Accessories

Reebok Zig Kinetica review: Reebok’s best trainer

Also their best-looking training shoes

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Remember the Reebok Zig Kinetica Concept Type_1 that we checked out back in December? In our review I said these were pretty good training sneakers but way too delicate to actually wear as anything other than show sneakers — it was gorgeous but it needed a more durable version.

Well, turns out that Concept was, as the name suggests, just a concept — and this is the actual new Reebok Zig Kinetica, and here’s what we think about it.

Brief ZigTech history

In case this is the first time you’re hearing about the Reebok ZIG line of shoes — the Zig Kinetica system started out way back in 2010 when Reebok released their first sneakers with the ZigTech design called the Reebok ZigPulse.

These sneakers came in a bunch of colorways. Reebok even started advertising them along with Lewis Hamilton to really show off how cool these new ZigTech sneakers were.

Reebok got a whole bunch of celebrities onboard with the ZigPulse so the sneakers had a bit of a buzz around it. However, as popular as they might have been at the time, we never really heard much about it since then.

Fast forward to today, almost a decade since the first Zig sneaker launched, the Zigtech makes a return in the form of a reworked Zig Kinetica system with the Reebok Zig Kinetica.

One look at these sneakers and you can see how they have a really aggressive vibe. Quite different from the avant garde vibe of the Concept Type_1.

Alright with that history lesson out of the way – let’s talk about design and fit.

One of the best-looking Reebok sneakers in a while

The 2020 Zig Kinetica is meant to be a daily activity shoe and you can tell that from its design.

The embedded design makes for a slightly chunkier shoe than what you’d normally see with a fitness sneaker. Whether that’s a good or bad thing boils down to your personal preference.

You can see we have the really loud red colorway — I’m not sure why everyone is sending me red sneakers nowadays — but please stop you guys haha.

The Zig Kinetica also comes in a way cooler Black colorway with an orange Zig unit which is the main colorway they’re marketing. But the all-white colorway with the slightly orange-ish Zig unit is my favorite.

Regardless of the colorway, you have to admit, this is one of the best looking Reebok shoes in years.

Starting with the upper, it’s made out of a breathable mesh, like you’d expect out of any pair of fitness shoes. At first glance, I wasn’t sure these were going to be good at ventilation because the material used in the construction of the upper is quite thick. Thankfully, Reebok did a pretty good job here! The mesh material keeps the air flow consistent, allowing cool air to come in as you move your feet while pushing the hot air out.

Towards the top is an interesting lacing system that moves though lacing eyelets on the upper and allow for a nicely snug fit. The eyelets have a nice amount of cushioning underneath, so that you don’t feel them pressing down on your feet even if you tightly lace up the shoe.

Moving towards the midsole and heel area, you’ll notice that there are a few strategic reinforcements made with the Zig unit extending up the sides of the shoe in the middle. It also has the Reebok logo situated here. This is interesting because it wasn’t on the Concept Type_1 sneakers so I wonder what’s the reason behind this.

Better than Boost?

Moving towards to the insole, the Floatride Fuel cushioning isn’t exactly the most lush in terms of comfort. These are performance training sneakers after all. The cushioning, along with the outsole and overall design is really meant to propel you forward instead towards workouts instead.

Just like the Adidas Ultraboost 20, the outsole is U-shaped, so the sneaker positions you to lean forwards.

Like I mentioned with cushioning earlier, the Zig Energy Shell (or the zig-zag portion of the outsole), together with the Floatride Fuel cushioning inside, is a lot sturdier than the Boost outsole on the Ultraboost, so it’s not as comfy.

The Floatride Fuel is soft though. You can actually feel it through the liner groove on the sole. Reebok is also using a special kind of sole here called the Zig Energy Band which is supposed to expand and contract like an elastic band to help with a springback response while you’re running.

The heel sits a couple of millimeters lower than the insole, which ends up supporting the medial arch of your feet, and adds to the comfort while you’re running.

At the back of the heel area, you’ll see that the outsole does ramp up and has “ZIG” subtly written on it. The insole also curves around your foot, instead of underneath or being flat, which adds to the comfort factor. If you were lucky enough to try the ZigTech sneakers back in the day, you’ll appreciate the familiarity of the outsole.

All in all, it is definitely the best designed Reebok sneaker I’ve seen in a while. But all that being said, these are meant to be training shoes so let’s move on to performance.

Decent responsiveness, good comfort

In terms of fit, once you slip your foot into the Zig Kinetica you’ll feel the plush all around cushioning immediately — which is a good thing. There’s no rough elements or hard patches that rub against your foot. It’s just a very comfortable plush sneaker, and the reinforcements in the design really seemed to have helped Reebok ensure a comfortable, yet very secure fit.

These fit pretty true to size, even with my wide feet, so you don’t feel cramped in the Zig Kinetica. A big reason for this comfort is the midsole and out-sole.

The midsole is made out of Reebok’s Floatride Fuel cushioning, with a Zig Energy Shell around it. Floatride Fuel cushioning is already present on a bunch of Reebok shoes and I’m a bgt fan of it. It has a great, plush amount of cushioning with a decent amount of responsiveness as well.

These feel more responsive than most other shoes with Floatride Fuel. That’s because of the stretchable Zig Energy Band outsole, coupled with the interesting design of the Zig Energy Shell.

The shell frames the midsole foam while the Zig Energy Band expands and contracts through each stride that you take, giving you a spring-like push forward with every step you take.

It’s a very different feeling from Adidas Ultraboost, or the Nike React foam in the new Nike React Infinity Run, but there is a decent amount of responsiveness with a good amount of comfort as well.

Is the Reebok Zig Kinetica your SneakerMatch?

So far we have a great design, a comfortable fit, and responsive cushioning — so what’s not to like?

See, that’s what confuses me about who the Reebok Zig Kinetica is meant for — it feels much heavier than most other training sneakers, weighing almost 300 grams.

There’s still a 10mm heel to toe drop which definitely helps when you’re wearing these at the gym, and the tough materials used definitely makes this a more durable training shoe.

I think maybe Reebok’s marketing with Connor McGregor might have been the main reason why I’m so confused about these shoes because these aren’t just UFC shoes.

After trying them out for a month the Reebok Zig Kinetica makes for a great every day gym sneaker. Just slip it on and you know it’ll handle anything you throw at it. Not necessarily outdoor long distance running though, because you might want a lighter shoe for that.

As an every day gym sneaker — I can definitely recommend picking these up. I’m not sure why no one’s talking about them, they look great, they are durable and comfortable, and Reebok has done a great job taking something from their past, from the ol’ ZigTech days and reinventing it for today.

One thing that I can definitely say is you’ll most probably be stopped and asked by strangers about what shoes you’re wearing – especially if you get that white-and-orange colorway because these look that unique and cool.

At the end of the day, these are actually my favourite Reebok Performance sneakers to date. Even more than the Sole Fury. Which is really saying a lot.

Reebok has been killing it lately and I really hope they improve their marketing on these, because the Zig Kinetica is a pretty solid training shoe.

Accessories

Machenike: Best budget peripherals?

Worth it?

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I’ve been wanting to get myself a mechanical keyboard to slowly work towards building a PC from scratch. Of course, this is sensible considering I have a laptop to plug them into. You know, getting the pretentious privileged feel of not struggling amidst a world still in shambles?

So, while the hunt was dreadful on hypothetical money I didn’t have, we stumbled upon an affordable alternative that we didn’t quite expect. But, in a good way–I think.

What is Machenike?

Machenike is a Chinese professional gaming hardware brand. It’s the first established esports hardware brand in China with investors like Haier and partners like Alibaba Groups. Now, Machenike has its fair share of rounds online. But, it’s getting a lot of traction especially when people are looking to upgrade their work-from-home set-ups. With affordability, performance, and aesthetic seemingly in check, are their peripherals really worth the buy? Here are the ones we tried out:

Machenike K7 mechanical keyboard

Let’s put facts out there: there’s no escaping plastic with peripherals. From god-awful unachievable to wallet-saving prices, most peripherals are mainly made of plastic. So, don’t act all surprised to find that Machenike’s mechanical keyboard line is mostly plastic. Considering its price-point, this is kind of a steal.

The Machenike K7 comes in four variants depending on the keyboard color (RGB or Ice-blue) and switch color (blue or black). The keycaps have a matte texture with opaque keycap letters, characters, and controls to show off your pick of color.

Design-wise, the keyboard shows-off its minimalism, unicorn-vomit rainbow aesthetics, and multi-functionality. You can connect it via cable or Bluetooth and play around with RGB settings.

Every click is audible and only requires a reasonable amount of actuation force. Which, you’ll need to make sure you double-check before ordering one (the blue switch is 60g and the black switch is 80g).

Is this the mechanical keyboard for you?

Overall, the keyboard looks and feels great despite low-quality keycaps and unbranded switches. So if you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard but are strapped for cash, this is a really good one.

It’s got great features, a simple and sleek design, and reliable performance under its belt. So, it’s definitely a keeper. The Machenike K7 is on sale on Lazada for just PhP 1,498.

Machenike M6

Machenike M6 and M7 gaming mouse

The Machenike M6 is a wired ultra-light gaming mouse with RGB capability. The mouse comes with four variants depending on color (white or black) and mouse sensitivity (6400 DPI or 16000 DPI).

Meanwhile, the Machenike M7 is a wireless gaming mouse with RGB capability and up to 10 days of battery life. The M7 has three variants depending on mouse sensitivity (2400 DPI or 16000 DPI), OMRON switches (10M or 20M), and battery (600mAh or 1000mAh).

Machenike M7

As for design, the Machenike M6 gaming mouse has a unique honey-comb design that lets the Machenike’s logo and mouse internals peek through. It strikes out more than the M7’s minimalistic black design with RGB accents at the bottom. Both mice are made of plastic but, that comes with the price-point. They’re both minimalistic in design and have customizable features at the bottom.

Overall, they’re both reliable performance-wise and can deliver on accurate use and play. But personally, the M6 is a bit too light for my liking which is more on preference than anything else.

Are these the gaming mouse for you?

Overall, the Machenike M6 and M7 both deliver on your gaming mouse needs despite cheap components. It’s a matter of preference on wired or wireless mouse (although the M7 has a wired option), aesthetics, and weight. So, if you need an affordable gaming mouse, this is definitely a good pick.

The Machenike M6 is on sale on Lazada for PhP999 and the M7 for PhP 1,199

More wins on top of the price

As affordable as the Machenike peripherals are, there are more wins for the brand on delivering your orders within 3 days. This typically isn’t a win elsewhere on the planet but, knowing painful order waiting times on some tech essentials, this is a big fat W for the brand.

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Accessories

Nokia-branded audio products coming soon to the Philippines

Starting with the entry-level Nokia E3100 earbuds

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Nokia is not just about smartphones nowadays — it has its own laptop smart TVs, routers, and of course, audio products. Soon, Filipinos can get their hands on these audio products as RichGo — an official licensee of the Nokia brand for mobile accessories — brings them to the country’s shore this 2021.

The first of these audio products is the entry-level true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds, Nokia E3100. With its launch price of PhP 1,999, it could be the cheapest TWS earbuds yet upon its launch. Despite the price, it offers rock-solid specs for casual listeners and work-from-home professionals. Inside both earbuds are 6 mm dynamic drivers and a 45 mAh battery rated for 2.5 listening hours. The case itself holds a 400 mAh battery for a total of 10 listening hours.

Nokia E3100 connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and charges via USB-C. It also supports auto-pairing function, as well as voice control through Siri or Google Assistant. One unique thing about the earbuds is their design, which features a five contrasting, multi-colored design. Plus, it also has IPX3 certification for weatherproofing, which is quite rare in its class.

Consumers eyeing their first TWS earbuds can snag the Nokia E3100 on March 3 through Shopee. Aside from the entry-level earbuds, other audio products from the Essential and Professional series lineup will launch in the Philippines as well. These audio products will also be available to buy in retail stores over the coming weeks.

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OPPO unveils Enco X, flagship TWS earphones with ANC

AirPods Pro competitor?

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OPPO is dead serious about bringing quality audio experience for its users. That’s now more evident than ever with the launch of the OPPO Enco X.

The OPPO Enco X is the company’s flagship true wireless (TWS) earphones with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) — a must for any flagship earphone. It was developed in partnership with Danish speaker manufacturer Dynaudio.

Hi-Fi quality

The Enco X features what OPPO calls the DBEE 3.0 Sound System. It’s a tech they developed with Dynaudio to create a coaxial dual-driver design. Essentially, it’s what enables the Enco X to produce high definition sound that’s well-around with some natural depth. The company also shared that the DBEE Sound System has been around since 2007 — it was a tech that they introduced in one of their mp3 players way back when that was still a thing.

Active Noise Cancellation

The Enco X has what OPPO calls the hybrid active noise cancellation. That means the feature is available in four different settings: max noise cancellation for maximum audio enjoyment during busy transit commutes; noise cancellation to soften noise in café or office environments; transparency mode for users to be aware of their surroundings without taking off their earphones; or simply turn off noise cancellation.

25 hours of Battery Life

With the charging case, it promises up to  25 hours of music playback or 15 hours of call time. Without the charging case, users can also enjoy 5.5 hours of music playback or 3.5 hours of call time. Even with max noise cancellation activated, the earphones will be able to last for four hours without the charging case or 20 hours with the charging case.

Intelligent Controls

The OPPO Enco X earphones are equipped with touch controls to easily skip to the next song or switch between the different noise cancellation modes. Users can double-tap either earpiece to skip to the next song or answer/end a call; slide up or down on either side of the earphones to control the volume; press and hold either side of the earphones for 1 second to switch between two selected noise reduction modes (by default, these are Transparency mode and max noise cancellation mode); and tap three times to activate Google Voice Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Alexa.

Pricing and availability

The OPPO Enco X is available in Black and White. It will retail for for SG$ 259 and will be available in March at OPPO Concept Stores, OPPO’s Shopee and Lazada Flagship Stores and authorized retailers.

 

 

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