Laptops

Apple updates MacBook Pro line with new processors, quieter keyboard

They also get more expensive

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Image credit: Apple

Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line with newer processors, more configuration options, a quieter keyboard design, and True Tone displays. Although, only the top-tier variants or those with Touch Bar get the latest features.

The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar now feature eight-generation Intel Core processors, with the 15-inch variant getting the more impressive bump. It’ll have six-core Intel Core i7 or Core i9 options with up to 32GB DDR4 memory and 4TB SSD for storage. Discrete graphics still draw power from Radeon Pro with 4GB of memory.

Image credit: Apple

As for the 13-inch variant, it gets new quad-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors paired with Intel Iris 655 integrated graphics. Storage can be configured up to a 2TB SSD.

Both the 13- and 15-inch variants also receive an Apple T2 chip which brings enhanced system security and “Hey, Siri” voice-command support. Both the Retina Display and Touch Bar now have True Tone technology that allows the screen to change color temperature automatically. The third-generation butterfly keyboard is also quieter, but it still has less travel than the older MacBook Pro models.

Image credit: Apple

In addition, Apple is releasing official leather sleeves for the MacBook Pro lineup similar to the 12-inch MacBook last year. The sleeves will come in black, brown, and dark blue.

A fully specced-out 15-inch Touch Bar model is priced at US$ 6,699, but the base model remains at US$ 2,399. Pricing for the 13-inch Touch Bar model still starts at US$ 1,799. The new MacBook Pro models are now available through the Apple website and in select retail stores and authorized resellers next week.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s cheaper 2018 iPhone X will come in a variety of colors

Laptops

ASUS unveils prices of new ZenBook and VivoBook laptops

From the cheapest one to the most premium

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After showing off the new notebooks during Computex 2018 in Taipei and IFA 2018 in Berlin, ASUS has now brought all of them to the Philippines. Check out the prices of the new ZenBook and VivoBook laptops.

VivoBook S330 — starts at PhP 45,995
VivoBook S430 — starts at PhP 47,995
VivoBook S530 — starts at PhP 56,995

ZenBook S (Core i7/8GB/256GB) — PhP 74,995
ZenBook S (Core i7/4K/16GB/512GB) — PhP 99,995

ZenBook Pro 14 — starts at PhP 99,995
ZenBook Pro 15 (Core i7/16GB/1TB/GTX 1050Ti) — PhP 119,995

ZenBook 13 (UX333) — starts at PhP 54,995
ZenBook 14 (UX433) — starts at PhP 62,995
ZenBook 15 (UX533) — starts at PhP 74,995

All the new VivoBook and ZenBook notebooks will be available nationwide starting October.

Check out our hands-on videos here:

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Laptops

Dell Vostro 5370 review: An everyday business notebook

Compact yet powerful

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Here I am again, reviewing another laptop. Like smartphones, most laptops have little differences from each other. While the premium line of notebooks battle to have the best build and beastly specs, the mid-tier laptops try to offer the best value for your hard-earned money.

What I have here is the Dell Vostro 5370. It’s a 13-inch laptop designed for business — small businesses to be specific.

If the Latitude line of business notebooks from Dell is top-notch and great for enterprise use, the Vostro sits below it. If you’re familiar with Dell’s portfolio, the Vostro series is on par with the Inspiron family. Now, onto the review.

The Vostro 5370 is a formal-looking notebook with a two-toned chassis. At first glance, one might think it has a single-piece aluminum build, but only the inner casing gives the cold touch of metal while the outer chassis has a matte finish.

Nevertheless, it’s lightweight and pretty thin for its class. The sleek Silver with Nocturnal Blue interior combination gives off a professional vibe.

As already mentioned, the laptop has a 13-inch display with a Full HD IPS panel. I never had any issues with its viewing angles and color reproduction, but the brightness levels could be better. Good thing the anti-glare coating keeps the display viewable even on a sunny day or when you’re in a cafe surrounded by windows.

The keyboard here is not as great as the one I used on the Latitude 7390 2-in-1. The key travel is decent while the spacing and overall layout are easy to get used to.

As for the touchpad, it’s got a pretty rough surface as opposed to the smooth glass touchpad of premium notebooks. It’s fairly accurate and, most importantly, it recognizes Windows 10’s touchpad gestures. The left and right buttons are integrated to the touchpad as well, and they’re a bit shallow.

Sitting quietly on the upper-right corner is the power button which also doubles as the fingerprint reader. This makes logging in very easy with Windows Hello, just like on the more premium XPS 13.

What’s great about mid-tier notebooks is that they don’t sacrifice ports just to have a slimmer profile. The Vostro 5370 has all the ports you’ll need to get through everyday work life.

On its right are the charging port, a USB-C Gen 1 which also doubles as the DisplayPort, a full-size HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

To the right are the Noble lock slot, two full-size USB 3.1 (one with PowerShare), and the microSD card reader. It could have been great to have a full-size SD card slot so I can actually use it to quickly transfer images from cameras.

The speakers of this notebook are nothing to write home about. They’re tinny and don’t get loud enough even for indoor use. If you’re alone in a quiet room, you’ll hear what you’re playing on this laptop. But, as soon as you open the windows or when there are people talking around you, you’re better off with a pair of headphones.

As for the notebook’s specs, I was able to use the 8th-gen Intel Core i5 variant with 8GB of RAM. With this kind of power, you can do any everyday task without any hiccups. It even has more than enough power to handle Photoshop and maybe even some casual video editing. The M.2 SSD that can have up to 512GB of storage is able to read and write files very quickly.

With no discrete video card, this notebook is not a gaming machine. While it can do some light gaming like Dota 2 or League of Legends, it’ll not be enough for AAA titles even in low settings. It’ll be hard to appreciate graphics-intensive games with low frame rates and minimal quality.

There’s nothing to worry about the laptop’s fan noise. It never got loud even if I already have more than twenty tabs open in Chrome with Photoshop working in the background. Perhaps the only time I can remember hearing the fan is late at night when my surroundings were really quiet.

Since it’s a business-oriented device, the laptop’s webcam will be used a number of times. The Vostro 5370 doesn’t have thin bezels, so the webcam remains on the top where it should be. The quality is okay when under bright light and it’s perfectly usable for Skype.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a decent mid-tier notebook, the Dell Vostro 5370 will be able to provide great everyday performance and ample oomph to get all your multimedia work done. It’s not designed for gaming, but it can handle some titles when you want to have fun.

It’s not the ideal business machine for enterprise users because it lacks certain specs, but it’ll do for small businesses that need a quality laptop. It never felt cheap or lacking for what it’s designed to do.

The Dell Vostro 5370 is priced at PhP 50,800 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Dell XPS 13 (2018) Review: Still the best in its class

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Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro (2018) Review: Not for everyone

A solid upgrade for existing MacBook users

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“Why would you review the 2018 MacBook Pro when it’s exactly the same as older MacBooks? It just has updated specs,” asks a commenter in one of our videos.

Perhaps a review is even more important in these cases so that anyone considering an upgrade gets enough info to make that decision themselves.

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