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ASUS ZenPower PD: A power bank that will charge your laptop on the go

Work anywhere!

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Wouldn’t it be great if a power bank could power your laptop?

I’ve worked in a lot of weird and wondrous places: tech show floors, European coffee shops, rural Chinese airports, plane rides, road trips, the list goes on. I love the idea of being able to work anywhere anytime and not being confined to an office, typing away on my computer. My main problem, however, has always been finding a power source when my laptop battery runs out. Most of the time, this is when my productivity is forced to stop.

In my quest to find a solution, I came across the ASUS ZenPower PD. Coincidentally sent over by the folks from ASUS just when I was considering getting myself a power bank, the tiny thing is supposed to be able to charge notebooks fast.

How fast? The ZenPower PD is equipped with Power Delivery 3.0, which is tech-speak for: It’s the fastest charging standard available for batteries.

It’s pretty compact considering it’s something that can not only charge your phone, it can also power up laptops, or even a Nintendo Switch. This external battery pack can fit comfortably in my tiny everyday purse with space for all my other stuff.

Despite its small size, this thing is packed with 13600mAh which should be two to four charge cycles depending on what phone you’re using.

It’s equipped with two ports, a USB-A and a USB-C, which means you can charge two gadgets at the same time. According to ASUS, it also intelligently detects whatever device is plugged in and adjusts to whatever charging mode your gadget has. This means it shouldn’t shorten your device’s lifespan.

There’s even a flashlight on the ZenPower PD that lasts for five days — not that I’ve ever really used a flashlight on a power bank, but you never know!

This thing has been a great travel companion. I get more work done on long-haul flights because I can always just plug in my MacBook when I need more juice. However, be warned that it only really works with the really, really short USB-C to USB-C cord it came with; for some reason, my original Apple power cord refuses to work. Also know that it will charge (it got my MacBook to 30 percent in around 30 minutes), but won’t really charge enough while you’re using the laptop.

Nevertheless, it’s been pretty helpful. I’ve finished more than a few articles with this powering me. It’s also supposedly safe because ASUS’ PowerSafe tech controls voltage and even temperature so you shouldn’t have any trouble at all.

All in all, the ZenPower PD is a great backup that hardly takes up any space. Definitely something you should pack on your next trip.

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Sony’s WF-H800 h.ear in TWS headphones offer rich sound

Available in five colors

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Already a leader in noise-cancelling headphones, Sony is offering something a little different in the true wireless headpones department — the Sony WF-H800 h.ear in headphones.

One of the first easily noticeable things is how the WF-H800 is available in five colors: red, orange, green, blue, and black.

Noticeably missing is the active noise-cancellation feature. However, it makes up for it with other Sony staple-features, primarily the 360 reality audio. The effect of which can only be truly felt once you experience it for yourself.

It also has a 6mm dynamic driver to deliver a wide range of audio frequencies as well as a feature Sony calls DSEE HX or Digital Sound Enhancement Engine. This tech restores the high-range sound that’s lost in compression. It reproduces digital music files with rich, natural sound.

It’s also lightweight and designed to fit your ears perfectly. The WF-H800 promises up to eight hours of music playback plus another eight hours with the carrying case giving you a total of 16 hours. Additionally, 10 minutes of charge time will give you up to 70 minutes of listening time.

Just like other Sony headphones, these are compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Price and availability

The Sony WF-H800 will be available at selected Sony Stores, Sony Centers, Sony authorized dealers and the official Sony store on Lazada from March 2020. It will retail for SG$ 299.

SEE ALSO: Sony WF-1000XM3 review: Masterclass in noise cancellation

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality

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With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.

It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.

In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality

Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.

It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.

Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.

Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.

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Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines

A minor improvement

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True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks  to the charging case.

Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.

It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.

Price and availabilty

The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.

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