The new iPad Pro is more powerful, has a high tech sensor for AR, works with a mouse and trackpad — there’s even a Magic Keyboard. With all these new features, is it good enough to replace your laptop?
This is officially the fourth generation iPad Pro — following the announcements in 2015, 2017, and most recently 2018, where Apple first debuted this form factor.
It comes in two sizes: 12.9 and 11 inches. Its camera bump is now similar to the iPhone 11 — squarish with two rear cameras, a first on the iPad.
Like the 2018 model, this iPad Pro comes with Face ID as its biometric security option.
How much better is it than the 2018 model? On the outside, there’s only the camera bump to tell both models apart. Button, port, and speaker arrangements are all the same; even the dimensions are the same. It also comes with the same 1 meter long USB-C cable, and 18W charging brick.
As with most Apple updates, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. There’s a new A12Z Bionic Chip which is much more powerful than the 2018 model.
While we don’t usually do benchmark tests, this new chip scored higher than the previous model in both CPU and GPU tests.
Camera and LiDAR technology
The new iPad Pro now has a 10 MP ultra wide angle camera to go alongside its 12MP wide camera.
I understand tablet photography is often frowned upon, but Apple really sees the iPad Pro as a device for content creators like me. Aside from being able to to edit entire videos on apps like Luma Fusion, Apple wants the iPad Pro to also be a device you can use for video capture.
Both cameras shoot 4K video, and just like on the MacBook Pro, it’s got 5 studio microphones built in.
That ultra wide angle camera also comes in handy when you’re scanning in documents, which the iPad is great for especially if you need to make annotations — the Apple Pencil is made for that.
Reps from Apple also tell me that the cameras work in conjunction with the new LiDAR scanner that’s built into the device. LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. If you’ve heard of it before it’s probably in relation to self-driving cars where the technology is also used.
LiDAR works by sending beams of light at your surroundings and creates a map of objects in the space around you by measuring the time it takes for the light beams to bounce back.
The new LiDAR scanner is meant to elevate the augmented reality experience on the device, which Apple is committed to making a reality, pun intended.
One great example of this is the upcoming AR game Hot Lava. With LiDAR technology, the iPad Pro is able to accurately detect objects in a room, that in-game elements can interact with them — including humans in the scene.
The IKEA app which I used a lot while designing my apartment is also getting an update. It will soon be able to recommend matching furniture or accessories based on what you currently have.
There are scientific applications, too, like the Complete Anatomy App that uses Lidar to measure the range of motion of someone’s arm in real time.
With LiDAR, it’s also easier to set up AR applications. Previously you needed to scan your surrounding by moving your device around. Now you just launch the AR app to start.
Magic Keyboard and trackpad function
With the Magic Keyboard, the iPad Pro gets elevated, giving it an iMac-esque feel. The elevated display means you don’t have to look down as much.
Built into the hinge is a USB-C port so that you can keep your iPad charged while in use. The hinge is sturdy enough to keep the iPad Pro propped up at all times.
I think what makes the Magic Keyboard even more exciting though is the built in trackpad. iPad OS 13.4 brings this functionality to the iPad.
Swipe gestures work just like on the Mac: swipe up with four fingers to see all your open apps, scroll down with two fingers to scroll through web pages. It works just like on a computer just reimagined for a touch screen device.
On the screen, instead of a pointer you’ll see a circle instead. When you hover over menu items they get highlighted to indicate they’re being selected.
It transforms into a vertical bar when you’re highlighting text. You can easily copy text like you would with a right click or a two-finger tap.
If you’re editing a long document, you can also move entire blocks of text by simply dragging them. It’s the same thing if you’re using a mouse. Third party mice work, too.
While we’re on the topic, mouse and trackpad support isn’t exclusive to the new iPad Pro. All iPads that will get this update support this functionality. The Magic Keyboard will also work with the 2018 iPad Pro.
iPad Pro vs MacBook Air
Another question I get a lot is whether it’s good enough to be an alternative to the MacBook Air? Is it powerful enough? Is it just an oversized iPhone?
With this latest iPadOS update, the iPad encroaches more on Mac territory. Having said that, these are still two different kinds of devices.
The iPad Pro is still a tablet so it’s a great device for reading books or magazines, not to mention watching videos on a plane especially when you’re flying economy.
It has a touch screen display, which means apps built for the iPad are optimized for touch, and in some cases that makes more sense.
It also has pen support making it a great device for taking notes the old way, or sketching and drawing.
It’s thinner and lighter. I love the portability of the iPad and love how I can squeeze my 11-inch iPad into my man bag, which is not something I can do with my MacBook Air.
As a creator having the two cameras on its back are a plus too. If you get the cellular model, that also means you can have internet connectivity everywhere you go.
If we’re being literal, balancing the Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard on my lap is not as easy as the MacBook Air for example. In that sense, it doesn’t make a good laptop replacement.
The iPad Pro also isn’t necessarily cheaper than a Mac so you don’t buy it to save money. All this extra functionality I just talked about, you pay for.
The cheapest MacBook Air starts at US$ 999. The cheapest iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil will cost you at least US$ 1,107.
Ask yourselves which apps you use on a daily basis. If you edit on Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier for example, you’re stuck with the Mac. The Mac is also better at file management.
If these aren’t things you need and you’re lured by pen support and portability, then go for the iPad Pro.
I want to correct the impression that you can’t get desktop browsing experiences on an iPad.
Since iPadOS 13, a desktop version of Safari has been included so things like Google Docs and WordPress work just fine.
Is the iPad Pro your GadgetMatch?
If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that starting with the 2018 model, the iPad Pro has been one of my most favorite devices of all time — apart from my iPhone that is.
I just love it. I love all the things that I can do on it, and I love the portability that it allows.
Is it for everyone? As its Pro branding suggests, this is a device for those who have more specialized needs. Those who need more power for things like photo or video editing, for professional illustrators and artists. It’s perfect for creators on the go.
If you just need an iPad for surfing the web, or taking notes, watching videos or playing games, Apple makes many capable iPads that you can get for less.
Should you get the 2018 model instead? The answer really depends on what you plan on using the new iPad for and how big of a discount you should get.
If you plan on using it for things like video editing, take advantage of the newer more powerful processor. Also remember iPad Pro updates come every 2 years.
It’s also great for students, but because of its price tag I think you’re better off getting the iPad or iPad Air. They will do the job as well.
Is it a laptop replacement? It’s not, and Apple is clear that that isn’t the point here. It’s about having different kinds of devices that match what it is you’re trying to do. If I were to paraphrase, it’s to make sure each kind of user has his or her own GadgetMatch, even if the line between the iPad and Mac is now blurrier than ever.
One thing I’ll say is this: While tablets continue to struggle to find relevance, there’s still plenty of reasons to get an iPad.
3 months with the Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV
Extended quality time with a superb TV
I was supposed to only have about two weeks to a month with the Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV. But the heightened restrictions due to the record number of Coronavirus cases in the Philippines extended that duration. Nearly three months in, and I’m now dreading my life without the TV.
We’ve already discussed at length the various features of the Neo QLED 4K TV — the QN85A model to be exact. In this article made in collaboration with Samsung, we detailed how it’s great for practically anything you’d use your TV for. Whether that’s for chill movie nights, binge-watching TV shows, and even next-gen gaming. This TV has it all.
But here, I’ll detail what it’s really like living with the TV for three months, what I love about it, and what I think Samsung can improve on.
The processor makes a world of a difference
During the time I had the Neo QLED 4K TV with me, we also shot the video for the Samsung Crystal UHD TV. It’s another very good 4K TV offering by Samsung but one that’s a little friendlier to your wallet.
The one thing that jumped out at me is the speed by which I’m able to jump from one app to another, and launch various settings and features so much faster on the Neo QLED 4K TV. Other than the gaming and extra features that I’ll discuss more later on, it’s this very noticeable difference in speed that really hammers home the price gap (Around PhP 70,000/ US$ 1380) between the two.
Of course, there are other factors like the processor, materials used, and all the other extra smart features, but it’s this tiny quality of life addition that I think might be often overlooked when talking about these TVs. It’s also the processor that enables all these other extra features.
Since I’ve already broached on the topic, I figured I might as well discuss one of them here. I’ll jump right ahead to the one extra feature that I found surprisingly fun, if not helpful.
The Samsung Neo QLED 4K TV lets you display images from two different sources at once. It can be any combination of an app, any of the HDMI input sources, and even your smartphone.
Some combinations I’ve used are as follows:
VLIVE + Twitter on my smartphone — Every now and then, my favorite K-Pop idols go live on the VLIVE app. For real-time translations, I rely on the kind-hearted and hard-working KOR-ENG translators on stan Twitter.
PlayStation 5 + YouTube — I once tuned in to a product launch while playing an NBA 2K game. I don’t really need the audio on NBA 2K, especially if it’s just a quick exhibition game. This way, I still got to chill and play while still listening and glancing over the product launch.
Netflix + Analytics app — Some days I just have whatever show running for white noise, and then have Google Analytics show up on the screen so I can monitor the traffic on our website.
Is this burn-in?
What I found most surprising is the burn-in like effect I experienced after coming from Game Mode. It’s silly to think this is actually burn-in as Neo QLED is fundamentally different from OLED.
But during the earlier weeks I spent with the TV, some elements of the pause screens from NBA 2K21 and Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut were left on-screen even after I was done playing.
I reached out to Samsung about this but have yet to receive a response. I’ll update the article when they comment on the matter.
That said, the “after-images” didn’t stick though. My solution was to turn off the TV for about 20-30 minutes. Sure enough, that did the trick. I also didn’t encounter this again towards the tail end of my time with the TV.
Speaking of things no longer happening after using the TV for a while, I experienced a few hiccups with Game Mode. Part of the TV being Smart is knowing when you’re playing or not. It knows when the HDMI for your console is active or not and toggles Game Mode on/off accordingly.
Game Mode glitch
During my first few weeks with the TV, there were instances when I would turn-off the PS5 but the Game Mode remained turned on. You have to dig through the settings menu to turn it off which was a bit of an inconvenience. But after a while, this also stopped happening.
In both experiences, it appears as if the TV learned from my usage pattern and adjusted accordingly. It’s one of the things about it that gives me confidence that the Neo QLED 4K TV gets a little better with time.
Other than the aforementioned, Game Mode delivers as advertised. I hit 4K/60fps consistently and gaming was nothing short of an immersive and cinematic experience.
Cinema at home
Perhaps my favorite thing about the TV, and what people mostly want to get out of their TVs, is the absolute cinematic experience. Especially now that cinemas are still closed in the country. The 55-inch TV was my primary movie companion.
Watching movies old and new from the various available apps — Netflix, Apple TV, HBO Go — was nothing short of a treat. Elevating the experience further is the accompanying Q600A Soundbar. If you’re a huge movie and TV buff, I cannot recommend enough to get a soundbar. The high-quality audio helps in bringing over that audio-visual excellence we miss while movie theaters remain closed.
I just know the watching experience is gonna be drastically different when I switch back over to my old TV that’s screaming to be replaced. This is peak picture quality the way you want to enjoy it. Whether you like watching exactly as the director intended, or if you’re into that super smooth, hyper-realistic setting you usually see when these TVs are on display, there are more than enough settings here to tweak things to your liking.
UI needs a refresh
Functionally, we’re pretty okay with the TizenOS running on Samsung TVs. But it’s due for a visual refresh. For a TV that’s pushing the edge in features, image processing, and panel quality, the UI is starting to feel dated.
Other than the look, Samsung can also work on getting better, faster access to certain settings. I don’t think this will happen any time soon, but I hope they’re able to apply some design principles from ONE UI to the TV to make it look more modern and feel more smooth.
Worth every penny
Despite detailing some issues with Game Mode, I am still of the firm belief that the Samsung Neo QLED TV is worth your hard earned cash. Whether you go for 4K or push things further with the 8K model, what you’re getting here is a top-of the-line entertainment hub. One that will last you for years.
I’m already having separation anxiety as I type the last few words on this article. I consume a lot of media, and I’ve never had it delivered to me as good, as crisp, and as heart-thumping, as the Neo QLED TV.
It’s a TV I would absolutely recommend to anyone looking to splurge on a really good home entertainment centerpiece.
The Sony ZV-E10 is exactly as advertised
Great for vlogging and beginners
Sony’s newest vlogging camera — the Sony ZV-E10 — is the first in their vlogging series of cameras with an interchangeable lens. Does it make all the difference? Is it good for everyday use? And is it really built or vlogging? These are just some of the questions we tried to answer as multiple members of the team tried the camera for themselves. Here’s what we had to say.
What did you think of the build quality? Did it feel sturdy? Was it too light?
Leez: The Sony ZV-E10’s build is every minimalist’s pipe dream. It blends functionality and probability well. But, it is really light. So much so, that it was worrying at times. The lightness of the build is an obvious pro and a confusing con because your brain doesn’t think something light is particularly “sturdy”. But, I’d say after using it, it’s both lightweight and sturdy.
MJ: The Sony ZV-E10 feels lightweight when you use it to shoot photos and videos — even if you shoot single-handed. However, you can feel its weight when you use its grip. It felt sturdy, but I was scared the whole time since I’m used to heavier cameras. I thought I was going to drop it at some point.
Rodneil: Coming from someone who regularly uses an a6500, the ZV-E10 definitely felt light and not sturdy. But after using the ZV-E10, the ‘not sturdy’ claim may not be accurate. And its lightweight is perfect for its intended use of vlogging.
Do you think the overall controls and configuration would be easy for a beginner to get used to?
Leez: The Sony ZV-E10 doesn’t have a rough barrier of entry when it comes to learning how to use and play around it’s features. For me, it was pretty simple and easy to use. If there’s a catch though, it would be the painful focus.
I’m more used to manual focus since my camera’s focus is broken. But, while using the ZV-E10 to shoot, it had gone completely out of focus for a good half hour. It took a while to fix the focus but it does seem that the camera struggles a lot with figuring out what the subject is–favoring what is closest to the camera. So, I’m assuming this would be a nightmare for someone who likes working with foreground shots.
MJ: If it’s your first time to have a camera, you’d probably learn it quickly. Assuming that Sony is also your first. But if you’ve used different cameras before (and still consider yourself a beginner), you might have a hard time, too. Which is what happened to me.
The ZV-E10 and I played tug-of-war when it came to controlling our shots. For instance, the camera suggests a subject to focus on, even if it wasn’t my intended subject and I was aiming for an uncommon shot. To put it simply, the ZV-E10 works for a beginner’s hand and eye rather than someone experienced.
Rodneil: I think, for everyone who’s answering here, we all had a bit of trouble with focus. Sony’s autofocus is fantastic especially when detecting faces. But it’s a bit of a disadvantage when you’re taking product images with the model’s face visible in the frame. The autofocus prioritizes faces which isn’t always to our liking. However, again, for its intended vlogging-use, it’s fantastic.
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out for any first-timer. You won’t be overwhelmed with too many physical dials and controls. There will be an adjustment for more experienced users, but for anyone just starting, it shouldn’t take too long to get used to.
Is there anything in your usage that particularly stood out?
Leez: Most of the camera features are useful. It was reliable and easy to access. But, if there’s something that I appreciate about the ZV-E10, it’s that it’s really lightweight. I just don’t particularly like lugging around heavy equipment when shooting or filming so, making sure it didn’t weigh heavy on my flimsy arms was a huge plus. Perhaps, that’s why most people often end up filming and vlogging with their phones sometimes: most cameras are heavy and bulky to bring along. I think the ZV-E10 lives up to what it promises in that regard.
MJ: I have a love-hate relationship with beautification. Sometimes I like it since it helps when I’m looking worn out after being out in the sun. But sometimes, the smoothing is unnecessary when you badly want to highlight details.
Rodneil: Personally, I struggled with the general lack of granular control. I didn’t realize I adjust so much per shot using my own camera. It was only after using the ZV-E10, which encourages a more point-and-shoot approach, that I became more aware of my camera-shooting habits.
Do you think the interchangeable lens would be useful for people just getting into vlogging/content creating?
Leez: Yes. It might be a bit daunting at first for people starting out but it’s a good foundation to build upon more creative outputs. It lets anyone start wherever they are in experience with photography, vlogging, and content creation.
MJ: Definitely. If you know what lens works for you and your content. It also helps with improving your style and quality, since not all vlogs require a talking head. I follow several vloggers who take cinematic content, so I know it’s possible.
Rodneil: I’m on the fence on this one. Yes, because it offers versatility and that’s always a good thing. No, because the lenses are probably going to be heavier if not weigh just as much as the camera. That’s going to present some challenges while shooting. But I guess that’s a minor inconvenience compared to the benefit and more long-term use you’ll likely get.
Which lens did you end up using the most?
Leez: I used the 35mm for filming and photographing portraits and sweet bakes. It captured detailed shots but again, the focus was a stuttering mess sometimes so, be warned.
MJ: Prime lens! 50mm works for showcasing details, and I’m very particular about highlighting the important part rather than talking in front of the camera.
Rodneil: We’re all fans of prime lenses BUT that’s because we primarily take product shots. That lens isn’t exactly made for vlogging. You’re better off using the kit lens for that.
Is this something you think most people can easily pack and carry around on a trip? Or on the daily?
Leez: Yes, definitely. I think for the interchangeable lenses, it would be good to bring two depending on what your trip is for. A wide lens, a portrait lens, and the prime lens are more than enough, you can even strip it to a wide lens and the prime lens if you want to capture intimate close up moments while having a lens to switch to to capture the stunning outdoors.
MJ: Granted you don’t use every lens you have on hand, this is easily something you can carry wherever you go. You can slip it in fashionable bags that don’t look like camera bags, too, so you can shy away from the eyes of thieves.
Rodneil: Most definitely. I’d say pack the camera along with the kit lens and your preferred prime lens and you’ll pretty much be ready for any shooting scenario when you travel. It’s light, compact, and easy-to-use. It’s a perfect upgrade to the quick shooting we normally do on our smartphones.
Is there any feature that you wish it had?
Leez: There’s not much to ask more from the ZV-E10. It’s good and reliable as it is. If there’s one gripe I have with it, it’s the autofocus. If they could tinker with its autofocus to not freak out or stutter as much as it does, that would be amazing.
MJ: Not really. It feels solid for what I intend to use it for, for now. Who knows? Maybe along the way, I’ll end up looking for a feature that it doesn’t have.
Rodneil: I think it’s mostly fine as it is and for what it’s aiming to be. The features and overall build are geared towards vlogging. It’s great for its intended purpose.
1MORE ColorBuds 2: Budget Active Noise Cancelling Earphones!
Personalize your sound
The 1MORE Colorbuds 2 promises personalized and premium sound. To achieve this, the company teamed up with the award-winning audio technology company Sonarworks. Together, they integrated the Sound ID technology into the 1MORE Music app.
Why is this important? Well, SoundID is actually based on the same tech used to record music in over 70,000 recording studios. It’s also what’s used to record the music of some popular artists like Lady Gaga and Adele. With a quick test on the 1MORE Music app, you can tailor the sound of the music you hear to match your personal taste.
The 1More Colorbuds 2 that we have comes in this matte black finish, but it’s also available in white and gold. At the back of the charging case is a USB-C port for fast charging. 1MORE says a 15-minute charge can give you up to 2 hours of playback. It also supports wireless charging so you can plop it down on a wireless charger overnight.
The charging case is pretty small, and that’s because the ColorBuds 2 themselves are smaller than your average in-ear noise-cancelling earphones, which is a pain point for users who have smaller ear canals. If you’re one of those users, the ColorBuds 2 might be something you’d want to check out.
Made with excellence
The 1More ColorBuds 2 is tuned by 4-time Grammy Award winner-Luca Bignardi. He’s a sound engineer who made sure that the earphones deliver a natural and balanced listening experience with abundant details and unsurpassed clarity.
It’s also powered by Qualcomm’s AptX Adaptive audio codec technology, which is a Bluetooth audio codec that ensures that you get premium audio quality even when you’re listening wirelessly.
With all this award-winning technology, the 1MORE ColorBuds 2 retails for just US$ 79.99. If you use our code GADGET2021, you’ll also get an additional $10 off at checkout.
Where to buy the 1MORE ColorBuds 2
Use the code GADGET2021 to get an additional $10 off at checkout
1MORE Website https://bit.ly/3kaNbTG
US Amazon https://amzn.to/2XYdwMg
CA Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0998YB4R4
UK Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0998YB4R4
DE Amazon https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0998YB4R4
FR Amazon https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0998YB4R4
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