Laptops

HP spices up its Spectre x360 and Envy 13 notebooks

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HP Spectre x360 tent

Anyone familiar with HP’s recent offerings knows just how great their designs are as of late, from the sexy Spectre 13 laptop to the unique desktop PCs launched during IFA 2016. Now, the Spectre x360 and Envy 13 are getting a refresh with the all-new design language and logo.

HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre x360 folded

All HP products with the “x360” branding have a rotating hinge, and the newest Spectre is no different. This lets you fold the display all the way back like other convertibles, but what’s truly special is the edge-to-edge display on the 13.3-inch model.

With 3.4mm bezels on the left and right sides of the screen, the space is well maximized, especially when in tablet mode. Sadly, the thin bezels don’t apply to the 15.6-inch variant, but it can be equipped with a 4K resolution, whereas the smaller one is limited to Full HD 1080p.

HP Spectre x360 top

Naturally, you’d think the battery lives would suffer, but HP claims the two convertibles can last up to 16 hours of balanced usage. That would take some magic to pull off, but the secret probably lies in the seventh-generation Intel Core i7 or i5 processor inside, along with non-power-hungry SSD storage and the option to go up to 16GB of RAM.

The price begins at $1,050, and that’s for the most basic variant. It’s a good deal, though, since every unit comes with a solid aluminum chassis, glass trackpad, and four built-in speakers designed by Bang & Olufsen.

HP Envy 13

HP Envy 13

The Envy 13 doesn’t have the cool bendy bodies of the Spectres, but it’s just as slim as the two convertibles — 14mm for the Envy, while the smaller Spectre is 13.8mm in height and the larger one tops at 15.9mm.

The 13-inch notebook is a little cheaper too, retailing for only $850, and it still has an all-metal body that weighs around 2.8lbs (about 1.27kg). The Envy 13 also has the advantage of having two full-sized USB 3.0 ports, along with one USB Type-C port. The Spectres are limited to a single USB 3.0 port, but have two USB Type-C ports (with Thunderbolt 3) in exchange.

HP Envy 13 folded

Everything else is up to par: seventh-generation Intel Core i7 or i5 processor, up to 16GB of memory, up to 1TB of storage, and Bang & Olufsen speakers.

The updated Spectre x360 convertibles are already available, and you can purchase an Envy 13 beginning October 26.

Laptops

MacBooks move on from traditional keyboard and USB ports

Time to embrace the newer MacBooks

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It’s time to let go of the past, I suppose.

With the release of new MacBook Pro models, the MacBook Pro of 2015 has effectively been discontinued by Apple.

Why is this such a big deal? If you’ve been following Apple’s yearly refresh of its laptop line, you’d know that they’ve gradually let go of full-size USB ports and longer-travel keyboards in favor of slimmer designs.

This means the MacBook Pro that was released in 2015 is the last model to feature these legacy features.

In effect, if you’re going to buy a new MacBook Pro, you’ll have to embrace the dongle life, because your usual flash drives, external hard disks, and SD cards won’t fit into the USB-C-only ports of the newer models.

Of course, there are numerous accessories that simplify the need for dongles, but they’re still not as convenient as the slots that came built into MacBooks of old, including SD card readers, ports for USB-A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt, as well as the much-loved MagSafe power connector.

9to5Mac points out that Apple is still selling some 15-inch 2015 MacBooks in clearance sales for those who can’t let go just yet. Models from 2016 onward already have the updated design.

On the bright side, this year’s MacBooks are worth looking into. Not only do they come with the latest Intel Core processors and generous helpings of memory and storage, there are also improvements in the butterfly keyboard and signature Touch Bar.

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Laptops

Apple updates MacBook Pro line with new processors, quieter keyboard

They also get more expensive

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Image credit: Apple

Apple has updated the MacBook Pro line with newer processors, more configuration options, a quieter keyboard design, and True Tone displays. Although, only the top-tier variants or those with Touch Bar get the latest features.

The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar now feature eight-generation Intel Core processors, with the 15-inch variant getting the more impressive bump. It’ll have six-core Intel Core i7 or Core i9 options with up to 32GB DDR4 memory and 4TB SSD for storage. Discrete graphics still draw power from Radeon Pro with 4GB of memory.

Image credit: Apple

As for the 13-inch variant, it gets new quad-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors paired with Intel Iris 655 integrated graphics. Storage can be configured up to a 2TB SSD.

Both the 13- and 15-inch variants also receive an Apple T2 chip which brings enhanced system security and “Hey, Siri” voice-command support. Both the Retina Display and Touch Bar now have True Tone technology that allows the screen to change color temperature automatically. The third-generation butterfly keyboard is also quieter, but it still has less travel than the older MacBook Pro models.

Image credit: Apple

In addition, Apple is releasing official leather sleeves for the MacBook Pro lineup similar to the 12-inch MacBook last year. The sleeves will come in black, brown, and dark blue.

A fully specced-out 15-inch Touch Bar model is priced at US$ 6,699, but the base model remains at US$ 2,399. Pricing for the 13-inch Touch Bar model still starts at US$ 1,799. The new MacBook Pro models are now available through the Apple website and in select retail stores and authorized resellers next week.

SEE ALSO: Apple’s cheaper 2018 iPhone X will come in a variety of colors

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Gaming

Dell G7 and G3 gaming laptops launch in Singapore

Dell steps up its gaming series

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The newest gaming laptops of Dell, specifically the Dell G3 and Dell G7, are reaching more consumers with another Southeast Asian launch shortly after its formal announcement in the Philippines.

Both Dell G-series notebooks officially launched in Singapore. They feature 15-inch IPS displays packed in a gaming-forward chassis. The new laptops are powered by eight-generation Intel Core processors with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 10-series graphics.

The Dell G3 is the company’s thinnest gaming laptop to date with a slim 22.7mm profile for gaming on the go. It comes with SmartByte software that prioritizes gaming and video performance over Wi-Fi networks. It’ll be available in three color options: Licorice Black, Recon Blue, and Alpine White.

Dell G7 in Alpine White

The Dell G7 is a more powerful option and has a distinct design compared to other gaming notebooks in the market. It features a GeForce GTX 1060 with Max-Q design and 6GB of DDR5 memory. It even has an option for an eight-generation Intel Core i9 processor and a UHD display if you want to have the best-possible configuration. The Dell G7 is available in either Licorice Black or Alpine White.

As for pricing, the Dell G3 (15-inch) starts at SG$ 1,199 while the Dell G7 (15-inch) is from SG$ 1,699. Both G-series gaming laptops are now available through Dell stores and authorized partners in Singapore.

SEE ALSO: Dell’s new laptops offer a lot of customization for office work

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