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Google Meet aims to tear down the language barrier, but falls short

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Google has rolled out an update for video conferencing software Meet that will help workers communicate more effectively with multi-lingual colleagues.

In a blog post, the company announced that its live translation feature has now entered general availability, across all Google Meet platforms.

Launched in beta last year, the feature introduces the ability to translate spoken English into foreign language captions in real-time. At launch, supported languages include French, German, Portuguese and Spanish.

Google Meet translation

Among the various opportunities brought about by the transition to remote working is the ability to recruit from an international pool of talent. However, businesses will clearly need a way to address the communication barriers this may create.

At the moment, Google is pitching the translation feature as a way to overcome disparities in language proficiency, rather than a way to facilitate communication between people who do not share a common language.

“Translated captions help make Google Meet video calls more inclusive and collaborative by removing language proficiency barriers. When meeting participants consume content in their preferred language, this helps equalize information sharing, learning, and collaboration and ensures your meetings are as effective as possible for everyone,” explained Google.

However, if the idea is taken to its logical conclusion, it’s easy to imagine the feature being extended in future to support omnidirectional translation between a variety of different languages. This way, workers could communicate freely with colleagues and partners from across the globe.

The feature as it exists today will roll out over the course of the next two weeks, but only to Google Workspace customers that subscribe to the Business Plus plan and beyond.

TechRadar Pro has asked Google whether customers on cheaper plans can expect to receive access to live translation at a later date, and whether the feature will be capable of translating other languages into English in future.


13 Jan 2022



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  • Boxing Day laptop sales: the deals to expect on MacBooks, Chromebooks, Dell, and more

    Over the next 48 hours, we expect that many of this year's Boxing Day laptop sales to get underway, with discounted laptops, Chromebooks and MacBooks aplenty. We've got our fingers crossed that some of these price cuts extend all the way through to the January sales as well in case you aren't exactly in the right state to go bargain hunting after the Christmas celebrations.

    Those up bright and early will find savings usually get started promptly in the Boxing Day sales so we'll also be on hand to bring you all the cheapest laptop deals as soon as possible. In fact, the Currys Boxing Day sales have started a little earlier this year, so you can already save on laptops and other electronics. No doubt the likes of Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and Very will all get involved later, too, as well as some of the more specialist retailers such as Box and Laptops Direct. 

    Whether you've got £200 or £2000 to spend, you should be able to find something on offer to suit your budget. That may be one of the many cheap Chromebooks we've already seen throughout the year, a small discount on the latest M1 MacBook Pro model or something in between. From this page, you can jump to each individual retailer sale, but we'll also highlight some of the very best Boxing Day laptop deals if you need some inspiration.

    This is likely the last chance to grab a bargain before the year comes to a close, so bookmark us or check back in over the next couple of weeks as we continue to share all the top offers up for grabs now and in the January sales.

    Best Boxing Day laptop sales: quick links

    Today's best deals

    Until some Boxing Day laptop sales are actually underway at a number of retailers, we've dropped in some of the top offers from our weekly roundup of the best laptop deals you can buy right now. Just below, you can find a selection of cheap Chromebooks for light work, as well as some excellent value for money mid-range machines and powerful ultrabooks for more demanding jobs.

    HP 14a Chromebook: £379 £329 at Currys
    Save £50
    – You can claim £50 cashback on this solid entry-level Chromebook at Currys. The 14-inch screen means it suits longer working periods and a better streaming experience compared to the smaller 11-inch Chromebooks. What impresses most of all at this price, though, is the inclusion of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You would normally have to pick between one or the other at this price, so having both gives a huge boost to the laptop's performance and storage capacity. It was £299 just a few days ago, but you still won't find a better cheap laptop deal this week.

    Asus 11.6-inch Chromebook Flip C214MA: £329.99 £149 at Amazon
    Save £191
    This is a terrific bargain price for a 2-in-1 laptop from Amazon. These are rarely found below the £200 mark so this drop to £150 is even better than normal. Definitely don't miss your chance to get a flexible machine for more than 50% off. There's 4GB RAM and 32GB storage that will be fine for basic tasks and is a reasonable specification for a basic budget laptop.

    Samsung Galaxy Book Go: £399 £319 at Amazon
    Save £80
    – The Samsung Galaxy Book Go is normally more expensive than similar laptops in its price range but is now much more affordable with this deal. As well as a £50 discount right now, you can save another £30 by applying the voucher on the store page. At £319, it's a great price for a laptop that has an impressive 18-hour battery life. With a spec that features 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD, you're also getting a well-performing machine for your money that will handle everyday jobs, work and media streaming.

    Asus VivoBook 15: £699.97 £599.97 at Box
    Save £100
    – You can pick up this powerful Asus VivoBook from Box. This laptop comes with a huge 16GB of RAM that gives it a considerable performance boost over other devices at a similar price. There's also a clear and detailed IPS display, speedy i5 processor and large 512GB SSD for fast access to files and applications. This is the laptop to go for if you want to use it for more advanced photo and video editing or more involving tasks.

    Apple MacBook Air (M1): £999 £889 at Amazon
    Save £110 -
    You're saving a healthy £110 on the latest MacBook Air here – and one with the powerful M1 chip at the helm no less. That's an excellent price - even if we have seen it around £20 cheaper in the past in a particularly speedy flash sale. This configuration offers 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

    Last year's best Boxing Day laptop deals

    Below is a selection of the very best Boxing Day laptop deals we saw last year. Prices have changed considerably over the last twelve months and new product launches means discounts could be even larger this time around. You can use these to get a general idea of what to expect at the end of the month as well as a way to compare which prices are actually good deals come the Boxing Day and January sales.

    Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 10.1-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook: £349 £299 at Currys
    Save £50 -
    If you're looking for maximum flexibility out of a cheap laptop, then this 2-in-1 Lenovo IdeaPad is a great option today at Currys. Usable as both a touch-screen Chromebook and tablet, you're getting 128GB of internal storage, 4GB of RAM, and a MediaTek P60T processor here. 

    Asus Flip C433 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook: £499 £399 at Currys
    Save £100 -
    It's rare to find a cheap Chromebook with a 2-in-1 design, but that's exactly what you're getting here. If you don't want to deal with the faff of Windows but still need a flexible laptop / tablet you'll find 64GB of storage (expandable with an SD card), 4GB RAM and an Intel m3 processor in here.

    HP 14-inch laptop: £549 £419 at Currys
    Save £139 -
    For power to price ratio, this HP at Currys really takes some beating if you're budget is firmly below £500. With a 10th gen Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD, you're getting quite a lot of power on tap here in a solid, if workman-like package. Recommended, especially for a decent working from home machine.

    HP 15s 15.6-inch laptop: £528.99 £479.99 at HP
    Save £49 -
    You're getting a brand new 11th gen Intel Core i3 processor with this HP 15S over at the official store this week - a really speedy little component for a mid-range laptop. A 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM are also great specs to have on such a versatile machine.

    HP Pavilion 14-inch laptop: £699 £529 at Currys
    Save £170 -
    A 512GB SSD gives this HP Pavilion 14 at Currys a huge amount of speedy storage for the price, perfect if you want to store large media files. Of course, the 10th gen Intel Core i5 procesor and 8GB of RAM aren't bad either, and give you a ton of headroom for more intensive applications.

    Dell XPS 13 13.3-inch laptop: £918.99 £849 at Dell
    Save £69 -
    There's a tidy little saving on the entry-level Dell XPS 13 right now over at the official site, which, while not huge, is still a nice discount on such a premium ultrabook. This one comes with an 11th gen Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, specs that are a great start if you need a machine for both casual and work use.

    New Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020, M1): £1,299 £1,193 at Amazon
    Save £106 -
    Though still pricey, you can score yourself a significant discount on the M1 MacBook Pro 13 right now at Amazon. With 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and the brand new Apple M1 chip, the new Apple MacBook 13's look to offer a significant performance boost over their now superseded Intel counterparts.

    MSI GF63 Thin 15.6-inch gaming laptop: £1,099 £849 at Currys
    Save £250 -
    A hefty discount from Currys this week makes this MSI GF63 Thin an absolutely solid buy for the money currently. It's got not just a 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor, but a GTX 1660 Ti, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD - really awesome high-end specs that normally carry a bit more of a premium for sure.

    Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop: £999 £899.99 at Very
    Save £100 -
    This upgraded, top-spec Nitro 5 proves Acer makes fantastic value machines at all price points this week. Rocking an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 512GB SSD, and GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, this Acer is a top choice if you want a machine that'll take on any modern game at 1080p resolution and decent graphical settings.

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