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The new iPad Air carries Apple’s most advanced chip

The most powerful iPad Air ever

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Apple’s latest chip — the A14 Bionic — was probably supposed to debut on the iPhone 12 but the pandemic happened and that announcement had to be delayed. Regardless, it still made a splash as the headlining component of the new iPad Air. 

Most Powerful iPad Air with A14 Bionic

The A14 Bionic chip offers a new six-core design for a 40 percent boost in CPU performance. There’s also a new four-core graphics architecture for a 30 percent improvement in graphics.

Apple showed side-by-side shots of a game and it showcased how the new chip helps in rendering an overall better visual experience of the game. There’s also no lag despite the more demanding graphics settings.

Its combination of the new Neural Engine, CPU machine learning accelerators, and high-performance GPU enables powerful on-device experiences for image recognition, natural language learning, analyzing motion, and more.

More colors, new finishes 

The upgrades aren’t all on the inside. The new iPad Air features a completely new thin and light design in five gorgeous finishes: silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

The new all-screen design features a larger 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display for a stunning visual experience.

To allow the display to extend on all sides, a next-generation Touch ID sensor is integrated into the top button. It provides the same fast, easy, and secure way to unlock iPad Air, log in to apps, or use Apple Pay that customers know and love.

The  iPad Air is compatible with Magic Keyboard and its floating design, and built-in trackpad, Smart Keyboard Folio, and new Smart Folio covers. It will also work with the Apple Pencil which attaches magnetically to the side for easy pairing, charging, and storing.

Upgraded camera, USB-C port 

The new iPad Air now features the same 12MP rear camera used in iPad Pro for higher resolution photos and 4K video capture. The new design features stereo speakers in landscape mode for a much better audio experience.

Also, Apple finally relented and opted for a USB-C port for up to 5GBps of data transfer. This is standard for connecting cameras, hard drives, and external monitors up to 4K. Highly unlikely though that we’ll see the same port on the iPhone 12. But we’ll see.

Distinct experience with iPadOS 14

Hardware is only half the battle. The biggest draw of the iPad over other tablets is iPadOS and the latest of which — iPadOS 14 — will run on the new iPad Air.

It better integrates Apple Pencil into the iPad experience for better note-taking capabilities, and new ways to work with handwritten notes. Smart Selection can now distinguish handwriting from drawings. Handwriting can be selected, cut, and pasted into another document as typed text using gestures that iPad users will be familiar with.

Shape recognition allows users to draw shapes that are made geometrically perfect and snap right into place when adding diagrams and illustrations in Notes.

Data detectors work seamlessly with handwritten text, recognizing phone numbers, dates, addresses, and links, making it easy for users to perform actions like tapping a handwritten number to make a call.

All of these will be available on the IPad Air plus more IPadOS 14 features.

Most environmentally friendly iPad Air

Perhaps this is the best thing about the new iPad Air that will likely go unnoticed. Apple already promised to bring its carbon footprint to net zero by 2030 and they’ve already started.

The iPad Air uses a 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosure and 100 percent recycled tin for the solder on its main logic board. The new speakers in iPad Air also use magnets with 100 percent recycled rare earth elements.

It remains free of harmful substances, is highly energy efficient, and uses wood fiber packaging that is recycled or comes from responsibly managed forests.

Pricing and availability

  • The new iPad Air will be available starting next month on apple.com and in the Apple Store app in 30 countries and regions, including the US. Wi-Fi models will be available with a starting price of US$ 599 and Wi-Fi + Cellular models start at US$ 729. It comes in 64GB and 256GB configurations, and will be available in five beautiful finishes including silver, space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.
  • iPadOS 14, the powerful operating system designed specifically for iPad, ships for free with the new eighth-generation iPad and new iPad Air, and will be available as a free software update tomorrow for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later.
  • Apple Pencil (2nd generation), available for purchase separately for US$129, is compatible with iPad Air.
  • Magic Keyboard and the Smart Keyboard Folio for iPad Air are available for purchase separately for US$ 299 and US$ 179, respectively, both with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • Smart Folios are available for iPad Air for US$ 79 in black, white, and three new seasonal colors including deep navy, cyprus green, and pink citrus.
  • Education pricing for individuals, including current and newly accepted college students and their parents, as well as faculty, staff, and homeschool teachers of all grade levels, is available for US$ 549 for the new iPad Air. The second-generation Apple Pencil is available for US$ 119, the Smart Keyboard Folio is available for US$ 159, and Magic Keyboard for US$ 279. For more information, visit apple.com/us-hed/shop.

Laptops

ASUS ZenBook series has some incredible additions

The Flip S, ZenBook S, and Flip 13

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The ASUS ZenBook series has easily been one of the more popular laptop series in recent memory. Now, the series has three noteworthy and incredible additions — The ZenBook Flip S, ZenBook S, and ZenBook Flip 13.

ZenBook Flip S

Easily the most premium of the bunch, the ZenBook Flip S headlines the newest members of the ZenBook Series.

It has red copper diamond-cut highlights to complement its timeless jade black finish. It also has a brushed-aluminum deco bar above the edge-to-edge keyboard that adds a subtle finishing touch.

Inside, it’s powered by an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with 1.30 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.90 GHz) and 8 MB cache. It’s also supported by Intel Iris X Graphics. You also get 16GB 4266 MHz LPDDR4x and 1TB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 M.2 SSD.

The ZenBook Flips S has a 13.3-inch OLED display. It has a 16:9 panel that’s slim-bezel and is also touchscreen. You also have dual Harman-Kardon certified speakers to go along with that display.

Ports-wise it has the following: two (2) Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, One (1) USB 3.2 Type A, One (1) Standard HDMI. More on connectivity, it supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. It promises up to 10 hours of battery life.

ZenBook S

The ZenBook S follows the extremely elegant red copper, jade black aesthetic of the Flip S. It doesn’t bend all the way back but it’s just as capable in every way imaginable.
It comes in two processor options. Either Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 2.8 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.70GHz) and 12MB cache or Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 2.4 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 4.20GHz) and 8MB cache.
It sports the same 16GB and 1TB RAM and ROM as well as the same set of ports. and connectivity tech. But, the display is a little different.

The ZenBook S has a 13.3-inch 3.3k panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio. It’s PANTONE-validated, has IPS level wide-view tech, and is also TÜV Rheinland-certified for eye care.

ZenBook Flip 13

If you’re hell bent on getting something that, well… bends, there’s the ZenBook Flip 13. It doesn’t quite evoke the same elegance as the other two additions in the series. But, make no mistake, it still looks sleek and you won’t feel bad carrying this around.

Inside, it’s powered by the Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor with 1.00 GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.60 GHz) and 6 MB cache supported by Intel Iris X graphics. It has an 8GB 4266 MHz LPDDR4x and 512GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 M.2 SSD for its RAM and ROM combo.

It shares the same ports as the ZenBook Flip S and ZenBook S. As for the display, it’s also 13.3-inch and is 16:9 just like the Flip S. For connectivity, it also WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 and promises up to 14 hours of battery life.

More details on the ZenBook Flip 13 here.

Pricing and availability

All three are now available and come with pre-installed Microsoft Home & Student 2019 lifetime license, 2 years Global Warranty, and ASUS Platinum Protection Warranty on the first year of purchase. They’re also part of the ASUS Share 2020 Christmas Promotion.
Pricing are as follows:
  • ASUS ZenBook Flip S — PhP 94,995
  • ZenBook S — PhP 99,995 (Comes bundled with ASUS AC1300 Dual Band High Powered Gigabit Router and ASUS ZenScreen Portable Monitor during Dec 5-19 pre-order period).
  • ZenBook Flip 13 — PhP 64,995

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GENTLE MONSTER Huawei Eyewear II now in the Philippines

Fashion meets tech

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GENTLE MONSTER Huawei Eyewear II — a premiere fashion meets tech wearable, is now officially in the Philippines.

A more comfortable and immersive wearing experience

The temples of GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear II is made of plastic titanium for lower density and lighter weight. This should guarantee a more comfortable wearing experience for the user. Meanwhile, Huawei constructed the temple hinges out of titanium elastic to increase the eyewear’s holding strength.

The eyewear also comes with a 20-degree curved earpiece angle, which is a huge improvement from its predecessor’s 12-degree angle.

Like before, the smart eyewear still includes a unique acoustic design that adapts to the user and their environment. Two semi-open speakers on both sides of the temples transmit sound directly through a directional chamber, reducing leakage and providing a stereo-like listening experience. To further reduce sound leakage, the temple features a leakage hole design that offset sound waves.

The eyewear also has an adaptive volume technology that can lower or raise the speaker volume accordingly depending on the surrounding noise.

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Smarter eyewear features

The Gentle Monster Eyewear II also features updated gesture controls. Pairing the eyewear is much simpler now, with users only needing to pinch the left temple to start the process. Meanwhile, double-tapping on the left temple activates the eyewear’s voice assistant.

Swipe gestures are also included in the eyewear. A few swipes on the temples either play the next/previous song or raises/lower the eyewear’s volume.

Huawei rates the GENTLE MONSTER Eyewear II for five hours of continuous music playback. The eyewear improved upon its predecessor by bundling a new NFC wireless charging technology allowing quick and hassle-free charging anytime, anywhere.

Pricing and availability

The GENTLE MONSTER x Huawei Eyewear II is now available wherever you can get Huawei devices in the Philippines. It retails for PhP 21,999.

This product joins a lineup of outstanding Huawei audio devices. Pricing are as follows:

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Gaming

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition out now

One of the best JRPGs

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The Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is finally out today. And, it’s available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Epic Games Store. Over 34 years after the first release of Dragon Quest, the highly acclaimed series finally secures compatibility across multiple platforms.

This stunning and fun standalone adventure is a great starting point for new players and warmly welcomes dedicated fans with all the familiar RPG features in their Dragon Quest series arsenal.

The game lets you take up the mantle of The Luminary with a unique cast of loyal companions. You get to immerse in riveting gameplay and enthralling storylines.

The hunted Hero will need to travel across continents and vast oceans to uncover mysteries of his past all while, taking on the ominous threats facing his world. The enchanting world is brought to life by series creator Yuji Horii, character designer Akira Toriyama, and series composer Koichi Sugiyama.

New Features and Updates

Making sure the game stays the best of its genre for RPG fans everywhere, this definitive version of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is packed with new features and upgrades! Key updates include:

  • New character side plots — Get to know your companions more than ever with individual backstories and adventures
  • Retro 2D mode — Switch and choose between stunning 3D and retro 16-bit 2D graphics that’ll bring nostalgic RPG plays
  • 16-bit World of Tickington — Journey to and from previous Dragon Quest worlds reimagined into retro 16-bit graphics that are riddled with fun side-quests to immerse in.
  • Japanese dubbing — Pick and choose between Japanese or English voiceovers
  • Fully Orchestrated Soundtrack — Travel the world of Erdrea and switch between the originally synthesized soundtrack or a newly added symphonic soundtrack
  • Photo mode — Immortalize your adventures with the perfect photo by rearranging characters, arranging poses, and changing angles
    Additional Draconian Mode options, Adjustable Battle Speeds and more

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition is available now for the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Epic Games Store.

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