Microsoft is continuing to roll out new hardware, the latest bit being the new Surface Book 2, a new 2-in-1 laptop-tablet combo that looks just like the original Surface Book but grows from a 13 inch display to a 15-incher. DT Computing Editor Matt Smith got his hands on one and it was pumped full of high-performance goodies like 16 gigs of RAM, a 1tb solid state drive, and the latest 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor.
Those options drove the price to a fairly breathtaking $3,300, but considering how it performed, it might be worth it. Nvidia-powered graphics looks great, the 2-in-1 functionality with the Surface Pen is truly useful, and you can even have a fairly good gaming experience with it, even though it’s not really designed for hard-core gaming – it just has a lot of horsepower. Overall, we give it high marks, but it’s not perfect.
Got a minute?
The big knock against electric cars – and really, any electric-based transportation thing – is that they take a long time to charge back up so you can resume your journey. We know that someday, someone is going to solve that problem, but according to the reborn Fisker, now owned by a Chinese consortium and called Karma Automotive, that “day” may be only five years away.
Karma has filed several patent applications for what’s known as “solid state” battery tech, and they are making some pretty amazing claims about capacity and recharge times. According to the filings, the new battery tech will have an energy density 2.5 times that of the current battery tech, meaning range for the same size battery could push their new car to nearly 500 miles of driving on a charge. And when the battery is low?
Karma claims the recharge time would be one minute. How? Solid state batteries work differently than regular batteries, which use a somewhat nasty – and sometimes flammable – mix of liquefied chemicals. Solid state cells do away with that and store the energy much more quickly. It’s similar to how a capacitor works, something that’s also showing up in some electric vehicles, especially some race cars that use the KERS energy-boosting system.
Anyway, Karma says they think they can have this tech on the road by 2023, just five short years away. Toyota is also working on solid state battery technologies, so this could be the start to solving the key problem for electricity-based transportation. Hit the link for all the details.
Watt kind of truck will it be?
Everyone’s favorite tech genius (and possible super-villain) Elon Musk is taking the wraps off his latest electric vehicle tonight, except this time the “vehicle” is an electric semi-truck.
There have been a few sighting of the test vehicle here and there but overall, not much is known about the mysterious Tesla Truck, as many are calling it. Obviously, it’s going to run on batteries, and not diesel. But how far can it go? How much can it haul? Will it be able to drive by itself? How long with it take to recharge?
And, of course, can Tesla even build it, seeing how they’re having a bit of a hard time right now cranking out the new Model III electric cars at more than a few dozen a day, if that. Hey, only 400,000 left to go. Anyway, Musk says the party starts at 7pm Pacific and it’ll be livestreamed, so check out all the rumors about the Tesla Truck before the event.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.