Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70 Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

Reviews

Converse Feng Chen Wang Chuck Taylor 70 All Star Review

A Chuck 70 within another Chuck 70

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Today we’re checking out a really special pair of Converse All Stars that I think might be my favorite pair so far — The Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70s.

The Feng Chen Wang Chuck Taylors have been teased for a while. They first popped up in October 2018 at Shanghai Fashion Week where Feng Chen Wang carefully deconstructed and reassembled over 30 pairs of Chuck 70s to create a two-in-one patchwork Chuck 70 concept shoe, complete with hand-painted details.

Since October 2018, Feng Chen Wang’s team and Converse have been working together to bring those concept shoes to a wider audience. After numerous rounds of construction, fit and colorway explorations, this shoe dropped on October 15, 2020.

The official name for this shoe is the “​Converse x Feng Chen Wang 2-in-1 Chuck 70.” The 2-in-1 makes sense because it portrays two distinct sneaker halves fused into one cohesive whole, taking inspiration from Feng’s “My Half” collection.

So what you’re getting literally looks like a Chuck Taylor growing inside of another Chuck Taylor.

There are two colorways at launch. There’s a black-and-white colorway which is easier to style and the one that we’re checking out today. Then, there’s also a PERSIMMON ORANGE colorway that I think looks more dope.

Permission Orange

Permission Orange

A Chuck 70 within another Chuck 70

Coming to the shoe itself, like I said earlier the design looks like a Chuck 70 within another Chuck 70. For example, you can see underneath the white panel that it’s a normal black Chuck Taylor underneath. There’s a panel on the left side and right side of each shoe, which is white and in the same fabric as the upper on a normal pair of Chucks.

In the space between the two panels, at the back, you have the Feng Chen Wang branding right in the center.

Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

There’s also two lace loops here so that you can tie the laces around the back if you prefer to style the shoes that way.

Speaking of laces, we get two pairs of laces with this shoe. There’s the standard white flat laces which come weaved through the usual silver metal eyelets on the shoe. But there’s also a flat black pair of laces which have the Feng Chen Wang branding repeated over and over.

Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

Because there are so many eyelets on this shoe, including the additional panels on the sides, and the lace loops at the back, you can wear both pairs of laces if you want to.

There’s a lot of different ways to style these which is pretty cool. But then there is already a lot going on with this shoe so I prefer just sticking with the standard white laces here.

Classic All Star build

Coming to the inside of the shoe, it’s pretty much your usual Converse All Star arrangement. The tongue feels the same as a regular pair of chucks but does seem to have a tiny bit of extra padding, like one slim layer that makes these slightly more comfortable.

Apart from that, there’s the OrthoLife insole which adds to the comfort factor, but that’s pretty much it.

Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

Moving downwards, there’s the usual converse foxing tape on the side of the midsole but you’ll notice that it’s a double-layered foxing tape here because of the outsoles. We’ll get to that in a bit.

I have to say, my OCD appreciates how they lined up everything perfectly. Even the way the outer panel on top joins the midsole below. It all looks really clean.

Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

It very effortlessly transitions from the toe box area, which looks like a regular pair of Chucks, all the way along to the back which is the most dramatic part of the shoe. Then, there’s this standard Converse All Star badge peeking out underneath the split outer layer that also has the badge in white.

As awesome as this looks, my general feeling is that this area is going to get worn out pretty bad as you wear the shoe.

Double the outsole

Lastly, coming to the bottom of the shoe, you’ll see what is probably the most unique thing about it: it’s an outsole on top of another outsole.

Yup. You have these two converse outsoles on top of each other — the usual base outsole, and the outer part on top which is split into these four sections. This looks insanely awesome and they do add a bit of height if that is something that you like in a shoe.

Feng Chen Wang Chuck 70

This outsole is also the primary reason why these are such a heavy pair. There’s not really two outsoles on top of each other but the way the outsole is divided into sections and cut, makes it seem like that. It certainly feels like there are two outsoles because of how heavy these are. I think these might be one of the heaviest pairs I own.

That said, you can’t actually feel the weight or the split outsoles when you’re walking around on these. It just feels like a regular pair of chucks, no issues at all. Which is a good thing.

Go for your usual Chucks size

In terms of sizing, these fit like a regular pair of Chucks. Usually, most people go a half size down or a full size down with Chucks.

I’m sure you probably have a pair of All Stars but in case you don’t, you can just head on over to a store and try out a pair because the sizing here is pretty much the same.

I’m a UK 11 but I have really wide feet so I go true-to-size. But honestly, with Chucks, you need to try them on in a store to find your fit.

Is this your SneakerMatch?

Feng Chen Wang and Converse did a great job here. When I first saw photos of these I thought they might be a little too chunky on feet but they actually look really dope. Of course, it depends on how you style them but I think this might be one of my favorite pairs of Chucks in a while.

These are now available across Converse and partner stores in Singapore and Malaysia, and are surprisingly still sitting in stores.

If you’ve been meaning to pick up a unique pair of Converse, well here’s 2 in-1.

SEE ALSO: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Renew Crater Review

Laptops

Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen review: 4 months after

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Huawei MateBook D 15

The work from home and online class setup had us all adjusting to this new normal. You’ll see a lot of inquiries on Facebook groups about LED ring lights, microphones and midrange laptop recommendations. Huawei’s MateBook D series is among the ones you’ll see that has gotten a lot of popularity for this purpose.

It makes perfect sense, since back when I first reviewed the Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen, I had a lot of good things to say about it. After four months under regular use, there are quite a few more that I came to realize about this device that I think you guys might find interesting.

It can get things done

A quick refresher on its specs, the D 15 2021 we have with us has an 11th gen Core i5 with the Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. 

It’s no question, if you’re just going to use this for online classes or regular zoom meetings, the D 15 probably won’t even break a sweat. However, I consider my power requirements to be somewhat on the heavy side for my photo and video editing needs.

What surprised me was I didn’t find myself having to go back to my main editing workstation and have actually done more work on the D 15 than I expected. It may not be as fast, but it also wasn’t drastically slower.

Plus the fact that this has a more accurate display with its 100 percent sRGB color gamut, the 15.6-inch LED display is perfect for my daily Photoshop use.

Portability also applies at home

Huawei MateBook D 15

Working from home for a long time and looking at the same thing over and over, not having to be able to go to places, had many of us bored and unmotivated. I personally always had that urge to look for another spot just for the change of scenery.

Thankfully, weighing only 1.56kg, it gave me the flexibility for me to place it in different places. I didn’t worry that the surface wouldn’t be able to handle it.

Battery life

The capability to place the D 15 on different places wouldn’t really matter if you’re still stuck near an outlet because you’re constantly required to plug it in. Fortunately, the 42Wh battery of the D 15 keeps us away from the charger for around nine to ten hours before needing to plug it back in.

Huawei addresses issues and gives regular updates

Huawei MateBook D 15

During its time with me, the D 15 had quite a few driver and software updates. Along with one of the updates came a fix for an issue I had with its fingerprint scanner where it frequently had trouble recognizing my fingerprint. While it shouldn’t have had that issue to begin with, the regular updates are an indication that users aren’t abandoned and issues are in fact being addressed on Huawei’s end.

I also learned from Huawei’s website that the MateBook series has a Windows 11 upgrade rollout plan. That’s something nice to look forward to.

Undesirable camera angle

Huawei MateBook D 15

Sadly, not everything is praise worthy on the D 15. The hidden web camera, while innovative, came at the cost of an awful camera angle. Since it is placed on the keyboard, it is also pointed upwards.

Using it, you’ll mostly see an unflattering image of yourself often emphasizing the size of your nostrils.But if you decide that you’d want to use a laptop raiser for a more comfortable viewing angle, the camera won’t be pointed downwards. That’d make it barely usable.

A generous availability of ports

Huawei MateBook D 15

Being the boxing fan that I am, the recent Pacquiao fight had me subscribing for a pay-per-view service. The full sized HDMI port on the D 15 was heaven sent. During the fight as I was able to output the fight on our dated TV set. It let us to enjoy the stream on a bigger screen.

The availability of USB ports on both sides also let us to choose where certain devices can be plugged. We didn’t worry about hitting our external drives with our mouse or fitting multiple USB devices side by side.

Multi-Screen Collaboration

I did not find myself using this feature as much. However, having this capability eliminated the need for me to grab a USB cable to transfer files from my phone. A quick tap of my phone and I was ready to transfer photos I recently. It’s great for some quick editing before posting on Instagram. 

Is this still your GadgetMatch?

Huawei MateBook D 15

When I think of the D 15, freedom is the word that comes to mind. It gives so much freedom to work anywhere with its portability and battery life. You get freedom to do what you wish with it with its capable hardware. There’s also freedom from wires with the Multi-Screen Collaboration. And even freedom to plug various devices with its great selection of ports.

It’s a no fuss kind of laptop that just gets things done. Its sheer simplicity is what makes it a great device.

If you’re interested in getting the Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, you can now get it for PhP 48,999.00.

 

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Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 Review: Best Android smartwatch yet?

But is it any better than the Apple Watch?

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Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch4 just recently — which is the successor to 2019’s Galaxy Watch Active2.

Now with the power of a BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) via its Bio Active Sensor, the Galaxy Watch4 can simply measure your body composition with just your two fingers and wrist.

But is it any better than the Apple Watch?

Watch our Samsung Galaxy Watch4 review now to know more.

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Accessories

Maonocaster Lite AU-AM200-S1: Intuitive and portable podcasting rig

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AU-AM200-S1

I am a fan of quality and affordable gear. Modern manufacturing techniques and advancements in technology gave us a vast selection of gadgets in all shapes and sizes.

With the gaining popularity of live streaming, the demand for good audio interface and microphones is growing. The brand Maono, relatively speaking, is a newcomer that offers affordable audio products.

What we’ve got here is the Maonocaster Lite AU-AM200-S1, which is a portable podcasting gear. This is the very first product I’ve got the chance to try from this brand and I’m liking it so far. This bundle is ideal for someone who is just getting into podcasting or a musician looking for a cheaper alternative.

What’s in the box?

AM200 Podcast Console

At first glance I actually thought it was a miniatured DJ turntable because of the two mini platters, but those are just volume knobs for the mics and music. It is a 3-channel mixer-type audio interface with five outputs. The two inputs are designated for mics and/or instruments and the other input is for music. Three outputs (3.5mm TRRS) for smartphones are available so you can stream simultaneously on different platforms.

A separate main and monitor output is available so you can listen to what your audience hears. Note that all the inputs and outputs are for 3.5mm jacks so if you are planning to plug in an instrument directly using a PL (1/4 inch) cable, you will need a 3.5mm adapter.

Plug and play

You can connect it to a computer with the USB A to C cable that is included. It doesn’t require any drivers, so, just plug it in and it’s good to go. It should be compatible to most DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation) for music recording. There is a 3-band EQ along with a “REC” volume knob which is like a “Send” knob to feed the audio to the devices it’s connected to.

Two crossfaders control the monitor volume and echo level. The “monitor” crossfader controls both the volume level for the (main) output and the monitor (output). I wish they installed separated levers for each one to control them independently.

This is also the case for the mic volume knob, it controls both the levels of mic 1 and mic 2. It would’ve have been handy if there are separate knobs for each but I think they did this design to fit in a compact box.

For outdoor streaming and recording

At the middle portion, you’ll notice along the LED indicator level signal is a battery indicator. Yes, this is also battery powered which makes it suitable for out of home live streaming, if you prefer creating something for your viewers elsewhere. You can easily recharge the batteries with the USB C cable.

There are also audio sample pads, buttons for sound effects and pitch shifters.

AU-PM360TR Microphone

AU-AM200-S1

This condenser microphone does not require phantom power. It runs below 5V, through the XLR to 3.5mm cable, unlike the industry standard condenser microphones. With its cardioid polar pattern, it will be more sensitive to sounds being captured in front of it.

Earphones

It comes with a pair of in-ear earbuds with a very long cable, enough to cover the distance for a typical on-desk live streaming. I think that the sound quality would be more appreciated by most modern pop listeners who like a lot of bass. Because it does deliver that low-mid thump.

Tripod

Out of the box, the microphone comes attached to the mini tabletop tripod. The microphone is detachable to the tripod, but if it is used handheld, it will pick-up a lot of hand noise. So, it is better to leave it on the tripod.

Other accessories included are: XLR to 3.5mm cable, two 3.5mm TRRS cables, USB A to USB C cable, and a windscreen cap.

Performance

For podcasting, it is very easy to use. It’s what the AU-AM200-S1 is made for and they did a good job. The microphone delivers a clearer and louder output compared to built-in mics in smartphones/laptops or headsets. You can control the volume of music accompaniment easily with the wheel knob, whenever you want to highlight the music or the voice.

Plus, the sound samples like the applause, laughter, cheering etc., are nice additions for some impromptu segments in your streams. You can also record your own samples by pressing the “loop back” button and assigning to any of the blank buttons available.

Since the microphone does not require a phantom power, the output is weaker compared to classic condenser microphones. The sound quality is good nevertheless.

AU-AM200-S1

For music recording, you can record your instruments with it on your preferred DAW. I connected my guitar to my digital effects processor with a 3.5mm headphones jack going to the mic input of Maono console. I noticed that the 2 mic inputs have high gain levels because my guitar was already clipping with the volume knob on the AM200 console at around 10 o’clock.

Usually, I set the volume on my guitar effects unit on almost full when I am recording with a different audio interface and mixers. But with the Maono AU-AM200-S1, I only had to set the volume of my guitar effects at 50 percent. This is good because it doesn’t have a designated gain knob. Just watch out for clipping- if it happens, you may want to lower the volume from the source.

I recorded a few short audio samples to demonstrate how the Maonocaster Lite AU-AM200-S1 handles recording. Please excuse my singing voice.

Mic only without echo(onboard) – vocal

Mic only with 50% echo(onboard) – vocal

Mic only with 100% echo(onboard) – vocal

Mic only without echo – vocal and guitar

Mic only with post-editing – vocal and guitar

Guitar through a digital effects processor

In a full band mix – Recorded vocals and guitars (both acoustic and electric)

Fully recorded demo

 

There are two functions that I have a few comments on:

AU-AM200-S1

Denoise — This is their “smart noise cancelling” feature that reduces background noise. It does its job as a noise gate, but unfortunately, you cannot adjust the settings (threshold, attack, range, etc.). Depending on how loud the ambient noise is, the mic sometimes gets a stuttering sound when this feature is engaged. If the room is quiet enough, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Music Only — This feature attempts to minimize the vocals in the music that you are playing, but similarly to the denoise, it sometimes affects the mic audio quality. I suggest looking for backing tracks of the songs you want to sing during your live stream beforehand.

Is the AU-AM200-S1 your GadgetMatch?

AU-AM200-S1

The Maonocaster Lite AU-AM200-S1 bundle is a usable and functional piece of gear. I see it as a bring-it-anywhere, all-in-one podcasting kit. It would have been more convenient (for me) if they included ¼ inch inputs for mics and instruments. Although, I guess it would kind of defeat its portable nature because most PL cables are thicker and heavier compared to the 3.5mm cables included in this bundle.

Pricing and Availability

The Maonocaster Lite AU-AM200-S1 retails for $109.00 and is available for purchase in Amazon, Shopee, and Lazada. You can check out their other products at the official Maono website.

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