Features

Sorry, Apple: I won’t be getting your new MacBook Pro in 2016

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Dear Apple,

I’d like to start on a more positive note, so let’s talk a little about that killer feature. Honestly, the Touch Bar, despite its potential utility, sounds to me a bit like what 3D Touch is to iPhones.

Of course, an OLED bar that shows emojis and is cat-friendly is way, way cooler than some tiny mechanism tucked beneath the iPhone’s surface, but the two may not be too different in terms of usefulness.

Let’s be real here: How often do you think people will use the Touch Bar? I have a pretty good idea what DJs are like — and they probably won’t use that touchscreen as much as you think they will for DJing. The rest of us might pick up the habit for other reasons; however, a lot of that depends on developers getting really creative about it, saving us clicks and making apps more intuitive and easier for normal folks to use.

macbook-pro-b

2016 MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar

 

macbook-pro-cat-friendly

An OLED bar that shows emojis and is cat-friendly is way, way cooler than 3D Touch, but the two may not be too different in terms of usefulness

The value of the Touch Bar could increase over time as developers build on it. But if it’s anything like 3D Touch, which I can live without, it’s almost surely going down as another missed opportunity.

Congrats on engineering a slimmer and lighter MacBook Pro, though. That the Pro is now more compact, or, as some might say, more portable than the 13-inch MacBook Air — the former poster child of really portable laptops — is downright ludicrous. (As a quick aside: You guys are really good at making things smaller — so, please, apply the same magic to the next big iPhone.)

[irp posts=”4731″ name=”Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Review”]

I’m still on the fence about that butterfly keyboard — I’ll reserve my judgment until I get my fingers on it. I had tried the 12-inch MacBook’s keyboard before; I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I still prefer the tactile feel, the deeper keystrokes of your older keyboard; I suspect many feel the same way. But I hear the keyboard mechanism has been improved dramatically, so fingers crossed the typing experience should be better this time around.

The new (but not so new) Intel processors are pretty much a given, as is the bump in SSD storage across MacBook tiers. I wouldn’t buy a laptop for today, I’d buy it for three or more years into the future. And in a couple of years, the 2016 MacBook Pro would still be useful for some serious work. So would most other high-end laptops announced this year, I imagine.

That the Pro is now more compact than the 13-inch MacBook Air is downright ludicrous.

Touch ID and the expanded trackpad — now, those are a huge plus. People will love those about the Pro. Maybe almost as much they’ll love the new Space Gray paint job. Does that mean we’ll finally get to see gold and rose gold Pros next year? I hope so. I hope you consider making a shiny black one too, regardless of how impractical and selfish this suggestion seems. Okay… now that I’ve given it some thought, scratch that idea.

But some of your customers wouldn’t like what you had done with the glowing Apple logo. Why get rid of an established symbol of laptop opulence? Was it to make the display fit into the size of a typical 11- or 12-inch notebook? Or was it done to create a brighter and more color-rich display than what was possible on previous MacBooks?

In any case, we’ll get over it, for sure. We’ll also get over you ditching the MagSafe connector, though I imagine it would take Mac nerds longer to recover from the MagSafe’s untimely but expected demise. But whatever. Those miffed over the loss can always purchase an aftermarket accessory like BreakSafe, yes?

breaksafe

Introducing BreakSafe

You’ve done worse. Curiously enough, the latest iPhone 7 figures indicate that people have already forgiven you for chucking out the beloved headphone jack. I wonder, though, why it was mercilessly left on the Pro. That didn’t strike me as a courageous move. Frankly, the more I think about it, the more I question your commitment and dedication to a truly wireless future.

For the record, I’m one of those guys who argued for the merits of cordless audio. I believe the technology is now mature enough that manufacturers should be turning consumers toward wireless headphones and speaker systems.

And while we’re on the topic of ports that you obviously think are still relevant to your customers, why kill every USB port on the Pro models and replace them with Thunderbolt 3? Um, you do know we’re still in 2016, right?

For starters, not only did you alienate individuals who had their minds made up on switching to the new MacBook, you also annoyed the shit out of existing customers who already own an iPhone and/or iPad. Not even the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were invited to the MacBook party.

You know who did get their collective foot in the proverbial door? Android phones. A whole bunch of them — including the ones Google, your arch-nemesis, made. You can bet those Type-C devices will be laughing their socks off after crashing your party and drinking all your expensive German beer — particularly the cheap handsets that have made the trip from China.

[irp posts=”5053″ name=”Google Pixel got the ‘little brother, big brother’ tandem right”]

I didn’t think I’d see the day when outsiders could interact more naturally with a MacBook than your own products, yet here we are. “Welcome to the future,” I hear you exhaling, “where plugging in full-sized USB connectors into your laptop is now a thing of the past.”

Not even the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were invited to the MacBook party. You know who did get their collective foot in the proverbial door? Android phones. A whole bunch of them — including the ones Google, your arch-nemesis, made.

You also really pissed off those guys who use an external monitor that connects via HDMI or DisplayPort. You know, ports that most people still use today. And while I agree that Thunderbolt 3 is the superior connection, there’s no reason to push it down our throats at this point — certainly not while it hasn’t reached the point of mass adoption. Never mind that Thunderbolt displays, as with any new technology that promises faster speeds and other benefits, are expensive as hell.

And what’s the argument for eliminating the SD card slot? To make room for more Thunderbolt ports, on a more expensive MacBook Pro? Puh-lease. Are four ports necessary? Probably not, but you certainly think so.

Where is all this leading? I’ll tell you: The depths of dongle hell. Nobody likes paying for overpriced stuff they never wanted, especially overpriced stuff they will likely lose. Those $25 and $35 USB-C to Lightning cables are going to sell like hot cakes… but for all the wrong reasons.

apple-usb-c-to-lightning-cable

You’ll need this cable to connect your iPhone/iPad to the new MacBook Pro.

Ah, but it gets worse. Because not only do we have to spend extra for cables and dongles for one machine, we also have to have them around at all times — at least, until a few years down the line when Thunderbolt connections are more prevalent than they are today. Sure, my laptop bag can hold a few more accessories, but the mess they’ll be making on my workspace might irritate my mental comfort to no end.

At the very least your new MacBook Pro should do more for your customers, not the other way around.

Sincerely,

Guy who thought about getting your new MacBook Pro.

[irp posts=”2055″ name=”Apple’s MacBook refresh comes with faster CPU, rose-gold finish”]

Features

PLDT Fast Hub: A taste of (near) 10,000mbps

With the PLDT Fast Hub

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PLDT Fast Hub

Fast and consistently reliable Internet speed has always felt like a pipe dream in the Philippines. But PLDT is doing its best to make it a reality. The latest expansion sees the company bringing up to 10,000mbps to select areas in the county. 

The number seems staggering. To show exactly what it can do, we spent an afternoon at the PLDT Fast Hub. Here’s what the experience was like. 

Close to 10,000mbps 

PLDT Fast Hub

We conducted several OOKLA speed tests and never quite got to exactly 10,000mbps. However, the speeds were consistently around 8,000mbps. That’s still more than any other plan in the Philippines at the moment.

Specific hardware required

PLDT Fast Hub

Naturally, something this fast has to come with its own set of specific hardware. Every household is different, so you’ll need to fill-up this form from PLDT to find out exactly what’s required for your setup. Consequently, your setup will determine the full pricing.

How many devices can it handle? Covering up to around 6,000 square maters thanks to the ASUS ZenWifi and a mesh system, the service can accommodate up to 100 bandwidth-hungry devices at once without struggling. With this, you still have room to connect a few more passive smart devices. 

And that’s exactly what was on display on the Fast Hub.

Multiple devices

PDLT Fast Hub

This was the primary computer connected to the service. We loaded a bunch of sites, which, to be honest, didn’t really put too much strain on the service. Imagine 10 more of these in the household and the connection can still handle it smoothly.

PLDT Fast Hub

Is there a gamer in the family? Having consistent and fast bandwidth is key, especially if you play competitive multiplayer games like Valorant. We tried our hand on a few games and while we ultimately ate dust in the game, the internet connection more than held up.

PLDT Fast Hub

To set the mood while taking these photos, we fired up TWICE’s Hello (Performed by Nayeon, Momo, and Chaeyoung). Music streaming typically doesn’t really eat up too much bandwidth, so you can vibe to whatever your jam is to your heart’s content.

PDLT Fast Hub

Some Playstation 5/console games require you to be online. Inside the fast hub, we ran a few races on Gran Turismo 7. Again, the overall experience was seamless. Would’ve loved to be able to test this on NBA 2K’s Park since that’s the mode we consistently have trouble connecting to. Perhaps another time.

Connected Smart Home

PLDT Fast Hub

Other than the aforementioned devices, the PLDT Fast Hub also featured a bunch of smart lights. We can’t recall the exact number but there were probably over 15 lights setup. All of which responded swiftly  after being issued voice commands via Google Assistant.

There was also a smart vacuum in the room which also responded to voice commands. It didn’t quite do exactly what you told it to, but perhaps that’s more the device than the Internet connection.

They even had this smart mirror in the room. With it you can pull up any workouts on YouTube and follow-along the exercise while the video is playing.

A dream

The PLDT Fast Hub delivered a taste of a dream. In fact, the whole setup likely didn’t even push the connection to the limit. But to know that this is now a possibility in certain locations is encouraging. Hoping it becomes more widely available and accessible soon.

To know if it covers your area, again, you may sign up on this form.

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Features

vivo X80 Pro with ZEISS: Capturing the city life

Noteworthy smartphone cameras

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vivo X80 Pro ZEISS


City life. It takes its toll on you. But it also has its charms. And one way to really enjoy its hustle and bustle is to have a companion to capture everything it has to offer.

Thankfully, there’s the vivo X80 Pro. It’s the company’s latest and greatest for many reasons.
Chief of which is its outstanding cameras sprinkled with ZEISS Natural Color goodness.

vivo and ZEISS

vivo’s camera-performance has been flying under the radar over the years. But with this ZEISS partnership, they’re now ready to soar.

All the lenses on the X80 Pro have ZEISS patented T Star coating. It helps reduce reflections when taking photos of lights at night.

Photos are already sharp as is but the ZEISS Super Night Camera takes things even further. You also get ZEISS Portraits for stylized shots.

And it’s not just photos. Zeiss makes its mark on videos too. With the ZEISS Cinematic Video Bokeh feature, you can shoot in a cinematic aspect ratio… While also applying depth of field.

Working in tandem to produce these still and moving images are the ZEISS 50MP Ultra-Sensing GNV Sensor as well as the V1+ Chip. The sensor keeps things steady even if your hands are shaky. And the V1 Plus Chip is vivo’s own creation — a product of years of research and development to achieve the absolute best in mobile imaging technology.

Capturing city life

Okay, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s pullback for a bit and show you all the cameras equipped on the vivo X80 Pro.

  • 50MP Zeiss Ultra-Sensing GNV sensor
  • 48MP Ultra wide angle lens
  • 8MP Periscope lens, 5x optical zoom
  • 12MP Gimbal Portrait camera

They say the best camera is the one you can always carry with you. And this combination from vivo is about as good and as extensive as it can get.

Combined with the Camera Panning feature working in the background we can get stunning running shots.

It’s a great way to document the start to your day. After that quick run, it’s time to freshen up and grab a bite. Sharing your breakfast on socials is still a thing, right? Flex all you want. You deserve it.

And while you’re at it. Might as well flex yourself too using the 32MP selfie shooter.

Videos are all the rage these days and if you want to take social sharing to another level, do it in motion.

SEE ALSO: GadgetSnaps: vivo X80 Pro in The Fort

Premium flagship

Now, capturing isn’t all the vivo x80 Pro is good for. It is, after all, a flagship smartphone. The specs speak for themselves:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • 12+4GB RAM
  • 256GB Storage
  • 4,700mAh

It’s one thing to see it on paper, but the overall performance checks out too. Your usual social browsing, chatting, and jumping between apps is an absolute breeze.

And watching your favorite shows and videos is just flat-out great. The vivo X80 Pro has dual speakers making for a fantastic entertainment experience.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED display is a treat to the eyes. And it has a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, meaning it goes from 1Hz to 120Hz depending on what you’re doing.

This helps conserve the 4,700mAh battery which should last you quite a bit in a day. And if not, you can quickly top up as it supports wired 80W Flash Charge as well as 50W wireless Flash Charge.

As far as its looks are concerned it has a glass back with matte coating and some hints of glitter. Fittingly called Cosmic Black, the look is a straight up classic.

Superb shooter, all around partner

vivo has for itself quite a banger of a smartphone with the X80 Pro. It is literally everything you can ask for from a smartphone camera/ Delivering photos and videos that are vivid, sharp, and captivating while performing like every bit the flagship that it is.

The vivo X80 Pro retails for PhP 59,999. And the vivo X80 series is now available:


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and vivo Philippines.

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Reviews

Apple M2 MacBook Pro Unboxing and Review

More Important Than You Think!

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During WWDC 2022, Apple announced the newest 2022 M2 MacBook Air with a major redesign — making it the instant star of the show.

But for others, the M2 MacBook Pro is what they’re aiming for.

It might still be the same with its classic aluminum unibody design, 13.3″ Retina Display, and a Touch Bar from 2016 — but inside it’s even more powerful.

Also equipped with the new generation of Apple’s Silicon Chip dubbed ‘M2’, it surely knows how to make professionals drool.

But is it worth the money? Or should you just get the M2 MacBook Air instead?

Or what about getting the more expensive 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip?

Watch our unboxing and full review on the M2 MacBook Pro now to find out more!

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