Apple has been claiming that its iPad Pro tablets are capable of replacing laptops since their debut. The iPad Pro 11 (2021) underlines this with the same Apple M1 SoC found in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and even the iMac. Is a chipset change enough for the 11-inch iPad Pro to replace a laptop, though?
The Apple iPad Pro 11 (2021), like the larger 12.9-inch model, utilises Apple's M1 SoC. Last year, Apple caught plenty of attention for its inaugural in-house chipset, which it debuted in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. The pair surpassed expectations by outperforming comparable Intel processors while delivering great battery life. So theoretically, equipping the iPad Pro with an Apple M1 SoC makes sense, especially as Apple has been touting its premium tablets as laptop replacements for over five years.
iPadOS remains the most significant limitation with any Apple tablet though, in our opinion. Apple's tablet OS is not necessarily limited compared to Android, but limitations exist when comparing iPadOS with macOS, or any desktop OS for that matter. Simply, MacBooks offer better data management and program support than iPads do, making the former more versatile than the latter.
So, nearly six years on, the same complaints about the iPad Pro remain. However, the iPad Pro could replace a laptop for some people. Apple has done a great job at implementing its Pencil, for example, while its optional keyboard dock allows the iPad Pro 11 (2021) to be used as a daily or office companion. Ultimately, the iPad Pro 11 (2021) is a tablet, so it is good that Apple continues to stick with iPadOS, in that sense.
Undoubtedly, iPadOS and macOS will grow closer in the future. The Apple M1 is an important building block towards that symbiosis, even if Apple is yet to embrace the two OSes' convergence fully.
The Galaxy Z Fold2 remains available in the US, contrary to reports. Samsung has not stopped selling it on its US website. However, no US carriers have stock of Samsung's foldable smartphone in either colour, possibly in anticipation of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Currently, the only way to get your hands on a Galaxy Z Fold2 in the US is to purchase an unlocked handset.
Yesterday, 9to5Google reported that Samsung had stopped selling the Galaxy Z Fold2 in the US, just nine months after its release. As the screenshot below shows, Samsung's US website prevented people from buying the Galaxy Z Fold2 and returned a message when someone attempted to do so. The reference to the Galaxy Fold suggested that Samsung had redirected the Galaxy Z Fold2 product page in error.
In truth, the Galaxy Z Fold2 was never 'gone from Samsung's website', as some website's suggested. The Galaxy Z Fold2 remained live on Samsung's US website, just not its 'buy' page. Samsung has now corrected the error though, and is selling the Galaxy Z Fold2 again. However, the Galaxy Z Fold2 remains cheaper on Amazon (affiliate link).
No US carriers have Galaxy Z Fold2 stock in Mystic Black or Mystic Bronze, though. So, US carriers may have been running down their stock levels in anticipation of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Conversely, Samsung still sells older flagships like the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S10e. Hence, Samsung has done nothing to suggest that it will stop selling the Galaxy Z Fold2 when it releases its successor.
According to a renowned leaker, Xiaomi is planning another stab at releasing a foldable smartphone. The new device will feature significantly more impressive specifications than the Mi Mix Fold, which cannot keep pace with the Mate X2 or Galaxy Z Fold2 from Huawei and Samsung, respectively.
Less than three months have passed since Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Mix Fold, simultaneously its first foldable smartphone and its first Mi Mix smartphone in three years. However, rumours have already started about Xiaomi's second foldable smartphone, although its name remains unknown currently.
According to Digital Chat Station, Xiaomi plans to release the device in Q4 2021, which would give the Mi Mix Fold a relatively short lifespan. Digital Chat Station claims that Xiaomi has engineering samples ready and aims to have the device on shelves before Qualcomm announces the SM8450, the Snapdragon 888's successor.
Hence, Xiaomi's foldable smartphone has a Snapdragon 888 SoC, along with a 5,000 mAh battery and a 108 MP primary camera. Digital Chat Station asserts that the device will have an inwards folding hinge design too, necessitating two displays. Both displays will supposedly have high refresh rates, which Xiaomi could not manage with the Mi Mix Fold. Huawei equipped the Mate X2 with dual 90 Hz displays, for reference.
Multiple details about Xiaomi's next foldable smartphone remain unknown, though. A mysterious Xiaomi smartphone recently appeared at a Chinese certification agency with flagship hardware, mind you, so it could be the foldable Digital Chat Station refers to. The Mi Mix Fold remains elusive outside of China, so hopefully Xiaomi's next-generation foldable smartphone would be more readily available.
We all know that a Galaxy Note-branded smartphone won’t be coming this year. Samsung decided not to release it for whatever reason. Well, we may not be getting a real Galaxy Note handset this year, but a concept designer decided to create an imaginary one, the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra.
You will notice that the phone has no bezels basically. Its display seems to be curved towards the sides, while all of its physical buttons sit on the right. A display camera hole is also not included here, this phone is imagined to have an under-display camera.
There are five cameras on its back
There are five cameras included on the back, and next to them you’ll notice a secondary display. That display is not large, of course, but it’s there. What seems odd when it comes to this design is the back side.
Based on the provided image, it actually seems like the bottom part of the phone’s back is protruding more than the top. That’s kind of odd, as the phone’s rear cameras are usually protruding.
This is a concept design after all, so something like this is possible, as it’s all up to the imagination. Bringing this to life is another thing entirely. Perhaps the designer envisioned a large battery here or something of the sort.
Samsung is expected to release several high-end devices soon
Samsung may bring back the Galaxy Note series next year, we’ll have to wait and see. One thing is for sure, this year we’re not getting a ‘Note’ phone. Samsung will release several phones in its place, though, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3, and S21 FE. None of them are a direct replacement, though.