This is ASUS’ answer to Apple’s 2015 MacBook

In Laptops by Ramon LopezLeave a Comment

(UPDATED) Sure, Apple’s all-new MacBook dropped the bomb on us with its stunning design and typing-focused engineering, but Mac users aren’t the only ones getting an ultra-portable notebook this year. Meet the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi, one of the latest entries into the burgeoning category of convertible PCs that function as a laptop and tablet depending on how you use it.

It is set to launch in the Philippines on April 7, with a nationwide release planned after that. It doesn’t come cheap, though, as you’ll have to pony up between P40,000 and P50,000 for the 4GB RAM and 8GB RAM editions, respectively.

Specs of the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi (Prices in the Philippines: P39,995 for the 4GB model with Intel Core M 5Y10 and P46,995 for the 8GB variant with Intel Core M 5Y71):
* Intel Core M 5Y10/5Y71 CPU
* Intel HD Graphics 5300
* 128GB SSD (tablet)
* 12.5-inch IPS touch display (1,920 x 1,080 resolution)
* 720p web camera
* 1x microHDMI, 2x microUSB, SD card reader
* Windows 8.1

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RAMON LOPEZ’S TAKE: The kicker here is the T300 Chi’s trimmed-down frame, which, according to ASUS Philippines, makes it one of the thinnest notebooks ever made at 16mm when folded flat. And while it’s not as slim as the 2015 MacBook, you can’t really complain when you’re talking about a Windows 8.1 machine that’s just slightly thicker than your average feature phone, not to mention it’s only 7-mm-thick without the magnetic keyboard dock.

Then there’s the design: The tablet itself has an all-aluminum body, featuring a unibody construction and diamond-cut edges that give it a premium look and feel in the hand. The considerable heft resulting from ASUS’ design choices and the lack of a full-size USB port to connect accessories may be a sticking point for some, though.

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The 12.5-inch, 16:9 touch display maxes out at 1,920 x 1,080. (Don’t expect the quad-HD variant anytime soon; ASUS Philippines won’t be bringing it to local shores.)  The resolution is nothing special compared to what the competition offers, but it should get the job done.

Under the hood, you’re looking at Intel’s new Core M processor, which, we’re told, performs on a par with first-gen Intel Core i5 mobile chips, alongside either 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage on tap. There’s also room for 2 batteries (one is inside the tablet, and the other is housed in the keyboard dock) for up to 8 hours of use on a single charge.

Think of the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi as an anti-MacBook for PC loyalists, with the added benefit of a detachable touch display for a tablet experience.

In a nutshell, think of this machine as an anti-MacBook for PC loyalists, with the added benefit of a detachable touch display for a tablet experience. Being more portable than any laptop Apple has built so far is its biggest advantage, and time will tell whether that’s enough to put pressure on the MacBook’s market share. Don’t hold your breath, though; this isn’t the first time the MacBook is poised to face stiff competition, after all.

And PH’s top smartphone brands in 2014 are…

In Phones by Revu TeamLeave a Comment

We’re well aware of how popular Cherry Mobile is in the Philippines, but we couldn’t quite put it into numbers, given how secretive consumer-electronics companies usually are when it comes to sales and profits. That is, until now.

Research firm IDC today released its Asia-Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, ranking Cherry Mobile as the top mobile vendor in the country in 2014, with a staggering 21.9 percent market share of the total smartphones shipped last year. Samsung came in a far second with 13.3 percent, while MyPhone, Lenovo, and Torque placed third, fourth, and fifth with 11.2 percent, 6.5 percent, and 4.8 percent market share, respectively.

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Chart culled from IDC

The report also revealed that a total of 26.8 million handsets were shipped last year, and out of that incredible number, smartphones accounted for 47 percent of the tally, up from 24 percent in 2013. IDC has attributed the continued rise in mobile ownership to cheaper prices and manufacturers focusing more on their smartphone efforts.

The third quarter of 2014 marked the first time smartphone shipments surpassed those of feature phones. And the gap will only widen. According to IDC, the Philippine smartphone market will see a 20 percent year-over-year growth in 2015 as feature-phone sales continue to decline sharply. (RL)

ALORA UY GUERRERO’S TAKE: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Pinoy brands will rule the Philippine smartphone market for quite some time. Offering decent-looking devices with mid-end specs at low prices is a recipe for market-share dominance in a country where 24.9 percent of the population is below the poverty line. So I’m not really surprised by the result.

I’m not surprised by the result. What I’m more interested in is the list that reveals the brands that are slugging it out in the profits department.

What I’m more interested in is the list that reveals the brands that are slugging it out in the profits department. Take note that the IDC report only refers to the number of smartphones shipped. Are the top-ranking companies in the study making boatloads of cash, or are they just a little over breaking even?

Can the king of profits in the Philippines please stand up?

RAMON LOPEZ’S TAKE: At this point, I don’t think there’s any denying that Cherry Mobile is the country’s top smartphone brand, at least as far as total units shipped is concerned. I mean, just look at how many Cherry Mobile kiosks have popped up in Metro Manila alone. Even more telling than Cherry Mobile’s nationwide distribution network is how busy the stores usually are. And things only get wilder whenever the company, which has been in the trenches of the mobile-price war for so long, releases a new budget device that threatens to keep industry execs awake at night.

Price remains a major motivator for the local market, and when it comes to selling low-priced handsets and tablets, Cherry Mobile owns the formula for success.

Unfortunately for the competition, I haven’t seen anything to indicate change is in the air. Price remains a major motivator for the local market, and when it comes to selling low-priced handsets and tablets, Cherry Mobile owns the formula for success. Whether relying on scale to compensate for thin margins will remain a profitable strategy moving forward is a question for another day.

With MacBook, Apple to redefine gold standard for notebooks?

In Laptops by Revu Team1 Comment

Via Forbes

(UPDATED) We didn’t think that the MacBook would steal the Apple Watch‘s limelight at the Cupertino-based company’s March 10 (March 9 in the U.S.) Spring Forward event. But it did.

It’s the first to get gold and space-gray variants. It’s the first to have a 12-inch display — and a Retina one at that. It’s the first after 4 years to chuck “Air” and “Pro” and simply go by the name “MacBook” again. It’s the first to go fanless. And it’s the lightest and thinnest Apple laptop yet, weighing a mere 2lbs and measuring only 13.1mm at its thickest point. If you’re going to buy this impressive, new model then there’s no point in leaving your old MacBooksititng around collecting dust so you might as well go to a site like and make some money off it.

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To get the svelte frame the notebook is sporting, though, Apple had to change a few things. For the new MacBook’s Force Touch trackpad, for example, the company eschewed the diving-board mechanism, which provides space underneath for a click’s downward motion. Apple made the whole thing a button instead. Click anywhere on the surface instead of just near the bottom, and the trackpad should be able to tell what you want to do based on the pressure you apply.

For the MacBook’s full-size keyboard, Apple used a butterfly mechanism. Because there’s not much room underneath, typing will feel as though you’re working on a touchscreen. Sounds familiar, Microsoft Surface users?

To make the notebook slim, you also get a new, small logic board that’s powered by a fifth-generation Intel Core M “Broadwell” processor; a logo that doesn’t glow; and just 1 port: a USB-C input. The space saved is now reserved for batteries, which should give you up to 9 hours of Web browsing or 10 hours of iTunes movie playback, according to Apple.

If you’re bent on getting the new MacBook, mark April 10 on your calendar. And be prepared to cough up P64,900 for the basic model or P79,990 for the higher-end version. (AG)

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Specs of the 2 Apple MacBook variants

ALORA UY GUERRERO’S TAKE: It’s déjà vu. The collective anger directed at the new MacBook from some of the people on Twitter reminds me of the time the original MacBook Air was launched in 2008. The first Air, more than its successors, was also a story of compromises. But then it went on to help Apple become the manufacturer that’s currently bucking the negative trend of the overall PC market. The 2008 computer turned out to be a showcase for what was to come.

The same can be said about the 2015 MacBook. I think it is Apple’s way of displaying what the future in computing will be like for people who are increasingly becoming more mobile, hence the P64,990 price tag for the basic model. Expect the SRP to drop in the next iteration, just as the original entry-level Air’s price fell from $1,799 (about P80,000) to $1,499 (roughly P67,000) after a year.

‘MacBook not for you? Great! Get an Air or Pro. Gold not for you? Great! Get aluminum or steel. Angry they exist? Yikes! Get a grip!’

The new MacBook may not be for you now, but it will be for the future you. So get a grip of yourself. Stop whining. iMore editor Rene Ritchie said it best: “MacBook not for you? Great! Get an Air or Pro. Gold not for you? Great! Get aluminum or steel. Angry they exist? Yikes! Get a grip!”

RAMON LOPEZ’S TAKE: There’s no question that Apple has had the Midas touch for years now, but the tech giant literally proved it Tuesday by showing off a redesigned MacBook in gold. And silver and (space) gray. Suddenly, it feels as though #MacBookLust is an actual thing, as opposed to a hashtag from Phil Schiller.

Apple may have introduced the ideal machine for couch browsing, watching movies, and basic productivity tasks.

Between Tim Cook enumerating Apple’s triumphs in the Far East, Tim Cook insisting that talking to a watch was something he had wanted to do since turning 5, and Tim Cook sharing the stage with Christy Turlington Burns — who got first dibs on the Apple Watch, to the chagrin of every tech journalist on the planet — the Cupertino-based company may have introduced the ideal machine for couch browsing, watching movies, and basic productivity tasks. An everyman’s MacBook that no combination of iPad and Bluetooth keyboard can hope to beat. And I’m all for it, never mind the added costs of cables and adapters and question marks over Intel’s new Core M processor. I suspect I’m not alone in thinking this.

It’s the Apple Watch’s time to shine. Or is it?

In Wearables by Revu Team1 Comment

It’s time, according to Apple. It may be a bit late to the party, but the American tech giant has nonetheless given the green light to its first attempt at a smartwatch.

The Apple Watch has a premium design to go with its premium price, with the base model starting at $349 (roughly P15,500) and the 18-karat edition selling for as high as $17,000 (approximately P750,000), or the price of a brand-new compact sedan. For comparison’s sake, most smartwatches — at least those that are getting a lot of media attention — are priced between $200 and $250 (around P9,000 to P11,000).

And just like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the Watch can run apps to check your email, track your movement, tell you to stand up, keep up with WeChat conversations, call an Uber driver, like Instagram posts, and pay for groceries. It can also let you answer calls and view and reply to text messages when paired with an iPhone.

Bored? The wearable device comes with a variety of watch faces to choose from, including a few animated ones.

As for battery life, Apple claims up to 18 hours of use on a single charge, provided you only spend 45 minutes a day on apps. Thankfully, charging the Watch is as easy as connecting the back of the device to a magnetic charger.

To summarize, what you’re paying for here — besides a luxurious timepiece, obviously — is the convenience of doing smartphone stuff without whipping out your handset every so often. Whether that’s worth at least $349 is completely up to you.

The Apple Watch gets shipped to select countries beginning April 24. Pre-orders start April 10th. More info here. (RL)

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ALORA UY GUERRERO’S TAKE: Some people would probably say I worship at the altar of Steve Jobs — my main handset is an iPhone; my tablet, an iPad; and my laptop, a Mac. So why am I not excited about the Apple Watch?

Yes, if there were a beauty contest for smartwatches, Apple’s wearable would likely take the crown. Yes, if I were to buy a smartwatch now, I’d likely go for an Apple. Yes, I am confident that many of you will lap up the Apple Watch. Some of you would probably forgo buying a car to get the ridiculously priced 18-karat edition. We all have our priorities, and I won’t judge yours.

But until the smartwatch can stop being the phone’s sidekick, consider me uninterested. The category is currently just a mere extension of all things handset. Take calls? Track all the ways you move? Those sound familiar. The smartwatch should offer something that the smartphone can’t. Otherwise, it will be relegated to the sidelines; you have it, but after some time, it becomes just that — an accessory. What that “something” is, I don’t know. Companies should figure it out.

Apple, my apologies if I’m not excited about the Watch. It’s not you; it’s the category.

So Apple, my apologies if I’m not excited about the Watch. It’s not you; it’s the category.

RAMON LOPEZ’S TAKE: First, a little history: I’ve tried several smartwatches running Android Wear over the past few months, and I’ve had the opportunity to strap a number of watch-slash-phones from China to my wrist before that. I think I’d be fine skipping the Apple Watch, or at least its first iteration.

What Apple showed off during its recent keynote in San Francisco doesn’t change the reality of modern high-tech watches; they’re still largely extensions of smartphones, which isn’t something I’d happily purchase. And let’s not forget about that 18-hour battery life. Apple’s estimated runtime is obviously a best-case scenario. But, hey, at least your iPhone will have some company near your wall socket.

That is not to say, though, that the Apple Watch won’t be a sales success. It will. I believe that it will sell in the millions, thanks in large part to the growing number of iPhone owners. I also believe that, to a certain extent, it can help you lead a healthier and more productive life.

My ideal smartwatch has a round face and delivers at least 2 days of mixed usage between charges.

My smartwatch should have a round face and deliver at least 2 days of mixed usage between charges, in addition to a metal body that allows wireless charging. The Moto 360 and LG G Watch R don’t fit the bill (I’ve tried them both), so I’m hoping the recently unveiled Huawei Watch does when it becomes available in the Philippines.

Ladies and gents, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

In Phones by Alora Uy Guerrero2 Comments

Samsung has finally taken the wraps off the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, successors to its flagship Galaxy S line, at the ongoing 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And as expected, the two smartphones pack headline-grabbing specs and features that raise the stakes for everyone in the cutthroat mobile industry. Bleeding-edge silicon is what makes Samsung’s top-tier Galaxy handsets so attractive — life savings be damned.

Here, take a look at them:

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge preview

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Samsung Galaxy S6 preview

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge specs

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge specs

ALORA UY GUERRERO’S TAKE: Unlike in previous years, Samsung is putting an emphasis on design in 2015, hence the somewhat unfamiliar slabs of metal and glass you see on your monitor, phone, or tablet. This year, it has done the unthinkable yet inevitable: take bolder steps to come out with something different, something better-looking, and, for the Korean company’s sake (note that the Galaxy S5 failed to meet sales expectations), something genuinely compelling.

Samsung has done the unthinkable yet inevitable: take bolder steps to come out with something better-looking and, for the Korean company’s sake, something genuinely compelling.

To Samsung’s credit, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge do seem to fit the bill. From what we’ve seen so far, they’re no-brainers for loyalists due for an upgrade — and that’s not something we can say about just any flagship successor. Owners of previous-gen iPhones, meanwhile, probably need more convincing than any other flagship-phone shopper, because they’re used to designs that incorporate premium materials.

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Samsung’s new phones feature an all-metal frame and front and rear glass panels 

Samsung is well aware of this; thus, key elements of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge’s design include an all-metal frame and front and rear glass panels that are said to be 1.5 times more durable than Gorilla Glass 3.

There are a lot of words we can use to describe the company’s latest efforts, but “cheap-looking” or anything along that line isn’t one of them. The fact that the devices are lighter and slimmer than the Galaxy S5, which measures 8.1-mm-thick and weighs 145 grams, is likewise an impressive feat. Wireless charging comes standard as well, although you’ll have to spring for a special charger sold separately.

For the second year running, Samsung has fitted its premium offerings with built-in heart-rate and fingerprint sensors, except this time around, the latter has been integrated into the home button, as opposed to last year’s design, which can be tricky to use. While we wouldn’t say we prefer it to Apple’s Touch ID, we have to admit that it’s a vast improvement on what came before.

And how could we forget the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’s curved screen? Forget ultra high-definition — though, to be clear, both handsets are capable of 1,440 x 2,560 resolution — curved displays, regardless of which way they bend, are as ambitious as it gets for smartphones today.

The similarities don’t end there. Both devices run a custom version of Android Lollipop on an octa-core Exynos processor with LTE Advanced support, 3GB of RAM, and from 32 to 128GB of internal storage. Also onboard are 16- and 5-megapixel rear and selfie cameras with optical image stabilization and f/1.9 aperture for improved performance in dim situations.

Finally, the 2,600mAh non-removable battery inside the Galaxy S6 has a marginal advantage over its sibling’s 2,500mAh cell. Not that it matters a whole lot given their quick-charging capabilities. We’re told it only takes 3 hours to recharge the batteries from zero capacity.

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S6 Edge (left) and S6 (right). The version of the latter that will go on sale in the Philippines will be dual SIM

Samsung Electronics Philippines is yet to reveal the local pricing of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. We’ll probably know the phones’ respective SRPs a week or two before their mid-April launch in the country. What we do know is that the S6 version that will go on sale here will be dual SIM. If you want to pre-order now, just email

Note: This article appeared first on the following sites: Gist and Yahoo.