Apple’s new ‘free’ iCloud upgrades are designed to get more of your money

Read the fine print



Every year, storage solutions grow faster than we can fill them. Despite the industry’s steadfast progress, cloud storage is still woefully catching up. Sadly, for some brands, progress hovers precariously out of reach.

Particularly, Apple’s latest efforts focuses more on sales rather than the actual product. Besides 5GB of free cloud storage, Apple now offers one month of free upgrades to more substantial storage plans.

For Apple users, the free 5GB of iCloud storage is part and parcel of every iPhone package. However, every smartphone photographer can tell you that five gigabytes pale in comparison to what everyday usage is like now.

Most users deplete this within a few months (if not, weeks). To increase this, Apple usually offers 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB upgrades on monthly subscription prices. Easily outclassed by their rivals, these upgrades don’t find much of an audience even from the most hardcore of users.

Now, Apple is offering free one-month trials for these upgrades. When users deplete their 5GB allocation, a new pop-up notifies users that they are entitled for a month of more iCloud storage.

However, this enticing offer hides a dastardly trap for unsuspecting subscribers. As with most online subscriptions, Apple will not automatically opt you out when your free month expires. After you finish the month, Apple will charge its users the regular rates for these upgrades.

Regardless, the internet has entertained this scheme for as long as online subscriptions have existed. The system hopes that users are either too ignorant to notice the fine print or too reliant on the upgrade to back out.

While internet-savvy users can detect the ploy immediately, Apple’s massive reach ensures that even casual users will receive the offer.

Unfortunately for Apple, competing cloud services still edge out iCloud handily. Most notably, Google Photos offers unlimited storage on the cloud for free.

Also, iCloud remains one of the weakest names in cyber security. Just a few years ago, hackers breached and obtained extremely sensitive material from the iCloud accounts of famous Hollywood celebrities.

SEE ALSO: What’s the difference between RAM and internal storage?

Computex 2019

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo offers largest secondary touchscreen yet

Touch Bar on steroids!



Without a doubt, having a single display on a laptop doesn’t cut it anymore for ASUS. After showing off what they can do with two separate displays on a notebook last year, ASUS now offers the new ZenBook Pro Duo (UX581), which is the company’s biggest effort yet.

It’s special for its ScreenPad Plus, a secondary 14-inch 4K touchscreen found between the 15.6-inch 4K OLED HDR display and keyboard. It can be treated like an extension of the primary screen or a hub for the ScreenXpert software, which delivers an array of handy apps and tools.

Of course, this combination requires a lot of power, and the ZenBook Pro Duo has that. It’s equipped with Intel’s 9th-generation Core processors, up to 32GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage, and NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.

There’s definitely no space wasted on this machine. The main display owns a frameless four-sided NanoEdge design while the touchpad doubles as a virtual numpad. Connectivity is plenty as well, with two USB-A, one USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, audio port, full-size HDMI, and even Wi-Fi 6.

For those needing something a little more compact, the ZenBook Duo (UX481) is available, too. It features a 14-inch Full HD NanoEdge display complemented by a 12.6-inch Full HD ScreenPad Plus. As for power, there’s a 9th-generation Core processor and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 to serve you.

Excited to try these out yourself? You’ll have to wait a little longer as pricing and availability haven’t been been announced for each region yet.

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Computex 2019

ASUS VivoBook S14 and S15 are colorful ultraportables

Also comes with ASUS ScreenPad 2.0



In addition to the slew of laptops announced by ASUS at this year’s Computex, the Taiwanese company also revealed the VivoBook S14 and S15 as sleek ultraportables equipped with the updated ScreenPad 2.0.

The ScreenPad 2.0 is basically the trackpad that can double as a second display. It was first seen last year on the ASUS ZenBook Pro 15. After proving that it’s more than just a gimmick, it makes a comeback and is now more refined. It is now bigger than before — measuring 5.65 inches diagonally — and ASUS claims it has a more fluid, smartphone-like performance.

That’s not the only feature that returned. The ErgoLift design is also here which lifts up the chassis of the laptop when the lid is opened, allowing for a more comfortable typing experience. For the display, bezels are kept slim thanks to what ASUS calls a frameless four-sided NanoEdge design. This also makes it possible to achieve a screen-to-body ratio of 88 percent.

Both the S14 and S15 are powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics, and up to 1TB PCIe SSD. There’s also an infrared camera mounted at the top that can be used for face login as an added security measure. The new VivoBooks also support Wi-Fi 6 that offers faster networking speeds than normal. For audio, Harman Kardon speakers are onboard.

ASUS wants the VivoBooks to be reflective of the user’s personality so they made the new series available in a variety of colors. There’s Moss Green, Punk Pink, Cobalt Blue, Transparent Silver, and Gun Metal.

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ASUS unveils 30th anniversary collection of its phone, laptop, and motherboard

For true ASUS fans out there



ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 | GadgetMatch

ASUS is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and what better way to celebrate this milestone than unveiling special devices during Computex 2019. For true ASUS fans out there, get ready to be excited about a limited edition smartphone, laptop, and motherboard.

ZenFone 6 Edition 30

The newly announced ZenFone 6 is already getting a new variant: the ZenFone 6 Edition 30. It’s essentially a ZenFone 6 with a few cosmetic changes to make it unique and a couple of internal upgrades to make the best ZenFone out there.

It features the now-iconic concentric-circle pattern we’ve seen with other premium ASUS devices in a special Matte Black color. To make the phone stand out, it has an embossed Edition 30 logo on its back.

ASUS ZenFone 6 | Image credit: SupraPixel

Inside, the ZenFone 6 Edition 30 is the most powerful ZenFone to date with 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage. Of course, it’s still powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chip and has an innovative Flip Camera system with 48- and 16-megapixel sensors. There will be 3,000 units available and it’ll come with a 30-month warranty.

ZenBook Edition 30

If ASUS’ smartphone gets a special edition, their laptop must also have one. The ZenBook Edition 30 is based on the new ZenBook lineup featuring the ScreenPad 2.0.

On the outside, the ZenBook Edition 30 is truly special thanks to its classic look with a futuristic twist. The laptop’s lid features a Pearl White genuine Italian leather that’s hand-crafted and hand-stitched. Complementing the lid’s white color is the Rose Gold diamond-cut edge and trim bar. To top everything off, this ZenBook has an 18-karat rose-gold-plated 30th-anniversary logo on the lid.

ASUS ZenBook Edition 30 | GadgetMatch

While the ZenBook Edition 30 has a luxurious exterior, it’s also a top-of-the-line notebook with a NanoEdge display, latest 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, and NVIDIA GeForce MX250 discrete graphics.

Additionally, it comes exclusively with a set of premium accessories, including a Pearl White mouse, a leather-like mouse pad, and a genuine-leather sleeve.

Prime X299 Edition 30

For ASUS fans that are PC builders, the company also has the Prime X299 Edition 30 motherboard. The earliest product of ASUS is a motherboard, hence the Prime X299 Edition 30 honors the legacy of the company.

The special edition motherboard supports the latest Intel Core X-series desktop processors with a new flagship 16-stage power solution and enhanced cooling. It has two M.2 slots with passive heat sinks, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a DisplayPort. Connectivity-wise, it has built-in 5G Aquantia Ethernet, Intel Gigabit LAN, and Wi-Fi 6 support.

The motherboard also features a 2-inch LiveDash OLED display to show system stats with support for custom text and images for a personalized build. Furthermore, there’s a second LiveDash display in the new Smart Control Console which is an external module connected via USB.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo offers largest secondary touchscreen yet

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