Tablets

Nokia returns to tablets with the Nokia T20

Specs and price revealed

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Are you ready for the second coming of tablets? After a marked decline, several tech companies are starting to push for better tablets. Nokia, after teasing their own re-entry into the market, has finally launched its own tablet after a long hiatus, the Nokia T20.

After years of resurrecting its feature phones, Nokia started building up its smartphone lineup, fully pushing it as a modern brand. Now, after proving itself in that realm, the brand is now bringing that same Nokia smartphone experience again to a larger form factor.

The 10.4-inch Nokia T20 will put out images in 2K (2000 x 1200) resolution. Underneath its smooth chassis, the tablet sports a T610 octa-core processor. It has up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 512GB through a microSD slot). Powering everything is an 8200mAh battery fit with a 15W charger.

Behind everything, you can shoot photos with an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera. In front, you can take selfie with a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. It has several connectivity options including USB-C, Bluetooth 5.0, and a headphone jack.

It comes with Android 11 out of the box. The tablet will also come with some freebies: Spotify and a free 30-day trial of ExpressVPN. It can also come with some durable accessories like the Rugged cover and the Flip cover.

The Nokia T20 tablet will be available starting on November 17 in an Ocean Blue color starting at US$ 249.99.

Editor’s note: A previous version of the article claimed that the Nokia T20 was the brand’s first tablet. In fact, the Nokia N1 came before the T20. We regret the error.

SEE ALSO: Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

Features

Why you still need a tablet and why it should be the Xiaomi Pad 5

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Xiaomi Pad 5

During the early days of tablets, I was among the ones who got hit by the bug to go and get myself one. I remember saving up to buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab and then later on, the Google Nexus 7.

Eventually, smartphones caught up as they evolved into the larger and faster devices they are today. And the middle ground between the smartphone and the laptop slowly went into a drift.

But living with a tablet once again these past few weeks with the Xiaomi Pad 5, my whole perception of tablets changed. These supersized smartphones have gone a long way with what they can do and that they’re so much more capable than ever.

So, allow me to share the things I’ve been able to do with the Xiaomi Pad 5 and why you might also need one for yourself.

Content creation buddy

Xiaomi Pad 5

With the availability of advanced apps nowadays like PicsArt and Autodesk Sketchbook, doing graphic design, creating social media content has never been easier and satisfying on an 11-inch screen and a smart pen.

I personally have managed to leave booting up Photoshop on my laptop and focus on creating content on this tablet and I’ve been loving it so far.

These mobile apps aren’t as advanced as their PC counterparts, but with some creativity, there’s no reason not to be able to pull off amazing results.

Xiaomi Pad 5

As for video content, the Snapdragon 860 SoC on the Pad 5 slices through the timeline of video editing apps like CapCut and Kinemaster even with multiple layers of hi-res videos.

I tested this even further by editing footage taken with my Sony mirrorless camera and that didn’t seem to be a problem as well.

Seriously, if it weren’t for the limited color grading features of these apps, I could really see myself using this as a legit video editing machine.

Luckily, this concern might just be solved soon as LumaTouch, the brand behind the popular video editing app LumaFusion, has just announced that the app is coming to Android. You bet I’ll be using the Pad 5 with that.

A more portable laptop replacement

Xiaomi Pad 5

As much as I love my laptop, I just can’t deny that it’s a chore to carry around, especially if your only purpose is for light work like word processing. So it makes sense to use a tablet as a laptop replacement since it’s lighter, smaller but also very capable when you need the extra power.

With the Xiaomi Pad 5 weighing only 511g at an 11-inch footprint, this is already an attractive choice. But if we consider that this is already packed with an 8,720 mAh battery that could easily get through a day’s work on a single charge, then that means you won’t even need to bring a charger along with it which makes it even more portable.

And this battery life isn’t just an assumption from Xiaomi. I actually have never had the need to recharge in a full day of using it regardless of what I’m doing. Sometimes I even find myself using it with its previous charge from the day before and that still gets me through the day.

Media consumption

One of the most obvious reasons for people to get a tablet is for its bigger screen with the purpose of using it for media consumption.

In the case of the Pad 5, the screen isn’t the only aspect that improves the media consuming experience but also the stellar sound quality coming from its four speaker setup.

I just finished watching the Netflix series My Name on this and I can say, it does a great job of simulating ambiance as if the sound is coming from different locations. This is brought by the Dolby Atmos mode incorporated in the Pad 5 that really adds to the immersive feel.

Though, this is something you can also turn off if you don’t prefer having virtual surround all the time like for listening to music.

Perfect for play

I’ve touched on the Snapdragon 860 processor earlier in this review, but to further explain this for those who aren’t aware yet, this chip is actually just a couple of notches lower than the brands best offering. In other words, it’s really fast.

It definitely handles the most graphically demanding games available like Genshin Impact with little effort.

I’ve been enjoying FPS games like Call of Duty: Mobile on this with all settings topped up without a hitch. No hiccups, lags or anything, just an enjoyable 11-inch gaming experience. And adding to that experience, the 120Hz refresh rate display makes the game even more fluid than it already is and I love it.

The device also didn’t feel hot to hold while gaming. I’m assuming this is because of the larger body which probably contributes to heat dissipation as there’s more airflow inside the case than compared with a smartphone. So, I think it’s safe to assume that heat won’t be an issue when gaming on this handheld.

There’s also quite a few people sharing their desk gaming setup on Facebook groups with the Pad 5 as their main console so I guess that in itself shows us that it’s a very capable gaming machine.

Your personal notebook, but better

Xiaomi Pad 5

With so many things to learn online, one thing I’ve adapted to doing on the Pad 5 is using it as a high-tech note taking device.

While it’s not as organic as writing with an actual pen and paper and it did feel awkward writing on glass at first, it’s just so much more efficient and less cumbersome to bring along a tablet over actual notebooks.

Along with features like the Xiaomi Smart Pen’s palm rejection which lets us rest our palm on the screen, combined with the 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, it didn’t take long for me to perform natural writing strokes as I would on paper.

And with the ability to selectively screen grab images or take photos of documents using the 13MP camera and attach them on notes for easy references, note taking has certainly been elevated from traditional methods.

Tablets are here to stay

Xiaomi Pad 5

These are just a few of the things I have learned to do while having the Xiaomi Pad 5 with me for a few weeks. While I understand that it’s easy to dismiss the idea of incorporating tablets into our lifestyle, my experience made me realize that there’s so much I’ve been missing out on.

The convenience of having a bigger screen than a phone, a more portable size than a laptop, power when you need it, superb battery life and just the overall experience paired with the Xiaomi Smart Pen, all these have been a game changer for me.

I guess I can officially say tablets have found its spot in my way of life and it’s going to be difficult for me to return to my daily routine without it and I have a feeling you might too.

Whether you are a student, a casual user or a working professional, I think the Xiaomi Pad 5 is a no-brainer choice especially if you’re looking into getting into tablets that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The Xiaomi Pad 5 currently retails for PhP 19,990 for the 6GB RAM with 256GB storage variant and PhP 17,990 for the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage variant.

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Hands-On

How the MatePad 11 fits in your workflow

Can it be a substitute laptop?

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MatePad 11

We often get asked what’s a good “budget” laptop. And there’s never an easy answer.  Most decent options start at PhP 35,000 but the budget of people asking is capped at around PhP 30,000.

Then, we got to thinking — Do they really need a laptop, or just something that functions like one? Exploring this idea, one of our editors used the Huawei MatePad 11 for daily tasks, and this video chronicles the experience.

Typing away

For any writer or editor, it’s impossible to get anything done without a reliable keyboard.

The task ranges from writing your own articles to copy-editing the staff’s work. You also have to respond to emails and correspondence within and outside of the team.

That’s a lot of typing. And while we’ve come a long way in terms of getting accustomed to hitting a flat surface to type, nothing can replace a good, functioning full-sized keyboard for some real productivity.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 has a compatible Smart Magnetic Keyboard. It looks tiny at first, but the keyboard is full-sized and offers a good amount of travel for its size.

In fact, parts of the script for this video was written on the MatePad 11-Smart Magnetic Keyboard Combo.

It’s also sturdy and balanced enough that you can pull it out in a pinch and prop it up on your lap. From experience, this isn’t the case with most other similar setups due to the weight of the tablet.

Thankfully, the MatePad 11 is light enough that it won’t topple over even when placed on a not-so-even surface.

Access to your usual apps

What most people really need is access to some type of Office apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available right from the App Gallery.

You can opt to go with Microsoft Office and link your existing subscription. Or select any of the other set of Office apps available.

Microsoft Office runs perfectly fine on the MatePad 11. Quickly set it up and you’ll be balancing sheets, making decks, and writing essays in no time.

If what you need is on Google Docs or Google Sheets, there’s a way to quick-launch these apps so you can work on the document or work file you need to.

Since plenty of our work files are on Google Docs, this was the editor’s primary way of accessing the stuff needed to get things done.

And if you’re having trouble with anything else you normally use, you can always access them via the browser like you would on a laptop.

There’s also Petal Search baked into the App Gallery that’ll scour the web for sources of the apps you desperately want and need.

Huawei understands the pain points it had to deal with and has addressed them with the App Gallery and Petal Search combo.

Multitasking master

The ease of switching from one app to another on a laptop is still pretty much unparalleled. But the MatePad 11 offers unique multitasking capabilities that offer an effective way to multitask.

What the editor found most useful in particular is how you can have smaller versions of the apps float on the screen.

And when minimized, it goes into this tiny app icon on the right side of the device functioning somewhat like a dock.

This is perfect for placing chat apps to look at messages at a glance. So even if the editor is in the middle of writing or copy-editing, glancing at messages is easy and doesn’t take the full attention away from the work at hand.

This is especially helpful for someone who juggles plenty of messaging apps.

Additionally, if you have a Huawei phone with you, the multi-screen collaboration feature takes this even further.

You can have your phone screen on the side and just open it up when needed. From here you can open any app whether that’s for messaging or something else you may need to reference for the work you’re doing.

It’s an incredible feature and one we hope will be adopted by other brands in some shape or form.

Not just for work

It’s recommended that you take short breaks in between tasks to keep yourself fresh and focused.

Breaks can be anything from standing up and walking around for a little bit, mindlessly browsing social media, or playing a quick game.

If the type of breaks you take fall on the latter two categories, the MatePad 11 is great for that as well.

The 120Hz refresh rate that this tablet has makes it a sight to behold and a joy to touch. Your general interaction with the device will feel incredibly fast and smooth.

It’s great whether you’re just swiping from one TikTok video to another or playing a quick round of whatever mobile game you’re into.

The M-Pencil is truly handy

Not everyone needs a stylus. But just because you don’t need one, doesn’t mean it can never come in handy.

An editor’s work also entails signing a lot of documents. This can be anything from loaner sheets or non-disclosure agreements.

It’s also great for providing a rough illustration of the visuals you need. Sometimes, the only way to really get your point across to visual artists is to show them what you have in mind, and then just let them work their magic on it.

On the Nebo app, you can draw rough sketches to show your graphic artist how you want something to look like. It’s a helpful guide and one that prevents miscommunication.

You can also use the app for taking notes and doodling which is a pretty underrated way of clearing your mind.

Mate just be what you need

The MatePad 11 is an excellent tablet. One that can be more than a stopgap to your laptop needs.

It gives you access to the work stuff that you need, while offering features that laptops in its price range aren’t capable of.

It’s a fine mate for work, play, and everything else in between.

Pricing and availability

The Huawei MatePad 11 retails for PhP 24,999 and comes with two freebies: Wireless Charging Table Lamp and MatePad 11 Cover

Buy here: Huawei Online Store | Lazada | Shopee

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Features

7 reasons you should consider having an Android tablet

Like the Galaxy Tab S7 FE

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Galaxy Tab S7 FE

I’ve never been one to fawn over an iPad let alone an Android tablet. These devices seemed like a digital space for my work, hobbies, and interests. An extension of what I enjoy in my smartphone albeit a bigger screen.

But half a decade working in the consumer technology industry made me aware of their strengths and weaknesses. I’ve started to appreciate the likes of iPad Pro, Galaxy Tab S7+, Huawei MatePad Pro, and Xiaomi Pad 5.

Although, I only got glimpses since most of them are review units that are loaned for two weeks or more. The longest one I spent time with a tablet probably would be the Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which accompanied me in my annual busiest month. (Hi, October. I’m looking at you!)

For over a month cradling the tablet and bringing it wherever I go, I discovered 7 reasons why we all could consider having an Android tablet.

Have video calls on the go

I’ve been on a hybrid working setup all my life. I used to take conference calls on my smartphone while in transit, or I sit down inside a quiet cafe so I can open up my laptop. When in luck, I’d be spending a day on my desk while listening to virtual events and having team meetings at the comforts of my home office.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE

This has been one of the major reasons why I enjoyed having an Android tablet on the go. I was able to catch up to major events that happened in the crazy month of October, even if I was having lunch meetings and taking a trip with real estate agents.

I even lent the tablet to my colleague one time he needed to tune in to a virtual event and he doesn’t want to open his laptop while we were sipping Shakeratos.

Though the cameras are subpar, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. You don’t really need pristine images when it comes to video calls. You just need a decent visual and superb audio for better communication.

Take notes in one place

Nowadays, there are apps that help you take notes and organize your life. My personal favorite has been Evernote, but I use it as a virtual notepad for my thoughts, realizations, and journaling my emotions when I’m not at home.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE

For other matters, I use Samsung Notes for easier syncing and Noteshelf for seamless note-taking. As an old-school guy, I would say it’s easier to memorize notes when you write them using pen and paper. But we don’t really have that liberty when our work demands us to move from time to time.

Note-taking on an Android tablet is the way to go. At least, we get to organize it in one app and search for notes easily.

De-stress with TV and Film

When you feel like the world can burn for all you care, unwinding through TV and Film would be best. Especially with a 12.4-inches screen that supports HDR10+. I watched new and familiar titles on HBO Go, and I was able to cast YouTube seamlessly to my 43-inch Samsung The Serif TV.

With the SmartThings app, casting and navigating either the TV or the tablet was buttery-smooth, even though the unit I have isn’t as powerful as most tablets available for retail.

Sorry to break hearts, but the tablet uses a TFT LCD panel with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. If you’re the type of person who unwinds by playing graphics-intensive games to release stress and rage, I’m afraid you might have to look elsewhere.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE

Moreover, the unit I had didn’t support Netflix and runs on 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Fret not, this is only a review unit. The Galaxy Tab S7 FE available at Samsung’s retail and online stores in the Philippines carries a 6GB+128GB configuration.

Draw, sketch, paint, or just reconnect with art

Being a designer for seven years, a tablet has been useful in helping bring my ideas come to life. Or help my colleagues visualize the plans I’m going after. I personally like using Autodesk Sketchbook whether it’s drafting sketches for work or journaling through drawing.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE

The S-Pen that comes with the Galaxy Tab S7 FE feels like a real pen, especially with its comfortable shape. It has a single button and a replaceable pen’s tip, although this one doesn’t need to be recharged or needs to be connected via Bluetooth.

It just… works. If you want a pen that has a lot of features, you can opt for an S-Pen Pro.

This can help you enjoy sketching or drawing for how long you want to. After all, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE has a 10,090mAh battery capable of 45W fast charging. You won’t surely run out of juice even if you spend the whole day drawing.

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed my sweet time doodling during meetings (admit it, we all do it once or twice in our lives), drawing stills as if I have a canvas or a coloring book, and drafting my sketches for easier visualization at work.

Look professional

This might be a petty reason for some, but there are a handful of people who care about their looks and reputation. Samsung’s devices, whether they’re a Pro or Lite variant, always come with a sleek, premium appeal.

Even the likes of Galaxy Tab S7 FE pegged as an affordable version of the powerful Galaxy Tab S7+ can pass as a pro-looking device.

Using the tablet even while I was drinking beer, sipping Shakeratos, or working at the poolside gave me looks from strangers and passerby as if I was career-oriented and serious about my job but still tries to have balance through drinks and leisure.

An extension of your smartphone and laptop

Looks aside, you can actually be professional when using the Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Running on One UI 3.1 based on Android 11, the tablet has access to apps you mostly use and have on your smartphone. As well as features you’d normally enjoy from One UI.

Aside from Tablet mode, which you’d normally use, there’s DeX mode which switches the device to a desktop-friendly mode. If you have a wireless keyboard, you can use the tablet and work on it as if you’re using a laptop.

While this is not news to some since a lot of premium tablets have this option, it’s still nice to know that even a toned-down variant is capable of being a productivity device.

If you really need to upgrade your work-life balance

At the end of the day, Android tablets aren’t a need but a want. I could really live without it, but it would be nice to have it especially if you’re always working on the go.

Galaxy Tab S7 FE

But if you really find yourself struggling to navigate your professional life and keep your sanity in check, the Galaxy Tab S7 FE has the right tools to help you balance work and life. It’s not too much like the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+, but it’s not lackluster as most Android tablets with a lower price tag.

The Galaxy Tab S7 FE LTE retails for PhP 39,990 with a 6GB+128GB configuration. It comes in four color options: Mystic Black, Mystic Green, Mystic Silver, and an online-exclusive Mystic Pink.

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