Acer, if you haven’t heard, recently held its Next@Acer event in New York City, where it showed off a bunch of new laptops, PCs, and mobile devices that are slated to hit stores.
With a flurry of possibly desirable consumer products in its arsenal — from a Windows 10 convertible with a liquid-cooling system to a super-durable Chromebook to a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery — Taiwan’s Acer indeed seems hell-bent on clawing out of the hole it has dug for itself in the wake of the PC’s decline.
And from what we’ve seen and heard during the event (Acer provided a live-steaming video feed from the show floor), the company could be headed in the right direction on the road back to the big leagues.
That said, here are five upcoming Acer products that have caught our fancy the most.
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
If you can get past the awkward naming convention — to which many other phone makers are guilty of — Acer’s 5.5-inch Liquid Zest Plus might be a decent choice for road warriors who prefer the convenience of a massive 5,000mAh cell, rather than carrying around a portable charger or extra battery.
Even more impressive is that the device includes fast charging over a wired charger and a 13-megapixel rear camera that combines three autofocus technologies: laser, contrast detection, and phase detection. The Liquid Zest Plus also has a sub-$250 price tag, bringing it within the reach of mainstream users.
Acer Switch Alpha 12
The Alpha 12 is a hybrid-tablet-slash-Surface-rival that comes with a keyboard dock and a built-in kickstand for use as a laptop. Unlike similar machines, however, it packs liquid cooling into a fan-less design to keep its sixth-generation Intel Skylake processor running cool.
The tablet is slated for release sometime in June. The base model starts at $599 (P28,000), though the price doesn’t cover the magnetic keyboard attachment. Pricing for the latter has yet to be announced.
Acer Aspire S 13
Measuring just 14.5mm at its widest point and weighing 3 pounds, the S 13 is yet again proof that notebooks could be made thinner and lighter than ever before.
Sure, it’s not as attractive as the latest HP Spectre, nor does it have copper accents — the S 13 is, in fact, a boring white slab with moderately sized bezels. But it also has a starting price that’s hard to ignore for a notebook this portable: $699 (P33,000).
Couple that with a 13-inch 1080p matte display — touch optional — a sixth-gen Intel Core i series CPU, up to 8GB of RAM and 512MB of SSD storage, USB 3.1 Type-C and USB 3.0 ports, and battery life that lasts up to 13 hours, and you’ve got a rather compelling package.
Acer Chromebook 14 for Work
Acer is the world’s leading manufacturer of Chromebooks — machines that run Google’s Chrome OS — having been a big supporter of the category over the years, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it would go to great lengths to create a rugged Chromebook that can survive the elements and impact from a 4-foot drop onto a hard surface.
Like other Acer laptops on this list, the Chromebook 14 for Work is powered by the latest Intel Skylake processors that allow for faster speeds and improved graphics performance while maintaining decent battery life. It will be available next month with a $349 (P16,500) starting price.
Acer Predator 17X
The Acer Predator 17X joins a very short list of gaming laptops built for high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This behemoth of a not-so-easily-portable VR rig — it weighs in at 10 pounds and is about as thick as powerful laptops get — carries a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card so you can be certain it will play games in virtual reality nicely, something we can’t say about many machines priced beneath it.
That brings us to the price, which is, as you’d expect, cringe-inducing: The Predator 17X will sell for $2,799 (P130,000) when it goes on sale in June in the U.S.
But pricing aside, a laptop with this kind of feature set will only appeal to a very niche audience — in this case, VR developers who’d be willing to spend thousands of dollars to work from anywhere without lugging around a bulky desktop computer.
Sony’s PlayStation is back, Xiaomi outs new Mi 8 variants: Weekend Rewind
Ending the week with nostalgic feels
Here are this week’s top stories on GadgetMatch.
1. The iconic PlayStation is back!
Let’s kick things off by taking a trip down memory lane. Almost 25 years after its debut, Sony is bringing back the iconic first-gen PlayStation and it will come as the PlayStation Classic.
It’s basically a miniaturized version complete with a pair of original controller replicas. What’s even more exciting is that fans of the original PlayStation will be able to relive 20 legendary titles including Final Fantasy VII and Tekken 3!
2. Razer Phone 2 gets a launch date
Razer officially confirms the arrival of its second gaming smartphone — the Razer Phone 2. It succeeds the Razer Phone that was launched last November and based on earlier leaks, it’ll be a familiar-looking product.
The phone should sport the same body as its predecessor including the display with buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, the internals will have beefier specs as well. We’ll know the low down real soon during its special event at California this October 10.
3. Apple is on the lead!
While it may be true that Apple didn’t sell the most number of smartphones, they still earned more than their competitors. According to the latest data from Counterpoint Research, Apple had the biggest share of industry profits during the second quarter of 2018.
For comparison, Apple earned 62 percent of the second-quarter smartphone profits. Samsung, which is the top-selling smartphone vendor, is responsible for just 17 percent of smartphone profits in the quarter. Huawei takes the third spot with eight percent of the profits.
4. A complete but affordable smartwatch
Huami, Xiaomi’s sub-brand in China, has a smartwatch that offers tremendous bang for your buck. The company just unveiled the Amazfit Verge and it’s got everything you could ask for in a wearable without the high price tag.
The Amazfit Verge has a GPS, heart-rate sensor, and a full-circle AMOLED display. It’s also equipped with a microphone and loudspeaker that allow voice calls through the smartwatch.
5. Xiaomi outs Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite
On a related note, Xiaomi also held a quick event to announce a few things including two new Mi 8 variants — the Mi 8 Pro and Mi 8 Lite.
In a nutshell, these are additions to the flagship Mi 8 family. The Mi 8 Pro is similar to the Mi 8 with the same specs like its Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and 128GB of expandable storage. Although, this model comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.
As the name suggests, the Mi 8 Lite is a toned-down Mi 8 and comes with a midrange Snapdragon 660 chipset, dual rear cameras, and a 24-megapixel front camera. Both phones are initially available in China, but international availability is yet to be announced.
Weekend Rewind is our roundup of top news and features you might have missed for the week. We know the world of technology can be overwhelming and not everyone has the time to get up to speed with everything — and that includes us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the rewind.
Singapore’s first iPhone XS buyer goes all out
He went for the 512GB storage!
Whenever new iPhones launch, a familiar scene is people lining up in front of Apple Stores long before launch date. The same is true in Singapore where the iPhone XS and XS Max officially became available on Friday, September 21.
We visited the Apple Store in Orchard Road and caught up with the first person to cop the new iPhones. His name is Daniel and he went all out getting two units of gold iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage. Watch our interview with him.
The same situation is true elsewhere in the world. In countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, and more, lines formed as those who pre-ordered got ready to claim the new iPhones.
This is the first time that the two sizes of iPhones feature the same specs. In years past, there was always a plus model that had more features other than just having a bigger form factor. In 2018, the only difference is the screen size — 5.8 inches for the iPhone XS and 6.5 inches for the iPhone XS Max. Both phones are equipped with the new A12 Bionic processor. Apple says it’s their smallest and most powerful chip to date. Both also sport dual cameras.
The Apple Watch Series 4 also launched today. It’s a significant update to Apple’s primary wearable featuring medical advantages other than the usual improvements. As always, it still is a lifestyle gadget and comes with an array of available looks.
Apple iPhone XS unboxing: Beautiful gold color!
We have them early!
It’s now mid-September and if you’ve been following technology news, you’d know that means one thing: new iPhones from Apple. And if you’ve been following GadgetMatch closely the last few years, you’d expect us to be brewing content by now.
This year, we got them early. What we are unboxing the 5.8-inch model, dubbed the iPhone XS and the bigger variant, the iPhone XS Max. There’s also a more affordable 6.1-inch iPhone XR coming later in October.
The box has not changed much — it’s still the same minimalist white box with the image of the phone you’re getting. Inside are a packet with manuals and stickers, USB-A charging brick, Lightning cable, and a pair of Lightning EarPods (not AirPods, they just look alike).
It’s worth noting that the bundled charger is the regular adapter and cable from yesteryears, even if the new iPhones already support fast charging. To get fast charging on the iPhone XS and XS Max, you need to spend an additional US$ 75 for a Lightning to USB-C Cable and a 29W USB-C adapter.
Since omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack, these new iPhones are also the first ones to not include a headphone jack to Lightning dongle — an extra US$ 9 purchase if you ever need one.
Unlike previous years where you need to get the bigger model to have the best features iPhones have to offer, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are essentially the same phones — the latter just has a bigger display and battery capacity.
The iPhone XS and XS Max also come in a new beautiful gold color, something similar to our favorite iPhone 8 and 8 Plus color from last year — a subtle, non-tacky shade of gold. A slightly darker gold but shiny stainless steel band also highlights the edges of the phones. Button and port placements have not changed, and the notch housing Apple’s TrueDepth Camera technology lives on.
We have more iPhone content coming in the next few days so make sure to stay tuned for that. Our unboxing video is also coming where we unboxed a new case color as well. Subscribe to our YouTube channel if you haven’t yet.
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