Laptops

ThinkBook is Lenovo’s new line of business-oriented laptops

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme gets a refresh, too!

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Lenovo ThinkBook 13s and ThinkPad 14s | Image credit: Lenovo

When we think about business laptops, the famous ThinkPad comes first into our minds. Lenovo, the current maker of ThinkPad notebooks, now has a new sub-brand to cater to the growing enterprise market — the ThinkBook.

Under the ThinkBook line, Lenovo has two new laptops. First is the ThinkBook 13s which is primarily built for mobile business. It features a slim and metal body with a mineral gray finish. As its name suggests, it has a 13.3-inch IPS display with a Full HD resolution and Dolby Vision support. It also has Harman-branded speakers with Dolby Audio.


Like with current ThinkPads, the 13-inch ThinkBook is equipped with a physical camera shutter for full control over camera and privacy. It has an anti-spill design for its keyboard and a lay-flat hinge as well. As for its battery life, it promises up to 14 hours with its 45Whr cell.

Lenovo ThinkBook 13s | Image credit: Lenovo

If you prefer a bigger notebook, there’s also the ThinkBook 14s. It practically has the same metal body and mineral gray finish of the 13s, but with a bigger 14-inch Full HD display. It has the same anti-spill keyboard and lay-flat hinge, too. With its larger screen though, it has a slightly shorter battery life of 10 hours.

Specs-wise, both share the same eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processor with up to 16GB DDR4 memory and 512GB SSD. There’s an option to have discrete graphics using AMD’s Radeon 540X.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s | Image credit: Lenovo

Connectivity is one of the strengths of business notebooks. The new ThinkBook line is no different. It’s equipped with a USB-C (Gen2), two USB 3.1, an HDMI, and a 3.5mm combo jack. It also comes with a fingerprint reader built into the power button and TPM 2.0 security chip.

What will make the ThinkBook appealing for businesses is its price. The ThinkBook 13s starts at US$ 729. Meanwhile, the ThinkBook 14s starts at US$749. Both will ship in the US this month.

For those who need more power and have extra cash can look into the refreshed ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The second-generation X1 Extreme now has the option for a 4K OLED touchscreen and ninth-gen Core i9 processors.

Lenovo ThinkPad Extreme X1 | Image credit: Lenovo

The graphics department has also updated the old NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti to the newer GTX 1650 Max-Q. The upgrade should offer a small bump in performance and support for new features. Pricing starts at US$ 1,500 for the base variant which starts shipping in July. The OLED version won’t come until August.

SEE ALSO: We tried Lenovo’s foldable ThinkPad PC and it screams future

Laptops

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro and MateBook 13 are now in Singapore

There’s also a new color for P30 Pro

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Huawei Matebook X Pro (2019)

The new MateBook 13 and MateBook X Pro have found their way to Singapore. Huawei‘s new laptops are part of the Chinese company’s product offering expansion to cater to a growing customer base in the country.

First unveiled at CES 2019, the MateBook 13 is one of the well-reviewed Windows notebook today. It’s a portable 13-inch laptop that combines the aesthetics of a MacBook and the power of Windows 10. The laptop’s 2K display with a 3:2 aspect ratio is probably its best asset. Also, what’s under the hood is also promising.


The MateBook 13 is powered by either eighth-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chips paired with high-speed PCIe SSD of up to 512GB. Additionally, Huawei’s notebook has NVIDIA GeForce MX150 to boost graphics performance. It also has the new Huawei Share OneHop that lets Huawei phone users transfer files with just a tap.

Huawei MateBook 13 | GadgetMatch

The MateBook 13 has a starting price of SG$ 1,348 for the Core i5 model with 256GB of storage. If you wish to get the more powerful Core i7 variant with 512GB of storage, it’ll cost SG$ 1,498. The laptop comes with a 2-year warranty.

Both variants will be available in stores by the end of May. Those who will buy at The PC Show from May 30 to June 2 will receive a free Huawei Watch GT Active and Huawei Backpack.

The flagship MateBook X Pro (2019) is also coming to Singapore. The more premium Huawei laptop has a 14-inch Ultra FullView display with a 3K resolution and 100 percent sRGB coverage. It’s complemented by four speakers tuned with Dolby Atmos.

Huawei MateBook X Pro (2019) | GadgetMatch

Inside, it has the latest Intel Core processors plus the updated NVIDIA GeForce MX250 graphics. The laptop is cooled by two Shark Fin Fans 2.0 for better performance. What’s more, it has Thunderbolt 3 ports for faster two-way data transmission of up to 40Gbps.

Another notable feature of the MateBook X Pro (2019) is its outstanding battery life of up to 12 hours, the company claims. It also has the Huawei Share OneHop feature for easy file transfer between the laptop and a phone.

Local pricing and availability of the MateBook X Pro (2019) will be announced at a later date. While we wait, check out our unboxing video below:

Along with the arrival of the laptops, Huawei is also bringing the Amber Sunrise model of the P30 Pro with 512GB of storage. It’ll be available from May 30 exclusively at Huawei Concept Stores and Lazada for SG$ 1,698.

SEE ALSO: Huawei MateBook 13 review: 5 reasons to make the switch

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Features

We tried Lenovo’s foldable ThinkPad PC and it screams future

A foldable computer like no other

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Lenovo’s been working on a new kind of computer: a folding laptop that will supposedly replace your own laptop.  

While foldable smartphones captured the talk of the tech world, Lenovo worked behind the scenes on a foldable computer over the past three years. Going on sale sometime next year, Lenovo aims for the bragging rights to call it the world’s first.


The device does not have a name yet. However, last week, Lenovo gave me the unique opportunity to play around with an early prototype.

It’s a computer that screams of the future. In fact, it will run an unannounced Intel processor and an upcoming skew of Windows.

Of course, Lenovo is still fine-tuning certain details. Still, the foldable 2K LG OLED display and torque hinge already do what they’re supposed to. The mechanism ensures each fold and unfold cycle goes smoothly and without a hitch.

Considering how much my iPad Pro has become my go-to, on-the-go device, Lenovo’s all-in-one device is an idea that I’m willing to embrace.

The device starts out as a 10-inch leather-bound Moleskine notebook, with the display folded shut.

Unfold it a little: it’s an ebook like nothing you’ve used before.

Keep it at a 90-degree angle: you’ve got yourself a laptop with an on-screen keyboard on the bottom half.

When used this way, both halves of the display can work independently. You could be on a Skype call on the top screen and viewing a presentation on the bottom half. You could also watch a video up top and jotting down notes on the bottom

Fully articulated, it’s a 13-inch tablet.

Prop it up and use the bundled Bluetooth keyboard: it’s a desktop PC.

According to Lenovo, user confidence in foldable devices is currently low. However, the brand is confident in its product so much that it’s attaching the ThinkPad X1 line — a name associated with reliability and durability — to the foldable laptop.

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Laptops

Huawei MateBook 13 review: 5 reasons to make the switch

And a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t

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Lots of tech reviewers, including myself, considered the MateBook X Pro as one of the best Windows laptops of 2018. It has the build quality, performance, and look that could easily take on the MacBook Pro.

Naturally, Huawei followed up this major release with a set of new notebooks in early 2019. These include an updated MateBook X Pro, MateBook 14, and finally, the MateBook 13 we have here.


Given its name and pricing — starting at US$ 999 for the Intel Core i5 variant — it’s a given that this is at the lowest end of the MateBook lineup. But don’t let any of those figures fool you; this is one solid product.

I can provide a few reasons why.

Smaller yet equally powerful

Having used the MateBook X Pro as a daily driver for several months now, switching to the MateBook 13 felt like a downgrade at first. I’d miss the quad speaker setup and larger screen, but those were the only losses in the grander scheme. If you took even a single glance at the MateBook 13’s specs sheet, you’d know that it still packs a punch.

The particular model I reviewed, which retails for US$ 1,299, comes with a Core i7-8565U, 8GB of memory, 512GB of fast storage, and a GeForce MX150 GPU. That’s loads of power for a slim laptop that’s only 14.9mm thick with a weight of 1.3kg. That’s also perfect for pushing the 2160 x 1440 pixels on the 13-inch display.

All the convenience is here

I was a little worried that Huawei would remove the fingerprint scanner as a way to cut costs, but fortunately for me and everyone who uses the MateBook 13, it’s still conveniently placed on the power button. Keep your finger on the sensor for a couple of seconds during boot-up, and you’ll go straight to your desktop.

Another handy feature is the fast charger the MateBook 13 comes with. At 65 watts, it can bring this laptop from zero to full in about 1.5 hours, which is similar to what Huawei does with SuperCharge tech on its flagship smartphones. As a bonus, the cable ends in USB-C, so it can quickly charge your handset, as well.

Huawei Share is surprisingly good

I admit, there was some skepticism at the beginning with the Huawei Share sticker placed on the lower-right corner of the notebook. I’ve seen multiple attempts at making syncing between a smartphone and laptop seamless for ages, but nothing has really made it worth the try over simply plugging the mobile device in.

To my delight, Huawei Share legit works. I tap my P30 Pro to the right of the trackpad, and it automatically pairs through NFC. From there, you can select photos, videos, or music you’d like to share between the two devices. The only downside, of course, is that you need a compatible Huawei phone to make this work, which would alienate tons of users.

A much better webcam placement

The biggest complaint of any MateBook X Pro user centers around the notebook’s awkward webcam placement. While the pop-up mechanism is cool, the videos you get out of it aren’t. It’s the lone downside of an otherwise perfect Windows laptop.

Huawei took notes and put the webcam where it belongs on the MateBook 13. It’s right above the display this time and doesn’t add much to the top bezel. It’s a shame that Huawei didn’t just apply this to all of its laptops from the start, but I do miss the privacy I got from the hidden placement of the MateBook X Pro.

Pretty much everything about the design

I believe that 14 inches is the sweet spot for ultra-slim laptops; it provides enough real estate while fitting well inside any sort of backpack. However, the MateBook 13 makes a strong case for why 13 inches is even handier without losing much work space. Because the bezels are still so slim, the display always feels bigger than it looks.

I’m also glad that Huawei didn’t make any comprises with the keyboard and trackpad. The clickiness and response of every backlit key is spot on, and although the trackpad may be a bit too wide for its height, the responsiveness is equally satisfying and it’s so easy to apply gestures on it, especially if you pick the non-touchscreen option.

But then…

As usual, there are a few downsides. The most glaring one is the absence of a USB-A port. One can argue that USB-C is the future — and the MateBook 13 has two of these — but if the MateBook X Pro can have a couple plus one USB-A, so should the MateBook 13. There’s a dongle for this, but being able to plug in straight away is miles more convenient.

As alluded to earlier, this laptop bears only two downward-firing speakers. They can get loud, but clarity is lost at the higher levels, and is totally muffled when placed on a soft surface. And because of the smaller overall heft, battery life takes a hit. I could get easily get over six hours of usage on one full charge, but that isn’t MateBook X Pro levels.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

The MateBook 13 is best described as a more affordable MateBook X Pro that doesn’t compromise too much. In effect, it’s yet another MacBook competitor.

With the exception of video calls, there were several moments wherein I wished I’d been using the MateBook X Pro instead, specifically when binge watching shows and plugging in a flash drive.

Otherwise, for the price it commands, the MateBook 13 is one of the best in its class. I love how you can get high performance and a quality build in such a compact package.

The best alternatives here are the MateBook 14 for something a little bigger and Dell’s XPS 13 line, which had been the undisputed champ before the current-gen MateBook series arrived. Now, that crown has to be shared.

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