Accessories

Why the instax mini Link is the best accessory for any occasion

Who knew a printer can be beautiful and smart?

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Collecting memories seemed easy in the social media age; photos are preserved through our smartphones. Unlike other people who are constantly dumping their photos to a Facebook album, I preserve my memories on my camera roll. Most of these are snaps of everyday life, selfies, wacky photos with my friends, and sights and experiences I captured throughout my adventures.

There were times when I look back and have them printed in imaging stores — just so I can have something tangible. Thanks to my sentimental nature, I cling to every memory; from souvenirs, receipts from my dinners, boarding pass, or a ticket to a theme park. Printed photos included.

This is why I’m in love with novelties such as film and instant cameras. They capture intangible moments and give you something you can hold on to. But these gadgets, oftentimes than not, are difficult to bring in your travels and events. I’ve turned to photo printers before, but none of them make my heart flutter like a film coming out of an Instax camera.

Classic, but beautiful

When Fujifilm unveiled the instax mini Link, I knew right away it was my GadgetMatch. The thought reinforces the moment I had my hands on the smartphone printer in my favorite shade: Ash White. It looks timeless — just like my memories.

Designed with a minimalist approach, the instax mini Link is pleasing to look at. It has a light striped-pattern on its exterior, with instax’s logo on the front serving as the on and off button. On the side is an inconspicuous covered USB port for charging purposes.

Found on its back is the film door, which spits out the cover upon switching the lock button. Be careful though, since the printer takes out the excess film whenever you shut the film door — just like on any instax camera. Make sure that you don’t open and close the door since it’ll consume one of your films. Do it only when you ran out and you need to change your film pack.

Who knew printing could be this fun?

The mini Link is just like the mini LiPlay sans the camera. It’s a device dedicated to printing your favorite photos from your smartphones. All you need to do is to connect both your smartphone and the printer via BlueTooth — without leaving the app.

Compared to mini LiPlay’s app, connecting your smartphone and the printer is easier and faster. Fujifilm made sure it’s a hassle-free experience for both beginners and instax lovers alike.

Navigating the app is smooth and seamless, too. It doesn’t hang nor force shut down itself, and it’s easy to switch modes. Currently, different modes fit different user’s preferences. For instance, I love using Simple Print since I just want to have my beautiful and aesthetically-pleasing Instagram photos printed. Those who love taking videos can print their favorite frames and stills, especially a candid scene through the Video Print mode.

To make it even better, instax has fun modes for you and your friends to play around like Party Print, Collage Print, Frame Print, and Match Test. Party Print lets you and your friends connect to the printer simultaneously. It has a Surprise Mode where you can select the photos secretly. This can fill the room with tension, not knowing what’s the final image coming out of the printer.

If you want a basic group photo, there’s a Collage Print and choose from 14 styles. For the ever-creative, there’s a Frame Print that lets you add stylish and fun frame designs to your photos. Honestly, I don’t like using frames and other designs splashed on my photos. I have a habit of capturing picture-perfect moments and I believe that unnecessary designs would ruin the memory.

But what I loved the most is the intriguing Match Test. This mode can do a quick diagnosis of your compatibility with a friend, a significant other, or even your crush! For a more accurate diagnosis, there’s a precision diagnosis mode where you and a friend (or someone you adore) need to answer a few questions to test your compatibility.

Fujifilm made sure the instax mini Link packs with so many features for fun and even convenience. This beaut prints fast and let you handle printing seamlessly. For example, swiping up a photo on the app can send the image directly to the printer. Some of Fujifilm’s cameras can also be connected so you can print your photographs right away! Moreover, pushing the instax button lets you reprint the last photo printed.

It won’t give up on you, unlike your ex

The instax mini Link can last longer, just like how instax films live for years. No, it won’t last for years on a single charge but you can definitely rely on its battery. One time, I brought the mini Link to a party and I forgot to charge it. With a worrisome 23%, I carefully used the printer throughout the night, printing only when needed. From eight in the evening to almost midnight, the instax mini Link’s battery only dropped to ten percent.

Seeing how most of my devices nowadays have better and long-lasting batteries, it’s awesome to see Fujifilm keeping up with the times — especially with a novelty focused on nostalgia. Surely, making your memories tangible would be a lot easier now. As much as technology has been evolving for photo sharing, nothing can really beat a photo immortalized through a film.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a film printer to collect your memories or gift them to your loved ones, the instax mini Link is a great choice. It’s a great accessory to bring in different occasions! Imagine handing out films as a souvenir on whatever joyous occasion you’re celebrating.

It only costs PhP 6,999 (US$ 135), which is pretty much expensive to most people not interested in novelties, but a price we’re willing to pay for the sake of our sentimental nature. It’s currently available in three beautiful colors: Ash White, Dusky Pink, and Dark Denim.

This printer isn’t for the tech-obsessed, who thinks the future is only comprised of avant-garde designs and cutting-edge technology. Not everyone wants to live in a futuristic, sci-fi world (which looks like it was built out of someone else’s dreams). Sometimes, what we need are the same, existing objects we find in our lifetime, only made smarter without overbearing, like this one.

Accessories

Designed for MMO: Razer unveils Naga V2 Pro

Most adaptable gaming mouse yet

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Razer Naga Pro V2

Razer is not done changing the game this year. The gaming and lifestyle brand has announced the release of the new Naga V2 Pro gaming mouse.

It costs PhP 11,590 and may be purchased through www.razer.com, Shopee, Lazada, and Razer’s local authorized sellers. 

Designed primarily for MMO, the Naga V2 Pro is the company’s most adaptable mouse yet, boasting of:

  • 3 interchangeable side plates
  • 19+1 programmable buttons
  • 22 programmable controls
  • Razer HyperScroll Pro Wheel
  • Razer HyperSpeed Wireless
  • Razer Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor
  • Razer Optical Mouse Switches Gen-3

A total upgrade of its predecessor, the Naga Pro, the Naga V2 Pro also supports a wide range of charging and connectivity options for low-latency and uninterrupted gaming.

When it comes to its HyperScroll Pro Wheel, the Naga V2 Pro can have up to 6 scroll wheel modes, including a user-customized mode available within Razer Synapse 3.

The custom mode also allows gamers to make countless adjustments for the best scroll feel depending on the task at hand.

The Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor, meanwhile, enhances the mouse’s aim, smart tracking, asymmetric cut-off, and motion sync.

Razer Naga V2 HyperSpeed

Coming in as another reliable option, Razer has also made the Naga V2 HyperSpeed available.

The slightly more affordable gaming mouse at PhP 6,690 also has Razer’s HyperScroll tech, Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensor, and Mechanical Mouse Switches Gen-2.

It can be powered by just one AA battery and last for up to 400 hours on Bluetooth or 250 hours on HyperSpeed Wireless.

This mouse will be made available by December 2022.

SEE ALSO: Razer Basilisk v3 Pro review: HyperSpeed, hyper responsive

 

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5 reasons why I like using a pair of wireless earbuds

Time to say goodbye to wired earphones!

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JBL Tune 130NC

Wireless has always been the future. The newest wireless earbuds innovation is taking over the market by storm for years now. Even smartphones are choosing to let go of the traditional headphone jacks to promote their proprietary products.

In the midst of all these changes, I find myself tangled up in making a decision between using wired earphones or wireless ones.

But for months, I’ve been using JBL Tune 130NC TWS earbuds and in my experience, I’ve realized that wireless earbuds are miles better than the alternative. Here are five reasons why:

1. Do more than just listen

Here’s a fact: wired headphones limit our mobility. And yes I know, nothing is more annoying than wanting to listen to a song or watch a video, and the moment you take out your wired earphones, it’s all tangled up.

Wireless earbuds give me so much convenience as I can easily get them straight out of my pocket. The JBL Tune 130NC enabled me to do more. Having two earbuds without an interconnecting cable is a much simpler equation.

I can freely walk 30 feet to the kitchen and grab a handful of chips without missing a beat of music or a word from a podcast. Also, a lot of smartphones nowadays don’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means true wireless earbuds aren’t just more convenient, they’re actually now a full-blown necessity.

2. Awesome features and functionalities

The fact that the earbuds are wireless does not mean that they will not give you the best sound quality. The JBL Tune 130NC houses 10mm JBL tuned drivers, which deliver a bass-rich audio output. The audio volume is perfect and, hence, does not get uncomfortable or distorted even at 100%.

JBL Tune 130NC

The bass output is excellent and adds a good amount of thump to the audio. A decent pair of wireless earbuds like the JBL Tune 130NC is more than capable of playing back Spotify at its full bit rate. I’m not losing any sound quality through this.

For a long time, wireless earbuds used to sound noticeably worse than their wired counterparts. They just weren’t capable of the same quality of playback as a pair of wired headphones. Now, it comes with longer-lasting battery life! It can survive more than a few stops on the train before needing a quick charge.

The touch controls are nicely placed and can be easily accessed whenever needed. The controls are hyper responsive and work pretty well.

3. Great at compatibility

The moment I opened the case of the JBL Tune 130NC, my smartphone quickly received a notification for pairing and connecting with it. So convenient!

JBL Tune 130NC

But the main highlight of the pairing was its customizable audio settings, allowing you to alter the settings to your liking. You can also choose from a few presets in the JBL app by default. You also get audio and video modes for a lower latency which does a fairly decent job.

Finally, coming to the microphone, the JBL Tune wireless earbuds house four microphones (2 on each earbud) that record good-quality audio. Yes, it does capture a noticeable amount of background noise, but taking some calls or attending meetings is okay.

4. Look stylish and sophisticated

It’s simply impossible to look stylish while wearing a pair of bulky headphones that look absolutely messy & inconvenient. This challenge is never an issue with wireless earbuds, thanks to their slender design.

The first thing to notice about JBL Tune 130NC’s charging case is its minimal look. I got the black color variant which comes with a single-toned body that looks pretty neat. They are sporty in look and design.

They are made in such a way that they will remain firm when you are working out. It fits comfortably in my ear and the classy product designs make them an accessory that adds to its overall look. You will surely love it even if you are a casual user of earbuds. It is also affordable despite its stylish looks and nature.

5. It matches my lifestyle

A major benefit that true wireless earbuds have over a traditional pair of earbuds is that they can be used easily for a wide variety of activities.

For instance, I use this every day while working out, watching K-drama series in the middle of the night, listening to music, and refreshing my core memory of every song that I need to study — basically, anything else you can think of!

Another thing I love about JBL Tune 130NC earbuds is how it comes in three different sizes. The shape of the buds is so versatile. These true wireless earbuds nicely fit in my ears and offer a nice secure fit, which adds a decent amount of noise isolation to them.

JBL Tune 130NC

Is this your Gadgetmatch?

We finally reached the point where you can safely go wire-free with almost no downsides. Whether studying a new song, having a virtual presentation, traveling, or just wanting to be alone with music, the JBL Tune 130NC offers excellent audio quality and decent active noise canceling capabilities which you’ll really love.

Even better, these earbuds are usually ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and an even more secure fit. It all comes down to one highly prized factor: If you can’t get enough of the freedom that true wireless earbuds and their innovative, small, compact, versatile, and easy-to-transport design all delivered, you might wanna check this one out.

The JBL Tune 130NC has a good battery life which means 40 hours of exceptional JBL Pure Bass Sound, coupled with an ergonomic and water-resistant design for all-day comfort in any weather. It also comes with plenty of valuable features like customizable audio settings and touch controls.

Yes, these are not the best-looking earbuds and lack features like in-ear detection or multiple devices connected, but when it comes to sound quality, these wireless earbuds are the best earbuds under the price bracket of PhP 5,999.

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Sony WH-1000XM5: One I can’t travel without

As good as ever

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WH-1000XM5

Sony just doesn’t miss and the WH-1000XM5 is another testament to that. The aforementioned headphones is the latest in Sony’s cream-of-the-crop line of personal audio companions. The WH-1000XM series has consistently gotten rave reviews and the XM5 looks to continue the trend.

Noise cancellation king

WH-1000XM5

The XM5 — that’s what we’ll call it from here on out — is a travel must-have. Its noise cancellation is still king of the hill! Perfect for drowning out all sorts of sounds wherever you may be. One time, I was using this while my brother was in the same room. I didn’t even notice him move at all even though we were in such a cramped space.

Easy controls

WH-1000XM5

You can cover the right ear cup for quick conversations or change to adaptive sound for full awareness, with a single button press.  And most buttons and ports are within reach along the sides of the left ear cup. While the usual controls are still on the right. In this regard, not much has changed, so if you’re upgrading from the XM2 or XM3, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with the controls.

Travel buddy

Oh and it’ll stay powered on, even if you’re on a long haul flight. I used this almost non-stop, fully charged, on a 19-hour flight and we landed with it still having around 20 percent of battery left. That was probably the most intense scenario that I was ever in while using the WH-1000XM5. In the few weeks that followed where I didn’t use it as much, it took about two to three weeks before I came reaching for the power cable.

Superb sound

And the sound is the same high quality we’ve come to expect from Sony. Clean highs. Solid mids. And a bass that just hits the spot. The sound kind of dances in your head, making it extra immersive. Sony produces this really round and full sound that I haven’t quite experienced with any other headphones that I’ve tried. Which isn’t a lot. I’m keen on trying the AirPods Max as well as the ones from Sennheiser. From what I heard, those should present some real competition.

WH-1000XM5

You can also tweak it to your liking on the Sony headphones app. One setting you might want to toggle off is the Speak-to-Chat feature. That’s only because it works a little too well. Too many times I found myself just mumbling sounds like “eh,” or even just humming and the XM5 would cut-off what I’m listening to.

Should you upgrade to this?

This really depends on what pair you’re using at the moment. If you’ve always been a Sony headphones fan and are coming from the same line, it’s likely a worthy upgrade EXCEPT if you’re coming from the XM4. Why? The XM4 is the peak of that particular form-factor. That one’s more compact, requiring less space in your bag. The sound quality and features also don’t stray too far from the WH-1000XM5. In fact, that might be the more economical buy at the moment.

But if you have to have the absolute latest Sony WH-1000XM headphone, then you won’t regret getting your hands on the XM5. It’s great, it is still very light and tough. Plus all the noise cancellation and sound quality goodness you’ve come to expect are better than ever.

If you’re coming from any other headphones, I dare say, this is an instant upgrade. Can’t have it any better than this.

Of course, I’m saying this with the caveat that I have to personally try the AirPods Max which I’ve heard many good things about. That is especially true if you’re also tied into the whole Apple ecosystem.

Other than that, you can’t go wrong with the Sony WH-1000XM5.

 

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