Computers

Apple announces 16-inch MacBook Pro

Most powerful MacBook Pro to date

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Image by GadgetMatch

2019 seems to be the year of ‘Pro’ for Apple with the launches of the iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and the Mac Pro with Pro Display XDR. The 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued before but the newly announced 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to hit the sweet spot for Apple when it comes to big ‘pro’ notebooks.

Same design, larger footprint

The new MacBook Pro has a larger 16-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 3072 x 1920 at a brilliant 500 nits, replacing the older 15-inch models. It has a DCI-P3 color gamut, ideal for processing shots and grading films all together. This new display offers an immersive visual experience and larger screen real estate without the extra heft.

There’s a massive six-speaker sound system which brings high-fidelity audio experience not just for audiophiles and musicians, but for video editors and podcasters alike. It promises clearer and more natural audio, with the bass able to go half an octave deeper. The microphones also get an upgrade. There’s now less hiss and they deliver cleaner audio recordings.

To address the problems everyone had with the Butterfly keyboard that plagued previous models, Apple has announced a newer Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism and a more responsive key press. There’s now a separate, physical escape key since more and more users would find their escape keys frozen with the Touch Bar MacBook Pros. The Touch ID slash power button is also separate. It also brings back the inverted-T arrow keys.

Powerful specs for the power users

We all know the 15-inch MacBook Pro is already powerful, but this monster promises a significant performance boost of up to 2.1 times. This is configurable with the latest 6 / 8-core 9th Generation Intel processors. Turbo Speeds are also promised to reach up to 5GHz. For the first time, they offer a massive 64GB of memory and a spacious 8TB SSD option — the largest on a notebook yet.

There’s also a new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics card, which is the first 7nm mobile discrete GPU for professionals. It’s also paired with GDDR6 video memory and an 8GB of VRAM option. This is beneficial for heavy filmmakers and 3D animators alike.

Gaming on Mac may not sound good but it also promises a smoother gameplay of up to 1.6 times. Game developers will also enjoy this machine as Unity will deliver 1.4 times faster fly-through performance than its competitors.

The highest configured 16-inch MacBook Pro promises a performance improvement of up to 80 times over the last highest-end 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro’s new thermal design enables intensive workload over long periods of time. The heat sink is 35 percent larger, resulting to a 28 percent increase in airflow and better heat dissipation. The battery is at its biggest at 100Wh. It promises 11 hours of battery life — one hour more than the previous model.

Pricing and availability

The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at SG$ 3,499 in Singapore or US$ 2,399 in the US, the same starting price as the previous 15-inch model. It’s available online and through the Apple Store app starting today. In-store availability will come later this week.

Cameras

Select ASUS laptops come with free Instax cameras

Get a free Instax Mini 9, SQ6 or Mini LiPlay

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Christmas season is the time for creating memories. What better way to capture these memories than with an instant camera?

Instax partnered with ASUS this Christmas to give away free Instax cameras for every purchase of select ASUS laptops. Buyers also get to enjoy bundled freebies along with their free cameras. 

Bundled Instax cameras are the Instax Mini 9 worth PhP 3,999; Square SQ6 worth PhP 7,999; and Mini LiPlay worth PhP 9,999. The Instax Mini 9 is one of the best-selling products in the lineup, while the Instax Square SQ6 is the first analog camera that uses a square film format. Meanwhile, the Instax LiPlay is can convert recorded sounds into a QR code for sharing. They are available with these ASUS laptops:

Zenbook laptops

  • Duo / Pro Duo — Instax Mini LiPlay + ASUS 30th premium freebies + Nereus bag
  • Pro 14/15 — Instax Mini LiPlay + Nereus bag
  • S — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve
  • Flip 13 / 14 / 15 — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve
  • 13 / 14 / 15 — Instax Square SQ6 + laptop sleeve

VivoBook laptops

  • S13/ S14/ S15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag
  • Flip 14 / 14 / 15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag
  • 14 / 15 — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag

Others

  • X series (Intel Core models) — Instax Mini 9 + Nereus bag

To claim the Instax camera and the freebies, buyers must log on to ASUS’ promo redemption site and provide the necessary information. After confirmation, they must pick the freebies at ASUS Philippines headquarters.

Promo runs from November 18 to December 31. It is applicable to all participating ASUS concept stores nationwide and via the official ASUS Philippines digital store. For more information, visit their website or their Facebook page.

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Computers

Dell’s new innovation keeps your monitor and CPU together

Saving space in the work place

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Dell prides itself in being the leader of innovation for the modern computer. Such innovation allows for better and more efficient work spaces in offices. And with their latest innovation, the company hopes to expand the work space by simply cutting the technology down.

The company introduces the Dell OptiPlex 7070 and OptiPlex 7070 Ultra, a desktop machine that cuts all the space in the work place. This desktop computer, coined as a “zero-footprint” computer houses the CPU within the monitor. Dell designed the OptiPlex 7070 to conserve space while you’re working in the office.

It features a relatively compact and flexible design while retaining potential areas for upgrading. The monitor stand houses the components of your PC — including the CPU, RAM, and storage to reduce the space taken up compared to a separate computer unit. According to the company, users can upgrade either the PC or the display — whichever fits their needs more.

In terms of hardware, Dell promises to offer the OptiPlex 7070 with up to an Intel core i7 vPro processor, 64GB or RAM, and 1TB worth of SSD storage. Additionally, users can avail up to 2TB of added storage through an internal HDD flexible for multiple users.

The Dell OptiPlex 7070 is now available, starting at Php 53,500.

 

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Computers

Solar-powered classrooms bridge educational gap in rural communities

Making education more accessible one classroom at a time

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Photos from Dell

GadgetMatch is founded on the premise of making life better and easier through technology. For many of us who get caught up in emails and social media in our day to day, it’s easy to forget how technology changes lives.

It teaches new skills, builds self-confidence, and brings new job opportunities especially to rural communities; but that’s easier said than done. High costs and complex societal challenges hampers not just access to technology in developing countries, but human progress as well.

There are companies like Dell Technologies who make it a point to harness its resources and global reach to make technology more accessible. In areas where access to consistent energy and technology are scarce, Dell has partnered with Computer Aid International to create Solar Learning Labs. 

These labs are solar-powered and created by converting old shipping containers. The classrooms are filled with Dell Wyse Thin Client workstations managed by an air-cooled PowerEdge server. Up to 20 students can use a classroom at a time.

Reusing and converting what is otherwise considered waste is inline with Dell’s use of circular economy concepts. Relying on solar panels to generate electricity makes the containers self-sufficient. They can also be placed even in the most remote locations because of their size. They help deliver sustainable and affordable connectivity to schools.

A commitment to advance education

EMEA Strategic Giving Manager Houcine Faik says Dell is committed to enabling and empowering communities with technology, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s core to its business.

The goal is to help increase the exposure of entire communities to digital skills, particularly in developing countries where many students and schools still struggle to access reliable technology, infrastructure, and electricity.

The initiative first kicked-off in Lagos, Nigeria in 2013. Since then, Dell has already funded 18 labs in six countries around the world including South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Mexico, and Colombia.

More than 10,000 students have benefited from the project during school hours. The labs are also open to other members of local communities even after school.

Faik tells Gadgetmatch that they chose South Africa to start expanding the program by leveraging a crowd-funded approach. The average number of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) jobs in South Africa increased by 26% over the last decade.

There is also a national commitment to improving ICT for education in schools, but a shortage of training capacity and equipment.

Expanding to more countries

For now, Dell is focusing their efforts in scaling the Solar Learning Labs in South Africa, and then Latin America. “Based on the success in these locations, we’ll then look to expand to other regions,” shares Faik. By enabling crowd-funding, Dell hopes to open up the opportunity to partner with others to make scaling the project easier.

While there are no plans of expanding to Asia just yet, Dell recently released its full 2030 Progress Made Real plan. This outlines the company’s goals of creating a lasting, measurable impact on people and the planet over the next decade.

One of Dell’s 2030 commitments is to advance the health, education, and economic opportunity of 1 billion people. Using the company’s expertise and technology, it can help 1,000 nonprofit partners digitally transform to better serve their communities.

With its 2030 vision now set, Dell hopes to create a total of 100 labs by 2030. If you are interested in helping fund a Solar Learning Lab, visit solarlearninglabs.org.

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