HP brings Android to laptops with SlateBook PC.

Customers have been telling Hewlett-Packard that they want laptops that run Android, so the company is rolling out the SlateBook PC to meet that demand.

The laptop will start at $399 and be available in August.

It has a 14-inch touchscreen and combines the familiar interface of Android on mobile devices “with the productivity of a notebook … in a breakthrough design,” said Mike Nash, vice president at HP.

“It’s in a very new category. Customers told us they spend a lot of time on mobile applications.” Nash said, adding that he received many questions like “why can’t I access the Android ecosystem from the clamshell form factor?”

The SlateBook PC weighs about 1.7 kilograms, is 16 millimeters thick, has 64GB of storage, 2GB of memory, and a fully charged battery can run for nine hours. The touchscreen displays images at 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The laptop runs on an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, which is used in HP’s SlateBook tablets. The Nvidia chip has 72 graphics cores and can handle 4K video playback.

HP has added tools so Android apps will stretch out to the full 14-inch screen size.

Both Chromebooks and the SlateBook PC are meant for those who do most of their computing on the Internet, but there are differences, Nash said. Using a browser on the Android laptop isn’t as good as on Chromebooks, which are more like desktops in that regard. But Android is used by millions of people and some want it on laptops, Nash said.

Beyond the user interface, the Android laptop will run applications such as Skype that are not yet supported on Chromebooks. Android also boasts better printer support than the Chrome OS.

HP has had to make choices in the past on whether to use the Chrome OS or Android in PCs. HP chose Android over Chrome for its Slate 21 Pro all-in-one, partly because Android was heavily customizable as an open-source OS, while features in Chrome OS were controlled by Google. HP also said that Android was cheaper to implement than Chrome OS, which had to comply with specific hardware requirements.

The laptop is expected to be shown at Computex this week in Taipei.


Tuff Phones launches rugged T1 smartphone in UK

It retails for £375 online and is available now from the Tuff Phones official website

UK manufacturer Tuff Phones has launched its latest rugged smartphone the Tuff T1.

It retails for £375 prepay and is available now from the Tuff official website.

The T1 features a five inch Gorilla Glass 4 display housed in an aluminium-titanium frame. The unique selling point of the device is its military graded rugged rating (MIL-STD 810G) qualifying it for drops from 1.5 metres.

Powering the device is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor (MediaTek 6737T) with 3GB of RAM. Running out of the box is Android 6.0 which introduced Doze Mode, a battery saving feature of the operating system.

Main camera is 13 megapixels with a Sony CMOS sensor, the same sensors in Apple’s flagship iPhone range.  The camera also features phase detection autofocus and LED flash. The front facing snapper is five megapixels.

Other features include a dual-SIM tray, and a 3,000mAh battery charged via microUSB port.

Tuff spokesman James Booker said: “There’s a huge contingent of construction workers out there who would rather put up with a cracked screen on their sleek smartphone than be seen with a chunky tough device. Up to now, tough devices have been built with bulkier, hardened rubber casings whose size make them look anything but sleek.

“Thanks to an internal aluminium-titanium alloy frame, we‘ve been able to strip away the bulky body of the traditional tough phone and replace it with the slender design of a modern smartphone.

“The T1 can cope with pretty much anything you throw at it. It certainly won’t be bothered by being dropped in a bit of mud, water or sand.”



Apple bolsters Apple SIM with Truphone

Other partners of Apple SIM include: EE, Three, AT&T and T-Mobile

Apple has today (July 20) added Truphone into its stable of carriers for Apple SIM.

Truphone will offer data plans for iPad users with the multi-operator SIM in the UK. Users will be able to roam in 40 countries without incurring international roaming charges.

Compatible countries are as follows: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, Reunion Island, Vatican City.

Other partners of Apple SIM include: EE, Three, AT&T and T-Mobile to name a few.

Apple SIM users can sign up to a tariff from their iPads. Models that include the built-in SIM card include: iPad Pro 10.5 inches, iPad Pro 12.9 inches (second generation) and iPad Pro 9.7 inches.

Truphone was established in 2006, the London-headquartered firm has 11 offices globally, employing 400 staff. Netflix and Tesla are counted as B2B partners.

Truly global player

Truphone chief marketing officer Sarah Speake (pictured) said: “We’re excited about the potential that Apple SIM has to revolutionise how we provide seamless connectivity for our customers, no matter where they are in the world.

“Our capability, expertise and global network mean we’re well placed to capitalise on this shift as the only truly global player. Our UK launch of data plans on iPad with Apple SIM is another testament to the ability of Truphone to deliver a seamless product globally.”



Vodafone Smart E8 now available

The device, exclusive to Vodafone, is 4G enabled and available for £49 on Pay as you go

Vodafone has made its latest device, the Vodafone Smart E8, available for purchase.

The latest Vodafone Smart device boasts a complete unibody casing, a five inch LCD display and a second microphone that reduces background noise on whilst the user is on a call.

Beneath the screen the Smart E8 runs on a Snapdragon 210 processor with 1GB of RAM and Android Nougat 7.1 and 8GB of storage of which 3.44GB is available.

The Vodafone Smart E8 costs £49 on pay as you go with the device only available in blue.


Some Android Wear 2.0 keyboards have missing characters, fix coming

Google has officially acknowledged a bug in Android Wear 2.0 where-in keyboards for some languages have missing characters. Specifically, users of Russian and Hungarian keyboards have been noticing this problem for a few months.

Characters ‘Х’ ‘Ъ’ ‘Э,’ and ‘Ё’ are missing from the Russian keyboard, and the Hungarian keyboard is also reportedly incomplete.

Affected wearables include watches with round screens (LG Watch Urbane and Huawei Watch). Following is the statement from a Google community manager:

“Hi, Just wanted to update this thread to say that this has carefully been considered and will be coming in a future update. Thanks everyone for your feedback!”



Asus Zenfone AR landing in UK

Asus has announced that is bringing it’s Zenfone AR smartphone to the UK. In fact, the company has confirmed that the device will be available to pre-order in the country starting July 21. As for pricing, the phone will carry a tag of £799 (around $1,035).

Those pre-ordering will also get a Daydream View unit free. First 30 pre-orders will be eligible for some other freebies as well, including headphones, a case, and a screen protector.

The handset, for those who aren’t aware, offers support for Tango (Google’s AR system) and Daydream (Google’s VR platform). Specs-wise, the Zenfone AR is powered by Snapdragon 821 chipset, and sports a 5.7-inch QHD AMOLED display. It has 8GB of RAM, and features a 23MP main camera.




Battery life can vary depending on usage of the internal modules, backlight settings, and ambient temperature. Factors that decrease battery life include the following:

Internal radio usage. The 802.11g radio is very power-demanding and can decrease the battery life by a great deal. The Bluetooth® radio will also decrease battery life. To maximize battery life, turn off the radios when they are not in use.

Frequent use of power-hungry modules such as GPS, cameras, and scanners can decrease battery life by up to 50%.

Make sure to choose power settings to match your needs. If available and not needed, reduce performance to maximize battery life. Make sure to lower the backlight according to your needs since this will increase battery life.

Cold temperature reduces battery capacity. The colder the temperature, the more the capacity is reduced. Extremely cold temperatures (-20 °C) can reduce battery life to just a few hours.


Charging continuously for a week or two is unlikely to degrade performance if this only happens occasionally. Continuous charging for many months will decrease the service life of the pack an indeterminate amount, depending on environment and manufacturing variations.


If you plan to store the unit for longer than a couple of weeks, handheld strongly recommends unplugging the battery from the charger or removing the battery from the device.

We recommend to store the batteries at a 30% state of charge.


You’ve been charging your smartphone wrong

Yes, we know. Our smartphone batteries are bad because they barely last a day.

But it’s partially our fault because we’ve been charging them wrong this whole time.

Many of us have an ingrained notion that charging our smartphones in small bursts will cause long-term damage to their batteries, and that it’s better to charge them when they’re close to dead.

But we couldn’t be more wrong.

If fact, a site from battery company Cadex called Battery University details how the lithium-ion batteries in our smartphones are sensitive to their own versions of “stress.” And, like for humans, extended stress could be damaging your smartphone battery’s long-term lifespan.

If you want to keep your smartphone battery in top condition and go about your day without worrying about battery life, you need to change a few things.

Don’t keep it plugged in when it’s fully charged

According to Battery University, leaving your phone plugged in when it’s fully charged, like you might overnight, is bad for the battery in the long run.

Once your smartphone has reached 100% charge, it gets “trickle charges” to keep it at 100% while plugged in. It keeps the battery in a high-stress, high-tension state, which wears down the chemistry within.

Battery University goes into a bunch of scientific detail explaining why, but it also sums it nicely: “When fully charged, remove the battery” from its charging device. “This is like relaxing the muscles after strenuous exercise.” You too would be pretty miserable if you worked out nonstop for hours and hours.

In fact, try not to charge it to 100%

At least when you don’t have to.

According to Battery University, “Li-ion does not need to be fully charged, nor is it desirable to do so. In fact, it is better not to fully charge, because a high voltage stresses the battery” and wears it away in the long run.

That might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to keep your smartphone charged all day, but just plug it in whenever you can during the day, and you’ll be fine.

Plug in your phone whenever you can

It turns out that the batteries in our smartphones are much happier if you charge them occasionally throughout the day instead of plugging them in for a big charging session when they’re empty.

Charging your phone when it loses 10% of its charge would be the best-case scenario, according to Battery University. Obviously, that’s not practical for most people, so just plug in your smartphone whenever you can. It’s fine to plug and unplug it multiple times a day.

Not only does this keep your smartphone’s battery performing optimally for longer, but it also keeps it topped up throughout the day.

Plus, periodic top-ups also let you use features you might not normally use because they hog your battery life, like location-based features that use your smartphone’s GPS antenna.

Keep it cool

Smartphone batteries are so sensitive to heat that Apple itself suggests you remove certain cases that insulate heat from your iPhone when you charge it. “If you notice that your device gets hot when you charge it, take it out of its case first.” If you’re out in the hot sun, keep your phone covered. It’ll protect your battery’s health.



DO read the instructions on your device before installing batteries. Only use the size and type of battery specified in the instructions.

DO insert the batteries properly. Follow the symbols showing the correct way to position the positive (+) and negative (-) ends of the batteries.

DO keep battery contact surfaces clean by gently rubbing with a clean pencil eraser or cloth.

DO immediately remove exhausted batteries from your device and dispose of properly.

DO remove all batteries from the device at the same time and replace them with new batteries of the same size and type.

DO preserve battery life by switching off a device and removing the batteries when it is not being used, and is not expected to be used for extended periods of time.

DO practice proper battery storage by keeping batteries in a cool, dry place at normal room temperature. It is not necessary to store batteries in a refrigerator.



Battery Care & Maintenance

Regular Inspection and Maintenance
Regular testing and inspection will help to maximise battery life. A routine inspection at least once a month is recommended to maintain optimum performance.
Battery Testing
Battery testing should form part of a regular maintenance routine. Pre-emptive battery replacement can help eliminate many of the costs and problems associated with a flat battery.
Voltage and Specific Gravity
Voltage (V) and Specific Gravity (SG) are measurements used to determine a battery’s state of charge. Voltage is a quick and easy way of measuring charge levels and is measured by connecting either a multi-meter or voltmeter and obtaining a DC reading. Always connect the multi-meter parallel to the circuit being tested, observing polarity; otherwise the result will be negative.

Hydrometers measure the Specific Gravity of the electrolyte and indicate the density of electrolyte compared to water. As this requires access to acid reservoirs, it is only suitable for use with maintainable batteries.
Battery Charging
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to charge a battery and ensure you have a good quality Australian-approved battery charger. The battery type and its internal components will determine which type of charger is required.

Important Note:
Avoid quick charging as this only charges the surface of the battery plates and can increase the chance of overheating, leading to permanent battery damage.

Be aware of all safety precautions that should be observed during the charging operation before attempting to charge a battery.

1. Turn the charger off before attaching, rocking or removing the terminal clamps.

2. Keep open flames and sparks away from the battery.

3. Keep vent caps in place.

4. Charge in well ventilated area.

5. Follow the battery charger manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overheating.
Factors Affecting Battery Life
As batteries age they gradually lose their capacity as their function is performed. The constant charge and discharge eventually leads to failure. Components corrode over time, electrical shorts occur and vibration causes damage; all eventually causing failure. Overcharging and undercharging of a battery will also have a bearing on battery life.
Technical Tips
• Vibration can reduce a battery’s life. Always use an approved battery clamp to limit vibration. Century batteries are built tough, using robust internal components to resist damage through abrasion and puncture from vehicle vibration.

• Many alleged ‘dead batteries’ are merely flat batteries. Drivers simply leave lights on or can have faulty voltage regulators.
• Ensure your battery is properly tested before replacing a battery.

• It’s impossible to know exactly when a battery might fail. A slow starting engine is sometimes an indication.
• Old batteries can give trouble in colder weather.
• Equally, if an engine area becomes overheated in very hot weather and the battery is under strain from air conditioners it may fail. Regular battery checks are always advised.