Computers

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel expands device series for creators

Includes a desktop, monitors

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Content creation has been a key market for laptop and notebook manufacturers. To cater to this specific set of consumers, Acer unveiled the ConceptD last year. This year, they expand that lineup starting with the ConceptD 3 Ezel.

The ConceptD 3 Ezel convertible notebook for creators on the move. It’s squarely aimed at design students, freelance designers and small design studios.

The ConceptD 3 Ezel is powerful enough to handle medium-size to complex CAD work with speed and accuracy.They come with a thinner and lighter look with both the clamshell and convertible form factors having 14″ and 15.6″ screens. It’s built this way so they can be used to edit and showcase work on the move.

Other usage modes include an adjustable float mode, traditional laptop mode, pad mode and share mode. The device’s creative toolbox includes programmable keys and a suite of connectivity options, such as a SD card 7.0 reader (YES!) and USB Type-C Thunderbolt3 port.

It weighs just 1.68 kg (14’’, 3.7 lbs) or 1.95 kg (15’’, 4.29 kg) and promises up to 18 hours of battery life.

ConceptD 3 Notebook

The ConceptD 3 Notebook does away with all the twists and flipping of the ConceptD 3 Ezel but still maintains its processing power meant for creative work.

Powered by either the NVIDIA Quadro T1000 (ConceptD 3 Pro) or the GeForce GTX 1650Ti GPUs and the new 10th Gen Intel Core H-series processors, it’s specifically designed to handle all 2D or 3D color-critical design work on a 14″ or 15.6″ FHD PANTONE Validated display.

ConceptD 100 Desktop

Equipped with a powerful 9th Gen Intel Core processor and an NVIDIA GeForce or Quadro GPU, the ConceptD 100 Desktop is ideal for graphics-intensive 2D design and entry-level 3D CAD modeling.

It’s a small form factor PC with up to 256 GB of ultrafast SSD storage, all-around connectivity and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. Its front air intake and side-ventilation keep the mini workstation cool and ensure that its noise levels stay under 40 dBA.

Its powerful while looking like an elegant piece of tech that fits any kind of work or home environment.

The ConceptD CP5, CP3, and CM3 monitors

Rounding up the lineup are the ConceptD CP5, CP3, and CM3 monitors.

The CP5 and CP3 series of monitors are aimed at professional computer graphics creators, video editors and animators. Both monitor lines are designed for color accuracy, good resolution and a wide color gamut, the ability to work with HDR content, high refresh rates for blur-free images and a large screen to facilitate the design process and support collaboration.

The CP5 has a WQHD 2560 x 1440 resolution, VESA DisplayHDR 600, is Adaptive-Sync compatible and overclockable to a 170 Hz refresh rate.

The CP3 has similar specifications and supports 98% of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut, WQHD 3840 x 2160 with a refresh rate of up to 165 Hz as well as VESA DisplayHDR 400.

The ConceptD CM3 series of monitors is aimed specifically at professional graphic designers and photo editors desiring a monitor that can display finely detailed design concepts and 3D content.

It offers a 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 screen with a 4 ms (G to G) response time, 60 Hz refresh rate and a wide color gamut supporting 99% of the Adobe RGB color space. It’s compatible with AMD Radeon FreeSync, and with PANTONE Validation, Delta E<2 and VESA-certified DisplayHDR.

Pricing and availability

The ConceptD 3 Ezel

  • North America — August starting at US$ 1,499.99
  • Europe — September starting at EUR 1,699
  • China — August starting at CNY 9,999.

The ConceptD 3

  • North America — October starting at US$ 999.99
  • Europe — October starting at EUR 1,299
  • China — September starting at CNY 8,999.

The ConceptD 100 will be available in Europe in June starting at EUR 799.

The ConceptD CM3

  • North America — August starting at US$ 709.99
  • Europe — August starting at EUR 719
  • China — July starting at CNY 4,999.

The ConceptD CP3

  • North America — August starting at US$ 619.99
  • Europe — August starting at EUR 629
  • China — June starting at CNY 3,999.

The ConceptD CP5

  • North America — August starting at US$ 749.99
  • Europe — August starting at EUR 759
  • China — July starting at CNY 4,999.

Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region.

Computers

This 34” LG UltraWide monitor disrupted my workflow

In the best way possible

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I’ve been working on a laptop almost exclusively for the better part of the last decade. It’s been so long that I had forgotten the benefits of working with a bigger screen — a benefit that was shoved into my face when I used the LG UltraWide 34” Curved monitor. 

Easy setup 

Putting it together was relatively easy. I didn’t need any special tools or anything of the sort. Everything just fit into place seamlessly.

Here are all the ports on its back. That’s two (2) HDMI ports, one (1) Display port, two (2) USB downstream ports, one (1) USB upstream port, and one (1) headphone out port.

It also comes with a cable organizer that you kind of clamp to the stand so your setup can look clean.

Once everything is plugged, you only need to use this button at the bottom center of the display to make any changes in the settings or switch between inputs should that be necessary.

My regular workflow

At any given day I can be doing anything from writing an article, a script, coordinating with the team and external partners, copy-editing articles, and video editing among others.

This means I toggle between screens A LOT. Other than that, my posture while working is mostly crouched down since I’m looking at the laptop screen.

However, that all changed when the fire nation attacked. No, I mean, it was definitely shaken up when I started using the LG UltraWide 34” Curved Monitor.

I didn’t really have a proper setup with it owing to the tiny space I live in but in the brief week that I used it, I started craving a better work from home setup.

How the LG UltraWide monitor disrupted my workflow

The first thing I noticed was how I was now looking up instead of looking down. It might not be that big a deal for younger people, but when you reach a certain age, even the smallest improvements to your posture can make a huge difference.

The extra space is invaluable. At one glance I can look at Slack and Tweetdeck. This means I can quickly look up if there’s anything new that needs to be edited while also monitoring any potential news that we should run on the website.

Bonus: I can also have a floating tab with a playlist of my favorite girls TWICE cheering me up as I slog through another work day.

This works in other instances too. I can pull up a press release for reference on one side of the screen and have Google Docs on another. This means I no longer have to quickly press Alt+Tab every time I need to double check details.

Just the overall convenience of seeing more at a glance is already a major upgrade to the workflow I’ve grown accustomed to.

Video editing

I no longer video edit as much as I used to due to changing roles and all. But here, the benefit of having a larger, wider monitor is even more pronounced.

Having a wide workspace means I didn’t have to hide certain tools while editing. They’re just there, easily and immediately accessible when I need them. It was honestly tough going back to the smaller screen especially for this task.

Taking less steps to complete your everyday tasks is a godsend. Every small thing adds up to a faster, smoother, and generally better working experience.

Should you upgrade to the LG Ultrawide 34” Monitor?

There are plenty of things to consider. For people like myself who have mostly worked on laptops, we’re pretty set in our ways. Plus there are a few other peripherals I might need to get so it’s not an easy yes or no decision.

You also need to consider your workspace. As I mentioned, I live in a rather tiny place with very little space to accommodate a fully desktop setup.

But this is me. If you’re still working on a more traditional 16×9 monitor, I guarantee the difference, while jarring at first, can be truly beneficial in the long run.

The LG Ultrawide 34” Curved Monitor retails for PhP 45,999 (around US$ 937). If you’re ready to splurge to up your productivity, this isn’t a bad place to start.

SEE ALSO: LG UltraGear 25” Gaming Monitor review: Enough to get you started

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Computers

LG UltraGear 25” Gaming Monitor review: Enough to get you started

Comes with key features for your first gaming PC build

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I’ve seen a ton of people purchase full gaming PC setups since the pandemic took center stage in our lives. I’m pretty sure a lot of these people spent the past few months saving every peso they could for it. Of course, I also did it with all the money I saved up and planned every purchase very carefully.

In getting your gaming PC build, one of the more important peripherals to consider is your monitor. Most people will tell you that any monitor is okay, but experts will say that you shouldn’t just get any monitor. Apart from color accurate and bright displays, your monitor should have a high enough refresh rate to keep up.

It’s exactly what the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor brings to the table, at least on paper. But is this worth checking out, especially for first time PC setup builders? Here’s a rundown of the specs:

It has a 23.6-inch TN FHD panel, with a 144Hz refresh rate

It comes with two HDMI ports and one DisplayPort

The design, on its own, is nothing spectacular

The LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor comes in a package you normally expect from most lightweight gaming monitors. A hardened-plastic enclosure covers the display, and the monitor even comes with a metal stand in gray and red accents. Upon unboxing, I found it relatively easy to set up and position alongside my PC setup.

Immediately, the first and only thing I noticed was the thick bezel surrounding the display. To be honest, it’s a relatively minor issue for me ever since other brands started reducing theirs. Although I would have appreciated a little more screen space, especially while playing games.

A display that meets expectations for the most part

Most gaming monitors come with high refresh rates to keep up during pressure situations. Fortunately, the LG UltraGear Gaming Monitor comes with a 144Hz panel which is more than enough. Also, it even sports a 1ms response rate so you’re able to stay at the top of your game. 

Most games I tried with this monitor performed with relative ease and no visible sign of image tearing. FPS games like CS:GO and Valorant, in my opinion, work best with this setup given that you can run these games on low-end setups.

Also, it’s quite bright and color accurate which is great for content creators. Although, in some cases, I felt that it didn’t handle dark color areas well. I tried to compensate by simply adjusting the brightness, but it didn’t do anything significantly different. At least it’s an anti-glare TN panel, so you don’t have to worry about the sun.

Comes with features that works depending on the other hardware

This monitor supports AMD’s FreeSync technology which further improves gameplay experience. Honestly, I felt this should be a standard for most gaming monitors — including those that support NVIDIA GSync. Also, there are other optimizations like Dynamic Action Sync (DAS) and motion blur reduction.

However, this monitor actually benefits you only if you’re currently rocking an AMD Radeon graphics card. Ideally, it would still work pretty well when you plug it to an NVIDIA card but expect some image tearing. It wasn’t a big issue for me since I could still apply the reduced motion blur and DAS.

Port selection for this monitor is more than enough for a normal PC setup. Two HDMI ports are available at your disposal, which is great if you want to use it for your consoles. The added DisplayPort provides more connectivity, especially since most graphics cards support it. Keep in mind though: if you plan to plug your console, don’t expect the 144Hz refresh rate.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

For PhP 12,599 (US$ 257), the LG UltraGear 24” Gaming Monitor ticks all the necessary boxes. What you have is a high refresh rate monitor with good color accuracy, and fully optimized for gaming. Combined with a great selection of ports, this monitor is a great option for your first PC build.

However, if you have strict preferences for your monitor, this might not be what you’re looking for. If you’re not a fan of thick bezels or you’re more conservative with your money, I wouldn’t practically recommend this. Also, you wouldn’t be able to fully maximize its potential if you don’t own an AMD graphics card.

All things considered, it’s enough to get you started on your gaming PC setup. Even with cheaper alternatives out there, I still recommend you give this a shot.

SEE ALSO: This 34” LG UltraWide monitor disrupted my workflow

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Computers

Apple’s macOS Big Sur Public Beta is now available for download

It can still run on your old 2013 MacBooks and iMacs

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Good news for MacBook and iMac users, you can now start testing out the Public Beta release of Apple’s macOS Big Sur.

Here’s a list of supported devices:

  • MacBook (2015 and later)
  • MacBook Air (2013 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 and later)
  • Mac mini (2014 and later)
  • iMac (2014 and later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (2013 and later)

If your Mac is supported, you can head over to Apple’s Beta Program Website to enroll your device for download.

Just a refresher, Big Sur is the latest macOS update that was announced during Apple’s WWDC 2020 event together with iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7. Other than performance improvements, you also get a revised look with a simpler and more seamless UI compared to older versions of California-touting macOS versions including  Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra.

Another addition to Apple’s continuous Mac improvements are the newest 27-inch iMac with Intel’s latest Core i9 chipsets, before they ditch Intel-based architecture and completely rely on their in-house ARM chipsets — starting with the upcoming Apple Silicon-powered MacBook that should be available in the market as early as 2021.

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