We often get asked what’s a good “budget” laptop. And there’s never an easy answer. Most decent options start at PhP 35,000 but the budget of people asking is capped at around PhP 30,000.
Then, we got to thinking — Do they really need a laptop, or just something that functions like one? Exploring this idea, one of our editors used the Huawei MatePad 11 for daily tasks, and this video chronicles the experience.
For any writer or editor, it’s impossible to get anything done without a reliable keyboard.
The task ranges from writing your own articles to copy-editing the staff’s work. You also have to respond to emails and correspondence within and outside of the team.
That’s a lot of typing. And while we’ve come a long way in terms of getting accustomed to hitting a flat surface to type, nothing can replace a good, functioning full-sized keyboard for some real productivity.
Thankfully, the MatePad 11 has a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard. It looks tiny at first, but the keyboard is full-sized and offers a good amount of travel for its size.
In fact, parts of the script for this video was written on the MatePad 11-Smart Magnetic Keyboard Combo.
It’s also sturdy and balanced enough that you can pull it out in a pinch and prop it up on your lap. From experience, this isn’t the case with most other similar setups due to the weight of the tablet.
Thankfully, the MatePad 11 is light enough that it won’t topple over even when placed on a not-so-even surface.
Access to your usual apps
What most people really need is access to some type of Office apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available right from the App Gallery.
You can opt to go with Microsoft Office and link your existing subscription. Or select any of the other set of Office apps available.
Microsoft Office runs perfectly fine on the MatePad 11. Quickly set it up and you’ll be balancing sheets, making decks, and writing essays in no time.
If what you need is on Google Docs or Google Sheets, there’s a way to quick-launch these apps so you can work on the document or work file you need to.
Since plenty of our work files are on Google Docs, this was the editor’s primary way of accessing the stuff needed to get things done.
And if you’re having trouble with anything else you normally use, you can always access them via the browser like you would on a laptop.
There’s also Petal Search baked into the App Gallery that’ll scour the web for sources of the apps you desperately want and need.
Huawei understands the pain points it had to deal with and has addressed them with the App Gallery and Petal Search combo.
The ease of switching from one app to another on a laptop is still pretty much unparalleled. But the MatePad 11 offers unique multitasking capabilities that offer an effective way to multitask.
What the editor found most useful in particular is how you can have smaller versions of the apps float on the screen.
And when minimized, it goes into this tiny app icon on the right side of the device functioning somewhat like a dock.
This is perfect for placing chat apps to look at messages at a glance. So even if the editor is in the middle of writing or copy-editing, glancing at messages is easy and doesn’t take the full attention away from the work at hand.
This is especially helpful for someone who juggles plenty of messaging apps.
Additionally, if you have a Huawei phone with you, the multi-screen collaboration feature takes this even further.
You can have your phone screen on the side and just open it up when needed. From here you can open any app whether that’s for messaging or something else you may need to reference for the work you’re doing.
It’s an incredible feature and one we hope will be adopted by other brands in some shape or form.
Not just for work
It’s recommended that you take short breaks in between tasks to keep yourself fresh and focused.
Breaks can be anything from standing up and walking around for a little bit, mindlessly browsing social media, or playing a quick game.
If the type of breaks you take fall on the latter two categories, the MatePad 11 is great for that as well.
The 120Hz refresh rate that this tablet has makes it a sight to behold and a joy to touch. Your general interaction with the device will feel incredibly fast and smooth.
It’s great whether you’re just swiping from one TikTok video to another or playing a quick round of whatever mobile game you’re into.
The M-Pencil is truly handy
Not everyone needs a stylus. But just because you don’t need one, doesn’t mean it can never come in handy.
An editor’s work also entails signing a lot of documents. This can be anything from loaner sheets or non-disclosure agreements.
It’s also great for providing a rough illustration of the visuals you need. Sometimes, the only way to really get your point across to visual artists is to show them what you have in mind, and then just let them work their magic on it.
On the Nebo app, you can draw rough sketches to show your graphic artist how you want something to look like. It’s a helpful guide and one that prevents miscommunication.
You can also use the app for taking notes and doodling which is a pretty underrated way of clearing your mind.
Mate just be what you need
The MatePad 11 is an excellent tablet. One that can be more than a stopgap to your laptop needs.
It gives you access to the work stuff that you need, while offering features that laptops in its price range aren’t capable of.
It’s a fine mate for work, play, and everything else in between.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei MatePad 11 retails for PhP 24,999 and comes with two freebies: Wireless Charging Table Lamp and MatePad 11 Cover
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Nokia E3101: The wireless earbuds for everyone
A new TWS earbuds without breaking the bank
And take it as a good thing. Without Nokia branching out from a highly-competitive phone market, they would barely last long. But I’m pretty sure that these wireless earbuds I have for quite a while last longer than expected.
For a wireless earbuds this cheap, don’t expect anything grand. But if you want to legit check your (future) purchase, the pair comes with an outside sleeve showing the lifestyle photo of the product. Removing it reveals a less fancy white box.
Opening the box furthermore shows the product as well as the paperwork.
First, there’s the pair of wireless earbuds as well as its case in a flimsy plastic packaging.
And if you’ll flip it, there’s a USB-C cable wrapped in plastic that’s also taped beneath. Not the most fancy packaging ever but still does the job.
Easy to pair
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.1, pairing it to any smartphone is actually faster than sending Bluetooth files between two Android smartphones. All you have to do is to press the button behind the case, lights will show, and the device will instantly appear on your phone’s Bluetooth devices list.
I tried pairing it to my iPhone too and it was a breeze. It’s safe to say that these wireless buds will work regardless of how new or old your device is as long as your device has Bluetooth.
Pocketable and featherweight
First thing I noticed when I held this is that, it’s small and light. As you can see in my big hands, the Nokia E3101 looked small compared to other TWS buds offerings in the market.
If we talk about material, its entirely made out of plastic — from the case to its buds. But the differentiating factor has got to be the matte texture of the case versus the glossy plastic wireless earbuds inside.
Despite the material used, I gotta commend Nokia for that idea of combining two different finishes for that elegant touch of design.
When you remove and put the earbuds inside your ear, it feels like its almost non-existent. But mind you, I still felt it dropped when I fell asleep inside the bus. You just have to make sure that each bud fit inside your ears well.
Decent buds for its price
I’m not a 101 perecemt audiophile but for someone who loves listening to various musical genres, I have my list on what to check in any pair of wireless earbuds — especially the bass and clarity. I own an Apple AirPods, as well as the Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live. But for the Nokia E3101’s affordable price tag, I have to lower down my expectations.
Upon first usage, I wasn’t expecting anything grand but I’m surprised that it offers good sound quality. Bass could’ve been better but I have to remind myself this is a sub-PhP 2K pair of TWS earbuds. Clarity-wise, it’s enough for everyone with vocals that are audible. I’m pretty sure dialogues in films, series, or even calls all sound clear for anyone’s liking.
If you play more with your phone’s EQ or have some third-party apps like Boom 3D, you’ll totally be amazed with what these TWS earbuds have to offer. Not that it’s a big deal but the lack of wear detection means music will still play if you remove it from your ears. It even plays music even when I placed them inside the case.
There’s also a touch sensor for playing, pausing, or skipping tracks. As I’ve mentioned earlier that the buds work for both Android and Apple devices, Google Assistant and Alexa can be summoned with just that single press.
If you’re into long walks, running, or gym workouts, the Nokia E3101 is IP44-rated. That means it can withstand water splashes or sweat so you don’t have to worry that much in such situations. My regular pair of AirPods don’t even have this feature.
People who are eyeing to buy this would care less about the codec it supports. But if you’re that curious enough, it has SBC which is the default codec for all Bluetooth earphones.
Besides, would you expect Qualcomm’s aptX or Sony’s LDAC audio codecs at this price point? A thing I can guarantee is that, this isn’t marketed towards hardcore audiophiles so you shouldn’t expect anything monumental.
Another thing I love about this pair is its battery life. On a single charge, both buds lasts for up to 4-5 hours depending on usage. That’s enough battery to get you in a video call meeting via Zoom or GMeet.
I also used it when I went out for work. Its battery capacity lasted more than enough taking into account how I got stuck in traffic for three hours. So whether it’s for playing music, making calls, streaming videos, or even playing games, the Nokia E3101 will surely last long for almost a full-day of use.
While not totally similar with the 150-hour-touting Nokia Power Earbuds, the case of the Nokia E3101 will give you a total of around 20 hours before you actually hook the USB-C port in its case once it gets drained. Fully charging both the earbuds and the case take around two hours — not ideal for people who are always in the hurry.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you’re that type of budget-conscious user who can’t wait to switch from your old wired earphones to a new pair of wireless earbuds, the Nokia E3101 might just be your GadgetMatch. With an SRP of just PhP 1,999, you can easily transition to a wireless ecosystem without breaking the bank.
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