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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.

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…
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.
Design - 9
Graphic - 8
Sound - 6.5
Performance - 7
Features - 8
Price - 6.5

7.5

Awesome!

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.

IT Gadgets

Asus AC2900 (RT-AC86U): High-end Performance with Decent Coverage for Singapore’s HDB

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Asus RT-AC86U - Cover

Whether you’re into competitive gaming, 4K video streaming, or just a typical internet user, the Asus RT-AC86U will keep your network safe and running smooth like butter. The RT-AC86U is a high-end dual-band router powered by a speedy 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and has an AC2900 speed rating.

Asus has built on the AiMesh firmware platform allowing you to pair multiple routers together to create a customized “Mesh” Network. The RT-AC86U supports this newly developed AiMesh technology, but it also features some of Asus’s latest technologies that it has implemented into some of its most powerful routers, such as the MU-MIMO, the WTFast game accelerator (useful for online gaming), the AiProtection (by Trend Micro) and the Adaptive QoS.

Asus RT-AC86U - Box

 

Futuristic look, But Not Versatile

Asus RT-AC86U - Product

There’s something inherently fearsome about the RT-AC86U’s red-eyed angular angry bee look. It features a rectangular case covered with a black matte finish with a diamond pattern on top. The RT-AC86U’s matte black and red color scheme and design offer a refreshing change from the typical uninspired black box design that you see with most routers.

Asus RT-AC86U - Design 2

As compared to the AC1200G or the typical router, the Asus RT-AC86U is very sleek as it stands upright with three antennas, a few status lights with an overall compact design. It consists of four Gigabit (LAN) ethernet ports and a WAN input on the rear along with a USB 2.0 and a super-fast USB 3.1 port. However, the only trade-off is that you can’t lay it down flat or mount it on a wall which some of the routers in the market can.

Asus RT-AC86U - Design

 

Top-notch Performance on the 5GHz Wireless Frequency

The performance of the Asus RT-AC86U is very impressive, especially on 5GHz. With NitroQAM™ technology, maximum data transfer rates on the RT-AC86U’s 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks are 750Mbps and 2,167Mbps respectively, giving RT-AC86U combined total speed of 2,917Mbps. Whether you’re playing an online game in a heated competition or streaming a live video at 4K UHD, buffering and lag are simply not an option.

Asus RT-AC86U - NitroQAM

 

Reliable Long-range Performance for Singapore’s HDB

RT-AC86U features a innovative antenna design and the new Range Boost technology. It also has an extra internal 5GHz antenna to provide the ultimate 5GHz quad-stream performance. Both Wi-Fi range and signal stability improve dramatically. AiRadar further focuses Wi-Fi signal on your devices, making your Wi-Fi faster, clearer and stronger. RangeBoost also significantly improves mid- to long-distance Wi-Fi coverage.

From tests, it shows that the ASUS RT-AC86U is able to provide a stable signal throughout a typical Singapore’s 4-room HDB apartment. With the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) near the main door, and the modem/router being setup at the same position, the ASUS RT-AC86U is able to cover from the living room all the way to the common bedrooms. The only issue is that none of the routers (AC1200G or RT-AC86U) are able to cover the far-most main bedroom.

HDB Wi-Fi Signal

 

Features: MU-MIMO, WTFast and Adaptive QoS for Better Online-gaming

MU-MIMO technology allows the Asus RT-AC86U to connect to multiple devices and simultaneously provide Wi-Fi to each at their top speed. The only thing is that your device needs to have MU-MIMO-capable hardware to make use of this feature, which is only made available on the 5GHz band.

The Gamers Private Network® (GPN®) from WTFast® performs route optimization automatically, choosing the most efficient route for game packets. This will result in consistently-lower ping time and minimal packet loss. This optimization is good for accelerating one selectable device at a time, so you can enjoy the best results on supported competitive multi-player online games.

QoS features on the Asus RT-AC86U give you easy access to prioritize your network traffic. You can use the adaptive QoS’s automatic settings to prioritize selected types of traffic like games or streaming. You can also manually set which traffic and devices get priority.

Asus also included a commercial grade security, AiProtection, together with Trend Micro. This feature will provide your connected devices with extra protection from malicious attacks and viruses. The feature monitors your entire network to prevent attacks as well as neutralize any devices that may get infected. You also have easy access to parental controls to restrict access to certain sites on your devices.

 

The Verdict: ASUS RT-AC86U

The ASUS RT-AC86U is a router that cooks up decent wireless performance from a gamer-friendly recipe. Its performance puts some of its competitors to shame, while keeping the price point to a lower budget. However, as compared to the basic Asus AC1200G, the RT-AC86U does not outperform much in terms of signal coverage.

The addition of high-end features like MU-MIMO, advanced traffic prioritization with extras like GameBoost and AiProtection, makes Asus RT-AC86U a perfect router for gamers looking to improve their HDB home’s network. It’s powerful enough for all your current devices and ones you get in future. If you are looking for a boost in signal coverage, then you might want to look somewhere like using a WiFi Mesh (TP-Link DecoAsus Lyra SystemNetgear Orbi, Google Wifi or Linksys Velop) or simply adding another WiFi Extender to your home.

Whether you're into competitive gaming, 4K video streaming, or just a typical internet user, the Asus RT-AC86U will keep your network safe and running smooth like butter. The RT-AC86U is a high-end dual-band router powered by a speedy 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and has an AC2900 speed rating. Asus has built on the AiMesh firmware platform allowing you to pair multiple routers together to create a customized "Mesh" Network. The RT-AC86U supports this newly developed AiMesh technology, but it also features some of Asus's latest technologies that it has implemented into some of its most powerful routers, such as the…
It cooks up decent wireless performance from a gamer-friendly recipe. As compared to the basic routers, RT-AC86U does not outperform much in terms of signal coverage. However, it has a great arsenal of features.
Design - 8
Performance - 6
Features - 8.5
Price - 8

7.6

Decent

It cooks up decent wireless performance from a gamer-friendly recipe. As compared to the basic routers, RT-AC86U does not outperform much in terms of signal coverage. However, it has a great arsenal of features.

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BenQ

BenQ EW3270U: 4K Entertainment Monitor with HDR

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BenQ EW3270U - 4K Entertainment Monitor with HDR

In recent years, tech and gaming enthusiasts have seen 4K monitors make some serious headway and many of such displays becoming far more affordable. Now that the HDR format is becoming increasingly common for games like the PlayStation 4 (PS4), brands are finding ways to work on technology to enhance the gaming experience, taking it to new heights.

The BenQ EW3270U is the perfect 4K HDR monitor for high-quality home entertainment, whether you are looking for a cinematic movie watching experience, an exemplary display for your PS4, or just a great 4K monitor to pair up with your gaming desktop. It’s designed to offer excellent visuals through its 32-inch 4K display which comes with BenQ’s latest HDR and Brightness Intelligence Plus (BI+) technologies.

 

Elegant, Simple and Straightforward

The BenQ EW3270U has a very basic design and somewhat similar to the EL2870U model. The key difference is the increase in size, measuring at 657.9×476.27×194.6mm, compared to 522.2X726.4X215mm of the EL2870U. On a side note, the EW3270U has an additional USB-C™ port which is absent on the EL2870U model, giving you the flexibility to connect to your favorite devices.

 

What is HDR gaming?

BenQ EW3270U - 4K

4K-TV Gaming

BenQ EW3270U - HDR

HDR Technology

Credits to: PlayStation 4 Pro

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is one of the latest and best function you may need on video right now. This technology started out as a niche feature, but now it has taken the market by storm. With this feature, you can watch films and TV shows, and even play your favorite games in HDR.

HDR PC gaming is also gaining momentum, and HDR monitors are very slowly making their way into the market. They are mostly branded as either AMD FreeSync or Nvidia G-Sync HDR. In recent years, Sony and Microsoft have even come together to form the HDR Gaming Interest Group (HGIG), inviting TV manufacturers and game developers to participate in improving the HDR gaming experience. This proposed initiatives will also change how a game console and TV inter-operate.

HDR is a far more exciting display tech for games than 4K, whose mammoth pixel counts often don’t truly come into their own unless you’re using a huge TV. However, as someone who plays and spends an insane amount of time with the screen, gamers demand the sharpest possible image. And at the same time, with an HDR console (PS4, PS4 Pro or XBOX One X) and a supporting HDR TV or monitor (like the EW327U or EL2870U), it boosts the sense of depth and presence to games (and films) in a way that a mere pixel count cannot.

What HDR does is to expand the range of brightness, contrast and color displayed, bringing it closer with what the human eye can perceive. Brighter whites, darker blacks, more shades of color and, you will get a more true-to-life picture.

 

Hyper-Realistic Video Quality with HDR

BenQ EW3270U - SDR vs HDR

Credits to: Wccftech

The BenQ EW3270U features a 32-inch VA panel with a max resolution of 3840×2160, 60Hz refresh rate and 3000:1 contrast ratio. As compared to the EL2870U, other than having a bigger screen size, the EW3270U has a higher native contrast and Dynamic Contrast Ratio (DCR), capable of deeper, more vibrant colors with more visible details in shadows and highlights.

The BenQ EW3270U is nice and crisp as you would expect with a 4K resolution. The addition of AMD FreeSync, an adaptive synchronization technology that is used to reduce screen tearing, gives gamers drastic increased visual performance and ultra-smooth gaming experience.

 


Credits to: AMD

 

4 Levels of HDR and BI+ Modes

HDR and BI+ are the prime features on the EW3270U and EL2870U. Given that there are various modes to use, it’s relatively simple to set up the monitor to your liking with excellent color accuracy. There’s a button with a shiny gold badge situated on the bottom right of the bezel that toggles HDR on and off. This simple hotkey switches between 4 levels of HDR and BI+ modes to balance maximum contrast and vibrancy and fully enjoy the splendid image performance of HDR while maintaining your viewing comfort. After activating it, an on-screen display will pop up to tell you whether the HDR on display is emulated or native (if it’s native it just says ‘HDR On’). The hotkey button also can turn on BI+ technology.

BenQ EW3270U - Hotkeys

BenQ EW3270U - Sensor

The BenQ’s BI+ technology gently soften bright areas while keeping dark details crystal clear. It does this via the ambient light sensor that detects the ambient light levels and the color temperature of the environment, while automatically adjusting on-screen brightness and color temperature to fit the surroundings to deliver the most comfortable viewing experience.

 

VA of EW3270U vs. TN of EL2870U

BenQ EW3270U - VA IPS TN

Most gamers are aware of the fact that monitors come in different resolutions and screen sizes, and that monitors can be either a glossy or matte screen surface. However, an average consumer is clueless on the LCD panel technology used in their monitor. A monitor’s panel type is a critical feature that determines how it performs as well as the kind of tasks it is best suited to accomplish.

Comparing TN (EL2870U) and VA (EW3270U), it is not hard to understand that TN panels are the kings when it comes to response time. However, VA panels win in terms of providing a slightly wider and better viewing angle. From a visual standpoint, VA panels also perform much better than TN panels with better black uniformity and high contrast ratios.

 

Conclusion

The BenQ EW3270U is a great gaming monitor with vivid colors, millions of pixels, all the ports you could ever need. The HDR and BI+ technologies are useful to have, catered for professionals, gamers, or home users.

Watching movies and playing games are great when there is HDR content. Retailing for roughly S$899, (12.12 sale at S$749 at Lazada), the EW3270U represents excellent value for money.


EW3270U at BenQ Official Website: https://goo.gl/zZuaaE
EW3270U at BenQ Brand Store: https://goo.gl/BgAWi5
Eye Care Series at BenQ Brand Store: https://goo.gl/KpRsjS

In recent years, tech and gaming enthusiasts have seen 4K monitors make some serious headway and many of such displays becoming far more affordable. Now that the HDR format is becoming increasingly common for games like the PlayStation 4 (PS4), brands are finding ways to work on technology to enhance the gaming experience, taking it to new heights. The BenQ EW3270U is the perfect 4K HDR monitor for high-quality home entertainment, whether you are looking for a cinematic movie watching experience, an exemplary display for your PS4, or just a great 4K monitor to pair up with your gaming desktop.…
A great gaming monitor with vivid colors, millions of pixels, all the ports you could ever need. The HDR and BI+ technologies are useful to have, catered for professionals, gamers, or home users.
Design - 8
Graphic - 8.5
Sound - 4
Performance - 5.5
Features - 9
Price - 8

7.2

Great!

A great gaming monitor with vivid colors, millions of pixels, all the ports you could ever need. The HDR and BI+ technologies are useful to have, catered for professionals, gamers, or home users.

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Event

Editors’ Picks: Top 5 Tech Features For SITEX 2018

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SITEX - Media Cover

SITEX, Singapore’s long-running Consumer Lifestyle IT Exhibition, is back for the 30th time this week. Organized by SGtech, managed by SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd, this annual event is happening from today to Sunday, at Singapore Expo Halls 5 and 6.

Visitors can look forward to amazing deals on the latest gadgets and tech gizmos. They can also experience the latest technologies via the four experiential zones – Travel Tech & Active Fit, Portable Audio, Smart Home and Living, and Gaming.

Without further ado, here are the top 5 tech features for SITEX 2018:

 

#1 Vivo V11

SITEX - V11 1

SITEX - V11 3

Vivo is launching the all-new V11 smartphone at SITEX 2018. The V11 handles the basics of battery, display and performance well, at the same time adding a few extras like its In-Display Fingerprint Scanning Technology and the AI Camera.

At 156 grams, the Vivo V11 is lightweight and durable. The Nebula and Starry Night colorway on its shiny back panel gives this phone a unique and premium look.

SITEX - V11 2

Despite having a big display at 6.41-inch (16.29cm), the Vivo V11 does not feel like a large phone. Featuring a Halo FullView™ Display at 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, the phone can produce stunning images for a vibrant, ultra-vivid experience.

The Vivo V11 also features a 12MP (24 million photosensitive units) + 5MP dual rear camera combination, and 25MP AI front camera with AI technology.

SITEX - V11 4

SITEX - V11 5

The Vivo V11 is available for pre-order at S$599 (without contract) in Nebula and Starry Night exclusively at the Vivo booth 5C02 (Hall 5). Customers who pre-order the Vivo V11 will receive complimentary delivery, a JBL GO portable Bluetooth speaker worth S$89.90 and V11 gift box worth S$49.90.

 

#2 Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30

SITEX - Casio Pro Trek 1

SITEX - Casio Pro Trek 2

SITEX - Casio Pro Trek 3

Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F30 is the outdoors smartwatch even watch fans will adore. Casio has invested the last few years making smartwatches that are designed for adventure and active enthusiasts, and 2018’s iteration of the Pro Trek Smart WSD F range is a more refined version of that range.

The WSD F30 is a rugged piece of gadget, while it may not appear to be designed for military-grade protection, it should well survive some tough knocks and tumbles. It is water-resistant up to 50-meters, making it ideal for active use. Featuring a 1.2-inch dual-layer display and a resolution of 390 x 390 with capacitive touchscreen, it delivers clear visuals when looking at it in bright lighting.

You can select any of the 3 modes to suit your activity – the monochrome and color display separately to maintain optimum visibility in any environment, also to provide efficient power management for battery saving.

The watch also comes with Google’s Wear OS software, which means you’ll be able to download apps off the Play Store while also using it with your iPhone or Android devices. You can also have a choice of using Google Maps or the mapping technology by Casio, to give you an accurate location during your regular outdoor adventures.

 

#3 Sony WH-1000XM3

SITEX - SONY 1

SITEX - SONY 3

Released in August 2018, Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones are the latest in Sony’s line of flagship headphones. The Sony WH-1000XM3 are clearly the decendents of 1000XM2 and the 1000X before them; the overall shape and look are almost the same.

The Sony WH-1000XM3 is more comfortable than its predecessors as it is lighter, and has a thicker headband cushion that is wrapped with faux leather on the super soft ear cups. The headband is also more oval in shape to fit the head better, while allowing for more compact carrying.

SITEX - SONY 2

Sony’s new QN1 HD processor on the WH-1000XM3, improves both audio processing and noise cancellation. Noise canceling headphones have a challenge dealing with mid to high-frequency sounds, like human voices, but the WH-1000MX3 delivers pretty well.

In addition, the Adaptive Sound Control feature allows you to set your preferred level of noise cancellation based on your needs – ranging from full noise cancellation, wind noise reduction, and allowing through various amounts of ambient noise. Pairing with Quick Attention, you can simply communicate without removing your headphones.

Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones are retailing at S$549 at booth 5D01B (Hall 5).

 

#4 Secretlab SoftWeave™ Series

SITEX - Secretlab 1

SITEX - Secretlab 3

SITEX - Secretlab 4

Secretlab is well-known for its high quality, comfortable gaming chairs. The SoftWeave™ Series features a woven-fabric trend, known for its lightweight, breathable and durable properties. The fabric is custom-made and meticulously engineered based on the latest and high-quality 350gsm short-yarn available in the market.

SITEX - Secretlab 2

The SoftWeave™ series will be made available across the THRONE, OMEGA and TITAN, come equipped with the award-winning features of the respective models – such as the multi-tilt mechanism, four-directional armrests, velour memory-foam lumbar pillow and inbuilt lumbar support system respectively.

If you’re interested in purchasing one, do head over to Secretlab at SITEX:

  • OMEGA 2018 (SoftWeave™ series): S$499 (U.P. S$650)
  • TITAN (SoftWeave™ series): S$579 (U.P. S$730)
  • THRONE 2018 (SoftWeave™ series): S$429 (U.P. S$530)

 

#5 Google’s #madebygoogle

SITEX - Google 1

When Artificial Intelligence, software and hardware come together, it can unlock all kinds of possibilities. Featuring a family of consumer hardware products like Google Chromecast, Google Pixel 3 and Google Home.

SITEX - Google 6

SITEX - Google 3

SITEX - Google 4

SITEX - Google 5

Be sure to experience #madebygoogle in real life and try out their newest products just inside the entrance of Hall 5.

 

That’s all for now. See you there!

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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