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Alexa, Call Everyone for Dinner: Amazon Echo Devices Can Now be an Intercom in Your Home

Alexa, Call Everyone for Dinner: Amazon Echo Devices Can Now be an Intercom in Your Home

Calls for dinner. Heads up for a shopping trip. Popcorn is ready. All these messages can now be sent over the Alexa-enabled Echo speakers, to everyone, at the same time.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 2, 2020, 10:21 AM IST

Amazon is giving the Alexa smart assistant even more capabilities as part of the latest set of software updates for the Echo line of smart speakers and smart displays. Among the new updates is one feature that could be very relevant for homes that may have multiple Alexa speakers installed. The Drop In feature, which you may have already used, is now getting a wider scope than before. Instead of being able to connect with one other Echo speaker at a time as it did so far, you can now create groups of Echo speakers and then use the Drop In capabilities to intercom your message to the entire group—at the same time.

Calls for dinner. Heads up for a shopping trip. Popcorn is ready. All these messages can now be sent over the Alexa-enabled Echo speakers. “Customers can now use group Drop In to instantly connect all of their Echo devices into a group conversation. Simply say, “Alexa, drop in on all devices” to start an audio intercom call to have conversations like “what should we have for dinner?” or “does anyone want anything from grocery store?” says Amazon.

The Reminders feature has also received similar functionality, and you can now choose to either have a reminder notification on one Echo speaker or Echo smart display, or you can choose “All Devices”. You need to open the Alexa app on your phone, go to Settings -> Reminders and select “Announce on all devices”. No chance of missing a reminder now, is there? At this time, the Reminders feature is limited to the US users.

At this time, Amazon sells a variety of Echo smart speakers and smart displays in India. The Echo Dot (Rs 3,499), the Echo Input (Rs 3,999), the Echo (Rs 9,799), Echo Plus (Rs 9,999), Echo Show 5 (Rs 5,999), the Echo Show 8 (Rs 7,999), the Echo Show (Rs 16,999) and the Echo Studio (Rs 22,999) are on sale in India.




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Xiaomi Plans to Make Work From Home Easier, Teases the Arrival of Mi Branded Laptops

Xiaomi Plans to Make Work From Home Easier, Teases the Arrival of Mi Branded Laptops

Get ready as Xiaomi is going to bring a new product category to India very soon.

  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 1:23 PM IST

Xiaomi’s laptop range including the Mi Notebooks and the fairly new RedmiBook have been one of the most anticipated products for the Indian market. Well that is happening very soon as the company has started teasing the arrival of the new products.

Now there is no clarity on how many models will be introduced, but assumingly, we can expect the Mi Notebook range to arrive first followed by the RedmiBook range. A number of Xiaomi India employees including Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain have started teasing the upcoming product through their social media accounts.

The official Xiaomi India has also teased the upcoming laptop launch on Twitter by saying ‘Hello’ to existing laptop OEMs in India including Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and HP.

There are several notebooks that the company sells in its hometown and it will be interesting to see how many of them Xiaomi plans to bring to India. There are three variants under the Mi brand including the Mi Notebook Pro, Mi Notebook Air, and Mi Gaming Laptop. The company recently launched its new RedmiBook lineup including the RedmiBook 13, RedmiBook 14, and RedmiBook 16.

The launch of Xiaomi’s first notebook product couldn’t happen at a better time considering a large section of people have been working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. It could very well be a key driving force for Xiaomi provided the range comes at a nominal price point.




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Google is Giving Every Employee $1000 Allowance to Buy Laptops And More For Work From Home

Google is Giving Every Employee $1000 Allowance to Buy Laptops And More For Work From Home

This could include computing device, work furniture, peripherals and accessories as well as any other equipment required to make work from home smoother and more comfortable.

  • Last Updated: May 27, 2020, 9:28 AM IST

Even as Google, along with pretty much every company in the world, finetunes its strategy to balance the work from home and return to work formats for employees, the company has announced that every Googler will get $1000 as an allowance to buy anything they need to make the work from home situation more comfortable for them. This will most likely include computers and laptops for those who may not have a very good computing device on their hands at the moment, furniture such as a computer table or equipment that helps while working from home.

“Because we still expect that most Googlers will be largely working from home for the rest of this year, we’ll be giving each Googler an allowance of $1,000 USD, or the equivalent value in your country, to expense necessary equipment and office furniture,” says Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, in an email sent to all Google employees. This allowance will most certainly ease the burden on employees as they work from home and have to buy necessary hardware. And it also helps boost morale of employees in these tough times, in the sense that they can be reassured that the company is looking out for them. Depending on what all you need, it may not cover everything, but $1000 will be a big help nevertheless.

Google is also working on the roadmap that should see them re-open more offices in more cities around the world by July 6, depending on local conditions, and is looking at around 10% occupancy in each. “This will give Googlers who need to come back to the office—or, capacity permitting, who want to come back—the opportunity to return on a limited, rotating basis,” says Pichai. Google will have rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitization guidelines.

Pichai does talk about the Google work culture and how chance encounters in office helped develop some of the best ideas but is also factoring in the current global situation amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. “Moving ahead, we are looking to develop more overall flexibility in how we work. Our campuses are designed to enable collaboration and community—in fact, some of our greatest innovations were the result of chance encounters in the office—and it’s clear this is something many of us don’t want to lose,” he says. “At the same time, we are very familiar with distributed work as we have many offices around the world and open-minded about the lessons we’ll learn through this period,” he adds.




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Work From Home: Best 3GB Data Prepaid Plans From Reliance Jio, Airtel & Vodafone

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has forced most of us to stay at home. The pandemic has also left most of us to work from home to maintain social distance. To meet the needs of such users, telcos have introduced new plans with increased data.

Here we have listed some of the best prepaid plans from Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone offering a minimum of 3GB daily data with additional benefits:

Reliance Jio

Jio is currently offering two plans for its customers with 3GB daily data. The Rs 999 plan offers 84 days of validity with a total of 252GB high-speed data (3GB/day) along with free unlimited Jio to Jio calls, 3000 minutes of calling to non-Jio numbers, 100 SMS per day and subscription to Jio apps.

Similarly, Jio also offers the Rs 349 plan offering similar benefits as the Rs 999 but with 28-days validity. So you get a total of 84GB high-speed data (3GB/day) along with free unlimited Jio to Jio calls, 1000 minutes of calling to non-Jio numbers, 100 SMS per day and subscription to Jio apps.

Airtel

Airtel also offers a bunch of prepaid recharge plans offering 3GB of daily data. First is the Rs 398 plan that offers 3GB daily data along with 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls. The total validity of this plan is 28 days. The Rs 598 plan also brings 3GB of high-speed daily data, 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls but is valid for 84 days. There is also the Rs 558 plan that brings 3GB of high-speed daily data, 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls with a validity of 56 days.

Vodafone

If you have a Vodafone prepaid connection, there are a bunch of 3GB data plans for you. There is the Rs 558 plan that brings 3GB of high-speed daily data, along with 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls with 56 days validity. To get slightly longer validity, the Rs 599 plan brings 3GB of high-speed daily data, 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls with 84 days validity.

Similarly, the Rs 398 plan brings 3GB of high-speed daily data, 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls with 28 days validity. There is also the Rs 399 plan that offers 3GB of high-speed daily data, 100 SMS per day, and unlimited calls with 56 days validity.



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Facebook Work From Home Employees to Face Salary Cuts Based on Their Cost of Living

Image for Representation

Image for Representation

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook employees who choose to relocate from Silicon Valley may see a change in their salaries.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020, 11:31 AM IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out a detailed remote-working plan to make half of his 50,000-strong workforce work from home by 2030, and employees who move to cheaper areas will face pay cuts as salaries are based on the cost of living in each location. In a virtual town hall meeting with his employees, Zuckerberg said that Facebook employees who choose to relocate from the Silicon Valley may see a change in their salaries. “That means if you live in a location where the cost of living is dramatically lower, or the cost of labor is lower, then salaries do tend to be somewhat lower in those places,” said Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg told staff on Thursday that they would need to move back to their homes by January 1, or tell the company where they are choosing to live instead so Facebook can adjust salaries, which he said was necessary for tax and accounting purposes, reports NBC News. “We’ll adjust salary to your location at that point. There’ll be severe ramifications for people who are not honest about this,” he added. According to him, about half of Facebook employees would work from home five to 10 years from now.

“We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale, with a thoughtful and responsible plan for how to do this. We’re going to do it in a measured way over time,” said Zuckerberg. As of 2018, the median employee compensation at Facebook was more than $240,000 a year.

According to Market Watch, the median home price in Menlo Park, California, where Facebook has its headquarters, is $2.4 million, while the median home price in the wider Bay Area was $928,000 last year. In an internal Facebook survey, about 45 percent employees were “pretty confident” that they would move to another place if they had that opportunity, with an additional 30 percent saying they “might” move.

Nearly 60 percent said they’d prefer to move to a smaller city or town. “When you limit hiring to people who either live in a small number of big cities or are willing to move there, that cuts out a lot of people who live in different communities, different backgrounds or may have different perspectives,” said Zuckerberg. The company has said workers will be able to work from home at least through the end of the year.




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Swiggy, Zomato to Begin Home Delivery of Liquor in Jharkhand: Here Are All The Details

Representative image. (Reuters)

Representative image. (Reuters)

Swiggy has confirmed that it will be following a protocol to verify age, authenticate the delivery as well as limited the amount of liquor one can order.

  • Last Updated: May 21, 2020, 2:45 PM IST

Online food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato have reportedly been given the green light to commence home delivery of liquor to consumers in the state of Jharkhand. The Jharkhand state government gave the go-ahead to the two companies with the service currently rolling out for consumers in Ranchi. The service is expected to soon reach other cities of Jharkhand in the coming week. The development comes amidst the ongoing coronavirus lockdown across the nation

According to a press statement by Swiggy, the app will now have a new ‘Wine Shops’ section in the app. The service has begun in Ranchi with other cities to be added within the week. With the introduction of the new service, Swiggy will be introducing mandatory age verification and user authentication to complete the delivery. There will also be a cap on the amount of liquor one can order based on the state laws. Swiggy has also confirmed that it is in the final stages of discussions with various other state governments which means that the service could soon expand to other major cities across the country. Zomato is yet to release a press statement on the development.

“We have adopted hybrid system for making liquor available in some of the big cities like Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Deoghr, Dhanbad, Ramgarh, Giridih and Palamu by opening the retail liquor shops where people can go and purchase liquor taking care of the social distancing. Secondly, people can get home delivery of liquor at their doorsteps through the two food aggregators – Zomato and Swiggy by downloading the app on their mobile phones,” said Excise and Prohibition Secretary Vinay Kumar Chaoubey.

With the relaxation of nationwide lockdown in the past couple of weeks, social distancing continues to be a huge challenge. The central government had allowed the sale of liquor across the country, and while states have limited the number of shops allowed to operate, long queues of customers were witnessed in all major cities around the country.

Earlier this month, there was a report that Zomato is in the process of getting permission to deliver liquor to customers right at their doorsteps. Zomato and Swiggy have already diversified into grocery deliveries as the restrictions on movement shuttered some restaurants and people hesitated to order outside food due to fears of catching the disease.

This is a big change for the liquor industry as this is the first time alcohol home delivery is being officially allowed in any part of India. This could also lead to a change in the laws pertaining to liquor consumption across the country and probably a centralized delivery system. International Spirits and Wines Association of India executive chairman Amrit Kiran Singh had earlier said that states should allow alcohol deliveries to help boost state revenues hit by the lockdown. “The challenge is to ensure revenue from alcohol continues to be available.”




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Lenovo's Profit Slides 64% But Sees Growth As Work From Home Model Takes Centre Stage

Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

Lenovo estimated that in two to three years the total addressable market for PCs industry-wide may have increased by 25% to 30%.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: May 20, 2020, 9:15 PM IST

Lenovo Group, the world’s biggest maker of personal computers, reported a deep slump in fourth-quarter profit due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis, although the result was far better than expectations. Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing told Reuters production was back on track and he expects to see year-on-year revenue growth this quarter for its PC and smart devices business and its data center business as more people work from home permanently.

He told a separate briefing the company estimates that in two to three years the total addressable market for PCs industry-wide may have increased by 25% to 30%. Net profit tumbled 64% in January-March to $43 million but was ahead of a Refinitiv consensus estimate of $7.5 million. Revenue slid 9.7% to $10.6 billion.

The stronger-than-expected results lifted Lenovo shares, which were up 5% in Wednesday afternoon trade. Lenovo had to shut down factories, including a big plant in Wuhan, the epicenter of China’s outbreak, due to measures to contain the virus. At some points, the company had in extreme cases, needed to share staff with other firms and send office employees to work on assembly lines when production workers were in quarantine.

“We have resumed 100% production in China,” Yang told Reuters, although he noted that some components were still in short supply. Worldwide shipments of personal computers tumbled 12.3% in the first quarter of 2020, the sharpest fall since 2013 due to the pandemic, research firm Gartner said last month. Lenovo took a 24.4% market share in PCs during the quarter, ahead of rivals HP Inc and Dell Inc which had 21.5% and 19.7% respectively, Gartner said.




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Powerful Wi-Fi Routers That Don’t Break The Internet & Your Bank Account While Working From Home

You are working from home. The internet is your lifeline. You even upgrade to a faster 100Mbps, 200Mbps, 300Mbps or a superfast 1Gbps internet plan, in the hope that all the file transfers, web browsing, sending heavy mail attachments and the other plethora of work would be smooth. But what happens if the internet you rely on so heavily decides to act up. The thing is, more often than not, we blame our internet service provider (ISP). In a cacophony of curses, gritted teeth and hair pulling, we blame poor services for the unreliable connectivity and poor speeds. However, that isn’t always the case. Your internet line isn’t to be blamed for many cases of poor internet speeds.

So, where does the blame lie? For starters, your modem or router could be, and most likely is, the bottleneck. Here is what you need to do. First, restart the router and see if the speeds return to normal, only to revert to inconsistent, low or no connectivity eventually.

First Layer of Troubleshooting

You must do a speed test (www.speedtest.com; free apps for Android and iOS) ideally on a PC connected hardwired to the internet line via LAN to a laptop, to understand what kind of speed dip you’re suffering from. These speed tests also offer additional data such as ping rates and connectivity stability graphs. These give you a fairly good picture of what is up, including whether the wireless connectivity is to be blamed.

Check your hardware

For most old routers are limited to 2.4GHz wireless networks and cannot support the faster 5GHz networks which is what you ideally need for internet lines faster than 50Mbps. Obviously, then, data transmissions speeds and quality will suffer, since nearby devices such as your microwave oven and cordless phones which also work on the 2.4GHz band, and therefore cause interference. You may need a router that supports the faster “wireless ac” standard too.

At times, the router that ISPs provide is quite basic, which means that while it ticks off the basics required for it to work with a fast internet line, it doesn’t really have the power to either support multiple high bandwidth devices or just doesn’t have the Wi-Fi range.

Next course of action: Buy a new router

It may just be time to buy a new Wi-Fi router for home, if work from home is a reality for you. And here are some of the best options, across different price points.

TP-Link Touch P5 AC1900

Around Rs 6,000 on Amazon

If you feel your home gets fully covered by Wi-Fi signals from a conventional single base router, then the Touch P5 AC1900 from TP-Link is a rather swanky option to consider. It can go as fast as 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz networks and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz networks, which means a fast internet line really brings out of the best of this router. The party piece has to be the touchscreen control system for setup and network management. Beam forming tech focuses the Wi-Fi coverage towards where the devices are at that time, which should also help in getting better coverage and speeds in the farthest corners of the home.

Netgear Orbi RBK12

Around Rs 9,999

Why would you not go for a Wi-Fi mesh system at this price and make do with a conventional router? What you get is one router and one satellite. The router is to be hooked up directly to your internet line, while the satellite can be placed in a further corner of your home to ensure seamless connectivity all through. This router and mesh combo can cover up to 3,000 square feet of indoor space, which will mean a rather nice headroom for even large apartments and homes. This dual-band setup offers the 2.4GHz band that goes up to a maximum of 400Mbps speed and a 5GHz band that does up to 866Mbps speed. The Netgear app for your phone (free for Android and iPhone) lets you set up and monitor the mesh system from there. Good for internet lines around 500Mbps.

Linksys Velop AC2600

Around Rs 9,999

This started out in life with a much higher price tag, but corrections over time have seen this two-unit combo now fall under the Rs 10,000 price point. What you get is coverage of up to 3,000 square feet of indoor space—which means one node gets connected with the internet line and the other can be placed somewhere else in your home for effectively zero Wi-Fi dead zones in your home. The Linksys app (free for Android and iOS) is quite slick to use as well. This dual-band setup offers the 2.4GHz band that goes up to a maximum of 400Mbps speed and a 5GHz band that does up to 867Mbps speed. Good for internet lines around 500Mbps speeds.

Netgear Nighthawk AX4 4-Stream AX3000

Around Rs 14,000

This is the futureproof router that you need if Wi-Fi 6 is what you were waiting for and have a plan in place to buy compatible devices as well. This dual band 2.4GHz and dual band 5GHz, with up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 2,400Mbps on the faster 5GHz bands. Beneath the rather futuristic exterior sits a dual core processor that drives a lot of functionality, including the Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) which splits transmission signals into smaller data packets allowing better data access for multiple devices that may be connected to the internet at the same time. Each device has to wait less for data transmission, there is improved latency and the mobile devices consume less battery on Wi-Fi networks.



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Work From Home Buying Guide: Best Laptops Under Rs 40,000 With Windows 10 & Chrome OS

E-commerce is open again. This means you can now order from Amazon and Flipkart and the orders will be delivered to you in all parts of the country, except in containment zones. This must come as a great relief for those who suddenly shifted to the world from home routine ahead of the lockdown to flatten the COVID curve, a few weeks ago. Chances are, you may not have had a good laptop or PC at home, for it perhaps wasn’t really a critical requirement thus far. But now, you can buy a new laptop or PC to rock the work from home situation, and not be bogged down by an aging and sluggish PC, a bad keyboard, a cracked screen or something you were simply bored of. It is also expected that work from home will be quite a regular thing for a lot of workers in a lot of companies, which means you should be armed with a good computing device.

Do not make the same mistake again of thinking the smartphone can be a PC replacement, because when it really comes down to it, you will need a laptop to get genuine work done. Here are some of the best budget laptops, some running Windows 10 and some Google Chromebook options, which you must add to your arsenal of work from home tools. So that this purchase remains light on your pocket, we are looking at laptops under the Rs 40,000 price point—to get the perfect blend between performance and longevity without breaking the bank. Plus, they should look good too.

HP Chromebook x360 - 12b-ca0006tu

HP Chromebook x360 – 12b-ca0006tu

Around Rs32,990

The biggest advantage of the Google Chrome OS software for computing devices is the sheer simplicity of everything. It is incorrect to assume that you must be locked into the Google ecosystem to be able to use a Chromebook—the variety of apps available for the Chrome OS is as wide as Android phones. That is why the full-fledged Play Store is also available on the Chromebooks. Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps? The Spotify app? Video streaming apps. You name it, and the whole wide world of productivity, utility and entertainment apps are available. For any Android phone user, the switch could prove to be close to seamless—and that is a genuine value addition. In fact, this works brilliantly with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a card slot if you wish to use that for adding more storage space. What’s most interesting is the square-is aspect ratio of the 12-inch display, and the hinge allows it to be folded all the way back into a sort of a tablet mode. Windows machines have never performed as well on this sort of hardware.

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Around Rs 35,585

This started out with a price tag above the Rs 40,000 mark but price corrections have now pushed this beneath that virtual ceiling we have for this buying advice. That means you get the newer 10th generation Intel Core i3-10110U processor with 4GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. There is a 14-inch Full HD display which should do well for most productivity and entertainment tasks. The keyboard is not backlit though—perhaps you need to keep that in mind in case working in a dimly lit room is your thing. Dell’s ExpressCharge Boost tops up a fully discharged battery to 35% in 20 minutes and up to 80% in 60 minutes—great if you need to splash and dash. Then there is the Dell Mobile Connect app which pairs your iPhone or Android smartphone with your laptop, which mirrors most things from your phone on the laptop itself, thereby reducing distractions.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Around Rs 19,990

If you really are on a strict budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 (model number: 330-15IKB) could be a steady enough pick. Do not expect this to be powerful or do anything more than basic computing, but what you get is a comfortable 15.6-inch HD display. This runs an Intel Celeron processor, along with 4GB RAM. There is a 1TB hard drive, and these basic specs are really all you should expect at this price. While there are many similarly priced laptops that don’t give you a preloaded Windows 10 operating system, this one does—and that is very important. A keyboard that is well laid out and the build quality doesn’t really betray its budget price tag.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Around Rs 38,369

This started out in life with a price tag around Rs 50,000 and that means you get specifications which are quite powerful. This runs the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor (for some reason, many potential laptop buyers still have a bit of mistrust towards AMD machines). This has 4GB of RAM to get Windows 10 and your apps purring along. What should also make a difference is the 512GB SSD, which will speed up performance. You get a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. The keyboard isn’t backlit. The laptop weighs around 1.8kg. You should probably also consider this if you are taken in by the large screen goodness of the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN).

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Around Rs 35,010

We are specifically talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN) which runs the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It looks like it means business and has the sort of serious personality that most good productivity centric machines have. This is ideal if you prefer large displays—this has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen for you to work on. Not the lightest, tipping the scales at 1.85kg, but that’s the compromise for a large screen laptop. You will quite like the keyboard, which has the sort of inspiration from the more expensive ThinkPad laptops, which make these genuinely good to type on. Lenovo also doesn’t clutter Windows 10 too much by preloading apps, which should also be good in the long run.

HP Notebook - 15s-du0093tu

HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu

Around Rs38,990

And this price point, you get multiple laptops running the older generation Intel Core processors as well as some Celeron versions. However, this HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu should hold up well with the Intel Core i3-8145U processor, with 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. What you get is a 15-inch Full HD display, Windows 10 preloaded and six months of 25GB bundled Dropbox storage. This weighs 1.74kg and is 19.9mm thick. You also get a fingerprint sensor as an added authentication layer to keep your data safe. The HP Fast Charge feature charges a fully discharged laptop battery to 50% in 45 minutes, which should be handy in case you need to get stuff done in a hurry and don’t have access to power at the time. Oh, and the keyboard is backlit too.



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Categories
Tech

Work From Home Buying Guide: Your Health is Important And These Gadgets Will Help

Working from home is great for productivity, if you can put your mind to it. You don’t need to travel every day; you also don’t need to spend time stuck in traffic jams and you save a bundle of energy (and anger) that way. But on the flipside, your health could take a beating if you aren’t careful. Sitting at one place working hour after hour can have a long-term impact on your health. That is where technology has a solution for you.

For starters, there are a lot of gyms that have gone online over the past few weeks and you can simply book a class online, follow the video guidance on your phone or tablet screens. Yet there are times when you may need certain hardware that focuses on health and wellness, around you at home. Not just because you may be unwell, but because it is convenient and safer to test for BP and blood sugar, for instance, at home rather than going to a nearby clinic. And to keep a track of your exercise routine, you need a fitness band with a good companion

TOGO Infrared Thermometer

Around Rs 3,800 on The Earth Store

Infrared thermometers, also known as contactless thermometers, are perhaps the right way forward as far as hygiene is concerned. Unlike classic thermometers which require contact with a human body to register temperature, such as under the tongue or under your armpit, these can simply be aimed at your forehead from a distance of 3-5 centimeters and will register your temperature. In Celsius or Fahrenheit. The TOGO Infrared Thermometer (model number TG8818H ) works for all ages—infants, children, adults and the elderly. The temperature detection time is one second—you aim, and you get the reading. You get a lot of options for infrared thermometers, mostly unbranded ones, and those are best avoided. This one on www.earthstore.in is one of the more reliable options.

Fitbit Inspire HR

Around Rs 8,999 on Fitbit India

To see how often and how much you are moving around and exercising every day, a fitness band is a good companion to have around. And you would be hard pressed to find a more competent than a Fitbit band. We are recommending the Inspire HR to be precise. This has a heart rate monitor with heart rate zones and better tracking of calorie burn. You also get the resting heart rate option, for your night sleep. The Fitbit app for your smartphone (free for Android and iOS) is one of the best fitness companion apps when it really comes down to that—you can track detailed activity and exercise stats, track your food and water intake and more. The Fitbit Premium optional subscription also gets you guided training programs, advanced insights into your activity routine, and dynamic workouts tailored for you. There is also a full library of sleep sounds and peaceful tracks to help you reduce stress, lay in bed for a restful sleep or simply feel better after a bad day.

Dr Trust Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

Around Rs 1,700 on Amazon.in

A blood pressure monitor is essential for homes where you may have elders, parents or even self who may suffer from blood pressure issues. Dr Trust Digital Blood Pressure Monitor (model number 118) is what can be categorized as a smart BP monitor. You can pair this via Bluetooth to your phone using the Dr Trust app (free for Android and iOS) and get all the tracking data on your phone—that quite convenient if you need to make a log or share the data with your doctor. You get a BP monitor and a cuff that you wear around your arm to get the reading and voila. Hope you are doing well.

Dr Trust Glucometer

Around Rs 1,599 on Amazon.in

Having a blood sugar monitor around can be extremely important at times when you may feel suddenly low as far as your health is concerned. You can’t always rush to a doctor these days to get tested. This has three operation modes. There is the General mode which lets you take blood glucose measurements at any point of the day. There is the AC mode which is meant for measurements in the early morning on an empty stomach. And there is the PC mode, where you may take readings after taking your meals. This machine comes with 60 strips and the GDH-FAD Strip Enzyme Technology is meant to avoid any variations in the readings according to interference from blood oxygen changes. This also stores the results of the last 1000 tests in its memory, with the data and time.



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