Razer’s New Cheaper Razer Blade Pro Doesn’t Make Any Damn Sense

There are always going to be people who want a big, powerful laptop. I’m talking about people like developers that want to show off early game builds at trade shows or stubborn people who simply can’t compromise on performance when they are away from home. But is there any benefit to turning these 17-inch behemoths into something that thin and light too?

For years, that’s exactly the point Razer has been trying to make with its 17-inch Blade Pro, which packed desktop-level specs in a surprisingly thin body. But with prices that hovered near $4,000, that question was largely academic, since you’d have to be independently wealthy to actually buy one. But now, Razer has trimmed back some components to create the least expensive 17-inch gaming laptop the company has ever made, which makes the idea of a thin-and-light 17-inch gaming notebook finally a topic worth investigating.

That said, starting at $2,300, the Blade Pro still doesn’t seem that cheap, and compared to other 17-inch devices it isn’t. Like the $3,800 fully-equipped Blade Pro, this model has a solid aluminum unibody chassis that measures just 0.88 inches thick, which is almost 40 percent thinner than a traditional 17-inch system like the 1.43-inch thick Lenovo Legion Y920. But even with that kind of thinness, the Blade Pro’s 6.8 pound heft and sheer dimensions mean this still isn’t something you can just casually toss in a bag.

In fact, the Blade Pro doesn’t even fit in the messenger bag I carry every day, or any of the other shoulder bags I own besides my cavernous camping backpack or the rolling suitcase I use when traveling. That means I’m forced to buy special gear just to haul this thing around, which makes it just as cumbersome as other 17-inch systems with much bigger waists. This is purely thinness for thinness’ sake.

Instead of a 4K display, this new model sports a big full HD screen with good peak brightness (360 nits) and a handy matte coating to prevent distracting reflections from messing with your games. You also get a healthy number of ports including one USB-C jack with support for Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, Ethernet and even an SD card reader. And since its Razer, you get a chiclet keyboard with some of the most colorful and best looking RGB backlit keys on the market.

One of Razer’s departure from the typical laptop formula involves moving the touchpad to the very right side of the system, instead of below the keyboard like you’d normally expect. This is something that takes some getting used to as countless laptops have taught me to instinctively reach below the spacebar when I need to make a quick cursor gesture. I was able to adjust in less than a day. which makes the touchpad’s location more of a quirk than a real con. But if you’re thinking that placement means you might be able to simulate the traditional mouse and keyboard arrangement with your left hand on WASD and your right on the touchpad, think again. Even with a huge 4 x 3.25-inch surface area, no touchpad is good enough to sub in for a actual mouse.

I really wish I could have found more uses for the scroll wheel than I actually did.

Then Razer spices things up even further by adding a physical scroll wheel that can be reprogrammed to a number of different functions using the company’s Synapse software. But the weird thing is that even though I was really looking forward to using it, I actually found that most of the things I actually wanted to use it for, like volume control or scrolling, have already been taken care of with function keys or touchpad gestures. That makes the wheel kind of redundant.

As for the Blade Pro’s actual gaming cred, its performance falls right in line with what you’d expect from a something with an Intel Core i7-7700 HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU. In Rise of the Tomb Raider, the Blade Pro hit 82 fps on high, and 55 fps on high in Civilization VI. That should give you the confidence to play pretty much any modern AAA title on settings high enough to please. However, at the same time, I’d be remiss to mention that gaming laptops that cost north of $2,000 normally include an Nvidia 1070 or 1080 GPU, which offer 20 to 40 percent better graphics performance. Another nice thing about the Blade Pro’s big chassis is that you have you enough room for two storage drives, which means you get a 256GB SSD for storing your OS, apps, and games, and a 2TB HDD for all your extra media.

Ethernet! Now that’s a port you see don’t see that much anymore.

Now it probably won’t surprise you to know that the Blade Pro’s battery life is pretty bad, as it lasted just 4 hours and 10 minutes on our battery rundown test. And if you plan on doing any sort of gaming without plugging in the power cord, that times shrinks down to an hour and a half or two at the most.

But in the end, the thing I don’t get is that for almost $500 less, you can get the $1,850 14-inch Razer Blade, which has the same great build, CPU, GPU and RAM in a body you might actually want to move around. Both systems even have the same screen resolution, and for my money, the smaller Blade is the one I’d get. Sure, the bigger 17-inch Blade Pro has a few more ports and its bigger screen gives you a more room to work and play with. But let’s not forget, you can take the $450 you saved on the 17-inch Blade Pro and spend it on a nice desktop monitor, a big external drive, and still have a bit of cash left over for some games. There’s a reason Apple stopped making 17-inch MacBook Pros; the balance between performance and portability just isn’t there, even on a chassis this thin. And at $2,300, the “cheapest” Blade Pro’s value proposition is pretty poor too.

Unlike the smaller Blade Stealth, the Blade Pro can’t use its USB-C port for charging.

If you’re still deadset on a 17-inch gaming laptop, you’re much better off going with a thicker system that can accommodate more powerful components without raising the price to almost $4,000. You could even splurge a bit and opt for something like the MSI GT75 VR, which at 2.3-inches thick and weighing more than 10 pounds, is an absolutely monstrous system. But it’s performance is equally beastly and with a starting price of $2,700, its a much better option for people looking for top-notch specs.

I appreciate that Razer’s laptop pricing is moving in the right direction, and the idea of having a big screen laptop with a luxuriously thin body is nice, but the number of extra Benjamins that you have to shell out to get it still seems a bit too high.

README

  • The Razer Blade Pro costs $500 to $800 more than thicker 17-inch systems with comparable specs.
  • The offset touchpad takes a bit of getting used to, but the RGB backlit keyboard is very pretty.
  • For starting $2,300 Blade Pro features an Nvidia 1060 GPU, but if you want to upgrade to the model with a 1080 GPU, it’s going to cost you an extra $1,500.
  • The Blade Pro’s four hours of battery life are pretty standard for a system this size, but that number shrinks to two hours or less if you are actually gaming on the go.

SPEC DUMP

Windows 10 Home • 17-inch 1920 x 1080 non-touch matte display • Intel Core i7-7700HQ CPU • 16GB of RAM • 256GB SSD • 2TB HDD • Nvidia GTX 1060 (6GB vRAM) • Killer Wireless AC 1535 • 2-MP webcam • SD card reader • 1 USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 • 3 USB 3.0 • HDMI 2.0 • 3.5mm audio • Ethernet • 70-Wh battery • 16.7 x 11 x 0.88 inches • 6.78 pound

The Editors’ Choice XPS 13 with 8th-Gen Intel Is Now Just $999

dell xps 13 2017 004

For the next 48 hours, you have access to select Dell Black Friday deals. However, of all the deals available today, the most noteworthy is the XPS 13. You can now get the Editors’ Choice XPS 13 with Intel’s 8th-generation processor for $999.99. The laptop, which is the exactconfiguration we reviewed last month, normally costs $1,299 or $1,149 on sale, so today’s price is truly a record breaker.

Buy on Dell

The XPS 13 won our Editors’ Choice award for offering epic battery life (16 hours and 5 minutes to be exact), chart-topping performance, and the same compact, yet stylish design we enjoyed from last year’s XPS 13.

In our tests, the new 8th-gen Core i7-8550U processor, which is now quad-core, was 60 percent faster than the similarly configured XPS 13 with Intel’s 7th-gen CPU. From transcoding 4K movies to crunching numbers in Excel, the new XPS 13 is simply a beast.

Simply put, the new XPS 13 is the best consumer laptop you can buy right now, especially while it’s $200 off.

GoPro is finally profitable again, but its holiday outlook disappoints

After years of losses, GoPro’s main goal in 2017 was finding a way to make its business profitable. And it looks like the company finally succeeded during the third quarter, where it saw a net income of $15 million, according to its latest earnings report. That’s not much, but it’s a big improvement over last year’s $104 million loss during the same quarter. Analysts expected to its revenues to jump by 30 percent, but GoPro surpassed that with 37 percent growth, reaching $330 million (compared to $240.5 million last year).

But while GoPro had a strong showing this quarter, investors weren’t too pleased about its holiday revenue outlook of $470 million, driving its stock down to 10 percent at the time of this post. Analysts were expecting around $520 million in holiday sales.

The company credits its improved business on lower operating costs and a higher average sales price (ASP). It expects operating expenses to drop by 30 percent in 2017 (it sounds like those layoffs are paying off), and during the quarter they reached a three-year low. Its ASP, meanwhile, increased 22 percent this quarter. In particular, GoPro says “strong perfomance” from its $500 Hero 6 Black camera helped push that figure higher. Demand for its older Hero5 Black was “lighter than expected,” GoPro CEO Nick Woodman said during an earnings call, but he noted that holiday promotions might help with sales. Additionally, he says consumers are warming to the entry-level $150 Hero Session.

Looking ahead, the company is launching its $699 Fusion 360-degree camera later in the middle of this month. That’s clearly not meant for everyone, but it’s an important move into a new product category. It’ll give consumers an easy way to make videos suited for 360-degree VR viewing, and thanks to its Overcapture feature, they’ll also be able to make videos suited for normal 2D viewing.

Jellyfish-inspired e-skin glows when it’s in ‘pain’

Artificial skin stands to have a variety uses, with potential applications in everything from robots to prosthetics. And in recent years, researchers have been able to instill sensory perception, like touch and pressure, into artificial skin. However, while those sorts of senses will be incredibly important in engineered skin, they’ve so far been rather limited. For example, while current versions can be quite sensitive to light touch, they don’t fare so well with high pressures that could cause damage. So researchers at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China set out to fix that problem and they drew their inspiration from jellyfish.

The Atolla jellyfish can sense pressure in its surroundings and emits bright flashes of light when attacked. To mimic that and combine visual signals with pressure sensing, the researchers placed small silver wires within a stretchy material, which was able to produce electrical signals when light pressure was applied to it. In between two layers of that material, the researchers added an additional layer, which was embedded with phosphors — particles that can luminesce — that lit up when strong pressure was applied. As increasing amounts of pressure were applied to the layered electronic skin, the phosphors lit up more and more and overall the skin was able to register a much wider range of pressure than other versions have been able to achieve. In the image below, you can see the phosphors light up when a transparent “W”-shaped slab is pressed into the activated electronic skin.

The high pressures registered by the phosphors are around the levels that become painful to humans, meaning the luminescent material can play the role of pain sensors found in real human skin and create a visual representation of “pain.” Further, the full range of pressure that this skin can sense more closely matches what real human skin can feel. And as the researchers point out, this capability makes this particular electronic skin a promising potential component to human-machine interfaces and intelligent robots. The work was recently published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Blizzard shows off broadcast-friendly ‘Overwatch’ features

Last week Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan explained some of the tweaks Blizzard planned to make this game easier to follow for viewers, and now a new video actually shows them off. As Blizzard prepares tolaunch its professional Overwatch League next year (and presents Overwatch World Cup matches over the next couple of days), it’s going all-in to make the game TV-friendly, even for people who aren’t yet die-hard eSports fans.

During the Overwatch World Cup playoffs on Friday and Saturday, viewers will see new team uniforms for each country, complete with home and away colors that include heads-up displays and special abilities that are customized to match. It should make it easier for viewers to identify (and identify with — when’s the merch coming?) each team, better than they would with the standard game’s use of blue for allies and red for enemies.

'Overwatch' overhead map

We also got a peek at the previously-mentioned overhead map and third person smart camera, which we can already see will help people stay oriented on the most intense action and where it’s happening. It’s also key for the analysts to keep an eye on who is where at all times, and break down the action post-game with a new stats layout that puts every player’s metrics on one screen. A new easily-accessible instant replay (complete with bullet-time style freezes and camera movement) can take viewers flying through the scene without making things too confusing.

'Overwatch' instant replay

Is eSports really ready for the big time? We’ll find out soon, but these changes will definitely help give a regular viewer who hasn’t heard of Twitch a reason to stick with the broadcast long enough to tell D. Va from Doomfist.

RAZER DEBUTS ITS FIRST PHONE, AND IT’S BUILT FOR GAMES

IF I TOLD you Razer made a smartphone, you’d probably develop a mental picture pretty quickly. Since the company is mostly known for its gaming mice, keyboards, and laptops, you’d expect this phone to be For Gamers. It’d be crazy powerful, of course, with all the best specs and the highest numbers and probably a bunch of chips you don’t need but sound really cool at a LAN party. It’d probably be huge, and super expensive, as gaming gear tends to be. And it would definitely glow, for sure, no question. Maybe red flames? Maybe Razer’s own multicolored Chroma system? Lots of ideas.

The actual Razer Phone almost counts as boring, by gaming gear metrics. It’s a slightly blocky black rectangle with no glowing lights, no sound effects when you press the right button, and no glowing lights. Even Razer’s three-headed snake logo, usually neon green, comes only in black. The Razer Phone was largely created by the team behind Nextbit, a design-led company that built one pretty cool phone, called Robin, and then sold to Razer. The Razer Phone carries a lot of the Robin’s DNA, but none of the cloud-blue coloring.

Inside, though, the Razer Phone’s everything a Blade owner could want. Snapdragon 835 processor, one of the best in the biz. A whopping 8 gigs of RAM. A huge 4,000mAh battery. Best of all, a 5.72-inch, Quad HD IGZO LCD (I swear those acronyms all mean something) screen, with 120Hz capabilities. The display can ramp up its framerate when you’re scrolling or playing a game, and crank all the way back down when you’re just reading or watching a movie. The tech behind the display sounds like the iPad’s ProMotion display, and seems to work just as well. I’ve never scrolled so smoothly on an Android phone, and a quick demo of Riptide GP: Renegade, one of my fave mobile games ever, felt and looked incredible. Its looks may disguise its intentions, but the Razer Phone exists for gaming.

RAZER

The spec list just keeps on going. Two 12-megapixel cameras in the back. A 24-bit digital audio converter included in the box. Stereo front-facing speakers, with Dolby Atmos built in. It only ships with Android Nougat, but at least comes withNova Launcher, one of the best and most customizable Android launchers out there. And Razer says Oreo is coming soon.

Preorders start today at $699, and it ships on November 17.

A gaming phone, of course, matters only as much as the games it can play. Lack of truly great, unmissable games on mobile has plagued every so-called “gamer phone” since the days of the Nokia N-Gage. Razer has an advantage here, in that it’s already working with so many game makers. It’s working with the makers of games like Arena of Valor andFinal Fantasy to optimize their wares for the Razer Phone’s specs. That would be good for the Razer Phone, and for theAndroid ecosystem in general.

Razer’s trying to walk a tough line here, as many have before it: to make a phone for gamers that doesn’t look like, well, a phone for gamers. The company understands that people don’t buy two phones, and they need their device optimized for both important presentations and importantShadowgun sessions. That’s hard to do, but based on a brief demo at Razer’s office, the company’s done a pretty good job. It makes a few cool-phone concessions in the name of gaming—the slightly thicker body to house more battery, the extra bezel above and below the screen to offer a grip in landscape mode—but no one would look askance when you took the Razer Phone out of your suit pocket. Though they might be tipped off to your true intentions when the dulcet tones of Hearthstone come blaring out your speakers mid-meeting.

Apple might share iPhone X face data with developers

Despite Apple claiming it securely stores your encrypted face info on theiPhone X, Reuters is reporting that the company permits developers to access “certain facial data” with user permission. This includes a visual representation of your face, and over 50 facial expressions.

Face ID was always going to be the iPhone X’s most talked about feature. With it, the days of fingerprint authentication could be numbered, replaced by face biometrics. But, there’s something about your mugshot being stored with Apple that’s (understandably) got people shook up.Senator Al Franken already pressed the firm on the security concerns the tech raises — prompting a response. Now, it’s the turn of privacy advocates. In the report, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Democracy and Technology warn that the info could fall into the hands of marketers.

We know Apple’s Face ID tech works by using a mixture of camera sensors and neural networks to grab a mathematical model of your face. And, like Touch ID before it, Apple is granting developers access to its Face ID API, enabling them to use the unlock mechanism on all your fave apps — including secure banking and payment apps. But, the latest revelations suggest Apple is allowing devs to make off with more data than it is letting on. The same data reportedly cannot unlock the phone, because that functionality is limited to the overarching mathematical model. Reutersadds that Apple’s developer agreement forbids app makers from sharing the info with marketers. And, that those who break the rules risk getting kicked from the App Store.

But, privacy groups fear the company won’t be able to adequately police how devs use the info, which could lead to it finding its way to marketers. That, in turn, would result in more targeted ads, but these would use the tech to track your facial reactions (like a smile, or a raise of an eyebrow). Naturally, that kind of tracking data would be a goldmine for advertisers. But, it’s also important to note that Apple’s app review policy makes it extremely difficult for bad actors to get away with violations. Yet, with more than 2 million apps in the App Store, privacy experts warn that some may slip through the cracks. We reached out to Apple for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.

Review: Samsung Gear IconX (2018)

FULLY WIRELESS EARBUDS are the closest thing you’ll get to piping music directly into your brain. While there are a number of options out there, Samsung’s latest IconX (2018) headphones are the company’s second bite of the apple. They’re far from perfect, but these buds get a lot of things right.

They have acceptable sound quality, for one. The bass won’t thump as loud as a great pair of (cheaper) wired headphones, and tracks will occasionally sound shallow and synthetic, like your music is being run through a few filters, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying my favorite songs.

They also come with more than two times the battery life of their 2016 predecessors—a little more than 4 hours of battery life most days I used them.

Like last year, the IconX are still discrete and subdued in appearance (unless you buy them in neon pink) with a plain plastic exterior and swappable silicone eartips and wingtips. The wingtips help the top of the buds snap into the upper portion of your outer ear. The default tips fit well in my ear, but depending on the shape of your ear’s antihelix (there’s a new word for you), you may have to dip into the alternate wingtip sizes to get a solid fit.

There are no buttons on the IconX, but oh how I wish there were. Instead of buttons, the earbuds have dinky touchpads on the sides, and they’re fickle as heck. After a week of use, it still takes me two or three tries to successfully swipe up or down to change the volume. I’ve finally developed the muscle memory to get to the next track (two taps) and the previous track (three taps), but I don’t think I’ll ever successfully pull off more complex gestures. I feel like I deserve a graduate certificate in Morse code after using these.

SAMSUNG GEAR ICONX (2018)

6/10

LEARN HOW WE RATE
WIRED

Small and light enough that you forget you’re wearing them. Fully wireless with decent sound quality. Battery life hovers around 4 hours while streaming. Charging clamshell case provides an extra two charges. Includes a voice coach with fitness tracking and motivation

TIRED

Touch control is too touchy. Charging case is bulky and you’ll need to carry it around. $200 is a lot to spend on earbuds, wireless or not

BUY IT NOW

The most useful gesture is Tap and Hold, which lets you cycle through the menu options: Voice Command, Ambient Sound and Start a Workout. Voice Command leverages Bixby or Google Assistant to give you answers, though the assistant’s voice often seems muffled.

Ambient Sound amplifies the noises around you, so you can still hear things while wearing the buds. Like any snug-fit earbuds, the IconX tend to hush the sounds of say, incoming traffic. Look both ways, and enable this feature when you need it.

The buds don’t track heart rate like last year’s model, but they will give you a rough (very rough) approximation of the distance you traveled and steps you took during a workout. Samsung’s Bixby woman-like voice talks to you while you run, encouraging you to speed up and updating you on your distance. To get a better idea of your workout in progress, I recommend bringing along a phone or Gear Sport watch.

The downside to the fitness coaching feature is that one of your earbuds will drain a lot faster than the other. The choice of which Samsung leaves up to you, but expect a half hour less juice from one of your buds.

The complex gestures and 4-hour battery life would be more forgivable if the Gear IconX had a power button. Annoyingly, you can’t power either earbud up or shut them off without carrying an accessory: the included clamshell charging case. It’s about the size of a fat, short pill bottle that pops open and snaps closed. The buds only turn off once they’re inside it, and on when they are pulled out. That’s also the only way to re-pair them with your phone via Bluetooth.

The case provides about two full charges before you need to plug it into the wall and juice it up, which is nice. My hangup with this included accessory is that it’s just a little too big to slip into a pocket with my usual accoutrements. And it’s less of an accessory than a necessity.

My buds didn’t last long outside of their box. It’s strange that even though the buds know when they’re out of my ears thanks to a sensor, they aren’t intelligent enough to automatically shut off, too. They seem to keep getting notifications, and if I start a workout and they’re within distance, they pretend they’re my running buddy, knowing full-well I’m not wearing them. Shouldn’t they be smarter than that? Just sitting on my coffee table, unused with a 75% charge, both drained in under a work day’s time.

The best advice I can give you to conserve battery is to load up the 4GB of onboard storage on the IconX with MP3s instead of streaming music and turn off all notifications. That’ll give you an extra couple hours of juice, according to Samsung.

These buds also worked best when I used them with a Galaxy S8. On another Android phone, the connection was less reliable, cutting out for a second whenever I pocketed my phone. They’re also compatible with iPhones, but you’ll have access to fewer features.

At $200, the Gear IconX (2018) are $40 more than Apple’s now-famous AirPods, but overall aren’t wildly expensive, given their capabilities. They offer some solid fitness features and 4+ hours of battery life per charge. I just wish I didn’t feel the need to lug the bulky clamshell with me every time I use them.

Bitcoin tops £5,000 in value

Bitcoin and a pile of gold

The price of Bitcoin has surpassed £5,000 per coin – a new record.

While it is a historic moment of sorts, Bitcoin is usually compared to the dollar.

The virtual currency peaked at $6,649.33 (£5,015) at about 16:34 GMT on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

The total value of Bitcoin in circulation is currently $110bn (£83bn) and the cryptocurrency has risen more than seven-fold against the dollar over the past year.

The reason for the latest jump in value was in part driven by an announcement by US-based derivatives marketplace operator CME Group about a plan to launch a Bitcoin futures product before the end of the year.

Bitcoin was launched in January 2009. Its value was lower than $100 in June 2013, and below $1,000 as recently as January.

But in August, the virtual currency soared to $3,451 after a spin-off – Bitcoin Cash – failed to prove as disruptive as had been feared.

And in September, Bitcoin crossed the $5,000 threshold for the first time.

“It’s been a very innovative year – there have been a lot of new technology platforms for cryptocurrencies, which have lifted Bitcoin,” Garrick Hileman a research fellow at University of Cambridge told the BBC.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if the price were to go even higher.”

Coinbase – a business that lets the public trade and store digital currencies – reports that it is now signing up between 35,000 to 50,000 new users per day.

Mr Hileman said that many people had recently been attracted to invest in Bitcoin because when a “fork” happened in August, investors received an equivalent amount of new Bitcoin Cash coins for free.

Another “fork”, SegWit2x, is due to happen on 18 November.

“Rising geopolitical tensions on the Korean Peninsula are also driving interest in Bitcoin in the surrounding countries, because people are wary of investing in the yen or the dollar,” Mr Hileman added.

However, he continued, government regulators may crack down on cryptocurrencies, which could drive prices back down.

Facebook ad revenue tops $10bn

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard in 2017

Facebook profits soared in the third quarter as it brought in more than $10bn from advertising.

The firm said profits were $4.7bn (£3.5bn) in the three months to the end of September, up 80% year-on-year.

Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told investors the firm’s investments in security would “impact” profitability.

US lawmakers are examining the possible use of the platform for Russian propaganda activities during the 2016 US presidential election.

“We’re serious about preventing abuse on our platforms,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “Protecting our community is more important than maximising our profits.”

Washington hearings

Mr Zuckerberg last year said the idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election was “pretty crazy”.

On Wednesday, the firm said almost 150 million people may have seen Russian propaganda efforts.

Facebook shared the figure during two days of tense questioning in Washington.

Lawmakers, who are eyeing increased regulation of internet companies, pressed for increased disclosure around political ads, as well as information about how the firm polices false content.

Mr Zuckerberg did not attend the hearing, but he discussed the matter on a conference call with financial analysts.

“What [Russia] did is wrong and we are not going to stand for it,” he said.

“People do not want false news or hate speech or bullying… To the extent that we can eradicate that from the platform, we will create a better product.”

The firm’s general counsel told lawmakers the company was focused on protecting the “authenticity” of activity. But he conceded that it would be a tough task.

Facebook had 2.07bn monthly active users at the end of September, up 16% year-on-year.

Duplicate accounts represent about 10% of those – higher than previous estimates, executives said.

It also had more than six million active advertisers, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said on a call with investors.

Looking forward

Those advertisers, many of them small and medium-sized businesses, helped lift total Facebook revenue 47% year-on-year to $10.3bn. That included $10.1bn from ads.

The firm said it expected ad prices to increase, driving future growth. But it warned that the pace of expansion had been slowing.

The firm also said it expected expenses to increase between 45% and 60% in 2018.

Facebook said it was investing in security initiatives, new technology and video.

In the Washington hearings, Facebook said 10,000 people were working on the platform’s safety and security and it expected that number to double by the end of 2018.

Many of those people work for “partners”, the firm told analysts. Facebook employed about 23,165 people at the end of September.

The firm said it was also tightening it standards for ads, including those focused on charged political issues.

“We believe that ads are important to free expression… but we will also do our part to elevate the quality of that discourse,” Ms Sandberg said,

Shares in the firm fell about 1.5% in after-hours trade.