You might say the week is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workweek, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Weekly Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past seven days -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
This week Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 2, its powerhouse slate, at an event in New York City. The Redmond company's follow-up to the original Pro is significantly lighter, faster, and more powerful. The tablet PC is packed with a Core i5 Haswell processor clocked at 1.6GHz, and either 4GB or 8GB of RAM. With the new model, Microsoft tells us to expect 50 percent more color accuracy, better graphics and 20-percent faster performance. The Pro 2 weighs in at a very dense 2 pounds, which won't hurt your wrists too terribly, but is certainly not as light as some of the competition. Click through for more details and a hands-on video.
Seven months later Sony is back with a new, updated Xperia Z flagship device: the Z1 (codenamed Honami). When the company first released its original Z back in February the phone got lost amongst standout devices like the HTC One and the Lumia 1020. A lot has changed with the Z1. Sony's done away with its original 13-megapixel module and replaced it with a 20-megapixel one, increased the phone's waterproof rating to 1.5m, and upped the internals to a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. So, how does the device perform? In our rigorous testing we were able to get over 12 hours out of the Z1's 3,000mAh battery, with a video looping non-stop. Alas, the Z1 ticks all the main boxes for a cutting-edge Android flagship, but if you're looking for the very best cameraphone on the market -- this isn't it. Read on at the link above.
Earlier this week, in front of a modest audience, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the new Kindle Fire HDX series -- the company's latest premium tablets. The new 7- and 8.9-inch tablets come with much higher resolutions sporting 323 pixels per inch (1,920 x 1,200) and 339 ppi (2,560 x 1,600) displays, respectively. The 8.9-inch tablet is also much lighter, weighing a mere 13.2 ounces or nearly 34 percent thinner than its predecessor. Both versions include a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM which we found to make the tablets significantly faster. Pricing starts at $229 for the 7-inch version and $379 for the 8.9-incher. Click the link above for our full first-impressions.
Valve had a lot of news for us this week, with three major product announcements coming in quick succession. The first thing that Valve announced was a new SteamOS, which finally formalized the "Steambox" PC gaming hardware project that we've long heard whispers about. The second announcement was Steam Machines, the company's hardware beta for its living room game console. And, of course, what's a console without a controller? Valve's third and final announcement was a Steam Controller decked out with dual trackpads, a touch screen and a wealth of buttons. For more info on all of the Valve's SteamOS efforts, head on up to the link above.