Laptops

Apple finally acknowledges MacBook’s butterfly keyboard problem

Affecting a ‘small number of users’

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2018 MacBook Air | GadgetMatch

Do you have issues with your new MacBook keyboard? Aside from missing the tactile feel when typing, the butterfly keyboard on all MacBooks are prone to malfunction when tiny debris (like crumbs or dust) gets inside your laptop. That’s why Apple added silicone membranes to its third-generation MacBook keyboards to prevent this. Unfortunately, it’s not working so great.

It took a while for Apple to admit to the issue of their redesigned keyboards. The problem has been around for quite some time on forums, but it seems like Apple is not considering the problem to be noteworthy. What did it take for Apple to respond to the matter? A Wall Street Journal piece.

We’ll share a few details about it here but if you have a WSJ subscription, you may read the piece directly from the source.

An Apple spokesman said the company was aware of the butterfly keyboard issue, but claimed that it affected only a “small number of users” and they were “sorry” for the problems. The spokesman also maintained that the “vast majority” of MacBook Air and Pro users were just fine. If there’s any problem, Apple’s support and warranty should be able to cover it.

It’s still unclear how many people are affected, but customers aren’t happy about it. DIY websites like iFixit believe that the butterfly keyboard system is inherently fragile and even the slightest amount of debris can jam it. Since the mechanism is extremely thin (yet stable), it’s also possible that they are prone to breaking down.

For now, there’s no special repair program addressing the issue. Any system with a third-gen keyboard is still covered under the free warranty, but there’s no assurance if Apple will cover it after that.

SEE ALSO: Apple Card takes on credit cards, offers lower fees with better app

Laptops

Lenovo Yoga S740 review: Great for work from home

Well, almost great because of some things

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Being stuck under quarantine meant that I had to work from the comfort of my own room. With the amount of tasks I had to accomplish within the 8.5 hours, I wanted a laptop that could help me accomplish these faster and more efficiently. Naturally, I had my work laptop with me but I decided to give another laptop a try during my work from home saga.

Luckily, before this quarantine started, I got my hands on the Lenovo Yoga S740 in a very beautiful package. The company pegs this as a creative mind’s laptop, doubling down on hardware pieces fit for photo and video work. When you’re not using it for Photoshop or Premiere Pro, it’s supposedly an excellent work laptop.

So, maybe it won’t be too bad to give this laptop a shot — even with my work laptop in full reach. Here’s what the Lenovo Yoga S740 brings to the table:

It has a 14-inch IPS glossy display that flips 180 degrees

It has an NVIDIA MX250 discrete GPU inside

It comes in a thin and light chassis, in the Iron Grey color

Masterful performance for its intended use

The Lenovo Yoga S740 comes with premium hardware fit for professional work laptops out there. The 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 chip they put inside this device provides more than enough power for most of the tasks I did. From making tons of spreadsheets to doing some video editing, this device clearly holds its own against all of it.

It didn’t even take that long to boot up the laptop thanks to the 512GB M.2 SSD inside. Load times for most applications are what you’d expect from a new processor and 16GB of RAM inside. It’s almost like this laptop sets the standard for how work laptops should be based on the hardware.

With the NVIDIA MX250 inside, you can play games at a fairly decent frame rate. In my experience however, I don’t recommend it as part of your main activities with the device. Apart from playable frame rates of 30-40 FPS, the device warms up pretty fast and its thermals are not exactly built for that.

Solid battery life across the board

Lenovo claims the device can last up to 14 hours provided you just use it for most everyday tasks. On my end, I got about 10 to 11 hours all while using it strictly for work-related tasks like writing reports and processing data. When using the device along with social media, Netflix, and a little bit of gaming, it’s around 8 to 9 hours, which is pretty decent.

The device doesn’t take too long to charge either, as it took two and a half hours to fully charge it. If you decide to charge the device using the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port, it takes about three hours for a full charge. I found out that you can use any USB-C charger you have lying around, whether it’s for your phone or for your Nintendo Switch.

The way the thermals work confuses me

For me, it’s important to keep any portable device well ventilated. I’ve had experiences both with phones and laptops that just heat up real fast, then take a long while before cooling down. The Lenovo Yoga S740 proved to be no exception to this, but it also manages to do it a little worse than most laptops I’ve had — and I don’t know why.

For starters, the device has rubber feet that elevate it a little bit when placed on any surface. Ideally, this gives the laptop room to exhaust hot air through its ventilation grills underneath, which it was able to do on regular use. However, when you’re doing a lot of tasks at the same time (not necessarily gaming-heavy), the fans get loud and the hot air can’t get out properly. I say that mostly because I feel the warmth on the keyboard when this happens.

Another thing I observed was that even in sleep mode, this device pumps the fans up. Ideally, it shouldn’t pump out as much air as it should when you’re actively using it. However, when I decided to just put it to sleep by closing the lid shut, it still pumped out a lot of hot air. I thought closing the lid shut also means the device would be put in a low power state, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Other features that deserve your attention

There were a bunch of other features that you should look at before even thinking of getting this device. First, the overall design is pretty great for any use case. The FHD IPS display folds up to 180 degrees, and honestly best used when you’re typing something while lying down. The speakers are found just beside the keyboard, and are pretty decent when you’re watching movies.

Second, the 720p IR camera is just, well bad. I didn’t run into any problems setting it up for Windows Hello’s facial recognition, which makes up for a lack of a fingerprint sensor. But the moment you start using the webcam on its own, it’s not promising at all. The images show obvious grain, not much attention to even sharpening the details a bit. If you ever need to do a conference call, this camera won’t help you.

And lastly, there are some ports that this device had to sacrifice but these were not good sacrifices. For most creative professionals, having an HDMI port also helps — apart from the Thunderbolt 3 port. Most external displays readily available still use an HDMI port, so there’s a missed opportunity there. Also, the lack of an SD card reader will have you sacrificing one of your two USB Type-A ports — especially for photographers.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 74,995, the Lenovo Yoga S740 is one great on-the-go work device. The hardware inside is great for most work and creative tasks. Plus, it lasts pretty long provided you use it just for work or creativity purposes. You can game on it a little, but don’t expect mind-boggling frame rates unless you get the unit with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 inside.

There are some things that do deserve a second opinion before you get this device. The lack of substantial ports, a grainy 720p camera, and the hard pumping thermals leave a lot to be desired. But, if you feel that you can manage with these, then this device is great on its own.

Overall, I think that this is a great alternative to most work laptops I have. When I’m not using it for work, it’s also great for most past times I have. If I were a creative professional, I’d highly consider getting this, but maybe once the quarantine is over.

SEE ALSO: Why the Lenovo Yoga S940 makes for a perfect business travel companion

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Features

How to optimize your remote work setup

Tips from Lenovo!

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By now, most employees around the world are working from home due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The necessity of remote work is changing employers’ and employees’ perception of work done in the comfort of one’s home. The surge in its popularity over LinkedIn seems to support this. Plus, new data from Lenovo concludes that 77% of employees feel companies will be more open to remote work after the outbreak.

This new data stems from research conducted in five countries last March. The research also shows that 87% of employees are ready to work from home when required.

The changing perception meant that companies will have to adjust their guidelines regarding remote work. It also meant that companies have to discard the perception that work from home is no work at all. To that end, Lenovo’s Vice President for Global Commercial Marketing David Rabin shares four tips on how to optimize remote work for an efficient and effective workflow.

1. Stay flexible and connected through technology

One benefit of advancements in technology is making remote work a possibility. However, to take advantage, employees need to use the right technology that will optimize their workflow. A helpful piece of technology for a work-from-home setup is a reliable laptop that can be used anytime, anywhere. Along with a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet can come in handy for enabling on-the-go communication and collaboration.

2. Leverage productivity and collaboration tools

Employees working from home can be tempted by numerous distractions. That’s why it’s important to leverage productivity tools to conquer the daily workload. One important tool is a monitor that acts as a second display for content. Having an extra monitor is helpful in increasing productivity as it gives more screen area to work with. Employees who use an extra monitor at work should imitate this setup at home for maximum efficiency. Investing in a good monitor with at least Full HD resolution is a great way to go.

It is also important to utilize the right apps for productivity and collaboration. There are a lot of these apps in Apple App Store or Google Play Store that finding the right one is a matter of personal preference.

For real-time collaboration, popular apps include Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams that employers and employees can take advantage of to keep everyone updated about their work. Plus, the presence of these apps meant that employees can get together for a lighthearted, virtual get-together.

3. Encourage flexible work schedules

Employers should permit some flexibility. Being at home means employees now have to juggle between household tasks and their work. Having a flexible work schedule is one solution to this dilemma. Plus, it will encourage them to be more productive since they don’t have to worry about signing at a particular time. A flexible schedule with a balance between work and personal time will result in a much healthier workforce too.

For employees, having a flexible working schedule will give them the power to draw boundaries and set aside distractions. Working from home is a challenge since there are numerous distractions that can consume precious time. Especially during these times when numerous ebooks, films, and episodes are now available for free, proper discipline is required to avoid falling into procrastination and to stay focused at work.

4. Communicate often as this might be a new norm

Communication is always the key. To stay connected, employees must utilize tools that enable instant communication and collaboration. Employers, on one hand, are encouraged to do so too. There are numerous apps available that facilitate communication between employees and employers. Skype, Slack, or even Facebook Messenger are useful for staying in the loop.

Working from home is an opportunity that presents numerous benefits for everyone involved. As perceptions change around remote work, more companies may be willing to let their employees work in the comfort of their own home. However, working at home also presents some companies that might affect productivity. These tips would come in handy as employees look to optimize their workflow.

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Gaming

Think pink: ROG decks out devices in black and pink

Bringing black and pink to your area

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ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) just announced a new special edition series of Electro Punk gaming devices that are stunning and they’re decked out in black and pink. From their pink, PNK LTD, line-up to this cyberpunk black and pink combo, ROG has kept releasing eye-catching color palettes to make sure you find the right gear to show off your personalities with.

Hit you with that…

Black and pink: let’s talk color; not the four drop-dead gorgeous girls that first came to mind with this new color combo.

 

ROG has long integrated Aura Sync into their devices so you can make their devices puke whatever color you liked or felt like. But, not even RGB lighting quite fills the void just as much for some people so, they developed color palettes.

The full Electro Punk set

The Electro Punk color set is available on the: ROG Strix G15 gaming laptop, ROG Strix Go 2.4 headset, ROG Strix Scope TKL keyboard, ROG Strix Impact II mouse, ROG Sheath mouse pad, and the ROG Ranger BP1503 backpack.

ROG Strix G15 Electro Punk gaming laptop

The 15-inch ROG Strix G15 sticks to gaming fundamentals to master it. It’s got the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7 that can shred through everyday work and play; an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, and 240 Hz display. It’s perfect for buttery-smooth gameplay while maintaining laptop portability, storage, and durability. If you’re looking for a good baseline gaming laptop this is for you.

The Electro Punk edition lays out a sleek stripe around the chassis, highlighted WASD keys, and a pink ROG logo as icing on the cake.

ROG Strix Go 2.4 Electro Punk gaming headset

The ROG Strix Go 2.4 Electro Punk is a USB-C 2.4 GHz wireless headset. It gives you exceptional sound quality with a stable cordless connection to your PC, PlayStation, Xbox, smart devices, and Nintendo Switch. On top of that, it charges fast, has long-lasting battery life, comes with a detachable boom mic, and has built-in buttons for quick and easy volume and mic controls.

The Electro Punk variant has piping hot pink accents in and around the headband, ear pads, and the ROG logo. The rest stays sleek black.

ROG Strix Scope TKL Electro Punk gaming keyboard

The ROG Strix Scope TKL mechanical keyboard was created for fast-paced multiplayer gaming. It’s got an enlarged left CTRL key making it easy to find in any FPS frenzy. Gamers can punch in complex commands with confidence with Cherry MX switches. And, with its durable, aluminium-topped construction and compact size, it’s the perfect keyboard for travelling to LANs, tournaments, and other esports events.

This Electro Punk variant has keys that accent the edges well. On top of that, Aura Sync lighting shines under every key and through the ROG logo while casting an RGB glow below.

ROG Strix Impact II Electro Punk gaming mouse

 

Designed with pro gamers in mind, the mouse delivers smooth action in serious play. It’s 79g lightweight frame features a pivoted button mechanism for precision speed. And, ROG made sure to make personalizing Impact II’s performance easy.

The 6,200 DPI optical sensor ensures accuracy and responsiveness while a DPI button lets you switch between four sensitivity profiles. An exclusive push-fit switch socket design makes it simple to change click resistances and extends the mouse’s lifespan.

The programmable buttons above the thumb-rest pop out against the body of the new ROG Strix Impact II Electro Punk gaming mouse. and of course, the Aura Sync-enabled RGB lighting is integrated into the logo, scroll wheel, and front making it shine in theme from top to tail.

ROG Sheath Electro Punk gaming mouse pad

Every Electro Punk edition Strix G15 laptop comes with a special ROG Sheath desk mat that dials up pinpoint precision for gaming mice. The pad measures 35-inches across and 17-inches deep and provides the perfect comfort cushion for your ROG peripherals.

ROG Electro Punk backpack

The Electro Punk collection is more portable with the ROG Ranger BP1503 backpacks. It’s got pink piping, patches, and slash across the front. The 15-inch laptop backpack’s fabric is durable, lightweight, and water-resistant. And, the mesh netting inside lets users organize their cords tangle-free. It’s no gaming backpack without cushioned compartments for keeping everything perfectly snug.

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