Huawei unveils MateBook X Pro, its first AI-powered laptop · TechNode

Huawei unveils MateBook X Pro, its first AI-powered laptop · TechNode

At Huawei’s spring product launch event on Thursday, Consumer BG CEO Yu Chengdong introduced the MateBook X Pro, a slim lightweight laptop featuring cutting-edge technology such as the Intel Core Ultra 9 processor and Pangu AI integration. Huawei did not disclose any information about its next-generation Huawei P70 flagship smartphone at the event however, despite it becoming a trending topic on Chinese social media in recent days.

Why it matters: The MateBook X Pro stands out from other laptops produced by the Chinese tech giant as the first PC to integrate its Pangu large language model. Huawei has collaborated with AI-model partners such as Baidu’s ERNIE Bot, WPS AI, and iFLYTEK’s Spark on the new computer.

Details: The MateBook X Pro is currently the sole laptop weighing less than one kilogram to be equipped with the Intel Core Ultra 9 processor, according to Yu.

  • The 2024 slimline model has a thickness of 13.4mm and weight of 980g. An image shown at the event indicated that the 14.2-inch design is lighter than the 13.6-inch Apple MacBook Air (1.24kg). 
  • The new model comes in two chip variants: the first generation Intel Core Ultra 9 185H processor and the Ultra 7 155H processor. These variants are paired with an Intel Sharp Graphics card, with options for 16GB or 32GB of RAM, and either 1TB or 2TB of NVMe PCI storage. Notably, the latest Intel Ultra 9 processor can enhance the device’s performance with up to 40W of power.
  • The device supports the latest Pangu AI model, which provides artificial intelligence features including AI Minutes, AI Subtitles, and AI Eyes. AI Minutes can make rapid recordings, while AI Subtitles translates texts in real-time. AI Eyes is a photo enhancement software that can analyze and adjust images.
  • The 2024 Huawei MateBook X Pro introduces a 14.2-inch OLED screen with a 3:2 ratio and a 3,120 x 2,080 pixel resolution. It boasts a peak brightness of 1,000 nits, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 1.07 billion color display.
  • The MateBook X Pro is equipped with a 70Wh lithium polymer battery and supports fast charging at 140W. A 10-minute charge powers the device for up to three hours, the company claimed. 
  • It is available in China in three configurations: the Ultra7 model with 16GB RAM and 1TB storage priced at RMB 11,199 ($1,658), the Ultra7 model with 32GB RAM and 1TB storage priced at RMB 12,499 ($1,727), and the Ultra9 model with 32GB RAM and 2TB storage priced at RMB 14,999 ($2,072).

Context: During the nearly two-hour launch event on Thursday, Yu did not once mention “far ahead,” a phrase that he had consistently used at previous product launches and which had gone viral on Chinese social media. Huawei has allegedly stopped him from using this term to describe products, according to local media outlet IThome

  • Huawei President Ren Zhengfei has allegedly imposed a fine of RMB 10,000 for anyone from the company using the phrase “far ahead,” IThome reported. However, Yu previously denied the existence of such an order.

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Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.
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Roborock V20 and G20S, robotic vacuums for smart home cleaning · TechNode

Roborock V20 and G20S, robotic vacuums for smart home cleaning · TechNode

On March 29, Chinese tech company Roborock hosted its global launch event in Beijing, unveiling two flagship cutting-edge robotic vacuums: the V20 and G20S (S8 MaxV Ultra), both of which are intelligent automatic sweeping and mopping robot cleaners. The V20 features a dual-vision 3DToF (three-dimensional time of flight) solid-state lidar (light detection and ranging) system, giving it advanced navigation and obstacle avoidance capabilities.

Why it matters: A leading brand in the field of robotic vacuum cleaners, Roborock is looking to use technology from China’s rapidly developing self-driving car sector in the hopes that the country’s consumers are ready for robotic home appliances and labor-saving devices. 

Details: At the launch event on the eve of the company’s 10th anniversary, Roborock CEO Quan Gang said the firm’s robotic vacuum cleaner sales revenue has clinched the global top spot, based on data from the first three quarters of 2023, according to market research firm Euromonitor. “Our goal is to bring Roborock robotic vacuum cleaners into one hundred million households worldwide,” he said.

  • Currently available only in China, the V20 is the world’s first robotic vacuum cleaner to feature a dual-vision 3DToF solid-state lidar navigation and obstacle avoidance system, which utilizes modulated light reflections to enhance depth accuracy for more intuitive floor mapping.
  • Roborock, in partnership with industry leaders PMD Technologies, Infineon, and OFILM, jointly developed this dual-vision 3DToF solid-state lidar system. It emits an instant matrix laser that enables simultaneous far and near field visibility, achieves precise map restoration, and ensures ultra-accurate obstacle avoidance. Alongside this system, the V20 also applies AI to match users with a suitable cleaning method.
  • The G20S features the FlexiArm Design Side Brush, an innovative robotic arm designed to clean corners, and an additional side mop for edges. It also includes Reactive AI 2.0 obstacle recognition, a built-in intelligent voice assistant, and RockDock Ultra, which automatically replenishes the robot cleaner using hot water and heated air, as well as intelligent mop re-washing and re-mopping capabilities.
  • The company said the Roborock app, which controls the robotic vacuum cleaners, boasts over 11 million users, with one million daily active users. The Roborock app’s room map is designed with intensive color contrast for visually impaired users.
  • Catering to China’s animal lovers, the app has recently introduced a Pet Mode that can remotely search for and photograph pets at home with the robotic vacuum. 
  • Roborock has developed a case library that covers over 50 wall and baseboard materials and over 200 carpet materials, according to data provided by the company. This library is used to develop and test its products’ mapping and navigating capabilities.

Context: Founded in July 2014, Roborock is a Beijing-based tech company known for its robotic sweeping and mopping devices and handheld cordless stick vacuums. Xiaomi played a key role in the company’s founding.

  • From 2019 to 2023, Roborock invested over RMB 1.9 billion ($260 million) in research and development, according to figures provided by the company. The firm currently operates three major R&D bases, with over half of its workforce consisting of highly skilled R&D employees. Currently, Roborock products are available in more than 170 countries, including the US, Germany, France, and Spain.
  • According to Roborock’s latest financial earnings report, the brand recorded a revenue of RMB 8.65 billion last year ($1.22 billion), with robot vacuum shipments surpassing 2.6 million units.

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Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.
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GoPro files complaint against Insta360 for alleged patent infringement · TechNode

GoPro files complaint against Insta360 for alleged patent infringement · TechNode

US sports camera firm GoPro has filed a complaint against Chinese camera maker Shenzhen Arashi Vision (Insta360) with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, according to information obtained by Chinese media outlet Jiemian. GoPro is claiming patent infringement and asking USITC to investigate the matter and halt the US sale of certain Insta360 cameras, software, and accessories.

Why it matters: GoPro is seeking intervention from USITC to investigate and prevent the sale of the disputed products in the US.

Details: GoPro has submitted evidence of patent infringements to the commission covering nearly all the consumer products sold by Insta360 in the US.

  • The products mentioned by GoPro are Insta360’s ONE X, ONE R, ONE R1-inch, ONR X2, ONE RS, ONE RS 1-inch 360, X3, GO3, Ace, and ACE Pro, according to the Jiemian report.
  • The Section 337 investigation initiated by GoPro, also known as an “unfair import” investigation, is an administrative inquiry conducted by USITC under the provisions of the Tariff Act of 1930 and its amendments. It targets intellectual property infringement and other unfair competitive practices by goods importers.
  • Compared to normal patent litigation in the US, which can last over two years, 337 investigations generally resolve faster. However, they require companies to swiftly gather evidence, hire lawyers, and bear costs that can total millions of dollars.
  • The Jiemian report suggests that GoPro’s market share has declined due to the rise of Insta360, which was founded in 2015. By the end of 2021, Insta360 held a leading market share of 41% in the global market for panoramic cameras, followed by Japan’s Ricoh at 22%, while GoPro ranked third with 19%, according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
  • Established in 2002, GoPro’s latest market value is $331 million, over 97% lower than its peak market value of $13 billion in June 2014, when GoPro listed on the NASDAQ. Insta360’s overseas markets account for nearly 70% of its overall revenue, which were around $280 million in 2022.

Context: In 2023, USITC undertook investigations into 72 Chinese companies, of which 48 chose to respond, the Jiemian report said.

  • California-based GoPro manufactures action cameras and develops its own mobile apps and video-editing software. The company focuses on the connected sports genre, developing action cameras and video editing software for outdoor activities. 
  • Arashi Vision, better known as Insta360, is a camera company headquartered in Shenzhen, with offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Berlin. It makes action cameras, 360-degree cameras, editing software for mobile and desktop and 180-3D cameras.

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Jessie Wu is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. She covers consumer electronics, semiconductor, and the gaming industry for TechNode. Connect with her via e-mail: jessie.wu@technode.com.
More by Jessie Wu

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