Laptops

Dell launches XPS 13 2-in-1, upgraded to 11th Gen Intel processors

Thunderbolt 4 has arrived

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Dell has updated its XPS 13 2-in-1 lineup by upgrading all the options to 11th Generation Intel chipsets. Also called Tiger Lake CPUs, they’re coupled along with Intel Iris X GPU for a faster and smoother experience.

Intel says the EVO series brings a perfect combination of portability and power, making the laptops very versatile. The base option comes with i3-11564, with a clock speed of 4.1Ghz. The top-end variant gets the i7-116567, a quad-core chipset with a maximum clock speed of 4.7Ghz. RAM can go up to a whopping 32GB.

The XPS 13 2-in-1 has two display options — 13.4-inch UltraSharp 4K InfinityEdge touch or 13.4-inch InfinityEdge touch HD+. On the GPU front, the top end option gets Intel Iris X GPU while the starting one gets Intel UHD graphics. Keep in mind, these are coupled along with the CPU and shouldn’t be considered on par with standalone gaming-dedicated GPUs.

The new 11th Generation Intel processors finally support Thunderbolt 4 and these laptops sport two of them. There’s also an SD card reader and Dell ships a USB-C to USB-A dongle along.

The backlit MagLev keyboard has an embedded fingerprint reader in the power button and along with larger keys, the touchpad is also 19 percent bigger. To accommodate the 2-in1 form factor, a new sequential hinge is designed for better ergonomics.

Backing these internals is a 51Whr battery that Dell says will last you a day of work. To keep the laptop cool, Dell has incorporated dual fans and an ultra-thin vapor chamber with the exhaust vents in the hinge. Lastly, it ships with Windows Home or Windows Pro, depending on usage.

Pricing and availability

USA

  • XPS 13 (US$ 999.99), XPS 13 Developer Edition and XPS 13 2-in-1 (US$ 1,249.99) will be available on Dell.com starting October 1.
  • Available colors for XPS 13, XPS 13 Developer Edition, and XPS 13 2-in-1 will now include both platinum silver with black carbon fiber interior and frost with arctic white woven glass interior.

Singapore

  • XPS 13 2-in-1: Available starting October 2, 2020 in Singapore at starting price SG$ 2,299.
  • XPS 13: Available starting October 2, 2020 in Singapore at starting price SG$ 2,099.

Features

How the Lenovo Legion 5Pi rekindled my love for games and arts

And helped me rediscover myself

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Lenovo Legion 5Pi

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? I was frantically searching for answers to this question, during my exasperating quarter-life crisis.

While I was losing hope waiting for directions, a monstrous laptop came to my house — the Lenovo Legion 5Pi. At first, I wondered how its arrival could mean anything in my situation. Surprisingly, having a gaming laptop helped me take the first step in dealing with my existential issues.

Traveling back to past

When I set up the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, I was taken back to my tranquil past. It felt like I was fourteen-going-fifteen again, cocooned in my bedroom.

Headphones in, keyboards lighting, chips and soda on the side, electric fan buzzing — life back then was untroubled. All I ever worry about was how to finish my homework so I could play online games all night.

At that time, I was stuck between two worlds: my character’s adventures in Grand Fantasia and other titles, and of course, the real world. But now, all I have is this sickening reality unraveling before me.

I’ve thought of playing games again, seeing the laptop as an opportunity to escape my current frustrations. But at some point, I realized escaping wouldn’t help me fix my issues nor provide answers.

What I did instead was sit in my emotions and used the laptop to navigate how I’m feeling — and possibly find out where I’m going next.

If you’re thinking if I went to Google to search for answers… you’re damn right, I didn’t.

Yes, I didn’t. I may be questioning my entire existence and the path I’m supposed to take while my friends are settling down and getting married, but I still believe I’m going to find the answers in a different way.

Honestly, my life felt like I was a character stuck on a puzzling quest. In between my thoughts, somehow it sunk in that maybe, this laptop was just what I needed.

Seeing and using the Legion 5Pi helped me remember how much I loved playing games. How I would spend my hours diving in different worlds, building and developing my character’s skills and personality — and even socializing with players across the world.

Games were my favorite escape

I’ve met several friends from all walks of life through gaming. Looking back, it gave me the advantage to power through this crisis.

I remember Paula, one of my online game BFF turned actual BFF for 10 years and counting. She taught me about going after my passion and what sparks joy in my heart. Surprisingly, I followed her advice until life got in the way.

Reminiscing, I logged into a dear, old game before I dropped gaming as part of my life — League of Legends, if you’re wondering. Previously, I was in my hellish college years; losing myself in depression, suffering from abuse, and other existential crisis I was facing.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

But playing it this time around didn’t spark any pain from the past. Instead, I felt relieved clicking through the mouse and smashing buttons on the colorful keyboard. I was glued to the Legion 5Pi’s large screen, consumed by the stunning graphics and gameplay like I was living in the world I used to enjoy.

In this brief experience, I recalled who I really am before I decided to drop parts of myself  in order to fit in, to be accepted. Truth is, I really liked playing games. It has been my escape from the hell that life put me through. More importantly, it helped hone my skills and personality in life — something your education won’t usually provide.

Going back to making art

Recalling what my friend said about pursuing your passion, I realized how I wasn’t creating art anymore. I also remembered Gabriel, a mentor-slash-guildmate (who’s ten years older than me) that I really admired, especially with how he balances his life. Work, gaming, hobbies, relationships… and he even had the time to make art.

During my stint with the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, I enrolled in an online course to pursue some art classes I’ve been meaning to take for years.

I had fun learning through this gaming laptop, and I continued creating art both on this machine and on paper. It was an amusing experience to rediscover parts of myself. How I dropped arts and games to fit in and follow society’s mainstream culture; partying, feeding into wanderlust, crazing over trends.

Using the Lenovo Legion 5Pi reminded me to be true to myself. When the realizations hit me, I started building a stable ground for myself. I considered how I forgot to make my inner child happy — something that we should be doing no matter the age.

Older people used to nudge us to never forget the things that fill joy into your heart since it’s the key to living a happy life. In my case, it was always creating and playing.

Recollecting all these thoughts, I took the first step in dealing with my quarter-life crisis. Having a stable self can help you survive all these life problems, and it’s what I’m actively trying to do.

And maybe, I’ll get a gaming laptop like the Lenovo Legion 5Pi, so I can ensure I live a happy and balanced life, without forgetting who I really am.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

The Lenovo Legion 5Pi is a competitive gaming laptop, carrying the latest Intel Core H-series processors. It focuses on extreme performance, sporting up to 32GB of RAM, 1TB of NVMe SSD, and an NVIDIA RTX 2060 for a powerful gaming experience.

Lenovo Legion 5Pi

It also comes with a 15-inch IPS HDR display with a 240Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth gameplay. The display comes with 100% sRGB color accuracy, making it perfect for gamers, artists, and creators.

The Lenovo Legion 5Pi retails for PhP 74,995. It’s available in Lenovo’s official stores and authorized retailers.

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Laptops

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon now official with 11th Gen Intel processors

Built for performance on the go!

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Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon

Weighing just 966 grams, Lenovo announced the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon laptop in multiple markets. The notebook leverages Lenovo’s second-generation proprietary fiber material technology to reduce the weight, without taking a hit on durability.

When compared to a metal chassis, the new material is up to 40 percent lighter. And, a lighter notebook isn’t just portable but also lets the maker add more batteries for extended usage.

The battery is undoubtedly one of the prime unique selling points of the laptop and Lenovo claims it can deliver up to 15 hours of video playback on a single charge.

It sports a 50Wh battery that can deliver more than ten hours of moderate usage. And, the brand claims its Rapid Charge Boost technology can give two hours of use based on just 15 minutes of charging.

On the front is a 13-inch Quad HD display with an aspect ratio of 16:10. Powering the laptop is an Intel 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 chipset along with Iris integrated graphics. It can sport up to 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD storage.

Unlike Apple’s Mac lineup, all other laptop makers provide a healthy dose of ports and this laptop is no exception. These include two Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, a standard Type-C port, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0.

A few proprietary features that ship along with the Yoga Slim 7i Carbon are Lenovo Smart Assist, Glance by Mirametrix, and Lenovo Q- Control. These software additions improve performance, extend battery life, cool the machine, and provide added security. Lastly, it has support for Amazon Alexa assistant and Windows Hello.

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook 14 Unboxing and First Impressions

AMD-powered, 2K FullView Display

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Huawei is sticking to formula with their notebook lineup but with some tweaks here and there. That means the Huawei MateBook 14 will come with a sleek, understated design along with all the Huawei goodies you’ve come to expect from their laptop line.

Just like the laptop itself, the box looks pretty simple.

Open it up and you’ll see the laptop on the left. USB-C cable and power adapter over on the right.

There isn’t anything else on the box other than the aforementioned plus the product manual.

Here’s the MateBook 14 out of the box.

Here’s what it looks like facing you.

On the left side you have the USB-C port, headphone jack, and HDMI port.

Over on the right are two USB-A ports.

As the name suggests, it has a 14-inch display, 3:2 aspect ratio.

It has a 90% screen-to-body ratio, so you get as much display as possible with pretty slim bezels.

That’s an IPS 2K FullView Display.

It’s pretty darn good for binge-watching series. You get a nice full view of what you’re watching. It supports 100% sRGB color gamut, has a good contrast ratio, and gets bright enough (300 nits).

There’s built-in hardware for eye-comfort and it’s also TUV Rheinland-certified. That also seems to be a staple for most laptop these days. It filters excessive blue light that can be harmful to your beautiful eyes.

The speakers are decent for movie viewing, but if you can hook this up to some external speakers like say the Huawei Sound X, then you’re in for a really good bingeing experience.

Huawei’s staple power button/fingerprint sensor is also here.

Speaking of staples, the MateBook 14 also has the signature recessed camera

If there’s one thing that Huawei really needs to work on, it’s this. The recessed camera is great for security but that’s a really unflattering angle. It’s fine at first, but after being forced to go on multiple video meetings due to the pandemic, you really start to notice how inadequate that angle is.

Putting the web camera where it’s usually found might mess with the laptop’s design, but this could one case where function should be prioritized over style. Alternatively, perhaps Huawei can utilize Huawei Share to have your Huawei smartphone be a camera source instead of the laptop.

Why not just take the video call on the phone, you ask? Sometimes you have to communicate via chat during calls. The mobile versions of apps like Zoom does let you chat, but that also means ruining your framing.

If Huawei manages to do this, that’s another way of really harping up the capabilities of Huawei Share. There is some sort of workaround to doing this with Huawei Share. You can link up your device and take the call using your Huawei Phone while it’s synced on your laptop. However, that still feels clunkier than just wirelessly pulling the smartphones’ camera as a source.

The hinge feels tougher but more fluid.

This is a rather largely unnoticed part of most laptops. However, it’s one that I personally noticed right away. It feels a tad different from other Huawei MateBooks I’ve tried like the MateBook D 15 and the MateBook X Pro 2020. There’s something about the hinge on the MateBook 14 that feels sturdy but flexible.

Power and performance for your work needs

On to the nitty-gritty. Should you decide to do so, you’re likely buying this for work needs. That means a lot of typing and running multiple apps from your browser, the entire MS Office Suite, perhaps Spotify, and what have you.

Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4600 H processor (with AMD Radeon Graphics), you’re sure to get more than adequate performance on this thing. Briefly using it mostly for drafting articles and previewing powerpoint decks, the MateBook 14 handles such tasks easily.

The keyboard though, might take some getting used to. It feels really similar to the chiclet-type of keyboard that Apple slapped on MacBook Pros for a good 3-4 years. It’s more than useable, no doubt. But you don’t get the clickety feeling that you typically get from keys with better travel.

Keyboards can make or break your experience with a laptop, and personally, I wish Huawei went with their usual keys instead of the one they put on the MateBook 14.

Other things of note

It comes in one configuration: That’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz of memory and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Battery is 56Wh and promises up to 10 hours on continuous 1080p local video playback.

We haven’t fully tested the capacity but judging by initial use, you should get a decent 6-7 hours on a regular work day.

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In the Philippines, the Huawei MateBook 14 comes bundled with the Huawei Classic Backpack. The exterior is made of 290T nylon fabric and microfiber leather while the interior is 200T polyester fabric.

The backpack comes in two options: Midnight Black (11.5L capacity) and Forest Green (8.5L capacity).

Pricing and availability

In the Philippines, the 16GB+512GB version retails for PhP 54,999. For a limited promo period running from October 9-24, the MateBook 14 comes with a free Huawei Classic Backpack and a Huawei Freebuds 3i (total value of PhP 11,998).

Click here for global pricing and availability

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