Computers

Explaining OLED screens and Dark Mode

Why that screen fits in the dark

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Most of the applications you’re currently using must have rolled out their own version of dark mode by now. The smooth transition from a light to dark interface can be done through a push of a button, or by sending the moon emoji on Messenger. A lot of people also find dark mode quite sexy, and that’s probably because of the screen they’re looking at.

A lot of newly released smartphones now have OLED screens, and dark mode seems to work best on such displays! But why is that? How do OLED panels allow dark mode to flourish?

Better, blacker, affordable screens

Organic LED (light-emitting diode) or OLED is essentially a kind of display technology. In a nutshell, OLED panels allow for better and clearer images and colors.

Thin layers of carbon fiber make up OLED screens. Because of these lightweight fibers, screens show brighter and more vibrant colors. Apart from that, OLED screens show deeper blacks and reduce instances of motion blur when navigating. The best part is that OLED screens are becoming gradually cheaper to manufacture. That explains why more and more of today’s smartphones use this panel.

More colorful than the rest

In comparison to regular LED screens of the past, OLED promises more accurate colors by producing light from individual pixels, instead of relying on backlighting. Back then, LCD screens relied heavily on the backlight of the display to make colors pop. Although, such displays also make the colors seem washed, especially when compared to OLED.

Image credit: Denise Chan

However, OLED’s colors don’t always turn out better than on LED and LCD screens. One such case is when you turn your screen’s brightness to its maximum, especially under strong daylight conditions. LED and LCD screens are designed to perform relatively better in color accuracy when your screen’s brightness is set to max. OLED screens were not designed for maximum brightness, so colors at that point would be saturated.

Which OLED is best?

There are two types of OLED technologies that currently exist: AMOLED and PMOLED. A lot of people hear AMOLED tossed around a lot because lots of smartphones use it. Essentially, AMOLED uses a storage capacitor that controls how much light each individual pixel will give off. It’s the one responsible for projecting all sorts of vibrant colors on most OLED smartphone screens. Apart from that, AMOLED screens do support wider resolutions at a more affordable and efficient rate.

PMOLED, on the other hand, does not have a storage capacitor and instead relies on user control. Essentially, the user will control lighting settings, and the individual pixels will adjust accordingly. You can find PMOLED screens on smaller devices like older iPods and pocket Wi-Fi devices. Take note that these screens use more power to implement such color changes.

Joining the dark side

Ever since dark mode rolled out for different apps and interfaces, people have been contemplating on switching to it — and for good reason. On normal LED or LCD screens, the new feature does not bode well with the technology. The depth of the black their dark mode possesses is not reflected well, to the point that the blacks look more gray than actual black. This is much more obvious when the screen’s brightness is turned all the way up.

Image credit: Mike Enerio

Aesthetically, dark mode looks better on OLED screens because of the technology’s emphasis on deeper blacks. Most OLED screens have capacitors that control light passing through each pixel, which also works for blacks and whites. As such, dark mode shows up deeper and blacker, which is the intended look compared to regular modes. But, there’s actually more to just aesthetics for this mode.

It’s also been proven that dark mode on OLED helps save your battery life. Google confirmed this at its Android Dev Summit, citing that on max brightness, blacks consume less power than all other colors. Individual pixels need less electricity to show blacks on screen, which results in lower power consumption through time. Note that Google got these findings through tests on their original Pixel smartphones and their own apps like YouTube.

What’s left for OLED and dark mode

Apps and operating systems are now starting to embrace or consider incorporating dark mode into their software. While apps like Twitter and YouTube introduced such an option early on, others are beginning to take notice. Of course, you’re gonna need the right screen to fully immerse yourself.

Image credit: Simone Dalmeri

It has been proven: OLED and dark mode are indeed a perfect match. But, it is entirely up to you whether you want to stay in the light or switch to the dark side.

Computers

Apple announces 16-inch MacBook Pro

Most powerful MacBook Pro to date

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Image by GadgetMatch

2019 seems to be the year of ‘Pro’ for Apple with the launches of the iPhone 11 Pro, AirPods Pro, and the Mac Pro with Pro Display XDR. The 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued before but the newly announced 16-inch MacBook Pro seems to hit the sweet spot for Apple when it comes to big ‘pro’ notebooks.

Same design, larger footprint

The new MacBook Pro has a larger 16-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 3072 x 1920 at a brilliant 500 nits, replacing the older 15-inch models. It has a DCI-P3 color gamut, ideal for processing shots and grading films all together. This new display offers an immersive visual experience and larger screen real estate without the extra heft.

There’s a massive six-speaker sound system which brings high-fidelity audio experience not just for audiophiles and musicians, but for video editors and podcasters alike. It promises clearer and more natural audio, with the bass able to go half an octave deeper. The microphones also get an upgrade. There’s now less hiss and they deliver cleaner audio recordings.

To address the problems everyone had with the Butterfly keyboard that plagued previous models, Apple has announced a newer Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism and a more responsive key press. There’s now a separate, physical escape key since more and more users would find their escape keys frozen with the Touch Bar MacBook Pros. The Touch ID slash power button is also separate. It also brings back the inverted-T arrow keys.

Powerful specs for the power users

We all know the 15-inch MacBook Pro is already powerful, but this monster promises a significant performance boost of up to 2.1 times. This is configurable with the latest 6 / 8-core 9th Generation Intel processors. Turbo Speeds are also promised to reach up to 5GHz. For the first time, they offer a massive 64GB of memory and a spacious 8TB SSD option — the largest on a notebook yet.

There’s also a new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M graphics card, which is the first 7nm mobile discrete GPU for professionals. It’s also paired with GDDR6 video memory and an 8GB of VRAM option. This is beneficial for heavy filmmakers and 3D animators alike.

Gaming on Mac may not sound good but it also promises a smoother gameplay of up to 1.6 times. Game developers will also enjoy this machine as Unity will deliver 1.4 times faster fly-through performance than its competitors.

The highest configured 16-inch MacBook Pro promises a performance improvement of up to 80 times over the last highest-end 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro’s new thermal design enables intensive workload over long periods of time. The heat sink is 35 percent larger, resulting to a 28 percent increase in airflow and better heat dissipation. The battery is at its biggest at 100Wh. It promises 11 hours of battery life — one hour more than the previous model.

Pricing and availability

The 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at SG$ 3,499 in Singapore or US$ 2,399 in the US, the same starting price as the previous 15-inch model. It’s available online and through the Apple Store app starting today. In-store availability will come later this week.

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Computers

Lenovo offers discounts for its budget laptops

Hurry before the promo is up

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Are you a student looking for a laptop that won’t break the bank? Lenovo is offering discounts for some of its budget laptops. The laptops eligible for the discounts are the Ideapad S145, S130, and the 330.

Here are the details:

  • Ideapad S130 81J1000WPH / 81J1000VPH / 81J1000XPH (11.6″ HD display; Celeron N4000; 2GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 14,995 down to PhP 12,995
  • Ideapad S130 81J1000SPH (11.6″ HD display; Celeron N4000; 2GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 15,995 down to PhP 13,995
  • Ideapad 330 81D0001SPH / 81D0001TPH (14″ HD display; Celeron N4100; 4GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 17,995 down to PhP 15,995
  • Ideapad S145 81MU000NPH (14″ HD display; Celeron Gold 4205U; 4GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 18,995 down to PhP 16,995
  • Ideapad 330 81D00040PH / 81D0001UPH (14″ HD display; Pentium N5000; 4GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 19,995 down to PhP 17,995
  • Ideapad S145 81MU000MPH (14″ HD display; Pentium Gold 5405U; 4GB DDR4 / 500GB HDD) — from PhP 20,995 down to PhP 18,995

The discount is valid until August 30 in all Lenovo concept stores nationwide. Only cash payments are eligible. All laptops come with a standard two-year warranty.

All of the discounted laptops are Lenovo’s latest budget offerings. The Ideapad line is suitable for everyday needs of most users, including students. The Ideapad S145, which was released this July, features narrower bezels for interruption-free viewing and Dolby Audio for clearer sounds. And along with Ideapad S130, both RAM and storage on these laptops can be upgraded for a faster performance.

Along with these budget offerings, Lenovo also has a wide selection of laptops to suit the needs of different users To know more about the discount, visit Lenovo’s Facebook page.

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Computers

ASUS launches the ROG Elite Rewards Program

Official and exclusive ROG merch await you

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To celebrate its 30th year in the Philippines, ASUS is launching the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Elite Rewards program. The ROG Elite Rewards program allows ROG users and supporters to collect points in exchange of official and exclusive ROG merchandise by completing various tasks!

To join, users must sign-in through the ROG Elite website. After signing up, participants will be automatically delegated to the Bronze tier. There are 5 tiers in the program. As users collect more points, they climb up from Bronze to Silver, Gold, and eventually Platinum.

Only the best ROG Elite Rewards program participants can be chosen for the invite-only Diamond tier which grants them the privilege to try new products and attend special events.

Prizes Up For Grabs

For all the tiers, participants can snag limited edition accessories like ROG keycap, keychains and exclusive ROG shirts. Premium products such as the ROG Strix Fusion headset and even the flagship beast, ROG Phone, are up for grabs!

All they have to do is to complete tasks such as participating in laptop surveys, subscribing to the official ROG social media sites, or reviewing ROG products.

ROG products are marketed towards gaming. Their popular line up includes the innovative ROG Mothership which redefines what a gaming laptop could be. There is also Zephyrus S, which includes top-notch hardware for a premium price. For the more affordable option, ROG also offers the Strix Scar III and Hero III. They also offer the flagship gaming phone, ROG Phone II, which features the beefed up Snapdragon 855 Plus.

All ROG products are sold by ASUS Philippines. They can be brought in all physical stores nationwide.

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