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Apple unveils cheaper iPad

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Apple has introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad with support for the Apple Pencil. The tablet features a Retina display and the A10 fusion chip.

Apple has introduced a new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support, a large Retina display, the A10 Fusion chip and advanced sensors for augmented reality, at a budget-oriented price of $329.

Apple provided the following information:

The new 9.7-inch iPad and Apple Pencil give users the ability to be even more creative and productive, from sketching ideas and jotting down handwritten notes to marking up screenshots. The new iPad features a large Retina display, the A10 Fusion chip and advanced sensors that help deliver immersive augmented reality, and provides unmatched portability, ease of use and all-day battery life.

“iPad is our vision for the future of computing and hundreds of millions of people around the world use it every day at work, in school and for play. This new 9.7-inch iPad takes everything people love about our most popular iPad and makes it even better for inspiring creativity and learning,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Product Marketing. “Our most popular and affordable iPad now includes support for Apple Pencil, bringing the advanced capabilities of one of our most creative tools to even more users. This iPad also has the power of the A10 Fusion chip, combined with the big, beautiful Retina display, advanced cameras and sensors that enable incredible AR experiences simply not possible on other devices.”

iPad’s beautiful 9.7-inch Retina display delivers gorgeous detail and vivid colors, and features a higher-resolution touch sensor that enables Apple Pencil support. First introduced for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil has become a popular and versatile tool among students, professionals and creatives and is now available to even more customers.

Apple Pencil delivers a remarkably fluid and natural drawing experience. Advanced sensors measure both pressure and tilt, and provide pixel-perfect accuracy and low latency for activities from note taking to illustration in apps like Notability, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and Microsoft Office. iPad’s palm rejection technology even makes it possible to rest your hand on the screen while you use Apple Pencil.

The new iPad features the Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture, delivering 40 percent faster CPU and 50 percent faster graphics performance for seamless multitasking and graphics-intensive apps. The front- and rear-facing cameras offer exceptional low-light performance and HD video recording for document scanning, moviemaking and FaceTime calls.

The new iPad is a stunning, large viewfinder for immersive AR experiences. Its Retina display, powerful chip, enhanced cameras and advanced sensors, including a gyroscope and accelerometer for accurate motion tracking, are designed to support the next generation of AR apps.

Built for durability and mobility, the new 9.7-inch iPad features an aluminium unibody construction and ultrafast wireless that can deliver two times faster cellular data connections, so it is even easier to stay connected anywhere.3 With Apple SIM, customers can connect to wireless data plans right from their device when traveling in more than 180 countries and regions.

iOS 11 introduces powerful new features for iPad. The Dock provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen, and makes it easier to multitask with Split View and Slide Over. Drag and Drop makes moving images, text and files between apps easier than ever. Apple Pencil is more deeply integrated into iPad with support for inline drawing. The Files app provides a central place to access and organize files no matter where they are located — on iPad or in the cloud with built-in support for iCloud Drive® and providers like Box, Dropbox and others.

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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