According to pop rock band, Boys Like Girls, “Two is Better Than One.” Question is: Is that true when it comes to two monitors? I spent a week using the ASUS ZenScreen as a secondary monitor for my laptop, bringing it around with me everywhere I would go.
Full disclosure: I went into this experience questioning the need for a second monitor and expecting to not really need it or even like having to bring it around with me. But I’m coming out of this experience thinking that there definitely are people who will find the ASUS ZenScreen useful in their lives.
This thing is definitely portable. It’s thin, sleek, and light enough that it was pretty easy to get used to the added weight while carrying it along with my laptop. Many of my friends thought that it was a tablet and not an extra monitor. It’s really easy to set up, too. It will work on any laptop, and if you’re worried about having to bring another charger with you because of it, there’s no need to worry. The ASUS ZenScreen draws power from your laptop via its bundled USB-C cable.
After spending one week with it, I’ve found that there are two different ways the ASUS ZenScreen will benefit you. You can use it to be more productive, and you can use it for some fun multitasking, as well.
Let’s start off with the “boring” productivity benefit it can provide. Having a second screen when you’re working on a report and not having to minimize the document you’re working on was one of those little things you don’t think would be such a big deal, but is something I missed when I didn’t have the ZenScreen with me. That second monitor meant that I could have my main document open on my laptop screen and anything I would need to look at for reference would be open on the ZenScreen. So helpful!
Using it for presentations was pretty cool, too. Meeting with someone and using the ZenScreen to show them slides meant I didn’t have to awkwardly keep having to turn the laptop back and forth between myself and the person I was meeting with while seated across from each other. I would just hand them the ZenScreen and viola: We both had a screen to look at!
Now, let’s talk fun. The enjoyable benefit of the ZenScreen was mostly being able to multitask and watch videos no matter what I was doing on my laptop screen. Watching NBA games, Netflix, and GadgetMatch on YouTube (necessary shameless plug) was possible on the side while browsing social media, working on presentations, and reading articles.
Overall, the ASUS ZenScreen is all about being able to multitask, and as I said at the start of this piece, I went into this experience a little skeptical about needing a second screen, but now I can see its benefits.
The ZenScreen retails for US$ 249. The particular model we tried out is the MB16AC which retails at PhP 16,200 in the Philippines.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ levels up battery, sound quality
With the the headphone port nowhere to be found on the Galaxy S20 series comes a pair of improved true wireless earbuds — the Samsung Galaxy Buds+.
It’s a step up from last year’s Galaxy Buds. While last year’s version promised 6 hours of listening time, the Galaxy Buds+ takes it up to 11 hours on a single charge. You also get another 11 hours with the charging case.
In terms of sound quality, these are still tuned by AKG. It employs 2-way dynamic speakers and 3 mics to deliver better sound and voice quality
Inside the box you’ll also find a variety of wing and ear tips so you get the fit and comfort that’s made just for you.
It doesn’t have the noise-cancelling chip that you’ll find on the true wireless earbuds offered by Sony, Apple, and Huawei. Its approach to noise-cancelling has to do more with its physical design and rather than a tiny chip.
Speaking of its design, it retains the form factor of the original Galaxy Buds — which is great since it doesn’t look anything like the AirPods which many other manufacturers have taken a cue from. Speaking of Apple, if you’re not a fan of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+, along with its companion app, will be compatible with iOS devices.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ will be available in Cosmic Black, White, Red, and Cloud Blue, starting February 14, 2020 on Samsung.com, followed by major mobile carriers and retailers on March 6, 2020 and will retail for US$ 149.
Samsung Galaxy Buds+ price and availability in the Philippines
A minor improvement
True wireless (TWS) earbuds are popping up one after the other. Samsung’s latest — the Galaxy Buds+ — is also making its way to the Philippines.
The Samsung Galaxy Buds+ improves upon the battery life of its predecessor promising up to 11 hours of listening time in a single charge. You also get another 11 hours thanks to the charging case.
Its approach to noise cancellation has to do more with its 2-dynamic speaker and physical design which means this may not be in direct competition with the likes of the AirPods Pro, Huawei Freebuds 3, and Sony WF-1000XM3.
It maintains the same design as its predecessor — a welcome look in the sea of TWS earbuds that all look like AirPods. If you use an iPhone but are not fans of the AirPods’ design, you’ll be happy to know that the Galaxy Buds+ will also be compatible with iOS devices.
Price and availabilty
The Galaxy Buds+ will be available starting March 6, 2020. It will retail for PhP 6,990.
The Nokia Power Earbuds come with ‘150-hour battery life’
Available only in China
A few years ago, Nokia’s expansion beyond phones would have been preposterous. Since its dominance at the start of the millennium, Nokia has always found its closely guarded niche in the phone-making business. However, the company has announced the first Nokia-branded televisions late last year. Now, they are going even further.
Recently, Nokia has launched its own wireless earbuds in China. The Power Earbuds touts the most bombastic feature ever seen in wireless earbuds — a 150-hour battery life.
Design-wise, the Power Earbuds have the traditional set of components for the emerging technology: two in-ear pieces and a charging case. The set comes in two colors: charcoal black and light gray.
Inside, the earbuds sport a 6mm graphene driver unit, supposedly putting out high-quality audio. It is compatible with Google Assistant, allowing hands-free operation.
Further, they can support Bluetooth 5.0, extending usage by up to 800 feet. For durability, the Power Earbuds are certified for IP7 resistance. Supposedly, users can submerge the earbuds underwater for up to 30 minutes.
As for that battery life, Nokia presents an interesting caveat. The earbuds themselves don’t last for 150 hours; instead, they last for a more believable 5-hour charge. Each bud contains only 50mAh capacity for battery life.
The gargantuan battery belongs to the charging case. The 3000mAh case has as much battery life as a smartphone. As such, users can charge the earbuds multiple times through the case before charging the case itself.
The Nokia Power Earbuds are available exclusively online in China. They retail for CNY 699 or around US$ 100.
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