Huawei launches new tablet in flagship phone hiatus

Huawei CEO Richard Yu gives a press conference to present the new Huawei Balong 5G01, a 3GPP 5G commercial chipset on February 25, 2018 in Barcelona, on the eve of the inauguration of the Mobile World Congress (MWC). (AFP)
Updated 25 February 2018
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Huawei launches new tablet in flagship phone hiatus

BARCELONA: China’s Huawei launched a new laptop and tablet on Sunday as it seeks to cement its place among the world’s three biggest electronic device manufacturers.
The laptop, the Matebook X Pro, and the tablet, the MediaPad M5, were presented on the eve of the opening of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the scene of previous major Huawei launches.
But this year the company will instead present its new flagship smartphone — the P20 — on March 27 in Paris, in what is seen as a bid not to be eclipsed by Samsung’s launch of its new top end phone later Sunday.
“By launching the new P20 smartphones only a month later in Paris, Huawei will be able to fine tune its marketing message based on how the new Samsung S9 devices are perceived by consumers,” said Forrester analyst Thomas Husson.
Both the new Huawei laptop and tablet feature long lasting batteries and quicker charge times and are available in grey and silver.
The laptop’s power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, which Huawei says will start and securely log into Windows in under eight seconds.
Huawei also unveiled what it said is the world’s first commercial chipset that meets the standards of the super-fast 5G wireless networks which are poised to start being rolled out.
The company said the chipset can hit download speeds of 2.3 gigabits per second, significantly faster than speeds reached in current 4G networks.
Huawei remained the world’s third biggest seller of smartphones in 2017, behind Samsung and Apple.
It boasted a 10.4 percent market share, up from 9.5 percent, according to research firm IDC.
Samsung had a 21.6 percent share while Apple held 14.7 percent.


Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

Updated 21 September 2018
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Japan space probe Hayabusa2 drops hopping rovers toward asteroid

  • If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface
  • The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020

TOKYO: A Japanese space probe Friday released a pair of exploring rovers toward an egg-shaped asteroid to collect mineral samples that may shed light on the origin of the solar system.
The “Hayabusa2” probe jettisoned the round, cookie tin-shaped robots toward the Ryugu asteroid, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
If the mission is successful, the rovers will conduct the world’s first moving, robotic observation of an asteroid surface.
Taking advantage of the asteroid’s low gravity, they will jump around on the surface — soaring as high as 15 meters and staying in the air for as long as 15 minutes — to survey the asteroid’s physical features with cameras and sensors.
So far so good, but JAXA must wait for the Hayabusa2 probe to send data from the rovers to Earth in a day or two to assess whether the release has been a success, officials said.
“We are very much hopeful. We don’t have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful,” Yuichi Tsuda, JAXA project manager, told reporters.
“I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid,” he said.
The cautious announcement came after a similar JAXA probe in 2005 released a rover which failed to reach its target asteroid.
Next month, Hayabusa2 will deploy an “impactor” that will explode above the asteroid, shooting a two-kilo (four-pound) copper object into the surface to blast a crater a few meters in diameter.
From this crater, the probe will collect “fresh” materials unexposed to millennia of wind and radiation, hoping for answers to some fundamental questions about life and the universe, including whether elements from space helped give rise to life on Earth.
The probe will also release a French-German landing vehicle named Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) for surface observation.
Hayabusa2, about the size of a large fridge and equipped with solar panels, is the successor to JAXA’s first asteroid explorer, Hayabusa — Japanese for falcon.
That probe returned from a smaller, potato-shaped, asteroid in 2010 with dust samples despite various setbacks during its epic seven-year odyssey and was hailed a scientific triumph.
The Hayabusa2 mission was launched in December 2014 and will return to Earth with its samples in 2020.