Laptops

Microsoft Surface Pro isn’t just an incremental update

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Microsoft’s new Surface Pro (now without a generational number) is the Google Pixel of convertibles. That’s a good thing.

As the successor to the well-loved Surface Pro 4 launched way back in October 2015, the 2017 model looks a lot like the previous versions, but Microsoft assures us there’s a lot to appreciate under the hood.

The most prominent upgrade is the adoption of Intel’s newest seventh-generation Kaby Lake processors. Versions using the Core m3 and i5 chips are fan-less as a result, which means quieter operation and longer battery life — two things everyone wants.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwWs2jIy4js

There’s still a faster Intel Core i7 model available, although that requires a fan to run smoothly. More interesting, however, is the introduction of an LTE-enabled model accepting both micro-SIM and e-SIM cards. Mobile data without the need for Wi-Fi or a hotspot would make its tablet mode actually feel like you’re using a smart device.

Accessories are the other highlight. That cool Surface Dial we saw with the Surface Studio last year works on the Surface Pro, and there’s an improved Surface Pen with tilt detection this time. The catch? Neither are bundled in every package, and the stylus costs $99.

This all leads to a convertible with up to 13.5 hours of endurance on a single charge and better comfort thanks to a hinge that allows the 12.3-inch Surface Pro to lie nearly flat on a surface… Ohh, that makes sense!

But really, we just want new color options, and Microsoft hasn’t disappointed us:

I must say it looks fantastic, just like the Surface Laptop revealed a couple of weeks ago. Again the Type Cover keyboard ships separately, and it’s valued at $129.

How much do you have to spend for such a convertible? Not much. A starting price of $799 makes this more affordable than you’d think, but that’s for the lowest-end variant. It includes a Core m3 processor, 4GB of memory, and only 128GB of SSD storage.

Dishing out $2,699 gives you the Core i7 model with 16GB of memory and 1TB of SSD storage. That’s a huge jump from the introductory price, but it’s unavoidable if you want the very best.

If I were to buy one, I’d go for the $1,299 Core i5 version, which features 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. It strikes the best balance between optimal performance and a price worth paying for.

Worldwide rollout begins on June 15.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft announces ‘most balanced’ Surface Laptop

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CES 2021

ASUS unveils its new ZenBook Duo 14

Improved design, powerful internals, and a dynamic ScreenPad Plus

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ASUS continues to push the boundaries of its innovative products. Last year, they introduced the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14, a one-of-a-kind laptop which introduced the ScreenPad Plus. Essentially, you get a laptop with two screens that allow you to multitask and have more creative control. This year, the company is launching its latest iteration of the device, with some changes.

In terms of the overall design, the new ZenBook Duo 14 comes in a magnesium aluminum alloy chassis for a more sophisticated look. As soon as you open the laptop, it will still come with the patented ScreenPad Plus but with a hinge change. This time, the hinges that the ScreenPad Plus rest on are much stronger and incorporate ASUS’s ErgoLift in the process. As a result, this allows more airflow while you run strenous tasks like photo and video editing.

Also, the ScreenPad Plus’ UI gets an upgrade in terms of functionality with ScreenXpert 2.0. With this new Control Center, you can customize the flow of the applications on the second screen with ease. Apart from ASUS utilities and a dedicated Launcher, it also comes with a Control Panel that supports Adobe products like Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. Basically, you have more tools and settings to tinker with, to your liking.

All of these comes with powerful hardware to suit the creative mind or the young professional. Inside, the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 sports up to an 11th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM. With up to 1TB of SSD storage, you can keep all your work files and projects up and running in no time. Also, you can opt to get the device with a dedicated NVIDIA MX450 GPU.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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Hands-On

ASUS ZenBook Duo (2021) Unboxing and Hands-on: Double The Fun!

Is it still the laptop of tomorrow?

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ASUS launched their first first dual-screen laptop, the ZenBook Pro Duo last 2019 at Computex Taiwan.

This 2021, the Full HD LCD display might be a drawback from the 4K OLED display. Still, it has a new and improved ErgoLift Hinge that ASUS is proud of. And with power-packed specs, pen support, and dual displays, this laptop might just be for a creative or content creator like you.

More of ASUS’ latest ZenBook Duo in our latest unboxing and hands-on video right here.

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CES 2021

Honor Band 6 and MagicBook Pro 2021 unveiled at CES

Launching soon in international markets

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Honor is now an independent company and does not have any ties with Huawei. Despite the recent transition, the brand is back at CES and has announced two new products in its global portfolio — Honor Band 6 and MagicBook Pro.

The Honor Band 6 has a massive 1.47-inch AMOLED display with 2.5D curved glass on the top. The band looks like a watch due to the large display, finding a sweet spot that isn’t too small or too big. The left edge of the device has Honor branding embossed into the shell.

The fitness tracker has five health monitoring features, which include SpO2, heart rate, sleep, stress, and menstrual cycle. There are ten workout modes, with six of those detected automatically.

The Honor Band 6 leverages Bluetooth 5.0 and packs a 180mAh battery capable of delivering up to 14 days of battery life on a single charge. It’s priced at CNY 249 (US$ 39), and sale is limited to China right now. However, we expect a gradual launch in other markets soon.

The MagicBook Pro has a 16.1-inch display, and Honor claims it has 100 percent sRGB coverage for color accuracy. Powering the laptop is Intel’s Core i5-10210U processor, coupled with the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU. Everything else remains the same as last year’s offering, including 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage.

The battery is rated at 56Wh, and a 65W charger is provided along. It can go from zero to 50 percent within half an hour. And Honor says the laptop can deliver 11 hours of usage on a single charge. Honor has revealed its price yet, but we expect it to be around US$ 1,000. The company will announce availability details based on regions.

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