It’s time to let go of the past, I suppose.
With the release of new MacBook Pro models, the MacBook Pro of 2015 has effectively been discontinued by Apple.
Why is this such a big deal? If you’ve been following Apple’s yearly refresh of its laptop line, you’d know that they’ve gradually let go of full-size USB ports and longer-travel keyboards in favor of slimmer designs.
This means the MacBook Pro that was released in 2015 is the last model to feature these legacy features.
In effect, if you’re going to buy a new MacBook Pro, you’ll have to embrace the dongle life, because your usual flash drives, external hard disks, and SD cards won’t fit into the USB-C-only ports of the newer models.
Of course, there are numerous accessories that simplify the need for dongles, but they’re still not as convenient as the slots that came built into MacBooks of old, including SD card readers, ports for USB-A, HDMI, and Thunderbolt, as well as the much-loved MagSafe power connector.
9to5Mac points out that Apple is still selling some 15-inch 2015 MacBooks in clearance sales for those who can’t let go just yet. Models from 2016 onward already have the updated design.
On the bright side, this year’s MacBooks are worth looking into. Not only do they come with the latest Intel Core processors and generous helpings of memory and storage, there are also improvements in the butterfly keyboard and signature Touch Bar.
Windows 10 will soon go full white with a light theme
To complement the new dark theme
All the buzz in today’s user interface bonanza is the dark theme. An all-black interface supposedly consumes less power (if you have an OLED display) and it’s also easy on the eye, especially at night. A number of mobile apps already have a dark theme and even macOS finally has it. As for Windows, the popular operating system doesn’t just want a dark theme, it wants a light one as well.
Microsoft just unveiled the light theme for Windows 10, but it’s only available for the new test build which is not meant for a major release yet.
Generally, Windows 10’s UI has always played with dark and light elements. It’s pretty inconsistent, so you get both dark and light at the same time. Soon, you can finally get either an all dark UI or a bright white UI.
The new system-wide light theme also comes with a slightly tweaked default wallpaper.
Again, the light theme is still undergoing tests, but it’s expected to come to the next major update of Windows 10 sometime in 2019.
The latest test build comes with a number of new features that’ll soon come as an update to Windows 10. You may head over to the source link below to know more.
Lenovo IdeaPad 530S, 330S, 330: Which is right for you?
There’s a GadgetMatch for all
Lenovo has a fairly rich selection of IdeaPad laptops, from large powerhouses to more compact travel companions. The naming scheme can get confusing, however, and each model has its own strengths and weaknesses.
For this review, we’re looking at three of Lenovo’s newest models: the IdeaPad 530S, 330S, and 330. To get more diverse opinions, we employed three different users: content creator Dan, visual producer MJ, and editor Marvin, respectively.
Which IdeaPad is your GadgetMatch? Let’s see what our three subjects have to say.
Lenovo IdeaPad 530S — Dan
The IdeaPad 530S is well-specced and has the best build among the bunch. The laptop’s body has a polished aluminum finish, and I’m loving Lenovo’s new approach to design. The lid of the laptop is understated with just the Lenovo logo on the side.
That’s not the only premium aspect of the laptop’s design. It also has an IPS display that measures 14 inches diagonally with a Full HD resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. Nothing sounds fancy about the screen’s specs, but it’s got thin bezels. It’s not as edge-to-edge as Dell’s XPS, but at least Lenovo placed the webcam where it should be. Although, this laptop’s webcam quality isn’t that great either.
I used the IdeaPad 530S primarily for writing and working on the go. So, I appreciated the laptop’s smaller dimensions compared to other 14-inch laptops in the market. It’s portable enough to fit inside most backpacks, plus it doesn’t take up so much space on a coffee table. The typing experience is generally okay, but I find the key travel a bit shorter than my old IdeaPad notebook. The trackpad, on the other hand, works great.
The configuration I have has an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor paired with 4GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage. It even has NVIDIA GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics. This specs combination is more than enough for everyday tasks and light gaming. The notebook’s memory should be upgraded to at least 8GB, though, to avoid hiccups.
Another good aspect of midrange notebooks is the selection of ports. The I/O on the IdeaPad 530S includes an HDMI port, two USB-A, USB-C, audio jack, and an SD card reader.
I usually get around six to seven hours of battery life with this one, depending on what I’m working on. A full charge using the included 65W charging brick takes about two hours and a half. Not the best battery life and charging time around, but they’re not that bad either.
The IdeaPad 530S is an easy choice for those looking for a well-balanced notebook that doesn’t cost much. Just be sure to upgrade the memory immediately to avoid any lag.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330S — MJ
As an artist, the most important thing for me when looking for a laptop is its style and how it handles multimedia work. So when the Lenovo IdeaPad 330S arrived, I was a bit excited.
The IdeaPad 330S comes in platinum gray and a smooth, polished aluminum cover that made me feel like I’m using a premium laptop. It has a responsive touchpad and soft keyboard so I didn’t have to rely on a mouse to get work done. It also has thinner bezels, and therefore, a bigger screen to enjoy.
The IdeaPad 330S has a 15.6-inch FHD IPS panel, which means it has better color accuracy and wider viewing angles, perfect for all my multimedia work. It also has built-in Dolby Audio, which provides clear sound while watching videos online.
Speaking of portability, this laptop weighs 2.6kg — a bit heavy for a tiny build like mine. Its bigger size means it needs a backpack that can carry a 15-inch laptop. Since I used to own a 15-inch laptop back in college, a laptop this big is no problem. What I’m more concerned about is getting my work done.
Because I handle lots of creative tasks, my laptop consumed battery faster than with more average users. Surprisingly, the IdeaPad 330S didn’t disappoint, lasting at least four to five hours with constant use of Adobe Photoshop and other creative software.
The only thing I didn’t like about this laptop was its ridiculously slow load times. It’s packed with Intel’s 8th-generation Core i7-8550U, but runs on 4GB of memory and 2TB of HDD storage. Boot up was slow, and I could count up to eight seconds before my browser loaded. Most of the time, it couldn’t handle multiple tabs at once and the browser ended up not responding.
The IdeaPad 330S could’ve become a complete powerhouse if not for the sluggish user experience. It has the premium look that everyone wants, and its screen and audio are made specifically for entertainment. This laptop is ideal for those who need it for leisure and entertainment, because that is where it’s great at.
Lenovo IdeaPad 330 — Marvin
This model is clearly the least attractive of the three with its all-plastic body and unsightly bezels. And even though the port selection is mostly complete — two USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, SD card reader, Ethernet — the body’s thickness (22.9mm) and heft (2.2kg) mean I need a larger backpack to carry it in.
On paper, the specs are alright: Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5-8300H, 4GB of RAM, 1TB HDD storage, and dedicated GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip. While the CPU and GPU combo can handle demanding tasks, the low amount of memory and slow hard disk mean startup can be slow for both the machine and apps.
I’d say the best part of this laptop is its keyboard, which is vital for any full-time editor. Like most Lenovo notebooks, the keys are well-spaced and have a bottom curve to make them easier to hit. It also has evenly distributed backlighting and a decent trackpad to complement it. I just wish the power button wasn’t placed so close to the keyboard itself, resulting in accidental presses.
The worst aspect has to be the display quality. Even though the screen is 15.6 inches in size and 1080p in resolution, its TN panel offers poor color reproduction and even worse viewing angles. This isn’t the type of laptop I’d use for watching online shows or presenting to a group of people surrounding the display.
On the brighter side, the speakers can get loud, albeit with a little distortion while at max power. I also found the battery life above-average with over six hours of balanced usage on a single charge, and the unit reaches a hundred percent quickly using the bundled charger.
The IdeaPad 330 is definitely the weakest of the three notebooks reviewed here, and is best suited for those who want less flare and more traditional features, such as the older ports, top-mounted webcam, and reliable battery life.
2018 MacBook Air: Price and availability in the Philippines
The original ultra-slim notebook
The new MacBook Air was just announced by Apple. The refresh of the once-popular laptop is long overdue and it comes with all the latest specifications and technological advances that other MacBooks already have.
The 2018 MacBook Air still comes with a 13-inch display, but it now has a Liquid Retina panel that’s crisp and color accurate. It boasts an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor plus an all-day battery life as claimed by Apple. Touch ID is also integrated to the MacBook Air.
With thinner bezels around its display, the new MacBook Air is more compact than before. It has 17 percent less volume compared to the previous version and weighs only 1.25kg.
The base model with a 128GB SSD starts at PhP 74,990. If you wish to have more storage, there’s also a 256GB model for PhP 86,990. It’s now available for pre-order through Apple’s local website with an estimated delivery date by third week of December.
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