Laptops

Lenovo Yoga S740 review: Great for work from home

Well, almost great because of some things

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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.

SEE ALSO: Why the Lenovo Yoga S940 makes for a perfect business travel companion

Features

Why people can’t stop talking about the 2021 Huawei MateBook D 15

Now with 11th Gen Intel Core and 16GB RAM

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MateBook D 15 2021

Huawei has always been known to be that powerful force in innovation. The bezel-less display, Huawei Free Touch and the recessed camera are just some of the many instances when Huawei have revolutionized and leveled up the playing field for the PC industry.

I think it goes without saying that Huawei’s premium brand, the MateBook family, is one that has truly set a new standard for intelligence when it comes to laptops.

It has been five years since the inception of the MateBook and ‘till this day, the MateBook family pushes on to be the perfect tool for the challenges we are faced with. From enhanced connectivity for online classes, immersive audio for work-from-home conferences to engaging visuals for Netflix nights, the MateBook family has got you covered and that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about here as we move further.

As they celebrate their fifth year of the MateBook series, they introduce to us another line of technological advancement with the 2021’s MateBook series.

With this comes the revamp of the very popular MateBook D 15 with the HUAWEI MateBook D 15 2021 11th Gen along with the powerfully sharp MateBook 14 2021 11th Gen and the borderless MateBook X Pro 2021.

Talk of the town with its elegance

There’s no denying that the MatebBook D 15 2021 is a dazzling piece of machinery. And being one that has been used to plastic laptop bodies, the all aluminum alloy body of the D 15 had me drooling over it. A prominent indication of its quality also, was how this MateBook’s body had rounded edges and a very solid build which are admittedly satisfying to the touch.

MateBook D 15 2021

Carrying the device, it’s impossible not to notice just how feather light this MateBook D 15 is. For 1.56kg and only 16.9mm thin, it’s amazing just how this laptop carries a ton of horsepower and 15.6-inches of screen real estate.

Feature packed FullView display

Relatively bezel-less at only 5.3mm of bezel width, the MateBook D 15 2021 sports the iconic FullView display of the MateBook family. At 87% screen to body ratio, this 15.6-inch FHD IPS display panel is a feast for your eyes.

MateBook D 15 2021

Given that we mostly look at our computer screens most of the time, eye strain is often the setback. A noteworthy feature the D 15 has with its display is that it has been certified under TÜV Rheinland’s Low Blue Light emittance and Flicker Free qualifications which makes it perfect for binge watching K-dramas on Netflix. Top that with 100% sRGB rating, there’s no reason to doubt the color representation this display outputs when doing creative work.

Much to flex under the hood 

At the heart of this laptop is Intel’s 11th Gen Core i5 processor and the Intel Iris XE graphics that it comes with. While most of us are already familiar with the power of the Core i5 processor, this newest generation of Intel’s offering takes this up a notch. Running four cores and eight processing threads, Intel’s newest architecture delivers 31 percent faster multi-core performance from its predecessor.

MateBook D 15 2021

I believe many would agree that a lot of us do try to get some form of gaming done on their school or work laptop. The Intel Iris XE graphics is perfect for sneaking in some play time with our favorite games as well as for running some multimedia tasks.

Swamped with work or just juggling multiple tabs on your web browser, expect the experience to be as smooth as it can be as there’s now 16GB of DDR4 RAM packed in this slim body.

Smart power button

I guess you won’t have time to make coffee while waiting for your laptop to start up as with the D 15’s smart fingerprint power button, keying in your log on password is now a thing of the past. The moment you press on the D 15’s fingerprint power button automatically authenticates your identity and jumps you directly to your home screen, saving you the hassle of typing in your password.

At only 2.5 seconds as recorded by Windows for its start up, this has been the fastest power on time I have yet encountered on a laptop. Seriously, a boot up time this fast would make you doubt if you’ve left the laptop on sleep mode or if it was from a coldboot.

Cool and quiet

Despite the size of the MateBook D 15, it did not become noticeably hot. In fact, the palm rest felt cool to rest your palms on.

You know what they say: work smart and not hard. Huawei definitely worked smart with the ingenious fan design of its Shark fin fan. Designed with higher density and thinner fan blades, the need for increasing fan speed to cool the whole laptop has been drastically minimized. This resulted in the device to use less power, run cooler and operate quieter as this Shark fin fan contributes to 24% better cooling performance from its last-gen counterpart.

Next Generation WI-FI 6

I couldn’t help but geek out on this feature as I’m sure many I.T. professionals would as well. This next generation Wi-Fi 6 is actually known to be the successor to the standard 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 5 that most of our devices use.

MateBook D 15 2021

The inclusion of Wi-Fi 6 on the D 15 means that this device is able to operate at more stable Wi-Fi frequency bands to eliminate interference and reach significantly faster speeds. This ensures that the MateBook D 15 is ready for crowded scenarios such as what you would experience in shopping malls, corporate offices or even populated areas.

Not your ordinary charger

I just can’t count how many people I know who’ve asked me where to buy a new charger for their laptop simply because its cable is broken. I’m happy to say that that problem is pretty much gone with this one as the D 15’s charger features a detachable USB-C cable.

Surprisingly, it took exactly 9 hours and 30 minutes for the D 15’s battery to shift to power saving mode and with Huawei’s Supercharge feature built-in, this 65w charger was able to fully charge the D 15 in just an hour. That’s insanely fast for such a long run time if you ask me.

But that’s not all. Weighing only 160g, this charger isn’t much bigger and heavier than a smartphone charger.

Speaking of smartphones, this charger can also charge your USB-C compatible smartphone. Talk about #PowerInLightness .

Hear and be heard with Dual Mic and Immersive sound

By this time, we’ve all probably been on an online meeting or conference of some kind. Personally, I’m one who could tolerate bad video signals but bad audio is really something that would really ruin the experience for me. Thankfully, the dual front facing microphones of the MateBook D 15 ensures our voice would be picked up clearly even at longer distances.
MateBook D 15 2021

Guaranteed to give you an immersive experience, the 2W dual-speaker audio system can simulate both 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound performance.

Tap and share with HUAWEI Share 

If you’re fortunately among the proud owners of a Huawei smartphone then you’d be able to maximize this very handy feature of the 2021 MateBook D 15.

Huawei Share lets you cast your smartphone screen on your laptop, transfer files wirelessly and basically use almost all features and apps of your smartphone onto your laptop. With just a tap of your Huawei smartphone on the Huawei Share label on the D 15, the two devices are all set. It’s that easy.

MateBook D 15 2021

I can’t emphasize how convenient this is for people like me who always transfer footage I took with my smartphone. No cables for data transfer and no switching from two devices to get things done, just tap and you’re wirelessly connected.

Fast is the word that I think best describes the 2021 HUAWEI MateBook D 15 11th Gen.

The fast new processor, large amount of RAM, next generation Wi-Fi 6, ultraportable charger with SuperCharge, thin and light size, Huawei Share and an ingenious smart fingerprint power button, every bit contributes to everything being faster and just getting things done faster.

With so many features loaded in one package, I understand why it’s hard not to talk about these new offerings of the MateBook family and why there’s no need to think twice on getting a hold of this awesome device.

MateBook D 15 2021

The Huawei MateBook D 15 2021 retails for PhP 52,999. Interested buyers may purchase from any of the following: Huawei Store, Lazada, Shopee.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Laptops

Apple can finally feel the heat of a global semiconductor shortage

The iPad and Mac are most affected

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Apple posted its Q2 earnings report this week, recording a whopping 54 percent rise in revenue year-over-year to almost US$ 90 billion. Thanks to blockbuster iPhone sales, the Cupertino-based giant is minting profits. But how long will the streak last considering the global semiconductor shortage?

On a call with analysts, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said Apple avoided a chip shortage in the fiscal second quarter by burning through supply buffers. In the coming months, the global shortage could cost the company US$ 3 to 4 billion in revenue.

The shortfalls “affect the iPad and the Mac primarily,” Cook said. “We’ll have some challenges in there.” Cook talked about the recently launched ARM-based chipsets that deliver world-class performance, but are extremely complex and expensive to make.

The executives blamed “semiconductor shortages that affect many industries” and “very, very high” demand for iPads and Macs. Cook said the company expects to be “supply-gated, not demand-gated,” but only for the two products running M1 chip.

Apple has successfully managed to grab the opportunity offered by the Coronavirus pandemic — a sudden rise in demand for gadgets due to the work-from-home model.

The iPhone-maker isn’t the only one feeling the heat of the global crunch. There have been reports stating that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset has also hit delays due to the overwhelmed supply chain.  Though, this is the first time Apple has publicly revealed that it’s getting hammered by the global crisis.

In response to the crisis, Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has announced an investment of US$ 100 billion in the next two years to ramp up production. Veteran American chipmaker Intel has also committed upwards of US$ 20 billion to start best-in-class semiconductor fabrication facilities in Arizona, USA.

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Hands-On

Galaxy Book Pro and Pro 360 Hands-on: Samsung’s first “Pro” laptops

First laptops in the world with Super AMOLED displays

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Galaxy Book Pro

Samsung isn’t new in the laptop department, but what’s new is them launching a new “Pro” laptop line. Meet the Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360.

Packed with the latest hardware, the Galaxy Book Pro series aims to deliver the best of power and performance in such a thin and lightweight form factor. To make it more Pro-centric, they’re equipped with Super AMOLED displays — a first on any laptop.

Curious to find out what Samsung has to offer? Head over to our Galaxy Book Pro hands-on video now!

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