Sennheiser Momentum TW2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3: Which pair reigns supreme?

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 and the Sony WF-1000XM3 both offer superb audio quality in a true wireless form. But which set of earbuds offers the most for your money?

Both Sennheiser and Sony earbuds received glowing recommendations from us, but they’re rather distinct from one another, so where do their strengths and weaknesses lie? We’ve put the two earbuds head-to-head to help you decide which pair is right for you.

Read on to find out which pair reigned supreme.

Related: Best wireless earbuds

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 – Price

If you pick up the Momentum TW2 directly from Sennheiser, they’ll set you back £279. Likewise, Sony charges £220 for its WF-1000XM3 earbuds.

Luckily, you can find discounts on both by shopping elsewhere online. Right now, the most affordable listings are  on eBay. You can pick up the Momentum True Wireless 2 for £249 and the WF-1000XM3 for £125 through the online marketplace – that’s nearly half off for the Sony pair.

Regardless of where you go, the WF-1000XM3 are generally the more affordable of the two.

Related: Best noise cancelling headphones

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 – Design

The Momentum True Wireless 2 are small, weighing just 6g each. They come in two colour variations, black and white, with silver touch panels on the end. The panels are responsive to touch, and allow the wearer to control the tunes with a tap. The ergonomic shape of the earbuds means the fit is snug enough to seal out external noise, and should also fit across a wider range of ear shapes. With an IPX4 rating, they should easily withstand any splashes from rain/water.

The WF-1000XM3 are small, but not as subtle than the Sennheiser pair. The shape is more bulbous rectangular, extending out from the ear and they’re heavier at 8.5g each ear. The earbuds are available in black and silver, with a touch panel (which can be customised) at the end of each bud. There is no volume control on the buds themselves, so you’ll need to this on your mobile device. Unlike the Sennheiser, the Sony don’t have a IP rating.

The Sennheisers come out on top here due to their lightweight design and water resistance certification, though whether you prefer their style is ultimately down to personal preference.

Related: Best wireless headphones

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 – Features

While the ANC on the Sennheiser isn’t the strongest, but combined with the seal they’re skilled enough to cancel out most sounds. To hear what’s around you, the Transparent Hearing mode allows the wearer to focus on their surroundings.

The Momentum True Wireless 2 support SBC, AAC and aptX codecs, and use Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. They’re also compatible with Sennheiser’s Smart Control app (Android/iOS), which allows users to tweak voice prompts, touch controls and equaliser settings.

The Sennheisers have a battery life of seven hours in the earbuds, and 28 hours in total with the charging case. The earbuds can be fully charged in 90 minutes via USB-C, and quick-charging offers 90 minutes of music after 10 minutes plugged in.

The WF-1000XM3 feature ANC and are kitted out with Sony’s HD Noise Cancelling Processor QN1e chip – the same one in the award-winning WH-1000XM3. As with the True Wireless 2, the WF-1000XM3 combine ANC with a snug fit to block out noise more effectively than their opponent. Sony’s intelligent Adaptive Sound Control means the earbuds adjust themselves to the demands of the environment on the go, so ANC levels will be adapted for best performance.

The Sonys feature two 6mm drivers, there’s the DSEE HX feature for digital upscaling of sound and connectivity is Bluetooth 5.0. There’s no support for aptX, so it misses out on higher-quality Bluetooth streaming. Like the Sennheisers, the listening experience can be customised in the Headphone App. The app also lets the user play around with equaliser and quality settings, the strength of ANC and more.

As far as battery goes, the Sonys offer 6 hours and 24 hours – less than Sennheisers. Switch ANC off and it can be stretched out to 32 hours. Just like the Sennheisers, 90 minutes of listening can be had from a swift 10-minute charge.

The Sennheisers put up a good fight, with longer battery life and support for aptX. However, if noise cancellation is the priority, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are the winners as they have the stronger ANC performance. We also found that ANC on the Sennheisers taxed battery life, which is something to consider if you travel a lot.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 – Sound

The Momentum True Wireless 2 offer a rich and textured sound. Compared to the WF-1000XM3, the earbuds are more spacious, offering warmer and deeper bass where required. The treble is packed with detail and the stereo imaging is impressive. The timing could be sharper and dynamically it could be more hard felt, but these earbuds are expressive and full of energy.

The WF-1000XM3 outperform the Sennheisers in the midrange, and their spot on timing and powerful sound beats the competition. The Sonys are probably more versatile, performing well across countless genres from jazz to punk rock to classical compositions. The bass is smooth and textured too, but never overpowering.

This is a tough choice as both headphones perform fantastically. If you preference is for audio to have some punch, the Sony edges it, but we’d actually call this a draw.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 vs Sony WF-1000XM3 – Verdict

Both the Momentum True Wireless 2 and the WF-1000XM3 are impressive little buds. Which pair you go for buy depends on what you’re looking for from a pair of headphones.

If you want a lightweight pair of earbuds that offer plenty of playtime, maintain a strong connection and sound fantastic, you can’t go wrong with the Sennheiser pair.

However, the Sony would get the win, but it’s a tough battle. At half the price of the Sennheisers (if you can find the pair online), the WF-1000XM3 offer strong ANC and versatile sound that’s so far proved difficult to beat.

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Surface Neo: Release date, price, specs and design

The Surface Neo was announced late in 2019, revealed my Microsoft to be a dual-screen computing device with a 360-degree hinge. But while the groundbreaking device was set for a “Holiday 2020” launch, Microsoft has now confirmed it has been delayed. 

Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, suggested in a blog post earlier this year that the Surface Neo would be delayed as it was decided the upcoming Windows 10X operating system will be optimised for single-screen devices initially, therefore pushing dual-screen computing products to the back burner.

Even more recently (as spotted by Neowin) Microsoft removed the “Coming Holiday 2020” from the official Surface Neo website. This means the Neo will likely arrive in 2021 at the very earliest. Fortunately, this delay doesn’t seem to have affected the Android-powered Surface Duo smartphone.

Read on for all the information on the upcoming Surface Neo.

What is the Surface Neo?

The Surface Neo is Microsoft’s upcoming dual-screen computing device, running on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10X operating system.

Featuring two 9-inch displays, the Surface Neo looks similar to a traditional laptop, but with the keyboard replaced with a second touchscreen. With a 360-degree hinge, it can be folded up like a book when not in use. A keyboard accessory can also be clipped onto the touchscreen, turning it into a make-shift laptop when you need to type up an essay.

A big appeal of the Surface Neo looks to be its ability to straddle two current form-factors – tablets and laptops. The Surface Pro line already somewhat embraces this idea but they are still weighty machines. If the Neo can hit the sweet spot between productivity and portability then Microsoft could be set to create a new thriving product category.

Related: Surface Pro 8

Surface Neo release date – When is the Surface Neo out?

The Surface Neo has been delayed by Microsoft, with 2021 now the earliest we’ll likely see it.

Microsoft is yet to provide a new launch window, but has removed mention of the initial “Holiday 2020” release from the official website, suggesting we won’t see the device before the end of the year.

The delay was made to give Microsoft more time to optimise the upcoming Windows 10X operating system for dual-screen devices. With the Neo being one of the very first devices of its kind, it’s no surprise that Microsoft wants additional time to ensure everything’s running smoothly.

Surface Neo

Surface Neo price – How much will the Surface Neo cost?

Microsoft is yet to give any indication on the price, but we reckon it’s going to be very expensive. 

The design is likely to lead to a high price for early adopters, but there may be some reprieve depending on the specs. The integrated Intel Lakefield chip inside is aimed at causal users, as seen with the Galaxy Book S. While Samsung’s laptop is hardly cheap at £999, it fits in nicely with the price range of Microsoft’s other devices.

Related: Surface Laptop 4

Surface Neo

Surface Neo design – What does the Surface Neo look like?

The Surface Neo centres around a 360-degree hinge, bringing together two separate 9-inch displays. The hinge will enable users to utilise it in a more traditional laptop style as well as like a tablet.

For laptop use, Microsoft will also offer the option of buying a keyboard that attaches to one of the screens for a more comfortable typing experience. It seems like the keyboard will be able to flipped around the back of the device for storage when not in use.

The device is just 5.6mm thin, which Microsoft calls “the thinnest LCD that’s ever been created”. The device will also weigh 655 grams, which is significantly lighter than your average laptop. 

The new Neo and Duo devices will be covered in Gorilla Glass front and back. Along with the aesthetic advantages, the design choice will also allow for a stylus to be wirelessly charged once magnetically attached to the back of the device.

Related: Best laptop 2020

Surface Neo

Surface Neo specs – How powerful is the Surface Neo?

The new device is set to run on an Intel Lakefield hybrid processor, which is a hybrid of the performance-focused 10nm Sunny Cove CPU, alongside several smaller power-efficient 10nm Tremont Atom cores. The Galaxy Book S is one of the very first laptops to feature the chip, showing an entry-level laptop performance while flaunting a battery life superior to the majority of modern notebooks.

This means the Surface Neo will likely have a performance more akin to a tablet than a performance-focused laptop, so don’t expect to do any serious gaming or creative work here. This is primary a device for web browsing, video streaming and applications, although it’s very much possible Microsoft could pitch this as the ideal device for Xbox’s Game Pass via xCloud.

In terms of software, the device will run on Microsoft’s new Windows 10X operating system, a new OS designed specifically for dual-screen machines. Microsoft stated updates on the Neo would take less than 90 seconds – that’ll be music to anyone’s ears who’s had to deal with some several hour-long Windows update marathons in the past. 

Windows 10X will encourage developers to build apps that use one screen, but be provided with secondary information if they’d like to apply to both screens of the device. You’ll also be able to run two separate apps on either screen.

The software responds when placing the detachable keyboard on the screen, turning the remaining part of the screen to something akin to Apple’s Touch Bar. Microsoft’s version is jollily named the “Wonder Bar.”

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.
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Trump may ban TikTok in the US, Microsoft ‘in talks’ to buy

The short form video app TikTok faces a potential ban in the United States, according to president Donald Trump.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said there are multiple options for dealing with a perceived threat from the Chinese-owned app, which has been criticised for lax data protection of its users.

“We’re looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things,” Trump said (via Guardian). “There are a couple of options. But a lot of things are happening. So, we’ll see what happens.”

Previously it had been reported the US may seek to ensure TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the app to a US-based owner. On the list of interested parties is reportedly none other than Microsoft.

Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino said Microsoft is already “in talks to buy” TikTok. Microsoft has not commented on the reports. Gasparino cited the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which could force TikTok into the sale.

The United States appears concerned that the Chinese company may hand over user data to its government. The company, which is now run by former Disney exec Kevin Mayer, has said it would not comply with any requests.

A spokesperson said: “While we do not comment on rumours or speculation, we are confident in the long-term success of TikTok. Hundreds of millions of people come to TikTok for entertainment and connection, including our community of creators and artists who are building livelihoods from the platform. We’re motivated by their passion and creativity, and committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”

The app has been downloaded close to 200 million times in the United States. However, it has been banned by some US companies, as well as the country’s military.

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Google is going big on Windows apps for Chromebook laptops

Google has offered more details on the plan to bring the Windows experience to Chromebook laptops.

Last month Google revealed it would partner with the Parallels visualisation software to bring full featured Windows applications to Chromebook Enterprise users.

However, in a new interview, Google has indicated the integration will be a fully-fledged project that will enable many more Chromebook users to run apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint in their native desktop form.

Cyrus Mistry, group product manager for Chrome OS told The Verge, that Parallels Desktop will boot a full copy of Windows alongside the Chrome OS and the Android apps they’re already running. You can see an example pictured above.

Mistry used the analogy of needing to play a VHS tape once in a while, alongside your Dolby Atmos home cinema system. The idea being that users will be able to jump in and out of the native Windows desktop apps they need.

Related: Best laptops 2020

Mistry said: “The analogy I give is that yes, the world is all state of the art and Dolby Atmos home theaters, but every once in a while you do have that old wedding video on a VHS that you need to get to.

“We want to make sure you have that option [for Windows apps] as well… so that every once in a while you’ll be able to get that when you need it, but we don’t want that to be the world you’re living in.”

We’re not sure that analogy is particularly kind to Microsoft, or that accurate, but nonetheless we get what Mistry is trying to say here. The need to run the entire operating system won’t always be necessary, with Google promising access to specific adds, likely using the Parallels Coherence feature.

“In the future we’ll have other types of things where you don’t even have to run the whole Windows desktop, you’ll just run the app you need,” explains Mistry. “We are trying to make it as seamless as possible.”

Google hasn’t informed users what the minimum specs will be yet, but it appears you’ll need a higher-end Chromebook running an Intel i5 or i7 processor.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.
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7.31.20 Overworked pharmacists making more prescription mistakes; Clark Stinks



7.31.20 Overworked pharmacists making more prescription mistakes; Clark Stinks – Clark Howard















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Netflix offers a change of pace with new playback speed controls

Netflix is adding new playback controls for speed binging, or slower viewing of its hit shows.

Android users will now have the opportunity to stream shows at 1.25x or 1.5x speeds to whiz through content at an accelerated pace, or at 0.5x or 0.75x to enjoy shows at a more leisurely stroll.

The latter has been heralded why the National Association of the Deaf and the National Federation of the Blind. Deaf people, for example, will appreciate slowing down the content to give them more time to read the captions. Netflix also says that those watching films in another language will appreciate the change in pace, enabling them more time to keep up with the dialogue.

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“More than 80% of members use subtitles or closed captions at least once a month, with many of them reporting that they use dubs and subtitles to learn new languages. In the last two years, US viewing of non-English titles has increased by 33%,” Netflix says in an updated blog post.

The speeds will be opt-in per title, so you’ll have to manually change them each time you start a new show if you want to change the speeds. Netflix has also automatically corrected the “the pitch in the audio at faster and slower speeds.”

Podcasts and audiobooks, for example, often offer similar controls to enable users to listen to episodes a little faster and get more in in the allotted time. This makes plenty of sense.

However, for video, this is a slightly different ballgame. We certainly understand the need for content to be slowed in some circumstances, but sped up? This might play into the psyche of those looking to binge shows as fast as humanly possible in order to get onto the next viral Netflix Original hit (not that there have been many of those lately).

Or, as Netflix says, it could prove useful for those hoping to rewatch their favourite scenes over and over. As for the quality off the experience, Netflix acknowledges content creators may be somewhat reluctant.

It adds: “We’ve also been mindful of the concerns of some creators. It’s why we have capped the range of playback speeds and require members to vary the speed each time they watch something new – versus fixing their settings based on the last speed they used. It’s also worth noting that extensive surveys of members across several countries who watched the same titles with or without the feature showed it didn’t impact their perceptions of the content’s quality. We’re constantly trying to make Netflix better – so it’s easier for people to find and enjoy great stories. We believe Mobile Playback Speeds is another small but meaningful step in that effort.”

It’s not clear when the controls will roll out to the wider viewing audience.

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You’ll soon be able to play online for free on Xbox, according to a new report

According to VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb, Microsoft could be removing the Xbox Live Gold requirement for playing online multiplayer across its family of platforms. 

This new piece of information has emerged following the rumour that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be launching as a free-to-play experience later this year, with Grubb conversing with people on Twitter about the potential abandonment of Xbox Live Gold. 

Related: Fable 4

At the time of writing, Xbox Live Gold is required to play online multiplayer in any capacity, and that includes free-to-play experiences such as Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone. It seems that Microsoft is aware that high user engagement can result in bigger returns, and a paywall to online multiplayer is one obstacle they could do without. 

Some have previously believed that Xbox Live Gold would instead be incorporated under Game Pass Ultimate, rolling all of Microsoft’s monthly subscriptions into one cohesive service. However, this apparently won’t be the case, and Microsoft won’t force you into the Game Pass ecosystem if you want to play online, although it will remain a big part of its next-gen strategy. 

This is positively huge if true, and definitely makes sense when you consider the Xbox experience is now spread across multiple platforms and services. Paying one subscription, in this case Game Pass Ultimate, is easily the most convenient option Microsoft could pursue, and it seems to be the direction it is heading in.

Related: Best Xbox Series X Games

You will require PlayStation Plus to access online multiplayer on PS5, so if Microsoft abandons Xbox Live Gold it will put them at a huge advantage. We’re set to hear more about Xbox Series X and the coming generation this August, so there’s a possibility Microsoft will address these rumours in some capacity. Xbox Series S is also due a reveal after months of speculation, acting as an entry-level console of sorts for those wanting a more powerful machine without breaking the bank.

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Level Up: How an obsession with visuals is holding games back from greatness

It’s understandable that visuals have long been the defining feature of each new console generation. Players adamant for a graphical justification allowing them to jump on an expensive new console. 

As the medium has approached the realms of photorealism, a plateau has formed at what we can reasonably expect from each new platform. Advancements are iterative instead of groundbreaking, meaning developers are pushed to more unreasonable limits to create visually splendorous worlds to explore.

I adore experiences like this, with Horizon 2: Forbidden West and Demon’s Souls Remake already providing a glimpse at how PlayStation 5 will build upon what we already know and love. But as the next generation approaches, many have already begun questioning whether they could be playing these games on existing platforms. 

Microsoft is further reinforcing this mindset with Xbox Game Pass and a number of major titles such as Halo Infinite set to launch across both new and existing platforms. On the flipside, Master Chief’s latest effort has already received ample criticism for its supposedly lacklustre visuals, debating whether 343 Industries is holding the game back by accommodating older hardware. 

Related: Best PS5 Games

Halo Infinite

There’s no winning in this scenario, and game companies will constantly be subject to criticism whether they’re pushing for graphical prowess in traditional exclusives or scaling such qualities back in favour of a consumer-friendly, multiplatform approach. You either try and make games accessible for millions of people, perhaps more than ever before, or cater to the vocal minority who expect every new title to be a wondrous blockbuster. 

I feel this attitude to be damaging, and it is ultimately holding games back from the greatness they’re capable of achieving. I spoke about this a couple of weeks ago on Level Up, touching on how Ghost of Tsushima adopts a tried-and-true formula in favour of something innovative, yet still offers a beautiful world to explore. 

It favours style over substance, which is far too often the case with big exclusives nowadays. Everything needs to push the envelope, occupying the strict definition of “prestige” instead of pursuing mechanical experimentation that could push the medium to new and exciting places. It has often been said that AAA development is ultimately unsustainable as budgets balloon and the time to craft such worlds increases, so perhaps it’s time to reassess things. 

Related: Project Cars 3 Preview

Grounded

As subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now become more commonplace, and players are willing to sample new experiences with such a low cost of entry, Sony and Microsoft should push for smaller, more experimental releases that teach mainstream consumers that things go far deeper than the quarterly blockbuster. 

Both companies already have the libraries to support such a strategy, and Microsoft is well ahead of the curve with recent releases such as Grounded and Gears Tactics already offering something new and different. Traditional platforms are slowly but surely being abandoned in favour of a flexible ecosystem, and the virtual libraries should grow to reflect that.

With any luck, this will give smaller creators and more intimate projects a chance to shine, where in the past they might have been buried. Technical prowess is never the appeal for games like this, it all comes down to striking art design and gameplay ideas we’ve never seen before, and players discovering these for the first time is never a bad thing.

Related: PS5 vs Xbox Series X

Horizon Forbidden West

There will always be room for blockbusters, but them sharing the stage is a necessity for the medium to grow. Visuals aren’t everything, and it’s important to instil this sentiment if games are to grow beyond the open-worlds and conveyor belt exclusives that have come to define the past generation. The “more more more” attitude of gaming enthusiasts and the constant need for technological advancement is destined for disaster, we should also be exploring what exciting new things games are capable of in how they play, the stories they tell and how they encourage us to try new things.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m intrigued by the potential PS5 and Xbox Series X bring to the table with ray tracing and the implementation of SSDs, but seeing how such leaps in console hardware can push the medium forward beyond fancy graphics is far more compelling. I’m sure Horizon 2: Forbidden West will look lovely, but I want it to be far more than the same experience with a nicer coat of paint, and these consoles provide a foundation for such advancements to take place. 

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We Might Not See iPhones With 120Hz Displays For A While

When Apple introduced 120Hz displays to the iPad Pro, many were expecting that the company would eventually introduce it to their iPhones. It was largely expected that this year could be the year, although a more recent rumor had suggested that might not be the case. Now according to the latest rumors, it seems that we probably shouldn’t expect it in 2021’s iPhones either.

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According to the latest rumors, apparently Apple will not be including 120Hz displays in its iPhones for the next couple of years. The report claims that the iPhone 12 will skip on the display, as will the 2021 iPhone. It seems that the earliest we can expect to see it will be in 2022, if it even happens at all.

It is unclear why this might be the case. After all, Android handset makers have been more than willing to introduce 90Hz or 120Hz displays to their smartphones, so we’re not sure why Apple will not be doing the same. Could it be that it might be a battery issue? Or maybe Apple just doesn’t think there is a good enough reason for it.

Smartphones have kind of peaked in terms of what they can do, so handset makers are trying to find ways to keep their devices exciting and fresh, and faster refresh rates has been one of those ways. In any case, take it with a grain of salt, but we should have more details in the coming months.

Filed in Apple >Cellphones >Rumors. Read more about iPhone and Iphone 12. Source: gizchina

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Nvidia enters ‘advanced talks’ to buy Arm for over $32 billion

Reports have emerged today from Bloomberg to suggest Nvidia is in ‘advanced talks to acquire Arm Ltd, a processor designer that supplies chips to the likes of Apple, Qualcomm and Intel. 

The potential deal is reportedly worth over $32 billion, and could see Nvidia acquire the company from SoftBank Group Corp. Bloomberg reports that the two parties seek to reach an agreement ‘in the next few weeks’, with Nvidia the only party in concrete discussions at the time of writing. 

Such a deal could potentially be the most expensive yet in the semiconductor industry, and would see Nvidia become a huge player in the processor market when they have previously retained focus in GPUs, data centres and artificial intelligence. 

Related: Nvidia Ampere

But since Nvidia is already a customer of Arm – having manufactured the Tegra chips for Shield TV and Nintendo Switch – the potential acquisition will likely ‘trigger regulatory scrutiny’ as rival companies such as Apple and Intel may want to seek assurances that they can continue to use Arm-based processors. 

Apple is a particularly interesting case, with the company recently announcing plans to switch all of its Mac devices over to ARM-based Apple Silicon. There has also been a growing trend for computing devices to feature Arm processors, with the Samsung Galaxy Book S a recent example, while Microsoft has also confirmed plans to integrate the technology into the upcoming Surface Neo. It looks like the demand for Arm will only increase in the laptop industry. 

Related: Best Laptops 2020

The Arm technology is also used in the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processors, found in the majority of Android smartphone devices. 

Due to a potential conflict of interest, it’s not guaranteed that Nvidia will be able to complete the acquisition of Arm Ltd. But if successful, there’s no doubt that such a move would give Nvidia further dominance over the computing industry. 

Bloomberg reports that SoftBank is looking to sell in order to “to pay down debt at the Japanese conglomerate.” In contrast, Nvidia is in a very strong financial position having recently overtaken Intel as the most valuable US chipmaker. It’s been suggested by Reuters that Nvidia has benefited from the current Covid-19 crisis with more people making use of the company’s GPUs and data centres after being forced to work from home. 

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