Microsoft’s New Surface Laptop Studio Flips the 2-in-1 Game on Its Head

The Surface Laptop Studio in laptop and tablet modes.Microsoft

Of all the devices announced during today’s Surface event, Microsoft’s new flagship 2-in-1 is by far the most unexpected and bizarre. The Surface Laptop Studio features a unique floating display that you can perch behind its trackpad for an immersive gaming or streaming experience or fold into tablet mode for drawing and note-taking.

Note: Be sure to check out all the products revealed at today’s Surface event, including the new Surface Pro 8, the upgraded Go 3, the more affordable Pro X tablet, and the incredible Surface Duo 2 Android phone. Microsoft also announced some cool new accessories that are genuinely worth taking a look at.

Microsoft calls the Surface Laptop Studio an ideal product for “developers, creative pros, weekend gamers, and designers.” Its floating display certainly seems to fit in all use-cases, and with support for 11th Gen Intel Core processors (i5 or i7) and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPUs (only available with i7 configurations), the Surface Laptop Studio is more than powerful enough to run professional software, AAA games, and creative applications. In fact, it’s the most powerful Surface device to date.

You can get the Surface Laptop Studio with 16GB or 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM, and its removable SSD drive comes with a maximum 2TB of storage. Like the new Surface Pro 8, the Laptop Studio packs two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, a Surface connect jack, and a headphone jack. And of course, Microsoft managed to pack the Laptop Studio with both Windows Hello and Wi-Fi 6 support.

A gamer using the Surface Laptop Studio in stage mode.

When in laptop mode, the Surface Laptop Studio looks and feels like a modern PC. It sports a large keyboard and haptic trackpad, and its 14.4-inch 120Hz PixelSense display is extremely slim despite the integrated hinge.

This hinge, dubbed the Dynamic Woven Hinge, is a completely new design. Microsoft touts its durability and ease of use, emphasizing just how quickly it can fold into new orientations. The unique “Stage” mode places the display behind the trackpad, covering the keyboard and providing a comfortable, immersive experience for gaming, streaming, docking, drawing, or taking notes.

Another orientation, called “Studio” mode, flattens the laptop’s display against its keyboard and trackpad for a tablet experience. It’s an interesting and sleek alternative to the backward-folding design of most 2-in-1s.

And while you can’t really see it in Microsoft’s press photos, the Surface Laptop Studio features a magnetic storage and charging slot for the Surface Slim Pen 2. This slot is tucked underneath the Laptop Studio’s keyboard, providing easy access in the “Studio” tablet mode.

An artist drawing on the Surface Laptop Studio in tablet mode.I guess the hinge doesn’t fold completely flat in tablet mode. Microsoft

While the Surface Laptop Studio specs look impressive, I want to point out one glaring issue that will turn off a lot of people—this thing is a bit heavy. The i5 configuration weighs 3.83 pounds, while the i7 model is a whopping 4 pounds. That’s comparable to devices like the 15-inch MacBook Pro, but about three times the weight of even the largest tablets. (Though to be fair, the Laptop Studio is more of a laptop than a tablet.)

The Surface Laptop Studio starts at $1,600 and is available for pre-order at Microsoft’s webstore. It ships with Windows 11, with general availability opening on October 5th (the same day that Windows 11 launches).

Surface Laptop Studio

The new Surface Laptop Studio features a bizarre floating display for three immersive orientations. It’s also the most powerful Surface device yet, running 11th Gen Intel Core processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. Pre-order it now starting at $1,600.

Source: Microsoft

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How to Block a Number on Android and iPhone


If someone is annoying you by frequently calling or messaging, you can avoid them by blocking their phone number. Fortunately, there is no need to install third-party software, as the capability is integrated into both Android and iPhone. Let’s look at how to block a phone number on Android and iOS, as well as the consequences.

Related: 5 of the Best Mobile Phones for Gaming

How to Block Someone on iPhone

You can block a number on your iPhone in different ways as shown below.

Block a Number in the Phone App

Open the Phone app and tap on the “Contacts” tab at the bottom. Tap on the contact you want to block. Scroll down and press the “Block this Caller” option.

Block Iphone Phone App Contacts

To block an unsaved contact in the Phone app, tap on the “Recents” tab and tap the (i) icon next to the number. Tap on “Block this caller.” You can… Read more14766689.gif

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Snapchat’s new lenses and stickers can teach you basic sign language

Snapchat is rolling out new augmented reality lenses and stickers that can give you cursory lessons on sign language. The company has developed the new features as part of its efforts for the Weak of the Deaf with guidance from its Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing team members. Its new AR Lenses use AI and computer vision technology by SignAll, which can recognize and translate American Sign Language. 

One of the lenses will teach you how to fingerspell, in which you form individual letters with your fingers to spell a word. The other new lenses will teach you how to fingerspell your username, as well as some common words like “love” and “smile.” You can scan the Snapcodes below to access them and then share a clip of you signing on the app.



In addition to the new lenses, Snap has also launched new general, Bitmoji and Cameos selfie stickers with common signs. The hope is that these new elements can boost awareness and help more people learn a new way to communicate. Jennica Pounds, a deaf software engineer at Snap who was a key figure in the project said:

“A big motivation for me is my own oldest son, who absolutely loves to talk, but has had a hard time learning ASL. I’m passionate about this technology because I truly believe it’s going to break so many applications wide open. It’s tech like this that will help families like mine communicate and grow together.”



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HP’s latest Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptops feature 16-inch OLED displays

HP is again using OLED displays for its latest Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptops, but this time, you get a bit more screen for your money. The new HP Spectre x360 comes with an optional 16-inch, 16:10 4K OLED display — up from the 15.6-inch displays last year — delivering true VESA blacks with “100 percent color calibration,” the company announced. 

The new model has an extra 22mm of viewing space compared to the previous models, while still offering fairly slim bezels all around with a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. It’s also available with a 3,072 x 1,920 IPS touchscreen, if budget is an issue. At the same time, you get a top-mounted 5-megapixel webcam with a physical shutter for privacy and Windows Hello support. It comes with HP’s AI controls and “beauty mode” that can improve lighting and “touch up skin, teeth and eyes.” 

HP's latest Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptops come with 16-inch OLED displays


It should have enough power to drive those features too, with an 11th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and Intel Evo graphics, or an optional NDIVIDA GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU, along with 16GB of memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe storage and 32GB of Intel Optane memory. It also offers quad B&O speakers, up to WiFi 6E, a MicroSD card reader, two Thunderbolt 4 with 40Gbps speeds and USB Power Delivery USB4 Type-C ports, HDMI 2.0b, Bluetooth 5.2 and 17 hours of battery life. The HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 arrives in the fall at or Best Buy starting at $1,639, but expect to pay more for the OLED 4K model. 

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PayPal launches its ‘super app’ combining payments, savings, bill pay, crypto, shopping and more

PayPal has been talking about its “super app” plans for some time, having recently told investors its upcoming digital wallet and payments app had been given a go for launch. Today, the first version of that app is officially being introduced, offering a combination of financial tools including direct deposit, bill pay, a digital wallet, peer-to-peer payments, shopping tools, crypto capabilities and more. The company is also announcing its partnership with Synchrony Bank for its new high-yield savings account, PayPal Savings.

These changes shift PayPal from being largely a payments utility that’s tacked on other offerings here and there, to being a more fully fleshed out finance app. Though PayPal itself doesn’t aim to be a “bank,” the new app offers a range of competitive features for those considering shifting their finances to neobanks, like Chime or Varo, as it will now also include support for paycheck Direct Deposits through PayPal’s bank partners, bill pay and more.

By enabling direct deposit, PayPal users can get paid up to two days earlier, which is one of the bigger draws among those considering digital banking apps over traditional banks.

In addition to shifting their paychecks to Payal, customers’ PayPal funds can then be used for things that are a part of daily life, like paying their bills, saving or shopping, for example.

The enhanced bill pay feature lets customers track, view and pay bills from thousands of companies, including utilities, TV and internet, insurance, credit cards, phone and more, PayPal says. When bill pay first arrived earlier this year, it offered access to (single-digit) thousands of billers. Now, it will support around 17,000 billers. Customers can also discover billers through an improved, intelligent search feature, set reminders to be notified of upcoming bills and schedule automatic payments for bills they have to pay on a regular basis. The bills don’t have to only be paid from funds currently in the PayPal account, but can be paid through any eligible funding source that’s already linked to their PayPal account.

Via a Synchrony Bank partnership, PayPal Savings will offer a high-yield savings account with a 0.40% Annual Percentage Yield (APY), which is more than six times the national average of 0.06%, the company says. However, that’s lower than top rivals in the digital banking market offer, like Chime (0.50%), Varo (starts at 0.20%, but users can qualify to get 3.00% APY), Marcus (0.50%), Ally (0.50%), ONE (1.00% or 3.00% on Auto-Save transactions), and others. However, the rate may appeal to those who are switching from a traditional bank, where rates tend to be lower.

PayPal believes its high-yield offering will be able to compete not based on the APY alone, but on the strength of its combined offerings.

Image Credits: PayPal

“We know that about half of customers in the United States don’t even have a savings account, much less one with a very competitive rate,” notes PayPal SVP of Consumer, Julian King. “So all in all, we think that by bringing together the full set of solutions on the platform, it’s a really competitive offering for an individual.”

The app has also been reorganized to accommodate the new features and those yet to come.

It now features a personalized dashboard offering an overview of the customer’s account. The wallet tab lets users manage Direct Deposits and connect funding sources like bank accounts and debit and credit cards alongside the ability to enroll in PayPal’s own debit, credit and cash cards. And a finance tab provides access to the high-yield savings and the previously available crypto capabilities, which allows users to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.

The payments tab, meanwhile, will hold much of PayPal’s traditional feature set, including peer-to-peer payments, international remittances, charitable and nonprofit giving, plus now bill pay and a two-way messaging feature that allows users to request payments or say thank you after receiving a payment — whether that’s between friends and family or between merchants and customers. This addition could bring PayPal more in line with PayPal-owned Venmo, which already offers the ability to add notes to payments and make comments.

Messaging also ties into PayPal’s new Shopping hub, which is where the company is finally putting to good use its 2019 $4 billion Honey acquisition. Honey’s core features are now becoming a part of the PayPal mobile experience, including personalized deals and exclusive rewards.

Image Credits: PayPal

PayPal users will be able to browse the discounts and offers inside the app, then shop and transact through the in-app browser. The deals can be saved to the wallet for future use, so they can be applied if shopping later in the app or online. Customers will also be able to join a loyalty program, where they can earn cashback and PayPal shopping credit on their purchases. The company says these personalized deals will improve over time.

“We’ll use AI and [machine learning] capabilities to understand what kind of shopping deals are most interesting to customers and continue to develop that over time. They’ll just get smarter and smarter as the product gets more usage,” notes King. This will include using the data about the deals a customer likes, then bringing similar deals to them in the future.

Also new in the updated mobile app is the addition of PayPal’s crowdsourced fundraising platform, the Generosity Network, first launched late last year. The network is PayPal’s answer to GoFundMe or Facebook Fundraisers, by offering tools that allow individuals to raise money for themselves, others in need, or organizations like small businesses or charities. The network is also now expanding to international markets with Germany and the U.K. to start, with more countries to come.

As PayPal has said, the new app is laying the groundwork for other new products in the quarters to come. The biggest initiative on its roadmap is a plan to enter the investment space, to rival other mobile investing apps, like Robinhood. When this arrives, it will support the ability to buy stocks, fractional stocks and ETFs, PayPal says.

It will also later add support for paying with QR codes, like Venmo, and tools for using PayPal to save while in stores.

The updated app is rolling out starting today in the U.S. as a staggered release that will complete in the weeks ahead. However, PayPal Savings won’t be available immediately — it will arrive in the U.S. in the “coming months,” as will some of the shopping and rewards tools.

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The Fastest Way to Open Your Camera on iPhone

Your dog is standing on its head, and you’re fumbling to unlock your phone and launch the camera app before you miss it. Luckily, there’s no need for unlocking—the Camera app is just a swipe away on the lock screen. Here’s how to get to it as fast as possible.

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Free decryption tool to remove REvil ransomware is available

One of the worst types of malicious software that computer users worldwide are plagued with is ransomware. This type of malware encrypts the contents of the user’s computer in an attempt to force the PC owner to pay a ransom to decrypt their hard drive. Anyone impacted by the REvil ransomware can decrypt their machine for free with a master … Continue reading

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Linux Turns 30: How A Hobby Project Conquered the World

On September 17, 1991, Linus Torvalds released Linux kernel (version 0.01) for the first time. Here’s a brief look at how a small hobby project grew up and enveloped the world—and what has made Linux endure for so long.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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How to pre-order the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro

It’s that time of year again when the latest iPhones hit shelves, prompting many to wonder if they should take the plunge into iOS for the first time, or upgrade to a new handset. Apple announced four new iPhones this week at its hardware event, mirroring the last year’s offerings. The new iPhone 13 and 13 mini feature smaller notches at the top of their touchscreens, the new A15 Bionic processor and longer battery lives. The higher-end iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max smartphones have fancy finishes, 120Hz Super Retina XDR displays, and improved cameras along with the A15 Bionic chipset and better battery lives. Here’s how to order the iPhone 13 series and the iPhone 13 Pro series.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13


The iPhone 13 and 13 mini will be available for pre-order starting at 5am PT (8am ET) on September 17 and will be widely available on September 24. The iPhone 13 starts at $799 while the iPhone 13 mini starts at $699.

Pre-order iPhone 13 at Apple starting at $799Pre-order iPhone 13 mini at Apple starting at $699Pre-order iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini at Best BuyPre-order iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini at Walmart

Apple focused on refining the iPhone 13 series this year, trickling down some advanced features from last year’s Pro line to the standard models. Both the iPhone 13 and 13 mini have a nearly identical design to last year’s iPhone 12s, but they have a 20-percent small notch at the top and screens that are 28-percent brighter. Screen sizes have remained the same, too, measuring 6.1-inches on the iPhone 13 and 5.4-inches on the 13 mini. Apple managed to pack larger batteries in both handsets, so iPhone 13 users will get about 2.5 hours of extra use when compared to the iPhone 12, while iPhone 13 mini users will get about 1.5 extra hours. 

Inside both smartphones is the new A15 Bionic chipset and neural engine and Apple promises 50-percent better performance than the competition. The cameras have been upgraded as well: the dual system has a new wide camera sensor and lens along with the sensor-shift optical image stabilization system that we saw on the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year. Both the iPhone 13 and the 13 mini support expanded 5G as well, which will be available on 200 carriers in 60 countries by the end of this year.

As far as configurations go, the iPhone 13 and 13 mini are both available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage capacities. Apple has a new lineup of colors as well: pink, blue, midnight, starlight and Product Red.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 13 Pro


The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will be available for pre-order starting at 5am PT (8am ET) on September 17 and will be widely available on September 24. The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1,099.

Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro at Apple starting at $999Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro Max at Apple starting at $1,099Pre-order iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max at Best BuyPre-order iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max at Walmart

It’s all about the screens and the cameras for these smartphones. While screen sizes haven’t changed, both the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have new Super Retina XDR displays with ProMotion, 1,000 nits of brightness and refresh rates up to 120Hz. We first saw this technology on the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and now it’s been brought down to the higher-end iPhones.

The triple-rear camera system also got a big boost this year. It now features a new 77mm telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, along with a new ultra wide camera that has a f/1.8 aperture and autofocus. The primary “wide” camera is the largest Apple has even put in an iPhone and it features a f/1.5 aperture and 1.9-micron pixels. Apple also made it possible to shoot at up to 6x optical zoom, enabling macro photography, and it added new features like Cinematic Mode for videos, which uses machine learning to get things like better focus, better low-light performance, Time-lapse and Slo-mo video and more.

Inside the Pros is the A15 Bionic chipset with a 16-core neural engine, which Apple says will help the iPhones run 50 percent faster than the competition. The company also touts the handsets’ enhanced durability and battery life. The iPhone 13 Pro series includes a surgical-grade stainless steel band and finishes that are resistant to abrasions and corrosions, and the lineup is IP68 water-resistant. As far as battery life goes, the iPhone 13 Pro should last 1.5 hours more than the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max will last up to 2.5 hours longer than its predecessor.

As for configurations, the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max come in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage capacities and both are available in four colors: sierra blue, silver, gold and graphite.

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