Acer Predator 21 X – Gaming Notebook with a 21-inch Curved Display

[ Acer ] Okay, the Acer Predator 21 X is insane. First, a 21-inch display on a laptop? And it’s curved. Second, the display is powered by two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs.

The 21-inch NVIDIA G-Sync’ed display will sport a wide color gamut IPS panel, be matte, and feature a pixel format of 2560×1080. Ah, matte, welcome back. The only thing I’d change about the display: make it 4K/UHD. Dual GTX 1080’s can push every one of those pixels at stratospheric framerates.

  • CPU: 7th-generation “Kaby Lake” Intel Core K-series (available in Q1’17)
  • GPU: 2x SLI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080
  • Storage: Up to 4TB SSD (4x drives)
  • RAM: Up to 64GB (4x slots)
  • Weight: 8kg or 17.6lbs
  • Wireless: 802.11ac (2x physical antennas), Bluetooth
  • Ports: Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt, HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 2x USB
  • Other: SD card slot, Tobii eye-tracking, mechanical keyboard (RGB LED-lit Cherry MX switches), Dolby Audio 4.2+ sound system (4x speakers,, 2x subwoofers), numeric keypad flips over into a touchpad, 5x cooling fans.

The Acer Predator 21 X is beastly — performance as well as looks — but those mechanical keys look lovely.

With an estimated price of around, some say US$4000 others more, you’ll be emptying out your bank account starting in the first quarter of 2017.

Apple 27-inch 5K Monitor

[ Bloomberg ] Mark Gurman and Jungah Lee:

In addition to the new Macs, Apple is working on a new standalone monitor to connect to its computers, according to the people. After exiting the monitor business earlier this year with the discontinuation of the 27-inch Thunderbolt display, Apple is working with LG Electronics on a new monitor with a high-resolution “5K” screen, according to one of the people. Apple currently sells an iMac with a built-in 5K panel, which includes over seven times as many pixels as standard 1080p displays.

LG Electronics or LGE might be Apple’s integrator for the rumored 27-inch 5K monitor, but I think it’s not LGE whose working with Apple. Most likely Foxconn or some other company with massive manufacturing facilities in China will actually integrate or build the monitor. Where ‘LG’ comes in is with the display itself: the 27-inch 5K LCD panel. That panel will most likely be manufactured by LG Display or LGD.

Apple is expected to unveil a new iPhone, probably iPhone 7, on September 7 in San Francisco along with some other devices, such as a 27-inch 5K monitor, a new Apple Watch 2, and maybe some new Macs.

Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Unresponsive Touchscreen

[ MacRumors ] Joe Rossignol:

Thomas Davidson of Pennsylvania, Todd Cleary of California, and Jun Bai of Delaware have filed a class action lawsuit against Apple over an alleged defect that causes iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus touchscreens to become unresponsive and fail, according to court documents filed electronically this week.

Alleged defect? I don’t think so; see for yourself: iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Unresponsive Touchscreen. There have been more than a few Touch Diseased iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners who have had terrible experiences.

There are consequences when your overarching goal is to make the iPhone thinner. A metal shield over the touchscreen controller chips would have made it more difficult for that part of the logic board to bend, when the iPhone bends. (Read the article linked above for a more detailed analysis of why the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus touchscreen becomes unresponsive.) But the added metal shield adds thickness. When thinness becomes more important than some other considerations, which should actually more important, users suffer from bad experiences.

What did Apple do to solve this problem in the iPhone 6s and the 6s Plus? Apple moved those controller chips somewhere else, to the display assembly to be specific.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Unresponsive Touchscreen

[ iFixit ] Julia Bluff:

Replacing the touchscreen doesn’t fix the problem. The gray bar eventually shows up on the new screen, too. Because, according to repair pros, the problem isn’t the screen at all. It’s the two touchscreen controller chips, or Touch IC chips, on the logic board inside the phone.

These two chips are: U2402 Meson and Cumulus U2401. Some micro-soldering professional seem to think the U2402 touchscreen controller chips have a manufacturing defect. But most think it’s because the small solder balls that connect the touch IC chips to the logic board start to lose contact with the board. Why? Because it’s easy to. Cured underfill beneath chips help secure solder balls, but there are none for the touch IC chips in the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus. And there isn’t a strong metal shield over the chips to prevent bending, which is what the iPhone 6 and especially the iPhone 6 Plus do. When the iPhones bend the logic board does too and eventually loosens the IC chip connections to the logic board. When that happens you have an unresponsive touchscreen.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are immune to what’s called Touch Disease, because these touch IC chips were moved off the logic board and into the display assembly.

So how do you fix your Touch Diseased iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? First, if your iPhone is still within the warranty period, take it to Apple and do your best to upgrade to the 6s or 6s Plus. If you’re out of warranty, find an independent repair shop that can do board-level micro-soldering and has experience fixing Touch Disease. Make sure the two touch IC chips are replaced with new ones. Some shops are covering the chips with a strong metal shield to prevent bending. Here are the repair shops that were mentioned in the iFixit article:

Apple’s design schedule for the iPhone has been relatively simple: the non-‘s’ versions have new designs and the ‘s’ versions enhance the internals. Brand new designs are new and no matter how hard Apple works at it Apple can’t get all the kinks out. So my recommendation is to go with ‘s’ versions of iPhones if you can; they tend to have less problems.

But that might require you to wait a really long time for a new iPhone because rumor has it the new iPhone scheduled to be introduced on September 7 will be called iPhone 7 and the next one will be iPhone 8. No iPhone 7s this time around. I don’t know if I’ll be able to, but if I want to minimize the chances of having hardware problems like Touch Disease, I’ll have to stick with my iPhone 6s until iPhone 8s comes out in 2018.

Update 2016.11.20

[ MacRumors ] Apple will now fix your iPhone 6 Plus with an unresponsive touchscreen, for $149. And it’s your fault — for dropping your iPhone 6 Plus multiple times on a hard surface and putting stress on it. From what I can tell, Apple doesn’t seem to be owning up to the fact that the internal design of the iPhone 6 Plus looks like they were developed by first-year interns and prone to causing defects, compared to the highly professional and sturdy design of iPhone 5s.

My theory is: Apple put too much emphasis on making the device thinner and lighter. Because of that focus all other considerations were secondary.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Review by Engadget

[ Engadget ] Devindra Hardawar:

The X1 Yoga’s OLED display doesn’t waste any time impressing you. The red border around Lenovo’s logo has an almost electric feel upon boot-up, and that carries over to everything in Windows. OLED displays are known for their bold colors and deep black levels, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Watching videos and perusing photos is a revelatory experience. OLED adds an enormous amount of depth to images that makes them seem almost three-dimensional.

With a resolution of 2,560 by 1,440 (1440p/2K), the X1 Yoga’s OLED screen is significantly sharper than a 1080p display, though it’s not quite 4K. That’s just fine, though, as Windows 10 still isn’t well suited to 4K, and the benefits of such a high resolution are wasted on laptop screens.

Bold colors can often mean blown out colors, over-saturated colors, or unnatural colors. With OLED displays the ability to be color calibrated with a hardware calibration tool seems mandatory. Can you imagine how wonderful colors would be on an OLED display if they were accurate?

With a resolution of 210 ppi, 2560×1440 on a 14-inch display is plenty. But to say 4K is wasted on laptop screens? Now that’s a stretch. Not one pixel on a theoretical 17-inch MacBook Pro with 3840×2160 (259 ppi) would go wasted.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the Thinkpad X1’s battery life. It lasted only around 4.5 hours during typical usage, and I always had to recharge it in the afternoons. In our battery test, which involves playing an HD video continuously at 50 percent brightness, it lasted 8.5 hours. It’s likely just far more efficient at handling video than a plethora of different programs running at once.

Not surprising. You get much more battery life when watching videos on an OLED display than a LCD because: Videos overall are generally darker than websites or office applications like Microsoft Office. The darker the screen the less energy is consumed by OLEDs. On the other hand edge-lit LCDs, which are most LCDs, are always on whether or not the content is dark or not. So if you’re a movie buff, want to get totally immersed in your movies, and still have some battery leftover, a notebook with an OLED display will not disappoint.