News

OPPO R15 and R15 Pro Edition now official with a notch

Just as expected

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OPPO finally made their latest R series official and we’re not just getting one, but two new smartphones for the upper midrange segment — the OPPO R15 and OPPO R15 Pro.

Both versions of the OPPO R15 have a 6.28-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2280 pixels or simply Full HD with additional pixels for the taller 19:9 aspect ratio. One would see the R15 to be a blend of the new iPhones (8 Plus and X) because of the glass back with the horizontal camera setup and notch on the display. Unfortunately, OPPO still treats their latest releases with a micro-USB port, but the R15 has the latest ColorOS 5.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

The similarities of the new OPPO phones end there, though.

The R15 is powered by the new Helio P60 processor with Mali-G72 MP3 graphics. The memory and storage configuration is set at 6GB and 128GB, respectively, which is truly abundant. VOOC, OPPO’s fast-charging tech, is fully supported by the built-in 3450mAh battery.

It has dual rear cameras with a main 16-megapixel Sony sensor with an f/1.7 aperture lens and a secondary 5-megapixel shooter. The cameras are also equipped with artificial intelligence that, according to OPPO, can recognize 120 scenes and do portrait lighting effects just like with the latest iPhones. Selfies are taken care of by the 20-megapixel front camera complete with bokeh effects.

The R15 Pro, also known as the Dream Mirror Edition, is the international version that will ship to other parts of the globe later on. It’s a beefed-up version of the R15 that’s powered by the Snapdragon 660 processor and Adreno 512 graphics. It still has 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage but has a slightly smaller 3400mAh VOOC-enabled battery.

There are still two rear cameras on board the R15 Pro, but the same 16-megapixel Sony sensor from the regular variant is now partnered with a 20-megapixel f/1.7 shooter. It’s a similar setup with the R11s and OnePlus 5T. There are still AI features on top of the usual camera controls, but the 20-megapixel front camera gets an exclusive portrait mode. We’re not yet sure how different it is with the other portrait modes, but it’s there.

The OPPO R15 and R15 Pro (Chinese version) will be available in China by April 1. The R15, which will only available in China, is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 475). It has three color options: Rouge Red, Frost White, and Nebula Purple. The R15 Pro, on the other hand, has a CNY 3,299 (US$ 520) price tag for the Ruby Red gradient and CNY 3,499 for the Infinity Black.

CES 2021

Kingston launches new NVMe SSDs, Workflow Station and Readers

Featuring blazing fast speeds and large storage capacities

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For CES 2021, Kingston has launched new SSDs designed for content creators and everyday consumers. There are also brand-new Workflow Station and Readers introduced that should simplify data management and storage.

The biggest change to the upcoming SSDs is the switch to the faster NVMe interface. All of Kingston’s recently-launched SSDs will come with faster read and write speeds as a result of this change, greatly benefiting the users.

Headlining the new SSD portfolio is Kingston’s Ghost Tree SSD. It features a claimed read and write speed of 7GBs made possible by switching to the newer PCIe 4.0. It will come in different capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB. Professional content creators should benefit greatly from the blazing-fast performance that this SSD affords.

Meanwhile, everyday consumers can also reap the benefits of NVMe with the NV series. Kingston touts it as an entry-level series utilizing PCIe 3.0 with storage capacities reaching up to 2TB.

There’s also a new external storage solution from Kingston — the X200 external drive. Like the newer external SSDs in the market, this one comes with USB Type-C that allows for transfer speeds of up to 2GB. It comes in different capacities ranging from 500GB to 2TB.

Finally, there’s an SSD designed for enterprise. The DC1500M is a substantial update to DC1000M, adding support for multi-namespaces. It also connects via U.2 interface, which is a newer interface designed primarily for the enterprise sector. Geared towards data-intensive workloads, Kingston touts its needs primarily in cloud computing, web hosting, and virtual infrastructures.

New Workflow Station and Readers

Rounding up Kingston’s CES 2021 announcements is the Workflow Station and Readers. One of its highlight features is the ability to customize the file offload setup allowing for greater flexibility in transferring files, audio, images, videos, and more from multiple sources. It can also simultaneously connect to USB hubs, SD, and microSD card readers.

Alternatively, users can use it as a standalone reader by connecting it to their laptops via a USB Type-C cable.

Price and availability

Kingston hasn’t announced the prices for the newly launched SSDs. However, all of these should come later in many markets globally. Interested users should follow Kingston for updates on prices and availability o their markets.

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Laptops

Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

But MagSafe will make a comeback!

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Apple could be planning a major revamp of the MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s expected to go official in the third quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the redesign will include removing the Touch Bar and the return of the MagSafe charging port.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, this will be the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since 2016. Furthermore, it’ll have square-off sides like the iPhone 12, flatter top and bottom panels, and brighter screens.

It’ll be available in two sizes — 14-inch and 16-inch. And yes, they’ll feature Apple’s in-house processors that leverage Arm architecture. There will not be an Intel option, and Apple’s next-generation chipsets will power it. They’re expected to feature more cores and enhanced graphics.

At the end of November 2020, a MacBook Pro 16-inch with 12-core Apple M1X processor was tipped to be even more powerful than the M1 processor. Earlier that month, a MacBook Pro 14-ich model with Apple’s M1 processor was also tipped.

A report by TechRadar suggested that the 16-inch MacBook Pro model looks a bit slimmer. This could be due to the processor’s efficiency since it doesn’t need aggressive cooling like Intel-powered options.

Most importantly, though, Apple is going old-school and bringing some of the features we’ve always loved. The pill-shaped MagSafe charging connector could make a comeback, and physical function keys could replace the digital Touch Bar. Kuo has also hinted that Apple could provide ports generously to reduce dependence on dongles.

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Gaming

Bravely Default II preorder final demo now available

A must-play!

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Bravely Default II is a Japanese fantasy RPG with lovely art styles reminiscent of a refined version to early Final Fantasy releases. The series gameplay uses the usual turn-based battle system and job system. But, the series is more notable for integrating options to combine and customize job abilities, battle speed, and enemy encounter rates.

Bravely Default II is the newest addition to the Bravely series. So, what’s new? Bravely Default II lets you step into a brand-new world with four new heroes, new stories, and new job roles.

This iteration features a young sailor, Seth, who washes up the shores of one of the five mighty kingdoms of the continent. He encounters an escaped princess, Gloria of Musa, and they both venture out to meet more travellers seeking the truth to their world.

If you’re into RPGs or a fan of the Bravely series, this is the game release to look forward to. The game keeps its charming mechanics while piling on new features so if you want or need a taste of the game, the final demo is out now. Although, you won’t be waiting much longer for the game’s full release because it looking to be released on February 26 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.

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