Being stuck under quarantine meant that I had to work from the comfort of my own room. With the amount of tasks I had to accomplish within the 8.5 hours, I wanted a laptop that could help me accomplish these faster and more efficiently. Naturally, I had my work laptop with me but I decided to give another laptop a try during my work from home saga.
Luckily, before this quarantine started, I got my hands on the Lenovo Yoga S740 in a very beautiful package. The company pegs this as a creative mind’s laptop, doubling down on hardware pieces fit for photo and video work. When you’re not using it for Photoshop or Premiere Pro, it’s supposedly an excellent work laptop.
So, maybe it won’t be too bad to give this laptop a shot — even with my work laptop in full reach. Here’s what the Lenovo Yoga S740 brings to the table:
It has a 14-inch IPS glossy display that flips 180 degrees
It has an NVIDIA MX250 discrete GPU inside
It comes in a thin and light chassis, in the Iron Grey color
Masterful performance for its intended use
The Lenovo Yoga S740 comes with premium hardware fit for professional work laptops out there. The 10th generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 chip they put inside this device provides more than enough power for most of the tasks I did. From making tons of spreadsheets to doing some video editing, this device clearly holds its own against all of it.
It didn’t even take that long to boot up the laptop thanks to the 512GB M.2 SSD inside. Load times for most applications are what you’d expect from a new processor and 16GB of RAM inside. It’s almost like this laptop sets the standard for how work laptops should be based on the hardware.
With the NVIDIA MX250 inside, you can play games at a fairly decent frame rate. In my experience however, I don’t recommend it as part of your main activities with the device. Apart from playable frame rates of 30-40 FPS, the device warms up pretty fast and its thermals are not exactly built for that.
Solid battery life across the board
Lenovo claims the device can last up to 14 hours provided you just use it for most everyday tasks. On my end, I got about 10 to 11 hours all while using it strictly for work-related tasks like writing reports and processing data. When using the device along with social media, Netflix, and a little bit of gaming, it’s around 8 to 9 hours, which is pretty decent.
The device doesn’t take too long to charge either, as it took two and a half hours to fully charge it. If you decide to charge the device using the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C port, it takes about three hours for a full charge. I found out that you can use any USB-C charger you have lying around, whether it’s for your phone or for your Nintendo Switch.
The way the thermals work confuses me
For me, it’s important to keep any portable device well ventilated. I’ve had experiences both with phones and laptops that just heat up real fast, then take a long while before cooling down. The Lenovo Yoga S740 proved to be no exception to this, but it also manages to do it a little worse than most laptops I’ve had — and I don’t know why.
For starters, the device has rubber feet that elevate it a little bit when placed on any surface. Ideally, this gives the laptop room to exhaust hot air through its ventilation grills underneath, which it was able to do on regular use. However, when you’re doing a lot of tasks at the same time (not necessarily gaming-heavy), the fans get loud and the hot air can’t get out properly. I say that mostly because I feel the warmth on the keyboard when this happens.
Another thing I observed was that even in sleep mode, this device pumps the fans up. Ideally, it shouldn’t pump out as much air as it should when you’re actively using it. However, when I decided to just put it to sleep by closing the lid shut, it still pumped out a lot of hot air. I thought closing the lid shut also means the device would be put in a low power state, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Other features that deserve your attention
There were a bunch of other features that you should look at before even thinking of getting this device. First, the overall design is pretty great for any use case. The FHD IPS display folds up to 180 degrees, and honestly best used when you’re typing something while lying down. The speakers are found just beside the keyboard, and are pretty decent when you’re watching movies.
Second, the 720p IR camera is just, well bad. I didn’t run into any problems setting it up for Windows Hello’s facial recognition, which makes up for a lack of a fingerprint sensor. But the moment you start using the webcam on its own, it’s not promising at all. The images show obvious grain, not much attention to even sharpening the details a bit. If you ever need to do a conference call, this camera won’t help you.
And lastly, there are some ports that this device had to sacrifice but these were not good sacrifices. For most creative professionals, having an HDMI port also helps — apart from the Thunderbolt 3 port. Most external displays readily available still use an HDMI port, so there’s a missed opportunity there. Also, the lack of an SD card reader will have you sacrificing one of your two USB Type-A ports — especially for photographers.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
At PhP 74,995, the Lenovo Yoga S740 is one great on-the-go work device. The hardware inside is great for most work and creative tasks. Plus, it lasts pretty long provided you use it just for work or creativity purposes. You can game on it a little, but don’t expect mind-boggling frame rates unless you get the unit with the NVIDIA GTX 1650 inside.
There are some things that do deserve a second opinion before you get this device. The lack of substantial ports, a grainy 720p camera, and the hard pumping thermals leave a lot to be desired. But, if you feel that you can manage with these, then this device is great on its own.
Overall, I think that this is a great alternative to most work laptops I have. When I’m not using it for work, it’s also great for most past times I have. If I were a creative professional, I’d highly consider getting this, but maybe once the quarantine is over.
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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