Laptops

Lenovo Yoga C930 Review: It could have been the best

It’s just missing one thing…

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It was during IFA 2018 when Lenovo introduced their latest premium convertible for consumers — the Yoga C930. It doesn’t have a good name, but it does offer everything a Yoga should, especially in media consumption.

Notebooks with flipping displays, like the Yoga lineup, are not just designed for typing. Most manufacturers market their convertibles to be perfect for entertainment, yet they largely fail in one aspect where they should shine — audio.

When Lenovo introduced the Yoga C930 with the rotating soundbar and Dolby Atmos, I hoped that it was not just a marketing ploy. But, is it? Let me share my thoughts about Lenovo’s newest convertible.

No fuss design

The Yoga C930 has a metal shell with a familiar aesthetic from Lenovo. My unit has a dark finish that’s aptly named Iron Gray. If you want a lighter shade, Lenovo is also offering the notebook in Mica, which is close to white. Everything about the body of the Yoga C930 screams premium; nothing here looks cheap or ugly.

To make it more special, the sides and the hinge of the Yoga C930 have a brushed finish. It’s a minor touch, but it’s highly noticeable whenever you’re checking where you should plug your peripherals. I also think that it helps hide unsightly scratches and gives the notebook a bit of shine.

While we’re at it, the available ports on the Yoga C930 are generally okay. It’s got two Thunderbolt 3 ports that fully support PowerDelivery, DisplayPort, and USB 3.1 functions. Both Thunderbolt 3 ports employ 4x lanes for PCIe, so you can connect the Yoga C930 to an external GPU, which is good because this laptop doesn’t have a dedicated graphics unit.

Apart from a couple of versatile USB-C interfaces, there’s also a classic full-size USB that we all know and love. Thankfully, Lenovo knows that this is still a widely used port and bringing a dongle just to read a thumb drive is a hassle. The 3.5mm audio port is also available when you need to plug in a pair of wired headphones.

All of the ports on the Yoga C930 are on its left side, leaving the right with just the power button. There are no volume buttons, either.

While I appreciate that Lenovo provided both USB-A and USB-C ports, I was still hoping for more; another USB-C with PowerDelivery on the right and a full-size SD card reader would do. The Yoga C930 is slim, but it’s not ultra-slim like the fan-less MacBook which got away with having one port (or maybe two if you count the headphone jack).

The Yoga C930 has a fairly large 14-inch display (13.9 inches according to Lenovo), but with minimum side bezels. Since this is made for watching videos, the aspect ratio is still stuck at 16:9.

There are two resolutions available for the Lenovo C930: Full HD or Ultra HD. The one I have here is just the Full HD variant, but it still has the key feature: Dolby Vision. The best way to fully appreciate the display is to play an HDR or Dolby Vision-enabled title. You can find some on Netflix if you’re using the highest-tier plan.

The display gets bright enough to be used outdoors and really dim when you need it to. It’s vibrant and has deep blacks even if it’s only an LCD panel.

When watching a video, I prefer to use the Yoga C930 in Tent mode. It can also be used in Stand mode with the keyboard facing down, but for some reason, Lenovo didn’t put little rubber feet to protect the keyboard when placed on a surface. You have to be cautious where you place the notebook or you risk scratching it.

The integrated soundbar of the Yoga C930 is designed to always face the user. That’s another advantage of watching videos in Tent mode; the speaker is facing upwards. I get to hear the sound directly without any muffle. I must say, the Yoga C930 has one of the clearest speakers I’ve tried on a notebook. It gets really loud, too.

It even has Dolby Atmos to enhance it further, but it’s not as immersive as advertised. To be fair though, I get to hear the stereo effect better than on other notebooks.

The device is least useful (for me) when it’s in Tablet mode. The Yoga C930 is too heavy to be a tablet, plus the 16:9 aspect ratio makes it feel like I’m reading from a really tall magazine. But, this is where the built-in pen comes in handy. The integrated stylus makes it easy for doodlers to annotate on screen.

Fast but not incredible

Let’s talk about power. The Yoga C930 I have is powered by the latest 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with 12GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD. Configurations may vary in some regions, so the Yoga C930 in your stores might be more powerful or inferior.

There’s one thing that’s missing though, and it’s not an option anyone can get either: discrete graphics.

As mentioned, the Yoga C930 is not an ultraportable. It has nowhere near the portability of Dell’s XPS 13 or even Lenovo’s own Yoga Book. It’s big enough to house at least a modest NVIDIA GeForce MX150 — just like the latest ZenBook from ASUS.

My usage includes multiple tabs on Chrome, some slight editing on Photoshop, and hours of binge-watching on Netflix. I primarily used the notebook for typing and browsing, which are not heavy tasks.

So far, I had no major performance issues during my time with the Yoga C930. I didn’t bother to install games because it lacks discrete graphics.

Of course, the notebook runs Windows 10. I got the October 2018 update just last week, and it made the dark mode better. It matches the gray motif of the device.

It’s ideal for my own use

Putting all the technical specifications aside, the Yoga C930 has been a great companion.

Aside from the soundbar, I also fully appreciate the notebook’s keyboard. It’s not as great as the one on ThinkPads, but it’s good enough for me. It’s well-spaced and has a good amount of key travel.

The touchpad uses Microsoft Precision drivers and it fully supports all the gestures of Windows 10. It has a glass surface and picks up all the inputs. A responsive touchpad and a good keyboard is the combo I need for work.

There’s also something about the craftsmanship of the Yoga C930 that gives assurance that it’s a well-built device. Perhaps it’s the balance between weight and dimensions.

Lastly, the webcam has a physically cover — just like a ThinkPad’s. It’s nice to see nifty features of Lenovo’s business laptops on a consumer device. I don’t have to cover the webcam anymore with a piece of tape.

Great battery life

I am generally impressed with the longevity of the Yoga C930. Lenovo promises all-day battery life, but we all know that is somehow a stretch. Based on my usage, I get around eight to nine hours. I also experience about the same when watching Netflix non-stop.

It’ll not beat records, but I am always assured that even if I leave my charger at home, I know I can rely on the Yoga C930 to get me through a full day.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

You probably already think that this is my GadgetMatch, which I’ll not deny. I had a good time with the Yoga C930, despite its shortcomings. It’s a premium convertible that managed to meet my expectations. I’m hoping Lenovo will soon have an option with discrete graphics. For now, you can maximize the device by plugging in an external GPU.

The Yoga C930 has a starting price of US$ 1,399. It’s a bit pricier than I expected from its specs, but it’s a premium convertible that offers more versatility than regular laptops.

SEE ALSO: Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, 330S, 330: Which is right for you?

Laptops

Jojo Rabbit director threw some nasty shade at Apple

Keyboards are terrible, he said

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Image source: Kyusung Gong / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Yesterday, Jojo Rabbit director Taika Waititi enjoyed a wide successful night at the Oscars, bagging the award for best adapted screenplay. As is custom, every Oscar winner was interviewed right after their win. Waititi was no different. However, besides talking about his historic win, he went off on a strange tangent.

In the round of interviews, entertainment outlet IndieWire asked about Waititi’s stance on the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and what writers should demand for. Waititi didn’t waste a breath thinking about his answer.

“Apple needs to fix those keyboards,” Waititi waved his hand, cutting the interviewer’s question short.

“They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. Makes me want to go back to PCs,” he continued. Then, he asks the room if anyone is still using a PC, eliciting a few nods from the crowd.

“On PC, the bounce-back for your fingers is way better.” His fingers mimicked typing on a keyboard. He explains that he has “some shoulder problems,” making Apple’s keyboards even worse. “What happens is, you open the laptop, and you’re like this,” he squeezed his elbows uncomfortably closer to his torso.

“We’ve just got to fix those keyboards,” he finished. “WGA needs to stop in and do something.”

This isn’t the first time that Apple’s keyboards were the butt of a joke. In 2016, Apple ushered in a new era for Mac keyboards — the infamous butterfly switch. Even if you use a PC, you know the butterfly problem by now. Though intended as a feature for comfort, the butterfly keyboard ultimately caused more inconvenience than preventing it, allowing crumbs to get in and destroying keys. Eventually, Apple tried a different material to reduce issues, but kept the butterfly system all the same.

Waititi’s concerns echo the sentiments of Apple’s main market: an army of creatives who write every single day. If the thousands of complaints don’t do it, maybe a critically acclaimed director’s will.

SEE ALSO: This is how Apple envisions the next iMac

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Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad S540 review: A professional’s daily driver

An essential for every career-driven millennial

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As a 20-something millennial, I always feel like time is running out. I have this inane need to accomplish so much at a young age. Friends and mentors alike remind me that life’s not a race, but I can’t help it — I’m too passionate.

I’ve always been determined to have a high-flying career before I reach 30. Years fly by so quickly, which is why there’s an urge to achieve so many in a short span of time. Not to mention, global warming is real, wars could happen any minute, and we all could be dead soon. I don’t want to die without reaching my dreams.

To achieve my goals, I ensure I’m equipped with the right gear in building my career. For starters, we all need a laptop that does its job so we can focus on our work.

Make an impression through your gear

Enter Lenovo’s IdeaPad S540. This premium ultrabook is a tad better than the IdeaPad S340. However, both laptops look similar due to Lenovo’s design language — which should be revamped if you think about it. I would’ve appreciated it better if the logo’s more subtle (and if it’s probably embossed).

The IdeaPad S540 comes in three beautiful colors — black, grey, and copper. Of course, mine would come in the beautiful copper. After all, millennials have a flair for style — we wouldn’t settle for anything that’s boring.

It comes in a sleek-looking, matte-finished, aluminum body that’s so smooth, you’d want to caress it with your fingers for an entire day. When you present with this laptop, people will know you mean business — serious, but not boring.

Finding comfort in its shortcomings

Its screen is humongous, coming in with a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display. There’s so much you can do with a screen this big, even though it has thick bezels on its top and bottom. Glare could be a problem, especially when you love working somewhere bright and open.

Typing is sweet with this beaut, especially for someone who types a lot. Its keys are evenly placed and big enough for my tiny fingers to press on.

On the other hand, its trackpad remains as Lenovo’s weak point. Just like the IdeaPad S340, the S540’s trackpad isn’t smooth enough for navigation. Gliding your fingers create a squeaky sound that would make your eardrums cringe.

Security-wise, you can finally calm the F down since Lenovo cares about it, too. We all hate spying cameras, thus, Lenovo allows you to cover your laptop’s camera with a shutter whenever you’re not using it. For even tighter security, the IdeaPad S540 has a fingerprint reader located on the keyboard’s bottom right.

Stay connected, wherever

On the left side, you can find the power input, an HDMI port for your presentation needs, and our well-loved USB 3.1 port, along with an audio jack located at the mid-bottom.

Found on the right side are two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, and indicator lights.

Side note: Its hinge and design were built to handle being laid flat on a table, for presentation purposes. Do note it doesn’t do yoga. If you want a convertible, better check Lenovo’s Yoga lineup.

Get all your job done

The IdeaPad S540 is more than enough for most professionals. This particular model is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8565u at 1.80GHz processor, which can go up to 4.60GHz with Turbo Boost. Additionally, it carries 12GB of DDR4 memory, along with 512GB SSD storage and an Nvidia MX250 GPU.

This laptop can handle your habit of opening multiple tabs at the same time, with heavyweight apps like Spotify, Netflix, or even Adobe’s Creative Suite running in the background. I mostly deal with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom, with a bit of video editing on the side — and I was able to do all my creative work albeit only at a bare minimum.

Its display wasn’t made for creative professionals, and it heats up when using memory-consuming software for a prolonged time. But for most users dealing with large files, a bunch of emails, browsing, surfing, spreadsheets, and occasional entertainment like binge-watching on Netflix, the IdeaPad S540 is more than enough.

Being a humongous laptop, the IdeaPad S540 doubles as your business companion and entertainment hub. It has a Dolby Audio speaker system, producing decent sound for all your leisure needs. For those obsessed with audio, you might want to look elsewhere because this isn’t the laptop for you. Better buy a different speaker system and connect it to this laptop.

We might need more juice

If you’re looking at a laptop this big, it’s expected to have a lot of juice. Thankfully, the IdeaPad S540 delivers what’s expected from it. Lenovo boasts up to 12 hours of battery life, but most people nowadays are classified as power-hungry users, rendering the 12-hour promise to be useless since it’s going to be shorter.

For instance, I spent one afternoon in Malongo Atelier Barista enjoying a refreshing Iced Coffee while doing my work. I sat around 4 o’clock in the afternoon with a full battery, diving into a pile of articles to write.

Additionally, I’ve been jamming to my favorite playlist from The Bold Type so I can be more productive. Settings include 100% brightness and max volume, while connected to Wi-Fi. In between sipping my coffee, listening to interviews that I recorded, and social media breaks, the IdeaPad S540 drops 10 to 15 percent of its battery per hour.

Before 8 o’clock in the evening, my battery dropped below 20 percent already, prompting me to charge my machine. Almost four hours for a power-hungry is kinda meh but given my usage, I’d say it did its best. At least, I didn’t encounter any hiccups while navigating my work. It was seamless and smooth!

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you’re in need of a daily driver, the IdeaPad S540 is an ideal laptop to suit your professional needs. It’s perfect for those looking for a laptop powerful enough to handle multitasking for business and entertainment use.

For PhP 65,995 (US$ 1295), the Lenovo IdeaPad S540 (S540-15IWL, version 81NE0049PH) is a good investment to propel your career. When you’re on your way up on your career ladder, you can buy and use better, higher-end, and possibly flagship laptops that definitely cost a fortune.

For now, this will do. The key to creating milestones in your career is to take baby steps, and buying a laptop to suit your professional needs is one such step you need to take.

Update as of 02/11/2020: Lenovo drops the price for the IdeaPad S540 from PhP 65,995 to PhP 59,995. Additionally, those who will purchase will be entitled to 24-months international and local onsite warranty with Premium Care. Get perks such as On-site service, 24/7 service hotline with senior technicians, priority allocation for replacement parts, annual PC health check, and more. For more information about the warranty, visit their promo page.

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Features

Reasons why the Huawei Matebook D 15 is an easy buy

It’s almost a no brainer

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There’s a sea of laptops available in the market right now. Deciding which one to buy can be truly overwhelming. It also doesn’t help that some of the names are confusing.

Enter the Huawei Matebook D 15. There’s something about this laptop that just feels sleek and clean. And it’s not just the exterior. Everything about it just works.

To give you a better idea, allow us to run down the reasons why this is a seamless, no fuss, everyday workhorse of a laptop.

A premium, modern look

Whether we admit it or not, we care about how our things look. And the Huawei Matebook D 15, well, it looks good. There’s something about its unibody design that just screams premium.

Anyone who sees you carrying this around will think it probably cost you an arm and a leg. Which isn’t the case but unless they ask, I’m sure it’s fine to let them keep thinking that.

In case you’re wondering, yes that’s a metallic body but not the type that’s heavy. Despite being a 15-inch notebook, it weighs only 1.53kg and is pretty slim at only 16.9mm thick.

Speaking of 15-inches, it’s actually a 15.6-inch FullView display. The 87 percent screen-to-body ratio is another testament to the premium look and feel of this notebook.

It really feels like you see more and the whole display real estate is maximized. That display, by the way, has been certified to reduce the light effect that puts strains on our eyes. That means you can go straight from working to Netflix and chillin’ without worrying too much about harming the windows to your soul.

Seamless access to your phone

There’s this one feature that has kept Apple users in their ecosystem — it’s called AirDrop. It’s basically a seamless way to transfer files from your phone to your laptop and vice versa. It’s one of the most convenient things to ever exist.

The feature hasn’t been rivaled. At least, not until Huawei Share came along. Huawei Share gets the concept of the AirDrop and takes it a step further.

Turn on NFC and Bluetooth on your Huawei or Honor phone, and simply place it on top of the Huawei Share sticker on the right hand area of the Matebook D 15. This will instantly sync your phone to the laptop.

You’ll have a floating screen that will let you access everything on your phone through the notebook. This means you can quickly get to all your messaging and chat apps in just one window and not worry about downloading PC versions of those apps.

Yes, you also have access to the phone’s cameras in this mode. Can you imagine the possibilities?

Fast and secure fingerprint power button

This feature seemed like an obvious decision with phones bearing fingerprint sensors, it made sense to bring it over to laptops.

The fingerprint power button on the Huawei Matebook D 15 does exactly what its name suggests. It powers the notebook while simultaneously authenticating its users’ identity. This whole process takes just a few seconds, it doesn’t even feel like it’s doing two things at once.

Speaking of security, you will be happy to know that this notebook’s webcam won’t be able to “accidentally” capture you. With security concerns about webcams being accessed remotely, Huawei employed a recessed camera system.

The camera is hidden under a key that sits in between the function keys. Press down on it to reveal the camera when you actually need to use it. It’s a simple solution but one that lets you rest easy.

2-in-1 in three ways

The first two ways we’ve actually talked about already. First is with Huawei Share. The new function gives you a Mobile phone PC experience — that’s something that feels new and truly groundbreaking.

Next is the fingerprint power button. You not only power the device, it also makes sure that the person turning it on is supposed to be able to access it. Two things happening at the same time.

Lastly there’s the charger. The Huawei Matebook D 15 uses a type-c interface charger. Thanks to the usb-c’s power negotiating tech, you can charge not only the notebook but also your phone using the same light and compact power brick. Again, 2-in-1 and absolutely efficient and convenient.

Ready to deliver where it matters

At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Yes, those are all great features but can it actually get work done?”

The short answer is yes. It’s a laptop equipped with the AMD Ryzen 3500U processor. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a processor that’s often been compared to the Intel Core i5 8250u. What that means is that this laptop is more than capable of handling everything you do on a browser along with the usual Microsoft office suite.

It’s also good enough to handle some Photoshop work. If you feel like pushing it, this machine can also handle some light video editing thanks to its 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD storage that’s paired with 1TB HDD storage.

Premium portable performance

As far as the basic to intermediate stuff that you have to do on a laptop, the Huawei Matebook D 15 can more than handle it.

The fact that it comes in a light and thin form-factor means it won’t break your back even if you carry it around all day — a boon for the young workforce today who thrive in working remotely.

The sleek look means you wouldn’t be ashamed to whip this out during a meeting or a presentation. There probably aren’t too many notebooks at this price point that look nearly as elegant.

So if you’re looking to purchase your first laptop, it’s almost a no brainer — the Huawei Matebook D 15 is an easy buy.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei Matebook D 15 comes in Space Grey. It retails for PhP 37,990. Pre-order period is from February 8 to 14, 2020. Those who pre-order will also get a hold of PhP 9,990 worth of freebies including a Huawei T3 8″ tablet, a Huawei Bluetooth mouse, and a Huawei backpack. The freebies are on a first come, first serve basis.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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