Laptops

HP Spectre x360 13 (2020) review: An elegant convertible

Small but terrible?

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I live in a world where beauty matters above all. I can’t seem to like something if it isn’t pleasant to look at, or if it doesn’t match my aesthetics. When HP sent over the Spectre x360 13 (2020), I was flabbergasted. I’ve never seen a laptop that made me feel… underdressed.

Head-turning elegance

In a glance, the HP Spectre x360 13 (2020) is astounding to look at. It looks premium, it made me want to dress up in suits. This refreshed laptop comes with a cutting-edge design, and it looks even more polished compared to its predecessors.

Admittedly, I fell in love the first time I saw it. The Spectre x360 13 speaks to me on a spiritual level, with its brushed metal and copper finish — which looks like rose gold in certain lighting conditions — it’s a color that my 2017 self would appreciate but I’m more into white and silver now.

Nonetheless, it looks sexy and gorgeous, especially if you bring it in cafes and your meetings. It feels weird to find people in awe while looking at my laptop instead of me. Definitely a head-turner!

Naturally, there’s an impression of a pretty laptop as frail and fragile. This laptop defies the conceived notion since its sturdy yet slender chassis feels robust. It’s small, lightweight, and impressively thin, too! I find it funny that it fits inside my PacSafe sling bag and people were surprised when I take my laptop out of my small bag.

Even though it’s not the thinnest and lightest, the Spectre x360 13 is still easy to carry and bring wherever you go. Using it for almost a month, my back didn’t feel any pain compared to when I’m using a 15-inch Windows laptop or a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Well-thought details

What I love about the Spectre x360 is how HP thoughtfully crafted and refined it is. Just like the Dell XPS 13, I always stress the importance of details. It’s always the little things that make a laptop premium — from convenience, portability, security, to ease of use.

For starters, the Spectre x360 put a blazing-fast fingerprint reader to unlock my laptop — if it accurately scans your fingerprint. In the occasion that it didn’t read your fingerprint, you can still access your laptop through a pin or password unlock.

Its keyboard is excellent for typing, too. Despite being relatively small, HP didn’t cramp its keys, evenly spacing it while keeping it soft to ensure a quiet experience.

About its touchpad, it’s smooth and responsive for a Windows laptop. Surprisingly, I found it easy to glide my fingers at it and when I’m feeling lazy to navigate the touchpad, I can always stick to using its touchscreen display.

When you take a close look at its edges, the Spectre x360 is really beautiful. From its glossy, exemplary hinge and gem-cut design, to its subtle buttons and ports that easily blends into its frame — it’s difficult not to love it.

Found on its left side is its power button, audio jack, and a covered USB 3.1 Type-A port which ate my colleague’s flash drive. To prevent similar incidents, I opted not to use it anymore.

Luckily, HP packed a dongle with two USB Type-A ports, a USB-C port, and an HDMI port. It proved useful since the laptop’s right side comes with a USB Type-C port on the right, and another USB Type-C port for charging on the upper corner.

Both HP’s dongle and charger come in a gorgeous braided cable. Frankly, it’s the best set of cables I’ve had in a while and the fact that HP put a lot of effort even in its accessories proved they take their premium laptops seriously. It also has a microSD card reader which I barely used, and my favorite — the webcam kill switch.

Like a gorgeous secretary

The HP Spectre x360 13 is a premium convertible. Attached to a beautiful hinge that flexes smoothly, this 2-in-1 laptop gives you a beautiful tablet to use like you’re some kind of gorgeous secretary.

Thanks to its lightweight form factor, it’s a breeze to switch from laptop to tablet mode. HP provided a tilt pen — powered by AAA battery — to help you navigate and write notes quickly.

Apps are also simplified when in tablet mode. It’s supposed to be easy for anyone to handle but even with my past experiences with convertibles and my long stint with this laptop weren’t enough for me to fully grasp its tablet mode.

I still get confused with the tools, buttons, and software available — but that’s just me. Here’s to hoping that the next generation of Spectre laptops come with less pre-installed software. As of now, the Spectre x360 13 runs on Windows 10, packed with software like HP Command Center, Microsoft Office 365, ExpressVPN, and McAfee LiveSafe.

Don’t let its size fool you

The Spectre x360 13 is a powerhouse for a relatively small laptop. This is where the adage “don’t let its size fool you” comes in. This laptop is powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, and 16GB LPDDDR4 RAM, and 1TB SSD storage.

During my stint, I was able to handle multiple tabs in Google Chrome — a power-hungry browser. Additionally, I can run multiple apps and software alongside Chrome such as Spotify, Netflix, and Adobe Creative Suite. Yes, you can edit with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom. To an extent, it can handle Premiere Pro but expect for it to heat up.

The biggest struggle I had to deal with is how the Spectre x360 13 heats up. It tends to get scorching hot, which proves impossible for you to put it on your lap or on your arms when in tablet mode — unless you want to fry and toast your arms or your parts from down under.

It’s also noisy when its fans start working to dissipate the heat, even when situated in a desk or a cooling stand. At best, the laptop is perfect for presentations, meetings, browsing, and entertainment.

Despite having a 13.3-inch screen, it comes with 4K resolution and AMOLED panel — guaranteed to deliver better visuals. It’s also strengthened by a Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, enhancing the screen’s scratch resistance.

The HP Spectre x360 13 carries two audio speakers from Bang & Olufsen. It’s not the best speakers you can get but it’s more than enough for your entertainment usage.

Lastly, expect this small laptop to have a lot of juice throughout your day. When I was working remotely, I had the HP Spectre x360 13 last for 12 hours, allowing me to be productive and finish my tasks.

It comes with a small 65W Type-C power adapter, so you can expect it to recharge itself faster than you do when you try to recover from your week-long fatigue.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

With a whopping starting price of PhP 79,990 (US$ 1586), it’s difficult to recommend an expensive laptop since there are cheaper yet more powerful Windows laptops out there. If you have the money to spend, I would even suggest getting flagship Windows laptops like the Lenovo Yoga S940 or Dell XPS 13 or a MacBook Pro for more focus on power and productivity.

But if you’re keen on getting the HP Spectre x360 13 2020 because you fell in love with its looks, then you can maybe talk yourself into buying this laptop. After all, it looks elegant, premium, polished, and delivers decent performance, packed with plenty of features to like.

Laptops

What it’s like to use the ZenBook Pro 15 OLED, according to creative professionals

The laptop of tomorrow is the laptop for the pros

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ASUS has just launched the ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED in the Philippines. The laptop of tomorrow now comes with an evolved ScreenPad Plus and a new hinge design, improving the ergonomics and brightness levels that elevate the touchscreen experience.

The ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED is equipped with a powerful Intel Core i9 processor and NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics. It also sports a Pantone-validated 15.6-inch 4K UHD OLED HDR main display.

Laptop for the Pros

Meant for creative professionals, ASUS brings out real Pros in different industries to share their experience using an avant-garde laptop.

For Jason Magbanua, renowned wedding videographer and visual storyteller, the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo OLED 15 works as fast as he thinks. It’s a “machine that keeps up with his creativity.”

After all, the laptop sports 32GB of memory and 1TB SSD storage, speeding up your process while keeping it smooth.

Streamlining your work

YouTube sensation and Architect Oliver Austria remembers one of his favorite quotes: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

To Austria, having a professional laptop means he can be ready for any opportunity that comes his way since the laptop allows him to streamline his workflow and create quality video content.

Especially the ScreenPad Plus, featuring a brand-new Control Center UI. Creative pros can now customize and minimize their screen according to their preferences and enable intuitive interactions between the two displays for an efficient workflow.

Moreover, the machine has a unique feature of Adobe Control Center suitable for Adobe Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Lightroom Classic.

The right gear can enhance your experience

As most artists find themselves sitting in front of their machines for a long time, sometimes the right gear is something that lets them multi-task without worry.

While the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED prides itself on having top-of-the-line hardware, its ergonomic design and experience are its ultimate edge.

For instance, the tilting ScreenPad plus lifts up to 9.5 degrees, and slightly raises the back of the laptop, which results in an improved airflow by 36 percent more. It simply avoids overheating even when used for longer hours.

This is why Graphic Designer and Illustrator AJ Dimarucot reiterated how one of the most important aspects of his career is using the right tools. Dimarucot, known for working on experiential, digital, and integrated campaigns for global brands, stated how finding the right gear can change the way you work.

Get full creative freedom

For other creative pros, color accuracy is one thing they consider before buying a laptop. Luckily, the ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED produces true-to-life professional-grade colors and supports 3840×2160 resolution. Its 4K OLED screen is stunningly embraced whether for content creation or media consumption.

Landscape, Travel, and Architectural photographer Nicco Valenzuela shared how the laptop of tomorrow aids him in improving his workflow and post-processing stage.

“When a creative pursues a brilliant idea, their tools must work in harmony with their technical and creative skills. The [Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED] breaks down these barriers for me and gives me full creative freedom and efficiency in my workflow,” said Valenzuela.

Price and availability

The ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED is available in a Celestial Blue colorway. The 10th-generation Intel Core i9 processor variant is priced at PhP 199,995. There’s also an Intel Core i7 processor variant that retails for PhP 169,995.

Interested customers can now purchase the laptop of tomorrow on select ASUS’ official stores and authorized multi-brand stores nationwide.

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Laptops

Lenovo launches IdeaPad Slim 3i and Slim 5i Pro

Equipped with the hardware to take you to the next level

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IdeaPad Slim 3i

Lenovo designed their IdeaPad lineup of laptops to best suit the working professional. With each year, the company adds something new to the mix to cater to a wide range of needs. Now, as we continue our work-from-home setup, they’re releasing two new laptops with significant upgrades to boost performance for all your tasks. Introducing: the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i and Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro.

 IdeaPad Slim 3i

The Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i in Almond Sand

While not necessarily a new laptop, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i comes with hardware upgrades for heavier workload. For starters, the new laptop will come an 11th-gen Intel Core processor and an NVIDIA discrete GPU inside. Along with up to 16GB of RAM, the laptop becomes an ideal option for work-related tasks and a bit of gaming or graphics work.

Meanwhile, the new Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro comes with the same set of hardware and some key changes. Apart from the CPU and RAM, the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro also comes with a 2K, 16:10 display with up to a 120Hz refresh rate. Also, you have an option to get this device with an NVIDIA RTX 3050 for a big gaming performance boost. In essence, the IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro serves an all-around device for the professionals and casual gamers alike.

These two laptops are now available in Lenovo stores and online retailers. For their SRPs, the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 3i starts at PhP 39,995, while the Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 5i Pro starts at PhP 59,995.

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook D 15 Core i3 now available in the Philippines

Comes with freebies worth PhP 5,279 for a limited time only!

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MateBook D 15 2021

After the release of the MateBook Family 2021 laptops, Huawei Philippines came up with another device. Introducing the Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 Core 1.3 ,a 15.6-inch ultra-slim laptop. Equipped with Huawei’s FullView display and the 10th generation Intel Core processor, this slim laptop packs a punch. A metallic body to seal the insides with a thickness of only 16.9 mm, the new MateBook is a product you might want to take a look at!

Opening the laptop, you will immediately see the 1920×1080 pixels, IPS anti-glare, and 250 nits screen. This MateBook has a screen-to-body ratio of 87 percent and a viewing angle of 178 degrees as well. Additionally, the top of the keyboard houses the 1mp recessed camera. To top it all off, Huawei Share is also supported by this variant making multitasking easier for the users. Simply connect your phone to the laptop vis Huawei Share and you’ll be ready to go.

Another favorite feature of the laptop is the fingerprint power button, Huawei claims to be the first to do it. The new recessed camera allows Huawei to have more space to achieve the 87 percent screen-to-body ratio. The MateBook D 15 2021 also has a smart assistant and a 4K video playback for the best experience.

Price and Availability

The MateBook D 15 2021 is priced at PhP 31,999, it comes with the Mystic Silver color. There will be exclusive bundles available for the new MateBook.

Buy MateBook D 15 2021 online via the Huawei Store, Shopee, or Lazada starting on June 6 until July 17, 2021, and you will get a free Huawei Band 4 worth PhP 1,890, Huawei Backpack worth PhP 1,890, and a Huawei Bluetooth Speaker worth PhP 1,499.

Starting from June 11 until 17, 2021, you can preorder MateBook D 15 2021 at the nearest Huawei experience stores and take home a free Huawei Band 4 worth PhP 1,890, Huawei Backpack worth PhP 1,890, and an Entertainment Gift Package worth PhP 2,099.

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