Laptops

Honor’s new laptop promises 12 hours of uptime

Why does it look familiar, though?

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A laptop’s biggest weakness is its battery life. As far as portable devices go, smartphones still win out in endurance contests. Huawei-owned brand Honor hopes to cut the problem with their first laptop inspired by the flexibility of smartphones.

Recently launched in China, Honor’s new laptop — the Honor MagicBook — promises up to 12 hours of uptime with one full charge. Despite its focus on battery life, the laptop still lives up to modern standards on performance and versatility.

The MagicBook’s 14-inch frame shares its sleekness with the MacBook Air. It is only 15.8mm thick and 1.47kg light. The laptop’s IPS screen churns out a max resolution of 1080p.

Under the hood, the MagicBook ships with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor. It has 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. For graphics, it’s powered by a NVIDIA MX150 2GB GDDR5 graphics chip.

For lighter users, the laptop comes in a lower variant with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor. The lower variant packs in 4GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. It will carry the same NVIDIA card as the top variant.

Additionally, the laptop’s hinge opens up to 180 degrees, allowing for a completely flat interface. The keyboard comes with a flurry of custom options including personalized shortcuts, Wi-Fi switches, and a Fn lock.

The MagicBook is powered by a large 57.4Wh battery. As mentioned above, it promises up to 12 hours of uptime, regardless of usage. The laptop’s charging method is through a USB-C port. Further, the laptop also offers connectivity options for USB-A 3.0, USB-A 2.0, HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio port.

The larger i7 variant retails for CNY 5,700 (US$ 905). Meanwhile, the lower i5 variant retails for CNY 5,000 (US$ 795). At this time, Honor will launch the laptop exclusively in China, starting April 23. We’re still hoping that it comes out in other territories.

Laptops

Dell Vostro 5370 review: An everyday business notebook

Compact yet powerful

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Here I am again, reviewing another laptop. Like smartphones, most laptops have little differences from each other. While the premium line of notebooks battle to have the best build and beastly specs, the mid-tier laptops try to offer the best value for your hard-earned money.

What I have here is the Dell Vostro 5370. It’s a 13-inch laptop designed for business — small businesses to be specific.

If the Latitude line of business notebooks from Dell is top-notch and great for enterprise use, the Vostro sits below it. If you’re familiar with Dell’s portfolio, the Vostro series is on par with the Inspiron family. Now, onto the review.

The Vostro 5370 is a formal-looking notebook with a two-toned chassis. At first glance, one might think it has a single-piece aluminum build, but only the inner casing gives the cold touch of metal while the outer chassis has a matte finish.

Nevertheless, it’s lightweight and pretty thin for its class. The sleek Silver with Nocturnal Blue interior combination gives off a professional vibe.

As already mentioned, the laptop has a 13-inch display with a Full HD IPS panel. I never had any issues with its viewing angles and color reproduction, but the brightness levels could be better. Good thing the anti-glare coating keeps the display viewable even on a sunny day or when you’re in a cafe surrounded by windows.

The keyboard here is not as great as the one I used on the Latitude 7390 2-in-1. The key travel is decent while the spacing and overall layout are easy to get used to.

As for the touchpad, it’s got a pretty rough surface as opposed to the smooth glass touchpad of premium notebooks. It’s fairly accurate and, most importantly, it recognizes Windows 10’s touchpad gestures. The left and right buttons are integrated to the touchpad as well, and they’re a bit shallow.

Sitting quietly on the upper-right corner is the power button which also doubles as the fingerprint reader. This makes logging in very easy with Windows Hello, just like on the more premium XPS 13.

What’s great about mid-tier notebooks is that they don’t sacrifice ports just to have a slimmer profile. The Vostro 5370 has all the ports you’ll need to get through everyday work life.

On its right are the charging port, a USB-C Gen 1 which also doubles as the DisplayPort, a full-size HDMI, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

To the right are the Noble lock slot, two full-size USB 3.1 (one with PowerShare), and the microSD card reader. It could have been great to have a full-size SD card slot so I can actually use it to quickly transfer images from cameras.

The speakers of this notebook are nothing to write home about. They’re tinny and don’t get loud enough even for indoor use. If you’re alone in a quiet room, you’ll hear what you’re playing on this laptop. But, as soon as you open the windows or when there are people talking around you, you’re better off with a pair of headphones.

As for the notebook’s specs, I was able to use the 8th-gen Intel Core i5 variant with 8GB of RAM. With this kind of power, you can do any everyday task without any hiccups. It even has more than enough power to handle Photoshop and maybe even some casual video editing. The M.2 SSD that can have up to 512GB of storage is able to read and write files very quickly.

With no discrete video card, this notebook is not a gaming machine. While it can do some light gaming like Dota 2 or League of Legends, it’ll not be enough for AAA titles even in low settings. It’ll be hard to appreciate graphics-intensive games with low frame rates and minimal quality.

There’s nothing to worry about the laptop’s fan noise. It never got loud even if I already have more than twenty tabs open in Chrome with Photoshop working in the background. Perhaps the only time I can remember hearing the fan is late at night when my surroundings were really quiet.

Since it’s a business-oriented device, the laptop’s webcam will be used a number of times. The Vostro 5370 doesn’t have thin bezels, so the webcam remains on the top where it should be. The quality is okay when under bright light and it’s perfectly usable for Skype.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re looking for a decent mid-tier notebook, the Dell Vostro 5370 will be able to provide great everyday performance and ample oomph to get all your multimedia work done. It’s not designed for gaming, but it can handle some titles when you want to have fun.

It’s not the ideal business machine for enterprise users because it lacks certain specs, but it’ll do for small businesses that need a quality laptop. It never felt cheap or lacking for what it’s designed to do.

The Dell Vostro 5370 is priced at PhP 50,800 in the Philippines.

SEE ALSO: Dell XPS 13 (2018) Review: Still the best in its class

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Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro (2018) Review: Not for everyone

A solid upgrade for existing MacBook users

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“Why would you review the 2018 MacBook Pro when it’s exactly the same as older MacBooks? It just has updated specs,” asks a commenter in one of our videos.

Perhaps a review is even more important in these cases so that anyone considering an upgrade gets enough info to make that decision themselves.

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First Look

Lenovo Yoga Book C930: Laptop, tablet, and e-book reader?

Dual-display convertible!

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Lenovo rethinks what a clamshell, notebook computer could be like. What if you removed the keyboard and replaced it with a multi-purpose surface? That’s exactly what the Yoga Book is.

This second-generation device adds an E Ink panel that you can use for reading books, taking notes with a pen, and typing on a customizable touchscreen surface.

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