PowerA’s modular pro controller promises Xbox Series X gamers an edge

PowerA is back with a new controller aimed at professional gamers who use the latest Xbox consoles. The newly announced PowerA Fusion Pro 2 is a wired controller designed specifically for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles, offering everything from a customizable design to swappable parts, a physical volume dial, a mappable Pro Pack, and more.

If you take your Xbox gaming sessions seriously, the wireless controllers — though convenient — may not offer everything you need. Thus enters PowerA’s Fusion Pro 2 wired controlled, which is now available for the latest Xbox models. This gamepad features a number of functions beyond what you get from a standard console controller.

In addition to things like magnetic impulse triggers and dual rumble motors, the Fusion Pro 2 also sports ALPS analog thumbsticks with customization options like using short or tall sticks. Users can swap out the controller’s faceplate from the Classic White option to the Black faceplate featuring rubberized grips, as well.

The controller also features a 3.5mm audio jack for using your favorite headset, a one-touch button for muting the chat, a volume dial, and a dedicated share button for capturing videos and screenshots of your gameplay. The Fusion Pro 2 for Xbox Series X|S ships with a 9.8ft USB cable, as well as a protective case for storing and transporting swappable components, the controller, and the cable.

Keep in mind that the USB cable shipping with the Fusion Pro 2 controller is proprietary and only works with this particular controller model. Players also have the option of adding the mappable Pro Pack with four extra programmable buttons added to the rear of the controller, adding additional customization options.

The Xbox Series X|S version of the Fusion Pro 2 wired controller is available from PowerA now for $89.99 USD.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Tech News

Xiaomi patent shows a modular phone camera system

Smartphone cameras are once again growing to an almost ridiculous pace once again and they are also growing in size. While there is indeed a huge market for smartphones with excellent cameras, not everyone might be so interested in those, especially if they’re paying for expensive branding in the process. Consumers don’t really have much of a choice in what cameras they get because of how phones are made but Xiaomi is once again looking into modular phones to potentially offer more options, presuming these actually become reality.

The modular phone idea is hardly new and a few companies have attempted to make those ideas into reality. The closest we got was the failed LG G5’s attempt at some modular parts but the Fairphone is also pushing modularity for the sake of sustainability. It seems that Xiaomi also has other modular ideas, ones that revolve around smartphone cameras instead.

According to the patent spotted by LetsGoDigital, Xiaomi thought of a system where only specific parts of a phone can be removed. While the base components of the phone, including the battery, screen, and logic boards, remain intact, the camera modules and bottom ports can be swapped out. It might be a bit difficult to visualize what Xiaomi means but, fortunately, LetsGoDigital shares some renders of what that modular phone might look like.

Based on Xiaomi’s own patent filing, the modular phone can switch between a module with a square camera bump and one with cameras in a single column. The renders, however also envision a module with a second screen on the back, perfect for using the cameras for selfies.

The patent also shows the bottom part of the phone sliding out though it doesn’t show what can be done with it. That edge of the phone could also be a bit problematic because of how the speakers and charging ports are there. Of course, these are just patents and may not even become real products, especially given how modular phones haven’t sold well despite being popular ideas.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Tech News

Framework Laptop promises easy upgrades and modular ports

A new laptop startup aims to make a DIY, upgrade-friendly notebook, with Framework hoping to build a market from those frustrated by today’s breed of sealed-up computers. Combining readily-accessed internal components with modular, interchangeable expansion cards, the Framework Laptop may look like a regular 13.5-inch notebook but it’s very different inside and out.

“At Framework, we believe the time has come for consumer electronics products that are designed to last,” Nirav Patel, company founder, says of the startup. “Founded in San Francisco in 2019, our mission is to empower you with great products you can easily customize, upgrade, and repair, increasing longevity and reducing e-waste in the process.”

The company’s first product marks a return to some of the traditional approaches to notebooks, blended with some newer ideas. The Framework Laptop has a 13.5-inch 3:2 aspect screen running at 2256 x 1502 resolution, a milled aluminum housing that’s 15.85mm thick and 2.87 pounds, and runs 11th Gen Intel Core processors.

It’ll support up to 64GB of DDR memory and 4TB+ of Gen4 NVMe solid-state storage. There’s also a 1080p/60fps webcam with a hardware privacy switch, a 55 Wh battery, and a keyboard with 1.5mm travel. However it’s how those components are pieced together that stands out.

The storage, WiFi card, and two of the memory slots are socketed, so that they can be upgraded by an individual user. The mainboard itself is designed to be swapped out too, as processors improve. The battery, screen, keyboard, and even the magnetically-attached bezel are designed to be readily replaced. Framework will even have QR codes on each component which, when scanned, will link to replacement guides and product listings.

Meanwhile, for connectivity there’ll be four swappable bays for Framework’s Expansion Card system. It’ll have a choice of USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, DisplayPort, and MicroSD port modules that can be slotted in, as well as less common options like extra storage or even a high-end headphone amp. The company plans to open up the design for that, too, so that other companies can make compatible modules.

It’s fair to say that Framework faces an uphill battle. Modular devices haven’t exactly had an easy go of things in the past, with even big names in the tech world giving up on their plans. Google’s Ara modular phone, for example, was meant to be as easily-upgraded as a set of LEGO bricks: instead, Google canned the project.

Intel, meanwhile, had plans for a modular laptop design. Its Compute Card would effectively condense the key components into a single block, which could be slotted into a notebook casing. It shelved that idea back in 2019.

The fact that the computing segment has been so aggressively commercialized explains part of the challenge. Low-price notebooks have relied on manufacturer scale to squeeze supplier costs down to the bare minimum; meanwhile, sleeker ultraportables and performance laptops demand custom designs in order to satisfy user requirements for both power and portability. That has led to little to no support for user-upgradable parts like memory or storage, since RAM chips and flash drives are soldered in place to save on thickness.

Framework’s approach differs dramatically from that. In fact, as well as prebuilt models running Windows 10 Home or Pro, it’ll also have a Framework Laptop DIY Edition. That will come as the individual components, and the choice to load either Windows or Linux if you’d prefer.

The Framework Laptop itself uses 50-percent post consumer recycled (PCR) aluminum, and an average of 30-percent PCR plastic.

What we don’t know – and what a lot of this will hinge upon – is pricing. Exact specifications, costs, and preorder details will follow closer to Framework’s summer 2021 estimate for the laptop shipping, the company promises. It’s difficult to imagine that there won’t be some premium to pay for this degree of flexibility, never mind the fact that smaller laptop-makers typically end up paying more for components than their industry heavyweight rivals.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link