Hands-On

ASUS ZenFone 3 Max hands-on

Published

on

Launched alongside the ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser in Vietnam, the ZenFone 3 Max is yet another budget phone with a rather attractive calling card. This time around, the promise is a battery that lasts for days, with the option to charge another mobile device using the Max’s reverse charging mode.

And with a 4,100mAh cell, it would be fooling to bet against the new Max—even though we haven’t put a retail unit through its paces yet.

The ZenFone 3 Max has also been redesigned from the ground up for 2016, so the removable plastic back of last year’s Max is no longer part of the equation. Ditto for the bulk and unnecessary length that undermined the original’s appeal to the average consumer. Metal (or a similar material) wraps the front, back, and sides of the phone.

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-max-20160722-05

ASUS ZenFone Max (left) and ZenFone 3 Max (right)

It must be said, however, the ZenFone 3 Max, despite the contrast in outward appearance, feels more like an update than an upgrade. And that’s largely due to the reduced battery capacity (from 5,000mAh), which should impact usage time significantly.

Without a bigger-than-big battery, the ZenFone 3 Max doesn’t have anything that makes it stand out like last year’s model. Sure, on paper, the fingerprint reader on the back of the device is a nice addition, but it doesn’t work as well as it should. The rest of the specs are either mild improvements or holdovers from the previous year, depending on what you’re looking at.

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-max-20160722-03

The phone is priced at the equivalent of $200, and will likely be available sometime in August. At that price, we’d rather fork out a bit more for the ZenFone 3 or ZenFone 3 Laser—either one is a nicer alternative than this phone. The Flash Plus 2 is also a worthy alternative; it may cost less, too.

For more about the ASUS ZenFone 3 Max, checkout the video embedded on this post, if you haven’t already.

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-max-20160722-04

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-max-20160722-02

The ZenFone 3 Max (right) has on-screen buttons, while the ZenFone 3 Laser (left) makes use of capacitive ones

gadgetmatch-zenfone-3-max-20160722-06

The ZenFone 3 Max (left) has a squarish fingerprint reader

[irp posts=”7939″ name=”ASUS ZenFone 3 Max 5.5-inch review”]

Hands-On

How the MatePad 11 fits in your workflow

Can it be a substitute laptop?

Published

on

MatePad 11

We often get asked what’s a good “budget” laptop. And there’s never an easy answer.  Most decent options start at PhP 35,000 but the budget of people asking is capped at around PhP 30,000.

Then, we got to thinking — Do they really need a laptop, or just something that functions like one? Exploring this idea, one of our editors used the Huawei MatePad 11 for daily tasks, and this video chronicles the experience.

Typing away

For any writer or editor, it’s impossible to get anything done without a reliable keyboard.

The task ranges from writing your own articles to copy-editing the staff’s work. You also have to respond to emails and correspondence within and outside of the team.

That’s a lot of typing. And while we’ve come a long way in terms of getting accustomed to hitting a flat surface to type, nothing can replace a good, functioning full-sized keyboard for some real productivity.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 has a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard. It looks tiny at first, but the keyboard is full-sized and offers a good amount of travel for its size.

In fact, parts of the script for this video was written on the MatePad 11-Smart Magnetic Keyboard Combo.

It’s also sturdy and balanced enough that you can pull it out in a pinch and prop it up on your lap. From experience, this isn’t the case with most other similar setups due to the weight of the tablet.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 is light enough that it won’t topple over even when placed on a not-so-even surface.

Access to your usual apps

What most people really need is access to some type of Office apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available right from the App Gallery.

You can opt to go with Microsoft Office and link your existing subscription. Or select any of the other set of Office apps available.

Microsoft Office runs perfectly fine on the MatePad 11. Quickly set it up and you’ll be balancing sheets, making decks, and writing essays in no time.

If what you need is on Google Docs or Google Sheets, there’s a way to quick-launch these apps so you can work on the document or work file you need to.

Since plenty of our work files are on Google Docs, this was the editor’s primary way of accessing the stuff needed to get things done.

And if you’re having trouble with anything else you normally use, you can always access them via the browser like you would on a laptop.

There’s also Petal Search baked into the App Gallery that’ll scour the web for sources of the apps you desperately want and need.

Huawei understands the pain points it had to deal with and has addressed them with the App Gallery and Petal Search combo.

Multitasking master

The ease of switching from one app to another on a laptop is still pretty much unparalleled. But the MatePad 11 offers unique multitasking capabilities that offer an effective way to multitask.

What the editor found most useful in particular is how you can have smaller versions of the apps float on the screen.

And when minimized, it goes into this tiny app icon on the right side of the device functioning somewhat like a dock.

This is perfect for placing chat apps to look at messages at a glance. So even if the editor is in the middle of writing or copy-editing, glancing at messages is easy and doesn’t take the full attention away from the work at hand.

This is especially helpful for someone who juggles plenty of messaging apps.

Additionally, if you have a Huawei phone with you, the multi-screen collaboration feature takes this even further.

You can have your phone screen on the side and just open it up when needed. From here you can open any app whether that’s for messaging or something else you may need to reference for the work you’re doing.

It’s an incredible feature and one we hope will be adopted by other brands in some shape or form.

Not just for work

It’s recommended that you take short breaks in between tasks to keep yourself fresh and focused.

Breaks can be anything from standing up and walking around for a little bit, mindlessly browsing social media, or playing a quick game.

If the type of breaks you take fall on the latter two categories, the MatePad 11 is great for that as well.

The 120Hz refresh rate that this tablet has makes it a sight to behold and a joy to touch. Your general interaction with the device will feel incredibly fast and smooth.

It’s great whether you’re just swiping from one TikTok video to another or playing a quick round of whatever mobile game you’re into.

The M-Pencil is truly handy

Not everyone needs a stylus. But just because you don’t need one, doesn’t mean it can never come in handy.

An editor’s work also entails signing a lot of documents. This can be anything from loaner sheets or non-disclosure agreements.

It’s also great for providing a rough illustration of the visuals you need. Sometimes, the only way to really get your point across to visual artists is to show them what you have in mind, and then just let them work their magic on it.

On the Nebo app, you can draw rough sketches to show your graphic artist how you want something to look like. It’s a helpful guide and one that prevents miscommunication.

You can also use the app for taking notes and doodling which is a pretty underrated way of clearing your mind.

Mate just be what you need

The MatePad 11 is an excellent tablet. One that can be more than a stopgap to your laptop needs.

It gives you access to the work stuff that you need, while offering features that laptops in its price range aren’t capable of.

It’s a fine mate for work, play, and everything else in between.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei MatePad 11 retails for PhP 24,999 and comes with two freebies: Wireless Charging Table Lamp and MatePad 11 Cover

Buy here: Huawei Online Store | Lazada | Shopee

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Tempo Move Hands-On

This Compact $400 Home Gym Changes Everything!

Published

on

Tempo has just launched a new sub $400 system that fits into a console table! Not only that they a lot less space than regular home gym systems, it also uses advanced tech like the LiDAR sensor on your iPhone. Their new 3D Tempo Vision technology is also there as a complement to make workout reading and tracking more precise.

But could this be the future of home workouts? Watch our Tempo Move Hands-on now!

Continue Reading

Hands-On

Apple 14″ M1 Pro MacBook Pro: Unboxing & Hands On

Is this the right MacBook Pro for you?

Published

on

Finally, the newly-redesigned M1 Pro MacBook Pros have finally arrived after years of waiting!

For now, Michael Josh unboxes and spends more than 24 hours with the new M1 Pro silicon chip-touting 14-inch MacBook Pro — as well as the software experience with the new macOS Monterey update.

If you’ve been wanting to buy one today, you have to wait for our review video baking up real soon.

For the meantime, all the basic things you need to know about the new M1 Pro MacBook Pro are in this unboxing and hands-on video.

Continue Reading

Trending