Laptops

Apple Silicon will soon power Macs, ditch Intel

Faster performance, better battery life, and much more!

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At WWDC 2020, Apple confirmed that it’s moving away from Intel’s chipsets and will be replacing them with its own silicon. The company uses its proprietary processors on the iPhone and iPad. Now, even Mac will get the same treatment.

The company is ditching Intel’s traditional so-called x86 desktop chips for Apple’s own processors based on ARM designs. The latter is already found on mobile phones and hence, Apple also showed off macOS can now run iPhone apps without a glitch. This transition means that Apple is trying to bridge the gap between a mobile, tablet, and a laptop with a singular operating system.

Besides, the shift to Apple’s own ARM-based chips gives the firm even greater control over its hardware and software. This closed and tightly controlled infrastructure ensures maximum optimization. However, Apple’s new silicon isn’t a standard processor.

It promises very powerful machines that are drastically more efficient. This means it can deliver high performance without draining your battery in an instant. Furthermore, it could bring the option of having on-board data connectivity via cellular services.

While Microsoft has been trying to shift Windows to an ARM-based architecture, the results have been mixed. Apple, on the other hand, has already ported all its apps to the new ARM-based chips, including its professional apps such as Final Cut Pro. It also showed us a live snapshot of editing on Adobe Photoshop and confirmed that Office apps are also good to go.

Apple is pushing a new Universal 2 format that allows developers to produce one app that runs on both existing Intel Macs and new ARM Macs. The company has confirmed that it’ll take two years to completely switch to ARM-based chipsets. In the meanwhile, a few more Intel-powered Macs are in the pipeline.

Laptops

Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

But MagSafe will make a comeback!

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Apple could be planning a major revamp of the MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s expected to go official in the third quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the redesign will include removing the Touch Bar and the return of the MagSafe charging port.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, this will be the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since 2016. Furthermore, it’ll have square-off sides like the iPhone 12, flatter top and bottom panels, and brighter screens.

It’ll be available in two sizes — 14-inch and 16-inch. And yes, they’ll feature Apple’s in-house processors that leverage Arm architecture. There will not be an Intel option, and Apple’s next-generation chipsets will power it. They’re expected to feature more cores and enhanced graphics.

At the end of November 2020, a MacBook Pro 16-inch with 12-core Apple M1X processor was tipped to be even more powerful than the M1 processor. Earlier that month, a MacBook Pro 14-ich model with Apple’s M1 processor was also tipped.

A report by TechRadar suggested that the 16-inch MacBook Pro model looks a bit slimmer. This could be due to the processor’s efficiency since it doesn’t need aggressive cooling like Intel-powered options.

Most importantly, though, Apple is going old-school and bringing some of the features we’ve always loved. The pill-shaped MagSafe charging connector could make a comeback, and physical function keys could replace the digital Touch Bar. Kuo has also hinted that Apple could provide ports generously to reduce dependence on dongles.

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CES 2021

ASUS unveils its new ZenBook Duo 14

Improved design, powerful internals, and a dynamic ScreenPad Plus

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ASUS continues to push the boundaries of its innovative products. Last year, they introduced the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14, a one-of-a-kind laptop which introduced the ScreenPad Plus. Essentially, you get a laptop with two screens that allow you to multitask and have more creative control. This year, the company is launching its latest iteration of the device, with some changes.

In terms of the overall design, the new ZenBook Duo 14 comes in a magnesium aluminum alloy chassis for a more sophisticated look. As soon as you open the laptop, it will still come with the patented ScreenPad Plus but with a hinge change. This time, the hinges that the ScreenPad Plus rest on are much stronger and incorporate ASUS’s ErgoLift in the process. As a result, this allows more airflow while you run strenous tasks like photo and video editing.

Also, the ScreenPad Plus’ UI gets an upgrade in terms of functionality with ScreenXpert 2.0. With this new Control Center, you can customize the flow of the applications on the second screen with ease. Apart from ASUS utilities and a dedicated Launcher, it also comes with a Control Panel that supports Adobe products like Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. Basically, you have more tools and settings to tinker with, to your liking.

All of these comes with powerful hardware to suit the creative mind or the young professional. Inside, the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 sports up to an 11th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM. With up to 1TB of SSD storage, you can keep all your work files and projects up and running in no time. Also, you can opt to get the device with a dedicated NVIDIA MX450 GPU.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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Hands-On

ASUS ZenBook Duo (2021) Unboxing and Hands-on: Double The Fun!

Is it still the laptop of tomorrow?

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ASUS launched their first first dual-screen laptop, the ZenBook Pro Duo last 2019 at Computex Taiwan.

This 2021, the Full HD LCD display might be a drawback from the 4K OLED display. Still, it has a new and improved ErgoLift Hinge that ASUS is proud of. And with power-packed specs, pen support, and dual displays, this laptop might just be for a creative or content creator like you.

More of ASUS’ latest ZenBook Duo in our latest unboxing and hands-on video right here.

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