Laptops

Lenovo ThinkBook Plus: Gimmicky but gets the job done

A plus for the right person

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Lenovo’s never been shy to try new things on their notebooks and laptops. Their whole Yoga line is a testament to this. But they’re also applying that line of thought to their other notebooks. Specifically, the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus.

They don’t say it outright but that Plus, I’d wager, refers to the e-ink screen on the laptop’s hood. Dual screen laptops are slowly on the come up — most of which targeted towards the multimedia-heavy users. The ThinkBook Plus is more deliberate.

The ThinkBook Plus has a 10.8-inch e-ink screen. It’s meant for taking notes, reading e-documents and seeing notifications while the laptop is closed.

Yes, the ThinkBook Plus comes with a stylus out of the box.

ThinkBook Plus

It magnetically attaches to the sides of the notebook.

The e-ink screen is fun, except for someone like me who has terrible handwriting

ThinkBook Plus

What happens when you’re not using the e-ink screen? You get this default screen. 

ThinkBook Plus

Or you can customize it with any image saved on the laptop. 

ThinkBook Plus

Now isn’t that so much better?

That image acts as a wallpaper when you’re using the ThinkBook plus, making it truly personalized.

I even tried a quick 10-minute sketch on the thing. 

But after a while, the novelty of the e-ink screen really wears out. It doesn’t help that I’ve mostly been working at home so there aren’t any opportunities to be in physical meetings and really take down notes.

Using the e-ink screen is also a hit or miss. It’s not readily responsive when you want to use it. But it the stylus to screen experience drastically improves once you’ve launched the notepad app. It also has great palm rejection so you don’t have to worry about placing your palm on the display as your write.

I can imagine how this can be useful in certain situations for certain people. However, unless you’re the type who actually likes to take notes, the e-ink screen will feel like a pricey gimmick.

The ThinkBook is a performer 

While the e-ink screen may be what gets you to turn your attention to the ThinkBook Plus, it’s not the only thing it has going for it.

It’s powered by an Intel Core i7 10th gen processor accompanied by Integrated Intel UHD Graphics, 16 GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM, and 512 GB PCIe SSD onboard storage.

That is to say, any productivity task you can think of, this thing can handle without breaking a sweat.

It’s been particularly useful in my daily tasks which include a lot of writing and copy-editing.

As well as basic image editing.

ThinkBook Plus

And of course, it’s useful when it’s time to put those words and images together on the website.

ThinkBook Plus

Quick side note: The more I go through my daily tasks, the more I realize how Core i7 laptops are completely overpowered for what I usually do. Especially since I still prefer to do my video editing on Final Cut Pro which only runs on Mac.

That said, working on the ThinkBook Plus has been as smooth an experience as can be. There was just a lot to love about it as a steady work machine.

The backlit keyboard was super easy to transition to.

The trackpad was also pretty darn good. 

ThinkBook Plus

But as is the case with most trackpads on Windows machines, they still can’t hold a candle to MacBook trackpads. That’s just a crying shame but it is what it is.

After soldiering for a day to use only the trackpad, I gave in and turned to the comforts of a mouse.

The webcam is located on the top-bezel.

This actually feels like a throwback as it doesn’t have the shutter or a built-in way to cover the camera. One time, I had to put an electrical tape over it during a zoom call as I wanted to show only the virtual background, without me in the shot.

There’s also no shortage of ports. This isn’t the thinnest of laptops so you get a decent amount of physical connectivity.

On the left are the HDMI Port, a USB-C port, and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

ThinkBook Plus

Over to the other side you have two USB-A ports and the power button.

ThinkBook Plus

Also a leisure companion

In between work or while I have lunch I like to watch a few videos. The 13-inch FHD display is more than enough for these quick breaks.

I’m either watching a few K-Pop fancams…

ThinkBook Plus

Risky risky wiggy wiggy this is an emergency

Or indulging in a quick anime episode on Netflix. 

ThinkBook Plus

Anime title: Ahiru no Sora

My room is pretty dark most of the time so the 300 nits of brightness is more than enough. You might encounter some glare and visibility issues, though, if you whip this out under broad daylight.

The audio by Harman sounds okay and works as expected during zoom calls. However, it does feel like it’s lacking in the overall volume department. It just doesn’t get loud enough in certain situations or for certain videos that already had a low volume to begin with. But it’s passable and the quality is generally okay.

It also comes with a carrying case inside the box.

ThinkBook Plus

This is a low-key really good inclusion. It adds an extra layer of protection and makes you feel safe about carrying the ThinkBook Plus even if you’re only using a tote bag.

ThinkBook Plus

The carrying case itself feels pretty premium and matches the overall price tag of the product.

Is the ThinkBook Plus your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 104,950/ US$ 1,529, it might feel pricey. You’re paying extra for that 10.8-inch dual screen so unless you see yourself really taking advantage of that feature, it’s best to steer clear.

However, as I mentioned earlier, for anyone who does make it a habit to jot down notes, the e-ink screen on the Lenovo ThinkBook Plus can be a valuable tool. And it’s not like you’re only paying for that additional screen.

The ThinkBook Plus can be relied upon to handle your daily tasks without any sort of hiccup. It feels sturdy and can certainly be your work companion for years. It’s hard to recommend to everyone, but for the right person, this notebook is indeed a plus.

Computers

ASUS ROG launches Cool for School Promo

Exclusive bundles and discounts!

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The start of the new school year in the Philippines is right around the corner. With that in mind, ASUS ROG is offering plenty of devices on their lineup for exclusive bundles and discounts with its Cool for School promo.

Promo duration is from July 15 to August 31, 2021 and features laptops, desktops, smartphones that are available for up PhP 18,000 worth of discounts. Take a look at the bundles below.

ASUS Notebooks and Zenfones

  • All ASUS ZenBook — Nespresso Mini Essenza with free Coffee Capsules (PhP 7,500)
  • All ASUS VivoBook — Aviche M5 Wearable Air Purifier (PhP 2,500)
  • Zenfone 8 and Zenfone 8 Flip — JBL Go 3 (PhP 2,300)
  • All ASUS X Series laptops with Intel Core i5 and i7 processors — PhP 2,000 discount
  • All ASUS X Series laptops with Intel Core i3 processor — PhP 1,000 discount

ROG

  • ROG Zephyrus S17 GX701LXS/LV, ROG Zephyrus S15 GX502LXS/LW, ROG Zephyrus M15 GU502LW/LU — Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit 9W, Google Nest Hub (PhP 18,000+)
  • ROG Flow X13 SuperNova Edition, ROG XG Mobile GPU with RTX 3080 — ROG Slash Cap, ROG Slash Sling Bag, Xbox Controller (PhP 8,500+)
  • ROG Flow X13 — ROG Slash Cap, ROG Slash Sling Bag (PhP 2,500+)
  • ROG Zepyhrus G14 GA401IVC — ROG Slash Cap, ROG Slash Messenger Bag, Chromecast 4K TV, Google Nest Mini (PhP 8,500+)
  • ROG Zephyrus G15, ROG Zephyrus G14 GA401IV/IU/IH/II — Chromecast 4K TV, Google Nest Mini (PhP 4,500+)
  • ROG Strix Scar 17 G732LXS/LWS/LV, ROG Strix Scar G532LWS/LW/LV — ROG Slash Cap, TUF AX3000 router, Xbox Controller (13,000+)
  • ROG Strix G17 G712LV/LU, ROG Strix G15 G512LV/LU/LI — Google Nest Mini, Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb 9W (PhP 4,000+)
  • ROG Phone 5 Classic — ROG Cetra II Core (PhP 3,300)
  • ROG Ranger Backpack (RGB BP3703) — PhP 1,000 Discount
  • ROG Ranger Backpack (BP2500) — PhP 500 Discount

ASUS and ROG Desktops

  • ASUS Desktop S3401SFF — PhP 1,000 Discount
  • ASUS Desktop S500SA — PhP 1,000 Discount
  • ROG Strix G35DX-PH009T, ROG Strix G35DX-PH011T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A
  • ROG Strix GD30CI(OPT.)-PH003T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A
  • ROG Strix G15DH-PH014T , ROG Strix G15DH-PH002T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A
  • ROG Strix GL12CM-PH019T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A
  • ROG Strix GL10CS-PH042T , ROG Strix GL10CS-PH040T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A
  • TUF Gaming FX10CP-PH004T — TUF Gaming VG249Q1A

For the complete mechanics and list of participating products and stores, check out https://bit.ly/ASUSROGCoolForSchool2021.

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Computers

ASUS reveals PCs, laptops that can upgrade to Windows 11

Check if your laptop or PC makes the cut

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Windows 11 is official now, and more OEMs are jumping aboard to the new OS. For its part, ASUS is making it easy for consumers to know if their PCs and laptops can upgrade to Windows 11.

SEE ALSO: Windows 11 is official, here are the stand-out features

Consumers who brought recent ASUS laptop models can rest assured that theirs will get Windows 11. Users who revel on the latest ZenBook Pro Duo 15 OLED laptop, ZenBook Duo 14, ZenBook 13 Flip OLED, or even the  ZenBook 13 OLED can enjoy a much streamlined experience with Windows 11 later this year. As for other laptop lineups, ASUS got their backs too as Windows 11 will come as a free upgrade for ProArt StudioBook, Zenbook, and Vivobook laptops.

Meanwhile, gamers out there will be delighted to find that the new OS is coming to their ROG Strix, Zephyrus, and Flow gaming laptops and desktops as well as TUF Gaming ones. The same goes for business owners of ExpertBook laptops and ExpertCenter desktops.

Of course, there’s a full list of Windows 11-ready ASUS PCs which you may view here.

Ready for Windows 11

Users can download the latest PC Health Check from Microsoft to see if their PC meets all the necessary requirements for running Windows 11. It’s free — and you can download it directly from Microsoft. Compatible PCs will receive the update later once Microsoft rolls it out to the public. Users with these PCs may back up their files to OneDrive for ease and peace of mind.

ASUS PCs with Windows 11 right out of the box are also coming soon. Users may wait for new ASUS PCs later in the year to get the new OS for free and right out the box.

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Deals

Acer has massive discounts plus freebies on select devices

Get a free Acer tablet with every purchase of select models!

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Acer laptops can be your next purchase with its latest “Learn from Home” program. From June 16 to July 18, buyers can get up to PhP 40,000 worth of discounts plus some cool freebies when they shop Acer’s latest devices.

For this program, Acer laptops, desktops, monitors, and projectors now come with PhP 8,000 discount. This is a big deal, especially for higher-end models. But the deal doesn’t stop there. Acer is also giving away a free Android tablet on select models.

Consumer Notebooks & Desktops

SF514-55TA-54J7 — from PhP 59,999 to PhP 56,999 with free Acer tablet

A514-54G-77ZK — from PhP 49,999 to PhP 47,999 with free Acer tablet

A514-54G-51PU —  from PhP 37,999 to PhP 35,999 with free Acer tablet

Aspire TC-875 — from PhP 48,999 to PhP 44,999

Aspire XC-830 — from PhP 21,999 to PhP 18,999

Projector and Monitors

X1126AH — from PhP 18,999 to PhP 15,999

32HC5QR Z — from PhP 18,199 to PhP 17,199

Meanwhile, gamers who purchase the latest Predator gaming laptop, desktop, and AOPEN monitor can get up to PhP 40,000 worth of discount. A gaming chair is up for grabs too, provided that they buy the participating models.

Gaming Notebooks

PT515-52-73VZ — from PhP 199,999 to PhP 159,999 with free gaming chair and loot bag

PH315-54-723N — PhP 94,999 with free gaming chair and loot bag

PH315-53-5634 — from PhP 79,999 to PhP 64,999 with free gaming chair and loot bag

Gaming Desktops

Predator Orion 3000 — from PhP 69,999 to PhP 59,999

Nitro 50 — from PhP 49,999 to PhP 44,999

AOPEN Monitors

Predator XB253Q — from PhP 19,999 to PhP 18,499

Promoting this program are Acer’s ambassadors, Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla. To see the list of eligible models, visit Acer’s website today or shop through one of their stores or authorized retailers. Buyers may also follow Acer on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to day to catch up on the latest program updates.

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