LeEco Super4 X65 TV review:A good picture and great features at a nice price

LeEco’s 65-inch class Super4 X65 TV impressed us with its rich and accurate color, which is far closer to the picture quality of the more-expensive Sony X930/940D series than other TVs in its $1400 price class. Additionally, action sequences were smooth, the remote is our favorite flavor of minimalist, and we also quite liked the way the TV looked sitting on our test bench.

Design

The Super4 65X is thin: It’s less than an inch thick for the top 55 percent or so,  deepening to approximately 2 inches at the bottom where the electronics and speakers are located. Close to the wall, hung using a standard VESA mount (200mm by 200mm or 400mm by 400mm varieties are supported) you’ll have few aesthetic complaints. All told, the 65.5-inch, 3840×2160 display is fit into a package that’s 57.3 inches wide, 36 inches tall, and weighs 62.4 pounds naked (about 64 pounds with the two feet installed).

leeco super4 c LeEco

The Super4 65X’s components reside at the bottom of the TV, rendering it quite stable on a flat surface. It also fits close enough to the wall with a mount that even fussy decorators won’t take issue with.

Most of the Super4 65X’s ports are found in a recessed cavity on the right side in the back of the TV. They include one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port; gigabit ethernet; three HDMI 2.0a ports, one of which supports ARC (Audio Return Channel); RCA and Optical S/PDIF jacks; and an A/V input that accepts both stereo analog audio and composite video via a three-cord adapter cable.A coax antenna input supports the onboard tuner.

Finally, there’s a mini-stereo audio input jack and VGA port for hooking up computers that don’t support HDMI. Wireless connectivity is via an 802.11ac adapter and a Bluetooth 4.1 radio. The latter handles the remote, which has a pairing button inside the battery compartment.

Picture, sound, and performance

The world of 4K UHD TV is rapidly evolving toward HDR (high dynamic range), and it’s a feature that needs to be discussed in every 4K UHD TV review. Because once you see HDR, you’re going to want it. LeEco markets the Super4 X65 as an HDR10 set, and it does show off HDR content to a limited extent—there is a definite uptick in contrast between bright and dark areas. Relatively low peak brightness, however (we measured 365 nits), leaves the Super4 X65 robbing Peter (detail in dark areas) to pay Paul (the HDR contrast effect). Indeed, in a number of movies, dark areas lacked detail to the point of distraction.

With SDR (standard dynamic range) material, on the other hand, there’s little to complain about: The color is very good. It’s not quantum-dot quality, but it’s up there with, and similar to Sony’s X930D (the Sony produce 500+ nits and performs much better with HDR content than LeEco’s panel). The motion compensation is also very good. There was the occasional minor shimmer in detailed panning shots, but by and large, fast action and panning sequences were rendered smoothly.

The sound emanating from the TV is a bit muffled, not surprising given that the speakers face backwards. You’ll do better mounting or positioning the Super4 65X against a hard reflective surface than we did with our absorptive curtain. But no matter where you situate it, this TV will benefit greatly from a soundbar or audio system. Supported audio formats include straight Dolby Audio.

super4 x65 front b LeEco

The Super4 65X is a good-looking TV in our book. Then again, most TVs are these days.

Probably our favorite thing about the Super4, aside from the color and nice motion compensation, is how responsive the user interface is. A lot of TV’s tout the X-this-or-that processor they carry onboard, yet still feel sluggish when you’re browsing menus or launching apps. We never got that feeling with the Super4 and its ARM Cortex CPU. There’s little to no lag when accessing menus, scanning channels, tweaking settings, and so on. It feels quick. And quick is good.

MacBook Pro price, specs | New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

MacBook Pro price, specs | New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

In October Apple unveiled its long-awaited MacBook Pro with a fancy new Touch Bar, but we won’t be waiting as long for the next update. New MacBook Pros with updated processors are expected this year. We outline the 2016 MacBook Pro UK release date, price and specification, plus new MacBook Pro 2017 rumours.

All the information you need about the new Apple MacBook Pro


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In October Apple unveiled its long-awaited MacBook Pro with a fancy new Touch Bar, but we won’t be waiting as long for the next update.New MacBook Pros with updated processors – potentially Intel Kaby Lake chips – are expected this year, . We outline the 2016 MacBook Pro UK release date, price and specification, plus new MacBook Pro 2017 rumours. See also: Best laptops 2017.

Also see: Apple October Event as it happened | MacBook Pro with Touch Bar review

New MacBook Pro 2017 rumours

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting updated MacBooks with Intel Kaby Lake processor later this year. Kuo says new 12in MacBooks will enter mass production in Q2 (March), potentially with a new 16GB RAM model.

Meanwhile new 13- and 15in MacBook Pros will begin mass production in Q3 (July). In Q4 (September) we could see a high-end 15in MacBook Pro with 32GB of RAM as “the most significantly redesigned product this year”.

The notion of new MacBook Pros in 2017 is backed up by a new Bloomberg report. It says a new model is planned for later this year but it might herald a shift away from Intel processors. According to people familiar with the matter the chip, codenamed T310 and built ARM technology, will handle low-power functionality and work along the main Intel processor.

This move could mean better battery life as moving the ‘Power Nap’ feature to the new chip will use even less power. Apple’s ARM-based T1 chip is already in the latest MacBook Pro – see below.

But what about AMD Ryzen? An article on Arcitosh.com suggests “AMD’s new Ryzen 7 CPUs look to promise more computing muscle per watt than Intel and offer a nicer philosophical fit for Apple.”

The current MacBook Pro isn’t much faster than the model it replaced, since Apple looks to provide performance while conserving battery life. Arcitosh suggests that rather than producing its own or using Intel’s chips to look for the ultimate performance per watt, it could instead use AMD’s Ryzen CPUs. 

Watch this space for more updates.

MacBook Pro 2016

In October 2016 on the week of the Apple laptop’s 25th anniversary, Apple announced the best MacBook Pro yet. There are 13- and 15in models with new all-aluminium designs that are significantly thinner and lighter than their predecessors, just 14.9mm thin and 3lb for the 13in model and 15.5mm and 4lb for the 15in model.

The new MacBook Pros, available in Silver and Space Grey, have a two times larger Force Touch trackpad and a new context-sensitive Retina display Touch Bar that replaces the row of Function keys. Touch ID is also built-in with Secure Enclave and protected with Sapphire glass.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The new Touch Bar consumed most of Apple’s demonstration, and it does look cool. What functions it offers entirely depend on the app you’re in. For example, you might get emoji in the Messages app, favourite sites in Safari, and options to reply or delete in Mail. In Photos are useful editing controls, and we particularly like the look of the quick type function in relevant apps, which may speed up typing.

The keyboard itself has also been improved, with new second-generation Butterfly-style switch mechanisms that are more responsive and offer better travel.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The new MacBook Pro is a sixth-generation Skylake machine with a 2133MHz Intel Core i7 inside (you can opt for a Core i5 in the 13in model). There’s up to 2TB of storage via a superfast SSD, and in the 15in model AMD Radeon Pro graphics with up to 4GB VRAM (the 13in model has Intel Iris graphics).

Apple says the 15in model is 130 percent faster than its predecessor on graphics, 60 percent faster for gaming, and 57 percent faster for video editing. The 13in model, meanwhile, is 103 percent faster than its predecessor for gaming, and 76 percent faster for both video editing and 3D graphics.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

The display is better than ever, now 67 percent brighter with 67 percent higher contrast and 25 percent more colours.

Each MacBook Pro is fitted with four Thunderbolt 3 ports that can go up to 40GB/s. Each of these ports can be used for power or as Thunderbolt, USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI or VGA connections.

MacBook Pro 2016

MacBook Pro 2016

2016 MacBook Pro UK price and models

The new MacBook Pro comes in three models, all available direct from Apple.

1. 13in MacBook Pro without Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 540, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2x Thunderbolt 3. Available today for £1,499 ($1,499).

2. 13in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.9GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, Intel Iris Graphics 550, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £1,749 ($1,799).

3. 15in MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID, 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, AMD Radeon Pro 450 Graphics, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 4x Thunderbolt 3. Shipping in three- to four weeks from £2,349 ($2,399).

Want to learn more about the new MacBook Pro? Check out our in-depth guide on our sister site Macworld.

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.

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The best iPhone games 2017

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Qualcomm details plans for Windows 10 PCs with Snapdragon 835

Qualcomm has big plans to bring back ARM to Windows 10 PCs, and there is a chance that its Snapdragon 835 could support Windows Holographic for VR headsets.

The company is already working with major PC makers for using Windows 10 with Snapdragon 835, its latest chip introduced in Sony’s Xperia XZ smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The response to Windows 10 with Snapdragon 835 has been positive, and the grim memories of Windows RT — a colossal failure in bringing ARM to PCs — have remained in the past, said Keith Kressin, senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies.

“The goal is to get something credible out, show people why it’s different from RT. Show that it’s Windows 10 — there isn’t a second version of Windows 10,” Kressin said.

Late last year, Microsoft and Qualcomm introduced the concept of cellular PCs, which are thin-and-light laptops with LTE connectivity. The Snapdragon 835 will be installed in those PCs. The chip offers the latest technologies like Bluetooth 5 and a gigabit modem.

The devices are being made with smartphones as models. The devices will have long battery life and remain always connected to the Internet.

The first Windows 10 PCs with Snapdragon 835 will come later this year. The cellular PCs will be priced at a “sweet spot,” Kressin said. They won’t be extremely low-cost, but they also won’t be too expensive, he said.

The Snapdragon 835 chip will go into high-end smartphones, which can be expensive. But prices of cellular PCs, in the end, will mostly depend on the PC makers and the configuration, Kressin said.

SpaceX to fly two tourists around Moon in 2018

US private rocket company SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon.

The mission is planned for late 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, adding that the tourists “have already paid a significant deposit”.

“This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years,” he said.

The two unnamed people will fly aboard a spaceship which is set for its first unmanned test flight later this year.

Mr Musk said the co-operation of America’s Nasa space agency had made the plan possible.

He said the two passengers “will travel faster and further into the solar system than any before them”.

Mr Musk declined to reveal their identities, only saying that they knew each other and that “it’s nobody from Hollywood”.

“Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.

“We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year.”

The first mission would be unmanned, and the next one – with crew – was expected in the second quarter of 2018, the billionaire entrepreneur and inventor said.

He also said the first passengers “are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here”.

“They’re certainly not naive, and we’ll do everything we can to minimise that risk, but it’s not zero.”

The space tourists would make a loop around the Moon, skimming the lunar surface and then going well beyond, Mr Musk said.

The mission will not involve a lunar landing.

If Nasa decided it wanted to be first to take part in a lunar flyby mission, then the agency would have priority, Mr Musk said.

The US has not sent astronauts to the Moon since the early 1970s.

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Porsche Design Book One

Some pairings look weird on paper, but the result winds up something that makes total sense the moment you lay eyes on it. The Porsche Design Book One is one of those results.

Teamed up with Microsoft and Intel, Porsche Design – yes, the auto maker – unveiled its Book One at MWC 2017, and it boasts some distinguishing features, as you might expect it to.

First off, it’s a 2-in-1 laptop that can be flipped 360-degrees into tablet mode, but said tablet portion can also be detached for portable use. For reference, the Microsoft Surface Book can only rotate 180-degrees.

Speaking of Microsoft’s stunning laptop, the Book One more or less matches its Surface Book i7 pricing at $2,495 or £2,395 (about AU$3,250; release unconfirmed).

We only had a few moments with an early production model of the Book One, Porsche Design’s first-ever soup-to-nuts computer. But even so, it gives off an air of confidence in both design and general performance that the company has done this before.

If the Surface Book was the reference model for Microsoft’s partners to follow, the Book One looks to be one of the few to actually challenge it. 

Design

If I had to describe the design language of the Book One as simply as possible, I’d say that it’s like the Surface Book, but with some elements borrowed from the latest MacBook Pro and Google’s Chromebook Pixel alike.

Coated in anodized aluminum, every bit of Porsche Design’s 13.3-inch machine feels and looks high-quality. It makes for a grand first impression, as does its 3,200 x 1,800 IPS touch display. Though the press event was dark and flashy, the Book One’s screen looked bright and bold.

Running around the machine revealed a duo of USB-C ports – one just 3.1, the other Thunderbolt 3 – as well as two standard USB 3.1 ports, the latter of which being especially awesome to see here. The tablet houses the Thunderbolt 3 port, while the backlit keyboard dock is where you’ll find the rest. This space is also shared by a microSD slot. So far, so good.

One feature that stood out in particular is that this laptop does away with perhaps my biggest gripe found in many 2-in-1s, the unsightly hinge that prevents the screen meeting parallel with the keyboard base. 

It all comes together in a form factor that’s just slightly more compact than most competitors. Though, it’s the extra mile that counts, right?

Performance

As the Book One on display was an early prototype, it’s possible that my time spent using it wasn’t representative of the final product. But, in all honesty, I hope it is.

Inside of the 13.3-inch tablet, Porsche Design stuffed in a 7th generation dual-core Intel i7-7500U processor that powers the visuals with its integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics processing unit (GPU).

Compare that to the latest Surface Book i7 in this price range and you’ll find that the Book One is only outdone in terms of graphics hardware.

In addition, it also matches the Surface Book i7’s 16GB of RAM and 512GB solid state drive (SSD). We’d be remiss not to pit these two head-to-head in a full review.

Running Windows 10 Pro as a touch-sensitive device, Porsche Design’s 2-in-1 is afforded all of the latest tricks, like Windows Ink. The company even built its own pen with Wacom that magnetically attaches to either side of the computer.

Other signature features, like Windows Hello, are set to appear on this machine as well via a 5MP infrared webcam.

As you can see, the specs and design pair up to tell a pretty convincing story, especially from a company that has never attempted such a device before. The price is quite a lot to swallow, but we’ll determine if it’s a balanced value when we test it in-depth for the full review.  

Early verdict

Porsche Design’s Book One was one of the more surprising debuts at MWC 2017, as the conference is usually reserved for the mobile industry. But in a way, it was the perfect time to show off the fruits of the collaboration between computing giants.

The Book One, despite its impressive design, isn’t exactly the most novel product. Sure, it can fold more than just about every other convertible, but it’s hard to say if there’s an untapped market of people who have been holding out this long until it finally arrived.
 

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