Wednesday, 28 August 2019

How to learn and pass examination in high school

The bothering convergence of new cell phones, slipping into the market each other day, can be tiring yet there are select cell phones that sliced through this clamor and still figure out how to keep you raring and intrigued. While iPhones, OnePluses, Galaxy S'es, and the preferences have consistently been intriguing, Google's Pixel has made up for lost time before long too since the primary declaration in 2016. What's more, it wouldn't be an embellishment in the event that I state that Google figured out how to keep us snared to the Pixel 3 until the last minute.

While there was no moment of clarity which we had foreseen, the Google Pixel 3 XL has still kept me snared to it seven days since its dispatch. I have invested a respectable energy with the cell phone and will channel my experience of the most recent multi week, attempting to loan my sentiments to answer whether you should spend upwards of Rs 83,000 on a cell phone particularly when practically identical details desire very nearly one-fourth of the cost.

Things being what they are, is the Pixel 3 XL experience worth the excellent duty? I'm not trusting that a commencement will get straight to the point and you're most free to participate.

Pixel 3 XL Specifications

Here are every one of the fixings that Google has prepared the Pixel 3 XL with, and keeping in mind that the decision of processor probably won't be interesting – taking note of the value, it's truly amazing for Google to not be vigil about things, for example, double back cameras, 6 or 8GB of RAM, 256GB capacity in a time when leads even come in 512GB sizes. Investigate the particulars:

Measurements and Weight    76.7 x 158.0 x 7.9 mm

184g

Display    6.3-inch Flexible P-OLED

2960 x 1440p, 18.5:9 proportion

Gorilla Glass 5

Processor    Octa-center Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Adreno 630

RAM    4GB

Storage    64/128GB non-expandable

Back Cameras    12.2MP f/1.8

Double LED blaze, OIS+EIS

4K@30FPS, 720p@240FPS

Front Camwera    8MP f/1.8 auto-center + 8MP f/2.2 wide edge

EIS, 1080p

Battery    3,430 mAh

18W quick charging and remote charging

Software    Android 9 Pie

Sensors    Active Edge, Fingerprint, glimmer sensor, accelerometer, closeness, magnetometer, indicator

Connectivity    Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/air conditioning double band 2X2,

Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C

Price    Starts at Rs 83,000

Things being what they are, by challenging the statutes set up by mammoths like Apple and Samsung, does the Pixel 3 XL lose its ground or has lesser opportunity to be a genuine lead? You will locate the accurate depiction in the up and coming segments yet the whole point behind them is that it doesn't (excuse me for the sweet spoiler).

Pixel 3 XL Box Contents

The retail bundling of the Pixel 3 XL had spilled right around two months before the official discharge and regardless of Google's endeavors to prevent the marvel of those gigantic holes which assumed control over the notoriety of the gadget – to such an extent that Google was powerless and compelled to play along, there's no adjustment in the real box. In any case, there's a great deal of articles to be featured in the fascinating bundling.

This is what all you get in the crate of the Pixel 3 XL:

Pixel 3 XL

Pixel USB-C earbuds

18W Fast accusing block of USB-C port

USB-C to USB-C charging link

USB-C OTG

USB-C to 3.5mm dongle

SIM ejector

Client manuals and different booklets

Multicolor "G" and "#teampixel" stickers

I truly like that the crate has every one of the answers for cure the absence of specific components including the earphone jack on the cell phone. What's more, I'm entirely amped up for the USB-C earbuds and will discuss their musicality beneath. Above all, let me begin with the gadget itself and pretty much all the artfulness that it is worked with.

Plan and Build

Other than convincing internals, an engaging, unmatched appearance is likewise a sign of a lead cell phone and the Pixel 3 XL is well-prepared around there. The degree of moderation in the Pixel 3's plan is troubling. Unexpected, would it say it isn't? The moderation is culminated to the level that there's that you can speak at lengths about it.

We should beginning with the back of the Pixel 3 XL, which helps us to remember the famous double tone structure that Google has settled on since the base Pixel gadget. The Pixel 3 comes in zippy hues with peculiar names – Just Black, Clearly White, and Not Pink. While I was extremely inquisitive to dive in its non-pinkness of the Not Pink, we got a dark one from Google India. In contrast to the Pixel 2, there are no differentiating blends this time around and this is conceivably some vanguard structure master educating Google to do as such, on the grounds that these solitary marginally differentiated hues look striking as well as more premium than the past age.

The back of the Pixel 3 and the XL is set aside a few minutes around, and this change has been made for remote charging which simply been incorporated. A lovely shock hit me after grasping the Pixel 3 XL in light of the fact that in spite of being made of glass, the back feels like elastic or a cross breed calfskin like material. This is something like what OnePlus is doing with it Midnight Black and the Pearl White variations of the OnePlus 6 yet with considerably more meticulousness. This material possesses very nearly 80 percent of the back board while the rest of the part is involved by an increasingly regular completion of glass and the change between the two surfaces is incredibly consistent.

Google may have not set aside much effort to introduce the preparing capacities of the Pixel 3 at the dull dispatch occasion the previous week, yet it talked about the new plan and another drawing procedure which was exceptionally planned and incorporated to make this consistent mix of two fluctuating surfaces.

In any case, being glass, both the matte and the sparkly pieces of the back effectively draw in fingerprints and the lower has a fondness for the perspiration smears. In any case, the matte district exceeds expectations with regards to veiling scratches, possibly due to the fluffy lighting impact that it makes. While Google has picked rounder edges and corners, the back is still level which may make holding the Pixel 3 XL to some degree hard for specific clients, particularly the ones moving from gadgets like the OnePlus 6.

Along the border of the Pixel 3 XL is an aluminum outline, which is bended to give you more hold. It gives off an impression of being made from fired in view of the sparkling treatment. I have figured out how to soak this edge with my fingerprints however scratches are yet to sneak in, which is apparent.

The edge houses the Power just as the Volume catches which are in a similar position as the most recent year's gadget. This situating takes a touch of practicing of the muscles directing the thumb (or fingers, contingent upon which hand you utilize the telephone with). Other than the catches, the edge likewise has the USB-C port and the single SIM plate at the base. Much the same as the last age, you additionally get squeezable edges can be utilized to wake the Google Assistant.

Google obviously has various needs and not at all like different OEMs, which push base terminating speakers in their cell phones to give you more show size, it has included stereo speakers the front. This isn't a mix of essential and optional speakers handing-off a similar sound yet a real stereo config with recognizably separate left and right channels. Between these speakers is the huge and absolutely attractive 6.3-inch P-OLED show which has been fundamentally improved and aced. Indeed, there's the "bath" indent that is greater than on most telephones and practically upsetting to take a gander at, I've not wound up being really vexed by it. The indent houses double cameras alongside the earpiece.

Google additionally does not appear to be persuaded on the possibility of facial validation and has excluded any type of Face opening instrument. I believe it's a piece disappointing as Google could have utilized AI to make the component securer contrasted with different OEMs. In addition, the indent would be legitimized better if the Pixel 3 XL was shaking an IR-based facial acknowledgment innovation, for example, what is utilized on the Poco F1.

By and large, the structure of the Pixel 3 XL is verifiably premium and flabbergasting to me. Certainly, it comes up short on the shine Apple has and you probably won't most likely parade the huge logo at the back to acquire a higher economic wellbeing, yet the plan is clearly apparent and alluring in its own specific manner. Additional fascinating to me is the way that Pixel 3 XL feels substantially more appealing and rich than the blockish Pixel 2 XL, and the matte glass on the back is only an option to the top notch understanding.

Show

Just in the event that this needs a modification, the Pixel 3 XL gets a 6.3-inch adaptable P-OLED show with a QHD+ goals. It gloats of a 2960 x 1440p goals, prompting a Pixel thickness north of 520ppi which puts the iPhone XS Max's 458ppi to disgrace – at any rate on paper. In any case, more energizing for me than the pixel thickness is the exactness of hues that the showcase offers, significantly more so in light of the fact that it is recognizably superior to the Pixel 2 XL. While the prior XL Pixel had a similar goals, it highlighted baffling review edges and a somewhat blue tinge everywhere throughout the presentation.

The showcase consumes a significant part of the space on the front and has amazingly slender edges. The main disillusionment – or rather, an exchange off as a result of the forward looking double stereo speakers – is the thick jaw at the base. This is the main irritating component in the structure of the Pixel 3 XL and cuts off the exceptional impression of the cell phone. The jawline likewise detracts from the condition of evenness as the bezels on the top are lean. Be that as it may, to supplement the ungainliness of the jawline is the tall score, which is taller than some other cell phone we've seen up until this point in spite of the fact that the length is truly permissible. You can shroud the step, be that as it may, you don't get a clear alternative to cripple the indent. You can make a beeline for Developer Settings to impair it, just to cause your Pixel 3 XL to seem like a Pixel 2 XL with a superior showcase. In case despite everything you're keen on attempting, you can feel free to utilize this guide.

We'd spoke much about, and feared, the indent even before the dispatch particularly becau
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Monday, 19 August 2019

A Fitness Tracker Masquerading as a Smartwatch

Lenovo has today launched its digital smartwatch in India, priced at just Rs. 1,999. At that price, getting a smartwatch from a well-known brand such as Lenovo sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn’t it? So, is it actually a sweet deal, and should you consider buying the Lenovo EGO for your needs? Well, I’ve been using the Lenovo EGO for almost a week now, and here are my thoughts on the watch, what it can do, what it can’t do, and whether or not it’s worth buying.
Design and Build

At first glance, the Lenovo EGO gives off the distinct impression of being a regular digital watch, and might even trick you into thinking it’s a Casio G-Shock. That’s not a bad thing, per-se, after all, smartwatches that look like regular watches to the point of being deceptive aren’t a bad thing — they can blend right in. However, take a couple of seconds to look at this watch, and you’ll easily be able to tell that it’s meant to be a very-low priced smartwatch.

lenovo ego design build

The design here is bulky, and I’m pretty confident that Lenovo wanted to make it look like a rugged watch at first blush, and it works out fine. There are unnecessary design touches in places but they all come together just fine and I didn’t really find a lot to complain about it. Keep in mind, this is a watch that comes in at Rs. 1,999, and I reviewed it with that in mind.



The build, on the other hand, is clearly where the company cut considerable costs. Don’t get me wrong, the EGO is by no means a fragile watch. I’ve used it carelessly, tossed it in my bag for formal outings when I preferred wearing my regular watch instead, and just treated it like a rugged watch for the most part, and it has held up surprisingly well. However, the quality of the plastic on the casing, and the rubber straps is very obviously not that great. It looks decidedly cheap to the eyes, and it feels thin and weird when you touch it. Even comparing it to the Mi Band’s silicone strap, the EGO’s strap is not at the same level.
Display

The display on the EGO is definitely not what you’d expect from a smartwatch, or even most fitness trackers. This is a typical display you’d find on a digital watch, and that might be a good thing or a bad one depending on what you’re actually looking for in a watch. Personally, I think the OLED display on the Mi Band 3 is a better deal than this one — it can show a lot more information, and that’s something where the Lenovo EGO falls back substantially as we’ll discuss in the features section of this review.

lenovo ego display

The display also has another annoying issue — pressing too hard on the buttons usually screws it up, and in my experience with the watch, sometimes even restarting the smartwatch wouldn’t fix it. However, pressing on the ‘Mode’ button a bunch of times usually did. It’s mostly a hit or miss experience though, and I’d suggest you treat the buttons with care. This watch might look rugged, but when it comes to the buttons, I don’t think rugged is the word I’d use to describe it.

Other than that though, the display does its job just fine. It doesn’t show a lot of information, which might be good for you if you don’t like smartwatches that bombard you with information, but the information it does show, is well organised and is just enough to justify wearing this watch regularly. There’s also a ‘Light’ button here, since the display itself isn’t backlit like what you’d see on the Mi Band 3, and that button is something you’ll not realise the importance of until you find yourself driving at night, and trying to check the time on your watch (or in another, similar situation).
Buttons

Oh, the buttons. I have a lot of mixed feelings about these buttons. These buttons feel tactile enough to not make you wonder whether you pressed them or not, which is a great thing, but Lenovo did this thing where it labelled these buttons with things like ‘Light’, ‘Start’, ‘Mode’, and ‘Reset’ and this naming scheme will throw you off unless you read the manual and figure out what each of these buttons is actually meant to do.

Here’s what I mean. The ‘Mode’ button switches between the date, step-count, distance-measurement, and sleep tracking. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? However, if you’re looking to get to the stopwatch, or if you want a heart-rate measurement from the watch, you won’t find that in one of the modes. Those two features are accessed by pressing the ‘Reset’ button, which is just incredibly unintuitive. But hey, even when you’ve found the stopwatch, starting it is yet another exercise in frustration. You might be tempted to press the button labelled ‘Start’ but that doesn’t do anything. In fact, you’ll have to press and hold the ‘Mode’ button to enter the ‘Pause’ state of the smartwatch, and then press the ‘Mode’ button again to actually start the smartwatch.

Also, when you’re done with the stopwatch, resetting it is not accomplished by the ‘Reset’ button. You’ll have to pause the watch with the ‘Mode’ button, and then press and hold the ‘Mode’ button to actually reset it. It’s just a lot of confusing mess.

What I’m trying to tell you is “Do yourself a favour and read the manual.”

From what I can tell, the button labelled ‘Light’ is probably the only one that actually has a decent label to it. Other than that, all of these buttons are pretty weirdly labelled, and perform wildly different functions than what one would expect.

Once you get used to them, however, this will most likely cease to be a problem for you, but in my experience with technology, you shouldn’t have to “get used” to something… you know, like notches.
Features
Step Tracking

If there is one good thing I can say about the EGO, it’s that it does come with most of the features you are likely to be expecting from it. There’s a step counter, and it’s decently accurate, although it does count around 10-15% less steps than I was taking, based on my own counting of the steps. Still, it’s not that big an issue.

lenovo ego step count

Anyway, as far as step tracking is concerned, the EGO also shows you the distance you’ve walked, and the calories you’ve burnt, which is great, but the watch does sometimes mistake driving in a car as walking so you might get discrepancies in the calories burnt and the steps taken if you drive to and from work often, as I sometimes do.
Heart Rate Measurement

There’s also a heart-rate sensor which, by default, takes a continuous heart rate measurement. Well, I say continuous, but the Lenovo Life app which the watch connects to and syncs with, simply calls it ‘Automatic Measurement’ and says that the watch takes measurements “every once in a while”. The heart rate sensor feels pretty accurate too, and for the most part, readings from the watch and from my Galaxy S10’s built-in step tracker were close enough.

Sleep Tracking

The watch also has sleep tracking capabilities, and while it does track sleep pretty accurately, I didn’t really like the feeling of sleeping with a bulky watch strapped to my wrist every night, and I’m not sure if a lot of people will, either. That said, if you do sleep with the watch on your wrist, the sleep tracking is pretty good, and I don’t really have complaints with it. Also, the watch apparently can track swims as well — that’s something I didn’t test out though.

Remote Camera

Another feature that I thought would be cool, but actually wasn’t, is the remote camera feature. This isn’t an entirely new concept, I could do this with a third party app on my first generation Moto 360 back in the day, but the Lenovo EGO comes with a remote camera feature built in. However, using it can be a pain.

First off, you can’t use your phone’s stock camera app, and you’ll have to go to the Lenovo Life app, tap on Profile, head over to the watch under devices, and then tap on ‘Take Photo’ which will launch an in-app camera. The problem here is two-fold. First, the camera quality of this app is pretty bad; the image gets distorted around the edges and it just looks weird. Two, taking a picture doesn’t come as easily as pressing a button. Instead, you’ll have to shake your watch-wearing hand pretty ruthlessly to actually take a picture. It not only looks weird, but it’s also a pretty annoying gesture to make; plus, it doesn’t work half the time. Or at least I wasn’t able to get it to work properly. If you’re better at shaking your hand than I am, your mileage may vary.
Alarm Clock

The Lenovo EGO doesn’t have a built-in speaker, but that doesn’t hold it back from becoming a pretty solid alarm clock. If you set an alarm using the Lenovo Life app, the watch uses vibrations to wake you up, and yes, it sounded pretty silly to me too, but it’s pretty effective at waking me up. I mean, sure, on the first day I ended up setting my regular alarms on my phone as well, but I decided to risk it on a weekend when oversleeping wouldn’t be an issue, but the watch could easily wake me up, which is great. Setting the alarm isn’t the most easy task to accomplish, since you’ll have to depend on the Lenovo Life app for it, but hey, at least it works and it works well.
Notifications

The EGO wouldn’t qualify as a smartwatch unless it had the capability to notify you of, well, notifications on your phone, and this watch does that, just not as well or as effectively as you’d expect from something like the Mi Band.

Basically, you can enable notification support from the app, and choose the apps you want to receive notifications from. The feature works reliably, and the vibration is strong enough to alert you easily. However, when you receive a notification for something like a message, the watch simply says ‘Message’ on the display, and doesn’t show who the message is from, or what the message says — that’s something the Mi Band 3 can do, and it does it pretty well.

Even for calls, the Lenovo EGO simply mentions ‘Call’ on the display, and there’s no way to reject or answer the call, or even to know who’s calling without checking your phone. To me, this feels like it kind of defeats the purpose of having a watch that can show you notifications. Weirdly enough, the Lenovo Life app does ask for ‘Contacts’ permission as well as the ‘Phone’ permission, which led me to believe that the watch will show at least the name of the person calling, but it doesn’t. I’m not entirely sure why Lenovo wants my contacts if it won’t even show me the name of the person calling, so I have since revoked that permission from the app.
Battery

One of the things that really impressed me about this smartwatch is the battery. Now, Lenovo hasn’t mentioned the battery specifications of the watch, but it does claim a 20-day battery life on it, which is pretty neat on paper.

In real life, the battery life feels somewhat less than claimed. In my entire week of usage, starting from 100%, the watch has dropped down to 40%, which makes it look like it’ll last about 10-15 days on a charge — that’s still pretty impressive, although you’ll have to keep in mind that this display is clearly not a battery hog.

Charging takes place via pogo-connectors on the back of the watch which magnetically align with the charging module that you get in the box, and it takes around an hour to fully charge the EGO, after which it’s good to go for another 10 to 15 days.
Lenovo EGO Review: Should You Buy It?

It’s a pretty difficult thing to recommend or not recommend this watch. After all, Lenovo is offering a very watch-like smartwatch at just Rs. 1,999 and it does a lot of things really well. It’s decently accurate at measuring steps, measuring your heart rate, waking you up in the morning, and telling you the time (duh!). Plus it has a nice battery life. However, it’s also annoying how the buttons are labelled, the notification support isn’t robust enough and is easily beat by the Mi Band 3 (Rs. 1,999), and on a personal note, I don’t find the design to be very attractive.

That said, if you’re looking for a fitness tracker, and you love the design of Casio’s G-Shock line of watches, the Lenovo EGO is definitely worth a look-see. However, if you want more features, a sleeker design, better support for notifications, I’d still recommend the Mi Band 3 over the EGO. Or, if you can extend your budget a little, you can get a color OLED display with the Honor Band 4 (Rs. 2,599)  Asus’ TUF Gaming line of gaming laptops have always been a pretty solid deal with great performance. So when the company sent us the TUF Gaming FX505DT with the new Nvidia GTX1650 GPU, I was definitely excited, and why not? The laptop gets a lot of things right, and Asus claims to offer high-end gaming experiences on this laptop, at a relatively affordable price of Rs.81,990. I have been using the TUF Gaming FX505DT for quite some time now, and this is my detailed review of the laptop, so you can make up your mind about whether or not you should buy this, and if you do, what you can expect from it.
Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT Specifications
Display    15.6-inch FullHD Anti-glare display @120Hz
Processor    Ryzen 7 3750H @2.3GHz
Storage    1TB HDD + 256GB PCIe SSD
RAM    8GB
Graphics    Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 GPU with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
Connectivity    WiFi 802.11ac; Bluetooth 5.0
I/O    2 x USB 3.0 Gen1
1 x USB 2.0
1x HDMI 2.0
1x RJ-45 Jack
1x 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack
1x Kensington lock
Battery    48Whr
Price    starts at Rs. 81,990

For Rs. 81,990, the TUF Gaming FX505DT does offer quite a lot of power. There’s a Ryzen 7 in there, along with the new Nvidia GTX1650 GPU, and an HDD+SSD storage set up.
Design and Build

The FX505DT comes in a very familiar design, which is fine, since the TUF Gaming line up has always had a decent design language that’s neither too out there, nor too shy to show off its beastly side. The outer lid of the laptop has a nice matte finish with an Asus logo in the center which lights up in a soft golden-yellow hue instead of the usual red colors you’d find on other gaming laptops, including the TUF Gaming FX505DY that I reviewed a while back. Personally, I like the combination of black and gold on this laptop.

Other than that, the entire outer chassis of the laptop is devoid of any lighting whatsoever, which might be something RGB lovers won’t like, but makes the laptop suitable not only as a gaming laptop, but also as a work laptop that you can take into meetings without looking silly.

Once you open the lid up, you’re treated to the big, bright, 15.6-inch Full HD display on the laptop, which, as is the case with most gaming laptops these days, has minimal bezels on the top and the sides, and a huge bezel on the bottom with the Asus logo there as well.

asus fx505dt display image

Opening the lid will also throw a huge glow of RGB lighting on your face, thanks to the RGB backlit keyboard, along with the power button on the top right corner, and the trackpad on the bottom. It’s a pretty nice keyboard, even though it doesn’t feel any different from any other TUF Gaming laptop, and it has transparent WASD keys to make them easily discernible from the rest of the keys.

On the sides you’ll find the variety of ports, and the cooling vents with Asus’ anti-dust cooling system.

Build wise, the TUF Gaming series is meant to be, well, tough. It’s right there in the name, and the TUF Gaming FX505DT conforms to US military grade tests, and can apparently handle drops, high temperatures, humidity, and solar radiation. I obviously didn’t test any of these things out, but in my usage of the laptop, I didn’t find myself being too careful with how I handled it and it still looks flawless and works perfectly, so I’m sure you don’t have anything to worry about.

All things considered, the FX505DT is a sturdily built laptop that looks good, and won’t be out of place in a gaming room as well as a meeting, which makes it a pretty solid option for people looking for a gaming laptop that can double up as their daily driver.
Display

The TUF Gaming FX505DT comes with a 15.6-inch FullHD IPS display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, and it looks great. Since this is a 120Hz panel, everything on the laptop feels more natural and fluid. Animations look nice and smooth, and playing games like Far Cry 5 is a treat on this laptop.

What’s more, the display on this laptop can get pretty bright, and really dim if you want it to, so not only can you use it outdoors or in the presence of lights falling directly on the display (thanks to the anti-glare coating), you can also use it late at night without stressing your eyes out too much.

asus fx505dt display image 2

Media consumption on this laptop is great, thanks to the bright panel, and the awesome color reproduction. Viewing angles are decently good enough as well, but I don’t think you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to look at your laptop from a side very often anyway.

Overall, the display on the FX505DT is a really great one. It’s not the best at separating shades of black, as I found out while testing the display in the black test, but it’s good at gradients, and as far as gaming and everyday use is concerned, the display will not let you down. If anything, games look amazing on this panel.
Performance

With a Ryzen 7, 8GB RAM, and the GTX1650 GPU, the FX505DT brings in pretty solid performance, especially at this price. Having never used a GTX1650 powered gaming laptop before, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from this one in terms of gaming, but it’s safe to say that the FX505DT doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance at all.

I tried all the usual things on this laptop, from running synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench, Cinemabench R20, and 3DMark, to playing games like PUBG and Far Cry 5, and the laptop handles everything really well.
Synthetic Benchmarks

In synthetic benchmarks, the laptop scores decently well. Geekbench got a score of 3878 in the single core, and 10550 in the multi-core test, which is good, but I find it slightly weird that thee FX505DY with the Ryzen 5 scored better in thee multi-core test on Geekbench when I reviewed it… not by a lot, but better for sure.

Anyway, in 3DMark, the FX505DT scores 3363 in the Time Spy test, which is ridiculously higher than the score I got on the FX505DY with the AMD RX560X GPU. The laptop also scored 1640cb in Cinebench R20 which is a pretty solid score for a laptop in this price range.
1 of 2

So yeah, as far as synthetic benchmarks are concerned, the FX505DT looks like a pretty solid laptop, but what about real world performance?
Real World Performance

In regular day to day tasks, the FX505DT didn’t even break a sweat, and that’s not really a big deal since my usual workflow includes some Chrome tabs with wordpress and news sources, a Photoshop session, and maybe a couple of tabs with YouTube and Spotify open in them, and that’s about it. Clearly, that’s not nearly heavy enough of a workload to make any difference to this laptop.

However, in gaming too, the FX505DT runs really well. In PUBG, the game defaulted to basically High settings, with just Shadows set to Medium and I was consistently getting frame rates over 70FPS which is awesome.

With everything set to High, PUBG ran smoothly over 70FPS at all times, and when there wasn’t a lot happening around me, the frame rate jumped as high as 90. Sure, you could set the graphics to Medium or Low and get slightly better frame rates, but 70+ FPS is perfect, and I didn’t find the need to set a lower graphics quality in the game.

Far Cry 5 did a weird thing where it chose the integrated AMD GPU by default and ran at, like 12FPS in low settings, but change that to the Nvidia GPU inside this laptop, and it can run Far Cry 5 decently as well. Far Cry 5 is a very heavy game, though, and at Ultra settings, I got an average frame rate of 44FPS. That’s not too shabby, but the frame rates dropped as low as 23FPS sometimes, and that can be really annoying.

In High settings on Far Cry 5, I got an average frame rate of 47FPS, with the frame rates dropping as low as 35FPS and going as high as 59FPS.

That’s decent enough, but personally, I think playing the game on Normal will be the best bet for this laptop. At those settings, I got an average frame rate of 50FPS, with a high of 62FPS and a low of 38FPS.

So yeah, performance wise, the FX505DT is a solid laptop, but it does struggle a bit with heavy games like Far Cry 5. Don’t get me wrong, Far Cry 5 is completely playable on this laptop, especially if you’re good with choosing ‘Normal’ graphics settings in the game, but if you’re thinking of a laptop that can run Far Cry 5 buttery smooth on High or Ultra, this is not it.
I/O and Ports

In terms of ports and I/O, the FX505DT brings all the ports you may need, and nothing extra. There are 2x USB 3 ports, 1x USB 2 port, an HDMI 2.0 port, an RJ-45 ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headphone and mic combo. That’s a pretty decent selection of ports, and I honestly don’t think a lot more than this is truly needed on a laptop, but the lack of a USB Type-C or Thunderbolt 3 port does make this laptop slightly less future proof than something more expensive that you could buy.

In terms of connectivity though, the FX505DT is on-par with current standards. There’s support for WiFi b/g/n/ac (which means you can connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks on this) and the laptop also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, so you get better Bluetooth connectivity, including lower latency, and a higher range when using Bluetooth accessories with the laptop.
Keyboard

The Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT comes with what Asus calls the ‘HyperStrike Gaming Keyboard.’ Now, I’m not too certain about the HyperStrike thing here, but I have absolutely no complaints with the keyboard on this laptop. The keys have ample travel, and still actuate at a nice distance to make typing or even long gaming sessions comfortable on the laptop, the slight curve on the keycaps makes it easier to discern between keys while typing or playing games without having to actually look at the keyboard.

Another thing I really appreciate on this keyboard is the full sized arrow-key layout, which is such a treat to use instead of the cramped layout a lot of laptop makers are now going with.

Typing on this laptop is a great experience, and even while typing for hours on end, I didn’t feel fatigued thanks to the nice responsive keys here, and the fact that I didn’t need to press them too hard to get them to actuate.

Asus has rated this keyboard for 20 million keypresses, which, well, I’m not counting my keystrokes on this laptop, but that’s definitely a lot, and this keyboard somehow instills me with a confidence that it won’t just break on me — that’s something Asus’ TUF Gaming laptops probably have in common, since my experience with the FX505DY was similar as far as the keyboard was concerned; including things like the extended spacebar that makes it easier to press in the middle of an intense game, and the fact that this is a full sized keyboard, complete with a numpad that I never used, but FIFA players will definitely appreciate.

asus fx505dt keyboard wasd keys

It’s a great keyboard, and I don’t see any reason to not like this, whether it’s for typing, or for playing games — the FX505DT’s keyboard is amazing.
Trackpad

The FX505DT features a trackpad design that will be remarkably familiar to anyone who has used or seen a TUF Gaming laptop before. In fact, it’s basically the same trackpad — not that that’s a bad thing.

The trackpad here is not too big, but it’s not small either, but if you’re used to using laptops with bigger trackpads, like I am with my MacBook Pro, this might feel slightly cramped. In all fairness though, this is one of the bigger trackpads you’d find on Windows laptops, especially in this price range, so I’m not really going to dock points by claiming that the trackpad here is small. It’s actually pretty nice.

I did have to get used to the trackpad, but it works really well, and while clicking on this trackpad isn’t as nice a feeling as it is on something like the HP Spectre, it’s not bad either. If anything, it’s better than most laptops in the price bracket.

All that said, as gamers, I’m fairly confident you’ll be connecting a mouse to this laptop anyway, but for usual day to day usage, this trackpad will definitely suffice.
Audio

I know what you’re thinking: you’ll be wearing headphones most of the time when you’re gaming, but that’s not all you’d do on your laptop, is it? If you’re watching a movie, or bingeing on a TV show, chances are you’ll rely on the built-in speakers on your laptop.

asus fx505dt speakers

Fortunately, you can rely on the speakers on the FX505DT. They can get decently loud, and they don’t distort at maximum volumes, and while the bass isn’t all that great (were you really expecting that?), the overall sound quality of the speakers here is solid, and I didn’t find myself looking for a Bluetooth speaker every time I wanted to watch something on the laptop, which is awesome.
Battery

The FX505DT comes with the same 3-cell 48Whr as the FX505DY I reviewed earlier, and it performs pretty much the same way. The laptop lasts around 4.5 to 5 hours on regular usage, which is actually pretty great for a gaming laptop, and is also very similar to the battery life you’d find on other TUF Gaming laptops. Still, if you’re planning on using this laptop as a regular work machine as well, you’ll need to carry your charger along everyday.

asus fx505dt battery

For gaming, however, I don’t think the battery life needs to be a consideration, since you’ll not be playing games without the charger plugged in anyway, so this part shouldn’t be that big a deal for you.
Pros and Cons

At Rs. 81,990, the FX505DT seems like a pretty solid laptop, but as it is with everything, there are two sides to this proverbial coin as well. So let’s summarise those.

Pros:

    Solid build and design
    120Hz display
    Good performance
    Great keyboard

Cons:

    No Thunderbolt 3, or USB-C ports
    8GB RAM might not be enough

Asus TUF Gaming FX505DT: A Gaming Laptop Worth Checking Out

All things considered, the FX505DT is a gaming laptop that worth checking out. It brings a lot to the table. There’s a good processor in the Ryzen 7, a solid GPU in the GTX1650, a great keyboard, design that’s subtle but not too much so, and a solid build. Sure the selection of ports might feel slightly constricting to some, but it’s not a deal breaker for sure. However, if you’re looking for other options, there are laptops you can check out. Personally, I’d suggest you take a look at the MSI GF63 (Rs. 82,990), which also brings the same GTX1650 GPU, but comes with a Core i7 processor, a 512GB SSD, and even a USB-C port for just Rs. 1,000 extra.

However, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop that’s built to be tough and can run games well, the TUF Gaming FX505DT is definitely worth checking out once it launches in the next week or so.
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Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV : A Solid Gaming Laptop

With all the gaming laptops that I have reviewed, a couple of themes have always stood out to me, and anyone who has read any of the other gaming laptop reviews that I’ve written would know, that I admire Asus for building gaming laptops that don’t look like giant, unwieldy behemoths that I can’t keep on my desk without attracting too much attention. However, when the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV arrived at our offices, I found myself at a loss for how to really describe this laptop. It’s not as spaceship-like as gaming laptops like the Alienware Area 51m, and it’s not as understated as, say, the Zephyrus M that I reviewed a while back. Anyway, I’ve been using this laptop as my daily driver for almost a week now, and if you’re wondering whether the ROG Strix Scar III is worth the Rs. 1,54,990 price tag, here’s my review of the laptop.
Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV: Specs

Before we jump into the review, let’s do what we always do and take a look at the hardware this laptop brings to the table:
Display    15.6-inch FullHD;
144Hz;
3ms
Processor    Intel Core i7-9750H;
2.6GHz, up to 4.5GHz;
6 Cores/12 Threads
RAM    16GB DDR4 2666MHz
GPU    Nvidia RTX 2060;
6GB GDDR6 VRAM
Storage    1TB NVMe SSD
I/O and Ports    1 x Type C USB 3.2 (GEN2) support DP function;
3 x Type A USB 3.2 (GEN1);
1 x HDMI 2.0b;
1 x 3.5mm Audio Jack/ 1 x Audio Jack Mic-in (Combo Jack);
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack
Connectivity    Intel® 802.11ac (2x2) Gigabit Wi-Fi;
Bluetooth 5.0

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the ROG Strix Scar III.
Design and Build

Like I said earlier, the moment I looked at this laptop, I was confused about how to describe it. The Asus ROG Strix Scar III lands somewhere in the middle of understated designs and extremely spaceship-like designs. However, as I continued using the laptop, I realized that that’s not a bad thing at all. If anything, it makes the laptop stand out a bit, without standing out so much that it looks out of place; not just in an office space, but at home, in a coffee shop, or wherever else you might find yourself using the laptop.

Design wise, Asus has done what it does so well, and nailed the design on the Strix Scar III. I don’t really have any complaints here. The lid features the typical Asus brushed-metal finish, along with the big, glowing ROG logo, which, by the way, isn’t just red here, it’s actually RGB.

Inside, the laptop comes with the gorgeous FullHD display with minimal bezels on all sides, except for the bottom bezel. However, while I’ve stopped calling out laptop makers for big bottom bezels on gaming laptops, I want to give a shoutout to Asus for making this bottom bezel look cool. It’s not just your regular-looking bezel. Instead, Asus has cut it out at the right two-thirds and that little design choice gives the front of the laptop a lot more character and I dig it.

The keyboard also features RGB lighting, and a bunch of keys on the top for quick and easy access to important functions, which is something I’ve started appreciating as I use this laptop more every day. The sides of the keyboard have a nice, carbon-fiber-like design pattern which looks cool, sure, but also prevents oily or sweaty palms from leaving prints all over the palm-rest.

On the sides you’ll find the ports, with a very weird port on the right, and a bunch of ports, including the charging input, and the USB-C port on the back.

Of course, since this is a gaming laptop, there’s RGB in places. The keyboard, like I said, has RGB lighting. So does the ROG logo on the lid. However, with the Strix Scar III G531GV, Asus has added RGB lighting strips on the base of the laptop, and while these aren’t really visible when you’re actually using the laptop, the light glows out from the edges of the laptop and looks incredible at night, or in darker areas.

The laptop also feels really sturdy to the touch (and to the flex), and I always gives off a feeling of being a premium device, as it should.
Display

The ROG Strix Scar III G531GV comes with a big, gorgeous looking 15.6-inch Full HD display. That in itself is pretty good, with sharp text rendering, pretty solid brightness, and great color accuracy. However, Asus didn’t stop there. Since this is a gaming laptop, the display also offers gaming-oriented features.

This here is a 144Hz display, which means that you get reduced motion blur, and just an overall smoother experience with Windows animations, scrolling, and everything else. The response time is also a pretty solid 3ms, which isn’t something a regular user would care much about, but as a gamer, that obviously matters to you.

However, even though this is a gaming laptop, it’s great for regular workloads as well, and the display reflects the same. It’s a really good display, with good colors, great brightness, and nice viewing angles. Everyday tasks on this display are a treat, whether it’s writing articles or reading them, or watching movies and TV shows on Netflix (which, by the way, is more affordable now, so yay!)

So yeah, the display on this laptop is great, and I really don’t have anything to complain about here. Unlike the Zephyrus M GU502GU that I reviewed earlier, this display gets pretty bright so sunlight visibility shouldn’t be a problem.
Performance

Now let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of a gaming laptop – performance. The Strix Scar III doesn’t shy away on performance at all. The laptop comes packing an Intel Core i7-9750H processor clocked at a base frequency of 2.6GHz, and a max frequency of 4.50GHz which is great. There’s 16GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM on board, along with a 1TB NVMe SSD for fast storage, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

That’s plenty of power, and it shows in both real world usage and benchmarks. I started off my testing with some benchmarks on the laptop, and things look fine here. In 3DMark Time Spy, the Strix Scar III scores 5,160 points, while in PCMark 10, the laptop scores 4,191 points. I also ran Cinebench R20’s CPU test on the laptop and got a score of 2377 points there, which is good enough.
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Cinebench R20
3DMark Time Spy
PCMark 10

In real world usage too, the laptop doesn’t disappoint. I did quite a lot of office-related work on this laptop, with over 15-20 tabs in Chrome open at all times with an instance of Photoshop in the background for editing images, and the laptop handled it all perfectly. However, with specs like that, I wasn’t really expecting the laptop to have trouble with some Chrome tabs and Photoshop. I was really excited to check the gaming performance on this thing, and it didn’t disappoint.

In Far Cry 5, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite games to test gaming laptops with thanks to its built in benchmark, I tested the laptop in both High and Ultra graphics settings. With graphics set to High (which is the default that Far Cry picked out), I got an average frame rate of 88FPS, going as high as 102FPS. Switching the graphics settings to Ultra got an average frame rate of 83FPS, going as high as 99FPS and as low as 70FPS.
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That’s pretty impressive for Far Cry 5, and personally, I played the game in Ultra instead of High, because I think an average frame rate of 83FPS is pretty solid for a game like Far Cry 5 in Ultra settings.

I also tried playing Apex Legends and PUBG, and both those games also work great on this laptop, not that I was surprised. In Apex Legends, the laptop easily pushed anywhere from 75-90FPS in-game, with the lower FPS values coming in during intense gunfights, and explosions. I honestly suck at the game, but it’s not the laptop’s fault. In PUBG, the laptop easily got around 130FPS in High settings. Changing that to Ultra resulted in a major drop in frame rates, but I was still getting well over 90FPS, which is just awesome.
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PUBG High
PUBG Ultra

Overall, the performance here is amazing, and pretty solid for a laptop in this price bracket. I honestly don’t think the ROG Strix Scar III leaves a lot to be desired in terms of performance; but then again, that’s true for almost everything this laptop does, and it does quite a bit.
Keystone

Normally I would follow the performance section with the keyboard and trackpad, but the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV comes with what Asus calls a “Keystone.” This is pretty impressive. This amber colored NFC key basically unlocks the Shadow Drive inside the laptop. Sounds interesting? It really is.

When you first plug in the Keystone in the laptop, it automatically launches the Armory Crate application, where you can pair the Keystone to your PC, and set it to unlock the Shadow Drive. This is an extra 800GB of storage built in to your system that you can keep locked and hidden until you plug in your Keystone.

One of the best use cases that I could come up with for this would be to use this laptop as a work/play device, with the Shadow Drive holding all my games, so while I’m at work, there’s nothing to distract me from working, but when I’m at home I can just plug in the Keystone and transform the ROG Strix Scar III into a machine loaded with my favorite games.
Keyboard and Trackpad

Anyway, coming back to the regular flow of a laptop review, let’s talk about the keyboard and trackpad. There’s not really a lot to talk about here, but there are a few things I want to point out.

First, the keyboard feels ridiculously great to type on. I have used a bunch of Asus laptops in the past, and while those keyboards were great, this one just feels extremely responsive, easy to type on, and doesn’t cause fatigue – all of which are positives that I would want on every laptop ever. The keycaps are very slightly curved which adds to the comfort and ease of typing on the ROG Strix Scar III.

It’s also great for gaming, thanks to the properly spaced arrow keys here, instead of the stupid compact arrow key layout you’ll find on a lot of laptops these days. Asus clearly doesn’t care about making the keyboard fit into a perfect rectangle on its gaming laptops, and that’s fine by me. I’d rather have a keyboard I enjoy using than something that looks symmetrical but is absolutely poor in terms of usability.

I’ve spent a lot of hours typing on this keyboard; heck I’m typing this review on the ROG Strix Scar III and not only is it not tiring to type on this, it’s downright fun. I love using this keyboard.

The trackpad too is pretty great. In typical Asus fashion, it’s not among the biggest trackpads I’ve used on Windows laptops, but it’s not small either. It’s pretty well-sized, and it’s a precision touchpad so you get access to gestures and better tracking, which is awesome.

I do have one concern here – the palm rejection on this trackpad is average at best. It mistakes my palm for actual touchpad input very often, which can quickly get annoying when gaming because it keeps screwing up the crosshair, but is also annoying while typing because the cursor sometimes moves away to a random position.

Oh also, if you looked at the picture above and wondered what the “Num LK” key is all about, well, simply long press on it, and watch what happens.

Yeah, there’s a numpad built into the trackpad, similar to what we saw with the ROG Zephyrus S GX531GW, except the trackpad is placed in its proper position here.

So yeah, the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV is amazing when it comes to the keyboard and trackpad as well.
I/O and Ports

So far, the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV has nailed almost everything, and there’s really not a lot left to check. Coming to the ports and I/O options you get with the laptop, there’s a decent amount here as well.

You get three USB 3.0 Type A ports, you get a USB-C port, an RJ-45 ethernet port, a headphone and mic combo jack, an HDMI port, and, of course, a charging port. Plus there’s also the Keystone port.
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That’s definitely not a lot of ports as far as gaming laptops are concerned, but it’s also definitely not a scarcity of options.
Audio

When I used the Zephyrus M earlier this month, I was pretty unimpressed by the audio quality on the laptop. However, the ROG Strix Scar III didn’t let me down in terms of audio – the laptop’s side-firing stereo speakers get loud enough and don’t crackle or distort.

I have watched a considerable amount of movies and TV shows on this laptop, and I never felt the need to connect an external speaker here, the audio was loud, clear, and balanced. That’s pretty wonderful.

It’s obviously nowhere near the quality you’d get with headphones, and it goes without saying that you’ll need headphones for gaming, unless it’s a really casual gaming session. However, for regular usage like watching movies and TV shows, or listening to the occasional song, these speakers are definitely more than enough.
Battery

As far as battery life is concerned, the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV doesn’t really do anything great here. In my usage of the laptop, which is mostly Google Chrome and Photoshop, with the occasional YouTube video, or a TV show on Netflix or Prime Video, the laptop lasted around 2.5 to 3 hours on a charge – now that’s fine, but it’s not the best and it can quickly get annoying, having to charge the laptop every few hours especially if you’re at work.

For gamers though, that’s not too much of an issue, since you’ll most likely have it plugged in while gaming for the best performance. However, if you’re planning on using this laptop as your gaming beast at home, and workhorse at college or office, don’t forget to bring the charger along.
Pros and Cons

Pros:

    Great performance
    Comfortable keyboard
    Good design
    Display is bright and sharp
    Shadow Drive and Keystone are insanely cool

Cons:

    Battery life is average at best
    Palm rejection on touchpad is not good

Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV: Should You Buy It?

So, now that we’ve seen everything there is to see about this laptop, let’s answer the most important question – should you buy the ROG Strix Scar III G531GV at its Rs. 1,54,990 price tag. To put it simply, yeah, by all means. This laptop offers a lot of amazing features in the price. Pair that with the great design, excellent performance, good audio quality, and a 144Hz/3ms Full HD display, and this is definitely a great laptop to go for.

However, if you want to save some cash, you can also check out the MSI GL63 9SEK which comes with a 9th-gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD, and RTX 2060 graphics for Rs. 1,47,389. However, you’ll have to compromise on the storage, since the MSI laptop comes with a 1TB HDD, while the Asus ROG Strix Scar III comes with a 1TB SSD.

Buy the Asus ROG Strix Scar III G531GV from Amazon (Rs. 1,54,990) We get a lot of Bluetooth speakers here at Beebom, which is great because not only do I love listening to music, I also love checking out exciting new products. So when we received the Netgen Morgen Bluetooth speaker, I was excited. However, having preferred Sony speakers personally, I was carefully tempering my excitement with the Netgen Morgen, just in case I expect too much of it. Well, I’ve been using the Netgen Morgen for quite a while now, and at Rs. 5,999, it’s not the cheapest Bluetooth speaker out there. So, if you’re wondering whether it’s worth the price, here’s my review of the Netgen Morgen Bluetooth speaker.
Netgen Morgen: Specifications
Dimensions    232x153x65mm
Weight    1200g
Speakers    2x 10W Speakers
2x Passive Bass Radiators
Connectivity    Bluetooth v4.0;
NFC
Ports    AUX-in;
microUSB for charging
Battery    5,000 mAh
Price    Rs. 5,999
Design and Build

When I first took the Morgen out of its box, I was pleasantly surprised by its design. Unlike most Bluetooth speakers that want to look and feel portable, the Morgen is clearly designed to stay in your home, and blend in with your decor. It’s classy, it’s built out of aluminium, and it’s clad in a soft cloth, not unlike a Google Home speaker.

Even so, the Netgen Morgen is by no means a huge speaker, or a heavy one, or something that’s cumbersome to carry around. In fact, even though I personally feel that this speaker demands to fit right in your house, the handle up top makes it incredibly easy to carry around, so you can take it on trips and to house parties at your friend’s place.

Thanks to its aluminium build, the Morgen doesn’t ever feel flimsy or weak, or something you need to be very careful around. In my usage of the speaker, which ranged from using it at work, to stuffing it in my bag and carrying it home, it’s not suffered any visible damage, and that’s really very impressive.

Netgen has also taken care of what could’ve been minor quibbles here; the bottom of the speaker comes with two big, round rubber patches to ensure the speaker doesn’t slip off your table, the Netgen branding, though placed up-and-center, is small-ish, and classier than what some other brands would’ve done. The only minor flaw I find here is the fact that the Morgen’s handle doesn’t fold over to make it easier to stuff into a bag; other than that, I’m very satisfied with the design and build here.

Audio Quality

Even though the design and build of the Morgen is really amazing, audio is where the speaker really shines. With a size this big, I was anyway expecting a pretty good sound quality, but even with my higher than usual expectations, the Netgen Morgen blew me away.

With two 10W speakers and two passive radiators, the Morgen can get pretty loud… really loud. However, loudness ceases to matter on a lot of Bluetooth speakers because they end up absolutely crushing the sound quality in exchange for loudness; not the Netgen Morgen, though. This speaker manages to sound amazing at all levels of volume. The bass doesn’t vanish at lower volumes, and the treble is always great. Even with the volume set to max, the speaker doesn’t distort, and it’s just overall a really great sounding package. What’s more, the soundstage is pretty wide, and music from the Morgen has a certain depth to it that is usually missing from a lot of Bluetooth speakers.
Features and Buttons

As if all that praise wasn’t enough for this speaker, the Netgen Morgen also comes with a bunch of additional features. Equalizers, for one. While the right dial on the Morgen is for adjusting volume levels, the left can be rotated to choose from one of four equalizer presets on the speakers. There’s Rock for when you’re listening to some classic rock songs, Jazz for setting the perfect evening with your significant other, Dance, and of course, there’s the Normal mode which works for everything. The active equalizer is illuminated by an LED light, so you’ll always know which setting you’re at.

Meanwhile, the right dial has gesture-support. When I say gestures, it’s nothing fancy, but it definitely comes in handy. You can swipe left or right on the right dial to skip between tracks, and that’s pretty much it, but personally, I found this to be more intuitive and easier to do than pressing and holding on a button, which is what most other Bluetooth speakers do.

There’s also NFC here, which makes pairing your NFC enabled smartphone with the speaker a breeze. Just turn on NFC on your phone, turn on the speaker, and tap your phone on the spot where the NFC logo is, and that’s it, pairing started.

Then there’s the power button, which, again, does more than just one thing. Obviously, it turns the speaker on and off, but it also puts the speaker into pairing mode with a long press, and it plays and pauses music with a short press.
Ports

Moving on, the Netgen Morgen doesn’t really have a lot in the way of ports — there are only two here. There’s an AUX-in port, so you can pick up a 3.5mm cable and use a wired connection between your phone and the speaker. I’m not sure why you’d want to connect a Bluetooth speaker to your phone using an AUX cable, but it’s nice to know Netgen gives us the option.

Other than that, there’s the microUSB port here, which, you guessed it, is meant to charge the speaker. I’m still uncertain why companies won’t move to USB-C on Bluetooth speakers too, but I’m holding out hope that we see that happen really soon.
Battery

Speaking of USB-C and charging, let’s turn towards the battery in this thing. The Netgen Morgen comes with a 5,000 mAh battery, which might sound big, but when it’s driving two 10W speakers, it’s only fair to have a battery that big. At around 70% volume, the Morgen lasts around 6 hours on an average, although you can comfortably use it at 50% volume most of the time and extend that by around an hour. It’s not a lot, but like I said, I personally feel that this speaker is better suited for in-the-home listening, which makes 6 hours sound pretty great.

Charging takes place via the microUSB port, and according to Netgen, the speaker charges at 5V/1A — that’s 5W charging, similar to what you’d find on an iPhone XS with the bundled adaptor, but knocks at iPhone aside, the speaker takes almost 4 hours to fully charge, and then it’ll last you another 6 to 7 hours depending on the volume you’re listening at. If you’re wondering about the battery performance at 100% volume, your guess is as good as mine because as loud as this speaker gets, I couldn’t test it at 100% long enough for fear of the neighbours complaining against me.
Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Netgen Morgen comes with Bluetooth 4.0 — sad, I know, since most speakers at least come with Bluetooth 4.2 these days, but it does claim (and live up to) a 10m connection range, which is definitely nice. What’s a bigger bummer here, is that the speaker doesn’t support aptX — now personally, I don’t mind that because the sound quality here is definitely good, but hell if there was aptX support here, things would’ve probably been even better, right?

Pros and Cons

The Netgen Morgen is a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, but as strong a contender as it is for being one of the best in its price, it does have some shortcomings too, so let’s take a look.

Pros:

    Good build
    Great sound quality
    Decent battery life

Cons:

    No aptX support
    Bluetooth 4.0

Netgen Morgen Bluetooth Speaker Review: Should You Buy It?

So, the Netgen Morgen is a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker. It brings great sound quality, a solid build paired with really nice design choices, and it looks like a solid speaker to consider. At Rs. 5,999, the Morgen does have some competition. There’s the JBL Flip 3, priced at Rs. 5,999, and there are a whole bunch of Bluetooth speakers from Sony in this price range as well. However, even with all of that, I would suggest you give the Netgen Morgen a try, because it’s honestly a really amazing Bluetooth speaker, and unless you want portability of the likes that is offered by something like the Sony SRS-XB12 (Rs. 3,650), the Morgen sounds better than most of its competitors.
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Canon Pixma G3010: An Affordable, Feature Rich Ink Tank Printer

As far as printers are concerned, my colleagues have all suggested that Ink Tanks are better than Ink Jets, and while I’ve not used a lot of Ink Tank printers, when Canon sent over the new Pixma G3010 to us for testing and reviewing, I was slightly more excited to check it out than I usually get about printers. So, if you’re in the market for a printer, and the Pixma G3010 (Rs. 12,623) has caught your attention, here’s my full review of the Canon Pixma G3010 all-in-one printer:
Pixma G3010 Specifications
Dimensions    445 x 330 x 163mm
Weight    6.3kg
Functions    Print, Scan, Copy
Printing Resolution    4800 x 1200
Connectivity    USB, WiFi, Canon Print app
Scan Speed    ~19 seconds
Print Speed    Color: ~17 seconds
B/W: ~11 seconds
Display    1.2-inch LCD
Design and Build

The Canon Pixma G3010 isn’t the most compact all-in-one you’ll find. However, it is definitely one of the better looking ones out there. The printer comes in a nice matte-black finish that just looks classy, and just overall this feels like a better built unit than most other printers in its price range.

The buttons are all arranged on the right side of the printer, which is also where you’ll find the LCD display. Not a lot can be said about these buttons, other than the fact that they get the job done. Personally, I didn’t find myself using the buttons all that much, since almost everything on this printer can be done using a smartphone (more on that later), but the times when I did use the buttons (mostly to turn the printer on or off), the buttons felt tactile, and definitely well built.

That’s not surprising, Canon’s products are well built (just take a look at their cameras), and the Pixma G3010 is no exception.

Other than that, the printer comes with the usual things — the extendable paper tray, and the (also extendable) paper output tray. The input tray is great, since it easily folds on top of the printer itself, so it can protect the internals of the Pixma G3010 from dust — that makes it easier to store the printer when it’s not being used.

The Pixma G3010 is also well designed in the way that Canon has arranged the ports on this thing. There’s the main power-input on the left hand side of the printer (which is also a reversible connector, and I love that. Brownie points to Canon), and there’s a USB port on the right hand side that you can use to create a wired connection between the printer and your system.

Setting Things Up

Setting up the Pixma G3010 might seem like a mammoth task if you take a look at the included manual with its really confusing drawings. However, it’s actually not that difficult to set things up. The most important things while setting up the printer is actually installing the cartridges in the print-head, and filling up the colors — Canon provides single bottles of all the colors you’ll need to fill the printer up inside the box itself, so you can get started with printing right away.

Once you’ve filled the ink, and set the cartridges, you can move on to connecting the printer to your PC and/or your smartphone — using a wired connection or a wireless one if you’d like. For the wired thing, you’ll have to use the USB-port on the right hand side with the included USB cable.

Connection and Compatibility

Even though the Pixma G3010 only offers a single USB port for wired connectivity, it does offer a plethora of ways to connect to a PC or a smartphone. There’s obviously the wired method that you can use, by connecting the printer to your PC with the included USB cable  and installing the drivers, either from the Canon website, or from the included CD.

However, you can also use the Canon PRINT app (Android, iOS) to connect your phone to the printer and print photos, documents, scan items directly to your phone’s memory, copy, and even click pictures from your smartphone camera and directly print them out with the Pixma G3010.

You can obviously also make the Pixma G3010 available over your internet so all your local devices can access it wirelessly and send printing jobs to it. That makes it very easy to share the printer, especially if you’re in an office space with a bunch of systems, all of which might need access to the printer sometime or the other.

You will need the drivers for the printer in order to set things up, like I said, but there’s one interesting thing I noticed. So Canon says that macOS isn’t supported by the printer yet, and yes, if you try visiting the web-page mentioned in the manual for downloading drivers, you’ll not find a download button. However, I was able to get the printer working with my MacBook Pro running macOS Mojave by simply downloading the Pixma G3010 series drivers from this website.

I’m not certain if Canon would approve of that, but hey, I use a MacBook Pro and I wanted to also test this printer out with my laptop, so I did what I had to. The good news is that it works perfectly fine, so if you’re using a Mac, this is something you can do to get the printer working with your laptop as well.
Printing, Scanning, and Copying Performance

To test out the printing performance of the Pixma G3010 printer, I printed out an absolute ton of documents and images, both coloured and black-and-white, to see what things look like, and how good the printing quality on this printer actually is. I printed out documents, Photoshop files, even the Amazon listing for this very printer. I also scanned documents, took a picture from my phone and used the Canon PRINT app to print it out, and a lot more.

By doing all of that, the conclusion I’ve arrived at is that the Pixma G3010 will not let you down no matter what you’re asking it to print. It can print text files, images (both monochrome and coloured), pictures clicked from your smartphone, and even screenshots you may have taken, all with a decent speed, and good quality that’s at par with what other printers offer in this price bracket.

Unlike a lot of other printers, the ink doesn’t smudge if you touch (or even rub) the paper too hard immediately after it’s done printing, and there’s also no colour bleeding on the paper. I did notice once that there were some wet spots on a sheet, but that only happened that one time, and never happened again, even though I printed almost everything I read today, so I’m willing to write that off as a one-off error that will almost certainly never happen again.

For pictures, I didn’t have glossy photo quality papers on hand to actually test this out properly, but even on regular quality A4 sheets, the photos printed from the Canon Pixma G3010 look good. The printer doesn’t seem to mess up colours at all, and the photos turned out really nice, especially considering that I used regular A4 sheets to print them out. I’m fairly confident the print quality of pictures on actual photo-quality sheets will be a lot better.

Also worth mentioning is that while the printing speed here is decent, the printer does take a couple of seconds to start printing when you send a document or an image to print — this happens regardless of whether you’re printing over a wired USB connection, over WiFi, or sending a print job from your smartphone using the Canon PRINT app. It’s not too long a wait, but if you find yourself printing hundreds of documents every day, the wait might get annoying for you. However, this is something we’ve seen happen with a number of ink tanks in this price range.

Other than that, the Pixma G3010 can also scan documents and copy documents and both these functions work as you’d expect them to. You can either start a copy function by pressing the ‘Black’ or ‘Colour’ button on the printer, or you can start a copy job through the Canon PRINT app. Scanning also works really well, in fact, if you start a scan from the Canon PRINT app, you can even save the scanned copy to your smartphone directly, which is just really cool.
Pros and Cons

While I personally came to a positive conclusion about the Pixma G3010 printer, here are some of the most important pros and cons about the printer so you can get a quick overview of everything this printer does well, and things it could improve upon.

Pros:

    Good build
    Printing quality is nice
    Scanning and copying work really well
    Excellent mobile app available for both Android and iOS

Cons:

    The buttons can be confusing
    No official macOS support

Canon Pixma G3010 Review: Worth the Money?

So, the Canon Pixma G3010 is a pretty amazing all-in-one printer that brings quite a lot of features, including wireless support, for a pretty competitive price of Rs. 12,623 on Amazon, and personally, I think this is a solid printer to consider if you’re looking for in the Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 15,000 price range. It offers all the features you’ll need, WiFi printing, easy set up, good print quality, an amazing mobile app, and more. That said, there are other printers you can consider as well — there’s the HP Ink Tank 419 that my colleague reviewed, which offers a lot of these very features, for Rs. 13,150, but doesn’t look nearly as good. There are also options from Epson that you can check out, but at the end of the day, Canon is a name that’s pretty well known in the printing space, and keeping that in mind, I’d say the Pixma G3010 is definitely a printer worth considering.

Buy the Pixma G3010 from Amazon (Rs. 12,623) I’ve used and reviewed quite a lot of earphones and headphones, and mostly because I really like checking out new earphones almost all the time, it’s kind of an obsession. So, when Blaupunkt sent over the true wireless BTW-01 Bluetooth earphones, I just had to check them out. Well, I’ve been using these earphones for the last week or so as my daily drivers, so this is my review of the Blaupunkt BTW-01 truly wireless Bluetooth earphones, and whether they are worth their Rs. 4,999 price tag.
Blaupunkt BTW-01 Specifications
Bluetooth Version    Bluetooth 5.0
Profiles    HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRCP
Battery Life    up to 6.5 hours (when using single earbud)
up to 5 hours (when using both earbuds)
Charging Time    1.5 hours (for earbuds)
1.5 hours (for case)
Weight    Earbuds: 5.5g each
Case: 29g
Price    Rs. 4,999
Design and Build

If there is one place where I have most of my concerns and complaints, its the design and the build of these earphones. So, the BTW-01 come in a decent looking case that also charges them when they’re inside it, but while the case looks decent enough, just a quick touch on the case gives away the feeling that it’s a cheaply made case. The plastic is cheap and flimsy, and opening the case is neither tactile, nor does it feel sturdy enough to handle being opened and closed multiple times, sometimes with excessive force when the user might be in a hurry.

I’m not sure why Blaupunkt would go for a case that gives off a distinctly less-than-premium feeling to these earphones, especially when the case is the first point of contact that a user will have with these earphones.

The fact that the case is cheaply made and leaves a bad first impression, is even more troubling because the earbuds themselves are actually built pretty well. They don’t feel flimsy or cheap, even though they’re made of plastic, and the design elements chosen by Blaupunkt are great, especially the ring surrounding the touchpad on each of the earbuds, which just lends them a subtle amount of bling, without being overdone.

I also really like the fact that the strength of the magnet inside the case is nice and the earbuds drop into place with a satisfying click — that’s something my Galaxy Buds don’t do, and it kinda sucks.

Speaking of things that suck, there’s still a microUSB charging port on the case here, which is sad because I feel like we should have USB-C on everything now, especially on accessories and smartphones. Right now, I use the same USB-C cable to charge my MacBook Pro, my Galaxy S10, and my Galaxy Buds. It’s easy, it’s elegant. However, while using these Blaupunkt earphones, I’ve had to carry a microUSB cable, and an additional adapter for it just to charge these things which is just something I find really annoying.

Overall, I think the design and the build on these earphones is only decent. There are some good things, like the strong magnet in the case, and the nice looking earbuds, but there are issues like the flimsy case, the microUSB port, and just the fact that the first impression you’re likely to get from opening the box of these earphones will be that of exasperation. Hopefully, that’ll fade away when you actually open the box and start using the earbuds themselves.
Comfort and Fit

Speaking of using the earbuds themselves, I found the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to be a fairly comfortable pair of truly wireless earbuds to use, even though it took me a while to be confident that they won’t just fall out of my ears while I bobbed my head along to music.

The thing is, the shape that these earbuds are, isn’t one of the best that I’ve seen. The bulk of the earbuds is towards the back, and they solely depend on the silicone earbuds to stay in your ear; there’s no earhook, or any other support for the earbuds when they’re in your ears.

If you’re like me and you’re used to wireless earbuds that come with earhooks, or are just shaped to get more support from your ear, putting the BTW-01 in your ears will make you constantly worry about them falling off. That said, they didn’t actually fall off in usual usage, but I’m confident I will not be using these at the gym, or while jogging in the park.

Once you get past the fear that these earphones will fall out of your ear, they are actually fairly comfortable to use as long as you put a properly sized earbud tip on (Blaupunkt gives different sizes in the box). I used these earphones a lot at work, and I didn’t feel any sort of fatigue in the ear, or anything uncomfortable, other than the occasional feeling that they might fall out of my ears.

I wouldn’t rate these earphones as being great as far as comfort and fit are concerned, but they are definitely good in comfort, and above average for the fit.
Audio Quality

Even with all the comfort and fit in the world, earphones will pretty much be useless to you unless they sound good, or at least acceptable, and at Rs. 4,999, the bar for ‘acceptable’ is pretty high. Fortunately, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are well above that bar.

The earphones get pretty loud, and even then, I didn’t notice any distortion in the highs, which is great, because a lot of earphones start making the highs too loud at higher volumes and it just hurts the ears.
1 of 2

The BTW-01 have ample bass, even though it’s not as deep as something like the Noise Shots X3 Bass, but it’s definitely nice and heavy without being too overpowering. The same can be said about the highs and the mids, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 have decently well defined highs and mids — they’re not the best, but they’re good and for Rs. 4,999 they’re one of the better ones.

Personally, I didn’t find any problems with the Blaupunkt BTW-01 as far as the audio quality is concerned, and I think if you buy these, you’ll not be disappointed by them either.
Interaction and Features

The Blaupunkt BTW-01 also come with touchpads on both the earbuds that come with support for multiple kinds of taps, and it works pretty well. Here’s what you can do with these earbuds:

    Answer calls: single tap on the left or right earbud
    Ending calls: single tap on either earbud
    Rejecting calls: long press on either earbud
    Voice assistant: triple tap on the touchpad on either earbud
    Play/Pause: double tap on either earbud
    Previous song: long press left earbud
    Next song: long press right earbud

While these features are pretty self-explanatory, it’s important to note that the BTW-01 can be used individually as well, so if you’re only using the left earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Next song’ function, and if you’re only using the right earbud, you won’t get access to the ‘Previous song’ function on the earbuds. All of the other features work via either of the touchpads so they’ll work regardless of whether you’re using both the earbuds, or only one of them.
Connectivity

Anyway, let’s move on to connectivity. So the Blaupunkt BTW-01 come with Bluetooth 5.0, which is amazing, and they also let you use them individually. So you can choose to use just one of the earbuds and keep the other one in the case if you want.

However, if there’s one issue I have with the connectivity here, it’s the fact that connecting these earbuds to your phone is more time consuming than it should be. Here’s a basic outline of how you’d connect the Blaupunkt BTW-01 to your phone:

    Long press (about 5 seconds) on the left earbud to enter pairing mode, and pair the earbud to your phone.
    Turn on the right earbud (long press about 2 seconds), and it should automatically connect to the left earbud.
    You can now listen to music, take calls, etc using both the earbuds.

However, in case the earbuds don’t connect to each other, the procedure to actually clear the pairing list from both the earbuds and then letting them connect to each other is a complicated little issue that I don’t want to get into. All I’m saying is that I’d have really appreciated if I could just pop open the case, connect to the earphones, and use them without having to follow all these steps.

Anyway, at least the earbuds have decent range, and they are able to maintain sound quality over a distance, which is definitely nice, even though I tend to keep my phone in my pocket when I’m not sitting at my desk. There’s no aptX support here though, which is definitely something of a deal breaker to most people, but if it’s not a deal breaker to you, by all means, consider these earphones.
Battery

Then there’s the battery. While Blaupunkt doesn’t really give away the battery specs for these earphones, the manual does mention the expected battery life and charging time, and from my personal usage, the manual is pretty close to real world usage.

The earbuds lasted me around 4 to 4.5 hours of use, at maximum volume, and keeping the volume to around 60-70%, they lasted around 5.5 hours. I didn’t test the battery life while using just one earbud because that’s just not how I can ever listen to music, and I refuse to put myself through that. Still, judging by the fact that the battery life is close to what Blaupunk claims, I’m sure if you’re using these in single-earbud-mode, it should last you around 6 hours.

Charging the earbuds is taken care of by the case, so all you need to worry about is charging the case itself, which takes around 90 minutes to fully charge. As far as the charging is concerned, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty much what every other truly wireless earbuds are like — charge the case, and let the case charge the earbuds — and I don’t have a problem with that (other than the microUSB port here).
Pros and Cons

If you find the entire review too big to read, here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of the Blaupunkt BTW-01:

Pros:

    Good sound quality
    The earbuds look nice
    Touchpad controls work easily and intuitively
    Decent battery life

Cons:

    Charging case is poorly built
    microUSB port
    Connecting the earbuds isn’t the easiest thing

Blaupunkt BTW-01 Review: Worth the Price?

So overall, the Blaupunkt BTW-01 are pretty solid earbuds that are only slightly let down by the poor build of the charging case, and the fact that connecting them isn’t as straightforward as you’d like it to be, but other than that, these are good earphones. That said, unless the Blaupunkt brand name is something you find irresistible, I think the Noise Shots X5 (Rs. 4,699) and the Noise Shots X3 Bass (Rs. 3,749) are worth checking out, although connecting them is equally unintuitive.
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Jabra Elite 85h Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones: Almost the Best

Active Noise Cancelling headphones can be pretty amazing, or pretty terrible, depending on how well they actually cancel noise in real-world situations, so when Jabra sent over their Elite 85h Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth headphones (Rs. 28,999) over to us, I tested them the way I would test any pair of ANC Bluetooth headphones — while travelling. I’ve used these headphones for a considerable amount of time over the last two weeks, and I’m pretty impressed with them, so why did I put “Almost the Best” in the title? Well, read on to get a detailed look into the Jabra Elite 85h Headphones — their ups and downs, pros and cons, and more.
Jabra Elite 85h: Specifications

One of the best things about Jabra’s website is the fact that they give proper specifications for their headphones, as compared to a lot of other brands that simply mention “battery life” and “Bluetooth version”.
Dimensions    195 x 82 x 225 mm
Weight    296 grams
Bluetooth    Bluetooth 5.0
Ports and I/O    USB-C; 3.5mm AUX
Battery Life    Up to 41 hours (without ANC)
Up to 36 hours (with ANC)
Number of Microphones    8 (4 used for ANC)
Price    Rs. 28,999

Clearly, the Jabra Elite 85h bring a lot of impressive numbers on paper, but let’s take a look at how these translate into the real world.
Design and Build

If you buy these headphones, Jabra knows enough to send them packed with a carrying case, because with headphones this size (and at this price) you’ll want to keep them in a case when you’re not actively using them. Not that these headphones are flimsy or weak; if anything, the Elite 85h are pretty well built, and feel sturdy and premium to the touch — as they should.

The design is pretty straightforward, and Jabra has clearly not taken too much of a risk here, which is perfectly fine by me. These headphones look impressive and attractive, without looking overdone and flashy. The back of the earcups are covered with a mesh-fabric material, while the earcups themselves are made out of a leatherette material that’s soft to the touch, and really comfortable to use. There’s a blend of high quality plastic, ABS, PC and other materials that keep the weight low, while giving off a premium look and feel.

The Elite 85h also come with an interesting UX choice — folding the earcups to disconnect and opening them back up to connect. That’s very similar to what you’ll see in some magnetic Bluetooth earphones, such as the OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones, and it’s really neat seeing this on a pair of headphones. To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on this implementation, but I used it on my weekend trip to Nainital, all through the train and the cab journey, and I found myself loving the ease of use this brings. It’s incredibly quick to respond and very reliable in its functionality to make me want this functionality on all headphones.

Thanks to this functionality, along with an automatic power-off in 72-hours feature, Jabra did away with the power button on the Elite 85h — it’s simply not required. There are still a bunch of buttons here though, and we’ll talk about these in detail later, but one thing I really like on these headphones is the USB-C port for charging. I love USB-C, and thanks to this port, I just carried one charger on my trip for my laptop, my phone, my power bank, and my Bluetooth headphones. That’s incredible ease of use, and I love it.
Comfort and Fit

The Elite 85h are also amazing when it comes to the actual comfort while wearing them. True, at 296g they’re heavier than headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3, but even so, Jabra’s offering doesn’t feel heavy on extended usage — and I should know, I used them continuously for over 7 hours on my train + cab journey to Nainital.

The earcups have a firm grip that puts just enough pressure to hold the headphones in place, without making it feel like the headband is pressing into the top of your head — something I’ve noticed happening with a lot of headphones. Along with that, the fact that the headband also has the same leatherette material used on the earcups helps with the headphones being comfortable when being used for a long period of time.
Audio Quality and Noise Cancellation

The Jabra Elite 85h come with impressive audio quality all around and while these are one of the best headphones I’ve used, they’re definitely not the best. Let me explain: the Elite 85h have impressive sound. They get quite loud if you push them, the sound doesn’t distort, and the bass is heavy enough to be thumpy, but not heavy enough to get overwhelming. Along with that, the treble is really well tuned — the elite 85h just offer a really nice blend of highs, lows, and mids.

    the Jabra Elite 85h are the second best sounding pair of headphones I’ve tried in this price range.

However, if you’re listening to bass heavy songs on these headphones and you turn the volume to max, the bass sometimes does distort. I could clearly hear the bass distorting in some EDM songs that pump the bass exceedingly hard. For some reason this was even more pronounced when ANC was turned on the headphones. Turning ANC off, or reducing the volume to around 80% almost completely gets rid of this problem.

Apart from that one thing that bugs me though, the Jabra Elite 85h are the second best sounding pair of headphones I’ve tried in this price range. The first are obviously Sony’s WH-1000XM3 ANC headphones that are just so blissfully good at everything it’s almost wrong of Sony to not give others a chance.
Noise Cancellation

Anyway, coming back to the Jabra Elite 85h — these headphones are a very close second to Sony’s offering, and the sound quality on the Elite 85h is really impressive. Speaking of impressive, let’s talk about the Noise Cancellation.

The Jabra Elite 85h come with Active Noise Cancellation, and there are different modes:

    Active Noise Cancellation On
    Active Noise Cancellation Off
    Hear-through

The effect of turning ANC on or off is pretty obvious, but Hear-through is a cool feature that I use at work a lot. With hear-through, the Jabra Elite 85h essentially mix your music with the ambient sound they take in from the microphones, so you can hear your surroundings while you listen to your music. This is most likely aimed at people listening to music while running or jogging, but it’s incredibly useful at work, because I can keep listening to music and still discuss things with my colleagues. One thing to notice here is that if you’re listening to music at anything higher than 60-70%, hear-through is basically useless since you won’t be able to hear anything.

Anyway, with Active Noise Cancellation On, the Jabra Elite 85h perform admirably, and if I compare them to the Sony WH-1000XM3, they’re very close. With ANC on, you can completely immerse yourself in the music, movie, or podcast you’re listening to — and I did this with all three of those while I was in the train. It’s pretty great, especially in trains and flights with little kids that keep creating a ruckus — I speak from experience.

That said, I did notice one odd thing with ANC on these headphones — if you’re travelling in a car with the windows rolled down, the ANC tries to compensate for the noise the wind creates, and sometimes the headphones just end up making a very loud and annoying static sound as a result. I found this out by accident, but it’s incredibly annoying and there’s no way to fix this unless you turn off ANC, or roll the window up. It’s an issue that’s very specific to a particular situation, but it’s annoying as hell. I’m not sure if the Sony WH-1000XM3 would also have this problem, but logic suggests that they might, considering how ANC works.
Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, the Jabra Elite 85h bring all the good stuff — there’s Bluetooth 5.0, which is something you wouldn’t get with Sony’s WH-1000XM3 headphones (those come with Bluetooth 4.2). However, the Elite 85h don’t come with aptX or aptX HD support, which is weird at this price range. In fact, Jabra isn’t even mentioned on the aptX website. Still, if you’re willing to ignore the absence of aptX on these headphones, the connectivity here is on point in every other way.

The headphones stay connected easily over 7-8 metres in a regular home-space which is pretty great, and there’s no signal drop or distortions. Also, you can connect two devices to the headphones at the same time, which can come in handy if you want to pair your phone and your laptop to your headphones at the same time to listen to music from your laptop and still be able to take calls from your phone straight on your headphones.

Connectivity wise, the Jabra Elite 85h are actually pretty great, and the only drawback I could find here is the missing aptX support, which, honestly, is something you would expect in high-end headphones like these.
Buttons and Ports

Moving on to the I/O on these headphones, the Jabra Elite 85h come with quite a lot of that. There are only two ports here — a USB-C port for charging, and an AUX-in port. The USB-C port is a personal favorite of mine, and I honestly can’t wait for even affordable headphones to come with USB-C — it’s faster, and just more convenient.

The AUX-in port, well, that’s a life saver if you ever run out of battery and want to listen to music. Simply connect the headphones in wired mode and keep listening. True, ANC won’t work, and neither will hear-through, but at least you can listen to music on these even if you manage to completely drain the battery (which is a task, believe me, but more on that in the battery section).

There are also a bunch of buttons here — there are the usual play/pause, and volume control buttons on the right earcup under the mesh-fabric material, that also serve the dual purpose of putting the headphones in pairing mode, and skipping tracks with long presses.

There’s also the Assistant button on here which you can use to activate the smart assistant on your phone, so you can send messages and stuff without having to take the headphones off.

Lastly, there’s this button without any markings on it — it basically switches between the various noise canceling settings:

    ANC on
    ANC off
    Hear-through

There are helpful voice prompts when you switch between these modes as well, just in case you’re unable to figure out what mode you’re in. These modes can also be switched between from the companion smartphone app: Jabra Sound+ that’s available for free on the Play Store and the App Store.
Jabra Sound+ App

The Jabra Sound+ app is your one stop solution for managing and customising the Elite 85h. This app is where you’ll find settings like choosing Moments for your headphones. Moments can be thought of as customisable sound profiles. There are four:

    Commute
    In Public
    In Private
    My Moment

with each of these Moments you can choose between ANC on/off or HearThrough mode, you can adjust the Music equalizer, and you can choose a Music preset.

For example, I’ve set Commute to have ANC on, In Public to HearThrough, and In Private to ANC off. This way, I don’t have to listen to random kids on my commute, but I can still listen to my coworkers when I’m at work, and when I’m alone, I can save battery by turning ANC off.

You can switch quickly between these Moments from the notification the app puts into your Notification Center, but to actually utilise these to their full extent, there’s a feature called ‘SmartSound.’

With SmartSound enabled, your headphones analyse the sound in your surroundings and automatically choose Moments based on that. So they will switch automatically from Commute to In Public when you reach work, and from In Public to In Private when I’m back home. It’s pretty impressive, even though it does take some time to analyse ambient sounds and change Moments.

Other than that, the Sound+ app brings the Discover tab which is where you will find tips, tricks, news, and even firmware updates for your headphones.
Battery

The Jabra Elite 85h come with a battery that’s rated to last up to 41 hours with Active Noise Cancellation off, and up to 36 hours with ANC on, and that claim is pretty accurate. From a full 100% charge, these headphones have been used for almost 16-17 hours so far with ANC turned on all the time, and they’re at 60%. Clearly, they’ll last around 34-35 hours. That’s pretty damn impressive.

Plus, thanks to USB-C charging, I don’t have to worry about carrying a separate cable for the headphones either because my phone, my laptop, and now these headphones, all can be charged from the same USB-C cable. Charging the battery also doesn’t take too long; the headphones charge in around 2 to 3 hours, and, while I didn’t test this particular thing out, Jabra claims that a 15 minute charge can get them up to 5 hours of listening time, which is also pretty impressive.
Pros and Cons

So, the Jabra Elite 85h are a pair of really impressive headphones, but they too have some drawbacks and flaws. So here’s a handy list of the good, and the bad about the Elite 85h:

Pros:

    Good sound quality
    Excellent battery life
    Bluetooth 5.0
    Premium and sturdy build
    USB-C

Cons:

    No aptX support
    Bass sometimes distorts at high volumes
    ANC is not at par with competitors like Sony’s WH-1000XM3

Jabra Elite 85h: Should You Buy These?

So the question at the end of all this is should you buy these headphones or not. After all, at Rs. 28,999 these are a big investment. Look, the Jabra Elite 85h bring great sound quality, an amazing battery life, good ANC, and a lot more to the table, but even though these are a great sounding pair of headphones that offer a high level of comfort, they don’t quite parallel the offering from Sony in the WH-1000XM3 (Rs. 28,999) which are quite simply the best headphones I’ve used in this price. They offer better sound quality, a more balanced bass and treble output, and better noise cancellation as well. If I were you, I would go with the Sony headphones over these.
If you’re in the market for a gaming monitor, you’ve probably come across a whole bunch of them at multiple price points. However, if you’re looking for a monitor that brings a ton of features, and comes in at a competitive price point, the BenQ Zowie XL2546 is probably one you would’ve seen. So, if you’re planning on buying this gaming monitor, and are doing your due diligence before making a purchase such as this, I mean, it’s priced at Rs. 37,690, we have you covered. Here is our review of the BenQ Zowie XL2546 gaming monitor.
Zowie XL2546: Specifications

Before we dive into the review, let’s get the specifications for this monitor out of the way.
Display Size    24.5-inches
Resolution    1920x1080 (Full HD)
Refresh Rate    240Hz
Response Time    1ms
Aspect Ratio    16:9
Brightness    320nits
Viewing Angles    170/160 degrees
Stand    90-degree pivot, 45-degree swivel, 140mm height adjustment, -5 to 20-degree tilt adjustment
Ports    1x HDMI 1.4
1x HDMI 2.0
1x DVI-DL
1x DisplayPort 1.2
1x Headphone Jack
1x Mic-in
Zowie XL2546: Design and Build

The Zowie XL2546 looks like most other expensive gaming monitors at first blush. It has a thick build to accommodate the plethora of ports, and things like the built-in headphone hanger, it doesn’t do a lot to hide its bulk, and it looks slightly intimidating, especially if you’re using it at work, like I am, and you’re surrounded by sleeker looking monitors.

That’s not bad though, because the Zowie XL2546 doesn’t try to make its way into fitting in at your workstation, even though, as I’ve found through my usage of this monitor over the past few weeks, it can fit in for all the work-related tasks you might need it to do. With this monitor, BenQ simply had gamers in mind, and that’s very obvious in a bunch of design aesthetics that the company went with.

One of those design aesthetics is the black and red color combination used throughout this monitor and its stand (which is included, by the way), but even so, BenQ doesn’t overdo it, and it looks nice, and adds not only a splash of color, but also some character to the set up. Then there’s the height marker running along the side of the stand. It goes all the way from 0 to 14cm, and comes with a small plastic marker so you can remember what height adjustment you prefer for gaming (and/or work). The stand also comes with tilt degrees marked on it, and the base has a set of markers to identify when the monitor is perfectly straight towards you.

What’s really good about the design here is that sheer number of configurations you can use this monitor in. It can be brought close to the desk, tilted up and down, swiveled around, and even rotated 90-degrees into a portrait orientation (that might come handy for streamers wanting to use a secondary display to show their Discord, Steam, or Twitch chat. Basically, the Zowie XL2546 is as versatile as it gets as far as configurability options are concerned, and I really like it.

There are relatively big bezels here though, which isn’t really something I personally like, but BenQ claims that it’s helpful to make gamers focus on the game without getting distracted by their surroundings — something that’s also done by the included shields that attach to the sides here. That said, these aren’t massive bezels, especially when put in perspective to the size of the display itself, and after an hour or so of using the monitor, you don’t really notice them anymore, unless you’re hunting for the buttons on the bottom right to adjust a setting on the display.

Moreover, the bezels certainly add more in the way of a sturdy construction, which is yet another thing that’s great about this display. It doesn’t feel weak or cheap; it’s made of high quality plastic and metal, and while it’s certainly a little on the heavier side, the included handle on top of the stand makes for easy portability should you need to move the monitor to a different location in your house, or, as was the case for me, in the office.

Zowie XL2546 Display and Picture Quality

This is a relatively difficult section to describe, because even though this monitor is aimed at gamers, I also used it as my daily display for work, and in those situations, this doesn’t seem to be the best display out there. Especially if you’re coming from a higher resolution laptop, such as my usual daily driver 2017 MacBook Pro with its 13-inch Retina display.

Still, since this is a gaming monitor, I’ll treat it as such, and not dock points for flaws that are really only visible when using this is a non-gaming display.

So this here is a 240Hz panel with a response time of 1ms, and those are specs you would expect from a display priced at Rs. 37,690. Does that make a big difference to games? Kind of. Does it make a big difference in daily usage — definitely. As long as your laptop or PC has a GPU that’s capable of driving 240Hz displays (and most modern GPUs will do), everything on this panel is pretty frikkin awesome. The animations are smooth, scrolling is a treat, and gaming is smooth and responsive. It’s all pretty great.

For testing this display from a gaming display point of view, I connected it to one of the many gaming laptops at our office, and yes, gaming on this display is fun. It’s definitely better than gaming on a standard laptop display, and the refresh rate and response time will certainly make a difference, especially in fast-paced shooting games like Fortnite, PUBG, or Battlefield V.

When I did connect the display to my MacBook Pro for general office-related work, I had to set the color profile to fix the otherwise washed out colors that the monitor defaulted to. However, that’s something I’ve noticed happen with a lot of displays so it’s not really something I’d attribute to this monitor itself. Other than that though, the Zowie XL2546 is a pretty solid display.

The colors here are nice, and while I do feel like the whites are a little less white than what they should be, it’s not a big difference, and general media consumption on this display is satisfying enough an experience. That said, I’d suggest staying at arm’s length from this display because a 1080p resolution on a 25-inch monitor will definitely show you pixels if you’re looking at it too close, and that can (and will) ruin your experience, even in movies, and especially if you’re using subtitles.

The one thing that I don’t like about this display are the viewing angles. Zowie claims the monitor has 170/160-degree viewing angles, but move your head even slightly off the center of the display and it takes on a yellow-ish almost sepia-like overlay which looks absolutely terrible. The only consolation to that is the fact that while gaming, you’ll not really be looking at your screen from the side, so it shouldn’t bother you while you’re engrossed in a match of PUBG.
Zowie XL2546: Ports and Connectivity

The Zowie XL2546 comes with a plentiful selection of ports on both the side, and below the bottom lip of the display. There’s quite a lot of stuff here, but mostly what you’ll be concerned with are the HDMI ports, and the USB 3.0 ports on the side.

There are 2 HDMI ports, one of which is an HDMI 1.4 port, and another an HDMI 2.0. There’s a DisplayPort, a DVI slot, a headphone jack, mic-in, USB-3.0 ports, and even a headphone hanger, which isn’t strictly a port, but it’s a handy addition to the monitor, so you can easily store your headphones when you’re done gaming, and pick them back up when you’re ready for more rounds of your favorite game.

Zowie XL2546: Features

As a gaming monitor, the XL2546 would be remiss if it didn’t offer features that are aimed specifically at gamers, and it offers quite a lot of them, so let’s take a look at them one by one.
1. DyAC

DyAC, or Dynamic Accuracy, is a feature that works more or less to reduce motion blurring on the display, making it easier for you to aim at moving objects in games. DyAC comes in three settings: Premium, High, and Off. While Zowie claims that High and Premium are considerably different in terms of performance, I found both of them to be pretty close, but DyAC does make a big difference because turning it off results in a very observable change in the way games look and feel on the display.

2. Black eQualizer

No I didn’t get the capitalisation wrong there, that’s how Zowie writes Black eQualizer. Think of this as the Pixel 3 Night Sight feature but for your display… almost. With Black eQualizer, the monitor will increase the brightness in dark areas in a game, but will maintain the white areas so they don’t become over-exposed. This can come in very handy for spotting enemies hidden in the dark, and in PUBG, it definitely helped me quickly take a look inside houses without having to actually properly look and check if there was a hidden enemy in the dark somewhere.
3. ColorVibrance

ColorVibrance, or CV, is another feature in the Zowie XL2546 that makes colors stand out better, and can help with spotting enemies easily. Personally, other than colors becoming more saturated, CV didn’t really feel like a very helpful gaming feature to me, and I found myself leaving CV at the default value of 10 throughout my usage of this monitor.

Apart from these features, the Zowie XL2546 also comes with Flicker Free technology which reduces screen flickers, and helps avoid strain on the eyes. There’s also the Shield here, which, contrary to what you might think, is not actually meant to add a little privacy to your gaming sessions. Instead, BenQ says that this helps gamers focus on the game better. Now, I’m not sure about that, but personally, after having used Shield on the monitor for a week or so, I can’t go back to using it without the Shields, so it definitely helps with concentration, and a more immersive, less distracting experience, which is awesome.
Zowie XL2546: S Switch

The Zowie XL2546 also has an additional accessory. Called the S Switch, this circular set of, well, switches, comes with 3 custom keys that you can program to quickly change the display settings on the monitor. You can simply change the settings to whatever you want, then press and hold on the 1,2, or 3 buttons on the S Switch for 3 seconds, and the setting will be saved. From there on out, you can simply press the button to switch display settings of the monitor to your liking, so you can create a setting that suitable to games like PUBG, one for something like watching movies, and yet another one for casual usage, and quickly switch between the three with just the push of a button.

I didn’t use this very often, but it was helpful to quickly be able to switch settings from game-mode, to something more suited for finishing off articles on the website. Plus, the base for the Zowie XL2546 comes with a dedicated place where you can keep the S Switch — that’s definitely a good touch, and, if you’re not using the S Switch, like I wasn’t, you can use that place on the base to keep your drinks, which is also pretty handy.
Zowie XL2546: Pros and Cons

The Zowie XL2546 definitely looks like a pretty solid gaming monitor, but as the age old adage goes, there are two sides to every coin, so lets take a quick look at the good and the bad of this monitor.

Pros:

    240Hz refresh rate
    1ms response time
    S Switch makes it easy to switch profiles
    Built-in headphone hanger

Cons:

    Viewing angles are not good
    1080p resolution seems a little low for a big, 25-inch display, especially when using it close up.

Zowie XL2546: Worth the Money?

All things considered, the Zowie XL2546 is a pretty good gaming monitor. It’s packed with features, it comes with a 240Hz refresh rate, and 1ms response time, it brings a nice, versatile stand that can let users set up their monitor any way they want and more. However, at Rs. 37,690, the drawbacks of the Zowie XL2546, especially the shabby viewing angles, sound more jarring than they otherwise would. As a purely gaming display, the Zowie XL2546 is good, but there are other options out there. There’s the Acer Predator XB272 which is priced at Rs. 39,990 and brings 240Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a Full HD 27-inch display. There’s also the HP 27XQ, which brings a 144Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and a 27-inch QHD display for Rs. 35,399. There are others too, and all of this just goes to show that the Zowie XL2546 has tough competition in this segment, and other than the added features that it brings to the table, major brands like HP and Acer will definitely bring the fight to it, and personally, they feel like better choices.
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