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After Michael Josh sipped his much-needed caffeine, he met some TechTuber friends before he finally went back for the new Pixel devices.

Teased as early as May 2022, the Pixel 7, 7 Pro, and the much-awaited Pixel Watch should be a surprise to most of you.

But surprisingly, they offer more than what was announced.

Wanna know more about ’em?

Take a look at our First Look of the Google Pixel 7, 7 Pro, and the Pixel Watch!

 

First Look

God of War Ragnarok Early Impressions

Familiar and new at the same time

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God of War Ragnarok

Sony PlayStation has graciously provided GadgetMatch with a review code of God of War Ragnarok. This article, however, isn’t a review yet. This is only our early impressions after spending roughly around 10 hours with the game. 

So, no, there will be no spoilers whatsoever here. In fact, there’s a lot we’re not allowed to discuss – for good reason. But here’s what we can tell you: 

Playing the first game is encouraged… 

God of War Ragnarok

Playing the initial installment (God of War 2018) is encouraged but not required. There’s a brief story recap option on the menu and it covers the more important plot points. There’s also several recap videos on YouTube that serve this purpose. 

But PlayStation has made the 2018 game available in so many different ways that, if you can get your hands on it, we suggest you do so first before diving into Ragnarok. You still have three (3) weekends to do so as of writing.

It’s not overwhelming

God of War Ragnarok

That said, if you’d rather jump into this game right off the bat, that should be fine too. The game does a good job of easing you into all the weapons, skills, and whatnots that you’ll encounter. 

The first game ended with Kratos having more than one weapon. Ragnarok throws you into action but staggers the weapons available in a way that makes sense for the story. 

New traversal and puzzle-solving

A lot of the early platform puzzles feel the same but there are a few additional moves that help keep things interesting. Specifically, these involve the Blades of Chaos. 

Some of it has been shown in the trailers. Kratos can use the Blades to Hook and Grapple himself towards higher areas. The Blades can also be used to yank off certain obstacles. 

Combat is fun and challenging

Easily one of the best things about the new God of War is its combat. Ragnarok retains everything you know and love about combat. But it keeps things interesting by mixing in a new blocking mechanic as well as introducing new enemy types early on. 

You will feel the weight of every axe swing, every blade cut, and every weapon clash. Fighting as Kratos feels as good as ever and is easily one of the most satisfying battle experiences in any video game ever made.

The story is engaging

Perhaps even more so than the first game, Ragnarok, even in its early hours, will have you hooked on the narrative. The story picks-up three years after the events of the first game, with Atreus looking to find out more about himself. Atreus’ curiosity and how Kratos reacts to it is at the heart of everything that will transpire. 

The presentation is stunning

God of War Ragnarok is still a one-shot like the first game. That means no loading screens whatsoever. And it looks as visually stunning as it ever did. If you can, do yourself a favor and play this on a 4K TV with support for at least 60fps. 

The visual presentation is jaw-dropping. Everything from the environments, the animations, the character models, and how they interact and show emotion during key moments. 

The dialogue is also top-notch. It gets cheeky and on the nose at times, humorously referencing events from the first game. 

Lastly, the music and overall sound is divine. Nothing ever feels out of place. And each scene is enhanced and elevated by the absolute masterpiece that is the score in this game. 

Should you pre-order? 

God of War Ragnarok

We’re only 10 hours in and we’re absolutely elated with how things are going so far. As early as now, we can say with absolute certainty that this is easily one of the best games you will play in your lifetime. Stop dilly-dallying and pre-order it now.

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24 Hours Series

First 24 Hours with the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Battery & Camera Champ?

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Just in time with the newest iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series, our First 24 hours series is back on track!

Aside from the usual one day usage, it’s also a great time to see the streets of New York, at least virtually.

With the new cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro Max (including a 48MP sensor),

is it suffice to say it’s worth upgrading to this year’s iPhone?

Here’s Michael Josh’s first 24 hours with the new iPhone 14 Pro Max for you to find out more.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 First 24 Hours

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First Look

Vibe Check: ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED

This one’s different

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Zenbook 17 Fold

We haven’t seen anything quite like this before. The ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold OLED (which we’ll just call the Zenbook 17 Fold for brevity) is the first of its kind at its size.

Foldables aren’t new, especially to those who constantly follow tech news. Samsung has lorded over the foldable smartphone segment with its two device types – the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. They are finally getting some competition in 2023 with the likes of OPPO, Xiaomi, and HONOR all gearing up to globally launch their own foldables. 

But that’s smartphones. In the laptop category, the closest thing we’ve seen to this is the ThinkPad X1 Fold. And while that’s promising, it still needs a few more iterations to be a really attractive option. 

The same is pretty much true with the Zenbook 17 Fold. At least, that’s the impression we got after spending a good hour with it. And that hour wasn’t even the full experience. The unit we had was an early engineering unit, so we can only really tell you so much from that brief experience.

Four modes

ASUS went out of their way to showcase how the Zenbook 17 Fold. While you can probably get more creative with it, here are four modes that are actually software supported. 

PC

Zenbook 17 Fold

In this mode, you prop up the Zenbook 17 Fold on a desk, table, or what-have-you, and use it with the accompanying bluetooth keyboard detached. It’s kind of like the tablet top mode of the Nintendo Switch but for an oversized foldable PC. 

Book

Zenbook 17 Fold

This one’s pretty straightforward. You can hold it horizontally and fold it mimicking the folding feeling of an actual book. I gotta say, at 1.50 kg (3.31 lbs) it’s got a bit of a heft to it so maybe holding it for a prolonged period of time isn’t advisable.

Laptop

Zenbook 17 Fold

In laptop mode, you only get to use half of the screen. What happens is you fold it halfway as if you’re using a laptop. And then you slap on the included keyboard on the bottom half. This gives you a generally smaller device – kind of like the netbooks from a decade ago. It’s a little cramped but is nice for working in tighter spaces.

Tablet

Zenbook 17 Fold

This one should be self explanatory as well. You simply open it up wide and use it as a true-blue oversized tablet. This is particularly great for media consumption. Can say we definitely enjoyed watching LOONA’s “Flip That” on this thing. 

Zenbook 17 Fold

And just look at LOONA Heejin occupying that much space on the FOLED (Foldable OLED) screen. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous. 

Zenbook 17 Fold

It’s also worth noting that in landscape mode, the device will offer multiple split screen options for your multitasking needs.

What’s it packing?

 

We didn’t get to test it much, since, as mentioned earlier, it is an engineering unit. But here’s what the Zenbook 17 Fold is packing on paper to give you an idea. 

Operating System: 

  • Windows 11 Pro – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business
  • Windows 11 Home – ASUS recommends Windows 11 Pro for business

Processor: 

  • Intel® Core™ i7-1250U Processor 1.1 GHz (12M Cache, up to 4.7 GHz, 2P+8E cores)

Graphics:

  • Intel® Iris Xe Graphics

Display: 

  • 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87%
  • 17.3-inch, 2560 x 1920 FOLED 4:3 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 60Hz refresh rate, 500nits HDR peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, Screen-to-body ratio: 87%

Memory: 

  • 16GB LPDDR5 on board, Total system memory upgradeable to:16GB

Storage:

  • 1TB M.2 NVMe™ PCIe® 4.0 Performance SSD

I/O Ports:

  • 2x Thunderbolt™ 4 supports display / power delivery
  • 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

Keyboard and Touchpad:

  • Soft Keyboard, 1.4mm Key-travel, Touchpad

Camera:

  • 5.0M camera with IR function

Audio:

  • Smart Amp Technology
  • Built-in speaker
  • Built-in array microphone
  • harman/kardon (Premium)
  • with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support

Network:

  • Wi-Fi 6E(802.11ax) (Dual band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5

Battery and Power Supply:

  • 75WHrs, 4S1P, 4-cell Li-ion
  • TYPE-C, 65W AC Adapter, Output: 20V DC, 3.25A, 65W, Input: 100-240V AC 50/60GHz universal

Microsoft Office: 

  • 1-month trial for new Microsoft 365 customers. Credit card required.
  • Office Home and Student 2021 included
  • Microsoft 365 Personal 1-year included.*
  • *Activation required with 6-months of Windows activation date.
  • Microsoft Office Home & Business 2021

Pricing and availability details to follow.

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