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

Computers

Reports suggest many new PCs are infected with viruses

A good bargain doesn’t necessarily mean a good product

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It always feels good to save up for and earn a new computer or console for yourself. Until, you discover that the console or PC you bought is loaded with all sorts of problems — particularly, viruses.

Now, imagine that but instead of just one PC, an entire company finds it in 83 percent of its new computers in several Asian countries. Microsoft’s Asia PC Test Purchase Sweep, the company’s initiative towards educating consumers and enterprises, provides information against piracy and its risks. They found that these new PCs were sold in retailers that offered computers at a much lower price than intended to.

The report suggests that these retailers turn off Windows security features for them to install pirated software on these PCs. It also found that they contained software infected with viruses and trojans. Microsoft generally explains the risks that come from turning off these features, such as leaving your PC vulnerable to cyber threats and malware.

“Cyber criminals are constantly evolving their techniques to evade security measures, and embedding their malware is one of their tactics,” said Mary Jo Schrade, Assistant General Counsel from Microsoft Asia.

These findings are concerning for people who purchase new PCs through special deals, especially those that come with free software. Schrade suggests that consumers who want to purchase PCs should look for retailers that provide genuine software when bundled with the PC.

To avoid any more complications, it is also recommended to keep their software updated and follow safe internet practices. Such practices include avoiding potentially dangerous websites, legally downloading software or purchasing licenses to use them, and use recognized cloud-based file sharing systems.

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Computers

Windows 10 will soon go full white with a light theme

To complement the new dark theme

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Image credit: Microsoft

All the buzz in today’s user interface bonanza is the dark theme. An all-black interface supposedly consumes less power (if you have an OLED display) and it’s also easy on the eye, especially at night. A number of mobile apps already have a dark theme and even macOS finally has it. As for Windows, the popular operating system doesn’t just want a dark theme, it wants a light one as well.

Microsoft just unveiled the light theme for Windows 10, but it’s only available for the new test build which is not meant for a major release yet.

Generally, Windows 10’s UI has always played with dark and light elements. It’s pretty inconsistent, so you get both dark and light at the same time. Soon, you can finally get either an all dark UI or a bright white UI.

The new system-wide light theme also comes with a slightly tweaked default wallpaper.

Again, the light theme is still undergoing tests, but it’s expected to come to the next major update of Windows 10 sometime in 2019.

The latest test build comes with a number of new features that’ll soon come as an update to Windows 10. You may head over to the source link below to know more.

Source: Windows

SEE ALSO: Apple’s macOS Mojave offers Dark Mode, new Mac App Store, and more

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Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, 330S, 330: Which is right for you?

There’s a GadgetMatch for all

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Lenovo has a fairly rich selection of IdeaPad laptops, from large powerhouses to more compact travel companions. The naming scheme can get confusing, however, and each model has its own strengths and weaknesses.

For this review, we’re looking at three of Lenovo’s newest models: the IdeaPad 530S, 330S, and 330. To get more diverse opinions, we employed three different users: content creator Dan, visual producer MJ, and editor Marvin, respectively.

Which IdeaPad is your GadgetMatch? Let’s see what our three subjects have to say.

Lenovo IdeaPad 530S — Dan

The IdeaPad 530S is well-specced and has the best build among the bunch. The laptop’s body has a polished aluminum finish, and I’m loving Lenovo’s new approach to design. The lid of the laptop is understated with just the Lenovo logo on the side.

That’s not the only premium aspect of the laptop’s design. It also has an IPS display that measures 14 inches diagonally with a Full HD resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Nothing sounds fancy about the screen’s specs, but it’s got thin bezels. It’s not as edge-to-edge as Dell’s XPS, but at least Lenovo placed the webcam where it should be. Although, this laptop’s webcam quality isn’t that great either.

I used the IdeaPad 530S primarily for writing and working on the go. So, I appreciated the laptop’s smaller dimensions compared to other 14-inch laptops in the market. It’s portable enough to fit inside most backpacks, plus it doesn’t take up so much space on a coffee table. The typing experience is generally okay, but I find the key travel a bit shorter than my old IdeaPad notebook. The trackpad, on the other hand, works great.

The configuration I have has an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor paired with 4GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. It even has NVIDIA GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics. This specs combination is more than enough for everyday tasks and light gaming. The notebook’s memory should be upgraded to at least 8GB, though, to avoid hiccups.

Another good aspect of midrange notebooks is the selection of ports. The I/O on the IdeaPad 530S includes an HDMI port, two USB-A, USB-C, audio jack, and an SD card reader.

I usually get around six to seven hours of battery life with this one, depending on what I’m working on. A full charge using the included 65W charging brick takes about two hours and a half. Not the best battery life and charging time around, but they’re not that bad either.

The IdeaPad 530S is an easy choice for those looking for a well-balanced notebook that doesn’t cost much. Just be sure to upgrade the memory immediately to avoid any lag.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330S — MJ

As an artist, the most important thing for me when looking for a laptop is its style and how it handles multimedia work. So when the Lenovo IdeaPad 330S arrived, I was a bit excited.

The IdeaPad 330S comes in platinum gray and a smooth, polished aluminum cover that made me feel like I’m using a premium laptop. It has a responsive touchpad and soft keyboard so I didn’t have to rely on a mouse to get work done. It also has thinner bezels, and therefore, a bigger screen to enjoy.

The IdeaPad 330S has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel, which means it has better color accuracy and wider viewing angles, perfect for all my multimedia work. It also has built-in Dolby Audio, which provides clear sound while watching videos online.

Speaking of portability, this laptop weighs 2.6kg — a bit heavy for a tiny build like mine. Its bigger size means it needs a backpack that can carry a 15-inch laptop. Since I used to own a 15-inch laptop back in college, a laptop this big is no problem. What I’m more concerned about is getting my work done.

Because I handle lots of creative tasks, my laptop consumed battery faster than with more average users. Surprisingly, the IdeaPad 330S didn’t disappoint, lasting at least four to five hours with constant use of Adobe Photoshop and other creative software.

The only thing I didn’t like about this laptop was its ridiculously slow load times. It’s packed with Intel’s 8th-generation Core i7-8550U, but runs on 4GB of memory and 2TB of HDD storage. Boot up was slow, and I could count up to eight seconds before my browser loaded. Most of the time, it couldn’t handle multiple tabs at once and the browser ended up not responding.

The IdeaPad 330S could’ve become a complete powerhouse if not for the sluggish user experience. It has the premium look that everyone wants, and its screen and audio are made specifically for entertainment. This laptop is ideal for those who need it for leisure and entertainment, because that is where it’s great at.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330 — Marvin

This model is clearly the least attractive of the three with its all-plastic body and unsightly bezels. And even though the port selection is mostly complete — two USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet — the body’s thickness (22.9mm) and heft (2.2kg) mean I need a larger backpack to carry it in.

On paper, the specs are alright: Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5-8300H, 4GB of RAM, 1TB HDD storage, and dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip. While the CPU and GPU combo can handle demanding tasks, the low amount of memory and slow hard disk mean startup can be slow for both the machine and apps.

I’d say the best part of this laptop is its keyboard, which is vital for any full-time editor. Like most Lenovo notebooks, the keys are well-spaced and have a bottom curve to make them easier to hit. It also has evenly distributed backlighting and a decent trackpad to complement it. I just wish the power button wasn’t placed so close to the keyboard itself, resulting in accidental presses.

The worst aspect has to be the display quality. Even though the screen is 15.6 inches in size and 1080p in resolution, its TN panel offers poor color reproduction and even worse viewing angles. This isn’t the type of laptop I’d use for watching online shows or presenting to a group of people surrounding the display.

On the brighter side, the speakers can get loud, albeit with a little distortion while at max power. I also found the battery life above-average with over six hours of balanced usage on a single charge, and the unit reaches a hundred percent quickly using the bundled charger.

The IdeaPad 330 is definitely the weakest of the three notebooks reviewed here, and is best suited for those who want less flare and more traditional features, such as the older ports, top-mounted webcam, and reliable battery life.

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