Benchmarks, reviews, and several opinions prove that Apple’s latest M1 devices are some of the most powerful laptops in the market. Apple’s new M1 lineup includes a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air, and a Mac mini. You can get one of these new products starting at $699 for the Mac mini, $999 for the Air, and $1,299 for the Pro. However, a new MacBook Air with 128GB storage for just $799 has appeared, but it may not be for everyone.
The latest M1 MacBook Air has been spotted with 128GB storage at Apple’s US Education Institute Hardware and Software Price List. Now, what’s curious about this is that the M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage options on the Apple Store. Less storage also means a lower price, that’s why its price tag reads $799, but who is this variant meant for?
Reddit user “u/dduci97” was the one who found the new Air listed with an M1 chip, with an 8-core CPU, a 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, and 128GB. However, Apple hasn’t made this variant available on its US Education Store, which makes us believe that it will not be available for the general public. Now, Apple is giving options to purchase the MacBook Air in bulk quantities, which could mean that it will target schools or universities as possible buyers, and if it does become available for everyone, this MacBook Air could arrive with an $899 price tag, meaning it would be the cheapest option in years.
On another note, Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak were recently interviewed by Ars Technica. They were asked about the possibility of using Microsoft and Windows on the M1 Macs since there is currently no Boot Camp feature for them. They were very clear to say that it’s “up to Microsoft.”
“As for Windows running natively on the machine, “that’s really up to Microsoft,” he said. “We have the core technologies for them to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn of course supports x86 user mode applications. But that’s a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it.”
He also suggested that one of the best possibilities in the future would be to have Windows in the cloud, making reference to CrossOver, which allows x86 Windows apps to run on Apple M1 Macs, using Rosetta 2. Further, Ars Technica did a series of tests of the latest M1 Chrome, showing that it’s up to 80 percent faster than the Rosetta 2 version. Just in case you were planning on downloading Chrome on your new M1 MacBook Air.
“Across all tests, the native M1 version of Chrome performed between 66 and 81 percent better than the version of Chrome running through Rosetta 2. Safari was the fastest browser of all, of course, having been designed by Apple, and it came out on top across all of the tests.”
You can easily download the new M1 version of Google Chrome for your Apple Silicon Mac by going to the Chrome website. You just have to select the “Mac with Apple Chip” option after clicking the download button.
After introducing the Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3 back in May, Microsoft has launched the two devices in India. The pricing starts at INR 42,999 and INR 156,299 respectively. The Surface Go 2 features the same lightweight and compact design as that of its predecessor but packs a larger display. It comes with a 10.5-inch display and is powered by the 8th Generation Intel Core M processor, which translates to improved battery life and a performance upgrade.
On the other hand, the Surface Book 3‘s design hasn’t changed much either. However, it packs some massive internal upgrades as well. It is powered by the 10th Gen Intel processors, all of which are the quad-core variants. It comes with up to 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD that Microsoft claims are its “fastest ever SSDs.” As for the graphic prowess, you get to choose between the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q, GTX 1660Ti, or the Quadro RTX 3000 GPU depending on the variant you pick. The device comes in two screen sizes 13.5-inch (it starts with an Intel Iris Plus graphics) and a 15-inch model. The company is touting a 50% boost in performance and up to 17.5 hours of battery life.
The Surface Go 2 price in India starts at INR 42,999 and goes up to INR 63,499. In contrast, the Surface Book 3 will cost Indian consumers INR 156,299 for the base variant and INR 340,499 for the highest-end model. The detailed price chart is mentioned below:
We start today’s deals with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra which is getting a $200 discount over at Amazon. This leaves the US version unlocked with 128GB storage for $1,100. However, you can also get the Galaxy S20 5G for $800 with the same 128GB storage option and $200 savings, but you will have to settle for the Cloud Pink color variant. Still, if you want a new Samsung smartphone, and you don’t really care if it’s a flagship or not, the Galaxy A71 5G is getting a $41 discount, leaving the 128GB unlocked version for $558.41.
Now, if you’re looking for older Samsung Galaxy devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is currently available for $700 with $250 savings at B&H and it will come with 256GB storage space. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also available, and you can get yours with a $650 discount in its 512GB storage version, meaning you can get yours for just $600.
Razer gaming accessories are also getting some interesting discounts over at Amazon. The Razer BlackWidow Elite mechanical gaming keyboard is currently available for $85 with $58 savings, yes that’s 50 percent off. If you don’t like this keyboard, you can also get the Razer Huntsman Elite which is getting a $30 discount, leaving it at $170. Gaming mice options include the wireless Razer Viper Ultimate Hyperspeed for $120 with $30 savings, and the Razer Basilisk X HyperSpeed for $40 with $20 savings.
Other deals include the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is currently getting a $150 discount, leaving it at $749. We also find the Samsung Electronics A7 tablet at $200 with $80 savings in its 64GB version, and $169 with $61 savings in the 32GB storage version. Finally, the Sony WF-1000XM3 are getting a $62 discount, leaving them at $168.
I’ll start my HUAWEI MateBook X review for the 2020 model by talking just a little bit about the MateBook X Pro, I had the pleasure of using in spring. I called it “one damn fine laptop” because it was spot on for everything I personally require on a daily basis from an ultra-portable computer.
Back in May, I was pretty sure HUAWEI can’t do any better, but to my surprise, the company proved me wrong. Not because there is something wrong with the 2020 MateBook X Pro, which I still recommend, but because the company totally nailed it with the 2020 model of the MateBook X, which we’re currently reviewing.
They say a piece of paper is as smart as the words you put on it. In the case of the MateBook X, we’re looking at a damn smart piece of paper, as the computer not only fits on a sheet of A4 (297 x 210 mm), but it’s actually smaller. So what can you expect from a computer that’s this small and lightweight? Let’s find out in our HUAWEI MateBook X review below.
We’ve been using the HUAWEI MateBook X for two weeks exclusively, typing two reviews (this included) on it, as well as for everything else work and play.
You have the option of choosing either the Forest Green or the Silver Frost (our current review unit) colors. Weighing just 1kg, the MateBook X measures 284.4 x 206.7 x 13.6mm, making this a very lightweight and portable machine. Don’t be fooled by its rather small footprint; it “makes up” for it in many other departments.
Designed for the fashion-aware urban user who’s on the go, the MateBook X has an elegant build and design. By utilizing an aluminum-magnesium alloy unibody, HUAWEI managed to keep the weight at 1kg, and by spray painting five times the company added a finish on top of it that speaks luxury and premium.
The design is so minimalistic that nothing distracts you from admiring the actual machine and finish. A subtle, polished HUAWEI logo on the top, and two delicate cutouts on the bottom curvature towards each side for two (of the total of four) speakers. No air vents, no grills, just uninterrupted finesse.
A thickness of 13.6mm (should be thinness) doesn’t allow a lot of wiggle room when it comes to ports. The MateBook X features 1 USB Type-C port on each side, granted, these support data transfers, display port, as well as charging.
There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left-hand side, which doubles as a microphone input port as well, being a 2-in-one jack.
That’s all there is to it on the outside, but the real surprise comes when you flip it open. You’ll be amazed that such a small footprint can be home to a full 13-inch display. HUAWEI achieved that by slimming down the bezels to an insane amount. Dubbed the Infinite FullView Display, it offers a whopping 90% screen-to-body ratio which is a sheer pleasure to look at.
The aspect ratio is 3:2 by design and on purpose, as HUAWEI claims it offers more screen real-estate than the traditional 16:9. This is true, but it also means that you’ll have some letterboxing going on when watching videos.
The 13-inch panel is LTPS, and one of the prettiest we’ve seen yet. At a resolution of 3000 x 2000 pixels, it brings 278PPI density, and the colors and contrast it delivers are amazing. Claimed brightness is 400 nits and viewing angles at 178 degrees, but the only thing that sometimes hinders the viewing experience is the glossy finish of the display and the reflections on it.
The panel is also 10-point touch-enabled and has been treated to an anti-fingerprint coating to minimize the smudges on the screen after operating it by touch.
It should come as no surprise by now, if you’re even somewhat familiar with HUAWEI (and HONOR) laptops, that the webcam is located on the top row of the keyboard. This serves two purposes: not only allows for ultra-slim bezels, but it ensures your privacy, being a pop-up camera. It also has the inconvenience of a lower angle, hence by now the overused “nosecam” name it was labeled with.
The keyboard has a scissor approach for its buttons, offering a comfortable key travel (1.3mm). It is a full-size keyboard though, don’t let the compact design trick you. It is also backlit with nice, even, and quite bright light. We’ve seen no visible bleeding or dark spots, it gets as even as possible across all keys.
On top of the keyboard, you’ll spot the power button. It has an integrated fingerprint scanner which intelligently uses caching so that the same press of the button that turns the computer on is used to sign you in, without the need of touching the button once again. HUAWEI says it comes in pair with a smart optimized BIOS in order to improve Windows log-in speed and reliability.
For the 2020 model, the trackpad (or clickpad, as HUAWEI calls it) on the MateBook X is not only larger, but it now offers haptic feedback for a better tactile experience. The company calls it HUAWEI Free Touch, as it debuts on this model, but the changes don’t stop there.
Do you remember the NFC tag/stickers on previous models, used for pairing the laptop with the phone in order to use HUAWEI Share and Multi-Device Collaboration? They’re now gone, as HUAWEI built the NFC tag underneath the clickpad.
The 2020 MateBook X comes in two processor configurations: you can opt for the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10210U processor or the corresponding Core i7-10510U. Both feature the same amount of memory, at 16GB of RAM (dual-channel, LPDDR3 2133MHz), as well as the same storage in the form of a 512GB PCIe SSD.
This is not a gaming laptop, and most who will opt to buy one (should) understand that. It is equipped with the integrated Intel UHD Graphics which is enough for office and multimedia, but, while it will handle less demanding gaming titles, it is not recommended for demanding ones.
The webcam we mentioned earlier, as a pop-up camera on the top row on the keyboard is a 720p HD camera. It gets the job done, granted, you’ll have to get used to the angle, but if you absolutely can’t, just buy an external webcam for your video calling needs. Make sure to unplug it, if you grab one, to protect your privacy, which is as easy as pressing it down into the chassis when it comes to the built-in camera.
There are four speakers on the MateBook X, of which two tweeters are embedded under the keyboard to enable the laptop to deliver sound from its input devices. The MateBook X also supports virtual 5.1 channel output for a more immersive experience, as well as two microphones.
Also debuting on the MateBook X is the edge microphone setup, which delivers, according to HUAWEI, better signal-to-noise performance. Sensitivity-wise the microphones pick up sound from up to five meters and AI intelligently removes echoing that occurs in large conference rooms.
Aside from the two USB Type-C ports on each side, the MateBook X features Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax at 2.4GHz and 5GHz as well as Bluetooth 5.0. Of note that there’s another first on HUAWEI laptops with this model: it features, for the first time, Wi-Fi 6, with advertised potential speeds of up to three times those of Wi-Fi 5.
There’s a 42Wh battery pack powering the MateBook X, and inside the box, you will find a 65W charger. Talking about in-the-box accessories, you’ll also find a USB-C power cable, and the HUAWEI MateDock 2, which, once plugged into the USB-C port, offers you a multitude of output options (HDMI, VGA, USB-A, and USB-C).
Performance and battery life
While I usually do more than a fair amount of testing and real-life usage with my review units, I’ll be honest: I think I exaggerated with the MateBook X. Not because I was trying desperately to find flaws, but simply because I couldn’t put it down. Once pressing publish on this review, I’ll be sad to see it go!
I carried it everywhere with me and it turned eyes everywhere it was seen. This of course means that I worked more than the usual hours that I do, but I didn’t mind, as the MateBook X made it a sheer pleasure.
For work: I’ve written reviews (including this one), responded to emails, created documents and spreadsheets, manipulated imagery, and had a fair amount of Skype and video calls. I’ve basically moved in making it my permanent mobile office for the review period.
For fun: I’ve listened to music, watched Netflix and YouTube videos, with a fair amount of chatting, whether through dedicated apps, or web versions of specific clients.
Nothing I threw at this machine made it ever hiccup or make me doubt that it’s going to get the job done, in a buttery smooth manner. I’m not a gamer, and I already advised above against trying to play demanding games on this machine.
If you’ve been following Pocketnow for a while you must already know by now that we’re not fans of benchmarks. We rely mostly on real-life usage scenarios, as that’s more likely what you’ll do (except if you’re the type of person who only runs benchmarks for a living).
However, we do understand that some of you appreciate seeing analytical and synthetic data, so we’ve run a couple. You can find the results below.
When it comes to battery life, things get a little bit tricky, and, it all comes down to your usage scenario. If you’re doing basic office work with documents, browsing, email, etc., you’ll likely make it through the day.
The higher the brightness on the display (say if you’re outdoors and you need to crank it up, or you are watching or streaming videos), the shorter your battery life will be.
The shortest we’ve got out of the MateBook X was close to six hours of streaming video with full brightness. For the benchmark people among our readers, that translated to 7 hours and 44 minutes on PC Mark 10.
Regardless of what’s been thrown at it, the system stayed fairly cool and silent.
Software and experience
The HUAWEI MateBook X ships with Windows 10. Our unit arrived with Windows 10 Home, and our experience refers to the operating system and drivers being up to date.
The entire experience is smooth, with nothing to report. Things just work as they should, and if you’re a Windows person you’re probably already used to how the OS handles updates and requires restarts. But once it’s settled in, things are buttery smooth.
There’s little to no bloatware on the device, but it does ship with the PC Manager app, which serves two purposes: 1. It makes sure your system stays in top-notch shape by checking hardware and drivers and 2. It’s the interface between connecting your smartphone and the computer.
We’ve detailed Multi-Screen Collaboration and how HUAWEI Share works among HUAWEI and HONOR (sadly limited to these two) smartphones with the occasion of our HUAWEI MateBook X Pro and HONOR MagicBook 14 reviews. Check those out if you need more details on how useful these features are.
The overall experience is top-notch, offered by a beautifully designed piece of jewelry you’ll be proud to show off. The system is silent and cool, and if you’re consuming multimedia, you’ll absolutely love how loud and clear those four speakers are.
About the only thing stopping us from saying that this is potentially the best ultrabook out there is competition from HUAWEI itself. We wouldn’t hesitate if there wasn’t a HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, but then again, we’d hesitate to call that one the best, because of this model.
HUAWEI did a great job of having two offerings which are both just as good choices, depending on the target audience, as they fall into two different categories.
With a beautiful design, lightweight and small footprint, great display, and some “first on a HUAWEI laptop” features, we have no doubts in highly recommending this computer. Whether it’s your MacBook Air replacement, or the first computer for someone who is constantly on the go, its beauty, smarts, and small/light unibody structure will make it a pleasurable companion.
Officially announced for €1,599 (Core i5) and €1799 (Core i7), the price varies, just like the configuration options, from market to market. HUAWEI currently sells the i5 version in Germany and France for €1,499, and in Romania for the equivalent of €1,530.
+ beautiful design; + small and light; + gorgeous screen; + snappy performance; + good battery life.
– only two USB ports; – odd webcam angle; – poor graphics for gaming; – a tad on the pricier end;
We start today’s deals with the Google Pixel 4a, which can be yours for just $5 a month on Verizon. Of course, there are some conditions to be met, as you have to be a new Unlimited plan customer, and you will have to pay $5 a month for two years, leaving the 128GB device at $120, which sells for $380 unlocked. Another option for those of you looking for a new Android phone is the LG G8 ThinQ, which is currently selling for $500 after a $450 discount at B&H.
We then see several Apple products on sale over at Amazon. We will start with the 11-inch Apple iPad Pro with 128GB storage selling for $750 with $49 savings. The new 10.2-inch iPad with 32GB in storage is currently selling for $299 after a $30 discount or the 128GB version for $395 with $34 savings. The Apple Watch Series 5 in its 44mm version with Gold Aluminum case and pink sport band can be yours for $350 with $79 savings, or get the Apple Watch Series 3 for just $169 after a $30 discount. Finally, the latest MacBook Air is currently selling for $929 with $70 savings.
There are also interesting options if you’re looking for headphones, as the Jabra Elite 85h are getting a $100 discount, leaving them at $150. The Libratone Q Adapt Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are also available for $150 after a $70 discount, or you can get a paid of Apple AirPods Pro for $200 after a $49 discount.
Finally, Razer has a huge Halloween sales event where you can find $100 discounts on Razer Blade laptops, up to 23 percent off Razer keyboards, headphones, gaming mice, and more. For example, you can find the Razer BlackWidow Elite for just $130 with $40 savings. We find $20 discounts on the Razer Mamba Wireless, leaving it at $80 and more.
Last month, Microsoft released a timeline for the end of Adobe Flash. It said that the Flash removal tool would be an optional update in Windows Update by early 2021. Now, within a few weeks, Microsoft has released a new update that removes the Adobe Flash version bundled into Windows 10. However, it does not remove any standalone versions you’ve installed yourself. Plus, it doesn’t remove Flash from your browsers, either.
The optional Catalog update paves the way for the eventual end of Flash in 2021. With the new Windows 10 update, Flash support will officially end this year. There will eb no more updates for Internet Explorer 11 and the legacy (non-Chromium) version of Edge by December. Further, the latest version of Edge that uses Google’s Chrome engine, will have its Flash support end in January 2021.
While Google has said that it would end Flash support for Chrome, Adobe itself has announced that it will end Flash development in 2020. Microsoft says, “We are releasing this removal update in advance of end of support to help customers test and validate their environments for any impact that might occur by the removal of Adobe Flash Player. Also, if another security update for Adobe Flash Player is released, customers who take this removal update will still be offered the security update.”
The update is optional as of now, but it will become a recommended update and in the middle of 2021. The company will also be removing Flash-related developer frameworks, group policies, and user interfaces from legacy Edge and IE11. Once installed, this update cannot be uninstalled.
We start today’s deals with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, as it’s currently getting a $200 discount, leaving the 128GB unlocked version for $1,100. However, you can also go for the regular Samsung Galaxy Note 20 as it’s getting the same $200 discount, which leaves the unlocked device with the same storage space for $800. And since we’re talking about Samsung, you may also want to consider getting a 42mm Samsung Galaxy Watch in Midnight Black for $169 with $91 savings.
Gaming laptops are also on sale, and there are several options to choose from. We will start with the Razer Blade 15 Base gaming laptop 2020, which comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 GPU, 16GB RAM, and 256GB for $1,500 with $100 savings. Acer’s Predator Helios 300 comes with an Intel i7 Processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage space for $1,097 after a $103 discount, and finally, the ASUS ZenBook Duo comes with the same processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB storage space for $1,100 after a $200 discount. This last laptop is not a gaming laptop, but its new design, the FHD NanoEdge Bezel Touch Display, and other features may be an interesting option for anyone looking for a new laptop.
We also find discounts on Sony’s 65-inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV, which is currently listed for $600 after a massive $400 discount. You can also choose the smaller 55-inch version of the Sony X750H, which is up for grabs for $520 with $280 savings.
Other deals include several gaming controllers such as the PowerA Pokemon Enhanced Wireless GameCube Style Controller for Nintendo Switch for $35 with a $15 discount. PowerA’s Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch in several color options, starting at $37.49, depending on the version you choose.
Other deals include the Logitech G604 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse for $70 after a $30 discount, the Logitech G903 Lightspeed Wireless gaming mouse for $100 with $50 savings, and AUKEY’s mechanical gaming keyboard, which is currently listed for $45, but you can get a 30 percent discount when you use promo code ICA2M6EP.
We start today’s deals with some interesting smartphone options. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with 128GB storage in Cosmic Black can be yours for $1,200 after a $200 discount. However, this device will be back in stock in maybe 2 to 4 weeks. If you want the vanilla Galaxy S20, it is also getting a $200 discount, leaving it at $800 with the same waiting time. Now, if you don’t want to wait that long for an unlocked S20 variant, you can get up to $300 off the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 with qualified activation for Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint over at Best Buy, or get the Unlocked version for $800 with $200 discounts.
Other smartphone options include the Sony Xperia 1 for $549 with $400 savings, the LG G8X ThinQ with dual-screen lets you save even more, as it’s getting a $450 discount, leaving it at $500, and the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G can be yours for %495 after a $105 discount.
Now, Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM, 1TB storage, and a 2,3GHz Intel Core i9 processor in Space Gray is getting a $350 discount, leaving it at $2,450. You can also choose to get less storage and a less powerful processor, as the Intel Core i7 with 512GB in storage is selling for $2,149 with $250 savings. If you’re not a fan of Macs, you can get the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop for $1,200 with $250 savings, and you get a 14-inch display, an AMD Ryzen 9 processor, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, in Moonlight White.
If you’re looking for a new tablet, Apple’s latest 11-inch iPad Pro with 256GB in storage is selling for $849 after a $50 discount, or get the 128GB version for $750 with $49 savings. However, these are WiFi-only versions. Now, you can also get the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 with 128GB and WiFi connectivity for $500 after the latest $150 discount at Best Buy or Amazon.
Other deals include the Apple Watch Series 5 in its 44mm GPS-only version for $350, with $79 savings, the AirPods Pro for just $200 after a $50 discount, and Bose’s noise-canceling Headphones 700, which are getting a $20 discount, leaving them at $379.
HUAWEI, and its sub-brand, HONOR, have been present in the laptop landscape for quite some time, but it’s only been the past couple of years that the two companies really started to make waves. HUAWEI offers really high-tier, premium products, as we’ve seen with the occasion of our MateBook X Pro review, and HONOR is doing a great job at bringing premium quality and design, as well as performance, to the more affordable segment.
The HONOR MagicBook 14 hasn’t changed much, if at all, compared to the previous generation, in terms of its design. However, the 2020 model, announced at IFA, brings a serious spec-bump with the addition of AMD’s Ryzen 5 4500U chip, a step up from the previously used 3500U.
In our HONOR MagicBook 14 review (2020), we’re taking a look at whether you get the most bang for your buck if you decide to purchase this laptop.
Those familiar with the previous generation will be right at home when it comes to the MagicBook 14. If, however, this is going to be your first time with the computer, you should expect a solid build mostly of aluminum and some plastic.
The laptop is available in Mystic Silver, and Space Gray, the unit we’re currently reviewing. While the case itself is indeed Space Gray, the logo on the top, as well as the chamfers, have a nice blue tone to them, which gives it an extra flashy, but subtle look at the same time.
Taking a look around the MagicBook 14, on the right side you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone port, next to a full-size USB3.2 Gen 1 (Type A). On the left-hand side, you get a USB Type-C, an HDMI, and a full-size USB2.0 (Type A) port.
The bottom features a slightly raised design in order for air to easily find its way underneath the laptop, and inside, through the grill that runs almost the entire width of the device. This is also where the speaker grills reside, one on each side for stereo sound.
Opening up the lid reveals, as its name implies, a 14-inch display with rather small bezels, thanks to HONOR inheriting the webcam approach from HUAWEI. The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is FHD, and an aspect ratio of 16:9. Said small bezels result in a screen-to-body ratio of 84%, which is not the largest out there, but it’s definitely nice to look at, granted, hindered only by the fairly large bottom bezel.
The panel is an IPS LCD, and HONOR claims a brightness of 250 nits and an 800:1 contrast ratio. The matte finish of the display ensures no reflections and the colors are nice and punchy. About the only thing we can nitpick on is outdoor visibility which is a tad difficult in bright environments, as well as the viewing angles, which are narrower compared to a higher-end laptops, but definitely not a dealbreaker.
The keyboard is full size, with nice and pleasant key travel. Keys size and spacing ensure comfortable typing and the backlight is nice and even with little to no bleeding, illuminating clearly each key in the dark.
The touchpad offers a great experience as well. Despite being plastic, it doesn’t pose any usability issues. Clicks are firm and gestures work as they should.
On the top right there’s a round power button which also has the fingerprint scanner embedded in it. What’s worth mentioning here is that if you turn on the computer with the finger you enrolled as your fingerprint authentication, Windows will automatically sign you in without the need to authenticate or touch the button again.
Inside you’ll find the new AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor, paired with AMD Radeon Graphics. The chip is a six-core CPU with six threads, built on the 7nm technology, and has an 8MB L3 Cache. Depending on the market, the laptop is available with either 8- or 16GB of memory, and the same goes for storage with 256- and 512GB versions.
…and then the webcam, which is always a polarizing topic when it comes to HONOR and HUAWEI laptops. The dreaded “nosecam” title still remains, but HONOR, just like HUAWEI, stresses on the privacy issue, and they’re right. A camera that’s tucked inside the keyboard will most likely not reveal anything about you even if hacked. Once you pop it open, the only downside is the awkward viewing angle, but you’ll get used to it (or buy a separate webcam if you have to).
Performance and battery life
Our review unit has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. While it is by no means a powerhouse gaming machine, it gets the job done if you’re ok with playing titles that are not demanding. You might also need to tweak the game’s settings to a lower resolution to be easier on the graphics card.
That being said, all other mundane tasks are being handled without issues. Whether it’s work (documents, spreadsheets, browsing, emails, video calls, etc.) or entertainment (YouTube, Netflix, listening to music, basic photo manipulation), it gets the job done without any issues.
We’re not huge fans of benchmarks here on Pocketnow, but for those of you who are, here are some of the results from the tests we ran:
In terms of battery life, the 56Wh unit inside the MagicBook 14 did a great job. It will last for an entire day if you do lightweight office work. To get a better sense of how much juice you can squeeze out of the battery, it should last you a tad above 11 hours of YouTube videos with the display brightness cranked up to the maximum, and close to 13 hours of constant browsing.
Software and experience
In terms of software, the MagicBook 14 ships with Windows 10 out of the box. After a couple of updates to the operating system, drivers, and firmware, once you’re up to date, the entire experience is smooth. Not much to report here, things are working, behaving, and performing as they should.
A special mention goes to HONOR MagicLink, which is the company’s take on HUAWEI Share. It acts and behaves the same way, allowing you to link up your compatible HONOR or HUAWEI phone to the computer so that you can mirror your display, and do some other tasks.
The sticker on the laptop is basically an NFC tag which, once scanned, will pair your phone to the computer. NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi will have to be enabled on both devices. Once paired, your smartphone’s home screen will appear windowed so that you can take calls, send texts, chat, as well as drag and drop files among the two devices seamlessly. This includes images, texts, documents, and real-world scenarios include dragging a photo from your phone straight into a document or presentation.
There’s also a shared clipboard feature where you can access content copied on one device on the other one. Overall, it’s a great experience, with one caveat: your smartphone has to be HONOR or HUAWEI to access this Multi-Screen Collaboration feature.
The overall experience is top-notch. We absolutely like the display, as well as the sound produced by the speakers. Considering the affordable price tag, we’ve experienced poorer sound quality on more expensive laptops, so props to HONOR for this.
The system doesn’t overheat, thanks mostly to the huge grill vent we talked about in the Design segment. The fans are doing a great job at keeping it from overheating, but you’ll have to get used to them hissing if you’re in Performance mode and you’re undertaking demanding tasks.
For day-to-day lightweight operation, they barely fire up while the system stays nice and cool and stable.
The HONOR MagicBook 14 was already a great choice when it ran the older version of the processor. Now, with the upgraded 4500U chip, the 2020 model not only outperforms other laptops in its class and price range, but it also manages, like an overachiever that it is, to sometimes get closer and bridge the gap to that high-end segment.
But not everything’s roses and rainbows. Our cons category includes the “nosecam”, a rather heavy build at 1.4kg, and I/O could be somewhat better.
However, for (currently on sale) €749,90 or £669.99 respectively, it’s affordable enough to overlook the aforementioned cons. The price is for the model we’ve been using, in an 8GB and 512GB configuration.
Great design, premium materials;
Really nice display;
Excellent battery life;
Speakers are loud;
Integration with HUAWEI smartphones via HUAWEI Share.
Not recommended for graphics-intense operations;
Pop-up webcam’s angle is something you’ll have to get used to;
A tad heavy at 1.4kg;
I/O could be better;
If you’re in the U.S. you’ll likely need to import it, which will add to the price.
Porsche makes expensive sports cars, and once in a while, collaborates with consumer technology brands to launch limited edition gadgets too. Take for example HUAWEI, which has been selling uber-expensive Porsche Edition smartphones for the past few years. Now, it’s Acer’s time to adds some Porsche oomph to its computing lineup. As part of its Next At Acer conference, the company has launched the Porsche Design Acer Book RS. As the name suggests, the device exudes luxury and also has a handsome starting price of ‘just’ $1,399.99.
Talking about the build, Porsche Design Acer Book RS has a CNC-machined chassis with a carbon fiber cover on the lid, which actually looks stunning. Acer has also launched custom-designed accessories which include the Porsche Design Acer Mouse RS that features a carbon fiber reinforced left click button. The travel pouch, on the other hand, is made from ECCO PALERMO XA Leather while the sleeve uses water-repellent 1680D fabric. Acer will also sell a premium bundle that costs a cool $1,999.99 and includes the laptop as well as the aforementioned accessories.
But the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is not just eye-candy. Acer has packed the laptop with Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7 processor that ticks alongside NVIDIA’s GeForce MX350 GPU and 16 gigs of RAM. And since this is an 11th Gen Intel Core processor, you will also find Intel’s own Xe graphics inside it. The latest Acer offering packs a 14-inch FHD display with narrow bezels and a layer of Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The battery is claimed to last 17 hours on a single charge, while thermals are handled by dual copper heat pipes.
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS also comes with Intel Evo certification, which means it provides a long battery life, supports fast charging (4 hours of play time with 30 minutes of charge),Thunderbolt 4, WiFi 6, and wake time of 1 second or less. There is also a fingerprint sensor for authentication. Aside from the US market, the luxurious Acer offering will be up for grabs in EMEA (for €2,399) and China (for ¥19,999) as well.
Microsoft is rolling out the Windows 10 October 2020 update. While it’s not a huge update, it still brings some notable changes. For instance, the Start menu is getting a new look. According to the company, the new design has a streamlined design and there’s a more uniform look for tiles, which are also getting a new transparent background. Plus you can add an accent color to the Start menu, taskbar and action center as per your liking. The new look is clean and minimalistic. Further, Microsoft has also updated the notification interface, which adds that app logo to the top left and comes with a ‘X’ mark to dismiss the notification.
With the Windows 10 October 2020 update, Microsoft is also baking in the Edge browser more deeply into the OS. The browser is also an improved version as it offers better performance, faster web page rendering, a new Collections feature, and much more. The company has also changed up how alt-tab window switching works. You’ll now be able to see your recent web pages when switching between programs.
If you have a 2-in-1 machine, Microsoft has included new features in its Windows 10 October 2020 update for you as well. The company has updated the behavior of Windows 10, which will now longer ask you if you want to enter Windows 10’s dedicated tablet mode. Instead, it will automatically enhance the desktop experience with a more touch friendly interface, which includes larger hit boxes in the File Explorer and a more spacious taskbar.
The Windows 10 October 2020 update has several new features including the ability to change your display’s refresh rate in the Windows 10 settings app. Further, new PCs with the update preinstalled will have better customizations for your account when you login for the first time.
To install the new Windows 10 October 2020 update you can go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates. You’ll get an option of Feature Update to Windows 10, version 20H2 section, click the Download and install now button.
In June, Google announced that Windows apps will soon be made available to Chrome OS through a third-party partnership. Now, it has launched Parallels Desktop for Chromebook Enterprise that provides access to Windows apps on Chromebooks. These users will be able to purchase the app for $69.99 per user. Will the help of Parallels Desktop, Chrome OS will now boot a full version of Windows inside a virtual machine.
This is still an initial release, and a deeper Chrome OS and Windows app integration will come over time. As of now, everything happens in a window that has two rows of buttons with various controls. These can be resized. Plus, full touch and keyboard input is supported. Moreover, the cursor transforms depending on what OS you’re hovering over.
The Windows 10 experience on Chromebooks is accessed from the Parallels Desktop icon in the bottom shelf. You can also enter fullscreen mode to hide the underlying operating system. Parallels and Google have worked together to enable features like a shared clipboard, shared user profiles, and custom folders. With the help of these features, you’ll be able to share files between the Windows instance and Chrome OS. It will also allow web links in the Windows instance to open the Chrome browser, which is the main part of Chrome OS.
The Verge reports, printers that are supported in Chrome OS will also be available in Windows, but webcams, microphones, and any other USB devices won’t be supported inside Windows as of now. However, Parallels is working to enable USB peripherals and webcams in a future update.
The new feature is limited to ‘power users’ – those have machines that ship with Intel’s Core i5 or Core i7 processors and 8GB of RAM for devices with a fan or 16GB of RAM for fanless models. To configure devices, it will require Windows 10 license from IT admins who will be able to use Google’s Admin console to enable Parallels on compatible devices.
We start today’s deals with Apple’s new 16-inch MacBook Pro, which comes with 16GB RAM. 512GB storage space and an Intel Core i7 processor for $2,099 after a $300 discount from its regular $2,399 price tag. However, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop, you may want to check out the Razer Blade Stealth 13, which is getting a $349 discount, leaving it at just $1,451. Upon purchase, you get an Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTZ 1650 graphics card, 16GB RAM, and 512GB storage space.
Next up, we have some deals on the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL, but hurry since quantities are very limited. The 64GB Just Black version is currently selling for $607.77 with $191.23 discounts, while the Clearly White version sells for $629 after a $170 discount. If you want more storage, the 128GB version in Clearly White is getting a $61.76 discount, leaving it at $837.24. Now, if you want the larger variant, it is selling for $779 with 129 savings and 64GB storage space, and if you’re interested in the Google Pixel 3a, you can get it for $319 with 64GB and $80 savings.
Headphones are also getting interesting discounts, as the V-MODA Crossfade 2 Wireless Codex Edition are now available for $300, down from its regular $350 price tag. These are available in three different color options, and they include Qualcomm’s aptX and ACC with up to 14 hours of continuous playback and fast charge that will give you up to four hours of power after a 30-minute charge. However, the Philips Fidelio X3 are also on sale. They go for the same $350 price tag, but they can now be yours for just $249.
Other deals include the latest Apple Watch Series 6 in its 40mm, GPS only version with Space Gray aluminum case and Black Sport Band selling for $374 after a $24 discount. LG’s OLED55CXPUA CX 55-inch smart OLED TV is getting a $503 discount, leaving it at $1,497. Belkin’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro for macOS and Windows is now selling for $250 with $50 savings, and the Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller can be yours for $80 after a $20 discount.
This is the second day of Amazon Prime Day deals, and unfortunately, the last day when you can take advantage of most of these deals. We will start today with Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, which is available for $2,079 after a $320 discount. It includes an Intel Core i7 processor and 512GB of storage space. However, the Intel Core i9 version with 1TB in storage space can be yours for $2,449 after a $350 discount. Razer also gives an interesting discount to its Razer Blade 15 Advanced gaming laptop, which sells for $2000 with $600 savings. Upon purchase, you’d get a laptop with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage space, and an NVIDIA GeForce RTZ 2070 graphics card.
If you’re looking for smartwatches, there are several options from Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and more. We will start with the Apple Watch Series 6 that was recently launched with a $399 price tag in its 40mm version, but right now, you can get yours for $385 with $15 savings. Samsung options include the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 for just $210, down from $250 of the Galaxy Watch for $260, down from $320.
Garmin is also offering many discounts, out of which we can point out the Garmin Instinct rugged outdoor watch for just $150, down from $300, or the Garmin Forerunner 645 for $220 with $50 savings. Finally, the TicWatch Pro 2020 fitness smartwatch with 1GB RAM is currently selling for $182, with a $78 discount.
If you’re interested in a new monitor to improve your working space, LG’s 32-inch UltraFine Display Ergo UGD 4K display is available for $596.99, or get the 32-inch 4K UHD LED Monitor with Vesa Display for $455, down from its regular $496 price tag. HP is also offering gaming monitors, the HP Envy 32-inch all-in-one computer for $1,785, down from a $3,000 price tag, so you can take a look at the options available below and see if there’s anything you fancy.
There are also some great smart TV options, as you can find the 55-inch Sony BRAVIA LOED 4K Ultra ID 2020 model for $1,298 with $200 savings. The 65-inch Sony XBR65X900F 4K Ultra HD Smart LED Android TV 2018 model for $850, which saves you $648 from its regular price tag. You can also find options from Toshiba, Hisense, and more down below.
Headphones are also on sale, and there are tons of options to choose from. Let’s start with the Jabra Elite 85h that are now down to $180. These headphones usually sell for $250, so this is a great opportunity for anyone interested. The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 are selling for $200, and there are more options from JBL, Bose, Anker, and more.
You and me might own the same PC but our work needs may vary. Different people use their PC for different tasks, and Microsoft seems to be acknowledging it with the latest tweak. The company is testing a new feature where Windows will ask you how you’d like to use your computer.
The latest development comes from Windows Insider Blog that detailed the updated out of the box experience of Windows 10. As you can see in the cover image, Microsoft is could soon ask you how you’d like to use your PC. The options include: Gaming, Schoolwork, Family, Entertainment, Creativity, and Business. It seems like Windows will configure the CPU according to the needs of the users.
It will aid in customizing your device given your intended usage. For instance, if you need a computer for family, the PC could could present the option to set up additional users right away. Similarly schoolwork could lead to note taking and collaboration prompts being displayed up front.
This is the initial wave of work for this feature. The blog goes on to say that Insiders might notice different options presented in OOBE depending on what they select. However, as of now, they will not notice any other configuration differences after exiting OOBE. The company is rolling it out to a subset of Insiders in the Dev Channel at first. It will help them identify issues that may impact the performance and reliability. The testers will be able to find this new feature once they perform a reset and reinstall Windows from scratch.