Huawei has always been known to be that powerful force in innovation. The bezel-less display, Huawei Free Touch and the recessed camera are just some of the many instances when Huawei have revolutionized and leveled up the playing field for the PC industry.
I think it goes without saying that Huawei’s premium brand, the MateBook family, is one that has truly set a new standard for intelligence when it comes to laptops.
It has been five years since the inception of the MateBook and ‘till this day, the MateBook family pushes on to be the perfect tool for the challenges we are faced with. From enhanced connectivity for online classes, immersive audio for work-from-home conferences to engaging visuals for Netflix nights, the MateBook family has got you covered and that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about here as we move further.
As they celebrate their fifth year of the MateBook series, they introduce to us another line of technological advancement with the 2021’s MateBook series.
With this comes the revamp of the very popular MateBook D 15 with the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen along with the powerfully sharp MateBook 14 2021 11th Gen and the borderless MateBook X Pro 2021.
Talk of the town with its elegance
There’s no denying that the MatebBook D 15 2021 is a dazzling piece of machinery. And being one that has been used to plastic laptop bodies, the all aluminum alloy body of the D 15 had me drooling over it. A prominent indication of its quality also, was how this MateBook’s body had rounded edges and a very solid build which are admittedly satisfying to the touch.
Carrying the device, it’s impossible not to notice just how feather light this MateBook D 15 is. For 1.56kg and only 16.9mm thin, it’s amazing just how this laptop carries a ton of horsepower and 15.6-inches of screen real estate.
Feature packed FullView display
Relatively bezel-less at only 5.3mm of bezel width, the MateBook D 15 2021 sports the iconic FullView display of the MateBook family. At 87% screen to body ratio, this 15.6-inch FHD IPS display panel is a feast for your eyes.
Given that we mostly look at our computer screens most of the time, eye strain is often the setback. A noteworthy feature the D 15 has with its display is that it has been certified under TÜV Rheinland’s Low Blue Light emittance and Flicker Free qualifications which makes it perfect for binge watching K-dramas on Netflix. Top that with 100% sRGB rating, there’s no reason to doubt the color representation this display outputs when doing creative work.
Much to flex under the hood
At the heart of this laptop is Intel’s 11th Gen Core i5 processor and the Intel Iris XE graphics that it comes with. While most of us are already familiar with the power of the Core i5 processor, this newest generation of Intel’s offering takes this up a notch. Running four cores and eight processing threads, Intel’s newest architecture delivers 31 percent faster multi-core performance from its predecessor.
I believe many would agree that a lot of us do try to get some form of gaming done on their school or work laptop. The Intel Iris XE graphics is perfect for sneaking in some play time with our favorite games as well as for running some multimedia tasks.
Swamped with work or just juggling multiple tabs on your web browser, expect the experience to be as smooth as it can be as there’s now 16GB of DDR4 RAM packed in this slim body.
Smart power button
I guess you won’t have time to make coffee while waiting for your laptop to start up as with the D 15’s smart fingerprint power button, keying in your log on password is now a thing of the past. The moment you press on the D 15’s fingerprint power button automatically authenticates your identity and jumps you directly to your home screen, saving you the hassle of typing in your password.
At only 2.5 seconds as recorded by Windows for its start up, this has been the fastest power on time I have yet encountered on a laptop. Seriously, a boot up time this fast would make you doubt if you’ve left the laptop on sleep mode or if it was from a coldboot.
Cool and quiet
Despite the size of the MateBook D 15, it did not become noticeably hot. In fact, the palm rest felt cool to rest your palms on.
You know what they say: work smart and not hard. Huawei definitely worked smart with the ingenious fan design of its Shark fin fan. Designed with higher density and thinner fan blades, the need for increasing fan speed to cool the whole laptop has been drastically minimized. This resulted in the device to use less power, run cooler and operate quieter as this Shark fin fan contributes to 24% better cooling performance from its last-gen counterpart.
Next Generation WI-FI 6
I couldn’t help but geek out on this feature as I’m sure many I.T. professionals would as well. This next generation Wi-Fi 6 is actually known to be the successor to the standard 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5 that most of our devices use.
The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 on the D 15 means that this device is able to operate at more stable Wi-Fi frequency bands to eliminate interference and reach significantly faster speeds. This ensures that the MateBook D 15 is ready for crowded scenarios such as what you would experience in shopping malls, corporate offices or even populated areas.
Not your ordinary charger
I just can’t count how many people I know who’ve asked me where to buy a new charger for their laptop simply because its cable is broken. I’m happy to say that that problem is pretty much gone with this one as the D 15’s charger features a detachable USB-C cable.
Surprisingly, it took exactly 9 hours and 30 minutes for the D 15’s battery to shift to power saving mode and with Huawei’s Supercharge feature built-in, this 65w charger was able to fully charge the D 15 in just an hour. That’s insanely fast for such a long run time if you ask me.
But that’s not all. Weighing only 160g, this charger isn’t much bigger and heavier than a smartphone charger.
Speaking of smartphones, this charger can also charge your USB-C compatible smartphone. Talk about #PowerInLightness .
Hear and be heard with Dual Mic and Immersive sound
By this time, we’ve all probably been on an online meeting or conference of some kind. Personally, I’m one who could tolerate bad video signals but bad audio is really something that would really ruin the experience for me. Thankfully, the dual front facing microphones of the MateBook D 15 ensures our voice would be picked up clearly even at longer distances.
Guaranteed to give you an immersive experience, the 2W dual-speaker audio system can simulate both 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound performance.
Tap and share with HUAWEI Share
If you’re fortunately among the proud owners of a Huawei smartphone then you’d be able to maximize this very handy feature of the 2021 MateBook D 15.
Huawei Share lets you cast your smartphone screen on your laptop, transfer files wirelessly and basically use almost all features and apps of your smartphone onto your laptop. With just a tap of your Huawei smartphone on the Huawei Share label on the D 15, the two devices are all set. It’s that easy.
I can’t emphasize how convenient this is for people like me who always transfer footage I took with my smartphone. No cables for data transfer and no switching from two devices to get things done, just tap and you’re wirelessly connected.
Fast is the word that I think best describes the 2021 HUAWEI MateBook D 15 11th Gen.
The fast new processor, large amount of RAM, next generation Wi-Fi 6, ultraportable charger with SuperCharge, thin and light size, Huawei Share and an ingenious smart fingerprint power button, every bit contributes to everything being faster and just getting things done faster.
With so many features loaded in one package, I understand why it’s hard not to talk about these new offerings of the MateBook family and why there’s no need to think twice on getting a hold of this awesome device.
This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.
5 Memoji-inspired outfit ideas: His and Hers
Play dress up virtually with the public beta preview of iOS 15
Unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote are new customization options coming to Memoji on iMessage, including a much-awaited feature: outfit selection.
In 2019, Apple rolled out the most significant Memoji customization update. That year, users were able to apply makeup, change hair color, wear piercings and jewelry, and pick from different styles of headwear and glasses. The only thing missing was being able to choose clothing.
If you have the public beta of iOS 15 installed, you can now virtually play dress up and plan outfits for those trips you’ve been dreaming of and activities you’ve been deprived of after a year of quarantine.
#1 Romantic date night
Who doesn’t like dressing up for a romantic date that will take you from a dinner at a restaurant to a cocktail or two at a speakeasy? Changing out of pajamas can do wonders to your mood.
His: a crisp long sleeved button down and his favorite hat
Hers: a flirty dress and statement earrings
#2 Stroll at the botanical garden
Has your apartment turned into a mini greenhouse with all the indoor plants you’ve adopted? Driving to the nearest botanical garden will either make you feel zen and content, or convince you that your plant collection is insufficient.
His: a breezy shirt and a pair of sunglasses
Hers: a colorful sundress and a top bun
If there’s anything we learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we all desire to be out in nature from time to time. A safari trip might not be realistic right now, but no one’s stopping you from imagining one.
His: a two pocket utility shirt and a cowboy hat
Hers: a loose tunic and a fedora
Sunny weekend at the beach
No summer is complete without a beach trip; and no beach trip is complete without some refreshing piña coladas, swimsuits that show off your summer bod, and copious amounts of sunscreen.
His: a linen top and a pair of polarized sunglasses
Hers: a long coverup, a pair of pearl earrings, and a straw hat
Hike in the fall
Not a beach person? Maybe the mountains and autumn foliage are more your jam. Just make sure to stay warm from top to toe without sacrificing style and comfort.
His: a cable knit sweater and a fisherman’s hat
Hers: a turtleneck sweater and a beanie
BONUS: Big business convention
There’s never a bad time to get a good blazer or a pantsuit. You might not be able to wear them out to trade shows yet, but looking your best for Zoom meetings is always appropriate.
His: an olive green knit blazer, a black oxford shirt, and a skinny tie
Hers: a beige blazer, a pair of cat-eye glasses, and a pair of gold earrings
Apart from more than 40 different outfits, multicolored headwear, and new options for glasses, iOS 15 offers nine new Memoji stickers that include a shaka, a hand wave, a light bulb moment, and more.
iOS 15 will be available this fall as a free software update. If you’re interested in trying new Memoji outfits now, you can sign up for the public beta here: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/
Online voices: What does it take to be a caster?
A quick glimpse at the esports casting scene
When we think of the word “Caster” we usually think of the people from the news. However, in the esports scene they serve as the voice and brains that analyze the game and hype the crowd up. It’s a different level of entertainment. Without them, games could get too boring to watch. So what does it take to be a caster?
Caster spotlight: Edwin Arctikuno
Theo “Arctikuno” Rodriguez is a Filipino-American broadcast talent currently based in the Philippines. He first got his big break as a contracted talent with Garena Philippines in 2016, working with them all the way up until 2018.
After his time with Garena, he went on to work as a freelance talent, working actively across Asia in countries such as China, Japan, Thailand, and so forth. He’s also worked and collaborated with the Lenovo Legion brand on numerous occasions for different esports-related activities over the past few years.
While he initially began purely as a caster for League of Legends, his years of freelancing has led to numerous opportunities pursuing other games in direct collaboration with some of the top gaming companies and their productions.
Recently, he has begun to embark on other endeavors outside of esports while continuing to train promising talent under his wing in preparation for work in the industry. He now joins the fray as a mentor for the Legion Academy Casters, ever eager to help develop local talent for work across Asia and beyond.
Becoming a caster
A caster has many qualities which are unique, but to have that profession, you must start from somewhere. We asked Edwin, “What qualities should an aspiring Caster have? In terms of skills, what’s a good foundation to have?”
“You have to have the passion and drive to be in this industry.”
It all starts with an interest, it may be playing the game or watching games from tournaments. Then, it turns to a passion, turns to a dream, then reality. Easier said than done, the process of becoming a caster is a long road ahead.
“The reality is, you’re not going to be making big bucks right off the bat when you’re starting. If anything, a lot of casters that eventually managed to build themselves up were those that just simply had a love for what they do, the community, and the very industry they dwell in.”
The hard work in casting
Earned, not given. The esports scene has often been overlooked, but it’s as legitimate a career path as any. Especially now. With the endless grind and long nights, it’s these moments that will help shape who you are as a caster. The process will be different for everyone, but it’s a path worth pursuing.
“With that, you’ve got to have the diligence to want to constantly challenge yourself to do better and improve. While nobody is perfect, we can at least aspire and strive to be as close to it as possible by always working on bettering ourselves as talents, whether it be in our craft or our character,” Edwin added.
Here are some do’s and dont’s from Edwin himself.
1. Always DO your homework!
2. Please DO stay humble.
3. Strive to be the best version of yourself. Once you DO, surpass it again.
1. Don’t give up! Never ever feel discouraged in the process of pursuing your craft.
2. Don’t take the lessons you learn and opportunities you grab for granted.
3. Don’t disregard your health in the midst of the grind.
Legion Academy Caster Program
Lenovo and AMD recently wrapped up their Legion Academy Program. It was a contest to earn spots as casters for Legion’s upcoming tournaments. The winners are as follows:
1. Estelle Cerutti (Yuuske — Final Winner)
2. Wyndsor Martillana (ExcelSor PH — Final Winner)
3. Christian James Magdaluyo
4. Eugene Esteban
The four shared their biggest and most important learnings from the Legion Academy Program experience.
Yuuske says it’s “always ground yourself as a caster.”
“Clearly, there are various other casters with their own style but you must not forget the importance of highlighting your personality,” added the Final winner.
Meanwhile, Excelsor listed everything he learned:
- Be Proactive, there’s always an upside to being proactive in the esports industry.
- Always have your portfolio ready and updated. Like any job, this is also important in the esports casting industry.
- Studying is very important to increase game knowledge and to be more familiar with the nuances of the game. Study, study, study.
- Get feedback from your colleagues. Sometimes the way you can improve is to get a perspective from your peers. There are some things you won’t be able to see and that can be crucial to improvement.
Meanwhile, Zaco realized that “you really have to put yourself out there with no fear and just stick your head out the car window, because you will never know unless you look.”
Dash, for his part, highlighted the importance of building your portfolio.
“Creating a portfolio is one of the key things on how you’ll get casting gigs and learning the ropes on how to create a presentable portfolio is gonna help me entice the clients on getting me as a caster for their events.”
Asked how they felt about winning, Excelsor said, “It feels like I’m reborn as a caster.” Meanwhile, Yuuske wants to pay things forward.
“It is my goal not only to better my craft but as well as inspire others on their journey in the esports world!”
To learn more about Legion Academy and other upcoming programs, visit legion.lenovo.com/academy
This feature is collaboration between GadgetMatch and Lenovo Legion Philippines
Redmi Note 10S: Is this the most ideal smartphone?
Great hardware under a simple, subtle design
As the more affordable product line, Redmi continues to bring high-quality smartphones to a more accessible market. They may not come with the most flagship of hardware inside, but they still perform roughly at par with their powerful yet more expensive counterparts. This year, Redmi has something new up their sleeve in the Redmi Note 10S.
A simple design choice in my eyes
The moment I received and unboxed the Redmi Note 10S, I said to myself, “huh, what’s new?” I mean, it comes in the usual packaging, with all the documentation, a jelly case, and the charger inside. If anything, though, the phone itself sports a simple exterior design, which doesn’t particularly stand out for a good reason.
This unit came in an Onyx Gray colorway plastered at the back, and I’m also aware that it comes in two other colors, as well. For me, this color makes it look rather professional and complements the simple design as a whole. Although, I noticed that the back of the phone likes fingerprints so much, and it’s quite obvious in this colorway.
Now, another great aspect of the exterior design was the placement of the phone’s speakers. For phones such as this, you’d expect that it’s just one speaker and it’s beside the charging port. In the case of the Redmi Note 10S, it comes with two speakers found on opposite ends. Honestly, I found it practical to set it up like this, that other smartphones should consider.
Complementing hardware and software
Let’s get to the beef of the matter, shall we? In terms of the internal hardware, the Redmi Note 10S is decent in that department. It comes with a MediaTek Helio G95 chipset, with my unit sporting 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On the external hardware, the phone comes with a 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, mostly suitable for great detail and color accuracy.
Upon my initial set up and usage, the phone responds quite well and quickly. Powered by MIUI 12.5, apps load smoothly and I even found myself multitasking some apps a lot more. Although, there were times that things like Dark Mode were wonky in some apps, but I think that’s mostly on MIUI.
Furthermore, the AMOLED display is pretty bright even at around 40-50 percent brightness. Even in this setting, it manages to display images and videos with great detail with minimal stuttering. Also, those speakers I mentioned earlier are quite loud and actually give off a sense of immersion when watching movies. It’s all good stuff for now, but let’s see if it holds up later on.
One look into the cameras for now
Apart from the hardware inside, I also wanted to focus on the cameras the Redmi Note 10S comes with. On its rear, you get an interesting quad-camera setup, with a 64MP lens as the star of the show. Along with this, you also get an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro camera and depth sensor for that extra level of detail.
With some of the shots I initially took, I was fairly impressed with the image quality and color accuracy. From my view, it doesn’t look like there was any noticeable grain in the images, so that’s a good start. However, I ran into some trouble with the auto-focus mechanic in the camera. Hopefully, it will improve with prolonged use.
Up front, you only get a single 13MP lens lodged at the top of the display. For the most part, it did a good job of capturing selfies under great lighting conditions.
A promising start, maybe?
So far, the Redmi Note 10S ticks all the boxes when it comes to being a great yet affordable smartphone. Inside and out, the phone allows you to do quite a lot and experience near-flagship features without sacrificing so much in the process. Whether or not this will hold up with longer and more drastic usage, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The Redmi Note 10S retails for PhP 11,990 and only comes with a configuration of 8GB RAM and128GB storage.
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