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Oppo Reno 5K Price, Specifications Listed Ahead of Expected Launch


Oppo Reno 5K launch is expected to take place on Thursday, February 25. Meanwhile, key specifications and pricing details of the new Oppo phone have surfaced online. The Oppo Reno 5K appears to be the next model in the Reno series — after the Reno 5, Reno 5 Pro, and the Reno 5 Pro+. The phone is also listed with 8GB and 12GB RAM options. The Oppo Reno 5K also appears to have two distinct colour options to choose from.

A China Telecom site (Tianyi Telecom Terminal) has featured a listing of the Oppo Reno 5K along with its price and specifications. The online listing also carries some images of the upcoming model.

The listing on the China Telecom site doesn’t confirm any details, though Oppo has itself announced the launch of its new Reno phone for Thursday that is speculated to be the Reno 5K, as reported by MySmartPrice. The phone also seems to have a hole-punch display design.

Oppo Reno 5K price (expected)

As per the details available on the China Telecom site, the Oppo Reno 5K (with a model number PEGM10) will be available at CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 32,500) for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant and CNY 3,199 (roughly Rs. 35,900) for the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage model. The phone also appears to have two colour options.

Oppo Reno 5K specifications (expected)

In terms of specifications, the Oppo Reno 5K is listed with a 6.43-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) display. The phone also appears to have a quad rear camera setup that includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel secondary sensor. The camera setup could also include two 2-megapixel sensors. Further, the Oppo Reno 5K appears to have a 32-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.

The Oppo phone is also listed with 5G as well as 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It could also include a 4,300mAh battery and have 7.9mm of thickness as well as 180 grams of weight, the China Telecom site suggested.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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One of India’s First Auto Makers Plan a Tesla-Themed EV Comeback


India’s oldest automobile company wants to get back into cars, by launching new EVs. Before ‘aatmanirbhar’ was a slogan, Kunnath Ayyath Balakrishna Menon built what is perhaps the first fully Indian-made car. Over the years, the Aravind Model 3 faded into obscurity, but his grandson, Ratish Ramachandran, is taking a leaf out of the Tesla toolkit, and plans to revive the brand and launch new EVs, citing Elon Musk as an inspiration.

As Ramachandran spoke to Gadgets 360 about how Aravind Automobiles came into being, he instantly transported me back to the 1950s. In the 1950s post-independence India, Menon saw that there was a huge market for completely reconditioned and rebuilt cars. This led to the establishment of Prompt Motors, his automobile workshop, in 1952. But it was a ride from Kottayam to Thiruvananthapuram in 1955 in his 1947 Studebaker Champion that turned the 38-years-old Menon’s life upside down and led to the creation of what is, perhaps, the first completely indigenously-produced car in India, Ramachandran explained. He told us that Menon met with an accident during the ride which completely wrecked his car and landed him in the hospital for three months. He came out of the hospital to the news that Prompt Motors had to shut down.

When Menon came to know about what happened to his beloved Studebaker, he decided to rebuild it. As Menon would frequently visit the Aurobindo Ashram in (then) Pondicherry, he named the company after the spiritual leader, calling it Aravind. Since the car had to be built again from scratch he decided to change its shape.

The car that he built in a new avatar in 1955 was called the Aravind Iddy Champion, one of the only three cars produced by Aravind Automobiles. In Malayalam, the word ‘iddy’ means hit or punch. The name seemed ideal for the car which took a massive blow but yet managed to make a comeback.

The Aravind Iddy Champion – in Malayalam, the word ‘iddy’ means hit or punch
Photo Credit: Aravind Automobiles

The next car by Menon came almost 10 years later, in 1965. Menon built the second car from Aravind Automobiles, the Model 2: Aravind Palace Special for the Maharaja of Travancore. The Palace Special was built by Menon using the engine of a 1939 Cadillac Fleetwood belonging to the Cowdiar Palace, Trivandrum. The construction of the car which cost Rs. 15,000 back in 1965 took about 10 months to be completed. The Palace Special caught the attention of some important eyes in the automobile circles with an American magazine remarking that they “shudder to think what the costs would have been if American craftsmen had been used for this project”.

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The Palace Special was built by Menon using the engine of a 1939 Cadillac Fleetwood
Photo Credit: Aravind Automobiles

In 1966, Menon came out with prototypes of Model 3 specifically for India’s Small Car Project. The car was called the Aravind ‘Baby’ Model 3; the car was like Menon’s baby, according to his grandson, Ramachandran. The Model 3 was a classic sedan. A few parts of the car including the engine and the gearbox came from a Fiat 1100 Delight. Menon’s vision was a car for the emerging India. But what was to come was not so pleasant for Menon.

Lost in licensing

Once the prototype was in place, Menon went on to apply for an industrial licence from the Union Government which was headed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The government responded to Menon’s request asking for further clarification regarding certain technical aspects of Model 3. No record of the replies are to be found.

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The Aravind Model 3 in its current state
Photo Credit: Instagram/ Aravind Automobiles

Four years later, in 1970, Aravind Automobiles was presented in Lok Sabha along with a fleet of 16 auto companies seeking license to mass produce in India, Ramachandran said. The Ministry of Heavy Industry rejected Menon’s proposal and his grandson told us that the rejection of his masterpiece hit Menon hard. The very next year, in July 1971, Menon died of a heart attack.

Menon’s grandson Ramachandran is following in the same spirit that saw Prompt Motors get revived as Aravind Automobiles — he plans to relaunch the brand with luxury and performance EVs ala Tesla.

Comeback kids

Ramachandran, an automobile engineer by profession, worked in the publishing industry as well before deciding to shift his focus to Aravind Automobiles. Ever since Ramachandran became aware of the significance of the brand and the magnum opus that his grandfather had created, he has always wanted to relaunch it.

“Tesla has been a very important deciding factor…,” mentions Ramachandran when asked about his decision to restart the brand as an electric vehicle, “Elon (Musk) is not a car person at all. That gave me a lot of guts to pursue this.”

Talking about his ambitions for the Aravind Model 5 concept, codenamed Halcyon, Ramachandran remarks, “We are going to make the first Indian car to hit the speed record on the Nürburgring…That is our target”.

As of now there is no shape of the car. Ramachandran indicates that Model 5 will be a niche production sedan. The company is looking to produce somewhere between 500-800 cars in the first round. He isn’t sure where the exact price range of the EV will stand. “I would give a range between Rs. 1.5 crores to 2.5 crores for the entry level models,” says Ramachandran. In comparison, you can buy the base model of a Tesla Roadster for $200,000 (roughly Rs.1.4 crores); and Tesla appears to be on the verge of entering India now.

The funding for the company is still in its “infancy stage, the money has started coming in but it is trickling in from angel investors,” said Ramachandran.

“We’ve went through the FFF funding, which was about a $100,000 (roughly Rs. 72.4 lakhs)… We’ve got a lot of companies and individuals who are very keen from the US and UK to put it (the money) in. We are looking at about five million (roughly Rs. 36 crores) but we will only be getting a part of that (now)… I would say, we are 10 percent of the five million through,” he added.

Talking about the possible launch date of the EV, Ramachandran said, “We are aiming for February 23, 2026 for the launch for the functional prototype. The date marks 60 years since the release of Model 3 by KAB Menon.”

He plans to start selling the EV “within a few months of the launch…We have started developing a concept drawing and we have started assembling the team. The team currently comprises 3D model professionals and two engineers among others.” First though, the company plans to work on “the restoration of Model 3 and creation of Model 5.” He added, “if you compare the two, the importance would be for Halycon in terms of time invested.”


Is Samsung Galaxy S21+ the perfect flagship for most Indians? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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WandaVision’s ‘Agatha All Along’ Song Out on Spotify, Apple Music, Others


WandaVision’s newest earworm track “Agatha All Along” is now available on all major music streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and JioSaavn. Spoilers ahead for WandaVision episode 7. “Agatha All Along” has been composed by the Oscar- and Tony-winning duo of Kristen-Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez (of Frozen fame), and has been sung by star Kathryn Hahn herself. Hahn plays Agnes on WandaVision, who reveals herself to be the powerful witch Agatha Harkness towards the end of WandaVision episode 7 “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” Sadly, Hahn’s maniacal evil laughter that bookends the montage in the episode is not part of the “Agatha All Along” track.

WandaVision Episode 7 Post-Credits Scene, Explained

The 62-second Agatha Harkness theme song “Agatha All Along” first played after Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) finds herself trapped in Agnes’ (Hahn) basement, where she then states that Wanda wasn’t the only magical being inside the Westview Hex. As the “Agatha All Along” track begins to play, WandaVision episode 7 shows us how Agatha has been spinning her own webs, be it messing with Wanda and Vision’s magic show in WandaVision episode 2, driving a neighbour mad in WandaVision episode 3, introducing Pietro Maximoff (Evan Peters) in WandaVision episode 5, and pretending to be a normal person trapped under Wanda’s magic in WandaVision episode 7.

WandaVision Cinematographer Reveals the Secrets Behind Marvel Series’ Ever-Changing Looks

“Agatha All Along” song lyrics

Who’s been messing up everything?
It’s been Agatha all along!
Who’s been pulling every evil string?
It’s been Agatha all along!
She’s insidious
(Ha-ha!)
So perfidious
That you haven’t even noticed
And the pity is
(The pity is, pity pity pity pity)
It’s too late to fix anything
Now that everything has gone wrong
Thanks to Agatha
(Ha!)
Naughty Agatha!
It’s been Agatha all along!
(spoken) And I killed Sparky, too!

Marvel has been releasing episodic albums for WandaVision every week, just as its sister company Lucasfilm did for both seasons of The Mandalorian. “Agatha All Along” is available as part of WandaVision: Episode 7 (Original Soundtrack) released under license by Marvel Music.

WandaVision is available on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. New episodes air every Friday — WandaVision episode 8 drops February 26, with the series finale WandaVision episode 9 releasing March 5.



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Google Said to Be Accused of Breaching Orders on Talks With News Publishers


French antitrust investigators have accused Alphabet’s Google of failing to comply with the state competition authority’s orders on how to conduct negotiations with news publishers over copyright, two sources who read the investigators’ report said.

In the 93-page report, known as a statement of objections, the investigators wrote that Google’s failure to comply was of an exceptionally serious nature, the sources said.

This comes amid complaints by French news publishers that Google failed to hold talks with them in good faith to find an agreement. The same publishers were not part of the $76 million (roughly Rs. 552 crores) three-year deal signed between the US firm and and a group of 121 publications, as Reuters reported earlier this month.

The agreement was presented as a major step forward by both Google and the publishers who signed it, but left many publications infuriated.

The French competition authority can impose fines of up to 10 percent of sales on firms it deems in violation of its rules. Google’s annual sales amounted to about $183 billion (roughly Rs. 13,24,220 crores) in 2020.

The investigative report is a key element in the authority’s sanction process, but it is up to the watchdog’s board, led by Isabelle de Silva, to decide whether to issue a penalty.

The biggest penalty ever levied by the French antitrust authority was against iPhone maker Apple last year, with a EUR 1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 9,670 crores) fine for anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.

A spokeswoman for the competition authority declined to comment.

In response to a Reuters request for comment, Google said in a statement: “Our priority is to comply with the law, and to continue to negotiate with publishers in good faith, as evidenced by the agreements we have made with publishers in the past few months.”

“We will now review the statement of objections, and will work closely with the French competition authority,” it said.

The French report on Google’s negotiating tactics comes at a time when countries around the world are pushing US Internet giants such as Google and Facebook to share more revenue with news publishers. The issue gained international attention this week when Facebook banned all news from its services in Australia over a draft law there that would mandate arbitration.

According to the two sources, the French investigators say Google did not comply with requests from the watchdog to start negotiations with the publishers within a three-month deadline, and to provide all data the watchdog felt publishers needed.

The publishers’ lobby that signed the deal with Google, APIG, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. French news agency AFP, and another media lobby group, SEPM – both of which did not sign a deal with Google – did not respond to requests for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Is Samsung Galaxy S21+ the perfect flagship for most Indians? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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OnePlus Nord Getting OxygenOS 10.5.11 Update With January Security Patch


OnePlus Nord has started receiving OxygenOS 10.5.11 that brings the January 2021 Android security patch. The new software update for OnePlus Nord comes almost two months after the release of the last Android security update that was rolled out in late December. OnePlus has, however, not provided any new features or notable changes through the latest update. But nonetheless, OnePlus Nord is due to receive OxygenOS 11, based on Android 11. That update is currently in a beta stage.

The OxygenOS 10.5.11 update for OnePlus Nord is currently rolling out in phases, OnePlus announced through a forum post on Tuesday. The update is initially reaching a small percentage of users, with its broader rollout coming in a few days. You can check for the update on your OnePlus Nord by going to Settings > System > System update.

OnePlus is rolling out the latest software update as OxygenOS 10.5.11.AC01DA in India, while its European build is arriving as OxygenOS 10.5.11.AC01BA and the global release is coming as OxygenOS 10.5.11.AC01AA.

As per the official changelog, the OxygenOS 10.5.11 update brings the January 2021 Android security patch alongside improved system stability. This means that you shouldn’t expect any notable changes coming through the latest software version. The update also doesn’t bring a new Android OS version as it will still be Android 10.

In December, OnePlus Nord received OxygenOS 10.5.10 with the December 2020 Android security patch. That update came along with the September 2020 Google Mobile Services (GMS) package and added the OnePlus Store app for Indian users.

Unlike OnePlus Nord that is receiving the January security update, OnePlus recently updated OnePlus Nord N10 5G with the February 2021 Android security patch. Companies including Samsung and Google also brought the latest Android security updates to their phones.


Is Mi 10i a OnePlus Nord killer? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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MSI Prestige 14 Evo Review: Portability, But at What Cost?


Intel launched the new Evo brand along with its 11th Gen laptop processors in late 2020, and laptops that have earned this label are now appearing in the Indian market. If you see this sticker on a laptop, it means that the manufacturer has worked with Intel to improve its designs and reduce weight, while maintaining certain standards with regard to performance, battery life, and other parameters. Evo laptops must deliver on specific user experience targets such as being able to wake quickly from sleep, and must support modern standards such as Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and quick charging through USB Power Delivery.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the evolution of a few older ideas. These “key experience indicators”, as Intel calls them, are the result of the Project Athena initiative. You might also remember Intel’s Centrino branding, which shifted the focus of selling laptops from CPU power to features like Wi-Fi, or the Ultrabook campaign which emphasised portability. Intel will be promoting Evo laptops built by all its partner brands quite heavily throughout this year.

One of those brands is MSI, which you might know better for its gaming laptops and PC components. The Taiwanese company branched out into slimmer, more sober-looking laptops for power users a few years ago and now has a wide range of general-purpose designs for everyday users. The Prestige series of stylish, ultraportable laptops has recently been refreshed with Intel’s 11th Gen Core CPUs, and the new Prestige 14 Evo, as its name suggests, was designed around Intel’s Evo concept.

Can this relatively low-profile brand compete with popular multinational manufacturers? Intel sent Gadgets 360 an MSI Prestige 14 Evo review unit as a representative of its Evo portfolio, and here’s everything you need to know about it.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo has a relatively sober exterior

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo design

Even the box that this laptop arrives in is remarkably slim. The Prestige 14 Evo measures 15.9mm thick and weighs 1.29kg which is impressively portable for a 14-inch laptop. The body is all metal and there’s a choice between Pure White and Carbon Grey, plus a Rose Pink edition. I had a Carbon Grey unit, and it actually looks like a very deep blue. The lid has a matte sandblasted finish which looks pretty sober. You can see MSI’s new angular logo at the top-centre. Fingerprints and smudges aren’t a huge problem.

I’m not a fan of the shiny blue chamfered border around the lid – it’s distracting, especially under bright light, and takes away from the otherwise minimalist design. The hinge is designed to raise the rear of the laptop’s lower half when opened, for a more comfortable typing angle and also to allow better clearance for the vents on the bottom. I like the fact that this laptop can be opened and closed with just one finger and the lower half stays in place. The lid can also be pushed back nearly 180 degrees.

Thin screen borders are actually part of the Evo platform’s design goals. The side borders are extremely narrow but there’s enough space on top for a webcam plus an infrared sensor which works with Windows Hello biometric authentication. The lid can flex and wobble quite a bit if pressure is applied, but the screen doesn’t seem to warp too badly. MSI has gone with a non-glossy finish which is thankfully not reflective.

msi prestige 14 evo hinge ndtv msi prestige

Opening the hinge inclines the lower half of the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, and it can open to nearly 180 degrees

 

You’ll notice a few quirks in the keyboard layout. I’m happy to see that the keys are full-sized and well-spaced, and that there are dedicated paging keys as well as a proper arrow cluster. Strangely, the Fn modifier is to the right of the spacebar and impinges on the right Ctrl key but there’s also an unnecessary extra slash key just next to it, and plenty of space on the left.

The trackpad is enormous, and also has a distractingly reflective blue metallic rim. There’s a fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner, and while a lot of space around it is wasted, the overall size of the trackpad means that isn’t a problem. Intel obviously wants Evo to be a high-end brand, but I think the brightly coloured stickers on the wrist rest detract from this on an otherwise slick-looking laptop.

You get two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports on the left, both of which can fall back to USB 4 and can also be used for charging as well as DisplayPort video output. On the right, there’s a single Type-A port which sadly only works at USB 2.0 speed, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo is extremely portable and packs a lot of features into the footprint of what would have been a 13-inch laptop a few years ago. Even the USB Type-C charger is a relatively small square puck but still has a 65W output rating. There’s also a Prestige 14 (non-Evo) model with a discrete GPU which has exactly the same weight and dimensions. If you want a larger screen, the Prestige 15 offers up to a 4K resolution and also has more physical ports in a 1.69kg package.

msi prestige 14 evo trackpad ndtv msi prestige

The trackpad is oversized and has a fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo specifications

Intel’s Evo sticker de-emphasises the CPU generation and tier – the familiar Core i7 name is barely a visual footnote now. In fact, more attention is called to Intel’s new Iris Xe GPU, which is actually integrated into the CPU (as opposed to the discrete Iris Xe Max, as seen in the new Acer Swift 3X) Nevertheless, we have an 11th Gen ‘Tiger Lake’ CPU here, in this case the top-end Core i7-1185G7 which has a 12-28W rated TDP range, and runs between 1.2GHz and 4.8GHz. It has four cores with Hyper-Threading, supports PCIe 4.0, and leverages Intel’s 10nm SuperFin manufacturing process.

MSI has gone with a 14-inch full-HD “IPS level” screen that delivers “close to 100 percent” of the sRGB colour gamut. It’s a low-power panel with a relatively low 300nit maximum brightness, and as mentioned, has a non-reflective surface. The battery capacity is 52Wh and MSI claims you can get 12 hours of productivity per charge. Fast charging means you should be able to get an hour and a half of use after a 15-minute charge.

The base variant of the Prestige 14 Evo, priced at Rs. 95,990, has an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU, and there are a few RAM and storage configuration differences as well. My review unit has the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and most interestingly, a 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD, all for Rs. 1,06,990. While the RAM is soldered down, the SSD is a standard, replaceable M.2 module manufactured by Phison. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The webcam has a 720p video capture resolution.

My review unit had Windows 10 Home, though MSI says it will also offer Windows 10 Professional. There was an evaluation version of Norton LifeLock Security and also some of MSI’s own utilities. The awkwardly named MSI Center for Business and Productivity starts up automatically on boot, but requires users to quit it manually and restart it in Administrator mode on first use, which could be confusing. It isn’t very well designed and doesn’t offer a lot of features – certainly nothing that justifies its name. You can change performance profiles (High performance, Balanced, Silent, or Super Battery. There are also a few basic diagnostics and a charge limiter that could help extend the useful life of your battery.

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The keyboard has a slightly non-standard layout but is comfortable to use

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo usage and performance

After setting up the laptop, the first thing I did was drop the Windows display scaling from 150 percent to 125 percent which makes much better use of screen space. Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the 2H20 release. The non-reflective display is quite pleasant, but colours aren’t especially vivid. Sound from the speakers is clear but not very loud. The keyboard is a little too soft although the keys do have good travel.

General-purpose usage was generally pleasant but not perfect. I did notice that the laptop didn’t always wake instantly when I opened the lid – it took several seconds, usually after having been left for more than a few hours. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition both worked well.

The area to the left of the trackpad, where your left wrist is likely to rest, gets quite warm when the laptop is in use – and to an uncomfortable degree when stressing the hardware or when charging. At least the cooling fan never gets loud enough to be distracting.

The trackpad is centred to the body of the laptop, not the natural typing position, so your right wrist will have to rest on the trackpad itself while typing. Palm rejection is usually good, but even slight motions tend to shift weight and make the trackpad physically click, which is sometimes interpreted as an unintended click or right-click.

msi prestige 14 evo right ndtv msi prestige

The sole USB Type-A port on the MSI Prestige 14 Evo only works at USB 2.0 speed

 

As for benchmarks, the 11th Gen Core i7 CPU did perform well. CineBench R20 achieved 570 and 2,248 points in the single- and multi-threaded runs, while POVRay finished its render test in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. V-Ray put up CPU and GPU scores of 6,596 and 32 respectively. PCMark 10’s standard and Extended runs produced scores of 4,671 and 4,641 respectively.

7Zip managed to compress a 3.24GB folder of assorted files in 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took just 1 minute, 9 seconds. CrystalDiskMark reported phenomenal sequential read and write speeds of 4987.6MBps and 2505.6MBps respectively for the PCIe 4.0 SSD, while random reads and writes were also impressive at 1390.5MBps and 1639.5MBps respectively.

While the integrated Iris Xe GPU isn’t aimed at gamers, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo still managed a score of 3312 in the Unigine Superposition benchmark running at the 1080p Medium preset. 3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme tests returned scores of 1,840 and 839 respectively. Firing up a few games, I found that Rise of the Tomb Raider managed a decent 38fps running at 1280×720 at its Medium quality preset. Far Cry 5 averaged 49fps at Normal quality at the same resolution, which is good enough for light entertainment on the go.

I was able to get through a full working day with a little power left over at the end, using the Prestige 14 Evo for document editing, Web surfing, emails and chats, and streaming a few short videos. Battery Eater Pro ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes which is pretty good for such a portable laptop. You shouldn’t have to worry about charging in the middle of your work, but that’s also relatively quick. Starting with a fully drained battery, I saw the charge level at 30 percent after 20 minutes and 72 percent in an hour.

msi prestige 14 evo rim ndtv msi prestige

The bright blue chamfered rim on the lid is impossible to miss when light hits it

 

Verdict

There will always be some sacrifices when cramming powerful hardware into ultraportable laptops, but overall MSI has done well, and the package you get is fairly balanced while offering value for money. If you prioritise portability, you should definitely check out this laptop. It doesn’t have the discrete Iris Xe Max GPU like the similarly priced Acer Swift 3X, but these two Evo laptops are comparable in many ways including hardware and portability.

You might not agree with all of MSI’s design choices. My biggest issues are the way the left wrist rest gets warm, and the lack of high-speed Type-A USB ports. These are issues that got in the way of everyday usage, and really should be considered as part of the Evo platform spec. It’s possible to tweak the performance profile to favour cool, quiet operation, but you shouldn’t have to do this and sacrifice performance.

If you can live with these issues, you’ll find the MSI Prestige 14 Evo’s construction quality is very good, and it’s well suited for productivity on the go. The 11th Gen Core i7 CPU performed well in a variety of tests, and even light gaming is possible if you lower your settings.

Priced starting at Rs. 95,990, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is an ultraportable that’s well worth considering, and is an interesting showcase of Intel’s vision for the Evo platform. We’ll no doubt see more competitors in this space, and also several based on AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series mobile CPUs. This is also around the same price that the current-gen MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s own M1 processor, sells for. If you’re looking to buy a new thin-and-light laptop this year, things just got a lot more interesting.


Is MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of a laptop that you always wanted? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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MSI Prestige 14 Evo Review: Portability, But at What Cost?


Intel launched the new Evo brand along with its 11th Gen laptop processors in late 2020, and laptops that have earned this label are now appearing in the Indian market. If you see this sticker on a laptop, it means that the manufacturer has worked with Intel to improve its designs and reduce weight, while maintaining certain standards with regard to performance, battery life, and other parameters. Evo laptops must deliver on specific user experience targets such as being able to wake quickly from sleep, and must support modern standards such as Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 4 and quick charging through USB Power Delivery.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the evolution of a few older ideas. These “key experience indicators”, as Intel calls them, are the result of the Project Athena initiative. You might also remember Intel’s Centrino branding, which shifted the focus of selling laptops from CPU power to features like Wi-Fi, or the Ultrabook campaign which emphasised portability. Intel will be promoting Evo laptops built by all its partner brands quite heavily throughout this year.

One of those brands is MSI, which you might know better for its gaming laptops and PC components. The Taiwanese company branched out into slimmer, more sober-looking laptops for power users a few years ago and now has a wide range of general-purpose designs for everyday users. The Prestige series of stylish, ultraportable laptops has recently been refreshed with Intel’s 11th Gen Core CPUs, and the new Prestige 14 Evo, as its name suggests, was designed around Intel’s Evo concept.

Can this relatively low-profile brand compete with popular multinational manufacturers? Intel sent Gadgets 360 an MSI Prestige 14 Evo review unit as a representative of its Evo portfolio, and here’s everything you need to know about it.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo has a relatively sober exterior

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo design

Even the box that this laptop arrives in is remarkably slim. The Prestige 14 Evo measures 15.9mm thick and weighs 1.29kg which is impressively portable for a 14-inch laptop. The body is all metal and there’s a choice between Pure White and Carbon Grey, plus a Rose Pink edition. I had a Carbon Grey unit, and it actually looks like a very deep blue. The lid has a matte sandblasted finish which looks pretty sober. You can see MSI’s new angular logo at the top-centre. Fingerprints and smudges aren’t a huge problem.

I’m not a fan of the shiny blue chamfered border around the lid – it’s distracting, especially under bright light, and takes away from the otherwise minimalist design. The hinge is designed to raise the rear of the laptop’s lower half when opened, for a more comfortable typing angle and also to allow better clearance for the vents on the bottom. I like the fact that this laptop can be opened and closed with just one finger and the lower half stays in place. The lid can also be pushed back nearly 180 degrees.

Thin screen borders are actually part of the Evo platform’s design goals. The side borders are extremely narrow but there’s enough space on top for a webcam plus an infrared sensor which works with Windows Hello biometric authentication. The lid can flex and wobble quite a bit if pressure is applied, but the screen doesn’t seem to warp too badly. MSI has gone with a non-glossy finish which is thankfully not reflective.

msi prestige 14 evo hinge ndtv msi prestige

Opening the hinge inclines the lower half of the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, and it can open to nearly 180 degrees

 

You’ll notice a few quirks in the keyboard layout. I’m happy to see that the keys are full-sized and well-spaced, and that there are dedicated paging keys as well as a proper arrow cluster. Strangely, the Fn modifier is to the right of the spacebar and impinges on the right Ctrl key but there’s also an unnecessary extra slash key just next to it, and plenty of space on the left.

The trackpad is enormous, and also has a distractingly reflective blue metallic rim. There’s a fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner, and while a lot of space around it is wasted, the overall size of the trackpad means that isn’t a problem. Intel obviously wants Evo to be a high-end brand, but I think the brightly coloured stickers on the wrist rest detract from this on an otherwise slick-looking laptop.

You get two Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports on the left, both of which can fall back to USB 4 and can also be used for charging as well as DisplayPort video output. On the right, there’s a single Type-A port which sadly only works at USB 2.0 speed, a microSD card slot, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The MSI Prestige 14 Evo is extremely portable and packs a lot of features into the footprint of what would have been a 13-inch laptop a few years ago. Even the USB Type-C charger is a relatively small square puck but still has a 65W output rating. There’s also a Prestige 14 (non-Evo) model with a discrete GPU which has exactly the same weight and dimensions. If you want a larger screen, the Prestige 15 offers up to a 4K resolution and also has more physical ports in a 1.69kg package.

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The trackpad is oversized and has a fingerprint sensor in the upper left corner

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo specifications

Intel’s Evo sticker de-emphasises the CPU generation and tier – the familiar Core i7 name is barely a visual footnote now. In fact, more attention is called to Intel’s new Iris Xe GPU, which is actually integrated into the CPU (as opposed to the discrete Iris Xe Max, as seen in the new Acer Swift 3X) Nevertheless, we have an 11th Gen ‘Tiger Lake’ CPU here, in this case the top-end Core i7-1185G7 which has a 12-28W rated TDP range, and runs between 1.2GHz and 4.8GHz. It has four cores with Hyper-Threading, supports PCIe 4.0, and leverages Intel’s 10nm SuperFin manufacturing process.

MSI has gone with a 14-inch full-HD “IPS level” screen that delivers “close to 100 percent” of the sRGB colour gamut. It’s a low-power panel with a relatively low 300nit maximum brightness, and as mentioned, has a non-reflective surface. The battery capacity is 52Wh and MSI claims you can get 12 hours of productivity per charge. Fast charging means you should be able to get an hour and a half of use after a 15-minute charge.

The base variant of the Prestige 14 Evo, priced at Rs. 95,990, has an 11th Gen Core i5 CPU, and there are a few RAM and storage configuration differences as well. My review unit has the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and most interestingly, a 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD, all for Rs. 1,06,990. While the RAM is soldered down, the SSD is a standard, replaceable M.2 module manufactured by Phison. There’s also Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The webcam has a 720p video capture resolution.

My review unit had Windows 10 Home, though MSI says it will also offer Windows 10 Professional. There was an evaluation version of Norton LifeLock Security and also some of MSI’s own utilities. The awkwardly named MSI Center for Business and Productivity starts up automatically on boot, but requires users to quit it manually and restart it in Administrator mode on first use, which could be confusing. It isn’t very well designed and doesn’t offer a lot of features – certainly nothing that justifies its name. You can change performance profiles (High performance, Balanced, Silent, or Super Battery. There are also a few basic diagnostics and a charge limiter that could help extend the useful life of your battery.

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The keyboard has a slightly non-standard layout but is comfortable to use

 

MSI Prestige 14 Evo usage and performance

After setting up the laptop, the first thing I did was drop the Windows display scaling from 150 percent to 125 percent which makes much better use of screen space. Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the 2H20 release. The non-reflective display is quite pleasant, but colours aren’t especially vivid. Sound from the speakers is clear but not very loud. The keyboard is a little too soft although the keys do have good travel.

General-purpose usage was generally pleasant but not perfect. I did notice that the laptop didn’t always wake instantly when I opened the lid – it took several seconds, usually after having been left for more than a few hours. The fingerprint sensor and face recognition both worked well.

The area to the left of the trackpad, where your left wrist is likely to rest, gets quite warm when the laptop is in use – and to an uncomfortable degree when stressing the hardware or when charging. At least the cooling fan never gets loud enough to be distracting.

The trackpad is centred to the body of the laptop, not the natural typing position, so your right wrist will have to rest on the trackpad itself while typing. Palm rejection is usually good, but even slight motions tend to shift weight and make the trackpad physically click, which is sometimes interpreted as an unintended click or right-click.

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The sole USB Type-A port on the MSI Prestige 14 Evo only works at USB 2.0 speed

 

As for benchmarks, the 11th Gen Core i7 CPU did perform well. CineBench R20 achieved 570 and 2,248 points in the single- and multi-threaded runs, while POVRay finished its render test in 2 minutes, 31 seconds. V-Ray put up CPU and GPU scores of 6,596 and 32 respectively. PCMark 10’s standard and Extended runs produced scores of 4,671 and 4,641 respectively.

7Zip managed to compress a 3.24GB folder of assorted files in 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Transcoding a 1.3GB AVI file to H.265 took just 1 minute, 9 seconds. CrystalDiskMark reported phenomenal sequential read and write speeds of 4987.6MBps and 2505.6MBps respectively for the PCIe 4.0 SSD, while random reads and writes were also impressive at 1390.5MBps and 1639.5MBps respectively.

While the integrated Iris Xe GPU isn’t aimed at gamers, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo still managed a score of 3312 in the Unigine Superposition benchmark running at the 1080p Medium preset. 3DMark’s Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme tests returned scores of 1,840 and 839 respectively. Firing up a few games, I found that Rise of the Tomb Raider managed a decent 38fps running at 1280×720 at its Medium quality preset. Far Cry 5 averaged 49fps at Normal quality at the same resolution, which is good enough for light entertainment on the go.

I was able to get through a full working day with a little power left over at the end, using the Prestige 14 Evo for document editing, Web surfing, emails and chats, and streaming a few short videos. Battery Eater Pro ran for 1 hour, 50 minutes which is pretty good for such a portable laptop. You shouldn’t have to worry about charging in the middle of your work, but that’s also relatively quick. Starting with a fully drained battery, I saw the charge level at 30 percent after 20 minutes and 72 percent in an hour.

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The bright blue chamfered rim on the lid is impossible to miss when light hits it

 

Verdict

There will always be some sacrifices when cramming powerful hardware into ultraportable laptops, but overall MSI has done well, and the package you get is fairly balanced while offering value for money. If you prioritise portability, you should definitely check out this laptop. It doesn’t have the discrete Iris Xe Max GPU like the similarly priced Acer Swift 3X, but these two Evo laptops are comparable in many ways including hardware and portability.

You might not agree with all of MSI’s design choices. My biggest issues are the way the left wrist rest gets warm, and the lack of high-speed Type-A USB ports. These are issues that got in the way of everyday usage, and really should be considered as part of the Evo platform spec. It’s possible to tweak the performance profile to favour cool, quiet operation, but you shouldn’t have to do this and sacrifice performance.

If you can live with these issues, you’ll find the MSI Prestige 14 Evo’s construction quality is very good, and it’s well suited for productivity on the go. The 11th Gen Core i7 CPU performed well in a variety of tests, and even light gaming is possible if you lower your settings.

Priced starting at Rs. 95,990, the MSI Prestige 14 Evo is an ultraportable that’s well worth considering, and is an interesting showcase of Intel’s vision for the Evo platform. We’ll no doubt see more competitors in this space, and also several based on AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series mobile CPUs. This is also around the same price that the current-gen MacBook Air, powered by Apple’s own M1 processor, sells for. If you’re looking to buy a new thin-and-light laptop this year, things just got a lot more interesting.


Is MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of a laptop that you always wanted? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Realme Motion Activated Night Light Set to Launch in India Tomorrow


Realme Motion Activated Night Light is set to launch in India alongside the Realme Narzo 30 series and Buds Air 2 earbuds on Wednesday, February 24. The new product by the Chinese company is claimed to have built-in sensors to detect motion to light up your way automatically — without requiring you to turn the light on. The Realme Motion Activated Night Light is also rated to deliver up to 365 days of battery life. It will also come with a 2,800K diffused warm lamp.

To reveal the key details about the Realme Motion Activated Night Light ahead of its launch, Realme has created a dedicated microsite. It shows the circular-shaped Motion Activated Night Light with an Infrared (IR) motion sensor that is claimed to cover an area of 120 degrees and detect motion to light up the way automatically once someone passes or walks in. The light also has an auto-off feature that turns off the light after 15 seconds of detecting the last motion. Further, there is a light sensor that could be used to adjust the amount of lighting.

The Realme Motion Activated Night Light uses three AAA batteries as the power source. The company claims that the bundled batteries can last for 365 days.

Realme has provided a 2,800K warm lamp on the new offering that comes along with two brightness modes. There are also three magnets that let you easily attach the light to a metal surface such as a refrigerator. Alternatively, you can hang it or paste it — depending on your preference.

Although the pricing of the Realme Motion Activated Night Light is yet to be revealed, it isn’t likely to be more than Rs. 1,000 in the Indian market.

Realme rival and popular smartphone maker Xiaomi back in 2019 launched its Mi Motion Activated Night Light 2 with most of the features being promoted for the Realme Motion Activated Night Light. The Xiaomi offering debuted under crowdfunding at an introductory price of Rs. 500, though it is currently available at Rs. 599.


Can Realme X7 Pro take on OnePlus Nord? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at [email protected] Please send in your leads and tips.
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Oppo Reno 5F With Quad Rear Cameras, 30W Fast Charging to Launch on March 22

OnePlus Nord Getting OxygenOS 10.5.11 Update With January 2021 Security Patch





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Oppo Reno 5F With Quad Rear Cameras, 30W Fast Charging to Launch on March 22


Oppo Reno 5F has been teased by the company on its Kenya website. The phone seems to have a different design for the back compared to the other Oppo Reno 5 series phones – Oppo Reno 5, Oppo Reno 5 Pro, and Oppo Reno 5 Pro+. On the front, the Oppo Reno 5F has a hole-punch cut out for the selfie camera and a relatively thick chin. The company has also teased some of the specifications for the phone, along with the date for the announcement, and also what seems like the sale date.

Oppo Reno 5F launch and availability

Oppo’s Kenya website has a dedicated page for a new upcoming member of the Oppo Reno 5 lineup called the Oppo Reno 5F. It appears that the phone will be available on March 22 as per the website, but this may actually be the date for the official announcement, as there is a timer going on the website that is counting down to March 26, which may be the date the phone goes on sale in the country.

Oppo Reno 5F specifications

The webpage also shows some of the specifications of the Oppo Reno 5F. The phone will have a quad rear camera setup that is housed in a rectangular camera module. This orientation is different from the other phones in the Oppo Reno 5 series. Additionally, a report by GSMArena states there is a 48-megapixel primary sensor on the back but we weren’t able to independently verify this. The Oppo Reno 5F has a hole-punch cut out for the selfie camera and comes with a 4,310mAh battery that supports 30W VOOC Flash Charge 4.0. The phone will support AI colour portrait mode and dual-view video mode.

A 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB Type-C port can be spotted at the bottom of the Oppo Reno 5F which has an “Ultra Slim Body.”

The Oppo Reno 5F may be a toned down version of the Oppo Reno 5 4G that launched in China at the end of December 2020. It carries the same battery capacity but comes with slower charging speed compared to the 50W fast charging on the 4G Oppo Reno 5.


Is Samsung Galaxy S21+ the perfect flagship for most Indians? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

 

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For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on [email protected], so please send in your leads and tips.
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#FullOnSpeedy Gaming Performance With New Samsung Galaxy F62 and Its Flagship Processor

Realme Motion Activated Night Light With 365 Days Battery Life Set to Launch in India on Wednesday





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Redmi Note 10 Series Will Carry Mid-Premium Snapdragon Processors


Redmi Note 10 series may include Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, and Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, all of which will be powered by a “mid-premium Snapdragon processor,” as per the company. Xiaomi’s Redmi India account shared this development through a tweet, announcing its partnership with Qualcomm. The Redmi Note 10 series will be a successor to the Redmi Note 9 series that was launched in India in March last year and will be unveiled in India and around the world on March 4.

Redmi India tweeted that the Redmi Note 10 series “will feature the best mid-premium Snapdragon processor of the year.” While the tweet does not reveal exactly which processor will be present in the series, it is believed to be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 700-series SoC. Previous leaks have suggested that Redmi Note 10, Redmi Note 10 Pro, and Redmi Note 10 Pro Max could be powered by the Snapdragon 732G SoC.

Till now, Xiaomi has shared only a few specifications for the Redmi Note 10 series. The phones will have Gorilla Glass protection at the front and IP52 dust and water resistance. They will support some form of fast charging and have light builds.

Redmi Note 10 series specifications (expected)

Redmi Note 10 could come with up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage while Redmi Note 10 Pro may have 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. They may run MIUI 12 based on Android 11 out-of-the-box. Redmi Note 10 Pro has also been tipped to feature a 5,050mAh battery.

Redmi Note 10 Pro Max could feature a 120Hz IPS display and a quad rear camera setup, headlined by a 108-megapixel primary sensor. The Pro Max variant is also expected to be backed by a 5,050mAh battery. Redmi Note 10 may feature a quad rear camera setup, headlined by a 48-megapixel primary sensor and have up to 6GB of RAM with up to 128GB of storage.


Can Realme X7 Pro take on OnePlus Nord? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.





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