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 Latitude 7390 2-in-1 Review: The complete business laptop

Yet another great business laptop from Dell

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It’s not every day that I get to review devices designed for business. If you haven’t noticed, there are laptops meant for average consumers while others are for enterprise. What I have here is part of the Latitude lineup from Dell, which is basically their business-oriented series.

I’ve always loved using a ThinkPad (when it was still under IBM) back in the day when bulky and heavy laptops were a common sight, and the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 kinda gives off the same vibe but with a modern kick, of course. Since the name already implies it, this business laptop has a 360-degree display hinge. That means it can all do the usual modes we’ve seen on other 2-in-1s in the market.

Right off the bat, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is not the most interesting laptop you’ll see. Let me run you through the physical aspects of the laptop starting with the display.

This 2-in-1 laptop has a 13.3-inch IPS screen with a 1080p resolution, multitouch input, and Active Pen support. According to Dell’s specs sheets, it’s got Gorilla Glass 4 which explains why the display feels so smooth when I use it as a touchscreen, yet it’s tough and scratch-resistant.

You can also see that it has pretty slim side bezels — a trend not only found on smartphones. The top and bottom portions of the display are about the same size as with most regular laptops, which means you get a webcam that’s in a proper position. The extra bezel real estate also acts as resting place for your thumb when using the 2-in-1 in tablet mode.

As for the ports, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 has plenty! This is what I love about business laptops, they don’t compromise ports and they stay away (as much as possible) from dongles. On the left side, we have two USB 3.1 Type-C ports (with DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 3 support), a full-size HDMI 1.4, and a USB 3.1 Gen 1.

To the right is another USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, a microSD card reader, 3.5mm combo jack, and a Noble Wedge Lock slot. The power button and volume rocker are also on the right side, making them accessible even if the laptop is positioned differently. There’s also a SIM card slot in select models (like mine) if you want to put a data SIM for LTE connectivity.

For a modern and sleek laptop, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 has a plethora of ports. It’s not that bulky either and I find its size to be just right for my lap. Most ultra-portable notebooks I’ve used lately only have a couple of USB-Cs, so having full-size ports brings back the convenience I missed. No dongles, no adapters.

Another business-like trait of this laptop is its keyboard. If you’re already accustomed to short-travel keys, typing on the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is a breath of fresh air. It’s not as great as I’d like it to be because it’s a bit on the mushy side; I want a more positive response when typing like what I get from mechanical keyboards, but without the clicky noise. Having said all that, the keyboard is still a joy to type on.

The trackpad, on the other hand, is so-so. It’s a two-button touchpad using Windows Precision Drivers with a smooth yet textured surface. I definitely prefer glass touchpads, but this ain’t bad either.

The overall color of the device is black which makes the laptop look stealthy yet appealing. Even my colleagues prefer the look of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 over some of the other laptops we’ve reviewed. But, as the one who used the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 as a daily computer for three weeks now, there’s more to the looks of it.

Built from magnesium and coated with soft-touch matte black paint, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 feels solid and sturdy. The matte coating certainly helps with the grip and overall feel of the laptop. There’s no creaking and I never had an issue with the display’s hinge — no wobbling whatsoever. Perhaps, the only gripe I have about having an extra firm hinge is not being able to open the laptop with one finger.

A business-minded design is not necessarily blunt

When we went to Taipei for Computex 2018, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 was my daily driver, and I was thankful for having it with me. The particular model I have has an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 with 8GB of memory and 256GB SSD. That’s more than enough to keep the laptop from slowing down when I have multiple programs open.

I’m not exactly a heavy-user of laptops since my work is mostly done online, but imagine having Google Chrome with multiple tabs opened and pinned at the same time. I didn’t have to worry about lags and I never had a single issue in performance.

Above is a photo of me remotely working on a bench in one of the spacious streets around Taipei. This is a typical scenario where I have to pull out my laptop and get some quick work done while roaming around. This is when I noticed that the display’s maximum brightness is not enough to battle the sun but if it’s cloudy, the anti-reflective coating of the display (Dell’s claim there is) helps with the visibility of the screen’s content.

Since it’s a 2-in-1, I have to take advantage of the 360-degree hinge. For business, setting the laptop in stand mode (pictured above) puts it in an ideal position for presentations. Or, if you’re like me, you can use it to binge-watch shows on Netflix and enjoy GadgetMatch videos on YouTube.

Before I used the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 as my main laptop, I had been using an ultra-portable notebook and a tablet convertible. The limitations of the two, especially with the ports, were a deal-breaker for me. Maybe that’s why I love using the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 — it has all the ports I need plus I can rely on its robust (but not bulky) body.

It can last the whole day

To be honest, I’d recommend the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 to anyone looking for a laptop that can last on the road. With its built-in 60Whr battery, I can work and play on the laptop for almost 10 hours before it automatically puts itself to sleep. When it’s time to plug it in, the included 60W charger fills up the laptop in just an hour and 45 minutes.

Did I already mention that the laptop charges through USB-C? This means you can use your laptop’s charger for your phone, so you’ll need to bring only one charger for all your USB-C devices.

Charging via USB-C doesn’t only simplify things, it also brings new possibilities. Throughout my usage of the Latitude 7390 2-in-1, I seldom brought its charger. Instead, I carried a pretty big power bank that’s capable of charging laptops through USB-C ports.

If you think power banks are just for smartphones, you’re mistaken. Dell also sells a power bank called Notebook Power Bank Plus with a high 65W power delivery, so it’s capable of charging laptops including the new MacBooks.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Obviously, it’s my GadgetMatch, but my needs and preferences are not the same as yours. If you’re looking for a laptop that complements office lifestyle, the Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 will surely be a perfect companion priced at PhP 76,000.

Even if you want a laptop you can use every day that doesn’t limit your productivity, the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 is still a great choice. This isn’t a multimedia or gaming laptop, but light gaming and common editing software (e.g. Adobe Photoshop and Premiere) will work fine.

SEE ALSO: HP Spectre X2 Review: Form over function?

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Computex 2018

ASUS ROG Phone gets everyone hyped, Memoji is a thing: Weekend Rewind

ASUS wows, as Lenovo disappoints

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. ROG Phone gets everyone buzzing

Even if you hid under a rock over the past week, you still might have heard all the noise that the ASUS ROG Phone made right before Computex 2018. This is a phone built with gamers in mind. The design is distinctly ROG with specs that match today’s top-of-the-line flagships. However, what sets it apart are the accessories available for purchase right when the device launches. These include a controller by GameVice, a desktop dock similar to what we’ve seen with Samsung DEX, and a TwinView dock that adds not only physical buttons but also another display.

2. Dual screen laptops are coming

Speaking of dual displays, ASUS wasn’t done making noise. They also also launched the ZenBook 15 Pro with the ScreenPad. Screen what now? Instead of the usual trackpad, ASUS put a display on its new ZenBook and it can do anything from being a second screen to enhancing the experience for certain apps.

It doesn’t end there. ASUS also showcased Project Precog — a laptop that completely takes away the physical keyboard and replaces it with another screen. Not to be outdone, Lenovo announced the Yoga Book Generation 2 which will also sport dual screens. Unfortunately, Lenovo’s next announcement was a dud.

3. Where’s the “all-screen” phone at, Lenovo?

People swooned as teasers of an “all-screen” Lenovo Z5 spread online but those swoons quickly turned into sighs as Lenovo revealed a Z5 that sports a notch. Lenovo took the “expectation versus reality” meme to heart. If you can get past the disappointment of not getting an all-screen phone, what you get with the Z5 is a midrange phone that promises AI-integration on its cameras.

4. Pixel 3 XL will look a lot like its predecessor

In yet another uninspiring smartphone design news, XDA Developers showed a leak of the Pixel 3 XL. The rear remains unchanged and you will be forgiven if you think this is the Pixel 2 XL. What’s different though is that it’s rumored to have two front-facing cameras that’s housed inside — can you guess? — yes, a notch.

5. Memoji, Dark Mode, and more awesome Apple-made OS things

Rounding up this week is a sort of encouraging news. While there was no hardware announcement at this year’s WWDC, we were peppered with a bunch of new features coming to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.

iOS 12 will now feature tongue tracking on Animojis and AR Emoji killer (if you think it was ever really alive) Memoji which is an Animoji version of yourself. The next macOS is called Mojave and it introduces a slew of new features including a Dark Mode, stacks for decluttering your desktop, and more. You can read about the 18 most notable WWDC updates here.


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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Computex 2018

Lenovo’s next Yoga Book will come with dual screens

A successor to the polarizing Yoga Book from 2016

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ASUS wasn’t the only one with a dual-screen laptop announcement during Computex 2018. Lenovo also teased its upcoming twin-display notebook, but did so discreetly during an Intel keynote.

Shortly after the announcement of Intel’s limited edition processor, Lenovo surprised the audience (and yours truly) by revealing the Yoga Book Generation 2. This is a successor to the original Yoga Book from 2016 which had a unique touch panel in place of a physical keyboard.

Not much was disclosed by Lenovo during the keynote, but the representative promised that it’ll launch later this year. And since it’s smaller and presumably less powerful than Project Precog, we can assume that this Yoga Book will be more affordable, too.

What crossed everyone’s mind, however, was how intuitive the touch keyboard will be. The first Yoga Book experienced mixed reviews with some praising the innovative input method, while others found it way too difficult to type with. Although we’ve become accustomed to touch typing on smartphones, the design doesn’t automatically translate to a user-friendly one on laptops.

Lenovo’s solution for this, according to the slide seen above, is to integrate artificial intelligence. This probably means predictive input from the computer side, as well as better haptic feedback so you know you’re pressing the right keys.

Could this be the direction all laptops are headed? Possibly so, but we’d like everyone to take this news with a grain of salt. After what happened to the disappointing Lenovo Z5 buildup, we wouldn’t get too excited just yet.

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