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Microsoft Surface Pro X, OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren, LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen, and more: Reviews round-up

From Microsoft's latest Surface device to a Star Wars special edition of Samsung's Galaxy Note 10 Plus, here's the hardware we tested in December.
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1 of 12 Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Microsoft has produced an excellent device for mobile workers, with a focus on Office and the web. That makes it an ideal tool for executives, for business analysts and consultants, for teachers and university research staff, and for writers. It's not a machine for designers, gamers, or for developers -- yet. If Microsoft wants to make this new device type a success, then it needs to find a good way to bring key applications beyond its own to Surface Pro X. 

SEE: Microsoft Surface Pro X review: Desirable but expensive hardware, work-in-progress software

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2 of 12 Lenovo

Lenovo Yoga C940

The Lenovo Yoga C940 builds on a successful lineage, and this model is very much an evolution of last year's Yoga C930, improving the innovative soundbar speaker and packing everything into a slightly smaller case. It effortlessly straddles the worlds of work and leisure -- provided you can live with Windows 10 Home and a minimal set of ports.

SEE: Lenovo Yoga C940 (14-inch) review: A sleek convertible, ideal for work or leisure

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3 of 12 Acer

Acer ConceptD 7

The ConceptD 7 is impressive in many ways, combining high-end graphics performance with a slimline design and a competitive price. The 4K display, in particular, is an eye-catching treat, and well suited to graphics and design work. However, battery life appears to be the primary weakness of the ConceptD range, which means that the ConceptD 7 will work best as a desktop replacement laptop that only occasionally strays from the office.

SEE: Acer ConceptD 7 review: Slim and powerful, but battery life disappoints

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4 of 12 palmsolo/ZDNet

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Special Edition

Samsung has released its Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Special Edition device with The Rise of the Skywalker elements in the hardware, software, and even accessories. The same Galaxy Note 10 Plus with 256GB internal storage is priced at $1,099.99. The Kylo Ren Black model in the Star Wars Edition package is $1,299.99. While it is $200 more, you get the $129.99 special colour Galaxy Buds, a very nice embossed leather cover, and a metal badge for this premium. The phone and S Pen also have unique colour combinations that cannot be found on other Galaxy phones.

SEE: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Star Wars Special Edition hands-on: The dark side of the force is strong

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5 of 12 palmsolo/ZDNet

OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren

OnePlus flagships challenge the best smartphones, but at more affordable pricing and even with some specifications leading the industry. Even though this 5G McLaren variant is the best OnePlus ever, it is still priced less than the high-end Samsung and iPhone devices with similar specifications. This new phone is packed with high-end specifications, supports T-Mobile's latest 5G network, flies faster than most Android phones, is extremely well built, and looks great.

SEE: OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren review: $900 flagship excels in nearly every area, including 5G with T-Mobile

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6 of 12 LG

LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen

The second screen of the LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen is useful for using two apps at once, but not for working with text, while gaming is a positive experience but a real battery drain. The battery suffers generally when both screens are in use. The phone is also large, heavy and too big. The LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen is certainly an interesting and affordable alternative to a folding-screen handset, but it does have some significant drawbacks.

SEE: LG G8X ThinQ Dual Screen, long-term test: Two screens good, but beware bulk and battery life

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7 of 12 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Xiaomi Mi Note 10

Xiaomi has gone all out for an impressive camera setup with the Mi Note 10, and, with a couple of caveats, has achieved its goal. Access to some features can probably be made easier via a software update. Elsewhere, the solid chassis, good speaker and AMOLED screen are all plus points. However, the mid-range Snapdragon 730 chipset might concern some, and battery life seems shorter than you'd expect from a 5,260mAh unit.

SEE: Xiaomi Mi Note 10 review: Huge battery, 108MP camera, mid-range price

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8 of 12 palmsolo/ZDNet

T-Mobile Alcatel GO FLIP 3

Several years ago, flip phones were all the rage and it was tough to beat the feeling of flipping the lid closed to end a call. Alcatel's latest model brings modern software elements, including Google Assistant. These features make this an excellent backup phone or one for those who don't want to mess around with a large glass display.

SEE: T-Mobile Alcatel GO FLIP 3 hands-on: Google Assistant and Maps make this a capable, modern flip phone

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9 of 12 Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

reMarkable E Ink

The physical act of writing on the reMarkable digital notepad is very comfortable. The writing tools are all accessible and the user interface design is a good example of functional simplicity. Handwriting to editable text conversion is good if you're a neat scribe. The biggest drawback is getting text off the device. This is an attractive piece of kit with a well thought-out user interface, but its functionality doesn't quite justify the price.

SEE: reMarkable E Ink tablet review: Digital pen-and-paper, with handwriting recognition

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10 of 12 palmsolo/ZDNet

Jabra Elite 75t

We all have different size and form of ears so it's not easy to find one earbud that fits everyone perfectly. But these are clearly truly wireless earbuds to consider. The Jabra Elite Active 75t improves upon last year's 65t with longer battery life, smaller overall size, USB-C port for charging the carrying case, and slight improvements in audio performance. With the four microphones, HearThrough, and Sidetone functionality, calls on the Jabra Elite 75t sound great.  

SEE: Jabra Elite 75t wireless earbuds review: Solid audio and call quality with long battery life

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11 of 12 Netgear

Netgear Nighthawk M2 Mobile Router

The M2 has a UK price of £417 (inc. VAT; £347.50 ex. VAT; US pricing TBA), so it's certainly not the cheapest portable router available for business travellers. However, its strong performance and versatile connectivity features will help it earn its keep when you're on the road. You can use the M2 as a battery pack too, as its internal battery can top up a smartphone or tablet connected via the USB-A port.

SEE: Netgear Nighthawk M2 Mobile Router, hands on: Fast, versatile connectivity for business travellers

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12 of 12 Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Skydio 2

Last October, Skydio announced its second autonomous drone, the Skydio 2. The Skydio 2 is priced at $999 and now works with a controller so you can manually fly the drone that uses artificial intelligence to not only avoid but navigate through dense areas to follow a subject. We were thoroughly impressed with how much less we had to think about how to approach flying a drone in general. 

SEE: Skydio 2 first impressions: An improved experience all the way around

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