The Huawei Matebook X – A Solid Laptop With Few Compromises

When the Huawei Matebook X was introduced earlier this year, it caught a lot of eyes.  The ultra-slim design and nearly bezel-less display were the immediate wow factors but so too was the overall construction of the Windows 10 laptop.  The question, of course, was if the form factor was overshadowed by a lack of performance.  In this case, the answer is no.

The Matebook X is a powerful laptop with few compromises.  Aimed at taking full advantage of Windows 10, it is designed to be a great laptop for those on the road as well as those in their home or work offices.  Speed and battery life are exceptional, making it easily through most of the day before you have to start finding a power outlet to recharge.

Recently Huawei Devices USA sent me a Matebook X to review and having used it for the last couple of weeks, it is an impressive ultra-compact laptop.  The display is stunning and the overall performance is great.  It should be one on your short list to consider.

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Save on a Wide Range of SanDisk Storage Options at Amazon – Today Only

SanDisk Ultra 256GB A1 MicroSD Card

Amazon has put another great one day sale together on a wide range of SanDisk storage products.  The sale is today only and you can find all of the products that are sale here at Amazon.  The sale covers everything from MicroSD cards for Android phones and other devices to high capacity USB drives for your Chromebook, MacBook or Windows 10 PC.

Some of the deals on SanDisk storage today on Amazon include a MicroSD 64GB card for $15.99 and there is also the whopping 256GB USB-C Flash Drive that is down to $51.99, a savings of over $25.  That drive will work with modern laptops like the MacBook Pro and Chromebooks while there are still some great deals on USB-A drives too.

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Apple iTunes Now Available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10

Apple iTunes in The Microsoft Store

After months of anticipation and delays, Apple iTunes is now officially available in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 users.  The iTunes app is identical to the independent download that you have access to today but is managed through the Store for updates and all the benefits of being in the store.

The app leverages Microsoft’s Desktop Bridge technology which allows for traditional Windows desktop apps to be integrated and managed through the Microsoft Store.

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Google Backup & Sync Update Brings Network-Attached Storage Support

Google Backup and Sync

A new update to the Google Backup & Sync app for MacOS and Windows 10 is rolling out that brings a lot of fixes and a few new features.  The updated build is version 3.39 for those keeping score at home.  This new build was released on February 1st so it is likely that you already have it installed as Google pushes updates to Backup & Sync behind the scenes.

For those who use Network-Attached Storage (NAS), this update is an important one for you as it is finally supported.  You can now backup files and folders stored on a NAS to your Google Drive.  The folder has to be mounted and you will be able to add a NAS folder from the My Computer section of Google Backup & Sync.

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Microsoft Office 2019 Will Only Run on Windows 10

Microsoft Office Logo

In a move that will surprise some, Microsoft has announced that the upcoming Microsoft Office 2019 release will only be able to run on Windows 10 PCs.  According to the announcement, the following platforms will be able to run the perpetual version of Office

  • Any supported Windows 10 SAC release
  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2018
  • The next LTSC release of Windows Server

Further, Microsoft will not support MSI installs for Office 2019 but will be installed only by click-to-run technology.  MSI’s will be offered for the server products.

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Microsoft is Selling the Cortana Powered Harman Kardon Invoke for $99

Harman Kardon Invoke

If you missed out on picking up the beautifully styled Harman Kardon Invoke, powered by Microsoft Cortana, for $99 this past holiday season, now is your time.  Right now at the Microsoft Store you can pick one up for that special price, saving $100 in the process.

I posted my review of the Invoke in December and as I put in that review, it is one of the most stylish smart speakers out there with stunning audio quality as you would expect from Harman Kardon.  At the heart of the Invoke is Microsoft Cortana which, much like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, is a voice command away to help you with tasks or get information.

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Google Chrome Now Available in the Windows Store

Chrome Browser for Windows

[Update 12/20/2017:  It has now been removed.  Microsoft states that the installer violates the store’s policies. ]

Big and somewhat surprising news this morning for Windows 10 users.  Google Chrome is now available for download in the Microsoft Windows Store.  It means that users can now install Chrome on their Windows 10 PCs (except Windows 10S users) without having to side-load it.  This is something that many administrators lock down for security reasons.

Essentially this new app, which is published by Google, is an installer which acts as a shell to go get the browser installed on your PC.  In other words, it is an official channel to go out to the web and download the browser as you would if you were side-loading.

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OneDrive for Windows 10 Update Brings Video Playback Controls

OneDrive for Windows 10

The OneDrive app for Windows 10 has a new update rolling out to users that brings new video playback controls.  The update build, version 17.27 for those keeping score at home, allows you to skip forward or backwards in a video that you are viewing within the cloud storage app.  You can skip backwards in a video in 10 second intervals while skipping ahead is done in 30 second intervals.

Microsoft has also built in keyboard shortcuts in support of the video playback skipping.  By pressing Ctrl+B, you can skip backwards.  Pressing Ctrl+F skips you forward.

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