Gaming

Meet the Pokémon Sun and Moon Starters

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Fire, Water, or Grass?

One of the most important decisions faced by every budding Pokemon trainer is the matter of starter Pokémon. You can only choose one – a sidekick that will ultimately effect your game style. 


The choice is always between a fire, water or grass Pokémon – each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In the latest Pokemon installment, dubbed Sun and Moon, you have these 3 to pick from.

Rowlet a grass/fighting Grass Quill Pokemon with the ability to sneak up on opponents with silent flying attacks and powerful kicks.

rowlet-largeLitten a Fire Cat Pokemon attacks opponents with flaming hairballs made from its highly flammable hair.

litten-large

Popplio a water-type Sea Lion Pokemon is an excellent swimmer but while on land uses balloons for acrobatic style attacks.

popplio-large

The 3 characters were unveiled alongside yet to be named legendary characters (what appears to be a Super Saiyan lion and a crescent shaped bat) via the game’s first trailer video, released by the Pokemon Company today. The game is set in the Hawaii-inspired Alola region.

pokemon-sun-moon-case

The game’s also gets global release date – November 18th. We’re hoping to see/hear more at the Electronic Entertainment Expo later this June.

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Gaming

ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 Review: Another big-screen option

When you don’t want to spend much

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ASUS TUF Gaming FX705 | GadgetMatch

Without a doubt, gaming notebooks are hot items on the market. Laptop manufacturers have been churning out game-ready machines, but there’s one name, one brand that dominates the gaming market: ASUS. The Taiwanese computer maker has captured the majority of the market share thanks to its Republic of Gamers or ROG lineup.

ROG laptops can be really expensive, especially the beastly ones, but ASUS has affordable options, too. If there’s ROG, there’s also TUF which sits in the middle of the premium and entry-level gaming notebooks currently available in the market.


What I have here is the TUF Gaming FX705, a 17-inch gaming laptop that offers respectable gaming power. If you’re looking for an alternative gaming laptop with a large screen, this might just be the one for you.

ASUS’ TUF lineup has a robust look

It passed MIL-STD-810 tests

This one has a 17-inch display with a 144Hz refresh rate

It’s a 1080p IPS-level panel

The webcam is still on top despite thin bezels

ASUS calls the display NanoEdge

All the ports are on the left side

(L-R) Power, Ethernet, HDMI, 3x USB, headphone jack

The keyboard has customizable RGB lighting

With distinct WASD keys as well

The touchpad is responsive when you need it

It uses Windows Precision drivers

Heat also dissipates to the top chassis

To allow more airflow

Not sleek, but definitely not ugly

I’ve seen better-looking laptops within ASUS’ lineup, but the overall design of this TUF Gaming laptop is not that bad. It does have a bit of ROG DNA in its look, which is a good thing. The keyboard reminds me of the ROG Strix Scar II with the unique WASD keycaps. Speaking of the keys, they’re not mechanical, but they’re responsive with a good amount of travel.

The laptop is just about the size of a conventional 15-inch notebook, but it’s got a 17-inch display. Thanks to the screen’s slim bezels, the TUF Gaming FX705 has a smaller footprint. I can fit this 17-inch gaming laptop into my bag that has a slot for a 15-inch notebook.

Its display is not all about the bezels. ASUS claims the 1080p panel has 100 percent sRGB coverage for accurate colors. Also, the 144Hz refresh rate has spoiled my eyes; it should be a standard among gaming laptops.

While the display is indeed a treat, I can’t say the same for the speaker. It gets loud, but doesn’t hit the proper notes. DTS Headphone: X audio software comes pre-installed which should help with the sound quality, but it works best if you already have a pair of quality headphones.

Can play popular titles

Specs-wise, the TUF Gaming FX705 comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor paired with 8GB of memory. The unit I have for review has a combo drive of 1TB HDD and 128GB SSD for storage. Graphics performance is handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

Obviously, the laptop’s setup is more than enough to run everyday applications like Chrome, Office, and whatnot. Although, customers will not buy this to only do office work.

During my time with the TUF Gaming FX705, I juggled between typing and gaming. I was able to quickly play the Resident Evil 2 remake and with the default settings applied, I had no issues with frame rates. I got above 70fps at 1080p, but this is not the highest preset available.

More graphics and resource intensive AAA titles like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey really put the GTX 1050 Ti to the test. By default, the game applied the medium graphics quality preset, but still in 1080p. The prologue of the game was already too much for the laptop with multiple characters fighting around, but it stayed above the 30fps mark. When there’s not much going on, it gets up to 90fps.

To help the laptop cope with the stress, I suggest turning on the Overboost Mode to keep the dual fans kicking. When not playing, the laptop also has a Silent Mode.

Keep it plugged in

I have yet to try a gaming laptop that can last for hours unplugged. Never leave the TUF Gaming FX705’s charger behind, because you’ll always need it. Not that the laptop can’t be used on battery power, but you can’t game for long. At best, I was able to do typing and browsing for about four hours on battery mode, which is not bad.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

ASUS has a lot of gaming laptops available. There are plenty of options to choose from, so why get the TUF Gaming FX705? I’d say it’s the most balanced and well-rounded. Too bad that it can’t take advantage of its 144Hz display all the time, but it’s a nice to feature to have.

The TUF Gaming FX705 I have here retails for PhP 81,995 in the Philippines. If you have extra cash, you can get the GTX 1060-equipped variant for PhP 91,995 for better graphics performance. The more expensive variant also comes with an upgraded 256GB SSD.

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Gaming

Google announces cloud gaming platform, Stadia

Play anytime, anywhere

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Image source: Google

Have you ever wanted to play a game but didn’t have the hardware for it? We’ve all been there. In fact, the situation is even worse today. Back then, our biggest concern was having the latest video card. Now, console makers have continuously sponsored console exclusives, cutting off any gamers who don’t have the console. Want to play Bloodborne? Buy a PS4. Want to play Halo? Buy an Xbox.

Back in the past, the gaming industry speculated on a cloud gaming concept: you can play a console remotely; the same company streams the game to you. This was back before Netflix existed. Sadly, no one ever popularized or fully capitalized on the concept. The best thing we have is PlayStation Now, Sony’s own cloud gaming service limited to Sony’s library of games.


Now, Google has finally introduced its own entry. At the recent Game Developers Conference, the company unveiled Stadia, its new cloud-based gaming platform.

Unlike the PlayStation Now, Stadia does not require its own console. According to Google, gamers can access the platform anywhere online — laptops, TVs (through Google’s Chromecast), and smartphones. Thankfully, the service is brand agnostic; any device will work.

Currently, Stadia can stream up to 60fps and up to 4K resolution. In the future, Google hopes to bump this up to 8K and 120fps.

At most, the platform requires its own controller. The Stadia controller looks and functions like any other gaming controller today. However, the controller has not been authorized for production yet and not up for sale.

Likewise, the platform itself isn’t accessible yet. At the conference, Google demonstrated the platform by playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and DOOM Eternal on a normal Chromebook. Both AAA games require quite a heavy set of hardware to play.

Unfortunately, the streaming platform will require a lot of bandwidth. On launch, Google will undoubtedly focus on areas with high-speed connections, like those offered by Google Fiber. Google has not announced an exact launch date yet. However, it will go public sometime this year.

SEE ALSO: How to experience ‘Dark Mode’ in Google Chrome

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Gaming

Black Shark 2 launches with a pressure-sensitive screen

It sports 12GB of RAM!

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Gaming smartphones occupy a strange position in the market. When the category started, it consisted mostly of devices with high-end hardware. The gaming aspect was just a nice addition supplemented by a few gaming-centric features. Sadly, the first gaming smartphones funneled into a premium niche.

Years after, the gaming smartphone evolved into a more versatile device. The category now sports several premium features. For example, Xiaomi has recently launched the Black Shark 2, a gaming smartphone that puts the premium on gaming.


The Black Shark 2 touts a Samsung-sourced 6.39-inch AMOLED screen, pumping out images at 2340 x 1080 resolution. Additionally, the display’s brightness goes up to 430 nits. Latency has also been reduced to 43.5ms. It has motion interpolation, optimizing the display for gaming purposes.

The screen also comes with new pressure-sensitive features. Users can map separate button functionalities for both left and right flanks, like how a game controller works. Both buttons trigger with additional pressure. It will also come with an under-screen fingerprint sensor.

Under the hood, the Black Shark 2 boasts a Snapdragon 855 chipset, Adreno 640 GPU, up to 12GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of internal storage. Liquid Cooling 3.0 will keep the phone in workable temperatures even during heavy gameplay sessions.

For photography, the smartphone carries a dual 48-megapixel + 12-megapixel AI rear camera combination and a 20-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing shooter. Speaking of front-facing, it also has two front-facing speakers, preventing any blockages during gameplay.

Complementing this heavy machinery, the Black Shark 2 will use a huge 4000mAh battery, with 27W fast charging capabilities.

The Black Shark 2 is already available in China. A lighter 6GB+128GB variant retails for CNY 3,200 (US$ 475). Meanwhile, the stronger 12GB+256GB variant retails for CNY 4,200 (US$ 625). It comes in either Shadow Black or Frozen Silver.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Black Shark 2 shows up in quick hands-on video

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