Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 Is World’s Brightest Gaming Monitor

The Odyssey G9 gaming monitor is already among the largest and most immersive displays on the market, and now Samsung is updating the panel to make it twice as bright. The 49-inch display already boasts an elongated and massively wide QHD resolution called DQHD, which is the equivalent of having two QHD monitors side-by-side, and new for 2021 is support for a much brighter 2,000 nits of peak brightness on Samsung’s Odyssey Neo G9 49-inch.

For gamers, the HDR2000-rated Odyssey Neo G9 means you’ll see more contrast. This means you’ll see more details in the shadows and highlights, which could allow you to identify things in dark shadows or bright areas of a scene in your game, like enemies hiding in the background.

For comparison, both Apple’s refreshed 12.9-inch iPad Pro M1 with redesigned screen technology and the company’s pro-grade Pro Display XDR monitor come in with a peak brightness rating of 1,600 nits. Typical brightness, however, is rated at 420 nits.

To achieve the HDR2000 brightness rating on the Odyssey Neo G9, Samsung is using its Quantum Matrix Technology that’s found on some of its popular QLED televisions, like the company’s Neo QLED TV. The quantum mini LEDs in the matrix “means the backlight has a greater resolution and finer distinctions between light and dark,” the company said.

“This next-generation display technology is enabled by a new light source, Quantum Mini LED,” Samsung stated. “At 1/40 the height of a conventional LED, the Quantum Mini LED has incredibly thin micro layers filled with many more LEDs.”

The company claimed that this technology results in “perfect blacks and whites” on the display, which employs 2,048 dimming zones and enhanced 12-bit gradation for better light source control.

Overall, the Neo model retains many of the hallmark features from the standard Odyssey G9, which has been on the market for some time, including a 1000R screen curvature and a 32:9 aspect ratio. This year’s model also retains the unique glossy white finish on the backside of the original Odyssey G9 design.

The backside of the Odyssey Neo G9 retains the hallmark design of its predecessor.

And like its predecessor, the Neo edition supports both AMD FreeSync Premium Pro and Nvidia G-Sync technologies for tear-free images when playing fast-paced fames. The panel supports Display Port 1.4 and the new HDMI 2.1 standard, making it suitable to use with consoles as well as PC games.

Both the new Odyssey Neo G9 and the standard Odyssey G9 support 240Hz refresh rates and fast 1ms response time.

The Odyssey Neo G9 boasts a 49-inch curved display.

The expansive digital canvas of the Odyssey Neo G9 makes this panel ideal for multi-taskers who need more screen real estate to manage opened windows and applications. And compared to a multi-monitor setup, the extremely wide width of the Odyssey Neo G9 means that you won’t have to manage cable clutter of connecting multiple displays together.

Samsung did not give a date for when the 49-inch monitor will start shipping, but preorders will go live on July 29. That said, the price to double the peak brightness on the panel is rather steep — while the Odyssey G9 currently retails for $1,599, the HDR2000-rated Neo model will come in at a $900 premium. Samsung said that the Odyssey Neo G9 is priced at $2,499. However, if you order early, you’ll also get a free JBL Quantum One headset valued at $299 while supplies last.

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Surface Neo hands-on video shows a prototype without screens

Partly due to the pandemic and perhaps partly due to some behind-the-scenes management problems, what would have been Microsoft’s leap forward into the future of computing became an uneasy half step instead. The Surface Duo, while admirable, received mixed reviews due to software issues and design problems. Its larger Windows 10X counterpart, however, may have more or less been canceled by now. Microsoft has yet to officially admit that the Surface Neo has been scrapped but, at least for now, we can dream of what could have been thanks to this hands-on video of a nearly naked prototype.

The Surface Duo and Surface Neo shared some basic traits but that was a1156 sfar as it goes. Despite both sporting what Microsoft labels as “dual-screen foldable” designs, not only was the Surface Neo larger, it was also meant to run a new Windows 10X variant made exactly for this kind of device. As Windows 10X itself morphed into something totally different designed for laptops instead, the Surface Neo got pushed further and further into the background.

No word was heard about it recently aside from Panos Panay’s assurances last year that the device has merely been delayed, not canceled. Even insiders have fallen silent on any progress on that front. Now thanks to hardware hacker Calyx Hikari, we’re getting a glimpse of what the Surface Neo looks like, at least from the inside.

The hands-on video shows the Surface Neo’s internal design and components, which pretty much look like an enlarged Surface Duo. There is the same dual-battery design, for example, but curiously no sign of a fingerprint scanner. There are no screens either, so we can’t really see the device in action.

The appearance of this prototype, whether it’s the real deal or not, maybe a bit poignant for those who have been waiting for a dual-screen Windows device to finally hit the market. Those will have to look outside of Microsoft for that, though, considering the Surface Neo seems to be fated to never see the light of day.

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Microsoft’s Surface Neo is a folding PC with Windows 10X and a 2020 ship date

With Microsoft’s Surface Neo, the company looks ahead to a future that’s foldable. At its Surface event in New York on Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled a prototype Surface Neo that will feature a next-gen Lakefield CPU, the thinnest LCD ever made, and a new vision for mobile productivity. It won’t actually ship until late next year, but what Microsoft showed gives all the other companies trying folding devices a lot to think about. 

The Surface Neo features two opposing screens that fold on a geared 360-degree hinge. That hinge allows the Neo to be used as a large tablet, as a book-shaped reader, or as a small tablet when the screens are folded back-to-back.

Microsoft / Surface Neo Microsoft

The new Microsoft Surface Neo will be far easier to hold when using it on a train in its book mode.

Microsoft knows productivity matters whatever the mode, so it’s cleverly designed a magnetic wireless keyboard that attaches to the back of the screen or sits on top of one of the screens, so the Neo can be used like a traditional clamshell device. 

A new version of Windows that will ship with the laptop, called Windows 10X, makes the keyboard even more versatile by adjusting features based on its location. If the keyboard is pushed toward the hinge, Windows will automatically configure the screen so the uncovered portion functions as a trackpad.

Microsoft / Surface Neo Microsoft

When you need a traditional clamshell, the magnetic wireless keyboard allows for that, with the second screen turning into a small trackpad.

If the keyboard is attached near the front edge, the OS reconfigures the screen to create a large touch area that Microsoft calls “Wonder Bar.” Think of Apple’s dismal Touch Bar, but perhaps more useful and with more support. In one demonstration, Microsoft showed the Surface Neo automatically docking a Netflix video to the Wonder Bar, keeping the main screen clear for productivity tasks.

Microsoft / Surface Neo Microsoft

Did Microsoft just troll Apple with its Wonder Bar on the new Surface Neo? Only app support will tell.

As a Surface there is, of course, pen support. The pen appears to be same flat, wireless charging Slim pen as the one that comes with the new Surface Pro X. Microsoft didn’t say whether the pen charges in its storage position on the tablet’s back (see below), but we hope it does.

Microsoft / Surface Neo Microsoft

The Surface Neo features a newly designed pen that magnetically attaches to the Surface. Although not confirmed, we suspect it also charges in that position too.

The Neo offers a large tablet surface (albeit with a bezel splitting it), a small tablet mode, a book mode, and two different clamshell modes. As the keyboard is wireless, you can detach it and set the screen on a table to use both screens.

It’s not clear how the tablet would stand on its own. Sure, you can fold the screen a little so it stands straight up and down, but that’s not exactly an optimal way to use it. You can see just how awkward this mode would be below.

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Windows 10X may be the new Windows 10 S after the Surface Neo gets delayed

With dual-screen Windows devices apparently off the table for 2020, Microsoft’s Windows 10X has to find a home. Will it become a replacement for Windows 10 S on low-cost single-screen devices instead?

According to ZDNet, the delays associated with the coronavirus have pushed back the launches of Surface Neo and other dual-screen PCs, past their expected holiday 2020 debut and into 2021. Microsoft’s Android-powered Surface Duo has apparently not been affected. 

Sources close to the company had told PCWorld that the Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 launch was being delayed until the end of April. That delay was due to concerns that Microsoft simply wouldn’t have enough devices to put in stores, they said. Microsoft is also wrestling with the reality that audiences might not want a premium Windows workstation and a mobile-centric Windows device when consumers are stuck at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, worried about losing their jobs.

A source close to Microsoft indicated that the Surface Neo is being paused to realign resources to address the most urgent customer needs. The Android-based Surface Duo is still on track to ship in 2020.

Microsoft has also invested resources into developing Windows 10X, which was released as an emulator in February. Enterprising users figured out a way to put it on a single-screen device shortly thereafter.

According to ZDNet, single-screen Windows 10X devices are now the priority, including potentially traditional clamshells and two-in-ones. The reason may have a lot to do with the lukewarm reception for Windows 10 S.

surface duo brad anderson Brad Anderson / Twitter

The Surface Neo may be in doubt, but the Surface Duo isn’t; Microsoft corporate vice president Brad Anderson showed off the Duo, Surface Book, and a Surface Pro tablet in a photo posted to Twitter this week.

Windows 10X has what schools want—if it works

When Microsoft launched Windows 10 S in 2017, it had designs on upending Google and its inexpensive Chromebook hardware in schools. At the time, Windows devices were criticized as being expensive and overcomplicated. They still are. Google’s approach was to confine pretty much everything to the web, and sandbox it within its ChromeOS operating system. That met schools’ budgetary needs, and also gave them a device that was harder for kids to mess up.

Up to now, we’ve all been somewhat obsessed with Microsoft’s vision for pricey dual-screen hardware, and whether that makes sense in a PC world largely predicated on a single screen and keyboard. But with Microsoft now delaying those dual-screen devices, the company could pivot and start positioning Windows 10X for the low-cost market.

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Microsoft officially delays Surface Neo, dual-screen Windows PCs

Microsoft has officially confirmed that it’s delaying its dual-screen Windows experiences, including the Surface Neo, until “the right moment” arrives. That announcement was part of a Monday blog post in which Panos Panay, the new chief product officer of Windows and Devices, laid out his vision of what he sees for Microsoft’s Windows 10 and related hardware programs.

In some sense, the blog post announcing the changes reads like a recap of what we already know: The Windows 10 May 2020 Update will begin shipping to the general public this month; Microsoft is turning its Build conference into a free, online-only event; and Microsoft is postponing its own dual-screen devices.

Microsoft had only internally communicated the latter choice internally, according to a recent ZDNet report. That report said Panay had indicated that the pandemic had prompted Microsoft to refocus its priorities on single-screen devices. 

On Monday, Panay confirmed this, and offered more insight into Microsoft’s rationale for adjusting its strategy. “The world is a very different place than it was last October when we shared our vision for a new category of dual-screen Windows devices,” he wrote. “As we continue to put customers’ needs at the forefront, we need to focus on meeting customers where they are now.”

That means that Microsoft will “pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn, and play in new ways,” Panay wrote. “These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.”

Based on his phrasing, that essentially means that Microsoft is delaying the Surface Neo, which was originally scheduled to ship in 2020. Windows 10X, which simplified the Windows experience and stretched the experience across two screens, will now emphasize the “simple” rather than the two screens. (Microsoft’s Windows 10X emulator recently added a single-screen experience.) Focusing the delay on “dual-screen Windows devices” also suggests that Microsoft may still ship the Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android phone, on time. 

Microsoft windows 10x Surface Neo  edge across two screens Microsoft

It appears that you won’t be seeing this dual-screen view in Windows 10X hardware anytime soon.

The future of Windows 10

More subtly, Panay also indicated that Microsoft may be gearing up to add more new features to Windows 10. We’ve already reviewed the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, due to roll out sometime this month, so we know that Microsoft updated features like the Windows Subsystem for Linux and Cortana without adding new functionality.

“The May 2020 Update is just the first step,” Panay wrote. “As a team, we are committed to delivering meaningful innovation in ways that matter most to the billion people around the world relying on Windows right now. That is why, in this holiday and the next, we are going to accelerate innovation in Windows 10 to ensure that Windows devices are the best way to work, learn and play. We are going to make important improvements in every one of those areas.”

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TourBox Neo is the graphic design editing controller that finally gets it all right

TLDR: The TourBox Neo offers ultimate control with unprecedented speed over your digital media creative projects that puts a standard keyboard to shame.

Watching Eddie Van Halen’s fingers work magic as he plays Eruption is amazing. Seeing Tiger Woods wield a golf club like it’s an extension of himself is awe-inspiring. And believe it or not, elite craftsmen of every type perform equally impressive feats of creation all the time. 

For example, if you’ve ever watched a master editor cut video or brilliantly punch up a photo, then you know there’s an artistry and talent at work that few possess. But just like Van Halen needed his Frankenstein guitar or Tiger needs his TaylorMade clubs, a top-flight editor needs the right tools to properly express their genius.

For media creators, the TourBox Neo ($127.50 with code VDAY2021 from TNW Deals) could be that elite instrument, a virtual editing Excalibur that is primed to help good editors be great and great editors be their absolute best.

Rather than settling for a traditional mouse or even a keyboard, the TourBox Neo is a handheld controller that fully optimizes the editing process for any user of graphic media editing software.

This desktop controller features 14 different switches, knobs, dials and buttons, each with the ability to perform the editing task you need done the way you want to do it. The entire unit is programmable, so depending on your program, the knob can be used to control the size, flow, transparency and hardness of the brush in drawing software like Clip Studio Paint; or to control the speed of your footage for video editing with an app like Final Cut Pro.

Once users get familiar with a TourBox in their hand, the controller begins like second nature, precisely calibrated for ideal speed, accuracy, and acceleration, with an ergonomic hands-on layout that allows for quick access to all your most commonly used controls. Whether it’s digital painting, designing, photo editing, or video editing, shortcuts and multi-button combinations can make tasks less difficult, happen more quickly, and generally improve your overall creative experience.

TourBox is designed for use with a mouse or a tablet and syncs with more than a dozen of the most popular digital creation programs, including the Adobe Creative Suite. From image editing work in Lightroom and Photoshop to video projects in Premiere to graphic design and art pieces in Illustrator and InDesign, TourBox has a configuration to get the most out of the app — and yourself. TourBox also works with many other creative aid apps, including Final Cut Pro, Capture One, Clip Studio Paint, Comic Studio, DaVinci and more in both Windows and Mac OS systems.

Regularly $190, the TourBox Neo is now available at 15 percent off the already discounted price as part of TNW Deals’ Valentine’s Day sale. When you enter the code VDAY2021 during checkout, you can drop your final price down to just $127.50.

Prices are subject to change.

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