Features

Microsoft scratches surface of the future

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For the hardcore geek, there are at least two milestones, that predate actual usage of a device.

First is the day when a product becomes real. When an enthusiastic CEO or product lead takes the stage and unveils their most exciting piece of tech. Fans schedule online viewing parties, tune into live streams, and collectively drool over the subject of their next gadget fantasy.

Then comes the day when a product becomes theirs. It’s all about the unboxing, an almost ceremonial unwrapping of each accompanying accessory and then the product itself. The most hard core of fans will document this ritual, but in its most basic form, there is focus and reverence, and appreciation of what’s being birthed.

As a tech journalist I do both for a living, except that unboxing videos are shot in our labs, and sometimes I’m get to be there to see things live.

But while being there in person sounds fun, leaks have killed the moment, they’ve caused the extinction of big surprises that have marked great events.

Windows 10 Event

#WINDOWS10DEVICES. Journalists and guests are in for a huge surprise at Microsoft’s Windows 10 devices briefing in New York. Photo by Michael Josh Villanueva

Just this week, from my second row seat at Microsoft’s Windows 10 Devices launch in New York, I listened as an infectious Panos Panay, Windows devices chief, paced all corners of the stage, rallying up excitement for two smartphones the crowd had already seen before.

Panos Panay

THE PITCH. New devices Chief Panos Panay sold the audience on Microsoft’s new vision for the future. Photo by Michael Josh Villanueva

Like most products launched this year, leaks about today’s device lineup were pretty comprehensive, covering notable features, the spec sheet, and even product photos. And there was no beating behind the bush about the elephant in the room, “I know you know about this, you’ve written about it already,” joked Panay. #Guilty.

But like a trooper he convincingly sold us on each expected product.

DSC09968

WINDOWS 10 ON A PHONE. The Lumia 950XL is Microsoft’s new flagship smartphone. Photo by Michael Josh Villanueva.

There were two new Lumia smartphones, the first to run Windows 10. The Lumia 950 and the 950 XL are powerful phones with amazing cameras, but more than that, testaments to the promise of Windows 10 – universality. When connected to a keyboard, mouse, and external monitor, universal apps on these new phones scale into desktop apps. Imagine, Powerpoint on mobile becomes PowerPoint for desktop, you’re building your deck like you would on a PC except that your phone is your CPU.

Surface Pro 4

TABLET HYBRID. The Surface Pro 4 is the tablet computer that other tech companies are trying to emulate. Photo by Michael Josh Villanueva

Then there was the Surface Pro 4, the latest in a device class that Microsoft pioneered, a tablet hybrid that comes with a keyboard cover and pen. In just the last two months we’ve seen both Apple and Google jump on the bandwagon with the iPad Pro and the Pixel C respectively. Last year, Panay had declared the Surface Pro 3, good enough to replace a laptop, this year it was about refining the experience further. A larger, more pixel dense display, better touch sensitivity, more power, and a full sized laptop keyboard cover with a glass trackpad unlike any other we’ve seen on a Windows device.

Do you want me to talk about another device? Panay said in between product announcements until there were no more to expect. Then he said it again, “Do you want me to talk about another device?”

The lights dimmed and a video played, and just like that, surprise, Microsoft was unveiling the first laptop it has ever built. The Surface Book is a 13-inch laptop designed to rival Apple’s MacBook Pro, its magnesium unibody design feels familiar, but at the same time it is one we’ve never seen before. From its “dynamic fulcrum hinge” to innovative liquid cooling system, Microsoft was calling this the ultimate laptop, “ounce per ounce, pound per pound, the most powerful 13-inch laptop in existence.”

By the end of Panay’s presentation, this geek had already been tickled fancy, Microsoft was reinventing the laptop, and somehow its managed to surprise us in the process.

One more surprise was yet to come.

As his presentation came to close, Panay asked his now captivated audience, to watch the same video back, but this time to look closer. My mind went berserk as the video replayed. To borrow the words from GadgetMatch producer Rodneil Quiteles, who was thousands of miles away, following the event via livestream. He writes in our Viber Public Chat, “Holy Xxxx! Surface Book screen just flew off the keyboard. It’s over. It’s friggin over.”

Microsoft isn’t just building another Windows laptop here, with the Surface Book it seems to have taken apart the best of tablet and notebook computing, forging a new device that is both and neither at the same time. Undocked you have a 13-inch tablet with all the bells and whistles of the Surface Pro, but connected you have even more battery life, a dedicated graphics card for intense gaming, visual rendering, and video editing. But maybe even more important, you have the stability of a laptop, allowing the freedom to, as the name implies, use the device on your lap.

But it’s not just the element of surprise here, not just the theatrics, its about a new kind of Microsoft, and a clear cut vision of a future that this tech giant is trying to build.

It was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella who closed the event, borrowing a line from his own phrase book, he talked about the Microsoft he was trying to build, ““We wanna move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows.”

This year I’ve sat through way too many product launches. While it’s only fair to say that the usual suspects came out to play, it was at this event where I was really, truly, blown away. The event left me with a sense of desire I have never felt about a Microsoft device ever.

Perhaps I too can learn to love Windows.

[irp posts=”992″ name=”Microsoft Surface Book Hands-On”]

Features

vivo X80 Pro with ZEISS: Capturing the city life

Noteworthy smartphone cameras

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vivo X80 Pro ZEISS


City life. It takes its toll on you. But it also has its charms. And one way to really enjoy its hustle and bustle is to have a companion to capture everything it has to offer.

Thankfully, there’s the vivo X80 Pro. It’s the company’s latest and greatest for many reasons.
Chief of which is its outstanding cameras sprinkled with ZEISS Natural Color goodness.

vivo and ZEISS

vivo’s camera-performance has been flying under the radar over the years. But with this ZEISS partnership, they’re now ready to soar.

All the lenses on the X80 Pro have ZEISS patented T Star coating. It helps reduce reflections when taking photos of lights at night.

Photos are already sharp as is but the ZEISS Super Night Camera takes things even further. You also get ZEISS Portraits for stylized shots.

And it’s not just photos. Zeiss makes its mark on videos too. With the ZEISS Cinematic Video Bokeh feature, you can shoot in a cinematic aspect ratio… While also applying depth of field.

Working in tandem to produce these still and moving images are the ZEISS 50MP Ultra-Sensing GNV Sensor as well as the V1+ Chip. The sensor keeps things steady even if your hands are shaky. And the V1 Plus Chip is vivo’s own creation — a product of years of research and development to achieve the absolute best in mobile imaging technology.

Capturing city life

Okay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s pullback for a bit and show you all the cameras equipped on the vivo X80 Pro.

  • 50MP Zeiss Ultra-Sensing GNV sensor
  • 48MP Ultra wide angle lens
  • 8MP Periscope lens, 5x optical zoom
  • 12MP Gimbal Portrait camera

They say the best camera is the one you can always carry with you. And this combination from vivo is about as good and as extensive as it can get.

Combined with the Camera Panning feature working in the background we can get stunning running shots.

It’s a great way to document the start to your day. After that quick run, it’s time to freshen up and grab a bite. Sharing your breakfast on socials is still a thing, right? Flex all you want. You deserve it.

And while you’re at it. Might as well flex yourself too using the 32MP selfie shooter.

Videos are all the rage these days and if you want to take social sharing to another level, do it in motion.

SEE ALSO: GadgetSnaps: vivo X80 Pro in The Fort

Premium flagship

Now, capturing isn’t all the vivo x80 Pro is good for. It is, after all, a flagship smartphone. The specs speak for themselves:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 12+4GB RAM
  • 256GB Storage
  • 4,700mAh

It’s one thing to see it on paper, but the overall performance checks out too. Your usual social browsing, chatting, and jumping between apps is an absolute breeze.

And watching your favorite shows and videos is just flat-out great. The vivo X80 Pro has dual speakers making for a fantastic entertainment experience.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED display is a treat to the eyes. And it has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, meaning it goes from 1Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re doing.

This helps conserve the 4,700mAh battery which should last you quite a bit in a day. And if not, you can quickly top up as it supports wired 80W Flash Charge as well as 50W wireless Flash Charge.

As far as its looks are concerned it has a glass back with matte coating and some hints of glitter. Fittingly called Cosmic Black, the look is a straight up classic.

Superb shooter, all around partner

vivo has for itself quite a banger of a smartphone with the X80 Pro. It is literally everything you can ask for from a smartphone camera/ Delivering photos and videos that are vivid, sharp, and captivating while performing like every bit the flagship that it is.

The vivo X80 Pro retails for PhP 59,999. And the vivo X80 series is now available:


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and vivo Philippines.

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Reviews

Apple M2 MacBook Pro Unboxing and Review

More Important Than You Think!

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During WWDC 2022, Apple announced the newest 2022 M2 MacBook Air with a major redesign — making it the instant star of the show.

But for others, the M2 MacBook Pro is what they’re aiming for.

It might still be the same with its classic aluminum unibody design, 13.3″ Retina Display, and a Touch Bar from 2016 — but inside it’s even more powerful.

Also equipped with the new generation of Apple’s Silicon Chip dubbed ‘M2’, it surely knows how to make professionals drool.

But is it worth the money? Or should you just get the M2 MacBook Air instead?

Or what about getting the more expensive 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip?

Watch our unboxing and full review on the M2 MacBook Pro now to find out more!

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Features

The best gifts for any father figure in your life

Celebrate those who became a ‘daddy’ to you

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Father’s Day can be quite celebratory if your family’s complete. For those struggling with an absent or problematic father, the holiday can be gloomy, most especially if you didn’t have any father growing up.

But the holiday wasn’t meant for fathers alone. Surely, there are father figures around you while you were growing up. Whether it’s your uncle, a mentor, or simply anyone who you look up to.

For the times they have guided you in this world, it’s only right to celebrate them in any way you can. Father’s Day or not, here are timeless gifts your father figures deserve to have, most of which are stuff they didn’t know they needed.

Hand tools

For when things break at home, our father figures are always there to the rescue. Give them a gift that will make their hands happy as they do the work for the people they love.

Take a trusted brand like the Bosch GSB 13 RE. Shop here.

Dash camera

Give the gift of peace of mind while on the road. A dash camera can be helpful to review incidents happening on the road, especially against corrupt road officers.

Shop a reliable camera like the Xiaomi Mi Dashcam 1S for their vehicles!

Blue-light blocking glasses

Help them maintain a clear vision through these stylish, blue-light-blocking eyeglasses from Shigetsu. They’re cheap, yet they’re effective in blocking radiation and UV rays.

Protect the eyes and get blue-light blocking glasses like the CHIBA RadPro Eyewear.

Set of underwear

Comfort is key when it’s something related to our bodies. Forget the usual cotton underwear, keep them cool with a quick-drying fabric that’s perfect for their on-the-go lifestyle. Trust us, they probably haven’t bought any set of underwear ever since they got one a few Christmases ago.

Get Huga’s Tech Series underwear.

Flashlight

We still don’t know the reason, but every dad seems to love and own a flashlight. Perhaps, it’s a boy scout thing. We’ll probably know when we become dads someday.

Pick this Forclaz Torch from Decathlon!

Massage gun

Forget massage parlors and spas. Break up those muscle knots and help them relax through an accessible massager that they can bring and store anywhere.

The Xiaomi Fascia Mini Gun Massager may be small, but it packs in power. Shop here.

Vape

For those trying to stop buying a pack of cigarettes, vaping might be the next best alternative. Get them a subtle, plug-and-play stick like the RELX Infinity.

Shop here.

Key holder

Say goodbye to those bulky keychains! The KeySmart Flex can hold up to eight keys so your father figures can easily organize their essentials.

It’s the perfect present for any occasion: Father’s Day, Birthday, Christmas, or just whenever you feel like it! Shop here.

Footwear

Oh, you can never go wrong with Birkenstock. That timeless design? Its cult-lovin’ comfort factor? And a super skin-friendly material? Your father figures will love wearing the Birkenstock Arizona Birko, for sure!

Get it here.

Belt

Ah, belts. An essential to any man’s wardrobe. If you haven’t noticed, some of your father figure’s belts have shown their wear and tear. Some needed replacing, but it’s not their priority.

Give them a sturdy, versatile belt like the Pierre Cardin Cow Leather Belt that they can wear for any occasion with its timeless yet modern design. Shop here.

RFID wallet

Give the gift of protection with a wallet that’s not just stylish, but also keeps their cards safe and secure.

Get the Herschel Andy RFID here.

Electric shaver

Help them put their best self forward and give them an electric shaver to help them trim or shave their facial hair. Here in GadgetMatch, we believe that men should be as invested in grooming themselves just as much as women religiously do their beauty regimens.

Get the Philips Electric Shaver PQ206/18.

Wireless earbuds

For when they want to listen to music without being held back, give them the gift of liberty through a pair of wireless earbuds.

The UGREEN HiTune X6 has active-noise cancellation features that will certainly help them block off the noise so they can enjoy a bit of alone time in their little world. Shop here.

Bluetooth speaker

Let them bring the party wherever they go. The Soundcore Mini 3 by Anker is so compact, that it can be tugged along into the bathroom, hanging by the bags, or just basically everywhere you want it to be.

It’s small, but it’s loud — kind of like a chihuahua. Shop here.

In-Ear headphones — JBL C50HI in-Ear Headphones with Mic

Yes, we know. There are the old-school types who clearly don’t want to let go of wired earphones. And even if they prefer what’s familiar, they deserve something that allows them to enjoy their preference and the music they want to listen to.

Get reliable in-ear headphones like the JBL C50HI.

Smartwatch — Huawei Watch GT 3  Pro

Move over, analog watches. It’s time for stylish, smart timepieces to take over. With a smartwatch, your father figures can get a glimpse of their health.

Hopefully, they can move and change their lifestyle to make sure they live longer to see you grow into the person you want to be. Get the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro here.

Gaming accessory

For gamer dads, a wired controller and cooler in one can deliver a console-like experience. Let them get serious in their mobile gaming.

Get the GameSir X3.

Computer accessory

Sometimes, all we need is space. Either from people or through storage. For our dads, it’s the latter. Give them the space they need, so they can always be cool and chill.

Shop the Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD.

Water Bottle — Klean Kanteen 320z TKWide

Drink your water, babes! And urge your daddies to do so. Klean Kanteen’s vacuum insulated water bottle is perfect for sports, hydration, and for the outdoors. Shop here.

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