Features

5 things you need to know about the new MacBook Pro

Published

on

Apple’s got a new MacBook Pro.

That in and of itself isn’t really big news. Almost every year their iconic notebook computer gets a speed boost, minor cosmetic changes, and a nip and tuck here and there.

But this year, Apple is making BIG, newsworthy changes.

There’s plenty to rave about, but before you scream, “take my money”, here’s what’s new, what’s changed, and how these changes will affect you.

The Apple logo glows no more

From now till I upgrade, I’m going to use my now obsolete MacBook Pro facing a mirror; that way I can occasionally glance at the glowing Apple on the back of my machine. I recognize that all these years, I’ve hardly ever looked at it, and it has no effect whatsoever on productivity, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be the only one who’ll be sad to see the glowing Apple go.

macbook-pro-c

The new MacBook Pros that ship in two weeks will have a shiny black Apple logo on their lids instead of the iconic illuminated one.

There are more significant design changes too. These new MacBook Pros are not just thinner and lighter, but smaller as well. The screen sizes stay the same – 13 and 15 inches – but take up 20% less space.

They’re still formed from a single slab of aluminum, but now come in two colors: the original silver and space gray.

macbook-pro-thickness

Despite the reduction in size, these new portable Macs are still as powerful as ever, with the latest Intel processors and graphics improvements. Apple says the new MacBook Pros have a Retina display that is 67% brighter, speakers that are 52% louder, and a trackpad that is twice the size of the original.

You’ll either love or hate the new keyboard

To get everything thinner, sacrifices must be made. One way Apple saves space is with a new keyboard, similar to the one found on the impossibly thin MacBook. This second-generation “butterfly switch” keyboard isn’t going to be as clickety as that on the older MacBook Pro – which arguably has the best keyboard experience on a laptop in the world.

macbook-pro-keyboardExpect this new keyboard to be a bit polarizing. You’ll either love it or hate it. But like all things Apple, we’ll get used to it, maybe even love it.

There’s a new game-changing touch bar

Nope, the Mac is still not getting a touchscreen. Instead, depending on how you see it, Apple gives you the next best thing, or something even better.

The Touch Bar is a multi-touch OLED glass strip on top of the new MacBook Pro’s keyboard. It works just like any touchscreen; you can tap and slide your fingers on the color display just as you would on your smartphone.

The Touch Bar works with open apps, providing you with a set of tools and new ways to do things. For example: If you’re chatting with friends, you can use the Touch Bar to find the perfect emoji. If you’re editing a photo, you can use the Touch Bar to preview and swipe through filters. And if you’re watching a video, the playback controls on the Touch Bar let you play, pause, and scrub through the video.

macbook-pro-touch-bar

You will only be able to make the most out of the Touch Bar when your favorite apps support the new feature. But apps like Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, and Microsoft Office have already been updated to work with it.

To make room for it, Apple is taking away the top-most row of your keyboard where the function keys, escape, and power buttons used to be. Those buttons are still available as touch buttons.

macbook-pro-touchid

Just like on the iPhone, you can now log in to your MacBook Pro using your fingerprint. Located on the right-most edge of the Touch Bar, Touch ID on the new Mac laptops lets you power on and sign into your device with a quick tap. You can also use your fingerprint to authenticate website logins or online payments.

The headphone jack survived the cut, but other ports weren’t as lucky

No other tech company is a fan of killing off ports more than Apple.

Not too long ago, they decided to take away the headphone jack from iPhones, and we were almost certain the MacBook Pro would lose it too.

Thankfully, the new MacBook Pros got to keep their headphone jack.

Apple MacBook Pro ports

There are four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack

Sadly though, everything else has been removed. There are no standard-sized USB ports, no SD card reader, and not even the MagSafe adapter that saves your laptop from falls when someone trips on your power brick.

Instead, users get four Thunderbolt 3 ports. They’re USB Type-C-shaped and support USB, HDMI, VGA, and even power, meaning you can charge using any of the four ports.

Some day in the not-too-distant future, you won’t even miss any of these ports, but in the interim, the transition will be painful and expensive. For now, you’ll need new flash drives, new cables, and new adapters to get your other accessories to work with your new Mac.

The new features cost more $$$ than usual

Normally when Apple refreshes its MacBook Pro line, Apple retains the previous year’s pricing – if not dropping them altogether. This year’s 13-inch and 15-inch base models are $500 and $400 more expensive compared to previous models, respectively.

While there are many possible build combinations. Apple is selling 3 main models – a 13-inch MacBook Pro without the new Touch Bar which starts at $1499; a 13-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar starting at $1799; and a 15-inch MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar starting at $2399.

Apart from all the new improvements, the new base models now have twice the amount of storage space (256GB solid state drives up from 128GB from a year ago), so that could also be a reason behind the price increase.

macbook-pro-reveal

[irp posts=”7194″ name=”Happy birthday: Apple’s iPod turns 15″]

Lifestyle

Amazon Kindle PaperWhite Signature Edition Review

The best Kindle for every bookworm?

Published

on

It’s been a while ever since the Amazon Kindle PaperWhite had a refresh. To be particular about it, its 10th-Generation model was released last 2018 — merely three years ago!

This 2021, the new 11th-Gen Kindle PaperWhite offers better upgrades including a larger and brighter display, as well as USB-C and wireless charging support.

But are those enough to make you upgrade? Or should you wait for the next version of Kindle Oasis instead?

Head over to our unboxing and in-depth review of the Amazon Kindle PaperWhite and watch it in 4K too.

Continue Reading

Features

The Mi TV P1 is a great first TV

A good self reward

Published

on

Mi TV P1

I still vaguely remember the first TV I ever bought. It was, if I recall correctly, a 24-inch Samsung TV. That was already a big deal for me at the time. I just landed a producer job at an online news outlet and got my first major salary bump. As someone who enjoyed watching TV shows and movies, I thought I’d treat myself by graduating from watching on a laptop.

The TV wasn’t anything crazy. It wasn’t smart either. At the time, Smart TVs weren’t as prevalent as they are today and it would have cost maybe two months worth of my salary then. But this TV I bought had what I needed. It can read from flash drives and external hard drives, and it has an HDMI port. That thing cost me somewhere between PhP 15,000 to PhP 18,000.

Fast forward to today, I would have been able to afford a pretty big screen 4K TV now with that money. Specifically, the Xiaomi Mi TV P1. Here are the price ranges for its various sizes:

  • 55″ — PhP 24,990
  • 50″ — PhP 22,990
  • 43″ — PhP 18,990

The same TV line also has a 32-inch variant at PhP 10,990 but it isn’t 4K so I excluded it from the list. By these standards, I would have been able to afford the 43-incher. Or perhaps, I would have opted to save up a little more to grab either of the 50-inch or 55-inch variants.

But even the 43-incher is already worlds better than what I had bought back then. I’m sure it’s a fantastic option for most people today. We already have an extensive review of the Mi TV P1. But indulge me in this little piece to share why I think it’s a great first TV.

Elevate your entertainment

Mi TV P1

One of my primary considerations for buying a TV was to give my laptop (and perhaps it’s a smartphone now for most people today) a break. I think it goes a long way to prolonging your laptop’s lifespan if after a long day of work, you’re not pushing it further to watch a few episodes of your favorite series.

At the time I was religiously following TV series like Suits, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, and many, many more. It was my way to unwind and destress at night. The kind of shows or content we watch has shifted a little to more K-Dramas and plenty of YouTube creators. But whatever you choose to watch to unwind, it’s almost always better on a TV.

Mi TV P1

Other than anime, and whatever’s on Netflix. I use the TV to stream PLENTY of TWICE

The UHD screen on the Mi TV P1 is no joke. It even looks good even in brightly lit rooms. You can also tweak the settings to get the kind of picture that your eyes find pleasing. My personal settings lean towards a vivid picture quality but not too much that it compromises the cinematic integrity of what I’m watching.

It’s just an overall treat to your eyes. And watching shows and movies just feels more natural this way.

Encourages legitimate streaming 

Mi TV P1

Squid Game, the biggest show on Netflix, is best watched on TV

Let’s face it, we didn’t always access our favorite shows from legitimate sources. Owning a Smart TV discourages that old behavior. The ease of access to streaming sites like Netflix, HBO Go, and Viu is near frictionless. And there are a variety of subscription plans that fit your needs.

You can even be creative with your streaming budget. You can rotate among these apps every month or so. You’ll just have to plan which shows you want to watch, and line them up to when you want to watch. What I do is I have Netflix on retainer so I always have it, then month-to-month I switch between HBO Go and Viu. It just depends on where the shows I want to watch are.

It’s so much easier to fire up the TV, hit a streaming app, and watch away vs having to acquire shows in less than ideal means.

What’s more, you can install ExpressVPN directly on the TV. With it you can change regions and gain access to content and apps you otherwise would not have access to. If you’re worried about the subscription fee, there’s a nice offer here.

Home entertainment centerpiece

Mi TV P1

It’s also decent for gaming. And even if you don’t have a console, you can install supported gaming apps from the Google Play Store

Looking back, I really wish the Mi TV P1 was already available when I made my first TV purchase. I’m constantly fascinated by how much of what was then considered high-end tech is now available to more people.

What Xiaomi has here is pretty much more of the same of what they usually offer — a product with a fantastic price-to-performance ratio. The Mi TV P1 is no premium TV, but I’d argue it’s the best value for money you can get.

If you’re looking to splurge a little on a big ticket item, the Mi TV P1 is an easy recommendation. If I were back in my situation as a young professional looking to reward myself, this is certainly it.

Continue Reading

Features

5 ways to enjoy Huawei’s MatePad gift bundles

There’s plenty to do!

Published

on

Tablets are always a convenient tool for users to enjoy, whether they’re looking for entertainment or simply unwinding.

As the holiday season is fast-approaching, Huawei is offering customers gift bundles for its MatePad tablet series for them to score exciting promos while saving on huge freebies.

Whether it’s a gift for yourself, an early Christmas gift, or an investment for the next year, the Huawei gift bundles campaign includes everything from budget tablets to premium ones to help grant those wishes.

Five ways to enjoy

With more than 141,000 apps available on AppGallery, users can unlock new ways to be entertained and inspired at their fingertips especially nowadays with safety guidelines outside still in place.

As the year winds down, here are five ways to begin a new journey in 2022 with the HUAWEI MatePad series:

1. Reconnect with your loved ones online

 

Stay connected to your friends and family over the holidays with a variety of essential social media platforms ready for download on AppGallery and Petal Search.

That includes WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter!

2. Catch a movie marathon

MatePad Pro 12.6

Whether it means staying up to date with local dramas on MeWatch or catching the latest blockbusters on HBO Go, keep your serotonin flowing with the immersive displays and sound systems tuned by Harmon Kardon on the Huawei MatePad tablets.

Apps that you could consider include HUAWEI Video, Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, and Twitch so you don’t miss out on safe and sound Christmas bonding sessions at home.

3. Maximize productivity

With apps like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Office, Teams, and Outlook at your disposal, staying productive amidst the Christmas rush is a breeze.

You can also keep an eye on your kid’s tablet use with a smart monitoring solution like Plano or amp your multi-tasking game with Huawei’s multi-window and multi-screen collaboration feature on the tablets.

4. Explore your creative side

Huawei MatePad

With infinite possibilities on a digital canvas, you don’t have to worry about paper wastage or harming the environment.

Whether you’re a pro or just starting to find your inner artist, the Huawei M-Pencil gives a realistic drawing experience equipped with pixel-level precision.

Take a stroke of faith with Nebo, ibisPaint X, Concepts available from AppGallery.

5. Find your flow with journaling

The world can get a little noisy at times. Take a moment to disconnect and develop a calmer mind through journaling with suggested apps like Journey, Grid Diary, and Calm.

Gift bundles to choose from

Huawei has four packages available depending on what plans you have for a tablet. All deals include a free gift bundle worth as much as SG$ 396.

MatePad model Retail price Free gift bundle Best for
HUAWEI MatePad SGSG$ 448

(U.P. SGSG$ 498)

Get it for only SG$ 398 during the Lazada Huawei Brand Sale from October 26 to 28

Smart Magnetic Keyboard worth SG$ 148 Families looking for a

budget-friendly tablet

for work and for fun.

Includes a Kirin 820

chipset, Wi-Fi 6 and

EMUI 10.1.

HUAWEI MatePad 11 SG$ 698 Worth SG$ 346:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Young adults and

students looking for a

reliable productivity

tool.

Includes a 120 Hz

refresh rate for a

smoother visual

experience and a DCI –

P3 colour gamut

feature.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 10.8” SG$ 998 Worth SG$ 254:

  • MatePad Pro Flip cover
  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • Huawei Mini Speaker
An all-rounded

productivity machine at

home, school, or the

office.

Includes 10.8 inch 2K

HUAWEI FullView

Display with a 4.9mm

ultra slim bezel body.

Up to 11 hours of

battery life.

HUAWEI MatePad Pro 12.6” SG$ 1,398 Worth SG$ 396:

  • Huawei M-Pencil (2nd gen)
  • MatePad pro 12.6” Smart Magnetic Keyboard
Professionals and

creatives running

sophisticated programs

on-screen.

Features a powerful

10,050mAh battery

capacity and a large

12.6 inch OLED

FullView Display.

Pricing and availability

The promotion will run from October 26 to November 30, 2021 and will be available at all Huawei Authorized Stores, selected consumer electronic stores including Best Denki, Challenger & Hachi.tech, COURTS, Gain City, Harvey Norman, Sprint-Cass, and Huawei official online stores in Lazada and Shopee.

SEE ALSO: 11 most notable things about the Huawei MatePad 11

Continue Reading

Trending