Features

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet hands-on

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Lenovo can’t seem to get enough of hybrid and modular designs. The ThinkPad X1 Tablet has a little bit of both, but despite sounding like a full-on tablet, the convertible we have here behaves more like a laptop. Let us explain.

Convertibles aren’t a new concept; in fact, all the hybrid notebooks released in the past couple of years feel like they’re playing catch-up to Microsoft’s pioneering Surface lineup. To stand out, every execution is a bit different. Take the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, for example: It disguises itself as an Android tablet, but it’s a full-fledged Windows computer through and through. The ThinkPad X1 Tablet takes a different path, choosing to be a business-oriented Windows convertible with modular components more than anything else. It’s this kind of flexibility that makes this fledgling category so exciting.

Since hybrid laptops are so distinct from one another and function differently for every type of user, we’ll apply the same idea to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet. After all, certain features will serve an office worker really well, but a multimedia buff not so much. We’ll simplify things by narrowing down the usage cases to four.

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Writers will love the keyboard

Despite lots of convertibles successfully acting like actual laptops, few manage to provide a pleasant typing experience. We have to applaud Lenovo for upholding the ThinkPad lineup’s image and bringing its keyboard expertise to the X1 Tablet. It has to be the most laptop-like implementation we’ve seen on a convertible this year.

Key travel is splendid for a keyboard this thin, and there’s a distinct amount of space between each key. Wrists rest comfortably on the end of the board, and since the attachment doesn’t have its own power supply, there’s no heat to make your palms sweat. There’s also backlighting in case you’re working at night and are too lazy to reach for a light switch.

With the keyboard attached, there are a total of three ways to navigate: You can use the tablet’s touchscreen, the keyboard’s trackpad, or the signature red TrackPoint. We’ve always chosen the trackpad, because the touch experience on Windows 10 still feels five years behind iOS and Android devices, and the TrackPoint felt mostly unnecessary when there’s a touchscreen available. This isn’t to say the trackpad wins by default; the three clicky buttons above the trackpad and its compatible Windows gestures are fast enough to speed through open tabs on Chrome and Microsoft Office.

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Artists shouldn’t give up their graphics tablets for this

The stylus pen is both a blessing and a bother. It’s great that you don’t have to plug it into a power source to charge, but you also have to go through the hassle of finding an uncommon AAAA battery to slide in once the bundled one is dead.

Using it to draw on the touchscreen is a slippery affair. Without any replaceable tips or added texture, the stylus glides across the display like ice. This is bad news for anyone who wants precise control over inputs, and if you want to backtrack on any mistake, there’s no eraser on the other end to save you. The good news is that it behaves like an actual pen, thanks to a thick body and 2,048 levels of sensitivity. On top of that, the stylus has built-in left- and right-click buttons that you can program to other functions on Windows.

Fortunately, the build we received is equipped with an Intel Core m5 processor and 8GB of RAM, making it more than qualified to handle Photoshop and some light video editing. We managed to make the X1 Tablet open a hundred high-resolution photos at once on Photoshop without trouble, and the tablet didn’t flinch when we began editing each one. There are variants with a weaker Core m3 or faster Core m7 installed, but the one we have here seems suffice for everyday tasks. The 256GB SSD that came with our unit is also recommendable, since Windows 10 takes up a lot of space and you can easily eat up more once all your videos and apps are imported.

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Multimedia consumption is a mixed bag

We can summarize this section in two parts: The available ports make connectivity on the X1 Tablet seamless, but the 12-inch display and stereo speakers don’t do their ends of the job.

With so many manufacturers relying on a sole USB Type-C port for charging and plugging in peripherals, it’s such a breath of fresh air to see the X1 Tablet offer a full-sized USB port, USB Type-C port, an audio jack, and Mini DisplayPort. The USB port accepts all those flash drives stored in your desk drawer, while the Type-C port is used for charging, as well as future-proofing in case every single company begins focusing on USB-C as the only standard.

It’s those things that push the X1 Tablet into laptop territory, but it’s a shame it doesn’t leap in terms of visuals or sound. The stereo speakers, in particular, are a lot weaker than what you’d find on much smaller smartphones. And in spite of its 2160 x 1440-pixel resolution, sharpness and strong color reproduction seem lost on the display. Plugging in external speakers and pumping up the brightness to maximum are prerequisites to movie watching.

If you want to get fancy, Lenovo is selling a presenter module for $279 that can shoot a 60-inch projection from about two meters away. We weren’t able to try it out ourselves, but we can say with certainty that it’s a hefty investment, so consider your lifestyle and living space before spending the extra cash.

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Built for travelers

Something all users are going to appreciate is the adjustable kickstand at the back of the tablet. You can adjust it freely without set positions or help from the keyboard attachment. The stand is also wide enough to sit on your lap as long as you keep your legs together. And even with the keyboard attached, the whole thing is feather-light for a laptop replacement at 1.1kg.

Behind it, you can find slots for a microSD card and SIM card. Anyone who transfers photos from a camera during a trip and needs a data connection to instantly upload online knows how vital these two slots are. If for some unfortunate reason your camera is unusable, there’s a decent 8-megapixel camera with LED flash at the back of the tablet to help out – just don’t expect any miracles.

And now, we must ask: How’s the battery life? To be frank, it’s average compared to all the other tablets and laptops we tested. With mixed usage, which involves streaming TV shows, surfing on Chrome, and editing on Photoshop every now and then, the X1 Tablet can last a little less than five hours on a full charge. What’s impressive it how fast the tablet charges, able to achieve an ample amount of juice in only 30 minutes of charging.

Like the presenter module mentioned earlier, the productivity module costing $149 comes to the rescue. Lenovo claims it can add an additional five hours to the battery life, which means it would double the endurance if it works as advertised. We highly recommend purchasing one if you plan to work far from a wall socket; plus, it provides additional USB 3.0 and full-sized HDMI ports.

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Fun in a block

You really can’t tell by the industrial design and blocky exterior, but the X1 Tablet is more fun to use than it looks. And by fun, we mean it doesn’t give you a headache when you make it work. In typical ThinkPad fashion, the tablet simply takes all the tasks you throw at it and performs. You don’t have to put much thought into using it, such as charging the keyboard or stylus. Snapping the keyboard on and adjusting the angles are straightforward, and once you begin typing, you forget for a moment that it isn’t an actual notebook.

Again, you can’t rely on it for pure multimedia consumption. The battery life and audio-visual outputs just don’t hold up. Lenovo probably noticed these weakness during the production stages, and hence, we have the productivity and presenter modules to fill in the cracks. The pair of attachments actually bolster the functionality and make the tablet a true entertainment device, but you’ll have to pay the hefty price.

(Notes: The ThinkPad X1 Tablet package Lenovo sent us came with the tablet itself, attachable keyboard, and stylus pen. According to Lenovo, if you purchase the variant costing P83,990 in the Philippines, it’ll come with everything we mentioned, plus the productivity module. Elsewhere, the X1 Tablet’s price begins at $1,029 for the entry-level Intel Core m3 variant, and it costs around $1,299 for a Core m5 build similar to what we have.)

[irp posts=”9152″ name=”Lenovo gets serious about AR with New Glass C200″]

Automotive

MG Philippines makes owning British heritage vehicles a reality for all first car owners

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Choosing your first car can be a daunting process. You might have a lot of questions: “What type of car should I get? What car brand should I go for? How do I get my money’s worth?” These are all valid questions. Good thing MG Philippines is around to offer a straight-up solution for today’s hip, young blood in search of their first car.

British heritage auto brand MG wants the Philippine market to “Be Excited” as it introduces its first wave of vehicles in the Philippines, which are sure to appeal to the needs of modern Filipinos looking to own their first ride. The lineup from MG Philippines consistently offers vehicles that flaunt a fresh style, modern driving aids, and creature comforts — all at very competitive prices.

MG ZS

First in the lineup is the MG ZS crossover SUV which is aimed at those who demand versatility in their rides, without compromising on vehicle features and breaking the bank. On the outside, the MG ZS is a looker with its London Eye headlamps, Stardust grille, and 17-inch alloy wheels that beg to be noticed.

Bells and whistles include a push start/stop button, as well as a multi-function steering wheel with cruise control. The vehicle also sports an 8-inch LCD infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay so you can stay connected to your device and access media, all while keeping your hands on the wheel. Cruising on the outskirts of the city? Simply roll the Stargazer panoramic sun roof back for a breath of fresh air.

The MG ZS also comes standard with Collision Protection technology and curtain airbags for added safety. Other advanced safety features include an Anti-lock Brake System, Cornering Brake Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Hill Start Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Traction Control System.

In terms of power, it has a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine that produces 114HP and 140Nm of torque. The MG ZS comes in three variants with the following prices:

  • MT “Style” – PhP 818,888 introductory price
  • AT “Style” – PhP 868,888 introductory price
  • AT “Alpha” – PhP 998,888 introductory price

MG 6

If you’re looking for a sporty-looking ride that doesn’t let down on performance, the MG 6 fastback sedan is your best bet from the lineup. It has a longer, taller, and wider body than others in its segment and exudes an authoritative stance thanks to its 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, sporty body lines, and a confident-looking fascia.

The interior is equipped with sporty, two-tone black and red seats, dash, and door panels. There’s also a flat-bottomed steering wheel — a clear nod to the brand’s racing heritage. Simply looking at its interior makes your heart beat faster with excitement.

It’s not all about the looks for the MG 6. Under the hood resides a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine which produces 162HP and 250Nm of torque. MacPherson struts up front and blade-type multi-link rear suspension also give you the edge with sharp handling and a smooth-sailing ride. Pricing for the two variants with 7-speed transmission are as follows:

  • AT “Alpha” – PhP 1,068,888 introductory price
  • AT “Trophy” – PhP 1,188,888 introductory price

MG RX5

Your routine might require you to need a daily vehicle that can capably ferry you to and from work, but you might also want it to be versatile enough to take on road trips on weekends. For this, consider the MG RX5. This compact SUV embodies power and class while also being versatile enough to bring on trips outside the metro.

The RX5’s elegant dashboard and door inserts are finished in high-grade materials while the cabin has ample legroom and headroom to fit the entire gang comfortably. You can also haul larger cargo thanks to its 60/40 split-fold function.

Expect a comfortable ride with the RX5, since it is been equipped with an enhanced MacPherson up front, with a rear multi-link suspension system. This ensures you and your passengers are comfortable throughout every ride. That one friend who always sleeps through trips is sure to appreciate this feature.

Additional features include keyless entry, push start/stop button, cruise control, and an electronic parking brake with autohold function for easier and safer driving.

The MG RX5 comes equipped with a 7-speed double-clutch automatic transmission and is available in two models.

  • MT “Core” – PhP 1,058,888
  • AT “Style” – PhP 1,228,888

That’s not all!

MG knows that pretty much everything is connected nowadays through our smartphones. Hence, the company is currently producing an accompanying app to closely monitor its car’s running stats and allow online booking of service appointments. No more waiting in line at the service center! They are also gearing up to opening 16 new dealerships to better accommodate its customers all over the country.

With these offerings, MG Philippines aims to deliver quality vehicles to the Philippine market, while giving them unparalleled service and outstanding value for their hard-earned cash.

So, after reading what MG Philippines has to offer, have you found your match?

Visit the MG pop-up store this month, and get up close and personal with the latest vehicles from MG Philippines. See the following dates and locations:

  • November 15 to 18, 2018 — SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds (2018 Auto Focus Pre-Christmas Test Drive Festival)
  • November 20 to December 20, 2018 — SM City Cebu
  • November 29 to December 5, 2018 — SM Megamall

Please visit www.mgmotor.com.ph for more info. Follow MG Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and MG Philippines.

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Vivo V11: Flagship look on a midrange phone

It’s super eye-catching!

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The Vivo V11 is a definite looker!

It’s the company’s first attempt at being playful with colors. With the V11, Vivo released the Starry Night and Nebula variants.

Instead of one solid color, you get this design that’s not simply a gradient but has a few sparkly details at the bottom end, making it look snazzier than your average phone.

It’s already pretty flashy on its own

So it looks great no matter who’s holding it

The notch is also significantly smaller, giving you this sense that you have more to look at

This makes the 6.41-inch Halo FullView display a sight to behold


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and Vivo Philippines.

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Samsung’s display folds, Trese anime coming to Netflix: Weekend Rewind

Lots of new things coming soon!

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Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.

1. Samsung’s Infinity Flex is here

Five years since showcasing the Youm Flexible display, Samsung finally unveiled a prototype of its foldable smartphone. Called the Infinity Flex, it looks like a thicker phone when folded but expands to a 7.3-inch display. An actual product could come in Spring 2019.

Android has already announced support for folding devices while Huawei and LG are also developing their own versions of a foldable phone.

However, a smaller Chinese company, Rouyu Technology, has already beaten them all to the punch when they unveiled the world’s first foldable smartphone. The 7.8-inch phone touts a Snapdragon 8150, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of internal storage. It will feature a 20MP and 16MP rear camera combination, and retail for CNY 8,999.

2. Nokia’s five-camera phone

The multiple smartphone camera setup is slowly becoming a thing and Nokia is jumping right in. The company has decided to do everyone else better by coming up with a phone with five rear cameras.

As expected, leaks and renders have already made their rounds on the internet because well, it’s the internet. We expect the cameras to include a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a depth-sensing camera.

As for other specifications, the Nokia 9 will supposedly carry an 18:9 screen, a Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and 4150mAh battery capacity.

3. Get active with the Fossil Sport

If you’re all about being active, you might want to take a good look at the Fossil Sport. It’s one of the first smartwatches to run Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon Wear 3100 which brings new features like better ambient mode and longer battery life.

Available in 41mm and 43mm sizes, its casing is now made of aluminum and nylon instead of stainless steel and it will retail for US$ 255.

4. Ragnarok M: Eternal Love

Ragnarok Online is officially back! Ragnarok M: Eternal Love is a mobile version of the hit MMORPG and it’s a lot like the original, from the job classes, to the nostalgic sights and monsters. It’s free to play on both Android and iOS so you can invite all your friends.

You’ll have to make sure your phone has the space for it, though. It’s over 1GB through Google Play, but the unpacked content leads to 5GB. Fortunately, through Marvin’s findings, the app only consumes an average of 12MB per hour. Not bad.

5. Trese, Pacific Rim anime coming to Netflix

If there’s something strange in the Philippine neighborhood, you call Alexandra Trese. The popular comic book is coming to Netflix and will be helmed by none other than Jay Oliva (Wonder Woman, Legend of Korra).

Other new anime titles coming to Netflix are the sci-fi film franchise Pacific Rim, Netflix’s original series Altered Carbon, Cagaster of an Insect Cage, and Yasuke. Anime lovers have plenty of binge-watching to look forward to!


Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.

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