ThinkPad X1 Fold ThinkPad X1 Fold


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold: A bold attempt

Props to Lenovo for even trying



The concept of foldables isn’t new. We’ve seen various iterations in the mobile phone space. However, it hasn’t been attempted like this in the laptop/notebook space. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold re-imagines how a laptop folds and it’s… well, it’s an interesting piece of tech to say the least.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

Pretty cool, right? It slams shut the 13.3-inch display as if it was a book. It makes it easier to carry around when you’re out and about. Oh and, we’re not exaggerating the book comparison too.

Here it is side-by-side with a graphic novel. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold
And here it is on top of TWICE’s Eyes Wide Open album. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It actually looks like a book or notebook with its leather finish. 

ThinkPad X1 Fold

Here it is on the table, not fully flexed nor folded.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
It’s a pretty interesting contraption, but what can it do? That, perhaps, is the truly compelling question.

Performance and overall usage

Here’s a quick glance at the specs:

  • 13.3” 2K OLED Display, 4:3 (2048 x 1536, 300 nits)
  • Intel Core i5 with Intel Hybrid Technology
  • 11th Gen Intel UHD, integrated Graphics
  • Up to 1TB PCIe-NVMe M.2 2242 SSD
  • 8GB LPDDR4X 4267MHz
  • 50Wh with Rapid Charge technology
  • 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) (1 can be used as DP)

Oh and it also has a 5MP camera for video calls. A bare minimum, but one that works fine, nevertheless.

Seems decent on paper, yes? That’s true. It also helps that it comes with the Lenovo Fold Mini Keyboard. With it, the ThinkPad X1 Fold transforms into this very Surface Pro-like device.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It’s able to stand on its own thanks to this kick-out stand that has the suede-like material. Definitely upping the “premium” feel of the device.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

The keyboard itself isn’t all that great. People with objectively bigger hands might find it perplexing having to type on it. However, it is usable, has an okay travel, and can get you through quick typing sessions.

The trackpad is also fine but you’re probably better off touching the screen for smoother navigation. This isn’t surprising as most bluetooth keyboards tend to not be very good in this department.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

It’s certainly better than using the Windows 10 On-Screen keyboard.

ThinkPad X1 Fold

The ThinkPad X1 Fold can also be used with the Lenovo Mod Pen. It opens even more possibilities, especially if you’re the type who likes to sketch.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
The stylus experience is pretty good. It doesn’t stray too far from the regular stylus to tablet or screen experience from other Lenovo devices, but it also isn’t as good as say the S Pen is to the Note series.

For comparison, I would say it felt close to how the stylus felt while writing and sketching on the Lenovo Thinkbook Plus. It’s another one of Lenovo’s odd-ball notebooks which is kind of becoming a theme for the company.

What’s cool is that both these accessories fit seamlessly with the ThinkPad X1 Fold. 

Fold the notebook and you get this easy-to-carry device complete with a keyboard and a stylus.

Having the keyboard inside also leaves no gap when the ThinkPad X1 Fold is folded.

This is smart hardware design and one that Lenovo should be commended for.

Software troubles 

However, the overall usage starts to feel clunky when you realize the device’s biggest weakness — it’s running on Windows 10 Pro. That operating system, on its own, is fine, especially for traditional laptops. But foldables are another story.

Transitioning from folded to unfolded and using split screens for “better productivity” just isn’t seamless. That’s because this product was supposed to ship with Windows 10X — the OS specifically designed for foldables.

However, with Microsoft’s own dual screen devices being delayed, the aforementioned OS also didn’t see the light of day. That didn’t stop Lenovo from launching the ThinkPad X1 Fold.

They try to mitigate the software issues by applying their own solution. The notebook comes with this Lenovo Mode Switcher that helps detect if you’re using the device as a single screen or as two separate screens.

ThinkPad X1 Fold
It’s fine if you’re just using it for reading or for consuming media. But don’t mistake this for an all-out productivity tool. You’ll only be disappointed.

Media consumption

Speaking of consuming media, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is actually pretty good as a slate where you can watch your favorite things.

I sat through Spider-Man Homecoming for the nth time on this thing.

I also replayed over and over TWICE Momo’s performance project.

And used it to watch for the first time TWICE Jihyo’s performance project.

The way you can easily prop it up or carry it on one hand (that is if your arm can handle 999g/2.2lbs for a few minutes at a time), made for a decent video viewing companion. The speakers aren’t out of this world, but they’re alright.

The OLED display is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting in the video viewing experience. And the fact that it’s a foldable OLED display is just simply astonishing.

But for the price it commands, it just doesn’t seem like a device for the common folk.

Is the ThinkPad X1 Fold your GadgetMatch?

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold is both magnificent and frustrating at the same time. This hardware is nothing to scoff at. The fact that Lenovo even had the audacity to try something like this is the reason why we like tech. We love it when brands push the boundaries and think outside the box.

However, this beautifully designed hardware is held back by the usable but clunky software. By no fault of its own, Lenovo was forced to release a product that doesn’t deliver a polished experience because of operating system limitations. That just isn’t what you expect from something priced at PhP 208,499 or US$ 2,499.

More than anything, the ThinkPad X1 Fold feels like a showcase device. Something a top executive who doesn’t have to do too much typing or doing the grunt work on spreadsheets and deck presentations would have use for.

It’s not completely broken by any means. You can do actual work with it. But the whole experience just feels too clunky. Microsoft owes Lenovo for leaving them hanging on the software side of things. But this shouldn’t dissuade the company from continuing to experiment and pushing what’s possible with hardware.

Personally, I’d like to give this another go once the appropriate software is ready. I imagine that would make a world of a difference.


The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 powers the next gen of thin notebooks

So much more performance



The Snapdragon series isn’t just for smartphones. For a while now, Qualcomm’s ubiquitous series has staked its claim on more steadfast PC-based platforms. Continuing that trend, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 PC platform, a new system for thinner Chromebooks and notebooks.

Even in devices with a fan, the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 promises stellar performance, carrying the new standard built by Snapdragon’s new rebranding. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 is the world’s first 5nm Windows platform. With Qualcomm’s Kryo CPU, the platform can reportedly deliver 85 percent better performance over a competitive x86 rival. Its Adreno GPU can offer a 60 percent improvement over the platform’s predecessor.

Coupled with a durable battery, users can also use their devices for gaming at up to full HD and 120 frames per second. Devices can also support 4K HDR shooting and up to 4 cameras at a time. Armed with improved AI features, the platform supposedly delivers 29+ TOPS of AI acceleration. Finally, much like its smartphone counterpart, the system’s modem can support 5G connections of up to 10Gbps and Wi-Fi 6 connections.

To complement this beast of a platform, Qualcomm has also introduced the Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 platform for entry-level devices. Despite having a larger 6nm architecture, the platform still delivers 60 percent faster CPU performance and 70 percent faster GPU performance. The AI engine delivers 6.5 TOPS of performance. It can support 5G connections of up to 3.7Gbps and Wi-Fi 6 connections of up to 2.9Gbps.

Currently, neither of the two platforms have announced which devices will receive them first. However, Qualcomm expects the first devices to launch sometime in the first half of 2022.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm officially launches Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

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ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16: Big power in a compact form factor

Exceptional specs, solidly built body



ROG Zephyrus m16

Whenever I see any device with the ROG branding, I automatically get the impression of how good the device may be even without actually knowing what its features are. I guess it’s true with others too as sending my friends a photo of the hefty ROG box containing this device, garnered excited reactions.

That’s because ROG devices actually live up to its reputation of being amazing gaming devices. A proof of that is in my recent visit to a PC store in Makati where I asked the salesperson which among their gaming laptops is their current best offering in their store and the response I got is a confident, ROG Zephyrus.

Get ready to be blown away as we take a closer look at the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16.

What comes in the box

ROG Zephyrus m16

The whole package came in a large ROG box containing three main items.

First, we get the ROG Zephyrus backpack. Then, there’s a black box which contains the ROG Delta gaming headphones. Lastly, there’s the white Zephyrus box which contains the star of the show — the Zephyrus M16 along with the ROG Chakram Core gaming mouse, the 240W charger and the 100W USB-C charger.

Tough build with a small footprint

Going straight for the laptop, just as I laid my hands on the actual unit, I could already tell how solidly built this device is. The outer shell is made of aluminum with machine cut holes that looks elegant with just a slight hint of being a gaming laptop with its branding.

Some people might prefer laptops with a bit more flare, but I’m personally inclined towards this more serious look. This could easily pass n a corporate setting without getting too much attention for being a gaming laptop.

On their website, ASUS markets the Zephyrus M16 as a laptop with a 16-inch display fitted in a 15-inch chassis. And it’s true. It’s relatively compact with its length measuring only 13.98 inches. This would actually fit laptop bags designed for 15-inchers and placing it beside my old 15-inch Dell G3 made the latter look jurasically huge.

ROG Zephyrus m16

For the bottom half, you might want to get your cleaning cloths ready as the soft matte finish is an easy smudge magnet. While this design decision adds to the premium feel of the unit, it does require a bit of maintenance to keep it from looking like a nasty mess.

Good port selection but placement could do better

ROG Zephyrus m16

A vast amount of ports are also present here on the Zephyrus M16. On its right we can find the charging port, HDMI, RJ45, USB-A, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports which doubles as a charging port and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. On the left is a microSD card reader and another USB-A port.

I do, however, have mixed feelings with the placement of these ports

None of the ports are placed at the rear portion of each side. The location of the charging port in the middle of the left side sets the wire of the charger to partially cover the exhaust vents of the device when plugged in.

If you then decide to use the 100W charger, you’ll have to bear with having to plug it on the USB-C port near the front of the device.

The USB-A port on the right would have also been nice if it were placed around the back as its current placement feels a bit intrusive when plugging an external mouse.

I understand that the designers might have had to give some room for ventilation or make use of that space around the rear part of the chassis, but the positioning could have been better for at least the essential ports for an obstruction-free experience.

Big, bright and vibrant display

ROG Zephyrus m16

The display is actually the first thing that wowed me on the M16. It’s a 16-inch 2560 X 1600 IPS panel with a 165Hz refresh rate and an aspect ratio of 16:10. It’s vibrant and punchy because it’s an IPS and while not as fast as a TN panel, it’s still relatively fast at 165Hz. 

Plus, this being a WQXGA panel, we’re adding more screen real estate vertically and when we combine that with the 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and the Pantone validation, we’re seriously getting ourselves a productivity beast.

ROG Zephyrus m16

This also gets close to being bezel-less with this display as it’s bezels are really thin but still manages to house a 720p webcam.

Let’s also take time to appreciate the Ergo Lift hinge on the M16 that seamlessly hides the chin of the display panel as the bottom half of the device is raised upon opening the lid. Very clever.

A good keyboard, a massive trackpad and an external mouse

ROG Zephyrus m16

For its keyboard, we have an RGB lit keyboard which has a nice tactile feedback and it feels phenomenal. It doesn’t feel mushy, the key travel is a bit more pronounced than others and the typing angle brought by the Ergo Lift hinge makes it comfortable and satisfying to use.

We’re also getting a massive trackpad on the M16. I could say it does perform great as I never found myself reaching for the external mouse for tracking and touch gestures are easily executed without much errors.

However, I don’t know if this is caused by the size of the trackpad or just poor palm rejection but this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a trackpad that gets in the way of my typing. Because my palms often touch the trackpad when typing, this often results in accidental key presses.

We do get a toggle to disable the trackpad in one of the function keys so I guess that could also be a solution.

As an alternative, we have the bundled ROG Chakram Core which is a right-handed wired gaming mouse that features a programmable thumb joystick.

It’s a full sized mouse that fits comfortably in my medium sized hand. I think this would fit best for palm grip users but from the perspective of a claw grip user, I didn’t have any issues with this as well.

Unquestionable performance

ROG Zephyrus m16

Onto the most exciting part, the Zephyrus M16 packs an 11th gen Intel Core i9 11900H processor paired with the RTX 3070 with 32GB of DDR4 RAM and 2TB SSD internal storage. 

This is so far the beefiest specced laptop I’ve experienced.

As expected, games like Valorant won’t be a problem running on these specs and that’s exactly what we experienced. Very fluid movement and zero lags even without boosting the Armoury Crate to performance mode.

For a more challenging and graphically demanding game like Control though, the game ran well on its default settings, but maxing out everything including ray tracing and other effects at 1440p did show some stutter. So for this one, we’re still gonna hold back a bit on the settings and resolution for the smoothest experience.

Do note that Control is a very heavy game and most of its additional graphic settings don’t give much difference visually anyway, so keeping some settings on medium or high is still looks stunning on the M16.

On my Shadow of the Tomb Raider test, I ran the benchmark maxing out every setting and got a 64 FPS average at 1440p resolution which are pretty amazing results for a laptop. This would go even higher if we’re playing on 1080p so if more FPS is your thing, you can opt to go for that.

We also experienced pretty decent temperatures on this unit as according to the ROG Armoury Crate, we’re getting around 69 to 73 degrees Celcius in game and would only occasionally hit the 80 degree mark during intense scenes. That’s very respectable for an Intel Core i9 in a compact laptop but it did come at the expense of being noticeably loud.

Speakers and the ROG Delta Headphones

ROG Zephyrus m16

According to ROG, the Zephyrus M16 actually has a six speaker setup. I didn’t really hear the benefits of this but it does sound pretty decent and clean but that’s about it. It won’t be able to fill up a room as its volume just isn’t very loud.

It had to turn on subtitles for games I’m playing as I was having a hard time hearing the dialog audibly. So for a more immersive experience, the ROG Delta headphones is what you’ll want to use for your long gaming sessions.

It’s a USB-C powered pair of headphones that are stylish and solidly built. It sports an ROG logo with breathing RGB lighting, a digital volume rocker and a switch for the RGB light.

ROG Zephyrus m16

Sound-wise, I do believe this sounds close to neutral and does seem balanced which isn’t what I usually experience on a pair of gaming headphones but it’s actually what I prefer.

I was expecting it to be boosted on the bass as gaming headphones often have this characteristic but that isn’t the case on this one. In fact, I did feel that it was rolled off a bit on the low end which gives us more clarity and less rumble.

All in all, this pair does give a pleasurable experience for gaming as the closed back and its noise cancellation forces you to focus on tackling your adventure.

Battery life and charging

It’s pretty common for gaming laptops not to have very good battery life as we do have a lot of power hungry components running. With the Zephyrus M16, we’ve experienced pretty similar results with other gaming laptops at around six hours of normal use.

Gaming on battery only got us about 45 minutes on Shadow of the Tomb Raider before everything became unplayably laggy just as power saving mode kicked in at 20 percent of battery remaining.

As for its charging, considering that this is a 240W charger, the results aren’t very fast getting us from empty to full in 1 hour and 45 minutes. With the 100W charger, it took us from ten percent to full in 2 hours and 8 minutes which is acceptable especially if we consider its pocket friendly size.

Is the ASUS ROG Zephyrus M16 your GadgetMatch?

Despite some minor inconveniences, there’s nothing in particular that I could say we would really hate with the Zephyrus M16.

It’s definitely a laptop designed for gaming enthusiasts who’d really want to get the best experience in a compact package and I don’t think they would be disappointed with gaming on this one.

The price tag of PhP 159,995 may sound too steep for many of us but the exceptional specs, solidly built body, a beautiful 16-inch 16:10 display, great keyboard, huge trackpad and a superb bundle of accessories, are a mouthful to say but these in itself says we’re not getting ripped off.

But if you’re not willing to shell out that much, a slightly less powerful variant with an RTX 3060, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD is also available for PhP 139,990 while a variant with a Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and an RTX 3060 is available for PhP 129,990.

ROG Zephyrus m16

So to sum it all up, at the level where it competes, the Zephyrus M16 is definitely a beast of a gaming laptop in a compact form factor that easily stands out as a great contender.

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Mediatek, AMD collaborate on new Wi-Fi 6E Modules

Starting with the Filogic 330P Wi-Fi 6E chipset



File Photo: ROG Flow X13

Mediatek and AMD will co-engineer the AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E modules containing MediaTek’s new Filogic 330P chipset. These will power will power next-gen AMD Ryzen-series laptop and desktop PCs in 2022 and beyond.

The focus of the collaboration is to deliver seamless connectivity experiences for customers. The the optimization process included stress testing and ensuring compatibility standards, which may ultimately reduce development time for OEM customers.

Filogic 330P supports the latest connectivity standards of 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 (2.4/5GHz) and 6E (6GHz band up
to 7.125GHz), along with Bluetooth® 5.2 (BT/BLE). The high throughput chipset is ultra-fast with support
for up to 2.4Gbps connectivity, including support for the new 6GHz spectrum at 160MHz channel

The chipset also integrates MediaTek’s power amplifier (PA) and low noise amplifier (LNA)
technology to help optimize power consumption and reduce design footprint which enables the Filogic
330P chipset to be embedded in laptops of all sizes.

The AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E modules expand AMD’s Wi-Fi capabilities, bringing excellent
connectivity solutions to OEMs and end users, whether they are playing the latest interactive games,
working remotely, or completing a big project.

AMD RZ600 Series Wi-Fi 6E Modules specs are as follows:

AMD RZ616 Wi-Fi 6E module

  • Wi-Fi 6E 2×2
  • 160MHz Wi-Fi Channels
  • PHY rate up to 2.4Gbps
  • M.2 2230 and 1216

AMD RZ608 Wi-Fi 6E module

  • Wi-Fi 6E 2×2
  • 80MHz Wi-Fi Channels
  • PHY rate up to 1.2Gbps
  • M.2 2230
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