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As we settle in for a holiday weekend in the US, we’re looking forward to next week’s big event: a groundbreaking trip to space.
The Demo-2 mission will be the first crewed launch from US soil since 2011, as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon undertakes its final flight test. NASA confirmed everything is on schedule for launch May 27th at 4:33 PM ET — we’ll be watching.
The best deals we found this week: Pixel 3a, the HomePod and more
Plus Memorial Day sales.
Google’s Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones hit a new low this week at Best Buy and Amazon, at $280 and $320, respectively. Other products that we spotted at a discount include Apple’s HomePod for $200, and the 10.2-inch iPad at $250. If you’re looking for a new laptop, then keep an eye on Memorial Day deals including the HP Envy x360 for $650, the Lenovo ThinkBook 13s for $640 and the Lenovo Yoga C940 for $1,450.
Surface Book 3 15-inch review: Beautiful, yet limited
Its flexibility comes with some compromises.
Microsoft’s latest Surface Book hasn’t changed much about its combination laptop/tablet design and is still a uniquely capable machine. This time around it has an even more powerful GPU inside, with our test model sporting NVIDIA’s GTX 1660 Ti.
The downside of its detachable screen is that it has to work as a tablet too. That’s why you can’t get one with the more powerful six- or eight-core CPUs offered by competing laptops like the 16-inch MacBook Pro or Dell XPS 15. With its price starting at $2,300 with a Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and NVIDIA's GTX 1660 Ti, Devindra Hardawar sees the Surface Book 3 as “too familiar and underpowered” — read on for the full review.
Apple and Google's COVID-19 contact tracing tech is ready
It’s not an app, it’s an API.
Just a few weeks after Google and Apple announced plans to collaborate on developing Exposure Notification technology for their mobile operating systems, the software is ready. On iPhones, it’s a part of the iOS 13.5 update rolling out now, which also makes it easier to use FaceID while wearing a mask. For Android 6.0 or above, a Play Services update will deliver it in the background.
The notification tech works through Bluetooth, with phones exchanging and storing keys whenever they’re in range of each other. Public health agencies tie into the opt-in system with their apps, and if a user tests positive, it can alert people who may have been exposed.
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Take a look at Dyson’s canceled electric car
The seven-seater would have had almost twice the range as Tesla's Model X.
Dyson, a company more famous for its vacuums and household goods, canceled its EV plans late last year — and we didn’t even get to see the thing. Having its founder top The Sunday Times’ Rich List in the UK was enough to publish some photos of both the car and its interior, however. The “N526,” would have been a seven-seater with a whopping 600-mile range per charge. This was largely thanks to the company’s proprietary solid-state batteries.
Dyson’s aluminum car could go from zero to 62MPH in 4.8 seconds (about half a second more than the long-range Tesla Model X), with its top speed apparently reaching 125MPH (30MPH shy of the Model X’s).
The project ended up costing £500 million of Dyson’s own money before he put a stop to it. Unlike other traditional car brands, the company doesn’t have a fleet of profitable gasoline or diesel cars to offset the “huge losses” on every electric vehicle made — apparently, each Dyson electric car would have needed to make £150,000 for the company to break even.
But wait, there’s more…