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Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 passes FCC and Bluetooth SIG

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Samsung is close to launching another tablet in the market. The company’s Galaxy Tab A7 has cleared FCC and Bluetooth SIG this week. This suggests the product could be announced in the market very soon. As given in this report, the new model numbers of the Galaxy Tab A7 have got the respective certifications. This is usually the final step before a product is launched.

The report also includes design render of the purported tablet which is likely to get a single rear camera. We still don’t know the other features of the device. But going by Samsung’s usual formula for tablets, expect the Galaxy Tab A7 to sport an 8-inch or bigger display. In addition to this, we’re hoping the Galaxy Tab A7 packs an octa-core processor with 4 or even 6GB RAM with 64 or 128GB storage.

Tablets have largely found it hard to succeed in the Android ecosystem. But Samsung is one of the brands that continues to push devices for consumers and other segment of buyers.  They have tablets across different price range as well. You have the Galaxy Tab A in the mid-range segment, while there’s the Galaxy Tab S for the premium market. And the brand is readying to launch the Galaxy Tab S7 in the coming weeks as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 launch on the cards

The South Korean brand accidentally posted details of the tablet on its website. And before it was taken down, people managed to find the product details for the upcoming device. Guys at GSMarena cross-checked the tablet’s model number with one of the device spotted on Geekbench tests recently. And voila, the details matched.

The Galaxy Tab S7 will come with upcoming 5G Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset. The tablet is likely come with Super AMOLED display with size between 11 to 12-inch and slim bezels. As always, the device will be compatible with S Pen stylus, and come with rear and front cameras. It is possible that Samsung could launch the Tab S7 alongside the Galaxy Note 20 in the coming weeks.

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E Ink demos a folding e-reader that can also take notes

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Folding smartphones are slowly making their way into the mainstream. Could foldable e-readers be next? The E Ink Corporation, the company behind the digital paper tech found in the majority of e-readers, is trying to make it happen. The firm’s R&D lab has been developing foldable e-ink screens for a while, and its latest prototype clearly demonstrates the idea’s potential.

The video above comes from GoodEReader.com and shows a foldable e-reader prototype developed by E Ink. An earlier version came out in June, but the latest hardware adds a sturdier hinge, five dedicated buttons down the right hand side of the device, and two lightbars positioned at the top of the screen for illumination. There’s also integrated Wacom technology for taking notes, making annotations, and highlighting passages with a stylus.


The folding action looks smooth, even though the prototype hardware isn’t ready for the mainstream.
GIF: GoodEReader.com

The overall concept is intriguing. As with folding smartphones, a foldable e reader promises more screen real estate in a smaller package. There’s also the pleasing familiarity of the folding format, making the device more like a book or notepad. Add in the capacity to take notes and sync reading material and you’d have an extremely useful bit of kit.

But it seems the technology is not quite there just yet. The bezels on this prototype are huge, the flip-up lightbars are reminiscent of gadgets from the 1990s, while note-taking on e-readers generally is still constrained by low latency. Using e-readers to take notes is certainly a growing market, but it’s not yet a seamless enough experience to overtake old fashioned pen and paper. Still, we’ll be watching the development of this tech with interest.

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WhatsApp working on multiple device support with chat sync

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp appears to be working on new multiple device support with synchronized chat history. WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp is testing the ability to use an account on multiple devices, including a separate iPad app. WhatsApp currently supports multiple devices through WhatsApp Web, which connects back to a phone account.

WhatsApp Web requires a phone to be powered on and connected to the web, but this new multiple device support won’t need to constantly connect back to a phone and will allow people to use WhatsApp on multiple devices simultaneously.

This new multiple devices feature, which has been rumored for months, will also likely support chat history sync, allowing WhatsApp users to sync their messages across devices. WABetaInfo also reports that WhatsApp will release its long-rumored iPad app once the multiple devices support is ready to be released.

WhatsApp now has 2 billion users and has been introducing features to limit the forwarding of viral messages in recent months. WhatsApp also added a search feature last week to help users debunk misinformation that can spread on the messaging service.

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Brydge releases new line of ‘Designed for Surface’ keyboards and accessories

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On August 17th, Brydge will begin selling a new lineup of Surface accessories that have the “Designed for Surface” badge, meaning that they were made in collaboration with Microsoft. The lineup includes keyboards for the Surface Pro and Surface Go, but the most intriguing product in the group is the $99.99 W-Touch standalone trackpad. It’s apparently the first standalone wireless trackpad made for Windows 10.

The W-Touch is like a Magic Trackpad 2 that’s built for Windows 10 instead, coated in a striking black with an aluminum build. It has Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and it supports Precision drivers and multitouch gestures, like pinch to zoom, and multifinger swipes to switch desktops. This trackpad has a large glass surface to comfortably move around in, measuring at 5.5 inches across and 3.3 inches deep, so a little smaller than Apple’s version but still spacious.

The W-Touch is said to delivery one-month battery life, and it recharges via USB-C. One hundred dollars isn’t cheap for a trackpad, but as the only standalone, wireless option made in partnership with Microsoft, Brydge gets to set the price. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but it could be a great accessory to have around if a mouse doesn’t jive with your workflow.

Brydge
Both the Brydge W-Touch and W-Type claim one month of battery life per charge. Also, each features a USB-C port to make recharging easy.
Photo: Brydge

Brydge is also releasing the W-Type to complement the W-Touch. It’s a full-size wireless keyboard with aluminum detailing and a complete row of function keys. Right out of the gate, it seems like an excellent value at $59.99. The overall design, and even the printing on the keys, makes it look like an accessory that Microsoft might make — and perhaps severely overcharge for. The keys use a scissor mechanism and each has 2mm travel, which Brydge claims is the “perfect” amount of key travel. If it’s anything like what the Surface Laptop 3 has built in, there’s plenty of reason to get excited.

This model has Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity with support for up to four devices, so you can easily switch the computer to which it’s connected. Brydge claims it can last up to a month on a charge. When it zaps out, you can charge it via USB-C.

Rounding out the lineup are the new Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus and 10.5 Go Plus keyboards. The $149.99 Pro Plus model works with the Surface Pro 4, 5, 6, and 7, while the $129.99 Go Plus works with the Surface Go and Go 2. Both feature Bluetooth 5.0, backlit keys, Windows Precision trackpads with full multitouch gesture support, USB-C ports for charging, and an antimicrobial coating on the deck. Brydge has had a keyboard for the Surface Pro for some time now — this new model has a redesigned hinge, 70 percent larger trackpad, native multi-touch control in Windows, updated Bluetooth connectivity, and a plastic deck as opposed to aluminum. (The bottom of the keyboard is still metal.) It also weighs 70 grams less.

Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus
The Brydge 12.3 Pro Plus keyboard attaches to the Surface Pro with hinge clamps to turn it into a traditional laptop.
Photo: Brydge

Like the Brydge Pro Plus keyboard for the iPad Pro, these turn your Surface into a more traditional clamshell laptop that can be easily balanced on your lap or closed up and thrown in a bag. When you want to use the Surface as a tablet, you can just pop it out of the Brydge’s hinge and go.

Compared to Microsoft’s Surface keyboards, the Brydge provides a more stable typing experience and longer travel on the keys. But it does require charging roughly every three months and Bluetooth isn’t as reliable of a connection as the pogo pins the Surface keyboards use. It also makes the Surface noticeably thicker and heavier, but it’s still a quite portable package.

All of these products will go on sale starting August 17th, and aside from the 10.5 Go Plus that ships the week of September 7th, the others will ship the week of August 31st.

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