HP CET 2022 Result Declared
HP CET Result 2022: Himachal Pradesh Technical University (HPTU) declared the Himachal Pradesh Common Entrance Test (HP CET) 2022 result today, July 20. The HP CET result is now available on the official website of the university -- himtu.ac.in. Candidates who have appeared for the entrance test can check and download HP CET score card by using their roll number or name. The Himachal Pradesh CET examination was conducted on July 10, in the offline mode as pen and paper based.
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The duration of the HP CET test was 03 hours (180 minutes). The HP CET paper for undergraduate courses consisted of 150 multiple choice questions (MCQs). While, for the postgraduate programme, the test paper consisted of 100 MCQs.
Go to the HPTU official website at himtu.ac.in
Click on the 'Result of HPCET-2022' link scrolling on the top of the homepage
It will redirect you to the result portal
Search your HP CET result 2022 using roll number or name
Check the CET scorecard and download it
Take a print out of the HP CET 2022 result pdf for future use.
HP CET Result 2022: Direct Link
Candidates who qualify the entrance test would be required to appear for the counselling process. The 15 per cent seats are reserved under All India Quota (AIQ) out of the total number of seats. While 65 per cent seats are reserved for HP State Quota (HPSQ), 5 per cent are reserved for non-resident Indians (NRI) and 15 per cent seats are reserved for management students in only private institutions.
HPTU conducted the HP CET entrance test to provide admission to candidates in undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered by the universities and institutions across the Himachal Pradesh state.
Jeff Landre is in the vanguard of a new type of retiree: the encore careerist. For most of his working life, Landre held management positions in field service and global logistics at technology giant Hewlett-Packard. "It was all about identifying the needs of customers," he says.
Today, his customers are foster children.
Since last August, Landre has worked for Mission Focused Solutions, a nonprofit in Grass Valley, Cal., that helps child welfare organizations Strengthen their ability to place foster children in permanent homes. He is using his business acumen to guide state and county government officials in streamlining social-services budgets to free up money for additional placements. "The work is very mentally challenging and rewarding," says Landre, who lives in Loomis, a suburb of Sacramento.
Landre didn't know what he wanted to do when he retired from HP in 2008. Encore Fellowships Network, an internship program that annually matches 200 retired professionals with nonprofits in 15 states and the District of Columbia, hooked him up with Mission Focused Solutions. His stint is up in August, but the nonprofit has asked Landre to stay on as chief program officer. "Why should I not stay and have some fun?" he says.
Like Landre, thousands of seniors who have left longtime positions are embarking on second-act careers. Many are repurposing their corporate skills—as in Landre's case—to fit social-purpose endeavors with nonprofit groups. Others are taking on part-time jobs to pursue longtime or new interests, whether it's as a personal chef or a teacher. And still others are pursuing a passion and filling a market niche by creating small service businesses.
Retirees seeking meaningful later-in-life careers spend an average of 18 months from the time they start to "take stock" to the time they find a suitable position, says Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook (Workman, $16). "You need to figure out the best fit for you, and then you need to match what you want to do with the opportunities," says Alboher, vice-president of Encore.org, a nonprofit that provides information and programs for baby boomers seeking social-purpose careers.
Many encore careers won't pay as much as your lifelong job. And they're unlikely to offer health insurance. But if that's not important, you can find numerous resources that cater to older workers searching for new ventures. These tips and tools will help you get started.
Take stock. If you're not sure what you'd like to do, it's time for self-assessment, says Alboher. (Her book includes self-assessment tools and job-search Web sites.) Ask yourself: What did you like and dislike about your old job? Do you want to work on your own or in a team? Are there particular issues and causes that appeal to you? Do certain activities make you happy?
You could seek one-on-one guidance from a career coach (find one at the Web site of the International Coach Federation at www.coachfederation.org). Or check out one of many nonprofit counseling centers that have sprung up to help baby boomers find meaning in their later life. Coming of Age (www.comingofage.org), for example, has nine locations, including Austin and Cincinnati. The 12 chapters of the Transition Network (www.thetransitionnetwork.org) focus on professional women over 50. To find other programs, go to www.encore.org/connect/local.
At Discovering What's Next, in Boston, retirees and those approaching retirement from diverse professional backgrounds meet in groups with a facilitator and individually with a "transition navigator," says Devra Kiel Simon, executive director. "Many people want a change, and they don't know what they want to do," she says. "We help them clarify their passions, skills and expertise. Then we help them create a roadmap." As part of the roadmap, participants may be told about classes they could take, certifications they should pursue and Web sites to review.Ken Wong enrolled in a Coming of Age "Explore Your Future" workshop in San Francisco after retiring in 2008 from Chevron, where he worked for 28 years in information technology. The group met once a week for four weeks. Wong, now 73, says the members spoke freely about their options and possibilities, and their strengths and weaknesses. "I was in a new stage, and it was helpful being with like-minded people who were going through the same things," he says.
With Coming of Age's help, Wong explored a couple of possibilities, and then a job opened up that seemed tailor made. For years, Wong had volunteered at Healthier Living workshops, a nationwide program to help individuals with chronic illnesses manage their conditions. When the organization that operates the local program wanted to expand the number of sites, they hired Wong for a paid, part-time job. "My passion has become my work," he says.
Explore the job market. While you're taking stock, start researching emerging careers and hot jobs. Some resources: continuing-education catalogs, online job boards for older workers and even advertisements in niche publications, says Nancy Collamer, author of Second-Act Careers (Ten Speed Press, $15). By looking at ads—say, in a pet-care magazine—"you'll get a sense of what people are willing to pay for," she says.
You can research the growth prospects for various careers by reviewing the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook (www.bls.gov/ooh). The Riley Guide (www.rileyguide.com) provides information on hundreds of careers as well as job-search tips and links to networking sites and other resources.
One booming field: aging boomers. "There are jobs and opportunities to help the aging population," says Alboher. Builders and architects can modify homes, by installing ramps and grab bars. Boomer career counselors can help their peers find their own encores. Older people who are downsizing their homes are turning to "senior move managers." You can get certified as a wellness coach or a bereavement counselor.
Collamer says a "huge opportunity" for second-act careers is to "teach the business of the business"—that is, using your own business skills to train budding entrepreneurs. She recalls one manager who left his marketing job at 50 to devote more time to a side business as a magician. He realized other magicians were terrible at selling themselves. Now, Collamer says, the magician is using his corporate skills to train magicians how to market their businesses.
Arline Melzer found her new calling by accident. Melzer, who lives in Stamford, Conn., worked for years as a manager in the software industry. During the six months it took her to find another job after a 2001 layoff, Melzer taught herself how to transfer videos of her children to DVDs.
She also created a photo montage on video for her sister-in-law's birthday party. Her sister-in-law, Melzer says, "was so touched that she never let up. She said, 'You have a business here. People will love it.' " In 2004, Melzer left her job and launched Picture Perfections, a production firm that creates marketing videos for businesses, photo slide-show videos and video biographies.Melzer gets particular satisfaction working on personal videos, such as a memorial for the first anniversary of the death of a client's husband. "People are so appreciative," she says. "It's just so fulfilling."
Take a course. You don't have to pursue a higher degree to train for a new career. Online and in-person classes and workshops can fill the knowledge gaps or provide the necessary certification or credential.
Look at your community college's continuing-education offerings. For fledgling entrepreneurs, for example, Baltimore County's community college offers "How to Start and Manage Your Own Small Business." It also offers courses on how to market your business on YouTube, Facebook and mobile apps. Need some training in specific fields? At Westchester Community College in Valhalla, N.Y., you can take a class on becoming an event planner, home inspector or medical-records technician.
Encore.org has created partnerships with 40 community colleges to create training for positions in health, social services, education and the environment. Some colleges are training former nurses to become instructors, while others are offering fast-track teacher certification. (Go to www.encore.org/colleges.)
If you are interested in a particular field or business, check out its trade group. If you can't travel to its annual conference, you're likely able to enroll in local workshops or Webinars. Some industry associations offer coursework that could lead to certification.
Diana Meinhold found that specialized training—plus a lot of networking—were the keys to becoming a successful fiduciary case manager for seniors who can no longer take care of financial and other matters. She began to lay the groundwork even before she retired in 2008 as a top executive with the Automobile Club of Southern California.For a number of years, Meinhold, now 63, who lives in Costa Mesa, Cal., was the conservator for a close friend who had Alzheimer's disease. Meinhold began to realize that "a lot of families are not equipped to manage the care needs and finances" of older relatives. She decided to pursue a new career in the field of aging.
Meinhold left her job, and after a few detours, she enrolled in a seven-month online extension program at California State University in Fullerton. She learned about trust administration and financial management. She also attended aging-related education programs and meetings of the county bar association's elder law and estate sections. Meinhold met lawyers, home-health agency owners and financial planners—all possible sources of future referrals. Two weeks after she received her license, she got her first case. "It's been a tsunami ever since," she says.
Her work runs the gamut, from selling a senior's business to taking an elderly client to the dentist. "The joy comes from the interaction" with clients, she says. "The stories they tell, the lives they live. I am blessed to be exposed to that."
Test the waters. Before you plunge head first into a new career, it may be wise to try it out. Seek advice from people in the field. Ask a trade association to put you in touch with a member or two. Or contact PivotPlanet (www.pivotplanet.com), where, for a fee, you can speak with an adviser working in one of more than 200 fields, from home stager to college prep counselor.
Try applying for an internship, paid or unpaid. Some employers limit their programs to students, but others may be willing to take on a person with experience. A growing number of programs are catering to the second-act group.
The Encore Fellowships Network, which helped Jeff Landre move to his second act, provides paid internships that last for six months to a year. National director Leslye Louie says the fellows are given high-level assignments. "We do look for a skill match," says Louie, a former fellow. "If you have expertise in marketing, you'll probably spend a good amount of time leveraging those skills." (For more information, go to www.encore.org/fellowships.)
ReServe (www.reserveinc.org) also recruits professionals who are 55 and older for part-time jobs in nonprofits. It operates in seven locations, including Miami, New York City and Milwaukee. Participants receive stipends of $10 an hour. The average placement lasts 13 months. Jobs can include marketing strategist and fund-raising program designer. "This is an easy way for people to get their feet wet and help them figure out what resonates with them," says Carol Greenfield, director of ReServe Greater Boston.
High-tech entrepreneur Alan Greenfield (no relation to Carol), 65, just completed a three-month ReServe job in Boston running a center that helps low-income people prepare their tax returns. Greenfield, who lives in Needham, Mass., supervised 19 volunteers who were mostly college students.
The services included helping clients qualify for the earned-income tax credit. By using his management and tech skills to upgrade the scheduling system and Strengthen efficiency, Greenfield says he was able to boost the number of prepared returns to 350 this tax season, up from 200 a year ago. With the average client receiving a $1,000 credit, Greenfield figures he was able to leverage his $3,000 salary to generate $350,000 in extra income for his clients.
Greenfield liked the idea that there was "something new that I had to learn." Now that his gig is over, Greenfield wants to stay busy, but he won't return to the high-tech world. With a new skill on his resume, he says, "it's very likely I will stay with nonprofits."
Volunteering will give you a sense of what nonprofits are like. Moreover, it will help you make contacts in a field and perhaps lead to a job at the organization. Perhaps you can suggest a short-term project based on your professional skills. "One great way to build up your resume and to learn about a sector is to offer to become a pro bono consultant," says Alboher.
Check out the Taproot Foundation (www.taprootfoundation.org), which recruits skilled volunteers in five cities for special projects, such as building a Web site or creating a human resources strategy for nonprofit clients. Or check out other volunteer Web sites, such as VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org and Catchafire.org, which matches professionals with short-term projects.
Siemens PLM and HP Inc. have created a partnership to advance their 3D printing tools for industrial design and production. Siemens has created an HP-certified additive manufacturing (AM) software module. The module, Siemens NX AM for HP Multi Jet Fusion, is now an extension to Siemens’ solution for additive manufacturing.
Earlier this year, Siemens announced a partnership with Stratasys on 3D print technology. Clearly Siemens wants a major role as 3D printing moves into manufacturing. “To industrialize additive manufacturing technology, we have to become a major vendor in design and manufacturing. We have to manage and distribute 3D print technology in a secure way,” Andreas Saar, VP of manufacturing engineering solutions at Siemens PLM, told Design News. “That’s why we’re intensively investing in it, and that’s why we partner with 3D printing companies. It was clear from the beginning we have to partner with strategic vendors who have the know-how from the technology side.”
The NX AM module will let users develop and manage parts in a single software environment for their HP 3D printing projects. The goal is to avoid costly and time-consuming data conversions and third-party tools while improving design-to-finished-part workflow efficiency. Siemens and HP are also aligning for future technology in order to escape the limitations of traditional manufacturing to produce new products at faster speeds.
Siemens views additive manufacturing as a technology that will alter the world of design and manufacturing. “This technology will change how products are imagined and designed, and it will change how we tool our factories,” said Saar. “It is having a major impact on how products are designed and manufactured. It’s important that Siemens PLM is heavily involved.”
Saar noted that additive manufacturing has traversed the hurdles that have previously held back 3D printing as a production technology. “In order to bring AM into production, you have to be capable of replacing a previous technology in both time and cost. You have to produce parts in amounts at better or lessor costs, and at greater speed. That’s the advantage of HP’s technology,” he said. “On the plastics side, you can print 30,000 or 40,000 parts cheaper than producing a mold. Also, you can print the same quality. You didn’t have that before. The quality has improved.”
Until recently, 3D printed parts were consider sub-standard in strength. Advances in materials have dramatically changed that equation. “Developments in the materials side is the main difference in part strength,” said Saar. “We’re working with major material vendors to really stabilize the digital package – a combination of material process and printing.”
So far, individual industries are turning to additive manufacturing to solve very different and specific needs. “Each industry has a different focus for additive manufacturing. The goal for aerospace is performance and light-weighting. You can build 3D parts you could not produce before,” said Saar. “This is a major breakthrough in aerospace. You can develop powder combinations to build material recipes that you couldn’t before. On the medical side, the goal is individualization; for consumer products, it’s mass customization.”
Partnership Brings Ease of Use
The Siemens AM software module was designed to let NX users combine design, optimization, simulation, and preparation of print jobs while bringing in the inspection processes for HP Multi Jet Fusion 3D printed parts in a managed environment. Users can load multiple 3D part models into NX, and auto-nest and submit them to an HP 3D printer in a single environment and with a minimum of steps.
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News. Other courses he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.
Look on the back of your laptop charger and you’ll find a mess of symbols and numbers. We’d bet you’ve looked at them before and gleaned little or no understanding from what they’re telling you.
These symbols are as complicated as the label on the tag of your shirt that have never taught you anything about doing laundry. They’re the marks of standardization and bureaucracy, and dozens of countries basking in the glow of money made from issuing certificates.
The switching power supply is the foundation of many household electronics — obviously not just laptops — and thus they’re a necessity worldwide. If you can make a power supply that’s certified in most countries, your market is enormous and you only have to make a single device, possibly with an interchangeable AC cord for different plug types. And of course, symbols that have meaning in just about any jurisdiction.
In short, these symbols tell you everything important about your power supply. Here’s what they mean.
How did every power supply end up plastered with hieroglyphics? It works like this; Acme Corp wants to sell a Thingamajig in Benchoffistan, so the company sends a pallet of Thingamajigs there. The Customs officer in Benchoffistan looks at this pile of goods and says “how will I know this thing is safe for my citizens to use? You must have appropriate certificates that say this product is allowed to be imported.” And just like that, an industry called “Market Access” is born.
Market Access deals with all kinds of problems: logistics, politics, taxes and tariffs, labels and user manuals, materials, timing, and even occasionally palm greasing. Every country has their own nuances, and there are some companies who specialize in helping negotiate this minefield. Russia requires special testing if a device uses encryption or connects to telecommunications equipment (BLE and WiFi both count). Many countries require in-country testing. Most require an in-country representative of the company to handle filings and communication. Some have lead times in the months.
The first thing you’ll see on every power supply is the Input and Output. The input is almost always “100-240V~50-60Hz. The world runs power to outlets in this range. It means that as an input, the plug expects to be connected to that range of input voltage and frequency. The United States uses 120V/60Hz, Europe uses 230V/50Hz, so it’s nice that the input has a range within all of the countries.
The output line has three pieces of information: the output voltage (typically 5V, 9V, 12V), a solid line over a dashed line indicating DC or a ~ indicating AC, and a current rating, usually in hundreds of milli-amps for smaller blocks that plug in, and amps for supplies where the brick is separate from the plug. When replacing a power supply, you’ll want to match the output voltage, match the AC/DC output, and the output amperage must be at least as big as the previous supply and it can be bigger. That number is just the maximum the supply is rated for, not how much it will deliver.
The next piece is the polarity. This looks like a circle with a + in it, a circle with a – in it, and a C in the center. Almost always, the – will point to the C and the + will point to a dot inside the C. This means that the plug has – (ground) on the outside and positive voltage on the inside. Some older plugs don’t conform to this, so you should always check before you uses a supply.
The house symbol means it’s meant for indoor use only, and the square inside a square means that the mains electricity is double insulated. The X through the garbage can means it should not be disposed of normally but instead recycled with other electronics.
There a few big companies that do the testing that have their own icons. It lends validity to the rest of the symbols if you can call up these companies and verify from a single source if they really do have each certificate.
You’ll most often see the UL symbol. UL is Underwriters Laboratories, which is a safety organization. They have a barrage of standard tests that they will run against the device to make sure that it is safe. In most cases, a UL certificate isn’t required for sale, but if your house burns down and it’s because of a non-UL listed supply blowing up, then the insurance company is going to put up a fight because you weren’t using safe equipment in your home. Many large retailers will require that your device be listed as well, since they don’t want to deal with any potential recalls or lawsuits from bad products. Next to each UL symbol should be a license number.
This is a good point to mention that many of these marks may be fake — I’ve run into that when sourcing USB power supplies for a product. Customs agents are going to see the symbol and may not follow up to see if the appropriate certificate actually applies to that product, so it’s not uncommon to look up a UL listing number and see pictures of a similar product. There’s some sort of balance, then, when investigating a product’s certificates. You want to see relevant certs and make sure they are legitimate, but you can’t check everything you touch.
The rest of the symbols are going to be country specific, and there are a lot of countries with strange requirements for testing. Power supplies are one thing, but adding intentional radio emissions, like a WiFi or Bluetooth product, steps it up to a whole new level of testing and certifications that are beyond the scope of this article.
In general, the more certificates you see on a product, the less sketchy it is, and the bigger the company manufacturing the product. Small manufacturers aren’t going to have the money or interest to pursue a lot of certifications, and may be flying under the radar on a lot of their sales. It’s also an indicator that the product doesn’t change frequently, and that they’ve locked down their assembly line. You won’t see the manufacturer removing critical components to shave costs at the expense of safety.
Super-rare low-production supercars are all over the automotive industry today. Lamborghini, Ferrari, Pagani, and others will build you just about anything you want for a price. While many will bemoan that practice, it’s not new. Long ago, Ferrari was building anything from low-volume to one-off sports cars that are now worth millions. Now, one of those, a 1954 Ferrari 375 America Vignale Cabriolet, is about to go up for auction.
As rare classic Ferrari’s go, this is one of the most desirable for just about every single reason you could think of. The 375 America was intended to be a replacement for the 342 America and in total just 12 examples were ever built. In fact, production originally included just 10 cars before two more that began life as 250 Europas were factory-converted. This car is one of those two and the only one of the 12 in the group that was a Cabriolet.
Under the hood is a 4.5-liter V12 that was factory rated somewhere around 295-hp (219 kW). That figure was simply astonishing for the day and it’s one of the top three largest engines found in a Ferrari Cabriolet built during the 1950s. This car’s entire drivetrain has been certified by Ferrari Classiche as a ‘numbers matching’ example as well. That combination of factors is why RM Sotheby’s has its guidance price listed at $6,500,000 to $7,000,000.
Read More: Rare Ferrari 400 Superamerica Aerodinamico Crossing Auction Block
Of course, when we take it out of that one percenter context, the car itself remains a stunning example of classic Ferraris. Of the twelve cars made, eight were styled by famed coachbuilder Pininfarina while the rest were bodied by Vignale. As the only Cabriolet of the bunch, it’s also special because it features a rare factory hard top.
The car goes over the auction block on August 20th at RM Sotheby’s Monterey event. No matter who wins it or how much they pay, they’ll go down in history as a part of the legacy of this fine car. When it was first sold it was none other than Enzo Ferrari himself who finalized the transaction. That’s a part of history that any enthusiast can appreciate.
With so many laptops to choose from, selecting the best one to fit your budget can be like navigating a minefield. Even making sense of the ever-changing list of product specifications is no easy feat. Laptops vary greatly by CPU speed, graphics capability, size, drive storage, and RAM, among other things. What’s more, your laptop needs may be completely different to someone else’s, only adding to the confusion.
For some, a flashy 4K screen may be important. Others may want a high-performing CPU, like AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 processors, to give them a competitive edge in games. Getting value for money can be tricky too, since newer technologies don’t always mean better performance. For example, older-generation CPUs can sometimes outperform newer products in benchmark tests. For these reasons it pays to do your homework before you purchase a laptop.
To simplify the process for you we’ve put together a list of 12 criteria that you can use as a guide for what to look for. It may seem laborious delving into each category, but there are a lot of things to consider. At the end of the day, taking time to research your new device will mean you avoid making a costly mistake and get a laptop that’s just right for you.
When it comes to laptops, size matters.
Depending on what you plan to be doing with your next laptop, you’ll want to make sure you pick the size that’s the right fit for you. Size isn’t like the RAM or ROM of a laptop, you can’t upgrade it later. You’re locked into whatever form-factor you select up-front, so choose wisely.
Laptops sizes tend to start at 11.6-inches and go all the way up to 17.3 inches. Most brands and OEMS like HP, Dell, ASUS and Acer tend to offer three display sizes - 13.3-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inches. However, some vendors do sell laptops that fall outside these sizes including 11.6-inches, 12.5-inches and 14-inches.
Obviously, if portability is your priority, you’ll want to go for a smaller-sized Windows laptop. They tend to be thinner and lighter than their larger counterparts. Look for laptops that have a screen that is either 12.5-inches or 13.3-inches in size, and a weight between 1kg and 1.5kgs.
However, keep in mind that smaller-sized 13.3-inch machines often don’t support the same high-end Intel Core CPUs or discrete graphics cards you’ll be able to find in their 15.6-inch counterparts. Most of the time, they’ll also feature a less-robust selection of ports. If the kind of work you intend to be using your new laptop for necessitates a larger display or standalone graphics, you’ll probably need to look at a larger size.
Beyond specific sizings, there are several different classes of laptop to choose from. Ultrabooks tend to favor a slim and lightweight form-factor over high-end performance. Things like the Asus Vivobook Pro 15 OLED (review here) and HP's Elite Dragonfly Max (review here) devices fall into this category.
By contrast, Notebooks tend to offer a good mix of power and portability. If you’re looking at notebooks, a good place to start is the Lenovo Yoga 9i and HP’s Envy x360.
Convertibles (also known as 2-in-1 laptops or 2-in-1 PCs) expand on this by adding the ability to fold away (or remove) the keyboard and use your new laptop as you would a tablet. Products like Microsoft’s Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and HP Chromebook x2 11 fall into this category.
Finally, traditional clamshell and gaming laptops tend to boast bulkier form-factors but significantly-beefier specs.
The most important thing to consider here when looking for the best laptop you can buy is what you’re actually going to need that laptop to do. It’s rarely ever a case of one size fits all. Some users need something lighter and more portable. Other users need discrete graphics for things like video editing or running high end games. If you need a PC with an optical drive or long battery life, you’ll almost certainly have to look for something larger.
Once you’ve worked out the size and form-factor of laptop you’re looking for, the search for the best one becomes that much easier - since you can begin to filter your search results by those parameters.
Since you’ll probably end up staring at your laptop display hours at a time, you’ll probably want to make sure it's as painless as possible to do so. For this, you'll need a display that is comfortable to look at and feels natural to use.
To start with, you’ll want to consider whether you want your next laptop to have a touchscreen at all. These days, touchscreens are very common and they can make some tasks easier than others. Some brands include this feature as standard. Others will demand a modest surcharge for its inclusion.
Unfortunately, opting for a touchscreen can sometimes add a glossiness to the display. Though not a universal trait among touch-sensitive displays, glossier screens are often a little more susceptible to glare. This can be a definite drawback if you’re gaming, watching content or editing images and video content.
Modern touchscreens are much better than their predecessors but, some of the above details persist and if you're more of a natural typist, you might want to consider going for a laptop that doesn’t have a touchscreen.
Next up, be sure to look at the resolution on any laptop you’re thinking of buying. A 1920x1080-pixel resolution (Full HD) should be considered the minimum if you want plenty of space to line up windows and keep things in view. If you splurge on something a little sharper, you probably won't regret it though.
Select modern laptops also now offer 4K resolutions. However, these high-end display panels are generally a costly add-on to an already-expensive product. 4K is an extra that's only really going to be worth it for those who really need it such as content creation professionals.
Photographers and videographers will also want to go for laptops that offer better color accuracy and support wider color gamut and HDR standards over those that don't. The key things you're looking for here are Delta E < 1 color accuracy and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
[Related Content: Everything You Need To Know About 4K]
If you’re a gamer, it’s also worth taking the time to check the refresh rate on the display of any potential laptop. A faster refresh rate can often provide a competitive advantage in online games, as it enables a smoother and more responsive play experience. Ideally, you want something with less than 5ms response time or a refresh rate greater than 144Hz. We're starting to see laptops now with 300Hz refresh rates - laptops like the MSI GS66 Stealth (review here) and the super powerful Asus ROG Strix G15 Advantage Edition (review here) and while this is considered exceptionally good right now, it might soon be the norm.
Lastly, viewing angles are extremely important. A laptop screen that touts IPS (in-plane switching) technology offers the widest viewing angles and the best user comfort. Chances are you’re not always going to be using your laptop in its natural habitat, so a laptop with an IPS display is usually preferred over the opposite.
If possible, take the time to go into a store and try to feel out the differences between different displays for yourself. If your eyes can't see much of a difference between a laptop with a FHD display and one with a 4K one, it might not be worth paying the premium for the latter.
Just keep in mind that display models usually have the settings cranked to the maximum in order to catch your eyes. Otherwise, be sure to check out reviews like those on PC World to get a good overview of the product and whether or not its screen will be able to suit your needs. In 2022, most major laptop displays hit the mark but those that don't make themselves quickly known when subjected to the scrutiny of a professional reviewer.
For long typing sessions, you’ll need to get a laptop that has a comfortable keyboard. You don’t want to get a keyboard that packs in every key under the sun (think keyboards that have squished in number pads) because that can translate to a poor overall user experience when hunting for specifics like the arrow or delete keys.
Ideally, you want a keyboard that has a comfortable layout with full-sized keys and some space around the arrow keys. The keys should have adequate travel on the downstroke and snappy responsiveness when you let them go.
Make sure the keyboard is also backlit. At face value, that might seem like a superficial detail but backlit keys make it much easier to see what you're typing in dimly lit environments. Gaming laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S17 (review here) and MSI Katana GF76 (review here) come with attractive RGB key backlighting to allow gaming at night or in dimly lit environments. Note: While backlit keys are useful, they will drain your battery sooner, so take that into consideration when choosing your laptop.
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As with the display, it helps to try before you buy - especially if your main task will be typing. Chances are, you're going to find the most comfort with what you know here. If you're used to typing on a laptop keyboard that stretches all the way to the edge of the chassis, you're probably going to find laptops that opt for the same or a similar layout to be easier to type on than the alternatives.
It’s hard to go past any of Intel’s Core-based CPUs when buying a new laptop. Even if you're not versed in the technical details, there's a good chance you've seen the stickers plastered on all new laptops for the silicon giant's Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors.
For many users, an Intel Core Processor offers the best performance when it comes to multitasking and multimedia tasks. Core i3-based notebooks are generally found in entry-level systems, while Core i5 and Core i7 make up the majority of mainstream computers.
Core i7-based systems are for those of you who want the best performance from your laptop. However, note that with a Core i7-based system, heat coming through the base of the laptop can be a cause for concern, especially if you plan to actually use the laptop on your lap a lot of the time.
Some larger laptops also now incorporate Intel's i9 Core processors. Laptops running on Core i9 processors are even more powerful than laptops running on Core i7 processors. They're able to rival desktops for performance, but they do come with a significantly-higher cost than a laptop with an i7, i5 or i3 Core Processor.
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Vendors also offer laptops and notebooks that run on AMD’s Ryzen Mobile CPUs. If you’re a gamer, this can be a particularly compelling option worth considering. Ryzen Mobile CPUs tend to be paired with AMD’s own Radeon graphics chipsets.
There are a few caveats here but since laptops powered by AMD's Ryzen Mobile chips tend to be slightly cheaper than their Intel counterparts, they can represent better value for money. Just be sure to read up on our breakdown of the differences first.
In the old days, you rarely needed more than 4GB of RAM to get the best out of your system.
These days, you’ll probably want to think about 8GB as a minimum. If you’re a power-user, 16GB is the way to go. Meanwhile, gamers should look at dialing things upwards all the way to 32GB (or beyond) if they want the best experience.
More RAM allows for more applications to be run at the same time and for more data to be quickly accessible by the system at any one time, which comes in handy for tasks such as editing photos or video content.
There are a few interesting terms that you might see when looking into RAM specs, here's what you essentially need to know about them. Alongside the brand and capacity of any RAM stick, you're gonna find the letters DDR. There's also usually a number attached. For example, the MSI GE76 Raider laptop (review here) has two 16GB sticks of DDR5 RAM. This acronym stands for Double Data Rate and the number that comes after it refers to the generation of component design.
The most exact generation of RAM hardware is DDR5. As a rule, higher numbers are better than lower numbers here and most motherboards can only support certain generations of RAM. Thankfully, since you're looking at buying a laptop, you don't have too much to worry about since no sane OEM is going to stick incompatible RAM into a prebuilt machine.
The number after DDR also denotes the transfer speed. Similar to the clock-speed on a CPU, this number measures the default theoretical maximum transfer speed. Again, higher is better here. Higher speeds means stuff happens faster.
Another detail to note is whether or not the RAM in your laptop is single or dual-channel. In most everyday use cases, this might not make a huge difference but if you're trying to weigh up your options, a laptop with dual-channel is generally more desirable than one with an equivalent amount of single-channel memory clocked at the same transfer speed. This is because dual-channel RAM is able to transfer a greater amount of data at once.
In conclusion, while having more RAM is always going to be better than having less RAM, most users aren't going to feel the difference between having 16GB or 32GB unless they're running RAM-heavy applications where that 16GB or a secondary channel is going to make a big difference. Since RAM is relatively cheap and often easy to upgrade in modern laptops, it's usually smarter and safer to buy a laptop with RAM that you know you will need rather than what you think you might need.
Hard drives used to be all the rage, but these days they’re mostly out of favor, especially for thin and light laptops. This is because they can be slow, somewhat bulky, and produce noticeable heat and noise.
A solid state drive (SSD), on the other hand, offers a lot more speed than a hard drive, runs silently, and can be installed in a form factor that doesn’t add too much to the weight and bulk of a laptop. As a result of these clear benefits, most OEMs have embraced SSD storage as the standard for laptops.
Stick to an SSD for your new laptop and you’ll love the speed with which it can load programs, access your data, and also how quickly it can boot up your system.
Just a few years ago SSDs didn't offer as much raw capacity as hard drives. Additionally, this kind of storage was often more expensive in terms of dollars-to-gigabytes than traditional hard drives. In 2022 these problems are no longer. Laptops now have comparatively large SSD drives to hard drives and aren't astronomically expensive.
The newest, fastest laptops have NVMe solid-state drives which are faster than traditional SSDs. If you're buying a new laptop in 2022, you'll preferably want one with an NVMe SSD. However, that being said, don't feel overly pressured to spend extra on the latest model here. While it is true that more exact SSDs boast better speeds than older models, the biggest advantages you'll enjoy are tied more to the fundamental advances that SSDs offer over traditional hard drive storage.
When it comes to the SSD storage capacity you should look for we recommend at least 512GB as the very minimum. Games and programs are getting larger every year as they become more advanced and complex so you'll want to ensure you have a little left in your storage after you load on your must-have programs and personal files. It's also worth noting that your operating system will take up some of that 512GB right off the bat, so you won't have exactly that number to play.
If you install a lot of programs or have an extensive game or movie library, you'll probably want to opt for 1TB or more of SSD storage. You'd be surprised how fast it is to fill up even 1TB or 2TB, but with the extra GB on board, you will have a greater capacity to branch out and get a little more things you like on there. Trust us, you won't decry the extra space when you can download that game you really wanted from Steam.
Another thing worth mentioning here is cloud storage. Cloud storage is extremely popular since it allows users to store any number of files safely and remotely, without the need for your device's storage. Software developers are starting to build cloud storage into their software ecosystems. The best example of this is Microsoft's OneDrive application which comes bundled with Windows at purchase.
If you intend to store most of your files in the cloud or on an external drive, you may choose to save money on a laptop by buying one with a smaller 128GB or 256GB SSD. If you do this though you'd be advised to remember that you will need to be connected to the Internet to retrieve your files when you need them.
Manufacturer-quoted battery life is almost never indicative of what the real-world experience of using a laptop is like.
There are simply too many variables that affect battery life. There is the screen brightness, the screen resolution, the number of applications you have running in the background plus whether or not you actively remain connected to Wi Fi networks or Bluetooth devices.
The operating system a laptop runs on can also play a major role in determining battery life. It’s for this reason that ultrabooks and convertibles running on Chrome OS tend to offer superior battery life than those running on Windows 11.
If you run programs that need lots of processing, stream lots of online video, play graphics-intensive games or if you transfer lots of files over a wireless network, then your battery will drain a lot sooner than what the vendor has quoted.
A good practice here is to look at the rating of the battery in Watt-hours (Wh) or milliamp-hours (mAh). The larger these figures are, the longer the battery can last. For a 13.3-inch Ultrabook, for example, a battery with a rating from 50Wh to 60Wh will give you the best results.
Another key thing to look for here is fast-charging. Much like modern smartphones, many new laptops also support fast-charging, which is always good in a pinch.
These days, if a laptop has only one USB Type-C port on it, you probably ought to look at buying another laptop. Ideally, you should look for a laptop that has at least a couple of these ports. They're the most common connector port in the industry and, while you can find a dongle for anything on Amazon, it's usually a better bet to just make sure your next laptop has them.
In addition to the baseline utility you get from USB Type-C ports (which allow you to plug in an external hard or SSD drive and backup your data or use conventional mouse or a fancy keyboard with your laptop), USB Type-C ports are substantially faster than USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports. This means that data transfers over USB Type-C ports take significantly less time.
Many modern peripherals also tend to deliver the best performance on or require USB Type-C to function at all.
Among the Type-C ports Thunderbolt 4 ports are the best option. Thunderbolt 4 ports have a peak data transfer speed of 40 gigabits per-second. They also offer faster charging and allow you to connect multiple 4K displays or one 8K display to your laptop, which is compelling functionality.
Fingerprint readers are great for logging into mobile devices and the latest Windows 11 Operating System makes further use of them with its Windows Hello system. People can guess your password, but few can fake a fingerprint. In order to keep the contents of your laptop secure, a portable PC with a fingerprint reader is usually the best way forward.
Thankfully, this feature is a pretty common inclusion on many modern laptops from major OEMs like ASUS, Dell and HP. Some have even integrated the fingerprint sensor into the keyboard, making it feel like a more cohesive part of the package rather than a bolt-on.
What's more, some brands have even gone one step further and introduced FaceID-style facial recognition tech allowing you to unlock your laptop with a glance. As with Android phones, there's a distinction to be noted here between devices that rely on a 2D-model of face unlock versus those that offer full 3D biometrics.
It's cool to see the modern laptops continue to raise the bar on this particular front even if the degree to which it matters is largely personal preference. For most people, a standard fingerprint sensor is going to provide more than enough peace of mind.
No matter how careful we are, most laptops are inevitably going to find themselves, dropped, thrown and knocked around by the rigors of everyday use. For that reason, it's worth checking out how much testing a laptop has undergone (the manufacturer usually crows about it) or whether there's any sort of certification that you can put your confidence behind.
Modern laptops are often ruggedized to withstand rain and dust. Some are built especially for the brutal educational environments - and come with military-grade protection certifications. The most common of these you're going to see is MIL-STD 810G.
MIL-STD-810G is a standard used by the US Military to indicate a guaranteed minimum level of durability. Compliant products have made it through a gauntlet of 29 separate tests that measure resistance to shock, heat, cold, humidity and more. Though originally developed as a way to win government contracts, MIL-STD-810G has become increasingly common in consumer tech in exact years.
On one hand, it's good for consumers that most major manufacturers have adopted the same language and standards for measuring durability at all. However, on the other, the reality is that having a product be MIL-STD-810G compliant doesn't always translate into the kind of ruggedness you'd hope it would.
Although the MIL-STD-810G standard was developed externally, there's no single independent party that's responsible for handing out certification to the standard nor any regulator that's able to call out bad actors for misusing or misrepresenting MIL-STD-810G.
Manufacturers can absolutely take their testing in-house, "ace" it and put the sticker on the box. There's no limit on how many attempts a product has to pass a certain test, nor even a limit on whether the same product sample needs to survive all 29 tests or whether they can replace it with a fresh model every step of the way. They don't even need to provide proof that the testing ever happened.
From the perspective of any everyday consumer, there's zero difference in how a product that was properly and independently tested to meet MIL-STD-810G looks and how a product that "fudged" their way into compliance with the standard looks. This is obviously problematic.
For those reasons, MIL-STD-810G is best used as starting place when it comes to thinking about durability and build quality in your next laptop. It shouldn't be your one and only consideration.
A better way to approach the problem is to look at the laptops design and what specific claims are being made around durability. Are the manufacturers talking up drop-tests or spill resistance that goes beyond the usual MIL-STD-810G spiel? That's probably a good sign.
When it comes to purchasing a laptop, a big question you should ask is: Should I buy a laptop with LTE? Unlike laptops with built-in network cards, laptops with LTE can connect to mobile data signals. That means instead of having to connect to a wireless network at home, in the office, or at Wi-Fi hotspots, your laptop can connect directly to a mobile ISP for internet access. The main benefit of this is you can use your laptop just about anywhere—when outdoors, traveling on the bus, or even on the beach. If that convenience sounds good, this option may be perfect for you. However, there are a few caveats.
LTE technology sits in the higher-end laptop category, so you will pay for the privilege. Also, just like with your phone, you'll need to either be on a data plan or buy prepaid data to use your LTE. And as such, your experience will be influenced by the speed of your laptop’s network connection and by the amount of data in your plan.
Know what LTE network your laptop will connect to, since this will determine your internet speeds. The most common LTE technology in laptops in Australia today supports connection to the 4G networks. 4G is capable of maximum download speeds of 1Gbs, which is close to most home broadband speeds. But 5G laptops will soon be coming to Australia. These laptops, when available, will feature significantly faster speeds of between 10-30Gbs. If superfast internet is a priority, go for 5G.
If you are not fussed about having LTE or want to avoid the ongoing fees, a laptop with Wi-Fi-only functionality will do just fine. Most laptops come with built-in network cards so you won’t need to fuss over installations or affix dongles. You can also use mobile Wi-Fi tethering as a source of Wi-Fi on the fly.
The last thing to consider with your internet connectivity, is whether you need an Ethernet (RJ-45) port. Most people don’t use this functionality anymore, since Wi-Fi connectivity is so widespread. But, if you're plagued by a weak Wi-Fi signal, or lack Wi-Fi altogether, you should consider it. Otherwise, it’s not necessary.
Wi-Fi speeds are determined by many different factors, such as signal strength and the level of interference between your laptop and your router, but the one factor that you should think about when purchasing a new laptop is the Wi-Fi speed of your laptop’s network card.
The speed at which your laptop transfers data from an internet router to your laptop and back is called its link speed and it is measured in bits per second (bps). Even if your internet connection is fast, if your link speed is lousy, your Wi-Fi speed will struggle.
Most laptops with network cards connect to wireless hotspots on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency band, meaning they are capable of maximum link speeds of 1Gbs or 3.5Gbs. When it comes to Wi-Fi generations, Wi-Fi 5 is getting a bit old now but will still perform well for almost anything you'd need to do online, such as browsing webpages, watching videos, and running browser-based applications.
Most new laptops though will have network cards that support either Wi-Fi 6 or the newer Wi-Fi 6E. If you are a gamer who likes playing fast-paced multiplayer content, or if you stream high-quality video, we recommend you look for either of these options. The main benefit here is lower latency - Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E offer substantial speed benefits (up to 9.6Gbs). Wi-Fi speeds won’t always be listed in the product descriptions online or in retail outlets, but they will be listed in the detailed product specifications, so check there if you’re unsure.
Of course, you need to balance these features with your budget and your needs, and you might have to make some compromises. Rarely does a laptop come along that ticks all the boxes, especially when it comes to price.
Let us know in the comments below if you consider other aspects of a laptop to be more important (maybe you want better gaming performance or a rugged build, maybe you want a laptop that can turn into a tablet), and especially let us know if you’ve already found the perfect laptop for your needs.
This article was updated by Dominic Bayley in May 2022.
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Operating any of the four-door Porsche Panamera Turbo models may cause a superiority complex that blocks judgment of normal behavior. After a week, the operator experiences intense hallucinations of power, followed by severe withdrawal when away from the vehicle. As the replacement for the last-generation Panamera Turbo S range topper, the Turbo S E-Hybrid stands at the forefront of Porsche’s new, performance-oriented hybrid strategy. Alongside thePorsche 918 Spyder, it’s tasked with burnishing the credibility of gas-electric powertrains as performance standouts.
We're partnering with Carvana because we want to make it easy for you to find the exact vehicle you're looking for.
Standard Turbo models get a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque. It provides crisp throttle response and acts more like a big-displacement, naturally aspirated V-8 than an engine with two turbochargers. The S E-Hybrid also features a 550-hp twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 but supplements that with an electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. This new 680-total-horsepower hybrid is both silent and violent. The plug-in should deliver between 15 and 20 miles of pure-electric driving when fully charged and rocket to 60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds when pressed. A 14.1-kWh battery pack inside an aluminum box the size of a large suitcase lives beneath the rear cargo floor. The Panamera has the agility to post remarkable acceleration, cornering, and braking performance stats. A deeper examination reveals that hybridization might be able to Strengthen all three attributes that define a modern supersedan: environmental responsibility, dynamic performance, and truly indulgent creature comforts.
Recharging the battery pack takes almost 13 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet, but switching to a 240-volt source lowers that time to a more reasonable four hours with the standard 3.6-kW onboard charger. Spend $840 for the optional 7.2-kW charger included in our test car, and the battery can be fully charged in less than two-and-a-half hours. In motion, both E-Charge and E-Hold functions are available. The former uses the gas engine to charge the battery pack to its maximum capacity, while the latter maintains the battery pack’s charge for later use.
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.
Even at its mid-six-figure starting price, the high-performance Panamera Turbo feels every bit as rich as its cost of entry suggests, with high-end materials and top-notch build quality defining the car’s cabin. Well-bolstered 14-way power seats offer long-haul comfort for those up front, while people in back are treated to individual seats bisected by a center console. Those in search of additional seating capacity can spend $1000 on a three-across rear bench. Our Night Blue Metallic example skipped that option but did come with massaging front seats and ventilated front and rear seats (seat heaters are standard). Other options included eight-way power operation for the rear seats, four-zone climate control (in place of the standard two-zone setup), a pair of power rear sunshades, soft-close doors, and a heated steering wheel.
Standard features in the Panamera Turbo lineup include navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, and a BOSE surround-sound audio system with 14 speakers and SiriusXM satellite radio. The available Assistance package adds lane-keeping assist, a night-vision camera, and Porsche’s new InnoDrive adaptive cruise control, which uses the navigation’s map database along with radar and video feeds to accelerate, brake, and select the right gear in preparation for conditions as far as 1.8 miles ahead. We found InnoDrive a seamless partner that never called undue attention to itself. Our grievances largely focused on the infotainment system and its 12.3-inch central touchscreen, which offers clear and crisp graphics but confusing, unintuitive menus. In addition, the redundant controls on the center console are no less frustrating, as many of the touch-sensitive buttons are difficult to find without taking one’s eyes off the road.
For more information about the Porsche Panamera Turbo / Turbo S’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.
At the beginning of November, Alcatel shocked exactly no one by unveiling the IDOL 4S with Windows 10. Rumors of the device began back in February before Mobile World Congress, although back then, we thought it would be called the IDOL 4 Pro. The handset even appeared on T-Mobile's website during Microsoft's Surface Studio launch, leading many to believe that the company would show it off at the event.
The IDOL 4S with Windows 10 is not like Alcatel's last attempt at a Windows phone, which was also a T-Mobile exclusive. The Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL sat on the low end, whereas the IDOL 4S is as high-end as they come. In fact, the device is more comparable to the HP Elite x3 - which we recently reviewed - than its Android-powered namesake.
|CPU||Quad-core Snapdragon 820, dual 2.15GHz Kryo, dual 1.6GHz Kryo|
|Display||5.5", 1080p, 401ppi, AMOLED|
|Camera||21MP, Front 8MP|
|Video||4K - 30fps, Front 1080p - 30fps|
|Aperture||f/2.2, Front f/2.2|
|Camera features||PDAF, dual-LED flash, Front LED flash|
|Storage||64GB, expandable to 256GB|
Coming out of the box, it was clear that the IDOL 4S is a beautiful Windows phone, possibly the best-looking one that exists. It's not the most unique design that you'll see, as it resembles a Samsung Galaxy S6, but to be fair, the S6 is also a stunning design.
The IDOL 4S with Windows 10 is the first Windows phone to support virtual reality in an official capacity. Sure, any phone works with a Google Cardboard, and you might be able to find some apps or websites that work with it, but this device comes with a VR headset and a number of VR apps, including VR360Gallery, VR360Video, VRGallery, VRLauncher, VRStore, VRVideo, and Captain Fellcraft VR.
First of all, my experience with virtual reality is limited to Samsung's Gear VR and Google Cardboard, both of which involve inserting a phone into a headset. The Gear VR has some obvious advantages to Alcatel's solution, which is mainly that it's powered by Oculus. It offers a vast range of apps, games, and content. You can even use a Gear VR to watch Netflix or Hulu in a virtual movie theater or living room.
You won't find such a diverse offering on Windows 10 Mobile. In the VRStore, you'll find two 360 photos, one 360 video, and seven games. Two of the games - Roller Coaster Ride VR and VR Crazy Real Roller Coaster Simulator - are, you guessed it, riding around on animated roller coasters.
There's another game called Zombie VR, which is pretty fun. Basically, there are crosshairs in your line of sight, you aim at the zombies, and it shoots them. No button pressing is necessary. It's a bit glitchy, such as when the zombies are really close to you, it doesn't shoot them and they just sort of fall down.
While the content that's offered might need a bit of work, the headset itself has some features that I really like. For example, there's an opening that will allow you to charge your phone, and another to plug in a headphone jack. If you want to use headphones with Samsung's Gear VR, you need a Bluetooth set.
There are two buttons on the bottom of the headset that work with the phone: one button is to be used for going back, and the other is for selecting things.
I did take issue with one part of the headset's design. When you take it out of the box, there's a cover on the front and a cover on the back of it, which I thought was awesome, as my Gear VR often collects dust when not in use. Unfortunately, once you attach the straps, the rear cover no longer fits, so unless you want to remove the straps every time you're done with it, that rear cover will likely become a paperweight.
One more thing
The good news about content is that you're not limited to apps and games. There are sites that you can use to watch 360 videos, and if you have your own, you can load them onto the device. There are even some streaming offerings that you'll see on the menu when you attach the device and it goes into VR mode.
Of course, you're likely going to want more than just videos or other kinds of cross-platform content. I do worry about the quality and selection of games that are offered, because let's face it, this is Windows 10 Mobile. Existing apps don't often get updated, and new ones don't show up much.
That's right. This is a flagship phone that doesn't have near-field communication technology. I actually reached out to Alcatel to find out how the phone recognizes the VR headset if there's no NFC, and was told that there are two sensors in the front of the device.
Of course, the question really is, will you really miss NFC? My guess is that you wouldn't.
The obvious use case for NFC is mobile payments, which in the case of Windows 10 Mobile is Microsoft Wallet. The big problem here is that Microsoft hasn't even expanded the availability of Wallet since it launched in June beyond the Lumia 650, 950, and 950 XL, and the service is only supported by nine banks at the moment, with Chase and Fifth Third coming soon.
Obviously, NFC has other uses, much of which include a faster way to pair through Bluetooth, but I don't think that you'll miss the feature too much.
As I mentioned earlier, the IDOL 4S has a strong resemblance to a Samsung Galaxy S6. It has the metallic glass panel on the back, and the rear camera is even a similar shape. Of course, it doesn't have a physical home button on the front, and instead, the fingerprint scanner is located on the back.
With that in mind, the Galaxy S6 is still a beautiful phone, and so is the IDOL 4S. I'd go so far as to say that this is the best-looking Windows phone that has ever been made. Aside from just looks, it feels premium, thin, and light.
But perhaps most important for Windows phone fans is that it actually has a physical camera button, a feature that we're seeing less and less in flagships. Personally, I feel like it was awkwardly placed, and when I unboxed the device, I thought it was the power button (it actually took me about a week to stop pressing it by accident to wake the phone or put it to sleep).
While the camera button is a small circle in the middle of the right side of the device, you'll find the volume rocker above it, and on the top part of the left side, there's the actual power button. Finally, the USB Type-C port is on the bottom - although it's all the way to the right, which will make it hard to fit in some Continuum docks - and the headphone jack is on the left side of the top of the handset.
The 1080p AMOLED display is absolutely stunning. Personally, I feel that there is no need for 1440p on a phone, and you'll never see the difference, unless, of course, you use virtual reality. In a phone like this that even comes bundled with a VR headset, QHD can be an advantage. When VR isn't in use though, the 5.5-inch display is bright and vibrant.
Alcatel's new flagship Windows phone uses a fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello biometric authentication. Fingerprints have only been supported by Windows 10 Mobile since August when the Anniversary Update was made available.
Previously, Windows phones used iris scanners exclusively; examples of this would be the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, which were released in 2015. HP's exact Elite x3, on the other hand, uses both.
The fingerprint scanner on the IDOL 4S is satisfactory. It can feel a bit slow when using it to wake the device, although it certainly feels faster if you're already on the lock screen. Like the Elite x3, it seems slowed down by the "Hello, Rich" animation.
Personally, I prefer a fingerprint reader on a phone, while facial recognition is better on a PC. The idea is that the user should have to make as little effort as possible to unlock their device. When you open the lid on your laptop, it will wake, recognize your face, and sign you in. With a phone, you take it out of your pocket, press a button to wake it up, and that button recognizes your fingerprint and signs you in.
Like any modern flagship Windows phone, the IDOL 4S supports Continuum, which is the ability to plug the handset into a monitor and use it like a PC. Alcatel obviously decided to go with a VR focus for this phone, rather than a Continuum focus, so it doesn't sell a docking station for the device.
Luckily, you can still use any docking station that you want, such as Microsoft's Lumia Display Dock, HP's Desk Dock, or even a USB Type-C to HDMI adapter. You can also use Continuum wirelessly, which will require a receiver that supports Miracast.
Of course, you're limited to UWP apps while you're using the device as a PC, and they will only be in fullscreen mode (until the Creators Update). With that in mind, the feature itself works great, much better than it did on devices with lesser hardware, such as the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, which had a Snapdragon 808 and 810, respectively.
Let's once again take this moment to celebrate the fact that the IDOL 4S with Windows 10 has a physical button to launch the camera. This is a feature that longtime Windows phone users will surely appreciate, even if they don't appreciate the camera itself.
And sadly, those longtime fans aren't likely to be satisfied with the camera. If you've been using Lumias for years, you've been spoiled with PureView, and this doesn't compare.
The IDOL 4S uses a 21MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. It has phase detection autofocus (PDAF), which is a nice touch, but it lacks other things that we've come to expect from flagships, such as optical image stabilization (OIS) and 1080p video that's recorded at 60fps.
The device uses Windows Camera by default, and Alcatel doesn't offer its own app, which I always find a bit disappointing. Windows Camera is a great app, but it restricts the device's camera abilities to Microsoft's development efforts. For example, the app didn't support panorama at all until August.
You won't be able to change the resolution of the photo that you're going to take. You get 21MP (16MP at 16:9), and that's it. The photos don't take up a lot of storage though, as the vast majority of the samples that you're about to see come in at under 2MB.
You'll notice that a lot of the photos are the same, but with different lighting. It's very normal for a smartphone camera to compensate for light differently depending on where it's focused, but the IDOL 4S is a bit drastic. Obviously, you'll want your photos to be focused on a certain point, especially if it's a macro shot, but that might end up being too dark or too light. You can work around this a bit by using Windows Camera's manual focus feature.
Low light performance is where this camera disappoints. It's sad too, since low light photos are what PureView, and thus Windows phones, have become known for.
The front camera on the IDOL 4S is 8MP, and like the rear, has an f/2.2 aperture. This doesn't make for the best low light performance, but you do get an LED flash. In fact, that makes this the first Windows 10 Mobile phone to have a front-facing flash, a feature that's now common among iPhones and Android phones.
Of course, most modern devices simply light up the display for use as a flash, a method that has become pretty effective. Sadly, there isn't a single Windows phone that has adopted this idea, and I really don't know if it's a limitation of the devices themselves, the OS, or the Windows Camera app, but the IDOL 4S does have additional hardware to make it possible.
Also, before anyone asks (I'm looking at you EvilGardenGnome), these photos were taken at different times and were meant to capture different lighting conditions. And yes, at some point between these times, I shaved.
Battery life is about what you'd expect from a Windows phone with a 3000mAh battery. You won't have trouble getting through an average day, unless you push it pretty hard.
I ran a battery test with WP Bench - which is what I normally use for Windows battery tests - and the result was two hours, 57 minutes, and 38 seconds, which was only a bit less than what HP's Elite x3 achieved. These tests should be taken with a grain of salt.
Unless you're a big-time power user that's never near a charger, you're not going to have a problem. Fortunately, if you use a Continuum dock, you'll also be charging the IDOL 4S throughout the day.
Alcatel's IDOL 4S with Windows 10 rocks a Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, which is about as flagship-class as it gets - considering that Windows 10 Mobile doesn't officially support the Snapdragon 821 - and it's exactly the same as HP's Elite x3.
One benefit that you'll see in performance from HP's flagship is that the IDOL 4S has a lower resolution display at 1080p. A 1440p display has 3.7 million pixels, while 1080p is just 2.1 million, which is a lot less work on the GPU.
For benchmarks, we'll use AnTuTu. There are actually two versions of the app in the Windows Store, one of which is a UWP app that's comparable to iOS and Android, and the other is an old beta app that hasn't been updated since 2012. We're going to use both, but to be clear, the old v0.8 is only there in case you want to compare the score with older Windows phones, as there hasn't historically been a wide selection of benchmarking apps available on Microsoft's mobile platform.
With the exception of 3D graphics, the IDOL 4S got smoked by the Elite x3 in just about every way, which scored a total of 114,840. For comparison, the Lumia 950 XL (Snapdragon 810) scored 88,405, while the Galaxy S7 (Snapdragon 820) scored 129,187.
Ultimately, the Alcatel IDOL 4S with Windows 10 is a powerful and beautiful Windows phone that's actually designed with consumers in mind. It's an extremely pleasant device to use, although it's not without its shortcomings.
As mentioned above, the camera could certainly be better. It's also not likely that a firmware update will fix anything, as it simply doesn't have the specs of a modern flagship camera. There's no OIS and it has a small aperture.
Also, and I don't know if this is really a deal-breaker for anyone, but the device also lacks NFC. Microsoft's mobile payments solution doesn't even work on any non-Lumia devices just yet, so we'll see if this ever really matters.
The VR experience is pretty cool, especially considering that it's never been done on a Windows phone. For this reason though, it would have benefited from a higher resolution display.
The IDOL 4S is a T-Mobile exclusive, so if you're an AT&T customer (as many Windows phone users in the US tend to be), or you live outside of the US, your choice for a flagship Windows phone would still be the Elite x3. Alcatel still hasn't confirmed that it's going to stay an exclusive to the Un-carrier, but it certainly appears that way.
But with all of those shortcomings, you really can't beat it for the price. For $469.99, you're getting an elegantly designed Windows phone with a vibrant display, powerful internals, and a bundled VR headset. If you were looking for a new Windows phone, this is it.
The last time we drove the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 4S was over the tough terrain of Colorado's Ophir Pass. Yet while that outing revealed Porsche's off-road-oriented wagon to be a capable all-terrain EV, at least when equipped with 19-inch wheels wrapped with Falken Wildpeak AT tires, we failed to put it through its paces on paved roads. Now we have, though the powers that be only had a 2021 model on hand for us to test, despite a handful of updates coming to the 2022 version.
Still, our test car is mechanically the same as its 2022 analog. For the new model year, the Taycan's changes include an expanded color palette, the addition of a remote parking option, refinements to the battery pack's thermal management system to better prep it for fast-charging, and enhancements to the infotainment system's voice control functions and on-screen menu display. Android Auto connectivity also joins the existing Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The 2022 model's infotainment upgrades alone are reason enough to choose it over last year's car. But the updated setup's user experience will almost certainly still leave us wanting, as this Porsche's touchscreen-heavy operation brings a needless layer of complexity. Just as an example, certain basic operations that historically have been handled just fine by tactile buttons and switches, such as positioning the front air vents and adjusting the climate control, are now screen-based tasks.
Overlook these ergonomic quirks and the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S's straight-line acceleration impresses. Its dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain produces a combined 562 horsepower with launch control engaged (482 horses otherwise). Aided by a rear two-speed transmission that remains rather unique in the EV space, that output is sufficient to vault this 5197-pound Porsche to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and through the quarter in 11.8 seconds at 121 mph—only a smidge behind the equally powerful and 69-pound lighter 2020 Taycan 4S sedan we previously tested.
However, the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S's lateral grip and braking distances fell notably behind those of its sedan counterpart. Although the wagon's extra weight and 1.2 inches of additional ride height surely impacted its adhesion, its staggered 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires were likely the biggest contributors to our test car's middling 0.88-g skidpad orbit and 161-foot stop from 70 mph. In contrast, the aforementioned Taycan 4S sedan with its staggered 21-inch Pirelli P Zero summer tires (which, it must be said, are also available on the Cross Turismo 4S) pulled 1.03 g's and came to a halt from 70 mph in 147 feet. Subjectively, this difference manifests in the higher-riding 20-inch-shod wagon's tendency to understeer through turns, though the small-diameter steering wheel does provide plentiful feedback on how well the front tires are holding on to the road.
Like all Taycans, the Cross Turismo's left pedal modulates the bulk of its regenerative braking—push harder and the friction brakes take over. While the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S comes standard with six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers that clamp down on 14.2-inch front and 14.1-inch rear rotors, our test car included $3490 worth of fade- and dust-resistant tungsten-carbide-coated discs, which measure 16.1 and 14.4 inches front and rear, respectively. Going a step further, buyers can spec even bigger carbon-ceramic stoppers, provided they aren't fazed by the $9080 upcharge.
Given the wagon's additional cargo capacity relative to the sedan, we wager that the majority of Taycan Cross Turismos will spend more time commuting around suburbia than clipping apexes. With all its seats in place, the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S's cargo hold swallows six carry-on-size boxes, with that figure jumping to 18 with the rear seatbacks folded down. The Taycan 4S sedan, on the other hand, fits a mere four carry-on suitcases in its trunk and 13 with its rear seatbacks down. Regardless of body style, the Taycan's frunk is good for an additional carry-on. What's more, the wagon's longroof shape also nets the Taycan Cross Turismo an additional 3.6 inches of rear headroom versus the sedan, which helps its aft quarters to feel much less claustrophobic than those of the regular car's.
The Cross Turismo's additional cargo and cabin space does come with a penalty, namely to the car's range. Whereas a 2021 Taycan 4S sedan with its optional 83.7-kWh battery pack earns an EPA-estimated range of 227 miles, the Cross Turismo 4S, which comes standard with that larger battery, is good for only 215 miles on a charge. Our test car, however, beat the EPA's figure by 25 miles on our 75-mph highway test. At 240 miles, the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S's range matched that of an Audi RS e-tron GT but fell far short of the 410 miles we saw from a Lucid Air Grand Touring. Nevertheless, the Taycan's 800-volt electrical architecture bestows it with quick charging times, with one driver reporting that a DC fast-charger took the wagon's battery pack from 4 to 80 percent in just 19 minutes.
Now that we've experienced the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S in a range of environments, we remain awestruck by this lifted wagon's off-road capabilities, though a little less impressed with its lack of behind-the-wheel magic that so defines the lower and lighter sedan. Overall, the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S's dynamics endow it with enough verve to satisfy less discerning consumers with the means to afford its $111,650 base price, which carries over from the 2021 model year. Its more generous cargo area and additional rear headroom also make the Cross Turismo vastly more functional than its lower-slung sibling. For those willing to sacrifice a little of the Taycan's dynamic fidelity for greater versatility, or who are simply taken by the wagon's longroof proportions, the Cross Turismo 4S occupies a compelling spot in Porsche's EV lineup.
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