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LG rolls out Apple-friendly TV update

Today, LG is rolling out a firmware update for selected 2019 TVs to enable Apple’s smarthome HomeKit functionality. It will also allow content streamed directly from Apple devices over AirPlay 2.

Click below to read about LG’s TV update.

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LG Electronics has announced that Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are available starting today on its 2019 AI TV lineup, making LG the first global TV manufacturer to support HomeKit. These Apple features will be available through a firmware update for 2019 LG OLED TVs, NanoCell TVs and UHD TVs with ThinQ AI capability.

With AirPlay 2, LG 2019 AI TV owners can stream content — including Dolby Vision titles – from their iPhone, iPad and Mac directly to their TV sets. Users can stream movies and television shows from the Apple TV app and other video apps like Netflix directly on their LG AI TVs. Users can also play Apple Podcasts, Apple Music and music from their library or other streaming services through their LG AI TV and other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers in their home at the same time – all in sync.

HomeKit enables users to control their smart home with the Home app or via Siri on their Apple devices. LG AI TVs can now be added to the Home app, from which users can access basic TV functions such as power, volume and source. LG AI TVs can also be added to scenes or automations along with other HomeKit accessories.

“LG remains at the forefront of TV technological innovation because of our never-ending quest to deliver the best home viewing experience,” says Brian Kwon, president LG Mobile Communications and Home Entertainment companies. “With Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, we are demonstrating our commitment to offering consumer benefits that go beyond just best-in-class picture quality.”

Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will begin rolling out to owners of LG OLED and NanoCell TVs in more than 140 countries starting this week, with the update continuing over the weeks to follow.

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Dynabook adds 13.5-hour laptop battery to Tecra range

Dynabook, formerly Toshiba, has announced the A40-E, a lightweight laptop with a 13.5-hour battery life.

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Dynabook Europe GmbH has announced the latest addition to its Tecra range of laptops with the new A40-E. Being a highly portable, highly connected, and secure business laptop, the device has been designed to meet the Microsoft Modern Computer standard. The product completes Dynabook’s A-Series family, alongside the recently announced Portégé A30-E.

Weighing in at 1.47kg and boasting up to 13.5 hours of battery life¹ – with a Quick Charge feature giving 4 hours’ battery life from just 30 minutes’ charging – the Tecra A40-E offers users optimal portability. It features a 14-inch Full HD anti-glare display that reduces workers’ eye strain and means performance is not impacted by variable lighting. The A40-E has also been designed with durability at its core. It has a highly robust chassis and has been tested under rigorous military-grade standards. 

“The Tecra A40-E has been developed with all businesses in mind, no matter what their size or industry,” says Damian Jaume, President of Dynabook Europe GmbH. “The launch of this device demonstrates our commitment to innovate within the European business PC market and broaden our range of user-centric devices, following on from our company rebrand.”

The A40-E has been developed with a range of robust, in-built security measures. Dynabook’s in-hous BIOS provides enterprise-grade security, alongside a Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which stores data safely. Two-factor authentication also protects against unsolicited logins should the device be lost or stolen. A SecurePad with fingerprint reader is included as standard, with optional Smart Card reader and face recognition also available.

It features a USB Type-C port and, depending on configuration, one or two further USB 3.1 ports, along with Gigabit LAN, HDMI port, and micro-SD slot. An optional USB-C dock provides further connectivity options. The device’s Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 Wi-Fi Antenna configuration enables fast Internet connection. Optional LTE also ensures Internet is available to employees outside of Wi-Fi zones. 

The device is also equipped with an 8th generation Intel Core processor and a range of storage capabilities including three SSD options – 256GB, 512GB, 1TB PCIe – to enable high performance and efficient workflows whatever budgetary and capacity requirements a business may have.

The dynabook Tecra A40-E will be available in January 2020.

¹measured with Mobile Mark™ 2014. Mobile Mark is a trademark of Business Applications Performance Corporation

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Fujifilm creates pro-level Instax pictures with Mini Link

Fujifilm’s Instax instant cameras have taken an interesting turn: Fujifilm dropped the camera and kept the printer. BRYAN TURNER reviews the latest instant printer.

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When one thinks about the Instax brand, instant cameras come to mind. While these high-quality cameras have gone from shoot-and-print devices to being able to print voice notes, one factor has been constant. The device one generally uses for pictures is a smartphone. 

Fujifilm’s Instax Mini Link printer changes that. It provides Instax style printing that’s linked to a smartphone, instead of a dedicated camera. This way, users can print out photos that they’ve taken with their smartphones on an Instax print.

With smartphones having advanced features like bokeh depth effects and high colour accuracy, the images that are produced are visually stunning. Making these pictures ‘immortal’ by printing them does them the proper justice of appreciating their beauty. What’s better is that this camera prints in 12 seconds, so there’s virtually no wait time for printing.

The printer weighs around 200g and is smaller than most smartphones, while being quite a bit thicker to fit the film cartridges. It’s highly portable and can fit into a handbag or medium-to-large-sized pocket.

The app and device link fairly easily: one has to download and open the app, then turn the Instax Mini Link on and wait for it to appear in the app. Thereafter, one can select photos to print from the camera roll or using the Instax camera app function.

One of the more interesting features is motion control. Putting this printer in different positions performs different actions: flat, standing up, or holding it upside down. Moving around the printer also changes the mode within the app.

To activate Print mode, one must put the printer upright. This offers a straightforward printing experience where one can select Simple Print for picking a photo and printing it, Video Print for selecting a frame from a video to print, or Instax camera for lining up a shot within a virtual Instax print.

The Instax Camera can be controlled with motion control as well: tilting the camera forward zooms in, while tilting it backwards zooms out. Pressing the Instax button will take a picture, where a user can review the picture and optionally add filters before printing.

To activate Fun mode, one must set the printer flat. This offers a more creative printing experience. One can select Frame Print to put a sticker on photos before printing, and Collage Print which allows several frames to appear on a single print out. Match Test is one of the cooler modes, which uses a photo of two people and asks questions to see who well they match.

The user must hand the smartphone over to the other person who answers questions, and then the user is tested to see if they can get those questions right. Thereafter, a printout with a score is done with a photo of the friends together.

If several smartphones in the same area have the Mini Link app, they can use Party Mode. This mode accepts several photos from various phones and prints out a surprise collage photo at the end.

The printer takes the same Instax film cartridges as the Instax cameras, so finding replacement film won’t be difficult. It charges via micro-USB and claims to do 100 prints on a single charge. While this may be possible in a single mode, we found after printing 20 shots and using the printer as a remote for about an hour, it was down to 60% battery life. That said, it still offers great battery life for such a small device.

Overall, we were extremely impressed with this device and its brilliant quality print-outs. Even its more gimmicky features were charming and add to the memory-making experience.

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