3 stories for Monday: ASUS 17.3-inch flex laptop

Congratulations to all on the beginning of autumn!

Table of Contents

  • Laptops on Linux and Chinese
  • Who is the artist?
  • ASUS ZenBook 17 Fold
  • Conclusion

Laptops on Linux and Chinese

The situation with laptops in Russia is somewhatdifficult. The fact is that both the big three DHL (Dell, HP, Lenovo) and AAA (Apple, ASUS, Acer) have almost completely set sail from the Russian shores and block not only updates, but even go to the site to download the driver, without VPN is not possible. Only Acer decided to stay. Apparently, as a punishment. Xiaomi, it seems, supplies something, but does not advertise.

However, the departure of some brands means the inevitablethe arrival of others. To be honest, it’s good (if I may say so) that all these perturbations are happening in 2022. Now, whatever one may say, the level of quality of technology has increased significantly. Running into a frankly bad laptop is not an easy task. Yes, Chinese B- and C-brands may use the cheapest parts, but they still give good reliability and performance. If it was in 2013-2014, then we would quickly howl from the curved-oblique laptops.

In 2022, the savings of Chinese manufacturers will nothitting users too hard. For example, a laptop from Infinix enters our market. Yes, now the market is already the 12th generation of processors from Intel, and only the 10th in the laptop. But the difference is not to say that awful. During the test, I quite actively used the machine and just like that, and put Linux on it. And I can't say it was a traumatic experience. Absolutely comfortable device.

Or a manufacturer enters our marketMachenike. Yes, it sounds unfamiliar, it is not clear how to pronounce it, there are no “whistles” like the “pros” like ASUS or MSI have. But the declared iron works as it should.

The Kommersant newspaper published the news thatretail trade enterprise M.Video-Eldorado launches sales of laptops based on the domestic operating system Red OS and office suite P7-Office.


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The solution is certainly interesting.But a little strange. Still, judging by the official website, "Red OS 7.3 MUROM" (the distribution kit is built on the package base of the RPM format and meets the requirements of POSIX and LSB 4.1) is designed to work as either a server or a workstation. That is, as if the emphasis is on corporate users.

The desktop, however, at "Red OS" is beautiful, it blows directly from the screen with Russia. The Murom cable-stayed bridge was chosen as wallpaper.

However, apparently, the choice fell on the "Red OS",as it is a domestic product that is constantly evolving. Here, of course, it is curious whether the OS developers themselves tried or received an order. But, be that as it may, another update was released in March, in which they especially focused on the visual component. I suppose that the goal was to make the Red OS desktop as friendly and similar as possible to what we are used to on a Windows PC.

And, in principle, in my opinion, it turned out.Everything is in place here. Even in the left corner there is an analogue of the "Start" button. All menus look exactly the way they are arranged in Windows. Even in the extreme right corner there is a zone that minimizes all open windows.

And this is what the Control Center looks like.

However, it is just as obvious that before usdomestic development. Still, millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours of work have been invested in the Windows interface. The Red OS interface visually resembles something between Windows 98 and Windows XP. Although it is clear that the desktop environment can be any, and if the system becomes popular, then many modifications will appear quite quickly.

The system has everything you need - a browser,office. Chromium is installed as a browser. Do not confuse with Google Chrome. Libre Office is responsible for the office, judging by the video. But M.Video says that they put P7-Office in the laptops they sell. To be honest, I have never used this office suite. Always put "MyOffice". About "P7-Office" you can immediately say only one thing: visually, this office suite is extremely reminiscent of Microsoft Office 2016 (again, it is clear that the latest design trends from Microsoft are more difficult to copy).

The OS has a mail client, it is supportedTelegram, there is also software for video communication. Plus all sorts of additional useful tools so that, as they say, the system works completely out of the box. There is even a built-in mounting of ISO-discs.

Behind the scenes is the issue of gesture support, hotkeys, and many other little things that make Windows such a pleasant and convenient OS.

It's funny that on the site "M.Video ”, it seems, about all laptops based on Linux, the reviews were left either in February or in March. It is noticeable that the reviews are somewhat unnatural. Usually PR and marketers write in this style. For comparison, you can read live reviews on the site of the same Citylink. They also sell Linux-books there, and people just write that there was Linux, but the “windows” are put on once or twice.

The main difficulty of Linux for most peoplewill consist in complicating the usual tasks that go beyond the basic ones. For example, on YouTube there is an almost three-hour stream organized by the PortWINE-Linux.ru website, in which they tried to install Proton on Red OS 7.3 MUROM in order to run games. In the end, nothing came of it.

However, these problems can be relatively easily solved by Red OS developers. Perhaps it would help if for each laptop the developers would receive monetary deductions that motivate the spirit.

Who is the artist?

Only recently we published a material aboutdrawing with the Midjourney neural network. The boss cited several works by the artist Alexander Dobrokotov as an example. And along the way, I wondered if Mr. Dobrokotov could be considered an artist. After all, he himself did not draw anything, but “he was able to select requests to the neural network in such a way that it would draw images of panel buildings in the style of different artists.”

And then he added: “And this question [Note: artist or not] will torment many people in the comingdecades, as the image of the artist will change dramatically. Inquire about Alexander's work, he has a very rich imagination and excellent taste, there is no doubt that he can draw. Perhaps we will begin to separate ordinary artists and digital ones, but the simplicity of creating such “pictures” with the help of a neural network very quickly devalues ​​their value as such. There will be too many "artists" around us."

This topic was developed in one of the competitionsartists in the USA. So, at the opening day in Colorado, a certain Jason Allen won the first place and received a prize of $ 300. So, that would probably be the end of it. However, Mr. Allen decided to share on social networks that in fact the picture was not painted by him, but by the Midjourney neural network.

Brief translation of the post in the social network:“After a month break, I return to you with exciting news. I have generated hundreds of images using the Midjourney network. After several weeks of tweaking the images [note: already in Adobe Photoshop], I selected three and printed them out on a large canvas, enhanced with Gigapixel A.I. (another neural network). Exhibited works at the competition and won.

At the same time, the artist emphasized that he exhibited from the work with the signature "Jason Allen via Midjourney", that is, "Jason Allen with the help of Midjourney".

Of course, this was not worth sharing, sinceimmediately there was a commotion. Despite the fact that the artist did not hide the use of the network, as correctly noted in social networks, it is unlikely that the jury of the competition knew what Midjourney was. Now the jury is already aware of the events, but they do not plan to select the prize, since there are no prohibitions on such actions in the rules of the competition.

An interesting topic for discussion.On the one hand, the images were generated by a neural network. The artist did not draw them, but only selected requests. On the other hand, requests were selected based on the picture that the artist saw in his head. It’s just that as a tool, he used not brushes and paints, not Photoshop and a stylus, but a neural network. Add to that the fact that Mr. Allen says he spent a lot of time polishing the images with Photoshop.

In my opinion, Mr. Allen's work is still creativity. First, they fit the dictionary definition of creativity (creativity is the creation of new cultural or material values).


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Secondly, often people, looking at somepainting, sculpture or other object, they say disparagingly that they could do that too. It’s the same story here, comments a la “I can do it too, give me $ 300” hang on Twitter. The correct answer to such personalities is obvious here: if he could, he would have done it long ago, and if he didn’t, then that’s all.

However, you can also enter from a third party.I guess finishing AI-drawn artwork is still easier than painting from scratch. Accordingly, probably, in the future, gradations will simply be introduced. Separately, artists using AI will be exhibited, separately - drawing with the help of graphic editors, and separately - those who create in the old fashioned way with a pencil and brushes.

The most curious thing is whether we will reach the moment when great artists will appear, whose works will be exhibited in museums and who will not lose their relevance even after many years.

ASUS ZenBook 17 Fold

When I reviewed the Lenovo ThinkPad Fold X1, I immediatelyhe wrote that it is necessary to make large diagonals. Only then will it be possible to fully enjoy the possibilities of a flexible screen. Let the laptop be the size of a typical 15.6-inch laptop, but, for example, imagine how cool it would be to unfold a 24-27-inch screen while sitting in a cafe in the park. We have not yet reached screens of this size, but the industry is developing. So, ASUS has finally introduced its 17-inch ZenBook with a flexible screen.

So, we have a 17-inch OLED touchscreen.3 inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1920 pixels, that is, a ratio of 4 to 3. When folded, the half of the screen has a diagonal of 12.5 inches, and the resolution is Full HD. The screen brightness is 500 nits, that is, it will be comfortable to work on the street. Responsible for performance Intel Core i7-1250U and 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM. Unfortunately, there is no discrete graphics here. But the device weighs only 1.5 kilograms. Charging via Type-C. It will be possible to use even adapters from smartphones for recharging (from 5 W), but formally a 65 W adapter is included. Battery with a volume of 75 W * h. That's 9 hours of video at medium screen brightness.

There are 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports and even a 3.5mm jack.There is a Windows Hello system and a 5 MP camera. The keyboard works on Bluetooth. The device has an increased reliability grade MIL-STD 810H. The laptop can withstand even a slight drop.

ASUS teased us with a laptop back at CES in Januarythis year. However, ASUS ZenBook 17 Fold has finally gone on sale. The price tag, of course, with the effect of freshness, which Mentos would envy - from $ 3,500.

On the other hand, this is how it should be.The first samples and models are always more expensive. At the same time, there is no doubt that this is how devices will look like in the future. The entire useful surface should be occupied by the screen. I am sure that over time the external panel will be made useful. It is quite possible to place an e-Ink screen there.

It is equally clear that such devices inwill fully bloom as soon as Windows switches to ARM chipsets. Such a solution will help, firstly, reduce the requirements for the cooling system, and secondly, we will get an even more productive device with excellent battery life.

Ideally, of course, it would be if in games withApple has already begun to play with a flexible screen, introducing a huge flexible iPad. Still, Apple has a certain weight. When Lenovo, ASUS or Samsung do this, the consumer views the products as an impressive innovative experiment, which he, of course, will not buy, but will look with great pleasure. When Apple releases something, queues line up behind it, and the technology comes into use.


This year, the weather cut off summer surprisingly clearly.in the European part of Russia. Since September, the rains have charged and it has become cold. In the morning I went out for bread by inertia in shorts and a T-shirt and in the elevator I ran into a woman who was already in a coat, hat and gloves (after walking a couple of steps down the street, I quickly retreated to change clothes). It's funny, but it looks like Russia has completely undocked from Europe. While Europe suffers from heat (it was still +29 in Paris yesterday) and drought, it is raining behind our cozy iron curtain.

Maybe because I'm from St. Petersburg, in my mind, this is exactly what the ideal weather looks like: +10 - +15 degrees Celsius and drizzle.

By the way, not everyone knows what drizzle is,assuming it's normal light rain. This is not entirely true. Drizzle, or drizzle, is rain with such tiny droplets that the speed of their fall is minimal. It seems that the drops do not fall, but simply hang in the air.

Have a good autumn and good mood everyone!