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.

Gaming

ASUS TUF Gaming A15, A17 now official in the Philippines

New look, better specs, still TUF

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The newest iterations of ASUS’ TUF Gaming series come with improvements on the inside and on the outside. New to the lineup are the 15-inch ASUS TUF Gaming A15 and the 17-inch ASUS TUF Gaming A17.

Both laptops come with the latest 4th Gen AMD Ryzen processors and in the new Fortress Gray design. The TUF Gaming series are now in smaller but without any compromises as it adds more input ports like a USB 3.2 Type-C port for 4k display output.There’s also the DTS X: Ultra Audio speakers for audio improvement.

While some things changes, other stayed the same.The signature Military Grade Standard Durability that the TUF series has been known is still here.

Working in tandem with the Ryzen chips to deliver a powerful gaming experience is the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and up to a Ryzen 9 4900H CPU. Adding some smoothness is support for up to a 144Hz refresh rate display supported by Adaptive Sync Technology.

Pricing and availability

The first model for the ASUS TUF Gaming A15 will be the FX506IU-AL111T, equipped with the latest R7-4800H, GTX 1660Ti, with 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD + 512 SSD storage, topped off with the 15” FHD 144Hz IPS display.

The price is PhP 69,995.00 and will be available starting May 22, 2020.

Here are details for the rest of the models:

Series MODEL LCD LCD TYPE CPU RAM HDD VGA COLOR BUNDLE SRP ARRIVAL DATE
TUF GAMING A15 FX506IU-AL111T 15” FHD IPS 144HZ R7- 4800H 8G 1TB HDD + 512 PCIE2 GTX 1660ti

6GD6

Fortress Black TUF Backpack PHP 69,995 May 22, 2020
TUF GAMING A15 FX506IV-AL129T 15” FHD IPS 144HZ R9- 4900H 8G 1TB HDD + 512 PCIE2 RTX 2060 6GD6 Fortress Black TUF Backpack

TUF M5 Gaming Mouse

PHP 79,995 June 2020
TUF GAMING A15 FX506II-AL120T 15” FHD IPS 144HZ R7- 4800H 4Gx2 1TB HDD + 256G PCIE2 GTX 1650ti 4GD6 Fortress Black TUF Backpack PHP 61,995 June 2020
TUF GAMING A15 FX506II-AL049T 15” FHD IPS 144HZ R5- 4600H 4Gx2 512G PCIE2 GTX 1650ti 4GD6 Fortress Black TUF Backpack PHP 51,995 June 2020
TUF GAMING A17 FX706II-H7082T 17” FHD IPS 120HZ R7- 4800H 8G 1TB HDD + 512 PCIE2 GTX 1660ti 6GD6 Fortress Black TUF Backpack PHP 71,995 June 2020
TUF GAMING A17 FX706II-H7088T 17” FHD IPS 120HZ R7- 4800H 8G 1TB HDD + 256G PCIE2 GTX 1650ti 4GD6 Fortress Black TUF Backpack PHP 64,995 June 2020

 

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Gaming

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 arrives in the Philippines

Powered by the latest AMD chip, in a sleek, personalized package

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ASUS Philippines is set to unveil the arrival of one of the most sought-after gaming laptops. Announced back in CES 2020, this version now comes with the latest AMD processors and gaming hardware suited for everybody. Also, it will come with one of ASUS’ most creative technologies in any gaming device out in the market.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 is arriving in the Philippines, and looks to be the most powerful gaming laptop in the market. It sports the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 Series processors inside, with up to an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU. It also comes with up to 16GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and with a 14″ 120Hz FHD display for a smooth gaming experience. All of this packed together in a Moonlight White colorway for a more professional look.

The star of the show is the AniMe Matrix on the lid of the device. It is customizable to the point that you can put text, GIFs, and even your own logo on it. In essence, not only will you own a solid gaming device, but you can be creative with it, as well. The device also comes with WiFi 6 Connectivity with access to faster and longer internet connectivity, and USB-C Power Delivery.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 will be available on May 29, 2020 in two configurations. First is the configuration priced at PhP 99,995, which features the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti inside. The second configuration follows the same processor except that it’s the one that comes with an NVIDIA RTX 2060, and is priced at PhP 109,995. If you purchase any of these models, you will also be given Sole Academy gift certificates worth PHP 5,000.

Here are the rest of the bundles available:

Series

MODEL

LCD

LCD TYPE

CPU

RAM

HDD

VGA

COLOR

REMARKS

BUNDLE

SRP

ARRIVAL DATE

ROG Zephyrus G14

GA401IV-HE247T

14″ FHD

IPS 120HZ

R9-4900HS

8Gx2

1TB PCIE2

RTX2060 6GD6

Moonlight White

AniME Matrix LED

ROG Sleeve, ROG Strix Impact Mouse, ROG Eye Web Camera

PHP 5,000 Sole Academy Voucher (May 29-June 7, 2020 promo)

PHP 109,995

May 29, 2020

ROG Zephyrus G14

GA401IU-HE137T

14″ FHD

IPS 120HZ

R9-4900HS

8G

1TB PCIE2

GTX1660ti 6GD6

Moonlight White

AniME Matrix LED

ROG Sleeve, ROG Strix Impact Mouse, ROG Eye Web Camera

PHP 5,000 Sole Academy Voucher (May 29-June 7, 2020 promo)

PHP 99,995

May 29, 2020

ROG Zephyrus G14

GA401IU-HE045T

14” FHD

IPS 120HZ

R9-4900HS

8G

1TB PCIE2

GTX1660ti 6GD6

Eclipse Gray

ROG Sleeve, ROG Strix Impact Mouse

PHP 89,995

June 2020

ROG Zephyrus G14

GA401II-HE058T

14” FHD

IPS 120HZ

R7-4800HS

8G

512G PCIE2

GTX 1650Ti 4GD6

Eclipse Gray

ROG Sleeve, ROG Strix Impact Mouse

PHP 74,995

June 2020

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Laptops

ASUS VivoBook S14 now in the Philippines

For work, learning, and play

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We were big fans of the ASUS VivoBook the first time we got to try it so consider us thrilled now that the new VivoBook S14 (M433) is coming to the Philippines.

The VivoBook is positioned pretty much as a value-for-money notebook without sacrificing style or performance.

This new VivoBook is powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processor — more than enough power for work, play, and leveling up your skills. Specifically, it’s an AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Mobile Processor with 8GB RAM.

The 14-inch VivoBook S14 (M433) has an ultrathin 15.9 mm chassis that weighs just 1.4 kg. It comes in Bespoke Black with a yellow color-blocking Enter key. It features a thin-bezel NanoEdge FHD display which allows a larger screen to fit into a smaller chassis.

The new VivoBook S14 (M433) be specified with up to a 512 GB PCIe SSD, making it also ideal for users looking to multitask on two or more active windows onscreen at any given time with no worries.

Included here is the latest MyASUS software called Link to MyASUS. It allows you to seamlessly integrate your workflow between laptops and your mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. It features the following:

  • Wireless file and URL transfers
  • Remote File Access from PC’s storage via a mobile device
  • Mirror and Screen Extender modes

To pair your smartphone or tablet to Link To MyASUS, simply connect your device to your ASUS VivoBook S14 via Bluetooth, and make sure you are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Pricing and availability

The ASUS VivoBook S14 in Bespoke Black comes in two variants and will be available for pre-orders from June 1- 12, 2020. Interested participants of this pre-order will also take home exclusive and exciting bundled items worth up to PhP 23, 830.

The VivoBook S14 M433IA-EB071TS with Ryzen 7 Processor is priced at PhP 44,995 and comes with bundled items worth PhP 23, 830:

  • ASUS Nereus Bag
  • Pre-Installed Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 with Lifetime License
  • Laptop Soft Stand
  • ASUS Premium Care Warranty Extension Package

The VivoBook S14 M433IA-EB051TS with Ryzen 5 Processor is also available at just PhP 39,995 and comes with bundled items worth PhP 16,940:

  • ASUS Nereus Bag
  • Laptop Soft Stand
  • ASUS Premium Care Warranty Extension Package

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