The Morning After: Biden-Harris day one, and Samsung Display's new laptop OLEDs

The 'Hitman 3' launch is having problems, and Mercedes just revealed a new EV that will sell for less than $50k.

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The inauguration and Parade Across America event went off without a hitch yesterday, featuring many viral stars and pushing new youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s sales charts. The online retailer chimed in with a message that it’s ready to help with vaccine distribution — while nudging its employees forward in the lines.

Aside from the various spectacles, the Biden–Harris administration made some immediate changes in its first few hours. To the approval of tech CEOs, including Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook, the US will rejoin the Paris climate change agreement (with an executive order signing that streamed live on YouTube), pushed COVID relief efforts and rolled back some of the previous administration’s rules on immigration.

Last and probably least, the White House website has a new coat of paint that includes dark mode support for the first time, and a hidden message inviting coders to join the US Digital Service. So what’s left for day two?

— Richard Lawler

Samsung Display to make 90Hz OLED screens for laptops

We can’t wait to see these in a gaming laptop.

Samsung OLED

Samsung Display has announced plans to manufacture “the world’s first” 90Hz OLED panels destined for laptops and notebooks. For now, it’s not clear if that means one particular resolution and aspect ratio, or multiple offerings meant for different laptop designs. The company will start producing 14-inch displays in March, according to chief executive Joo Sun Choi.
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Polyend Tracker review: A powerful but confounding groovebox

The pattern screen where you’ll do most of your composing feels a lot like using Excel.

Polyend Tracker

According to Terrence O’Brien, the Polyend Tracker will carry you all the way from germ of an idea to polished track. Despite an archaic-feeling workflow, the $599 instrument can record samples, edit them, turn them into playable synths and control external gear.
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'Hitman 3' players run into launch-day server problems

It’s no ‘Cyberpunk 2077,’ but things have not gone smoothly.

Hitman 3

Hitman 3 has been released, but many people can’t play it yet. A website that was supposed to help players transfer info from the previous game has been unavailable or slow, and server errors have disconnected people while they’re trying to navigate the game. Developer IO Interactive’s last message said “we’re continuing to make progress on fixing server issues.”
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Mercedes-Benz' EQA crossover is its first sub-$50,000 EV

It also includes a heat pump, similar to Tesla’s Model Y.

Mercedes-EQ, EQA 250, Edition 1, Fahraufnahme, digitalweiss. EQA 250 (Stromverbrauch kombiniert: 15,7 kWh/100 km; CO2-Emissionen kombiniert: 0 g/km) // Mercedes-EQ, EQA 250, Edition 1, driving shot, digital white. EQA 250 (combined power consumption: 15.7 kWh/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km)

Mercedes has unveiled the EQA, its latest entry as part of a plan to release a wide range of EVs in the coming years. With a 66.5kWh battery pack, the compact crossover will have a range under 300 miles and a list price starting at €39,950 ($48,440). The first version is a front-wheel-drive model, but Mercedes will eventually launch all-wheel-drive variants as well.

On the tech side, the EQA will come with the automaker’s second-gen MBUX infotainment system with a fully digital and voice-controlled user interface. Mercedes’ predictive Navigation with Electric Intelligence feature lets you choose the fastest route given charge times, weather, traffic and your driving habits.
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Porsche brings a cheaper Taycan EV to the US

The entry-level RWD model starts at $81,250.

Porsche Taycan

The entry-level Taycan comes in two flavors, Performance Battery and Performance Battery Plus, which offer 79.2kWh and 93.4kWh capacity, respectively. If you believe WLTP testing, that should mean 268 miles (Performance Battery) and 301 miles (Plus) of range on a single charge. 

The Performance Battery and Battery Plus models share a top speed of 143MPH and can rush from zero to 60MPH in 5.1 seconds. For context, the Taycan 4S can hit 143MPH, while the Turbo and Turbo S are capable of reaching 161MPH.
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NVIDIA Shield TV now supports PS5 and Xbox Series X/S controllers

Airbnb has been quietly using social media to root out and ban extremists

Opera now has a game engine to go with its gamer-focused browser

Google agrees to pay French publishers for news previews

Federal court strikes down Trump's coal-friendly EPA climate rules

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