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

Qualcomm is working on a 12-core ARM PC chip

Coming in 2024

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Though the company still stands at the forefront of smartphone processors, Qualcomm has some ways to go before making a significant impact on desktop processors. Of course, the company has already started making PC chips for a while now. However, other giants, like Intel and AMD, continue to dominate. According to a new report, Qualcomm is taking another crack at the market with an upcoming 12-core chipset.

Codenamed Hamoa, the upcoming chipset will reportedly feature eight performance cores and four efficiency cores. Additionally, it will support discrete GPUs.

In terms of architecture, the Hamoa will have a similar memory and cache configuration as Apple’s M1 chipset. That’s no coincidence, though. According to the report from developer Kuba Wojciechowski, the chip will be based on Nuvia’s Phoenix design. Nuvia is made up of Apple’s former engineers who worked on the existing lineup of ARM-based chips.

With a big name behind it, the Hamoa has the potential to make a big splash on the scene once it launches. While the PC market has its fair share of big names, Apple has similarly wowed users with the M1 and the M2 chipsets. Naturally, it’s a point of jealousy since Apple chipsets only work with Apple. With the Hamoa chip, Qualcomm could infuse the market with a similar chipset.

Wojciechowski expects the processor to launch in 2024.

SEE ALSO: Razer, Qualcomm tease gaming handheld device

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Computers

macOS Ventura now available

More efficiency, security

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macOS Ventura

The latest software update for Macs — macOS Ventura — is now available for free, bringing groundbreaking new capabilities to Apple’s computers.

Continuity Camera

The Continuity Camera will give users an entirely new webcam experience. When an iPhone is nearby, Mac can automatically recognize and use the camera on the iPhone. This gives users the option to work wirelessly easily.

Desk View, meanwhile, taps into the Ultra-Wide camera on iPhone to show the user’s face and a good view of what’s happening around, which will come in handy for presentations, instructional videos, and more.

Handoff also comes to FaceTime, which will enable users to transfer a call from one Apple device to another nearby seamlessly.

Stage Manager

Also available in the latest iPadOS update, the Stage Manager is more than just a tool for easy switching in between tasks or apps.

It actually automatically organizes apps and windows together. So, users can focus on what they need to, while still seeing everything in one glance.

Enabling Stage manager from Control Center also leads to the current window being displayed in the center with others appearing on the left.

Safari: Passkeys, collab features

When it comes to Safari, safe browsing is taken to a whole new level with the introduction of passkeys.

This sign-in method is easy to use, and generally more secure, replacing passwords. A unique digital key is created when a user creates a passkey, and it stays on the device.

Users may be able to sign using Touch ID or Face ID for verification. Passkeys are also synced with end-to-end encryption using iCloud Keychain to be available across other Apple devices.

Meanwhile, Shared Tab Groups allow friends, family, and colleagues to collaborate and share websites with others live.

Speaking of viewing things in real-time, the iCloud Shared Photo Library lets up to six individuals collaborate on a photo library where they can add, delete, edit, or favorite shared photos.

More efficiency for Mail, Messages

Similar to the iPadOS update, users will now be able to schedule messages. It can also cancel the delivery of a message before it reaches the inbox, and add links for better content previews.

Mail can also detect if items are missing so users can be reminded – especially when attaching files.

As for Messages, users will be able to edit or undo a recently sent message, recover accidentally deleted messages, or even mark a message as unread.

Gaming on Mac

Thanks to Apple silicon, every new Mac is also capable of running AAA games with ease. The new macOS Ventura brings technologies like Metal 3 that take full advantage of the incredible hardware in Mac. This results in more responsive gameplay, high frame rates, and beautiful visuals. 

New AAA game titles are coming to Mac later this year, including Capcom’s Resident Evil Village, which will launch on the Mac App Store on October 28, and will take full advantage of the power and performance of Apple silicon.

WATCH: macOS Ventura: Favorite New Features

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Computers

Razer Basilisk v3 Pro review: HyperSpeed, hyper responsive

Another great piece of colorful hardware

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razer basilisk v3 pro

When it comes to high quality gaming peripherals, Razer is surely one of the brands a lot of people have on their minds — and rightfully so. Specifically, the black and green brand’s lineup of gaming mice continuously brings that same level of quality and responsiveness across their newer iterations.

One such newer iteration is the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro, the wireless version of their latest Basilisk line of gaming mice. It’s part of their midweight gaming mice lineup. The Basilisk v3 Pro comes with the level of ergonomic comfort and customization suited for any gamer’s preference. All while this mouse provides the highest quality in performance and experience, ideally.

The question is: does the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro stand out as a gaming mouse for every type of gamer?

A bit on the hefty side yet easy to handle

The Razer Basilisk v3 Pro clocks in at around 112g, which feels a bit heavy initially. It’s something you will notice if you’ve been using lighter mice on your day-to-day gaming/work grind. Also, visually, it looks just a bit wider and longer than most of Razer’s gaming mice out there.

Even with some heft, this mouse still feels quite fluid to move on most surfaces. From most table tops to smooth mouse pads, the Basilisk v3 Pro’s surface tracking is pretty great. Although, there were times that the mouse was a bit too slippery on some surfaces, or the cursor wouldn’t move even while swinging the mouse.

Quite responsive, and makes your cursor go zoom

While on the topic of responsiveness, on all other aspects, the Basilisk v3 Pro is quite responsive. First up are the Razer Optical Mouse Switches attached to the left and right-click modules. Overall, the mouse picked up on almost all the clicks. And the Optical Mouse Switches feel sturdy to handle a ton of them. 

Also, this mouse comes with a polling rate of up to 8,000Hz, set to 1,000Hz as the default upon set-up. Higher polling rates allow the mouse to be as responsive as possible, which is quite crucial when playing competitive titles. To match the polling rate, you can also scale this mouse to up to 30,000 DPI — which is complete overkill to your system if you set it that high.

Basilisk v3 Pro

Finally, there’s the Razer HyperScroll Tilt Wheel which you can configure to be in Tactical or Free Spin mode. Depending on your usage for it, this is pretty standard across all their gaming mice, with just a slight adjustment to how fast you can scroll. When in Free Spin Mode, it literally feels like you’re zooming past walls of texts or rows of tweets with one motion. Do note that for all of these features, it’s better to download Razer Synapse to properly set up the Basilisk v3 Pro for optimal use.

Setting it up took some time

Basilisk v3 Pro

Speaking of setting things up, the set-up process for the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro took a while for a couple of reasons. See, the Basilisk v3 Pro comes with a HyperSpeed USB Dongle. It typically works the moment it’s plugged into any PC. However, we did experience slight hiccups trying to get this to work at the start.

Normally, when plugging the dongle in, the mouse would start working. It is recommended to download Razer Synapse after plugging it in. No matter what we did, after installing Razer Synapse, the PC didn’t pick up the mouse. We even tried connecting it via Bluetooth, which got the mouse working but it wasn’t picked up by Synapse.

The only other way we had was just to do a wired connection with the USB-C to USB-A braided cord that came with the mouse. Normally, you would use this when you need to charge the mouse back to full capacity. Of course, the other added benefit to this was that it allows you to access the 8,000Hz polling rate, but you will be dealing with a pesky wire during gameplay.

Best paired with something wireless

Basilisk v3 Pro

Although, there was another piece of hardware Razer has that also solves this little set-up hiccup: the Razer Mouse Dock Pro. In essence, the Mouse Dock Pro is an additional accessory that wirelessly connects to compatible Razer mice. Like the Basilisk v3 Pro, this is also compatible with Razer Synapse for optimal performance.

The Razer Mouse Dock Pro also comes with a Wireless Charging Puck, which magnetically connects compatible mice to the dock with ease. Not only that, as the name suggests, you can wirelessly charge your mice with this installed. If you’re not a total fan of wired charging, this is a must-have.

Basilisk v3 Pro

Also, both the Basilisk v3 Pro and Mouse Dock Pro come with Razer Chroma support. So, you can easily sync the lighting effects. Some of the lighting effects even give you an indication of the battery percentage of your mice while charging. It even comes in a form factor with an anti-slip base, so it doesn’t easily get knocked over when you decide to rage at it.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 8,995, the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro is a solid gaming mouse fit for the competitive and casual gamer alike. It’s responsive and customizable enough to bring you the best experience possible when playing some of your favorite titles. Plus, it comes with all sets of hardware that make productive work feel like a breeze, literally.

Even with the initial set-up hiccups, this mouse still delivers as advertised. It is a bit on the heavy side of things. But you might not even feel it when you’re too engrossed in the game. Of course, for PhP 3,995, you can also get the Razer Mouse Dock Pro and truly have a full wireless experience with it.

Overall, the Razer Basilisk v3 Pro is one wireless mouse that meets the standard of intuitive and responsive gaming. Whether it’s for working hard or playing harder, it’s a great option to consider. That rings true if you’re looking for an upgrade or just a new gaming mouse to use.

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