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Apple upgrades iPad Air with new M1 chip

Still the king of tablets

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iPad Air M1

Apple flexes its dominance in the tablets space by introducing the new and improved iPad Air. It’s now powered by the M1 chip for a massive leap in performance.

Also coming to this upgraded iPad Air are the new Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage, a USB-C port with up to 2x faster transfer speeds, and blazing-fast 5G on cellular models. Makes you wonder why Apple still refuses to go from lightning to USB-C on iPhones. Moving on though…

M(1)assive performance leap

iPad Air M1

Apple is bringing their tried and tested M1 chip to the iPad air. What does this mean for those eyeing this tablet? Up to 60 percent faster performance and up to 2x faster graphics performance compared to the previous iPad Air.

We’re sure that still feels a little too abstract. So, some of the things it’ll now let you do are edit multiple streams of 4K video, play graphics-intensive games (we can hear PC gamers LOL-ing), redesign a room in 3D, and deliver more realistic augmented reality (AR). Nice, right? It doesn’t stop there.

Centerstage

iPad Air M1

Video calling has been extra essential over the past two years of the pandemic. To address this, Apple introduced Centerstage. It automatically pans to keep users in view as they move around. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation. This feature is present on the iPad Air and its 12MP front-facing camera.

The 12MP Wide camera on the back of iPad Air lets users capture sharp photos and 4K video, scan documents, and enjoy amazing AR experiences. It’s an end-to-end solution for photo and video capture, editing, and sharing.

5G and advanced connectivity

The iPad Air will come in 5G models. With 5G, iPad Air can reach peak speeds of up to 3.5Gbps in ideal conditions. With eSIM and Wi-Fi 6 support, you get flexible ways of getting connected.

The USB-C port is now up to 2x faster than the previous generation, with data transfers up to 10Gbps, so importing large photos and videos is even quicker. The port connects iPad Air to a vast ecosystem of USB-C accessories, including cameras, external storage, and displays with up to 6K resolution.

Retina display and accessories

iPad Air M1

Any tablet won’t be enjoyable without a good display. That’s why Apple put a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display on the iPad Air. Expect an immersive visual experience, with 3.8 million pixels and advanced technologies, including 500 nits of brightness, full lamination, a P3 wide color gamut, True Tone, and an anti-reflective screen coating.

The tablet is mightier with a pen. Or in this case, an Apple Pencil (2nd generation). It turns iPad Air into a digital journal and sketchbook users can take anywhere. It’s also compatible with the Magic Keyboard.

Price and availability

The new iPad Air is available to order beginning Friday, March 11, from apple.com/store, apple.com/sg/store and in the Apple Store app in 29 countries and regions, including the US, with availability beginning Friday, March 18.

In Singapore, the Wi-Fi models of iPad Air are available with a starting price of SG$ 879 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at SG$ 1,099. In the Philippines, a non-cellular model with a 64GB storage starts at ₱35,990 and ₱44,990 for the 256GB variant. The maxed out 5G + Wi-Fi model sells for ₱53,990.

Meanwhile in the US, the Wi-Fi models start at US$ 599 and the Cellular models start at US$ 749.

The new iPad Air, in 64GB and 256GB configurations, comes in space grey, starlight, pink, purple, and blue finishes.

Entertainment

Netflix confirms ads are coming later this year

In a cheaper subscription tier

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vivo T1x

Netflix is currently in a bind. As the platform’s rivals grow, Netflix has started shrinking and losing subscribers. The company has also started pondering on alternative strategies to maintain its grip on the streaming world. One of the most recent ideas involves the introduction of a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier. Now, after much strategizing, Netflix has all but confirmed its addition later this year.

During the recent Cannes Lion advertising festival (via The Hollywood Reporter), Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed that the platform is indeed adding a cheaper option for subscribers by the end of the year. While the platform was initially averse to including ads, Sarandos has stated that some subscribers actually don’t mind ads in return for a cheaper price per month.

Prior to an official announcement, Netflix has not announced how much the new subscription will cost on launch. Likewise, they haven’t confirmed whether the tier will come to all countries and territories where Netflix is present.

If anything, Netflix isn’t alone or the first in adding an ad-supported subscription tier. Hulu, for example, already offers such a tier. Hulu’s partner streaming platform, Disney+, is also considering adding a similar tier later this year.

Besides adding the ad-supported tier, Netflix is also pumping up its presence in the gaming world. They are also considering another payment system meant for users who share their passwords to non-subscribers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

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ROG Phone 6 shows off its design ahead of launch

Featuring a second screen

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ROG Phone 5s

In a few weeks, ASUS is unveiling the ROG Phone 6. The next generation of gaming smartphone promises stellar performance packed inside a sharp design. Naturally, the power inside the phone isn’t a gigantic surprise, given what’s already out in the market today. However, figuring out what it will look like is always a treat. Now, a short time before the official launch, the ROG Phone 6 makes a small debut elsewhere, revealing the phone’s drip.

Recently, the phone popped up on TENAA. As with most filings, the entry comes with a set of photos that reveal both the front and the rear of the coming device. While the new device does share some similarities with its past siblings, the ROG Phone 6 has its own unique appeal.

Like the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, the new phone will have a secondary screen on its rear. However, while the former looks sleek and smooth, the latter has a more industrial charm, paired with a larger camera island. It looks like something from Guardians of the Galaxy, as opposed to the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate’s Iron-Man glam. That said, the new phone still looks interesting.

In terms of hardware, the phone is expected to launch with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, 16GB of RAM, and 6000mAh of battery life. ASUS is launching the phone on July 5.

SEE ALSO: ROG Phone 6 will launch in July

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Xiaomi Smart Band 7 now official

Step up your game

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Xiaomi Band 7

The new Xiaomi Smart Band 7 will be available in Singapore and the Philippines over the weekend.

You will get what is expected from an entry-level wearable as the Smart Band 7 features a 1.62-inch AMOLED high-resolution display, all-day heart rate, SPO2, and sleep monitoring, as well as over 110 workout and sports modes.

For those who want to check their health stats constantly, there is an Always-on display option.

The smart band also comes with an all-new VO2 max professional workout analysis for health and fitness junkies to be able to check the maximum amount of oxygen they can utilize during exercise.

Design-wise, it comes with multiple color options for its straps and over 100 watch faces available via the Mi Fitness app.

It also boasts up to a 14-day battery life on a single full charge, and is water-resistant.

Pricing, availability

The Xiaomi Smart Band 7 will be available for sale in Singapore starting on June 25, 2022 through the following outlets:

  • Leading e-commerce platforms
  • Shopee and Lazada
  • Xiaomi authorized stores

It will retail for an early bird price of SG$ 54, a considerable discount from its recommended retail price of SG$ 69.

In the Philippines, the smart band can be purchased starting on June 27, 2022 on Shopee
at an early bird price of PhP 1,999 (from PhP 2,399) which includes one free strap worth PhP 359.

 

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