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Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Small, Yet Powerful 2-in-1

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Surface Pro 2017 - Cover

Microsoft has been creating working frameworks for PCs for the longest time. However, it was just in 2012 that it started making PCs that it can consider its own. The PC, known as the Surface, denoted Microsoft’s entrance into the tablet market, and this 2-in-1 gadget has been refined and enhanced throughout the years. The Surface family has always represented the organization’s vision for the future of personal computing.

Despite its current popularity, the early Surface gadgets weren’t especially generally welcomed. They were heavy, bulky, costly, and didn’t work that well at all. In any case, that changed when Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3 in May 2014. The improvements, however slight, are well considered and greatly enhanced the ease of use of the Surface Pro 3. Furthermore, in late 2015, Microsoft refreshed the Surface Pro lineup with the Surface Pro 4, which accompanied huge enhancements over the Surface Pro 3. Even with all the competitions, the Surface Pro 4 remained one of the top favorite Windows 10 detachable tablets and emerged as one of the best-selling Surface products. Since then, the Surface family has taken the business world by storm and becoming the market leader in its category.

Now, after slightly more than 18 months in the market, Microsoft has finally rolled out the fifth generation in the Surface family – not Surface Pro 5, but simply Surface Pro.

Solid Specifications and Impressive Performance


Credits to : Microsoft Surface

The first upgrade from its predecessor includes adding Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, with the top-end model sporting the Core i7 along with the 16GB RAM to significantly increase its performance. (Available CPU model options are Core m3-7Y30, Core i5-7300U and Core i7-7660U processors.) This tweak racks up its benchmark score, beating the majority of its rivals hands down, including the Dell XPS 13, the Surface Laptop and even the HP Elitebook X360. (Click here for full specifications)

This upgrade also drives better power efficiency, which equals to longer battery life. The new Surface Pro also comes with a slightly larger 45Wh battery as compared to the Surface Pro 4 at only 39Wh. And, based on my regular usage, I can use it all day without plugging in power. In this aspect, Microsoft has made a real all-day machine here, which is excellent for frequent travelers or usage on-the-go.

Crisp Display and 10 Point Multi-touch

Surface Pro 2017 - Display

The touchscreen function has also been an essential part of the Surface family, and you can expect the New Surface Pro to come with a new display technology that will improve the accuracy of the touchscreen both for fingers and for the Surface Pen.

Adding on, the Surface Pro features a 12.3in, 3:2 display with 2736 x 1824 pixels. It equates to 267ppi, and it’s plenty enough to make everything look nice and crisp. Brightness is blazing, and the deep contrast levels make it as great for both office work as well as entertainment. Colour accuracy is also superb, with no particular weaknesses. This tablet is great for graphic designers!

Sleek Design

The Surface Pro enjoys the same outstanding attention to detail as every other tablet gadgets in the market, and Microsoft’s ability to produce extremely well-built machines is as apparent as always. Simply put, the Surface Pro is solid as a rock and exudes a certain futuristic quality.

Comparing the Surface Pro with its predecessors, it is not that hard to spot the differences. For starters, the new Surface Pro is much less angular and soften with more rounded corners. The exhaust vents along the edges are also less pronounced as compared to the previous models.

The newly redesigned hinge allows the Surface Pro to tilt up to 165 degrees, allowing it to lie almost entirely flat, which Microsoft calls it the “Studio Mode.” The hinge no longer snaps (for safety) if you push it too far, and Microsoft claims that the hinge would not break if you lean on it too much. The “Studio Mode” comes very handy for illustrators and designers to sketch and design with ease.

Another feature of the Surface Pro is its fan-less design (for the Core m3 and Core i5 models). This feature enables for quieter operations. The i7 model, on the other hand, has an enhanced cooling system that is even quieter and less intrusive under load.

Ports remain unchanged, so you get a USB 3.0, a mini-DP video output and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The microSDXC card reader is embedded hidden under the kickstand.

In general, the Surface Pro (i5 model) comes in at the about 8.5mm of thickness with a 770g weight. Considering that Microsoft accomplished this while packing inside a 20% larger battery, and other upgrades, it’s an impressive feat.

Improved Typing Experience with Signature Type Cover

Surface Pro 2017 - Type Cover

Surface Pro 2017 - Type Cover 2

The Signature Alcantara® Type Cover is a marked improvement in comfort over the previous version, and worth the slight price upgrade. The Alcantara® material provides a perfect blend of sophisticated style, comfort, and technology. It has full-sized keys, LED backlighting, and a large glass trackpad. Available in three colors: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue.

Surface Pen With a Big Boost

Surface Pro 2017 - Pen

Unlike the Surface Pro 4, the new Surface Pro doesn’t include the Surface Pen. Pressure sensitivity has been quadrupled from 1,024 to 4,096, a new tilt feature has been included which allows creatives to shade on their Surface Pro, and latency has been reduced drastically to 21ms on the Surface Pro. The combination makes the Surface Pro one of the best inking experiences on the market, and an excellent tool for digital drawing and handwriting.

Final Verdict

I’ve used many tablets (including Asus Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, etc) but there’s no doubt this Surface Pro is the best one yet. It is a superb 2-in-1, beautifully built and performs well. It’s expensive, but worth it for its excellent design, build quality, and features. It comes as a useful business and design device.

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Quick Review: SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds

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SAVFY True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds

Wired earbuds and earphones are the things of the past. Let’s face it: No matter how good they may sound, untangling the cords of your favorite earbuds can be a nuisance, so is carrying a set of juggernaut earphones. Wireless technology, on the other hand, frees you from the cables that tether you to your music. And now more and more smartphones are ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack and adopting this wireless trend.

But when it comes to true wireless experience, the marketplace isn’t without its fair share of poor-functioning products. From short battery life to poor connection, sometimes you may wonder if it is better for you to go back to your wired lifestyle. Nevertheless, this trend is here to stay and will be widely adopted while better products are coming in its way.

Of course, wireless connectivity isn’t the only innovation that wireless earbuds bring to the table: You’ll find some brands or models with noise-cancellation, extended battery lives, Hi-Res Audio support, etc.

 

SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds

The SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are fully sweat-resistant truly wireless earphones that fit comfortably and securely. Compared to other Elite brands, the SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds is a bang for the buck, as it does not lose out in terms of its build quality and design. This set of earbuds are also great for wire-free beginners as they are intuitive to use.

SAVFY True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds - Close Up

Sleek Design with Comfort: The in-ear units themselves feature a sleek-looking profile, and they’re stunning. Bundled with the set are three sets of silicone tips and the ergonomic design ensures a perfect seal in your ears, serving up a comfortable fit with excellent passive noise isolation. The specifications of the SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are really basic. However, upon listening, they didn’t seem to fair too bad. The sound comes through clear and detailed, with a nice bass to it.

 

Ample Battery with Extra Juice on the Go: The battery life is not the best on the market, but just enough for daily usage. A charge entitles you with 2-3 hours of use time, and the charging case adds two extra charges on the go.

 

Easy Pairing with Average Connectivity: Once out of the charging case, it will enter the matching state, and the left and right earbuds are automatically paired. Concurrently, the earbuds also go into an automatic-pairing mode, with alternating red/blue light, looking for the previously paired device. (It pairs perfectly with the Huawei P20 Pro!)

Another great feature of the SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds is that the earbuds can work together or separately. Therefore, it allows you to have the flexibility to use them individually to either alternate the earbuds for extended use or to share one side with friends or family.

Connectivity has nothing to boast about as sometimes you will get a small skip or beat of the missed music.

SAVFY True Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Earbuds - Charging Case

 

Smart Charging Box with 300mAh Capacity: The SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds have a really simple design that rests beautifully in the charging case. The charging case serves as a container to house the earbuds and acts as a portable charging to refuel the earbuds. There are also red-light indicators to show that the wireless earbuds are charging in storage. It has a micro USB port for charging via the power socket, as well.

 

Other Neat Extras: There are some features you don’t usually get in an ‘entry-level’ true wireless earbuds such as a voice prompt for low-battery notification, as well as for pairing status. You will also have simple control on the earpieces to either start or stop the playing of the media.

 

Good or No Good?

The SAVFY® True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds are the one to start your wireless lifestyle. Pairing is easy and intuitive, and it offers almost everything you want, and nothing you don’t. Best of all is the price of less than S$50 (£35.99). It is definitely the wireless earbuds you should give a try!

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IT Gadgets

Huawei P20 Pro: Three-Eyed Beast with Great Speed and Battery Life

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Huawei P20 Pro + UAG Plasma Series

Huawei has continuously improved its smartphones over the past few years, posing a serious threat to the dominance of Samsung and Apple. The P20 Pro is Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone, and arguably its best phone yet. It brings a remarkably well-built device with a triple camera system and loads of style, competing against top rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone X.

Huawei has fulfilled all the apparent must-haves for a 2018 phone. It reduced the bezels and provided an option to remove the notch. It has a glass back, which has become quite a favorite material of choice for premium mobile phones. It also features multiple cameras and top-notch specs, which are pretty much a standard for a flagship, but it’s what Huawei did beyond the usual suspects that make it so appealing.

 

Premium Design and Build Quality

P20 Pro

Concerning looks, the P20 Pro is a slightly larger version of the P20. It measures 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm and weighs about 180g. Aside from the P20 Pro’s improved physical appearance over the Huawei P10, it adopts an uncannily iPhone X-like in design. The dimensions and ergonomics of this phone approach close to perfection as the device melts into your grip and can be used comfortably single-handedly. For a phone built with glass on both the front and back, the P20 Pro feels surprisingly rigid and durable.

It also comes in a range of colors including its signature Twilight (also the one I am having). Purple at the top transits smoothly to a greenish-turquoise at the bottom, the sort of finish you will see more often on a supercar than a phone. Other colors are Midnight Blue and Black which are pretty safe colors.

P20 Pro - Water

On top of its design, the Pro version gets full IP67 dust and waterproofing which makes it great for outdoor photography on a rainy day. However, this also means that you have to sacrifice the removable battery and external SD card slot.

The final aspect of its design worth noting here is the absence is the headphone jack, but this can be easily taken care off by using a USB-C to 3.5mm converter that is bundled with the phone, or you can simply paired it with a wireless earpiece.

P20 and P20 Pro

 

Bright 6.1 Inch OLED Display

The all-new HUAWEI FullView Display (Full HD+ 2,244 x1,080 pixels resolution) looks stunning, and the colors are vivid and punchy. Watching Netflix on the P20 Pro is enjoyable. The display also supports Natural Tone so that it will adjust the color temperature of the display based on ambient lighting. There is also an option to change the view mode, text size, and screen resolution to make sure the display satisfies the different needs of its users.

 

Leica Triple Camera Paired with Master AI

P20 Pro - Camera

The camera is the one major selling point of the Huawei P20 Pro. The P20 Pro features a Leica triple camera with supposedly the highest pixel count available on a modern smartphone; the camera configuration is comprised of a 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor, and an 8MP sensor with a telephoto lens.

The P20 Pro’s main camera sensor is extra large, more than double of what you get with an iPhone X or a Galaxy S9, leading to some shockingly impressive low-light performance. Image quality from the P20 Pro is, by a great margin, the best that Huawei has ever produced, and even more superior to those on the Galaxy S9 and iPhone X.

Huawei P20 Pro - Solaris

Photo Mode vs Night Mode, Solaris@One-North (Singapore)

Huawei P20 Pro - Monochrome Mode

Photo Mode vs Monochrome Mode, Wat Intharawihan (Bangkok, Thailand)

Huawei P20 Pro - Comparison

Photo Mode vs Night Mode vs Monochrome Mode, Wat Intharawihan (Bangkok, Thailand)

The camera features of the P20 Pro don’t stop there. There’s a nifty six-second long exposure mode which leaverages on its AIS (Artificial Intelligence Stabilisation) and ISO (up to 51,200) to deliver sharp night shots without the use of a tripod. The Kirin 970’s NPU (Neural Processing Unit) is also used together with all the camera hardware to avoid blurring caused by shaky hands.

Master AI

The Master AI is awesome! It is an AI-powered recognition engine that analyses visual information from the viewfinder in real-time. Based on the information obtained, the Master AI auto-suggests features scene and facial recognition in order to set the best camera mode for the user. The engine is also capable of learning and adapting to its user’s behavior so as to provide the user with a customized camera experience.

Huawei P20 Pro - Flower Mode

Master AI, Fyn Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand)

Huawei P20 Pro - Blue Sky Mode

Huawei P20 Pro - Food Mode

Huawei P20 Pro - Portrait Mode

 

Improved EMUI 8.1

When it comes to software, the P20 Pro runs on Android 8.1 with Huawei’s EMUI custom skin. At first glance, EMUI has been made to copy Apple’s own mobile operating system by ditching Android’s usual app drawer and handing its users a suit of Huawei’s apps to use. Compared to a clumsy iOS rip-off a couple of years ago, it has improved quite a bit to achieve quite an acceptable user experience today.

Similar to Samsung, Huawei offers a feature called App Twin, which allows you to run multiple instances of the same mobile app. This feature enables you to be logged into multiple accounts of the same social or messaging service. Huawei also has a split-screen feature, of course, and a sophisticated screenshot tool.

 

Powerful Performance and Long Battery Life

There are no corners cut on performance, with its octa-core Kirin 970 processor, the most powerful Huawei has made to date, along with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This beast packs more than enough power to handle multiple demanding apps at once. From experience, the phone performed extremely well and everything runs smoothly. The performance on the P20 Pro is snappy and responsive for every task thrown at it.

Another key feature of the P20 Pro is its massive 4000mAh non-removable battery. This ultra-battery life is more than enough to see the handset through at least two days of moderate use. On heavy usage, the P20 Pro can still left with 20% juice after 1 whole day. The Super Charge fast-charging feature also outweighs Samsung’s Adaptive Fast Charging and LG’s Quick Charge 3.0, which will get you to about 60 percent in 30 minutes.

 

Final Verdict

The powerful synergy between the excellent ergonomics, stunning display, professional cameras, and responsiveness of the Huawei P20 Pro shouldn’t be underestimated. In building the P20 Pro, Huawei is aiming to build a flagship phone that’s good enough to compete with the iPhones and Galaxies of the world. When it comes to the camera for still shots, the P20 Pro is by far the best in the market. That said, Huawei still has much to improve on its EMUI and video-capturing capabilities. Add in the long battery life and dual SIM slots, the Huawei P20 Pro definitely a phone that deserves your attention.

 

Update: 9 July 2018

Although Huawei P20 Pro has been an awesome phone, there is a slight lag whenever you are taking a photo at 40MP. When the Huawei team was contacted, they weren’t sure what is causing the issue and since then, I have been waiting for a solution to solve this problem. Besides this, Google Map seems to be slightly inaccurate and the phone does not work for Instagram Boomerang.

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Top Picks: The Dehumidifier for the Modern Singapore Home

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Dehumidifier - Cover

Excess moisture in the air may cause considerable damage to items at your residence and your well-being. An excellent dehumidifier gets rid of excess moisture in the air, which could help save you from mold and mildew growth and get rid of allergens. Dehumidifiers are frequently placed in living room, but you will discover alternative use cases for them, such as in wardrobes where you store clean clothes or other smaller areas where an excessive amount of moisture may cause a problem such as bathrooms or even the storeroom.

Studies have shown that more families owned humidifiers rather than air purifiers (46% and 39% respectively). This survey involved more than 250 households in Singapore with members of the family suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions. It also involved households with babies or pregnant women. However, experts have highlighted that humidifiers aren’t necessary for Singapore due to its high humidity, averaging at 70-90%.

Do note that humidity levels above 50% can breed dust mites, mildew, and mold, triggering allergies or other health problems. Therefore, it is vital to own a good dehumidifier in Singapore to keep that excess humidity in check and to protect your health.

 

How Does Dehumidifier Works?

Dehumidifiers use a fan to force air over coolant-filled coils to take away moisture in the surrounding air. The excess condensed moisture after which drips from the coils into a reservoir, or it could be empty from the unit depending on the brand or model. After the whole process, dry air is expelled back into the surrounding.

 

How to Know You Need a Dehumidifier?

Besides suffering from persistent symptoms of allergies, you may want to think about getting a dehumidifier if you have some tell-tale signs of high humidity in your house, including:

  • Water stains on your walls or ceilings of your home
  • High humidity rooms with poor ventilation or no ventilation (e.g. storeroom)
  • Small black spots (mold spores) growing on your walls or in areas with high humidity
  • Moldy or mildew smells
  • Mold growing on your furniture or items (e.g. wooden photo frame)

 

How to Choose a Dehumidifier?

Home Moisture

Credits to : novita

There are several brands and models in the market when it comes to dehumidifiers. When selecting a dehumidifier, it’s important to consider one that fits the space in which you plan to use it, as well as the humidity levels, and other additional requirements if any. Some dehumidifiers in the market have additional features such as humidity indicator, auto-humidistat, auto shut-down, programmable timer, ionizer, etc. But do also note that with more features, it will also mean that the price point will be higher.

 

The Living Room: novita Dehumidifier ND838

novita Dehumidifier ND838 - 1

 

novita Dehumidifier ND838 - 2

The highly-rated novita Dehumidifier ND838 protects your home from the mold and mildew caused by excess moisture in the air, and it helps to ionize and sterilize the air by removing airborne germs.

Measuring at 402 x 260 x 610 mm, and with a tank capacity of 6 liters, the novita Dehumidifier ND838 is suitable for coverage of up to 538 ft2 or 50m2.

The ND838 can operate continuously by connecting to a hose to the unit, allowing water to flow out to a nearby drainage area to avoid the hassle of emptying the tank. It also has a touch-panel for easy control on the preferred humidity settings with a built-in auto humidity sensor, a 24-hour on/off timer, and a child lock function.

The model is also capable of automatically stopping when the water tank is full, and standby with the Relative Humidity (RH) is ideal, saving electricity costs. Another key feature of this model is that there is a semi-permanent built-in ionizer that produces up to 20 million negative ions/cm3, which helps keep airborne allergens and germs at bay.

Best Use: Living room, Common rooms

 

Portable Dehumidifier: Olee OL-333 Mini Dehumidifier

Olee Mini Dehumidifier

Humidity is everywhere, which is why this Olee OL-333 mini dehumidifier is a must-have for smaller areas.

The Olee OL-333 mini dehumidifier absorbs extra moisture in the air with Water Glass Crystal technology, providing dampness protection that is ideal for small enclosed spaces such as cabinets, safes, and closets. The Olee OL-333 is renewable, meaning it will not require any expensive refills or be replaced once it is used up. The product operates on a cycling system in which you place it in a damp area to absorb the moisture and then remove it to recharge the unit.

As the unit absorbs the humidity from the surrounding, there is an indicator window containing crystals that will change from blue to pink over the course of 7-14 days. The colorless, odorless and non-toxic crystals are recharged by plugging the dehumidifier into a power outlet overnight (8 to 12 hours). Each unit lasts about 7-14 days before a recharge is needed.

Best Use: Wardrobes

 

Others: Orita Charcoal Dehumidifier

Best Use: Wardrobes, Drawers, Toilets

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Do you want to triple sales growth, understand digital marketing components and improve your competitive edge?

This book is your go-to-guide for discerning digital marketing and social media and understanding how to perfect these as an art, rather than functional steps to build your business.

 

By Vincent Wee