at pictures, or to access app shortcuts. Huawei also claims it can weigh things such as oranges, though we’re not sure why you’d need that.The Mate S has a premium feel with a metal body, and it should be comfortable to hold since it’s only 7.5mm thick and has a curved back. The Mate S sports a nano coating to protect it from small spills.

Everything you need in a smartphone

Sony’s flagship Xperia range of smartphones has undergone a quick-fire evolution over the past year or two, with the Z2, Z3 and Z3+ all appearing within 18 months of each other. With such small intervals between each revamp, though, the changes weren’t particularly groundbreaking. With the Sony Xperia Z5, however, first announced at the IFA trade show in September 2015, Sony’s flagship is finally taking a significant stride forward. It introduces a refined design, a revamped camera technology and a fingerprint reader. The Xperia Z5 isn’t all that different from its predecessors. It keeps the trademark Xperia glass-slabbed front and back, squared off profile and slightly curved edges all around. Unsurprisingly, the Z5 is both water- and dust-resistant and certified to IP65 and IP68, just like the rest of the Xperia range.

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