Panasonic’s higher-capacity Tesla battery could enter production in 2023

Panasonic could start mass producing larger-capacity batteries for Tesla as soon as next year. The 4680 cell is said to boost the range of electric vehicles by over 15 percent. As Nikkei notes, that could boost the range of the Model S from 650km (404 miles or so) on a single charge to 750km (around 465 miles).

Although the battery is said to be twice as big as previous versions, it has a fivefold increase in energy capacity, according to Nikkei. As such, cars need fewer of the batteries, which are already 10 to 20 percent cheaper to produce. It's estimated that batteries account for 30 percent of the cost of EVs. A cost reduction could make EVs more affordable and hasten the transition to electric vehicles. What's more, a longer range means drivers won't need to charge batteries as often.

Panasonic, a long-time partner of Tesla, is reportedly investing around 80 billion yen ($704 million) on new equipment to produce the 4680. It's said to be expanding an existing plant in Japan and making the batteries there to begin with. Nikkei reports the company will start making the cells on a small scale this year to develop safe and efficient processes before entering mass production in 2023. It may mass produce the batteries in other countries later.

The company confirmed to Reuters that it was setting up a test production line in 2022, though didn't say when it will start making the batteries at a larger scale. "We are studying various options for mass production," it said.

Panasonic started working on the cell following a request from Tesla. The head of Panasonic's battery division said in November that the company hasn't ruled out producing the cell for other automakers, though Tesla is its priority. Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that although his company plans to make its own batteries, it would continue to source them from other suppliers.

Tesla announced the 4680 at a Battery Day event in September 2020. At the time, Musk said the cell and other developments could enable Tesla to start selling a $25,000 EV.

New Apple Macs, AirPods, iPads and more coming this fall

Apple is expected to hold a press event in March for the new iPhone SE3, a new iPad, and a new Mac, later on, this year is when the majority of the new Apple devices will launch including a range of new Macs. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his recent Power On newsletter, Apple […]

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OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone gets unboxed (Video)

The new OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone was made official earlier this month, the handset is only available in China at the moment. It is rumored to be launching in the US, Europe, and other countries sometime in March. Now we get to have a look at the OnePlus 10 Pro in a new Unboxing video […]

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Washington DC’s AG sues Google for ‘deceiving users and invading their privacy’

Google, no stranger to lawsuits about its practices these days, is facing a fresh legal broadside from Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine. Racine (pictured) has launched an action claiming that Google has violated the Consumer Protection Procedures act in the state, specifically about location tracking. Essentially, Racine believes that while Google says its users can opt-out of having their whereabouts identified, such tracking remains in place. Racine's claim is being mirrored by similar AG-led lawsuits in Texas, Washington State and Indiana.

Much of this controversy was first publicized back in 2018 when an Associated Press report identified that location tracking remained active regardless of the user’s choice. The claim says that between 2014 and 2019, despite these promises, tracking data was stored in a Web and App Activity database. As our deep dive on the subject explained, Google did enable users to go in and erase their location from this file, but the process was slow and laborious.

“Google leads consumers to believe that consumers are in control of whether Google collects and retains information about their location and how that information is used,” says the complaint. “In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location.” It added that the use of dark patterns to nudge a user to consenting to data collection is harmful to consumers.

This case follows a landmark action in Arizona, brought in 2020, where AG Mark Brnovich wanted the company to pay back ad money to users who though they had turned tracking off, but did not. In 2021, documents from that case emerged claiming that Google had further sought to obscure the settings that would enable a user to disable location tracking. 

Engadget has contacted Google for a response and will update this story when one arrives. 

Google’s Nest Hub Max is down to $169 for today only

Those looking to add to their Google home setup can get the biggest Nest smart display for less today. Adorama has a one-day-only sale that knocks $60 off the Nest Hub Max, bringing it down to $169. That's even cheaper than we saw it a couple of weeks ago when a bunch of Nest gadgets were discounted across the web, and it's $11 less than the device's Black Friday price last year.

Buy Nest Hub Max at Adorama - $169

The Nest Hub Max earned a score of 86 from us when it first came out in 2019 and it remains a good option for those that rely on the Google Assistant and want a larger home hub with advanced smart features. It has a spacious 10-inch HD touchscreen on which you can do things like take a Zoom call, watch YouTube or Netflix and control all of the smart lights, thermostats and other gadgets in your home. Its stereo speakers help it sound better than the smaller Nest Hubs, so it'll be good for both video watching and music playing.

The built-in camera lets you do more than just take video calls. It enables Face Match, which is similar to Google's Voice Match feature in that it recognizes who's using the device so it can display information relevant to you including calendar alerts, messages and more. If you have more than one person in the house using the Hub Max, this feature will come in handy. The Hub Max also supports gesture controls, which allow you to do things like raise a palm to the camera to pause a video or song that's playing.

While it takes up more space on a countertop than a Nest Cam, the Nest Hub Max can act as one in your home, too. You can use the Nest Cam app to pull up the feed from the device's built-in camera, letting you keep watch over your home when you're away. So while most smart displays are multi-use devices, you're truly getting a lot of bang for your buck with the Nest Hub Max — especially when it's on sale like this.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

How to check iPhone battery health and optimize charging

The iPhone battery and other smartphone batteries will slowly degrade over time, the more often it is charged. Apple has a feature where you can check your iPhone battery health and also optimize how the device charges to ensure that you get the maximum battery life out of your device. How do you check iPhone […]

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Samsung Galaxy S22 prices in Europe revealed

The Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphones will be launched at a Samsung Unpacked event next month, there will be three models in the lineup. The three models in the range are the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22+, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra and now we have some details on the pricing. The Galaxy S22 will start […]

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Sharkoon Skiller SGH50 wired gaming headset launches for €60

If you’re in the market for a wired gaming headset you may be interested in the affordably priced Sharkoon Skiller SGH50 priced at just €60 and offering a certified frequency range from 10 hertz to 40 kilohertz. The headset features a Circumaural design, is fitted with 50 mm speakers and weighs 342 g. Thanks to […]

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This WFH desk concept bucks the trend to offer some peace of mind

Sometimes, the traditional and the familiar can offer a calming refuge against a stressful storm of changes.

The past two years have forced many changes in the world, not all of them warmly welcomed. Work, in particular, has taken on a new form, one that finally proved that some work could actually be done at home. But as the world changed rapidly, so did the need for resources and tools that adapted to that new world order. This sea of changes gave way to a flood of new products in dizzying variety and numbers. One idea, however, tries to swim against the current to offer something with a familiar face that inspires confidence and offers a bit of tranquility.

Designer: Can Türker

As more and more people worked and studied at home, the venerable home desk was no longer enough to support the added demands. This gave birth to a new breed of desks and office equipment that boasted creative ways to improve productivity or maximize space, some of them bordering on the gimmicky. While a lot did lean more towards minimalist aesthetics, more offer advanced features that ironically complicated life and added to the mental burden of already stressed-out people.

The Bold Desk concept is bold in two ways. The designer’s expressed intent is to make the desk inspire boldness in facing the unknown of new work from home arrangements. Intentionally or not, the desk is also bold for eschewing complex features and gimmicks to present something immediately familiar and comfortable.

Nothing says familiar better than a wooden desk, and the Bold Desk’s choice of material scores points for both sustainability and design. It offers an immediate connection between the desk and the user, and its organic origin evokes feelings of warmth and life compared even to wood that’s been painted over with unnatural hues. The drawer and the bottom side also have a soothing effect, thanks to their curved edges. Rather than cram everything into a space-efficient area, the wide surface of the desk also gives some space to breathe.

That’s not to say that the Bold Desk is plain and unremarkable. It puts an emphasis on storage space to help hide away the clutter, even if temporarily. The inconspicuous gap on its back also offers a way for cables and power cords to snake out of sight and out of mind. The Bold Desk, despite its name, focuses on being subtle and unobtrusive, putting an equal value on people’s mental health as much as their productivity.

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