Computers

ASUS Zen AiO 27 hands-on: A step up from before

Your next home PC?

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Let’s take a break from laptops and check out this desktop PC from ASUS. This is the Zen AiO 27 and it looks so much better than any of the previous all-in-ones we reviewed from the Taiwanese company.

Coming from the iMac-like Zen AiO Pro and Vivo AiO, the Zen AiO 27 is a welcoming sight. But, is it any good?

Let’s find out in this hands-on.

This AiO has a gorgeous 27-inch UHD display

It’s also a touchscreen

The bezels surrounding the screen are slim

ASUS brings NanoEdge to desktop PCs

It has an outward notch at the bottom for the webcam

With an IR sensor for facial recognition

There are four speakers located at the back

ASUS claims it’s a 16W quad-speaker setup

Quick-access ports are on the right side of the base

L-R: USB 2.0, Thunderbolt 3, 3.5mm combo jack

The remaining ports are all at the back

L-R: Ethernet, 3x USB 3.1, HDMI-In, HDMI-Out, Power

The front has two LED indicators and an SD card reader

The LEDs show if your PC is on and functioning

The base even has a wireless charging pad

Charge your phone while you’re working

A full-size wireless keyboard comes in the box

It has all the keys but its very plasticky

There’s also a bundled wireless optical mouse

Pretty basic but it gets the job done

The Zen AiO design upgrade we’ve been waiting for

ASUS’ new Zen AiO 27 finally gets the design upgrade it deserves. It’s not an iMac copy-cat anymore and it looks even better than Apple’s desktop PC. ASUS certainly took a step forward in design; however, I’ve seen better-looking AiOs running Windows 10 like Dell’s new Inspiron desktops.

Perhaps, the best asset of the Zen AiO 27 is its display. It’s a 27-inch IPS LCD panel with a UHD resolution and multi-touch support. The display is Pantone Validated for color accuracy and it has ASUS’ NanoEdge design for slimmer bezels all around.

Although, like on smartphones, slimmer bezels come at a cost. ASUS had to put an outward notch to house a webcam and, for some reason, they placed it at the bottom. When I tested the webcam, it was showing myself from an awkward angle. As a consolation, it’s also equipped with an IR sensor for hands-free face login with Windows Hello.

The Zen AiO 27’s stand lets users view the display from multiple angles. It can tilt and swivel, plus the height can be adjusted with one finger. There’s no option for rotating the display, but that’s okay.

Design-wise, the Zen AiO 27 is a thing of beauty. I do appreciate its brushed metal-effect finish of really dark blue (darker than navy blue) with gold trims and accents. The audio and visual department of the PC delivers top-notch quality as well.

Slim and powerful, but not enough for 4K

All of the power of the Zen AiO 27 comes from beneath. The components are all housed in the base of the PC, which is neat and practical. How so? There are two storage slots and memory is user upgradeable up to 32GB.

The specs of the model I have are impressive with an Intel Core i7-8700T processor, 16GB DDR4 memory, 512GB M.2 SSD, and 2TB HDD. It also has discrete graphics using NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050, which is kind of old but still very capable.

The base also has a Thunderbolt 3 port and features Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band gigabit-class Wi-Fi. Needless to say, it runs Windows 10 Home out of the box.

I have no complaints with the general performance of the Zen AiO 27 thanks to its incredible specifications. I can easily multitask with multiple windows open and quickly render images from Photoshop. The configuration is also enough to ensure smooth video editing.

When it comes to gaming though, it doesn’t hit the mark. While the GTX 1050 GPU is good for games like Fortnite or anything with similar graphics power requirements, it’s not enough to push pixels in UHD.

This means you can’t take full advantage of the crisp display of the Zen AiO 27. It’s best to keep the game’s resolution in Full HD to have at least 60fps in not-so-demanding titles. Too bad I can’t enjoy Cities: Skylines in 4K.

I wasn’t able to try it out, but the Zen AiO 27’s can also act as an external monitor since it has an HDMI-in port. Any HDMI-connected source can use the UHD display as a second monitor.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The ASUS Zen AiO 27 is indeed premium with an asking price of PhP 149,995 in the Philippines. It’s available through ASUS Concept Stores nationwide.

Of course, if you are to build your own desktop PC, you could get more power with the same budget. You could even still use an ASUS monitor, keyboard, mouse, and components since the company also sells those.

What you won’t get is the convenience of a plug-and-play, space-saving AiO. It’s like bringing out a laptop and plugging in the charger. If only ASUS included a better wireless keyboard and mouse, it would have been a better package.

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

Computers

Mediatek, AMD collaborate on new Wi-Fi 6E Modules

Starting with the Filogic 330P Wi-Fi 6E chipset

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File Photo: ROG Flow X13

Mediatek and AMD will co-engineer the AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E modules containing MediaTek’s new Filogic 330P chipset. These will power will power next-gen AMD Ryzen-series laptop and desktop PCs in 2022 and beyond.

The focus of the collaboration is to deliver seamless connectivity experiences for customers. The the optimization process included stress testing and ensuring compatibility standards, which may ultimately reduce development time for OEM customers.

Filogic 330P supports the latest connectivity standards of 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 (2.4/5GHz) and 6E (6GHz band up
to 7.125GHz), along with Bluetooth® 5.2 (BT/BLE). The high throughput chipset is ultra-fast with support
for up to 2.4Gbps connectivity, including support for the new 6GHz spectrum at 160MHz channel
bandwidth.

The chipset also integrates MediaTek’s power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA)
technology to help optimize power consumption and reduce design footprint which enables the Filogic
330P chipset to be embedded in laptops of all sizes.

The AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E modules expand AMD’s Wi-Fi capabilities, bringing excellent
connectivity solutions to OEMs and end users, whether they are playing the latest interactive games,
working remotely, or completing a big project.

AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E Modules specs are as follows:

AMD RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E module

  • Wi-Fi 6E 2×2
  • 160MHz Wi-Fi Channels
  • PHY rate up to 2.4Gbps
  • M.2 2230 and 1216

AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E module

  • Wi-Fi 6E 2×2
  • 80MHz Wi-Fi Channels
  • PHY rate up to 1.2Gbps
  • M.2 2230
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Computers

macOS Monterey now available

Time to upgrade!

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macOS Monterey

If you’re feeling left out with the release of the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros equipped with M1 Pro and M1 Max, the next best thing is here and it’s free. macOS Monterey, the OS that comes with the aforementioned MacBooks, is now available as a free update for selected Mac models.

If you’re wondering which Macs are compatible, then we got you covered. This way, you know if you’re really already due for an upgrade.

  • iMac — Late 2015 and later
  • Mac Pro — Late 2013 and later
  • iMac Pro — 2017 and later
  • MacBook Air — Early 2015 and later
  • Mac mini — Late 2014 and later
  • MacBook — Early 2016 and later
  • MacBook Pro — Early 2015 and later

To find out if your Mac still qualifies, simply click on the Apple logo on the top-left corner of your device, and select ‘About This Mac’. From there you’ll know what kind and what year your Mac falls on. There are also other ways to check which you can look at here.

As for what exactly you’re getting with macOS Monterey, watch this video for the best features!

Can’t watch? Here’s a quick rundown.

Shortcuts

Initially introduced on iOS, Shortcuts is essentially a way to cut down the time you spend to execute tasks you repeat regularly. There’s a rich gallery of pre-built actions designed just for Mac like being able to instantly share files, make animated GIFs, and more.

Shortcuts is integrated throughout macOS, including the menu bar, Finder, Spotlight, and even hands-free with Siri. What happens to automator now? Users can easily import existing Automator workflows into Shortcuts and be up and running right away.

Universal Control

For Apple users with multiple devices, Universal Control will be a godsend. This lets users work with a single mouse and keyboard and move between Mac and iPad for a seamless experience, with no setup required. Users can drag and drop content back and forth between devices like it’s nothing.

New Safari

Safari adds a new tab design, including a redesigned tab bar and Tab Groups, so users can browse the web in new ways.

A new tab bar takes on the color of the webpage and combines tabs, the tool bar, and the search field into a single compact design.

Tab Groups offer a new way to easily save and manage tabs. They also sync across Mac, iPhone, and iPad, so users can continue their project from anywhere and easily share tabs with other Apple users.

Other improvements and features

SharePlay — Works similarly to the one on iOS where you can have a listening or watch party via Apple Music and Apple TV with people you’re in a FaceTime call with.

Shared with You — Makes it easy to locate and enjoy all the great content that’s shared through Messages, including photos, videos, articles, and more, right from a Shared with You tab within various Apple apps.

Live Text — Uses on-device machine learning to detect text in photos, including phone numbers, websites, addresses, and tracking numbers, so users can copy and paste, make a phone call, open a website, and easily find more information

Privacy — Mail Privacy Protection let users choose whether emails can collect information about their Mail activity, and the Mac recording indicator now shows which app is accessing the Mac’s microphone.

Accessibility — Lets anyone add alternative image descriptions right from Markup, and improved Full Keyboard Access and new cursor customization options provide more flexibility when navigating Mac.

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Computers

Windows 11 not working properly with AMD chips

A fix is coming

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Microsoft recently opened the first wave of Windows 11 updates. The first desktops and laptops are starting to get the major update. However, if you’re next in line for the update while sporting an AMD chipset, you might want to hold off on getting the update for now.

AMD has officially confirmed that its processors are having some issues with Windows 11. Currently compatible processors will experience performance dips especially with some program and games. The company notes “applications sensitive to memory subsystem” and “games commonly used for eSports.” Though the report does not include the names of such games, any eSports-focused games will certainly suffer from a 10-15% dip in performance. Most affected apps, however, will only experience a 3-5% dip.

Both AMD and Microsoft have already acknowledged the bug and are working on a fix. An update will reportedly come out later within the month. Unfortunately, without the update, AMD recommends staying with the most updated version of Windows 10 for now.

The delay shouldn’t be that much of an issue, though. Because the update is still new, only a handful of devices should receive Windows 11 for now. Early adopter FOMO probably won’t set in for the first month.

SEE ALSO: Windows 11 is official with major UI and performance changes

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