The Coronavirus pandemic prompted everybody to leave the “normal” behind and adopt a completely new lifestyle. With everyone moving to the work-from-home model, the demand for new computers, phones, and other gadgets skyrocketed, bringing another crisis to our doorstep — global chip shortage.
The world’s largest chipmaker TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), announced its quarterly results this week, posting a profit of almost US$ 5 billion. This marks a 19 percent rise in profit when compared to the previous quarter. The announcement is good news for the investors, but it also highlights how long the shortage will continue.
TSMC CEO C.C. Wei said that the company hopes to offer more capacity and meet the demand by 2023. That’s two years away. And that’s after gearing up to spend a whopping US$ 100 billion in the next three years to ramp up production.
American chipmaker Intel has been plagued with production issues for the last few years and recently disclosed that it would spend US$ 20 billion to set up two new facilities in Arizona, US. However, these production sites take time to come up and can’t be just switched on in a few months.
Things aren’t looking good
Even Nvidia isn’t very optimistic about a recovery from the chip shortage anytime soon. “Overall demand remains very strong and continues to exceed supply while our channel inventories remain quite lean,” the company said in its press release. “We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year.”
Nvidia also has a brand new challenge — the demand for GPUs has skyrocketed ever since Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies started their bullish run in 2020. Cryptocurrency evangelists are constantly on the lookout for new gear, further amplifying the chip shortage.
The current state of component availability looks grim, affecting everything from the availability of new graphics cards to processors to next-gen PlayStations and Xboxes. The ripple effects of the shortage are being felt by every technology company, including giants like Apple.
Western Digital introduces ‘world’s fastest’ memory cards, new SSDs
Availability, capacity for memory cards to be announced
Western Digital, the company behind the renowned SanDisk storage brand, introduced new innovations at their What’s Next Western Digital Event.
Included in the reveal are a new modular SSD ecosystem and the world’s fastest SD and microSD memory cards designed for professionals: the SanDisk Professional PRO-UHS.
Terabytes of storage on the go
The new SanDisk Professional PRO-BLADE modular SSD ecosystem was designed to meet the need for ultrafast portable storage devices.
The powerful ecosystem lets users swap out lightweight and high-capacity PRO-BLADE SSD mags so terabytes worth of storage may be carried easily.
The ecosystem includes:
- PRO-BLADE SSD Mag
- PRO-BLADE TRANSPORT portable SSD enclosure
- PRO-BLADE STATION desktop SSD enclosure
Western Digital also announced read speeds of up to 200MB/s on its SanDisk Extreme PRO memory card line (SD and microSD).
Paired with the new SanDisk professional PRO-READER (SD and microSD), the new products are poised to deliver unmatched speeds to enable users to offload content and other files quickly.
New WD_BLACK SSD
When it comes to gamers, Western Digital also revealed two new additions to its WD_BLACK gaming SSD lineup, with each storage coming with innovative features.
WD_BLACK SN850X NVMe SSD:
- Read speeds of up to 7,300MB/s
- Minimized latency, predictive loading, adaptive thermals management
- Downloadable WD-BLACK Dashboard for Game Mode 2.0
- Optional heatsink
- RGB lighting
WD_BLACK P40 Game Drive SSD:
- USB 3.2 Gen2x2 interface
- Read speeds of up to 2,000MB/s
- Downloadable WD_BLACK Dashboard
- RGB lighting
Availability and storage capacities for the SanDisk memory cards will be announced later. For more information on the newest products, visit www.WDBLACK.com.
Most durable yet: Samsung releases T7 Shield portable SSD
Improved security, exceptional performance
Samsung Electronics announced the availability of its latest external storage device, the T7 Shield Portable SSD in Singapore.
Billed as the most durable PSSD yet from the tech giant, the newest addition to Samsung’s portable SSD lineup delivers on exceptional performance and incredibly fast speeds while coming in a sleek design.
Durable, compatible with more devices
Users will not have to worry too much about data loss. The T7 Shield is carefully engineered and comes with the following features:
- Shock-resistant from drops up to three meters
- IP65-certified as dustproof and water-resistant
- Optimized inside and outside to prevent performance degradation and overheating from huge file transfers
The T7 Shield is also designed to work across multiple devices (PC, Mac, Android Smartphone, game console) to be able to store pictures, games, and even 4K and 8K videos
The T7 Shield delivers a read speed of up to 1,050 MB/s and a write speed of up to 1,000 MB/s, the fastest transfer speeds yet based on the USB 3.2 Gen2 standard.
This is twice as fast as its predecessor, the T5, and up to 9.5 times faster than external hard disk drives (HDDs).
The T7 Shield also boasts strengthened security (256-bit AES, Advanced Encryption Standard) and access to Samsung’s Magician Software which lets users to conveniently manage the drive.
Pricing and availability
The T7 Shield is available in 1TB and 2TB in the following colors:
The 1TB is priced at SG$ 239 while the 2TB retails for SG$ 459. The package includes:
- USB Type C-to-C and Type C-to-A cables
- Three-year limited warranty
Samsung’s latest PSSD will be available for pre-order from April 26, 2022 here, with customers receiving a special 7 percent discount.
6 things to consider before buying a smart monitor
Look beyond the widescreen monitors you’re familiar with!
Having a smart monitor isn’t something I considered, given that I left a desk station almost a decade ago. I was liberated from the usual office setup, tugging along my laptop wherever I go.
However, the recent circumstances surrounding our working setup changed the way I think about investing in a do-it-all monitor. Now, we’re torn between committing to on-site work, fully work-from-home, or staying in a hybrid setup. I’m certain it’s not just me thinking heavily about investing in one.
To ensure we get the value of the monitors we’re purchasing, here are some things to consider before buying one.
Clear and vibrant display
Frankly, a device’s screen is the most important part. You spend a lot of time looking at the information provided on the display. This is why you need to consider the screen first and foremost before buying a smart monitor.
An enthralling screen is extremely important, especially if you’re a creative professional. For instance, my Huawei MateView delivers 4K+ resolution, a 98% DCI-P3 color gamut offering 1 billion colors, 500 nits of brightness, and HDR capability. In other words, it has a high-resolution, color-accurate display that’s capable of displaying high dynamic range content.
It certainly helped me in my graphic design, photo retouching, and video editing endeavors.
We’re not getting any younger — I think we’ve all heard everyone say that. That said, back and neck pain are something you’ll deal with especially when you spend hours looking down on your laptop. It’s inherently bad for your body and posture in the long run.
Experts recommend that you look straight, which is why having an adjustable monitor is important. Forget monitor stands or stacked books, an adjustable monitor will allow you to adjust its tilt and the height of the display to maintain eye level.
Taller screen for better productivity
If you’re more focused on being productive and getting things done, having a monitor with a taller aspect ratio is much better than the usual 16:9 widescreen monitors.
For example, the MateView has a 3:2 aspect ratio which makes it reasonably wide, but still tall enough to fit what you’re working on. In my case, it’s easier to post-process hundreds of photos we took of the devices we’re working on.
Seamless wireless connection
Most manufacturers are heavily investing in ecosystems nowadays. Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and even the likes of Xiaomi are starting to integrate their devices and connect seamlessly through smart features.
My Huawei MateView, for example, quickly connected to the Huawei P50 Pocket which I tapped on the monitor’s base imprinted with Huawei Share or OneHop icon.
It automatically connected to the monitor and allowed me to choose to display what was on my phone. There’s a Desktop Mode which resembled more of a computer OS than a smartphone interface.
You can also connect through Wireless Connection and you don’t have to worry. The monitor is designed in such a way that latency — or lag — isn’t noticeable.
Go wired and keep it tethered
Some people still prefer to use different options for connectivity: USB-C, HDMI, and Mini Display. Personally, I still use the USB-C cable whether for my MacBook Air or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra since it charges the device at the same time.
The Huawei MateView can charge any laptop that requires 65W and under. Also, I like how it works smoothly with non-Huawei devices.
Moreover, there’s a headphone jack if you don’t want to use the front-firing speakers. The port also doubles as a mic input, perfect for important calls.
Aesthetically pleasing to your eyes
We spend time working on our desks for 8 hours or more. Sometimes, it goes beyond 18 hours when you work in a fast-paced environment like an advertising agency or production house.
If you’re going to look at your devices for a long time, make sure you like what you see. It’s easy to stay productive when you have a pleasant setup. It’s not always limited to decorating your desks with fancy accessories and color-matching everything.
Sometimes, you just need a smart monitor that’s pretty to look at, so you get excited to hop on your work and get things done. Of course, it shouldn’t be just beautiful. It needs to be functional too.
As for me, the Huawei MateView delivers exactly what I need. From aesthetics, connectivity, display, and ergonomics — I’m happy to use this for the next few months or maybe, even a year.
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