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In this video, we unbox the new 15-inch MacBook Pro (2018).

We’ve got an all souped-up Intel Core i9 edition. We’ll walk you through on how you can get to nearly US$ 7,000 in total for this MacBook Pro. We’re also unboxing a new accessory available for the laptop, a US$ 200 leather sleeve.

Laptops

Microsoft launches a new generation of Surface devices

Including the first ARM-based Surface since 2013

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When we talk about laptop lineups, we often think of devices catering to different lifestyles. Each laptop’s selling points usually draw from differing features, form factors, and price points. Microsoft’s newest Surface lineup shares in this age-old tradition. However, the new offerings have a surprising point of differentiation: each laptop carries a chipset from a different brand.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

First up, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 offers a 15-inch variant with two exclusive AMD Ryzen Microsoft Surface Edition chipsets: a Ryzen 7 3780U chip and a Ryzen 5 3580U chip. According to Microsoft, the laptop’s custom chipset combination is the most powerful hardware available for its form factor. Alternatively, the Surface Laptop 3 also offers a 13.5-inch variant with a quadcore 10th-generation Ice Lake Intel Core chipset.

Microsoft is also offering an all-aluminum design for the Surface Laptop 3. Unlike the formerly standard fabric design, the metal design touts a maximized screen. The screen doesn’t have speakers or rubber protectors on the bezel. Also, unlike its predecessors, the Surface Laptop 3 sports a USB-C port for more compatibility. For power, the laptop boasts 11.5 hours of battery life.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Next on the table, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 — the company’s 2-in-1 laptop series — is a pure Intel experience. The series offers Intel chipsets going up to the 10th-generation Intel Core i7 (or as low as the dual-core i3 chipset). The device can also offer up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. In comparison, the starting model comes with only 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. As with its predecessors, the 12.3-inch Surface Pro 7 has a detachable Surface Type Keyboard and a Surface Pen.

Microsoft Surface Pro X

Rounding out Microsoft’s new launches, the Microsoft Surface Pro X comes up with something entirely different. The new laptop goes back to the Surface’s past. It is the company’s first ARM-based Surface since 2013. The 13-inch 2-in-1 device comes with a customized Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx processor called the Surface SQ1. It is one of the Microsoft’s lithest devices, weighing in at just 1.68lbs and measuring up to only 5.3mm in height. Despite the size, the Surface Pro X packs in USB-C compatibility and fast charging.

The Surface Laptop 3’s 13.5-inch variant starts at US$ 999. On the other hand, the 15-inch variant starts at US$ 1,199. Both laptops will ship starting October 22.

Likewise, the Surface Pro 7 will ship on October 22 as well. It will start at US$ 749.

Finally, the Surface Pro X will ship on November 5. It will retail for US$ 999.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s Surface Duo is a foldable Android phone

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Laptops

Microsoft Surface Neo: The notebook reimagined

It’s a new category

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Microsoft showcased a device today that definitely has us all pumped. It’s called the Microsoft Surface Neo.

What is it exactly? We’re not quite sure where to start, to be honest. On the surface (pun totally intended), it looks like a 2-in-1, but it’s more than that. It’s more like an evolution of it. With a 2-in-1 you get a device that can be used in laptop mode and/or tablet mode. The Surface Neo goes beyond that.

It has two displays. When you open it up, it will most certainly remind you of the dual screen tech that LG introduced on its smartphones in 2019. But there’s more.

Sitting on one side is the surface pen magnetically attached. It’s easily accessible and can aid you whenever necessary.

Sitting on the other side is a bluetooth keyboard. You can flip it so it attaches to the surface of the other display turning the Surface Neo into something like the ZenBook Pro Duo. But if you need more screen real estate. Simply detach it and prop up the dual displays.

All about getting you in the flow

All these modes were introduced not just for the sake of having them. Microsoft’s entire presentation was predicated on getting you in the flow. On freeing you from constraints and enabling you to do your best work, no matter how you wish to achieve it.

This is the whole idea behind the Surface Neo. Whether you choose to use all the modes available is up to you. It’s powerful enough to handle different tasks, and versatile enough to help in whatever way you want to finish those tasks.

A look into the future

The device won’t be ready to ship until Holiday 2020. Microsoft says it still needs to rally other developers so other apps and software work seamlessly with the new form factor. A lot can happen in a year, but this is a nice peek into the future and it’s pretty exciting.

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Gaming

Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop Review: Flaming hot productivity and gaming

Blue, truly is the warmest color

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Gaming laptops are a joy to have, when you own one. You have a device that basically delivers everything you need: productivity and leisure in one package. The only real drawback to even buying one is the price tag, as crazier specs demand crazy prices.

It’s only fairly recently that manufacturers decided that gaming on the go doesn’t have to be expensive. Lenovo has one device that fits the bill in terms of affordability, and also incorporates top-line specs for heavy duty performance. This is what the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming Laptop is all about.

But is it truly a worthy investment? Let’s find out.

It has a 15-inch FHD IPS display, with thin bezels at the side

It comes with a backlit keyboard in the shade of blue

It can literally flex all the way, 180 degrees style

It comes with a powerful NVIDIA GTX 1650 graphics card

An excellent laptop for productive workload

I will just put it out there: the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop is one productive machine. Powered by a 9th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, I could do anything ever so quickly. Multitasking felt like a breeze when using this device, and not a single drop in overall performance all throughout.

Because of the processor and RAM configuration, you won’t be limited to just the usual tasks. On this device, I did manage to do photo and video editing, and the device did not lag at any point. Mix that with document typing, audio and video streaming, and no signs of lag detected.

What bothered me for just a bit was the fact that the device came with a 1TB HDD. If there was an SSD inside, boot times would have been faster. When I first opened the device, it took about five to seven minutes before the device fully booted up. If you’re in a rush to get that paper or report submitted, this could be a problem for you. 

Game like an absolute beast with the GTX 1650

I was thoroughly impressed with the onboard NVIDIA GTX 1650 for this device. It comes with 4GB of VRAM, which allows greater graphics processing at a high rate. I played most popular PC titles at their maximum settings and observed no loss in performance all throughout.

Popular titles like Fortnite: Battle Royale and Apex Legends all peaked at 60 FPs, with highs of 65 to 70 FPS on their highest setting. Every time I got a chance to play, frames rendered in quite smoothly — which is essential for intense gameplay. 

Other titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Rocket League garnered an average of 113 FPS. Of course, granted that these titles are not the most graphically-demanding compared to the others. Still, I experienced buttery-smooth gameplay, and GeForce Experience did its part with optimizations in between.

A laptop that actually respects your privacy

Every time you get a new laptop, you’re always afraid of the deep web getting to you. So you go on ahead and patch your webcams up with a piece of paper or a bandage. I’m not only to believe that to be honest, but this device does — and has found a solution to it.

The Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop comes with its own physical Privacy Shutter. If you’re too worried about your own privacy, you can just slide that thing to the left. I honestly found this a nifty solution instead of having to waste a good piece of paper or bandage.

Of course, if you don’t like that, you can just simply do it on the keyboard. Nonetheless, this is quite possibly the first device I’ve seen in a while that has that sort of technology. Finally, a laptop that actually cares for your privacy above all else, right?

Long lasting performance, when you’re not gaming full time

On paper, Lenovo promised this device could last up to nine hours with moderate use, at 70 percent brightness. Upon continuous use of the device, I did manage to get only up to seven hours when using it according to the same conditions.

Of course, when you’re gaming full time, the amount of time is cut into half with NVIDIA’s Battery Boost turned on. Still, even on a regular workload, you get the longevity of use you could possibly ask for in this device.

Lenovo also introduced its Rapid Charge technology even with their proprietary charger. I managed to get its charge level to 80 percent in a matter of 20 minutes, which is great for on-the-go users. To me, this is a great feature to have but I was hoping that they took advantage of the Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C as the main charging port.

The areas that can do better

Despite every feature I could possibly rave about, there were others that I couldn’t give a total pass. First, the trackpad failed at the one thing it should be doing: gesture tracking. All but one Windows Precision gesture actually worked — and of all things, it’s the right click. I don’t have a problem clicking the bottom right side of the trackpad, but the fact that they missed out on that gesture is disappointing.

Second, as much as I raved about the webcam’s physical shutter, the webcam itself leaves much to be desired. I understand that it is just an HD 720p webcam, but there are other devices with the same webcam and are relatively better than this one. Photos have a ton of grain on them even just by loading the camera alone.

Finally, this device’s backlit keyboard was not astounding. I do prefer full-sized keyboards, plus key travel was easy to get used to. It’s the backlighting of the keyboard that was under par, in my opinion. It has three levels of back-lighting, but its brightest level does not properly stick out. And I’ve seen devices with brighter backlit keyboards even in full light.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

At PhP 49,995, the Lenovo IdeaPad L340 Gaming laptop is one powerful machine. You get the latest hardware necessary for productivity and powerful gaming, all in one package. It delivers powerful performance for productivity tasks, photo and video editing — perfect for content creators.

Gamers can easily get a kick out of this device thanks to the NVIDIA GTX 1650 inside. Playing popular titles feel like an absolute breeze, especially in high-octane moments just to score the victory. Although if you do want to play a little longer, you will need to bring the charger everywhere you go.

Overall, you can look for nitty-gritty design flaws all you want. You can admire all the other features the device offers. But, when it comes right down to it, this gaming laptop does exactly what you need it to do — and so much more. 

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