First Look

Acer Switch 7 Black Edition First Look

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As has become a tradition at major consumer tech shows, Acer once again showed off a bunch of attractive products ranging from the most powerful to the more portable. One that stood out was the Switch 7 Black Edition and its cool features.

For one, it’s the first fanless convertible to sport a dedicated graphics card, while still being surprisingly thin. That’s thanks to Acer’s Dual Liquid Loop technology combined with the newest chips from Intel and NVIDIA.

The Switch 7 Black Edition also has a unique stand that you can open up and close using a single hand. Under the display, there’s an optical fingerprint reader for logins even while the 13.5-inch screen is off.

You can learn more about Acer’s innovative 2-in-1 in our first look video:

SEE ALSO: Acer Predator Orion 9000 First Look

Computers

Predator Orion 5000 First Look

Smaller but powerful

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If the name sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking about the gigantic Orion 9000 from IFA last year. The Orion 5000 is a smaller model, but don’t think for a second that it’s any less powerful.

It has Intel’s latest Core i7 processor as well as Optane memory, which can make load times even faster. You can configure it with up to two GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards that run at the same time, and IceTunnel 2.0 technology makes cooling smarter.

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Accessories

Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset First Look

It ‘hears’ audio in 3D — just like how our ears work

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Sennheiser has once again proven its authority when it comes to audio equipment.

The German company recently launched its inaugural Sound Forum in the Philippines following Indonesia and Thailand. This comes as their very own audio education initiative that offers insights based on Sennheiser’s expertise from years in the industry.

Things like selecting the right headphones for you, the right microphone for video-related production, proper maintenance of gear, and more are tackled at the forum.

A slew of audio solutions were also on display, but one of the products that caught our attention was the Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset. It was made available towards the end of last year and not only does it offer high fidelity audio, it also features noise cancellation, speech enhancement for calls, situational awareness, and true binaural sound recording.

In layman’s terms: True binaural recording means it records audio just like how your ears perceive sound.

Sennheiser teamed up with American digital audio company Apogee Electronics to come up with this device. It basically uses microphones embedded in each ear to mimic how the ears hear sound. With them around, you can shoot a video on your phone and audio will be recorded just like how you hear things at that moment.

We tried it for a short while and we’re actually impressed at how faithful it reproduced sound happening around us with extra depth and space.

We weren’t able to save the short video we took but above is a sample of the Sennheiser AMBEO at work.

As of the moment, this headset is only compatible with iPhones through a Lightning connector. Although the company says it will also be available for Android devices in the future.

Sennheiser believes 3D audio is the future of enhancing users’ listening experience and the AMBEO line might just be a step in the right direction.

The Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset retails for US$ 399.

SEE ALSO: Sony WH-1000XM2 hands-on: A new experience

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Cameras

Sony A7 III First Impressions

When ‘basic’ is more than what you’d think

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While Sony calls the new A7 III its “basic” model, there’s nothing basic about its latest full-frame mirrorless camera. Announced last February, and launched in Singapore this week, this US$ 2,000 / SG$ 2,899 (body only) camera is poised to give competitors a run for their money.

It’s half the price of Sony’s high-end A9, US$ 1,000 cheaper than the excellent A7R III, and costs just as much as Panasonic’s popular GH5 which has a much smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor.

Not just an incremental update, this year’s base model sports a brand new backside illuminated (BSI) 24.2-megapixel sensor with 5-axis image stabilization. Like the higher-end A9, it features 693 phase-detection autofocus points. It can shoot still images continuously at up to 10 frames per second and video at 4K resolution. 

While it can’t shoot as fast as the A9 and doesn’t have the resolution of the A7R III, the A7 III is meant for those who want a solid all-around performer, at an affordable price tag (relative to its feature set) and with the best technology Sony currently has to offer.

In fact, among its similarities with its more specialized, and also more expensive brothers, apart from the same BSI technology on its sensor, it’s also got other features we enjoyed when we reviewed the A7R III, including the autofocus joystick and larger capacity “Z” battery which Sony promises should deliver up to 710 shots on a single charge.

I would have loved to also see an OLED viewfinder and full weather-proofing but for its price tag, it’s hard to find reason to complain.  

The Sony A7 III goes on sale in Singapore starting March 22. It retails for SG$ 2,899 (body only) or SG$ 3,299 with a FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

Sample images below:

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