Laptops

ASUSPRO B9440UA Review: Business-minded laptop

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Don’t let its confusing — and we mean confusing — name turn you off. The ASUSPRO B9440UA means serious business.

As part of ASUS’ more professional segment, this rugged-looking laptop comes with Military-grade durability and a magnesium alloy construction which the company claims is the lightest in its class.

Coupled with stylishly slim bezels around the 14-inch display and a well thought-out hinge design, we’re looking at a recipe for success. So, the question is: Could this be your GadgetMatch?

Let’s start with a full view of the laptop

Total weight is only 1.05kg

Look at how thin the bezels are!

The top and side borders measure only 5.4mm

Its hinge lifts the laptop up when the lid is opened

This gives the keyboard a more comfortable angle to type on

Sadly, there are only two USB-C ports

You can charge the laptop using the left port

This is how far the lid can open up

Useful for writing in all sorts of sitting positions

The keyboard has a nice, tough feel to it with good spacing in between

Comes with spill resistance and backlighting

Heat stays away from your lap with these well-placed vents

Fans can get a little loud under heavy load, though

Both stereo speakers can be found underneath

They provide a surprisingly loud kick!

Placement for the fingerprint sensor is great; not so much for the power button

Expect accidental shutdowns when aiming for the delete button

Trackpad lacks precision and often caused missed clicks

There were times it wouldn’t even respond to my fingers or gestures

Does it perform well?

Behind the rugged exterior is a smoother user experience than you’d expect. With an Intel Core i7-7600U processor, 16GB of memory, and 512GB of SSD storage, you shouldn’t hope for anything less.

Minus the lag I experienced while using the inaccurate trackpad, I was never bothered by poor performance or slowdowns when running Chrome and Photoshop at the same time. Adding more applications like Spotify and file transferring didn’t affect the fluidity, either.

Considering its integrated graphics chip, I didn’t bother playing games, but it can surely handle light games and mainstream titles at lowered settings on its native Full HD 1080p resolution.

I also appreciate how cool the unit runs and the way it shoots hot air upwards, away from my face or lap. Combined with the ergonomic keyboard, I barely felt tired after long sessions with this laptop.

Can it last a whole day?

This comes down to each person’s unique usage patterns, but my experience wasn’t so great.

Even with brightness set to 50 percent and charging the notebook to full before leaving the house, I couldn’t get the battery to last more than five hours of continuous usage.

Blame it on the power-hungry Core i7 processor or the slimmed down battery capacity, but the fact remains you can still get a lot of work done during the time this machine is on.

There’s something missing…

If you’ve noticed something lacking, you have sharp eyes. If not, know this: There’s no front-facing camera on this thing.

At first, I figured this was a compromise that needed to be made to cater to business-minded individuals, but then I realized that these people need webcams for conference video calls, as well. Now that’s a strange omission!

And while it isn’t a total exclusion, having only two USB-C ports hurts the productivity of this notebook. ASUS bundles a dongle that provides an extra full-sized USB port and HDMI, but that still doesn’t give you a card reader or DisplayPort.

But don’t worry, there’s a 3.5mm audio port on the left for your headphones.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

On one hand, the B9440UA excels at its specialties, which are the solid build quality and buttery smooth performance; on the other hand, excluding the webcam and limiting the number of ports are potential turnoffs.

For the starting price of US$ 1,000, I would’ve liked to see a touchscreen built in, as well. With the laptop laid down flat on the table, presenting with touch gestures would be a lot more seamless — and give you an alternative to the finicky trackpad.

When it comes down to it, the B9440UA is all business. Pay the premium, and you get a machine built to last. Our particular high-end variant retails for PhP 89,995 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ROG Zephyrus Review: So thin, so powerful

Hands-On

Huawei MateBook X Pro hands-on

The most unusual camera placement

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Huawei’s newest release isn’t a smartphone and yet, this new device is also making news.

Released in Barcelona at MWC 2018, the Huawei MateBook X Pro is a powerhouse wrapped in one handsome package.

This machine looks sleek and feels premium. It’s very compact and it has a good weight to it — manageable for a laptop, but not too light for it to feel cheap.

It’s about the same size as a MacBook Pro and about the same thickness. Side by side with the Apple laptop, you see the glaring similarity in size.

At its thinnest point, it folds to 14.6mm. It houses two USB-C ports (yay!), a USB-A port (the option not to live a dongle life!), and audio input (double yay!). The premium metal unibody comes in two colors: space gray or mystic silver.

The Huawei MateBook X Pro has a beautiful 13.9-inch screen, bright and vivid at 450 nits. Look at those almost non-existent bezels! This laptop’s screen-to-body ratio is a whopping 91 percent.

And as if that wasn’t enough laptop screen goodness, the MateBook X Pro has 10-point touchscreen capabilities!

Now seeing all that screen, you may be wondering: Where is the webcam?

Because the laptop’s screen bezels are so small, there obviously isn’t any space for the camera. Huawei has a very interesting camera placement solution.

They put the laptop cam on the keyboard! Yes, you heard that right. This button on the keyboard turns into a camera!

Though pretty ingenious, the camera placement still makes for awkward photo angles. (But really, what laptop cameras can take photos that look good, right?) What’s great about this “recessed camera,” however, is the fact that its placement promises ensured privacy when the camera’s not in use — you’re not going to need tape on that webcam anymore!

The device also has a pretty wide trackpad on it — the better to work on!

What really impressed me was how loud this thing’s quad-speaker setup is. At MWC, I accidentally played a video as we were shooting this, and trust me, the whole room heard it. Even better, the whole room heard it in Dolby Atmos, which this device is capable of.

It also has a quad-mic system which means the laptop can hear and record you perfectly from all 360 degrees.

This machine is powered by an Intel Core i7 or i5 processor with memory of either 8GB or 16GB and storage options of 256GB or 512GB. It’s also equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card. That means you should be good for tasks like video editing, or even light to casual gaming. It has a battery capacity of 57.4Wh which totals 12 hours of video playback — that’s a lot of show episodes, people!

Of course, this device is capable of Huawei Share which is an easy transfer solution powered by Bluetooth from any Huawei device to the MateBook X Pro. If you’re on a Huawei phone, this creates a great fuss-free ecosystem between gadgets.

SEE ALSO: 24 hours in San Diego with the Huawei Mate 10

SEE ALSO: Follow our MWC 2018 coverage!

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook X Pro has FullView Display and NVIDIA graphics

As gorgeous as it is powerful

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At Mobile World Congress 2018, the spotlight is on Android smartphones and tablets, but that doesn’t mean Windows laptops — being the mobile devices that they are — can’t share a part of the stage.

Huawei is leading the Windows charge with the MateBook Pro X, which is their first notebook to own a FullView Display. The 13.9-inch 3K (3000 x 2000 pixels) touchscreen is absolutely gorgeous, and is part of a body that’s only 14.6mm thin and 1.33kg light.

To keep the display free of bezels and maintain the 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, the webcam sits discreetly on the keyboard and pops up when a button is pressed. Even more convenient is the fact that the MateBook Pro X charges through USB-C, meaning your smartphone can use the same charger.

Under the hood is all the horsepower you need. The MateBook Pro X comes with an 8th-generation Core i7 or i5 processor, discrete NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, up to 16GB of memory, and up to 512GB of fast SSD storage. For energy on the go, there’s a 57.4Wh battery that can last up to 14 hours of typical work usage.

The MateBook Pro X is a multimedia powerhouse, too. In addition to the breathtaking display, there’s a Dolby Atmos Sound System on board with custom quad speakers. And if you’d rather use your own headphones or external speakers, you’ll be happy to know a 3.5mm audio port is available on the side.

We have two colors to choose from: space gray and mystic silver.

Pricing and availability per region will follow as soon as the information is available.

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Computers

Samsung’s latest 2.5-inch SSD has record 30TB of storage

Yet another world record by Samsung

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We were already impressed by the 512GB microSD card and 2TB flash drive, so you can imagine our collective jaws dropping when we found out Samsung released a 30TB solid state drive (SSD).

Yes, this an SSD and not the slower mechanical hard disk drive (HDD) that normally reaches this storage level.

Labeled as the PM1643, it’s the most spacious 2.5-inch SSD in the world. The previous record holder happened to be Samsung as well when the company launched a 15.36TB SSD back in 2016.

The exact amount is 30.72TB coming from 32 units of 1TB NAND flash. Its 2,100MB/s sequential read and 1,700MB/s write speeds outdo most consumer SSDs thanks to 40GB of built-in RAM.

As you can obviously tell, this is meant for enterprise users and will cost a sum as crazy as the storage itself — exactly how much is not yet known.

And because it uses the newer Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface, don’t expect this to connect to your desktop PC or notebook.

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