MateStation S MateStation S

Computers

Huawei MateStation S review: One smart workstation

Bringing the entire master race together in one suite

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Desktop workstations work the same way the moment you get them: boot it up, and start working on your reports or presentations. The moment you press the button, you come prepared with every piece of hardware you need to get going. From your smartphone and storage devices to wireless headsets, this is how an ideal workstation practically looks like.

However, the integration of all of these technologies into one workstation requires a ton of things to consider. From compatible hardware to required software, you can’t fully optimize everything in, supposedly, one sitting. Well, Huawei thought you probably could. You just need the proper hardware to bring everything together.

Enter the Huawei MateStation S and the suite of peripherals it can come with. The entire system comes with features that ultimately enhance the workstation experience, while integrating smart features here and there. For a company’s latest attempt in expanding their portfolio, I feel this is their way of creating an entire ecosystem.

But, is this workstation even worth looking at? Well, here’s what you’re getting with the MateStation S:

It comes in a compact form factor with a Star Trail design

MateStation S

Inside, it is powered by a 4th generation AMD Ryzen CPU

MateStation S

It only comes in the Space Gray colorway

MateStation S

Well-thought out design, but be careful

The main star of the show is this compact prebuilt system in Space Gray. Honestly, I was surprised that a workstation like this comes in a relatively small package. Like I mentioned before, its compact form factor makes it relatively easy to move around and place anywhere. I felt that this would be a good thing for people who have cramped work spaces.

Huawei also didn’t mind putting in a little flare in there with the Star Light design at the front panel. To be honest, I was looking for some way this could be useful to the system in terms of ventilation. Upon my usage of it, it’s mostly just for pure aesthetics since there’s no air coming out of it.

An extra slot for mobile RAM and another M.2 SSD

Now, this system isn’t actually totally complete in terms of a full upgrade. I’ll run down the spec sheet later on, but I found out there’s room for upgradability inside the system. From additional RAM to even installing a dedicated GPU, this is a workstation that you can turn into a beast. Of course, you have to willingly void your warranty early if you choose to open this up.

Workstation performance fit for WFH

Inside the Huawei MateStation S is an AMD Ryzen 5 4600G processor, which offers great performance and power efficiency. This hexa-core processor is great for even most basic workstations you either plan to buy or build. Along with the Ryzen 5 4600G, the MateStation S comes only with integrated Radeon graphics and 8GB of RAM.

MateStation S

For the most part, I had a pleasant experience using this machine for some of my business-centric tasks on my day job. From creating process documents and data reports to online video conferences, the system handled all of these quite well. When using this for social media browsing and HD video playback, it still remains fast and responsive.

Although, I don’t recommend using this workstation in its current configuration for graphic-intensive work. Sure, basic photo editing and older games work on this system but the integrated graphics option simply can’t afford going higher than that. The good thing is you can pry the system open and upgrade your RAM and GPU, but at your own risk.

Comes with a great, optional display option

Obviously, the MateStation S isn’t the only thing the entire suite contains but from here on out, these are purely optional stuff. First up is the Huawei Display, which comes in at PhP 7,999. It’s a 23.8-inch FHD display which is designed like any other monitor for offices. Apart from the gold Huawei branding and the sleek black color, there’s really nothing else fancy about it.

MateStation S

In my time using it, it’s a decent workstation monitor and secondary display. The display is quite bright and is relatively color accurate when watching HD videos. Although, it does suffer from a little bit of glare against sunlight so I’d rather place this far from the window, if ever. Also, it comes with the standard HDMI and VGA ports at the back — again, it’s stuff you expect from most monitors.

However, the first few times I used the monitor, I noticed a bit of a backlight issue by the right side. When it happened, it only shows up on either darker backgrounds or when I boot up the machine. Fortunately, it didn’t happen for the majority of the time I was using it, so I guess it pretty much solved itself out.

An optional, ultra-slim, smart keyboard

Another optional peripheral for the entire suite is Huawei’s Ultra-Slim Keyboard. It’s a full-sized keyboard, complete with the usual function keys catered for media and business. At first, you would think that there’s really nothing special about it. However, this is where Huawei put their smart service integration to the fullest of its extent, in my opinion.

See, this slim keyboard comes with two important features: Windows Hello and Huawei Share. At the top right of the keyboard, you will find a fingerprint sensor/button that unlocks your PC through Windows Hello. It’s fairly easy to set up, and it was quite fast in recognizing your fingerprint, as long as it’s relatively clean.

When it comes to Huawei Share, you will find this on the right Shift key and contains a built-in NFC sensor. In essence, you can use your compatible Huawei smartphones to transfer files for work or do Multi-Screen collaboration. It’s something that even their own MateBook lineup hasn’t fully integrated yet, so this is a big step up for a smarter experience. 

Is this your WorkstationMatch?

At PhP 30,999, the Huawei MateStation S provides quality performance for any business-centric workstation. Its compact form factor allows for any flexible arrangements for your workspace, and it comes with powerful hardware for all your tasks. If you just need a prebuilt system for some school work, this is one great option too.

MateStation S

If you’d like, you can opt to bundle this with the optional peripherals Huawei has to offer for a smarter experience. Specifically, the Huawei Ultra-Slim Keyboard would be the ideal peripheral to buy for Windows Hello and Huawei Share integration. Also, you can upgrade certain hardware inside the system at the expense of your warranty.

Overall, the Huawei MateStation S serves as a riveting workstation PC for any and all professionals, and even for the young ones in school. If you’re knee-deep in Huawei’s growing ecosystem, this expansion into the desktop PC space is something worth investing in.

Computers

Early build of next-gen Windows leaked to the public

Might end up as Windows 11

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next-gen Windows

It seems like that the next generation of Windows can’t come soon enough. Just recently, an early build of the OS leaked to the public, containing many UI and under-the-hood changes that have been speculated for months.

A lot of publications covering this next-gen Windows have already published their hands-on with the leaked build. The most apparent changes to the next-gen Windows are the ones people will see every day. The taskbar, for a start, is now centered by default, although it can be set to align left in the settings. It also includes new icons for the Start button, search button, and Task View.

The Start menu is radically different too, and it is the same one found on the cancelled Windows 10X. There’s a new button that sits on the taskbar by the way. This toggles the widget panel which is also new for the next-gen Windows. Meanwhile, the Task View gets a revamp. Along with this revamp comes a new window snapping experience — users can now snap according to different configurations.

Overall, the leaked build feature a lot of rounded corners. Microsoft is really gunning for a modern look with their next-gen Windows. Also, gone are the days of straight corners in context menus and buttons. It is worth noting that since this is an early build, some UI elements are still inconsistent with the overall design refresh. The bundled apps, for example, seem to be unchanged though the File Explorer has newer file icons.

There’s a lot more changes coming to the next-gen Windows, though. The out-of-the-box setup experience, for example, is new. And apparently, there’s a new start-up sound to boot too.

Windows 11 is here

One of the biggest things to come out of the build, however, is a direct confirmation that the next-gen Windows will simply be called Windows 11. The teasers for the next-gen Windows posted by Microsoft first hinted about this. Now, the builds directly confirm that indeed, Windows 11 is that next-gen Windows.

To make matters more interesting, Microsoft seemed to acknowledge the leaked build, teasing that there’s more to come:

There’s definitely more to come with the next-gen Windows, and it is definitely interesting what it will look like when Microsoft announces it on June 24. That said, ordinary users shouldn’t wait too long to see the evolution of the beloved OS that has been around for more than a decade.

Source: The Verge, Windows Central

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Computers

AMD unveils new Radeon PRO workstation GPUs

Based on the same architecture as the next-gen consoles

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PRO W6000

AMD may be facing some shortages in their chips for the remainder of this year, but it’s not stopping them just yet. Within their GPU lineup, Team Red looks to launch a more powerful AMD Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation graphics. This time around, they’ve integrated a familiar and powerful type of RDNA architecture to boost your workstation’s graphical performance.

See, AMD designed the new Radeon PRO W6000 series of workstation GPUs for heavier, more complex workloads. From demanding architectural design to 4K video rendering, these new GPUs will ideally handle all of these with ease. One of the big reasons behind this is that these GPUs are built using the RDNA 2 architecture. Yes, it’s the same architecture behind the GPUs of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S!

Apart from graphical performance boosts, the Radeon PRO W6000 series also offers realtime ray-tracing for faster renders. Essentially, the GPU has more enhanced compute units that boost design renders by up to 46 percent compared to previous generations. Along with AMD’s Smart Access Memory, you can even unlock higher performance for supported AMD Ryzen CPUs.

AMD will roll out their Radeon PRO W6000 series of GPUs in this fashion, along with their SRPs:

  • Now Available: AMD Radeon PRO W6800 (US$ 2,249)
  • Starting July 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600M (in select countries and mobile workstations)
  • Q3 2021: AMD Radeon PRO W6600 (US$ 649)
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Apps

SmartThings by Samsung unveils new interface

Better, more optimized

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A new generation for SmartThings is about to release. A revamped version of its mobile and Windows desktop app. The new design, which is part of SmartThings’ continued effort to simplifying the connected home experience. Additionally, it provides a simpler, more robust user journey and faster load times with a whole new interface.

The new interface makes it easier to identify connected home experiences while also maintaining a smooth transition from the previous version of SmartThings. The design that was improved for SmartThings divides the app into five sections: Favorites, Devices, Life, Automations, and Menu.

Favorites are the new home screen within SmartThings and gather the devices, scenes, and services used most for quicker access.

Devices let users monitor all devices, connecting TVs, light bulbs, appliances, and many more.

Life is a part where customers discover new services. As a matter of fact, this transforms physical objects into meaningful user experiences as they explore the expanding world of linked life. Users may learn about new features that will better their entire living experience, such as SmartThings Cooking. It is an all-in-one service that will offer seamless kitchen and meal preparation experiences.

Automations link devices, allowing them to collaborate and respond to certain situations in the home, such as a door opening and a light switching on.

Additional functions, such as Labs, Notifications, History, and Settings, will be housed in the Menu.

SmartThings

Availability

The new interface is available for Android devices starting today, and iOS will follow. This update follows SmartThings’ recent announcement of its Windows application, which offers a similar experience right from a Galaxy Book and any other Windows PC.

Samsung continues to invest in enhancing its technology, they also announced the incorporation of the Matter protocol into its ecosystem. SmartThings claims to be in the leading spot as the platform with the most flexible ways to connect devices. This includes Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Matter. 

Finally, you can see more information about SmartThings here.

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