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Wednesday, September 16, 2020
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Google partners with Lenovo for Meet hardware kits

Google on Tuesday announced new Google Meet videoconferencing hardware as part of a partnership with Lenovo. The new Series One hardware comes in the form of a bundle which are slated for pre-order soon.The entire kit is powered by a Compute System which has a version of Chrome OS designed for Meet. The platform uses AI to provide a smarter and more user-friendly way of conducting meetings. Features include joining meetings using voice, enhanced noise reduction, and participant framing.The Series One hardware is comprised of a 12-megapixel Smart Camera; an alternate 20.3-megapixel Smart Camera XL is offered for larger conference rooms.A Smart Audio Bar houses a 2.5-inch woofer, one-inch tweeter, and eight beam-forming microphones that Google says can process “up to 44 channels simultaneously.” It advises that it can filter out distracting sounds such as typing and snacking.This isn’t Google’s first approach to workplace tech, nor is it the first attempt at hardware for Google Meet. Asus introduced gear for Google Meet back in May.Depending on what version of the Series One hardware you purchase, you’ll may also be able to control meetings via a rechargeable remote control or a 10.1-inch display. Both of support Google Assistant for hands-free meeting controls.Companies interested in adding one of the Series One kits to their conference rooms will soon be pre-order one. Exact timing isn’t known yet, but pricing starts at $2,699 for the Small Room Kit.For the money, you’ll get a Smart Camera, Smart Audio Bar, Compute System, and remote control ($2,699). Alternatively, a $2,999 Medium Room Kit and $3,999 Large Room Kit will be sold. Color options include “charcoal” (black) and “chalk” (white).

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Chromebook review

We live and work in the cloud. It’s nothing for us to spend an entire day online, hopping between social media, email, docs, and services.Rarely do we need to plug into a printer, insert a disc, or sit down to the same desk. It’s for those very reasons that Google began dabbling in Chromebooks nearly a decade ago.When Chromebooks burst onto the scene one of the first things people noticed about them was that they were considerably cheaper than traditional laptops. How could they cost $200-$300 when we’re conditioned to spending $1,000 for a similar experience?We quickly learned that those products weren’t designed to compete with standard laptops. Corners were cut, ports and optical drives were removed, and it was pretty obvious as to the differences. In the end, however, none of that mattered all that much. We could still do everything we needed.Over time we’ve seen Chromebooks evolve from budget-priced devices to more expensive models that feature robust hardware and interesting designs. Indeed, you can get sexy and powerful Chromebooks. This is not to suggest that Chromebooks are in a completely different space. We now have products that run the entire gamut.Lenovo is a brand that has been producing a whole array of Chromebooks over the years. Up for review today is its IdeaPad 3 Chromebook.DesignPriced $250, the IdeaPad 3 Chromebook features a 14-inch display that folds all the way back. Inside are Intel Celeron processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage.Silver in color, the Chromebook is unassuming if not a tad boring looking. At about 3lbs, it’s lighter than it appears thanks to polycarbonate and ABS plastics.You’ll find that the display or top half of the Chromebook has a bit of flex to it. While it’s not exactly flimsy, it’ll bend with a moderate amount of pressure. A thick border frames the screen which has a 1,366 x 768 pixel resolution.Speaking of the display, it has an LED backlight and tops out at about 220 nits of brightness. When compared to other budget Chromebooks, the IdeaPad 3 falls short both on paper and in practice. We found the overall picture to be fuzzy, muted, and generally dim. We could see it from virtually all angles, but we never found it to be anything special.The IdeaPad 3’s has a fairly comfortable typing experience with a decent amount of space between them. We like it when keys are backlit but that’s not the case here. On the other hand, Lenovo says the keyboard is spill-resistant. A few drops of water from condensation on a water bottle didn’t seem to do anything at all, but we’re always reluctant to go all-in with a spill.Audio is so-so for the most part, and can occasionally sound muddy. It largely depends on the source, of course. There are two speakers under the Chromebook which fire through to the table. Working with the IdeaPad 3 on your blanketed lap may force you to put in headphones.Ports and ConnectivityGiven they rely on so much on being connected to the internet, you’d expect solid support for Wi-Fi, right? The IdeaPad 3 Chromebook largely delivers on this front with the 802.11ac standard. We would have liked to see 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), but that is likely to keep cost in line.On the left side of the Chromebook you’ll find a microSD expansion card slot, a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, and a combination headphone and microphone jack. The right side houses an additional USB 3.1 Type-A port and a USB-C port.We like that the IdeaPad 3 employs USB Type-C for charging as that’s largely what makes up the cables and chargers in our home and office. Cheaper Chromebooks often use a proprietary port; this means one less cable to worry about.PerformanceOur review unit came with  a dual-core (1.1GHz) Intel Celeron N4020 processor with 4GB of memory and 32GB of flash storage. It’s about what you’d expect in a Chromebook in this price range and sufficient for day-to-day tasks.Over a typical day of light use (web browsing, YouTube, email, social media) and having a handful of tabs open at a time, we found the IdeaPad 3 to be mostly snappy. There’s nothing overly awesome going on hardware-wise so we didn’t get into anything fancy, but the IdeaPad 3 handled all the things a student or work-from-home type might need.When it comes to battery life, however, the IdeaPad 3 really shines. Lenovo claims about ten hours per charge and we’d have a hard time saying otherwise. This happens, though, when you’re not dealing with a super-high resolution display. The twisted nematic (TN) panel, and the lower NIT brightness are much easier on the battery than what’s found in pricier laptops.ConclusionIf you need a Chromebook for simple computing needs such as home schooling or work-from-home tasks, and budget is a main concern, the IdeaPad 3 should meet your needs. You’ll trade off a high-resolution display and price tag for sufficient computing power, an array of external connectivity, and excellent battery life. All for a reasonable $250.The IdeaPad 3 Chromebook is perfectly aligned with the needs of younger students or as a secondary laptop for the home. Likewise, it’s a good options for people who might want to catch up on work email and tasks from home.Learn more about the IdeaPad 3 Chromebook at Lenovo’s website. You can purchase the device at a variety of retailers, including B&H Photo Video.

Cheap Gaming Laptop Alert: Lenovo Legion 5 down to $950 this Labor Day

Get one of the best gaming laptops, the Lenovo Legion 5, for $150 off during Best Buy's Labor Day sale.

Amazon Labor Day Sale 2020: The 8 best tech deals

Get the best Labor Day Deals on Amazon right now. We've rounded up eight deals you can't miss.

Amazon Labor Day Sale 2020: The 8 best tech deals

Get the best Labor Day Deals on Amazon right now. We've rounded up eight deals you can't miss.

Lenovo Labor Day Sale 2020: The 5 best deals

Time for a new PC for school or work? We’ve got the five best deals from the Lenovo Labor Day Sale right here.

Lenovo laptops used for remote learning may have ties to forced labor

The alleged forced labor comes from persecuted Uyghurs in China

Lenovo announces the Smart Clock Essential

Lenovo has been one of Google’s main partners when it comes to Smart Displays outside of the Nest branding. Last year the company released the Smart Clock as a cute, bedside Smart Display built around audio and alarms. Lenovo is following that this year with a cheaper, slimmer model called the Smart Clock Essential.Smart Clock with “dumber” displayThe Essential’s overall design is almost identical to the Smart Clock until you turn on the display. The Smart Clock Essential trades a full, touch display for an LED you’d find on a traditional digital alarm clock.The screen is a little more robust than that though. The connected Smart Clock Essential will always keep the correct time for your timezone and show weather/temperature updates below the time.Still powered by Google AssistantDespite this step back you still have the internals of an internet-connected speaker with full Google Assistant onboard. This gives you full command of the voice butler. You can set alarms, ask questions, or check the weather via Google Assistant. “Hey, Google” is built in just like any smart speaker.Also just like those speakers, you have Chromecast enabled as well. However, due to the previously mentioned pair-down of the screen, you will only be able to interact with music with Google Assistant or your phone controls.Don’t forget the buttons… and a night lightAtop the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential, you have volume controls, play/pause, and an alarm button. This allows for analog ways to both handle audio and set your alarms for your morning wake time.Around the back, you have a dedicated mic switch for killing that input if you want. There’s also a USB port for charging devices, but an addition to the previous Smart Clock is a night light. This can help users maneuver the late-night snack raid without blaring the overhead lighting in the room.Nice NicheLenovo seems content with the Smart Clock Essential hitting a very targeted market of the nightstand. For just $50, it’s a compelling argument to add simple functionality to a standard Google Home Mini or Echo Dot.The Smart Clock Essential will be available later in September according to the launch press release.

Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 review: AMD’s flagship laptop?

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Lenovo Tab P11 Pro goes official with an OLED display, Snapdragon 730 SoC

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Lenovo Back-to-School Sale 2020: The 5 best deals

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Lenovo relaunches Yoga laptops with Intel 11th-gen, AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs

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This 27-inch Lenovo 4K monitor is an absolute steal at $230

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Control your whole home with Lenovo’s 10-inch smart display now down to $99

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Upgrade your WFH setup with this three piece bundle

Things have changed in the US workforce. Even after this pandemic is over and the situation gets back to the old definition of “normal”, things will be different in the work space.A lot of companies and organizations have warmed to the idea of remote working and will likely keep it as a permanent part of doing business. Many people who work from home will probably continue to work from home.While you may have gotten used working remotely, chances are you could do better in the way of proper tools and devices. Getting in front of a camera is one thing, but having the right lighting, camera angles, and perspective is another.Whether you’re looking to connect with your team once a week or present a quarterly slide deck for upper management, you’ll want to invest in the right equipment. The Pictar Home Office Kit is that right equipment.The bundle, just $89.99 in the AG Deals Store, is comprised of three components: a Pictar Wide-Angle Smart Lens, Splat 3N1 Flexible Tripod, and Pictar Smart Light. Together, these three will help eliminate the hassles of clumsy and less than stellar calls.The smart lens doubles the viewing on your mobile device, so you’ll capture more than just a closely cropped image of your head. It connects to an app and allows for precise and easy adjustment; it also has 20 different shooting modes.The tripod has five flexible legs that allow for mounting just about anywhere and everywhere you take your phone. The smart light clips onto your phone or camera to enhance the quality of your video footage.AvailabilityYou can purchase your three-piece Pictar Home-Office Kit from the AG Deals Store for just $89.99 right now. That’s a 35% discount off the normal retail price.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

LG Wing arrives with swiveling two-screen experience

LG on Monday announced its first handset under the “Explorer Project”, the LG Wing. And just as the rumors told us, it features a unique two-screen experience.Currently there are two main ways that phone makers are working with dual displays. There’s the “two phone screens that make a tablet screen” approach and then there’s the “flip phone” design that opens to reveal a full-screen experience. The LG Wing is neither of those.The LG Wing features a 6.8-inch full HD OLED main display that swivels up to reveal a secondary 3.9-inch screen underneath. Resembling a Tetris T-block, it leads to unique use cases.The LG Wing is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage options. A microSD expansion card slot allows for external media.The rear houses a 64-megapixel main camera, accompanied by a 12-megapixel wide-angle and 13-megapixel wide-angle camera. One is mounting in standard portrait orientation while the other is rotated 90 degrees. A 32-megapixel camera pops out for selfies on the front side of the phone.The hinge mechanism in LG WING has proven to be reliable even after 200,000 swivels – this averages out to about 100 motions every day for five years.Given its unique design, the LG Wing allows for some interesting camera modes. Grip Mode ignores accidental touches while recording video when the phone is opened. Gimbal Motion Camera Mode adds a joystick, lock, and follow controls on the secondary display.The design also allows for watching full-screen video content on the big display while messaging, commenting, and other features are available on the secondary screen.Other prominent features in the LG Wing include a 4,000mAh battery with wireless and Quick Charge 4.0 and an IP54 rating against dust and water.The LG Wing will be offered in Aurora Gray and Illusion Sky when it goes on sale. Pricing and exact availability has yet to be revealed. With that said, Verizon will have first dibs on the unique phone with AT&T, T-Mobile, and others following later.

Snag this award-winning personal air conditioner while it’s on sale

Although it’s the middle of September we still find those occasional days where it gets stupid hot outside. Or worse, really humid. While it might be tempting to crank the AC up in the home or office, you’d be wise to consider the alternative – a costly electric bill.Another option to consider is a personal air conditioner. Indeed, just as there are portable heaters for keeping your room warm, these are here to cool you down.The evaCHILL EV-500, is an ultra-lightweight and energy-efficient personal air conditioner that keeps you cool and leaves money in your wallet. For a limited time, you can pick it up on sale for nearly 20% off.Simply fill the water tank, plug it in, and the cartridge will generous amounts of water. The water disperses itself through the cooling pads while air blows through them. The result is evaporated water with no heat exhausted. The EV-500 can drop the air temperature up to 59º in just 10 minutes.It makes more sense to cool a room than to worry about the whole house, right?EV-500 FeaturesUltra-portable & leakage-proof w/ an integrated handleReaches full cooling power within 5-10 minutesSoft blue LED lights improve the moodSets up w/ just one buttonHumidifies the air creating a comfortable environmentFilters out dust particles to increase the air quality for better breathing & doesn’t create suitable conditions for bacterial growthCan increase your sleep qualityBuy Yours Today!Usually retailing for $99, you can get the EvaChill EV-0500 on sale for $79.99 — a savings of 20%. Take your pick from three colors: white, gray, and pink.Best SellersEarn Credits!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.

Google partners with Lenovo for Meet hardware kits

Google on Tuesday announced new Google Meet videoconferencing hardware as part of a partnership with Lenovo. The new Series One hardware comes in the form of a bundle which are slated for pre-order soon.The entire kit is powered by a Compute System which has a version of Chrome OS designed for Meet. The platform uses AI to provide a smarter and more user-friendly way of conducting meetings. Features include joining meetings using voice, enhanced noise reduction, and participant framing.The Series One hardware is comprised of a 12-megapixel Smart Camera; an alternate 20.3-megapixel Smart Camera XL is offered for larger conference rooms.A Smart Audio Bar houses a 2.5-inch woofer, one-inch tweeter, and eight beam-forming microphones that Google says can process “up to 44 channels simultaneously.” It advises that it can filter out distracting sounds such as typing and snacking.This isn’t Google’s first approach to workplace tech, nor is it the first attempt at hardware for Google Meet. Asus introduced gear for Google Meet back in May.Depending on what version of the Series One hardware you purchase, you’ll may also be able to control meetings via a rechargeable remote control or a 10.1-inch display. Both of support Google Assistant for hands-free meeting controls.Companies interested in adding one of the Series One kits to their conference rooms will soon be pre-order one. Exact timing isn’t known yet, but pricing starts at $2,699 for the Small Room Kit.For the money, you’ll get a Smart Camera, Smart Audio Bar, Compute System, and remote control ($2,699). Alternatively, a $2,999 Medium Room Kit and $3,999 Large Room Kit will be sold. Color options include “charcoal” (black) and “chalk” (white).