Accessories

Sony WH-1000XM3 Hands-on: As good as advertised

The hype is real

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As far as updates go, the Sony WH-1000XM3 came pretty quickly following the hype surrounding its predecessor. The Sony WH-1000XM2 were already fantastic noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, and the little improvements here and there on the M3 definitely made it better.

Before we jump in any further, I’d like to clarify again that I am by no means an audio expert. Just sharing with you my time with the WH-1000XM3 just as I did with the WH-1000XM2.

The noise-cancelling hype is real

If you want headphones that will truly help shut out your surroundings, you can’t go wrong with the WH-1000XM3. We played it as a gag in this short video, but it truly works.

Putting these on really gives you a feeling of being isolated from your surroundings. That’s perfect for when you really want to zone in on whatever you’re working on or if you simply don’t want to be bothered.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is the perfect companion for when you don’t want to be bothered

I have had several instances when my workmates had to tap my shoulder or wave like crazy in front me just to get my attention. That’s pretty intense noise-cancelling.

A nifty feature is that I don’t have to take off the headphones just to hear what they’re saying. Putting my hand over the right earcup turns off the noise-cancelling and lets me hear my surroundings. This can also be done using the ambient button located on the left earcup.

Pretending I’m laughing at someone’s jokes but I’m really just laughing at myself

Sound quality is clean AF

The WH-1000XM3 is perfect for all kinds of audio activities that involve precision. When video editing, it’s easier to detect any stray audio or tell if your music is too soft or loud.

It’s great for video editing, among other things

Playing games with these on offer an immersive experience. I couldn’t help but tear up again during the emotional parts of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 especially when you hear everything that’s happening in the game so close to your ear.

I used it extensively for listening to music. I got hooked to K-Pop (okay, mostly just Twice) recently and while I’ve always admired the production value of the music videos, I found that their music is just as well-produced.

Just walking around looking fly while listening to Twice

There are several layers to each track and you definitely hear them better when listening with the WH-1000XM3. Sharing with you this playlist in case you want to give it a go.

It’s important to note that if you’re the type who likes to hear and feel a lot of bass from your headphones, you probably shouldn’t get this. The WH-1000XM3 offers a more balanced sound experience — that, sure, you can tweak a little — but it ultimately sounds smooth, clean, and is never too soft or too loud.

Touch controls and other features

Pausing, skipping tracks, and volume control are all pretty easy. Moving your finger clockwise or counterclockwise while going around the right earcup adjusts the volume.

To pause, you simply have to tap the middle of the right earcup. To skip tracks, just swipe from the center of the right earcup heading towards either edge.

Touch controls make things easy

The WH-1000XM3 also has a Google Assistant integration. This means you can send commands through the headphones among other things. There’s also an option to have Google Assistant read your most recent messages so you can listen instead of pulling your phone out to read them.

If I had any issue with the headphones, it’s probably the Bluetooth pairing. I had an easier time moving from phone to laptop and vice versa on the WH-1000XM2 over the WH-1000XM3. I’m not particularly sure if that’s my laptop acting up, but I have had to unpair and re-pair quite a few times which was a bit of a pain.

Comfort and durability

The longest I’ve had the headphones on is probably close to eight hours. That’s honestly too long. My recommendation has always been to keep it on for around four hours max and to take it off for a while after that.

It’s generally comfortable and can be worn for hours

The material used is much more flexible than the one on its predecessor. You can literally stretch and bend it and it would not break — perfect for someone like myself who has the tendency to break things.

It’s super flexible!

Final thoughts

I’m honestly dying to try other noise-cancelling headphones to know how the experience stacks up against the WH-1000XM3. As far as sound quality and noise-cancelling go, these Sony headphones are absolutely top-notch. All the hype this has generated is justified.

One last pose, just because

I also didn’t find myself charging the device too much. In a week with moderate to heavy use, I needed to juice up only during weekends. And it now comes with a USB-C port, so that’s a plus for future-proofing.

If you’re coming from the WH-1000XM2, it might be too much to jump to the WH-1000XM3. However, if you’re looking to splurge to upgrade your audio-consumption experience, go right ahead and grab these. It’s light, durable, and you get the kind of audio that Sony promises.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones are available for US$ 350. It currently retails in Singapore for SG$ 549 and PhP 20,000 in the Philippines.

Accessories

Combine and change scents using Ninu’s sustainable, smart perfume

Wear the right scent that matches your every mood

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Of all things that could get smarter, it’s a perfume. Yes, you read that right. At CES 2021, Ninu launched the “first smart perfume in the world,” with a connected device that’s capable of changing scents with every spray.

It’s a unique approach to an everyday item, interesting enough to pique our curiosity. After all, it has an unassuming yet elegant look.

The fusion of beauty and technology

How does it work? This AI-powered perfume uses an app to personalize a scent, fusing ingredients with only a few clicks. It lets you wear the right scent appropriate for every mood and look.

It seamlessly delivers an astonishing perfume through its electronic micro-precision extracting system, guided by its Ninu’s very own assistant — Pierre, the perfume master.

Pierre, just like Siri and Alexa, is an AI assistant that executes whatever wishes you have regarding your scent and helps you have full control over anything you do on the app. The assistant also notifies you when you’re running low on stock.

Feel sexy and earth-friendly

Despite being able to design a premium perfume bottle, assembled with the best of tech, Ninu believes the most important thing is the fragrances themselves. After all, Ninu used 100 percent vegan, sustainably-sourced ingredients — with a wholesome procedure designed in France.

This smart perfume is more than just a smart accessory. It presents itself as a sustainable, essential item that makes you feel fresh and sexy, and also earth-friendly.

Ninu uses natural ink in packaging cartons and uses less packaging to scale down plastic consumption. Instruction leaflets are replaced with a QR code, therefore, fewer papers. Moreover, perfume bottles are made from recycled glass since every 10 percent increase in recycled glass housing cuts down CO2 emissions by five percent.

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Lenovo ThinkVision M14T: Elevate productivity on-the-go

Ultra portable and sexy looking device

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ThinkVision M14T

Many of us have gotten used to the convenience of multitasking on our computing devices. It’s just one of those things that helps make our daily grind much more manageable and efficient. With today’s devices becoming more and more powerful, simultaneously running apps on your phones and a number of browser tabs and windows have become second nature to us. 

With desktop computers having ultra wide monitors and multiple desktop displays, nowadays you can watch YouTube videos, browse social sites, and even do work on side by side opened windows.

Lenovo has brought that same experience to our portable devices with the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor

Ultimate portability 

The ThinkVision M14T is a 14-inch 1920x1080p resolution, touch screen, IPS display monitor. With much focus on portability, the ThinkVision M14T is just 4.6mm thin and weighs only 698g.

The moment I saw the actual device, my initial impression was just wow. Its sleek and ultra slim form factor with that glossy 14-inch display wrapped with slim bezels just looked impressive. However, that impression faded away quickly.

As I picked up the unit from the box, handling it felt fragile. It is so slim and light that I was afraid to place it anywhere with fear that I might accidentally break it. To address that, a soft pouch does come with the package for its protection. Though, without a dedicated hard case, I wonder if it may actually survive being stored in my bag along with other things.

As easy as Plug and Play

Searching the contents of the box, I was thinking if Lenovo just forgot to pack the power brick in the box because it just didn’t come with one. No, it wasn’t a mistake. The ThinkVision M14T monitor requires only a single USB-C cable to get power, touch or pen input signal and a display signal from its source. 

Plugging it in the USB-C port of the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 laptop, the ThinkVision M14T was instantly detected. And with a press of the power button, the M14T was up and running. I have to say, it amazes me that it is that convenient. Not having to need an external power source was like magic.

At 300 nits of brightness, the M14T’s IPS display panel is bright and vibrant. At its max brightness setting when paired with the ThinkPad X13, the ThinkVision M14T’s display seemed to overpower that of the X13, making the two look a bit unbalanced.

Its base folds out from the bottom of the monitor which acts as its stand. Opened out, the ThinkVision M14T felt stiff, solid and stable.

You can choose which side you’d want to plug your device as both the left and right sides of the base each have a USB-C input. On its right, we have the power button and on the left we have a brightness control switch. Sadly, no other input ports are available other than USB-C.

Precision and response as you like it

The M14T is not only a secondary touch screen display, you may also use it as a tablet complementary to your device with its interactive stylus. This means if you have a device that doesn’t have touch or pen input built-in, the ThinkVision M14T will give you just that.

By this time, most graphic tablet users must have already been exposed to stylus pens being rechargeable similar to the Apple Pencil. The stylus pen that comes with the M14T still uses a single and unusual type of battery (AAAA). Thankfully, a battery does come with the unit.

ThinkVision M14T

Having set my standards high on this aspect, I honestly didn’t expect this combo to perform as good as Wacom drawing tablets and the likes. To my surprise, as soon as I started writing, I immediately noticed how smooth its pen input was. With only minimal latency, the M14T’s stylus registers my movement almost instantly and its dedicated buttons are mapped automatically.

With the monitor folded down on a flat surface, it really did feel like I was doodling on an actual drawing tablet.

The M14T’s 10-point multi-touch input for touch gestures and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity with its stylus, graphic artists won’t be disappointed with this bundle.

ThinkVision M14T

Is the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor your GadgetMatch?

The ThinkVision M14T is by no means a perfect device. Having USB-C as the only display input option may have limited its potential for versatility of use. The stylus not having batteries built-in might raise some eyebrows too. But if you’re willing to live with its limitations, Lenovo still has managed to tick many of the right boxes with their ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor.

ThinkVision M14T

The convenience of having more screen real estate on the go and using a single cable for its operation is just a glorious experience. Ultra portability, decent brightness, good viewing angles, pen and touch input in such a sexy looking device, the M14T would be an ideal companion for just about anyone. 

The good most definitely outweighs the bad with Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14T.

Get the Lenovo ThinkVision M14T Portable Monitor for PhP 19,995.

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Samsung announces larger S Pen Pro

And a brand new S Pen

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Because of the controversial charger decision, the recently launched Galaxy S21 series lost a lot of momentum for its more bombastic features. For example, did you know that Samsung now supports third-party styluses outside of Samsung’s own S Pens? Additionally, Samsung is launching the S Pen Pro.

Before that, however, Samsung has also announced a brand-new S Pen. Compared to the tiny stylus from the Galaxy Note series, the new S Pen is larger, making it more comfortable to hold. However, there is a tradeoff: The new S Pen doesn’t have an internal battery. It won’t have the same Bluetooth functionalities as the ones from the Galaxy Note series. At the very least, infused with Wacom’s technology, the new S Pen still has some functions for Samsung’s smartphones.

Now, onto the S Pen Pro. Compared to the new S Pen, the S Pen Pro is even larger. Since it’s bigger, it can fit an internal battery, which adds Bluetooth functionality including external buttons like a shutter for the camera.

Because both new variants are larger, they can’t fit inside a smartphone slot. They can, however, fit on a smartphone case.

So far, Samsung has not announced any robust specifications yet. We don’t know how big the new S Pens are or how much they will cost. However, the company has promised that both will launch sometime this year. For now, Samsung users, especially for the new Galaxy S21 Ultra, can still use their old S Pens from the Galaxy Note series.

SEE ALSO: Samsung will remove the free charger from more phones

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