Restarting our lives these past months have gotten most of us looking back on how we began our journey into our professional lives.
As I reminisce fond memories of being a rookie in the professional world, I remember the first time I sat alongside clients from big organizations. I was brought back to those times I was nervously listening to discussions with fancy jargon, taking down notes, glancing on spreadsheets displayed on their ThinkPads, then I remembered.
ThinkPads have always been there, and for good reason — reliability.
Lenovo truly has the formula to create the perfect balanced laptop. With the Lenovo ThinkPad X13, Lenovo took their game up to the next level.
Never out of style for business
Lenovo’s ThinkPad line has always been reminiscent of its predecessors’ design. The ThinkPad X13 maintains the sleek and professional build of the previous generations of ThinkPads in a compact form factor.
A 13-inch body at just 2.84 pounds, the X13 is an easy everyday carry. Slide it in your bag and you’ll even barely notice it’s there.
“It looks like an office laptop,” is the comment I got from my sister who saw the ThinkPad X13. Yes, to some, its aesthetic may be somewhat lackluster with its magnesium-aluminum black chassis. It’s not going to make heads turn, but surely it’s one which subtly says you mean business.
Power when you need it
This particular model is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U along with 8GB DDR4 RAM, 240GB PCIE SSD Storage. This isn’t yet the most powerful configuration you could get for this model. Regardless, I was eager to test its performance on heavier tasks as the AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U CPU is a 6-core CPU with 12 logical threads that comes packed with an impressive integrated graphics processor.
Testing out some video editing, the X13 was able to render my three-minute HD video quite fast leaving it very slightly behind my desktop PC. The 12 threads of the 4650U definitely carries the weight of this task and though playback did have some stutter. I guess that is to be expected with this 8GB DDR4 variant. A reason you may want to consider getting the 16GB or higher for the ram as an option upon purchase since memory upgrade isn’t available on the X13.
While video editing on a laptop isn’t something that I’d prefer to do, it is a function I’d appreciate to have when caught in a situation that I’d need it.
As for everyday office work, the X13 will breeze through it as it definitely has more than enough horsepower to let you tackle the daily grind.
As for gaming, I powered up Grand Theft Auto V on the ThinkPad X13 because, why not? Work hard, play hard, right?
The X13 performed quite well with just the integrated graphics of the Ryzen 5 PRO 4650U. Most graphical settings were placed on high and the unit kept the temperature and fan noise at manageable levels. I’d say just warm enough to let you know that something a bit more power intensive is running.
Speaking of power, the internal battery was able to reach an uptime of 10 hours and 20 minutes before the battery saver mode kicked in at 20%. Decent enough that it could probably get by a whole casual work day on a single charge.
My deciding factor when choosing a laptop boils down mostly on its display and overall user experience. The ThinkPad X13’s 13.3-inch 1080p IPS display is a matte anti-glare panel. At first didn’t mean much to me but after a few hours working on it, the display panel exhibited where it certainly excels at.
Word documents felt paper white, something I’d associate closely with the feel of using a Kindle device. It is very forgiving to my eyes that it didn’t cause me the usual eye strain experienced on most other monitors.
For creatives, this isn’t what I would say the end-all ideal display for photo and video editing as it felt a bit dim for my taste but being an IPS panel, you can expect accurate color reproduction. The display also didn’t show significant color shifting on various viewing angles. The choice to have 1440p would have been a welcome option but I guess at 13 inches, 1080p is sufficient.
Above the display is the front facing camera which has decent enough quality for video conferencing. A unique feature though, is that the camera has its own physical switch to activate for use and also to block its view to prevent unauthorized access when not in use. A nifty feature which I think all laptop cameras should come equipped with.
A sound choice
Going into this review, I didn’t think I’d have to mention the sound that comes out of this device. As most laptops, you’d expect that this would have speakers for the sake of hearing whatever it is that’s playing on it. But with the X13, the sound was relatively good.
Though not something that would blow you away, the sound coming from this device was full and richer that it doesn’t sound like it was coming from a tiny source and is very acceptable for a laptop. I guess there’s a reason why Lenovo had a Dolby Audio logo printed on the right hand portion of the palm rest.
Coming from a person who’s used multiple ThinkPads as daily drivers in the past, I’ve always been a big fan of their keyboard. The ThinkPad X13’s keyboard is no different.
Smaller than a full sized laptop keyboard, the X13’s certainly feels big. Keys are evenly spaced and every key press provides adequate feedback. The FN key being placed on the lower left portion of the keyboard rather than the CTRL key, however, did take some getting used to. I believe there’s a setting which allows users to flip the keys according to preference. That said, it would have been better if the keys were in traditional order out of the box. A minor criticism but nothing that really discounts how good this keyboard is.
The X13’s keyboard truly kept up to its predecessors’ reputation, really one of the most satisfying typing experiences you can get on a laptop especially for this size.
Is the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 your GadgetMatch?
People who prefer to have stylish looking gadgets might not have ThinkPads at the top of their minds when choosing a laptop. But if you’re someone who values functionality over aesthetics, the ThinkPad X13 definitely delivers.
That’s not to say that the X13 isn’t an attractive device. Show up to meetings with this on the table and you’re set to make an impression. A serious one at that.
Its robust construction, great display, exceptional keyboard and a small body that comes packed with some serious firepower. It covers everything you could possibly want and need to do on a laptop. From office work, photo and video editing, and even gaming, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 is a solid all-arounder and is reliable enough to get the job done.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 is available at a starting price of PhP 54,669.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II release date, official artwork revealed
There’s also a hint for a giveaway contest
The wait is finally over for gamers as new details for the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II have finally surfaced.
First, the release date of the much-anticipated sequel of the 2019 reboot, Modern Warfare II is on October 28, 2022.
As if that’s not enough to get people excited, Activision also had a massive cargo ship sailing at Port of Long Beach in California for the game’s official artwork reveal, teasing enthusiasts even more.
The ship contained an image of the Operative Ghost, as well as more characters on cargo containers. The entire reveal may be watched here.
New characters, giveaway
Aside from the release date and official artwork, new characters are also expected to join Task Force 141, which includes key members like Captain John Price, Sergeant “Soap” MacTavish, Sergeant Kyle “Gaz” Garrick, Simon “Ghost” Riley, and Colonel Alejandro.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II was announced earlier this year, with details for the storyline set to follow, that’s why fans are urged to stay tuned.
Developers have also hinted at a potential giveaway contest, mentioning that soon players will have “a chance to own a piece of this dock-spanning art and be a part of our history”.
ROG Zephyrus G15: Lean, mean, gaming machine
And it’s a looker too
One of my favorite things about getting to try many new gadgets is that I learn more about myself and my preferences. The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 – which henceforth will just be referred to as just Zephyrus G15 – did just that for me and what I want in gaming laptops.
For context, I have been sparingly using my ROG Flow X13 for most of my general Windows and PC gaming needs. It’s a great device, don’t get me wrong. But having to prop up the laptop itself along with the XG Mobile to reach its full potential can be quite cumbersome.
It’s a huge contrast to the Zephyrus G15 where I simply fire it up and it just works in a jiffy. And all the ports I normally use are right there, ready to use. I’m a big fan of convenience so I absolutely love it when gadgets just work without much friction.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Based on this introduction, I’m sure you already have some idea on what I generally think about the Zephyrus G15. But allow me to discuss it further.
Tale of the tape
Specs and benchmarks never tell the whole story. But specs are a good place to start. Here’s what our review unit is packing:
- AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS
- 15″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9 240hz Pantone Validated 100% DCI-P
- RTX 3070 TI 8GB GDDR6
- 16GB DDR5 on board + 16GB DDR5-4800 SO-DIMM
- 1TB M.2 NVM PCIe 4.0 SSD
- Moonlight White
Some standout stuff from the information provided above are the new processor, the Pantone Validated display as well as the RAM available. This isn’t even its highest configuration. There’s a variant that runs RTX 3080. You can upgrade your RAM up to 48GB and there’s another SSD slot so you can expand your storage.
That means there’s plenty of room to up the ante down the line should you choose to do so. That’s not something that you can say for every gaming laptop.
Immaculate look and design
I love that ROG sent over the Moonlight White version for us to try. Black is great, don’t get me wrong. But it’s refreshing to see gaming laptops brimming with power come in other colorways that could appeal to people that are kind of just over with black.
The magnesium-aluminum lid and chassis also maintain the Zephyrus look giving it a sleek and tough exterior, while keeping the ROG Zephyrus identity. And you don’t have to worry too much about it picking up dust and dirt. In the few weeks I spent with it, it stayed pristine looking despite little to no wiping maintenance. That’s thanks largely to the wear-resistant coating which works exactly as advertised.
Adding to the overall functional design is the ErgoLift Hinge. This is one of my favorite things about ASUS laptops. The ergolift hinge not only allows a 180° for more flexibility, it’s also just ultra satisfying to move and look at.
It looks fresh, feels tough, and is relatively compact making it easy to carry around. It’s a looker with some bells and whistles in the right places.
Ports, keyboard, and trackpad
Speaking of those bells and whistles, the Zephyrus G15 is packed with possibly all the ports you’ll need. Whether that’s for a remote setup or one that’s neatly tucked into a home office desk.
Here’s everything it has to offer:
- USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-A (2x)
- USB3.2 Gen 2 Type-C(supports DP 1.4 & 100W PD Charger), (2x)
- LAN RJ-45 jack (1x)
- HDMI 2.0b (1x)
- Micro SD Card Reader (UHS-II), (1x)
- 3.5mm Audio combo jack (1x)
- Kensington Lock (1x)
The Stealth Type keyboard was a curious choice but one that I welcome. I was of the impression that the gaming demographic skews more towards the clickity clack of mechanical keyboards. But the one equipped on the Zephyrus G15 is about as quiet as they come. No complaints here though, as it didn’t distract my at-the-moment entanglement in slumber as I toiled away over late night labor.
The trackpad, too, was such a pleasant surprise. Perhaps it’s also in conjunction with Windows 11 but using a trackpad on Windows now doesn’t feel as laggy as it used to. On days that I only worked using the Zephyrus G15, I never felt the need to connect a mouse. That feels like a breakthrough as I have never been able to say that for any of the Windows laptops I’ve reviewed in the past.
Plays like a console
Alright, before any PC gaming enthusiasts come at my throat, what I mean here is mostly the quality of life things. When I got the Zephyrus G15, I didn’t tweak it very much. Heck, I even opened Armoury Crate less than five times during my time with it. Despite this, it had no trouble running the games I attempted to play. Some of which are even very demanding AAA titles.
I’m a big fan of tech that just works. Especially with my current workload, the less time I have to figure something out, the better. And that’s the case with this gaming laptop. I simply fired up Steam, downloaded the games, and played to my heart’s content.
Naturally, I checked the settings on some of the first few games I tried like Control, Genshin Impact, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Everything was consistently on the highest settings right off the bat. Lags and stutters? I don’t know them. Not with the Zephyrus G15 in tow.
To better understand where I’m coming from, I own an ROG Flow X13. The one that comes with the ROG XG Mobile. It’s a great machine, no doubt. But to get the most out of it, I still have to hook up the XG Mobile to the Flow X13. Whereas with the Zephyrus G15, I simply have to turn the laptop on. That’s an underrated level of convenience that may or may not mean much for some of you.
It’s seriously making me consider trading up for the Zephyrus G15. And that’s just with the raw performance of games. I haven’t even talked about how good the display and speakers are.
Eyes and ears candy
Its high-level performance is of course complemented by a stellar audio-visual experience. As indicated in the specs section earlier, this laptop sports a 15” WQHD 16:9 display with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s also Pantone Validated which is great for color accuracy if you’re working on anything that involves visual media.
But all you really need to know is that it’s an absolute treat to the eyes. The 240Hz refresh rate on the panel is great for first-person shooters. Unfortunately, I am not great at first person shooters. I’d like to take this opportunity to whoever I played Valorant with because I totally dragged the team down.
It is a visual treat, no doubt. But like (G)-IDLE’s Miyeon, the Zephyrus G15 isn’t just a treat for the eyes. It also sounds hella good. I spent a good chunk of time watching Miyeon’s fancams on this thing and it’s just a fantastic overall experience.
I also watched a few episodes of Netflix’s Business Proposal at the time of writing. Really, whatever type of content you consume, it’s bound to look and sound great on this thing.
One thing we did learn is that the display struggles a bit under really bright environments. When taking photos of the device, we opted to step out for natural light. But if you’re using this to work or play remotely, I recommend you find some place that isn’t too bright.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The ROG Zephyrus G15 (2022) GA503 is easily one of my personal favorite devices that I’ve reviewed so far in 2022. It’s about as close as it can get to a plug and play PC gaming experience. And that’s not something you can say for many laptops and/or PCs.
The Zephyrus G15 (2022) brings with it a distinct look, top-notch gaming performance, and a really solid audio-visual experience. As a gaming laptop, this is about as perfect as it gets and is something I can easily recommend especially if you’re willing to splurge for it.
Official pricing will be announced soon. We’ll update this space when it’s out.
Acer announces updated ConceptD PCs, SpatialLabs displays
Computers equipped with latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors
Acer announced the newest models in its professional line of ConceptD creator PCs and SpatialLabs standalone displays.
The three new computers — ConceptD 5, ConceptD 500, and ConceptD 100 — are now updated with the latest specs and features to support creative professionals’ usually intensive tasks.
- Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processors
- Up to NVIDIA RTX A4000 or GeForce RTX 3070 GPUs
- 128GB DDR4 of memory, 4TB Gen 4 SSD storage, and 4TB HDD
A pair of new 15.6-inch 4K displays have also been released. These are the the SpatialLabs View and SpatialLabs View Pro.
ConceptD 5 laptop: Mobile powerhouse
On top of their reliable processors and GPUs, the ConceptD 5 and ConceptD 5 Pro creator laptops have a sound cooling system and advanced thermal design to keep them running.
Strategically placed air intake and exhaust vents generate an aerodynamic “Vortex Flow” within the device. Meanwhile, three efficient cooling fans reduce noise levels to less than 40 dBA.
As NVIDIA Studio-validated laptops, they include software optimizations and pre-installed NVIDIA Studio Drivers.
And as laptops for creative professionals, the ConceptD 5 series feature the following:
- WQUXGA (3840 x 2400) 400-nit OLED display backed by several color technologies
- 99.98-Wh lithium-polymer battery
- HDMI 2.1 and full-size SD 7.0 card reader, Thunderbolt 4 and USB Type-C connectors
- 27 percent larger Corning Gorilla Glass trackpad (vs predecessor)
Creating without limits
The Concept D500 desktop comes with the most powerful capabilities for intensive creator tasks such as 3D animation, videos, and complex design projects.
Aside from up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and corresponding GPU, the mini workstation boasts of transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps via its USB Type C port.
On the other hand, the ConceptD 100 desktop is powered up to an i5 or i7 processor and an NVIDIA T400 or T1000 GPU.
Individual 2D and 3D content creators as well as small-to-medium sized design studios was developed for space-saving desktop.
It features components suitable for graphic design, light-duty 3D modeling, CAD, and BIM workloads.
View Series 3D displays
Complementing the release of the new ConceptD computers are the latest additions to Acer’s stereoscopic 3D products — the SpatialLabs View and SpatialLabs View Pro.
Powered by Acer’s AI-backed SpatialLabs Go which turns just about anything into 3D, the couple of 15.6-inch, 4K displays are beneficial for both creators and gamers.
Specifically, the View Pro may make creators’ and developers’ lives easier. They may use the display for 3D design software, including:
- Cinema 4D
This is made possible by installing Datasmith export plugins to import projects into the SpatialLabs Model Viewer.
Several add-ons are also available for a more efficient and productive workflow for 3D creators.
Maya and Blender users can even connect on a 2D screen while observing changes rendered into stereoscopic 3D with the display in real-time.
Casual users may use the displays for gaming or as a standard 4K monitor for various purposes.
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