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We checked out a couple of Samsung’s ambitious products this week, as well as a few other gadgets. Cherlynn Low has tested the Galaxy Z Fold 3 smartphone, Samsung’s third generation foldable hybrid, and the Galaxy Watch 4, one of the first devices to run on the new Wear OS platform. James Tree knocked out the keys and customized the Keychron Q1 keyboard, while Daniel Cooper was happy with his time with HP’s light and capable Pavilion Aero 13 laptop.
Although Cherlynn Low likes a lot of the improvements that have been made to Galaxy Z Fold 3 Calling it a great piece of technology, she’s still not sure that it can replace the average smartphone for most people. The third-generation foldable device has a stronger, redesigned screen, streamlined hinge, and sturdy aluminum construction, and Samsung says it’s 80 percent more durable than previous models. According to Cherlynn, it easily held up in a bag full of sharp and heavy items, and the IPX8 water resistance kept it safe from water drops.
The Fold 3’s 6.2-inch, 2,268 x 832 external display refreshes at 120Hz and uses a Dynamic AMOLED panel, which is designed for fast scrolling and vibrant photos. The phone also has S Pen support, although the stylus costs more and there is no slot for it on the device. There’s also more software support to improve the full-screen experience, such as the Multi Window and Flex Mode panels, as well as five onboard cameras, which generally produce bright, colorful shots. Despite these gains, I felt the device was widespread and trying to do a lot to achieve mainstream adoption.
Cherlynn Low candid about how to use Galaxy Watch 4 Make it feel, and call it and the rest of Samsung smartwatches the best Android wearable options. The combination of capable hardware with intuitive software features and comprehensive health tracking continues to provide a satisfying experience. The Galaxy Watch 4 adds some interesting notable features with body composition checks and snoring detection, but Cherlynn says it’ll take more time to determine how useful these features are as they are, for now, somewhat unreliable.
The Galaxy Watch 4 has a sharp 1.4-inch screen with a resolution of 450 x 450, a touch-sensitive rotating bezel, and an updated 5nm processor with more storage space. It also supports gesture controls that allow you to answer calls or messages, but Cherlynn says they don’t work well yet. It was also disappointed by the watch’s battery life, which barely lasts a day. She was even more impressed with how accurately and quickly she recorded her walk, and liked the watch to keep track of 95 different exercises. She was also pleased that the Wear OS platform strongly replicated the strengths of Tizen’s intuitive user interface, with the exception of the new ability to download apps directly from the Play Store. Despite some hiccups, it still recommends Galaxy Watch 4 or Watch 4 Classic to Android users.
Keychron is known for making budget keyboards and James Trew says their latest offering, the x 1Affordable, easy to customize and full-featured. The Q1 has hot-swappable keys and Aviator-style USB-C, which should appeal to both avid tinkerers and those who want to delve into the geeky details of mechanical keyboards. It comes with a keycap puller and switch remover, as well as keycaps for Windows and macOS layouts, but it lacks Bluetooth, so you’ll have to live with it as a wired peripheral.
The Q1 features predictable RGB key lighting, but has south-facing integration for a more subtle effect. Inside there is a noise canceling foam surface and screw fasteners for sturdier keys. James particularly liked the option to etch a custom metal badge where the insert key is placed. He stated that switching keys was easy, and that using the companion app Via was a convenient way to customize Q1. However, he notes that at 3.5 pounds, the Q1 is not designed for portability and that its height cannot be adjusted.
Daniel Cooper found plenty of reasons to recommend HP’s new Aero جناح Pavilion. The lightest laptop to date from the company weighs just 2.2 pounds and still manages to fit a 13.3-inch, 16:10 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. The specs list on our review unit was AMD’s Ryzen 5800U with Radeon Integrated Graphics and 16GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD. The build quality is solid, Daniel said, with the exception of the flexible width joint; The keyboard is well-designed and satisfactory; And the trackpad has acceptable accuracy. It also approved the battery, which lasted 9 hours and 43 minutes during the test.
Wasn’t happy the keyboard wasn’t backlit by default, but you can pay an extra $20 to get it. And while he was pleased with the performance of the WideVision 720p webcam, he said the B&O’s low-end speakers pump up sound you can tolerate but not fully enjoy. The pre-installed program was another annoyance – getting pop-ups for plugins is never appreciated. Being a relatively affordable laptop, the Aero isn’t set up for intense gaming but Danielle was able to play It is an electronic game Smoothly with medium graphics power. Overall, he says, the Aero punches more punch than its weight and can almost be recommended as an alternative to the Dell XPS 13 for those on tighter budgets.
New Razer Blade 14″ Laptop It hits all the right notes for Devindra Hardawar: It’s incredibly powerful thanks to an NVIDIA RTX 30-series GPU and the latest AMD processor, and at just under four pounds, it’s still light enough to comfortably carry. Featuring a simple design and a sleek black aluminum case, the Devindra review unit was equipped with an RGB LED keyboard, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 165Hz Quad HD display. He stated that the laptop easily handled challenging games even at extreme settings and that ray tracing performance was solid.
Devindra also liked the keyboard’s responsiveness, but said the design seemed a bit cramped for long gaming sessions. While testing the battery, the Blade 14 made it 10 hours and 50 minutes (running productivity tasks, not gaming). But during heavy gaming sessions, Devindra reported that the CPU hit 94 degrees Celsius, which is unusually high. Another downside? The RAM isn’t upgradable as it is in the larger Blade 15 and 17 laptops. If these compromises aren’t a deal breaker, he says, this is worth recommending given its $1,800 starting price.