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Is the Peloton bike worth it?

Fitness does not come cheap

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Getting a Peloton is more than just getting a bike; it’s joining a community. When you first start talking to someone who has the bike, they always talk about how irrationally in love they are with it. Now that I have it, I finally understand why.

After all, the bike isn’t just for taking classes and Peloton isn’t just another fitness company. Peloton is a technology company that’s creating communities and experiences that enable you to get the most out of your workouts. All of these, however, come with a pretty hefty price tag.

Peloton versus a gym membership

The bike costs EUR 2230 (US$ 2245) and an additional EUR 39 (US$ 39) a month for the classes and digital services.

Think of it like this: The digital services are like what you would pay for your monthly gym membership, and the cost of the bike is your sign up fee. If you look at it as a 3-year commitment, it ends up around something like 102.89 a month.

If you compare it to a high-end spin studio it starts to look cheap. BeCycle in Berlin, for example, offers 12 classes a month for EUR 200, and 16 for EUR 239. SoulCycle in London offers 30 classes that can be used over 12 months for around EUR 700.

It’s clear the way SoulCycle expects you to take their classes as something you add to your fitness routine a few times a month. The cost of 30 classes over the year with SoulCycle is the price of unlimited classes with Peloton, and you can do more than just spinning with the latter.

If you start to think of Peloton as a long term fitness commitment, the pricing no longer seems outrageous.

Four things that make Peloton worth it

Well-rounded classes that go beyond the bike

With Peloton, you get access to hundreds of on-demand classes and a dozen or so live classes a day. Peloton might have started with just cycling but they’ve added dance cardio, sleep coaching, running, meditation, walking, and strength training. They even have yoga classes — some of which cater to expecting mothers.

Social aspect

New research shows exercise can be contagious, and social pressure is a fantastic motivator. With Peloton, you can schedule rides with friends or join group classes — live or on demand. You can also connect with friends to see how often they ride.

Built for competitive people

The leaderboard on the right hand side pushes you to pass the next rider, and this is by far my no. 2 motivator.

Ugly sweat brings the drama

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not too proud to be a sweaty mess in public. But working out at home also means I can bring the drama. Often I find myself falling over and gasping for air like I’m JLaw in Passengers trying to breathe in that floating water bubble. If we’re talking about worth, the ability to be extra dramatic at home is priceless!

Two girls, one Peloton

Both Carol and I have a Peloton bike at home so we thought it was worthwhile to give you two takes on the same question. Is it worth it?

Nicole

If you’re like me and have a 20-euro monthly gym membership, it’s going to take a lot more than comparing Peloton’s pricing to a high-end fitness studio that I wouldn’t have paid for in the first place.

If you’re someone who has the self-discipline and already goes (or used to go, before quarantine happened) to the gym multiple times a week, Peloton is a good alternative. It’s a high-end fitness studio in your home. The best parts of having your own gym at home is not wasting any time travelling to the gym and the workouts and instructors are varied enough that you won’t get bored.

If you’re someone who thinks that getting a Peloton would be like buying the willpower to work out, you also won’t be disappointed.

In a separate article, I talked about living in a 38sqm flat during lockdown and still managed to find excuses NOT to work out. At the end of the day, even though I struggle with consistency, I’m in better shape now than I was over the past year of having a cheap gym membership and supplementing it with ClassPass.

Having a Peloton bike at home is great because you constantly see the bike. It’s like getting constant reminders that you’re not working out. This is what I’ve come to realize — it’s not that I’m not working out enough; it’s that I would feel guilty about not working out.

If this sounds terrible to you — which it should — don’t worry. Half of the time this guilt is replaced with motivation and a desire to get on the bike and get stronger.

The only way for me to stomach paying that much for a bike is to convince myself that it’s essentially a gym membership. After five months with it, I’m not even sure that I could go back to any other way of working out — especially since gyms are high risk areas and I’m just overly cautious.

SEE ALSO: Peloton vs excuses: Mind tricks that can help you squeeze in a workout

Carol

As someone who grew up skinny, working out was never part of my routine until I discovered spinning back in 2014. Through spinning, I learned that fitness doesn’t have anything to do with your dress size and that working out can actually be fun. It’s not the most affordable choice for workouts, but the music and the endorphin rush always left me with such a high.

I have to admit I was never a fan of the physical high fives and the loud classmates who love to go “Wooh!” throughout the class. They made me hyper aware of how much I’m struggling through the pushes and how much of a mess I look during the whole ordeal. Palm sweat on palm sweat with strangers always gave me the heebie-jeebies even before social distancing was a thing.

Having a Peloton at home brings all the things I love about spin class and leaves the things I hate about it somewhere else. I can enjoy the music, add some extra dance moves if I want to, and even sing along without worrying if I get a little too loud over that Sia song. I even started answering instructors as if they could hear me, screaming how ready I am for the ride and throwing in my own “woohs!” into the mix.

Before the pandemic, I was already really happy over the fact that I have the bike at home. Time is money and having the bike at home has given me more free time since I don’t have to make my way to and from the spin studio I frequent here in Berlin. While spin studios tend to go all out in their facilities, nothing beats showering or taking a long hot bath after a workout.

When the pandemic hit and gyms in Berlin were shuttered, I was just so thankful to have the Peloton at home. It’s a common misconception that Peloton is just for spinning and I made sure to get into the other workouts they offer while we were spending most of the time at home. During this time, I committed to doing at least one thing with the Peloton app every day.

It doesn’t even have to be a heavy sweat session. It could just be a good stretch or even a short time allotted for meditation. So even if you’re not a big fitness junkie. Trust me, it’s worth it. I’m so far from being in the upper half of the leaderboard but the fact that I get to burn most of what I ate during the day and work on relaxing my mind before bed has been such great help for my whole well-being.

SEE ALSO: Quarantine fitness diary: Forming better habits with Peloton

Since the restrictions have been relaxed and the weather has gotten so much better, I started going out more and one of the challenges, as Nicole said, is sticking to your commitment to work out. But seeing the bike at home really makes for a great reminder. If you’re someone who always has a full calendar, someone who’s busy at work, and is in need of a way to get fit and forget the world for a little bit then this is something for you. My husband and I both feel the guilt over missing a day of working out. Not because of anything else but the fact that we missed out on doing something we enjoy.

Is the Peloton worth it?

Of course it is, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to you to make the most out of it.

Let us know in the comments what you’re looking forward to when you get your bike! See you on the leaderboard soon.

SEE ALSO: Peloton tips and tricks: How to make the most out of your workout

Features

5 reasons why you need a smart, home printer

In 2021? Absolutely!

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Every year, I would tell myself I need a printer — but end up not buying one. After all, do you really need it? At this age? Where you can sign documents on Adobe Acrobat or another third-party extension through your mail, and scan photos directly using your smartphone.

Regrettably, we all still need a home printer, bud. Regardless of their horrendous sizes and designs, there are still a lot of perks when you have a home printer. Especially when it’s a smart, inkjet printer.

Recently, Brother launched a new lineup of compact, space-saving inkjet printers. Using the latest (and most affordable of the bunch) DCP-T420W made me realize how a printer can make your life fun and easy, whether you’re always out or staying at home.

Hard and soft copies still go hand-in-hand

When life went on pause due to a global pandemic, businesses and other establishments (particularly printing services) closed and shut down. While most documents needed for work are being sent and signed via digital formats, there are days when I struggled not owning a printer when I badly needed it.

Back then, I needed to print copies of sheets and labels as I was shipping an expensive music box to Taiwan. The shipping company required these papers to be attached as part of their logistical process. Banks and government agencies also require physical copies of whatever is sent on their emails and/or websites. The world hasn’t fully gone digital, and there’s still a need for papers and printers.

Save time, save money

Using the Brother DCP-T420W — or having a home printer in general — helped save time and money. I don’t have to scramble to search for printing services, which requires driving around town. And yes, when you drive, you need to fill up the tank. Read: Price hike on fuel and gasoline.

But having your own [ink] tank to fill makes it easier for your wallet and convenience. Brother’s new lineup of printers lower cost per print, which approximately prints up to 7,500 pages in black and 5,000 pages in color. And they print fast. No more waiting on printing services asking you to come back later to get the files you needed.

So far, I haven’t fully consumed my inks even though I printed a bunch of high-quality photos. But if I ever ran out of supply, I know I can easily buy one seeing how they’re affordable and accessible.

Print, scan, and copy in the comfort of your own home

Having a printer means you can do everything in the comfort of your own home. Print some important documents, scan my passport for my visa applications, and copy waybills and signed agreements — I can do all of this even when I’m wearing pajamas.

More importantly, the DCP-T420W is so versatile that it lets my not-so-tech-savvy family use the printer without me assisting them. For the old-school, you can plug the USB cable into your laptop and print using Brother’s iPrint & Scan — which works on both Windows and macOS.

Meanwhile, the tech-savvier young’n can maximize the machine’s flexible connectivity options. There’s Built-in Wi-Fi where an entire group can effortlessly share one device, and you can print directly using your mobile devices. Isn’t that so convenient?

Get creative — and productive

There’s so much you can do when you have a printer. Back then I would always wonder, why would I need one?

Occasionally, you’ll realize the reasons why you’ll feel the need to have a printer at home. But for most people, it’s a fleeting moment — simply because they sometimes forget the endless possibilities in having this machine.

For the most part of the lockdown, I spent time with printables that helped me organize my habits, lifestyle, and my room. I started printing labels, charts to track my goals, and sheets to manage my finances. I have to say I’m halfway through my journey towards self-development, and I’m happy a simple machine like a printer helped me in this pursuit.

Print whatever you like without judgment

Above all, having a printer gives you the freedom to print whatever you feel like. I had a lot of fun printing photos, illustrations, and texts to help with my vision board and manifestation journals. To re-decorate my room, I bought photo papers and printed my favorite photos and moments to remind me how blissful my life is for having all these memories.

Yes, sometimes I get sentimental and with this at home, no printing person can judge me for asking to print weird group photos and travel photos in their shop.

Price and availability

The Brother DCP-T420W retails for PhP 7,650 (US$ 157). It’s available for purchase through Brother Philippines’ authorized dealers and is supported by the Brother Customer Service Center and Authorized Service Centers nationwide. Price is inclusive of prevailing taxes and includes a 2-year Extended Warranty.

There are other models available as well — DCP-T520W (PhP 8,950), DCP-T720DW (PhP11,950), DCP-T820DW (PhP 13,950), and MFC-T920DW (PhP 18,950). For more information, visit www.brother.com.ph.

SEE ALSO: Brother’s latest inkjet printers offer faster, more affordable prints | HP Ink Tank 415: Print more and then some

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OPPO Reno5: Ideal upper midranger

It’s a stellar overall package for its price

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Reno5

OPPO’s Reno line has slowly carved out an identity as somewhat of an affordable premium smartphone. Priced at around half of what flagships today cost but offering about two-thirds of the features, the OPPO Reno line has the makings of the ideal upper midranger, and the Reno5 fits that description to a T.

How it looks

The Reno5 (both the 4G and the 5G variants) come in either Galactic Silver or Starry Black. The Black has a more traditional glass finish, thereby being more magnetic to fingerprints and smudges, while the Galactic Silver has a frosted matte finish making it more palatable if you don’t like using a protective case.

Reno5

The Galactic Silver Reno5 is flashier. The color kind of shifts depending on how light hits it. If you’re into phone finishes that catches the eye, this is totally the way to go.

Button placements are pretty standard. On the right hand side is the power button while the volume buttons are on the left. At the bottom you’ll find the speaker grille, USB-C port, and 3.5mm jack (nice).

Reno5

At around 180g and with these dimensions (159.1 x 73.4 x 7.9 mm) with a 6.4-inch display, the Reno5 sits very close to my personal sweet spot in terms of overall smartphone size. It’s a little too light to my liking but it never feels fragile.

The ‘Oxygenation’ of ColorsOS

There’s been some buzz about how OnePlus — a sister company of OPPO under the BBK electronics umbrella — is becoming more and more like OPPO. What’s getting lost in all that noise is how OPPO is turning into OnePlus just as much as the latter is being ‘OPPO-fied.’

This is most evident in ColorOS 7.2. From its cluttered and bloatfull past, the UI skin that OPPO layers over Android has gotten more breathing room letting more oxygen come through. The customizations available run deep — everything from light vs dark mode, the shape and size of the icons, to the accent color of the settings menu.

Also present are the gesture shortcuts that longtime OnePlus fans will be familiar with like drawing a V to open the flashlight, O to open the camera, and double tap screen to wake. These are all OxygenOS staples that have found their way to OPPO and sometimes other Android skins too.

Some purists or overly zealous brand supporters might dismiss this as blatant copying, but is it really that big an issue especially when these are all quality of life improvements no matter how subtle they may be?

All things considered, ColorOS is now overall more appealing thanks in large part to applying design decisions first applied on OnePlus’s OxygenOS.

OLED, 5G, and Snapdragon 765G

This section is probably the least contentious about this phone. Its display, performance, and promise of next gen mobile connectivity work exactly as advertised. The 6.4-inch OLED display has a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s nice and smooth with the deep blacks typically found on OLED displays. It could use a bit more brightness when under intense daylight, but it’s in no way unusable under such circumstances.

The 5G variant will cost you a little more and it’s not at all a bad deal considering most especially if you live or frequent areas with 5G coverage. We used the OPPO Reno5 as a hotspot hub for half a day and it did not feel at all like we were on mobile hotspot.

Shifting talk over to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765g SoC, this seems to be the best-performing midrange chip. It won’t leave you wanting in terms of general smartphone use. We didn’t use it a lot for gaming on this particular handset but previous experience dictates it’s pretty darn good for mobile gaming as well.

Battery life is also pretty straightforward. Standby time is great and the 4300mAh will last you a day on moderate usage. That goes down to around five hours when used primarily for gaming and with 5G connection.

Fun with the cameras

Reno5

The Reno5 sports a quad-camera system: 64MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth. But all the fun really happens in the software sid of things.

It still features OPPO’s fun AI Color Portrait mode that isolates the subject from the background by draining the color out of the background and putting the subject front and center in full color.

Reno5

This same feature also works on the 32MP selfie camera.

Reno5

Even more exciting, this feature is now also available in video mode so there are more ways for you to have fun with it.

Another addition is the Night Flare Portrait that captures your subject in a nice stylized night shot filled with color and creamy bokeh.

Reno5

More than just portraits

Naturally, the cameras along with the AI engine behind its imaging works not only for these fun and funky portrait images and videos. As a standard shooter for documenting your daily life, it’s more than reliable. Check out these samples:

A nice meal for lunch

Naturally, save room for dessert

Ultra wide. Take stroll after downing some delicious food

 

Capture things in good detail

Snap a quick selfie

 

Or ask someone to take a quick portrait photo

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The easy answer is yes. The OPPO Reno5’s overall package is the ideal upper-midranger. There’s a lot of fun to be had with its camera features, it looks great, and performs just about as good as any phone in its price range.

Reno5

It also doesn’t hurt that in the Philippines, OPPO went out of its way to make sure it can be had in may different ways including through TelCos and via installment basis.

The OPPO Reno5 is by no means a perfect smartphone (no such thing exists anyway), but for what you’re getting in relation to its pricing, it’s a stellar option.

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How to remove filters in Zoom

Save yourself from a viral cat-astrophe

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If you haven’t seen the viral video of a lawyer nervously faffing about when he showed up in a Zoom call on national television as a cat, you need to see this.

And, if you’re nervously giggling to yourself while Googling how to remove filters in Zoom so you don’t embarrass yourself like this, here’s a step-by-step:

Removing Zoom filters before a meeting

Prevention is better than cure. To make sure you save yourself from turning into a cat, you should check on your Zoom setting right meow.

  1. On the Zoom desktop client, click your profile picture on the top right corner of the screen and select Settings.
  2. Click the Background & Filter settings.
  3. Check your video preview to see if you have any filters selected or if you have the appropriate virtual background set up for the call.
  4. If you have a video filter you want to turn off, click the Video Filters
  5. Select the box labelled None in the top left corner of the filter selections. You may need to scroll up to find it.

Removing Zoom filters in a meeting

This is for when someone is panicking over being in a Zoom meeting with a filter on and you’re trying to change them back to being human.

  1. In a Zoom meeting, click the up arrow next to your Stop Video icon and select Choose Video Filter to open the Settings window.
  2. Select the box labelled None in the top left corner of the filter selections.

Removing third-party filters in a meeting

  1. In a Zoom meeting, click the up arrow next to the Stop Video
  2. Select the right camera setting, or (if you’re already panicking) frantically select each camera listed until you show up as normal.
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